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10-27-2017, 11:55 AM   #16
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I'll never knock new computer designed lens, constructed with modern materials and various coatings, but old lenses can achieve beautiful results. Echoing this is the current trend of several companies to resurrect several "old" designs that in some cases were designed in the 1930's and selling new versions at boutique prices and extolling the virtues of a time tested piece...Many companies have recycled the same optical formulas even as they changed the cosmetic look or add electronics to new lenses. If a lens is well maintained there is no reason to believe it can't perform admirably. All lenses have limitations of some sort,some fewer than others but a vintage lens can produce top results indistinguishable from there modern counter parts.

10-27-2017, 01:22 PM - 2 Likes   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
If I were buying my first portrait lens for a dSLR right now, I would be very tempted to go Takumar hunting, maybe even Super-Tak as opposed to S-M-C.
I recently had a studio portrait session using the K-1 with m42 primes. Super Tak 85mm 1.9 (1960s) and Jupiter-9 (1969) primarily, and a few shots with my Helios 44m-5 (1999 model of a very old design) and Mir-24m (1984).

The Takumar:


The Helios:


I owned the Nikon AF-S G 85mm 1.8 before, and I'd take any of those m42 lenses over it, any day. Ain't nothin' wrong with old glass.

Last edited by zjacreman; 10-27-2017 at 01:56 PM.
10-27-2017, 08:37 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerard_Dirks Quote
Last week I had a discussion with a Nikon Photograph who tried to tell us that we need to buy new glass when using the new highend fullformat cameras.

I complained. In analog time we had the kodachrome 25 slide film. Comparing with modern Cameras this film has a resolution of about 60Mpx. The D850 has 45Mpx, the K-1 has 36Mpx, so plenty possibilities to use old glass!
Maybe he meant that as far as Nikkor glass was concerned . . .

My last rolls of Kodachrome were the 25 speed but I never got to test it properly. However, I tested some of my lenses using Kodak Techpan @ ISO 25 and processed in Kodak Technidol and clearly the results indicate far more resolution then a 36.3MP.

In this test, I used a Pentax M 50mm f4 macro lens on my Pentax LX to take a shot of a 4 X 4 arrangement of 12233 res charts under optimal conditions. I then "scanned" the whole frame of film using my Pentax K20D+macro+autobellows, Nikon D800+macro+autobellows and Coolscan 9000 and show the 100% crops from each on the left hand side. The D800 and Coolscan results are very close even though the D800 has more pixels then a 4000dpi scan. However, to the right I used my K20D+macro+autobellows to capture about a 4.5X optical magnification of the center area and it is plain to see there is far more real detail captured on the frame of Techpan that has not been resolved by these methods.


Full res version -> Kodak Techpan 04-27 scan compare

And looking at DPREVIEW's results from the D850, it certainly looks like it is still not resolving the detail captured on Techpan. And this is using a lens I bought off a local craigslist for cheap so I am not sure if this lens is still in optimal condition. In fact I am not sure what is the limiting factor here - lens, film, manual focusing or a combination of these factors.

In any case, this lens - as well as the others I have tested that are all used, are not going to be the limiting factor in attaining all the detail of a scene.

---------- Post added 10-27-17 at 11:39 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by zjacreman Quote
I recently had a studio portrait session using the K-1 with m42 primes. Super Tak 85mm 1.9 (1960s) and Jupiter-9 (1969) primarily, and a few shots with my Helios 44m-5 (1999 model of a very old design) and Mir-24m (1984).
Beautifully done!

---------- Post added 10-28-17 at 12:17 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
My personal exemplar of this is the SMCP-K 50mm f/1.2 - it is not the sharpest 50mm lens pentax has ever made, at f/1.2 its resolution characteristic is abysmal,Stopped down f/5.6~f/11 the 50mm f/1.2 really hits its stride, and performs admirably.
This is a lens I have that I also tested and would appreciate comparing your results with mine.
BTW, did you test your lens with other f1.2 lenses?
10-27-2017, 11:28 PM   #19
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I normally have problems with excessive contrast and low light!
A Tukmar flashes shadows adaptively!
I get less burn and more shadow detail!

10-27-2017, 11:38 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerard_Dirks Quote
In analog time we had the kodachrome 25 slide film. Comparing with modern Cameras this film has a resolution of about 60Mpx.
Yeeeeeeeeeeeah...

I love film, I really do. I think probably 98% of my photography over the last three years has been analog. But seriously now, even shooting Velvia 50 on a tripod and being reeeeeally careful, I've never achieved anywhere near the resolution with film that I get from my GR*.

*Of course the GR has a 16mp APS sensor, we're not even talking about the top end FF digitals...
10-28-2017, 02:40 AM   #21
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javascript on... http://static.timparkin.co.uk/static/tmp/cameratest-2/800px.html

Large Format Camera Comparison | On Landscape
10-28-2017, 02:53 AM   #22
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There's no reason to believe that film lenses won't perform well on digital cameras. Some older lenses are significantly more prone to purple fringing than more modern lenses and zooms have come quite a bit of distance with modern computers and optical design.

Pentax has always had good coatings, but those have definitely improved some, as well and a lot of modern lenses are pretty resistant to flare.
10-28-2017, 03:34 AM   #23
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I have mixed impressions - my Pentax-F 100mm macro is still basically the same optical design as it's newest iteration, and seems as sharp as I need on the K-3 (see below). My 400mm f/5.6 FA*definitely seems softer on digital than it did on slide film - maybe there is some truth in the whole 'optimised for digital' thing as far as some lenses go. The beauty (to me) of the FA Ltds is that they make digital look more like film - which is great when that's what you want.

