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The Diopter Thread.

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Hi guys I'm a newbie into the whole diopter thing and I'm desperately trying to find one for my isco anamorphic lens. 

There isn't seem to be that many around these days. 

 

During my brave exploits on the jungle of Ebay, I found this 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/111519123906?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT 

What do you think? It doesn't seem to be a double element by the look of it, although the seller seems to be saying that it will be good for an anamorphic lens. 

 

And because I can't afford the Tokina 0.4, let a lone find one, I was considering the Canon 500d which has 2diopter strength. 

Would this be usable for normal portraits etc? Or would it be only suitable for macro use? 

 

I'm not sure if anyone is keeping up with this thread now days but would really appreciate some guidance on the matter. 

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dwijip,

 

That diopter you're linking looks suspicious to me.  A couple things, it doesn't have a brand so there's no way to know what kind of glass it is.  It's in a rotating housing, which is incredibly pointless.  It makes me think its homemade, and someone popped the a polarizer out of its frame and put this piece of glass in.

 

The other thing is that this guy seems to be saying that even though this lens is a singlet it's just as good as the doublets aka achromat's.  In a doublet each of the lenses are coated with different types of chemicals, and when light passes through each of these it has the effect of correcting chromatic aberration because science.  So saying a singlet is just as good as a doublet is just not possible.  They were each designed the way they are for a reason, doublets for quality, singlets for cost.  All that is to say that 70 seems astronomically high.  You can get some good Tiffen series IX diopters for like 10-20 each if you're patient.  And if you need the threads you can get a holder/converter thing that will put your lens into 77mm threads.

 

Here is a (hugely overpriced) example:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tiffen-series-9-Diopters-for-SLR-Magic-Anamophot-1-2-3-Diopter-Holder-/161490633136?pt=UK_CamerasPhoto_CameraAccessories_CameraLensesFilters_JN&hash=item25999781b0

 

At this point it is worth noting that the beginning of this thread has a ton of great suggestions.

 

The other thing I'll mention is that you seem to be saying "I can't afford/find the Tokina +.4, so how about this canon +2?" And also you're asking if these would be good for portraits.  Firstly, you don't need any diopters to shoot portraits (unless I'm badly misunderstanding your rig and you have a min focus of like 3 meters, and even then I'd imagine a 135mm taking lens would be close).  One convenient thing about anamorphics is that even though they have poor close focusing, their wide frame means you will likely be further back from your subject for almost everything

 

So for that type of shot, assuming min focus is somewhere within a normal range, you wouldn't want a diopter UNLESS...You were using the Tokina to try and clean up some issues in your image.  Understand that a big part of the reason for the Tokina's appeal is that, in addition to giving you some close focusing, it's low power allows you to put it on a lens and then, in many common shooting situations, you can use the lens as normal with the benefit of the Tokina's achromatic properties (please, someone yell at me if I'm wrong).  There is a convenient symbiosis here because many of the common optical issues with anamorphic lenses and with diopters are the same, and the Tokina, since it's designed to correct dioptric optical problems, conveniently corrects anamorphic issues as well.

 

But, because the primary use of diopters is close focus, and very low power diopters are of limited usefulness to the people who buy most of them (stills photographers for Tokina), there's just not that many options.

 

Now, compare the Canon +2 to the Tokina +.4.  The canon will put your infinity focus at a half meter, while the Tokina will put it at 2.5 meters.  That's the main difference.  So even though the effect that these will have on the quality of your image will be similar, the amount of things that you can do inside their useful range is very different.  Meanwhile, if you wanted to shoot a very close shot of your actor's eye, or pull a shot of a text message off a phone so it takes up the whole frame, then you'll need the +2.  That's really what it's for.

 

Point is, it seems like you're a little confused about what some of this is for, and it seems likely that you're just getting into anamorphic and read you need diopters so you're getting diopters.  My advice would be to borrow/rent a few diopters and try them out.  Then, consider what situations you need to cover with them, and then decide what you need to buy.  For example someone a few posts back said they got a Leica 55mm achromat.  That is a sweet piece of glass.  But its only useful because of the size of the rig its going on, so for them its perfect.  For a lot of other people, useless.

 

Anyway, good luck.

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dwijip,

 

That diopter you're linking looks suspicious to me.  A couple things, it doesn't have a brand so there's no way to know what kind of glass it is.  It's in a rotating housing, which is incredibly pointless.  It makes me think its homemade, and someone popped the a polarizer out of its frame and put this piece of glass in.

 

The other thing is that this guy seems to be saying that even though this lens is a singlet it's just as good as the doublets aka achromat's.  In a doublet each of the lenses are coated with different types of chemicals, and when light passes through each of these it has the effect of correcting chromatic aberration because science.  So saying a singlet is just as good as a doublet is just not possible.  They were each designed the way they are for a reason, doublets for quality, singlets for cost.  All that is to say that 70 seems astronomically high.  You can get some good Tiffen series IX diopters for like 10-20 each if you're patient.  And if you need the threads you can get a holder/converter thing that will put your lens into 77mm threads.

 

Here is a (hugely overpriced) example:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tiffen-series-9-Diopters-for-SLR-Magic-Anamophot-1-2-3-Diopter-Holder-/161490633136?pt=UK_CamerasPhoto_CameraAccessories_CameraLensesFilters_JN&hash=item25999781b0

 

At this point it is worth noting that the beginning of this thread has a ton of great suggestions.

 

The other thing I'll mention is that you seem to be saying "I can't afford/find the Tokina +.4, so how about this canon +2?" And also you're asking if these would be good for portraits.  Firstly, you don't need any diopters to shoot portraits (unless I'm badly misunderstanding your rig and you have a min focus of like 3 meters, and even then I'd imagine a 135mm taking lens would be close).  One convenient thing about anamorphics is that even though they have poor close focusing, their wide frame means you will likely be further back from your subject for almost everything

 

So for that type of shot, assuming min focus is somewhere within a normal range, you wouldn't want a diopter UNLESS...You were using the Tokina to try and clean up some issues in your image.  Understand that a big part of the reason for the Tokina's appeal is that, in addition to giving you some close focusing, it's low power allows you to put it on a lens and then, in many common shooting situations, you can use the lens as normal with the benefit of the Tokina's achromatic properties (please, someone yell at me if I'm wrong).  There is a convenient symbiosis here because many of the common optical issues with anamorphic lenses and with diopters are the same, and the Tokina, since it's designed to correct dioptric optical problems, conveniently corrects anamorphic