100mm Pentax-F macro with K-3



400mm f/5.6 FA* with K-3



31mm Ltd with K-1



10-28-2017, 10:16 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Don't get me wrong old lenses can produce phenomenal images on whatever medium they are used on..
Curious about this theoretical question... if it were possible to refurbish older manual focus lenses with modern coatings, do you suppose that would make much of a difference?

I'm not much of a pixel peeper, and I'm a manual lens hog. So I know my technique is more to blame than the lens in 99.9999% of cases. However, CA is kind of a PITA that is nevertheless easy to fix in post now, but I remain curious if it could be eliminated at the time of the click... in theory.
10-28-2017, 02:39 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
So ultra enlargements existed in film days. Of course, these were positioned to view the entire mural at once, but it still shows what 35mm Kodachrome could do.
Mythbusters did a segment comparing building size murals made from a FF dSLR vs. film SLR (Both high-end Nikon). Both were done using state of the art reprographics appropriate for each medium. The conclusion was that the dSLR was somewhat better for that task. That being said, you make an excellent point. One can go very big if the viewing distance is also large. It all comes down to degrees of arc.

I used to do a bit of work using Technical Pan and it is my opinion that unless one were using excellent technique and the best lenses available, 16"x20" is the largest I would have gone with the kit I had available at the time. Whether the same lenses would do somewhat better on the K-1, is hard to say.


Steve
10-28-2017, 03:03 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
However, I tested some of my lenses using Kodak Techpan @ ISO 25 and processed in Kodak Technidol and clearly the results indicate far more resolution then a 36.3MP.
For those wishing to checkout the published MTF graphs for Technical Pan, the package insert is available for download from the "Wayback Machine".

Wayback Machine: Kodak Technical Publication P-255

Processing in Technidol yielded MTF-50* of 100 cycles/mm which approximates 100 lp/mm l/mm. PF member Nesster has a Modern Photography article from the mid-1980s on his Flickr photostream where attempts were made to extract 100 lp/mm l/mm from lenses (all fast-50s) and films available at that time. IIRC, that number proved illusive. I will see if I can find it and post it here if I do.

Addendum: Certain current emulsions claim much higher resolution than what was available from Technical Pan.

More Addendum: By calculation, the K-1 can only extract about 102 lp/mm l/mm maximum based on horizontal pixel pitch alone. Actual will be somewhat less.


Steve

* One can get much higher numbers at higher contrast, but those are not applicable for typical pictoral use.

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-02-2017 at 01:14 PM.
10-28-2017, 04:12 PM   #27
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I use Fuji Pro 400H C41 which is rated with a corner frequency at about 50 lines per mm, and Ektar 100 which is roughly 40/mm by the data sheets.
On the international 6x7 camera back (eg RH10) the frame width is 67.7mm.
Scan resolution needed for a Nyquist of 50/mm : 2 * (50 * 67.7) = 6770 pixels across.
That corresponds to a nearest scanner setting of 2400 pixels per inch on my PrimeFilm 120Pro.

Here is a scan of Ektar 100 using the vintage (1960's) Super Angulon 65mm on a (1953) 2x3 Graflex with 6x7 back.
(By the way I am finding this old lens difficult to use hand held)
https://app.box.com/s/9qrlw48oqngxx849v6tgrz4l0f129amc
I wanted to quantify how close the higher harmonics of these images are coming to the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) rating of the film.

The image was converted into the frequency domain, then I extracted the amplitudes of harmonics.

After about the 700th harmonic, the level has tended to zero.
700th harmonic corresponds to a period of about 67 micrometer or 15 lines per millimetre.

So there seems to be reserve, meaning that a hand held photo like this needs a resolution safely below the MTF roll-off of the film and scanner.
10-28-2017, 04:29 PM   #28
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Getting down to technical nitty gritty and as a gentle reminder, it is sort of bizarre to express photographic fidelity to detail in terms of some quantity of pixels for a medium where pixels mean...ummmm...nothing. The number of pixels in digital output simply indicates sampling frequency and nothing more. This is immediately obvious when comparing a low powered microscope sampling of a Technical Pan negative with swatch of digital sensor output for the same subject at similar magnification. The analog film contains far more information in the gross sense than what is recorded by available sensors. To put it in less abstract terms, below is a photo originally published by PetaPixel in 2014. On the left is a crop from a 5DII and on the right is a downsampled scan from a Velvia negative of the same subject.


(from: Comparing the Image Quality of Film and Digital)


The question is...Where did the berries go? The two sides have the same number of pixels.

The simple answer is that the 5DII only recorded what its photo sites saw and what survived the Bayer interpolation. To the 5DII, most of the berries never existed (they fell in between the photo sites) and of those it saw, a significant number were simply averaged away. The article goes on to provide other examples where detail is missing or less accurately described but with less obvious cause despite being expressed in the same number of pixels.

Don't get me wrong, I won't suggest that the above indicates any particular superiority of Velvia or any other film, only that PIXELS or even resolution numbers are not the best way to craft a comparison between two disparate mediums where the measurement only applies to one of the pair.


Steve

(...FWIW, my eye doctor tells me my eyes have somewhat higher acuity than most. Does that mean they have more or fewer Megapixels than a Phase One back?)
10-28-2017, 06:28 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
Curious about this theoretical question... if it were possible to refurbish older manual focus lenses with modern coatings, do you suppose that would make much of a difference?
Not really. Voigtlander make uncoated and uncoated lenses: they are by necessity simple optical designs and the difference between them is an improvement in contrast but resolution is fundamentally identical.
10-28-2017, 07:41 PM   #30
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They make/made single coated and multicoated lenses.
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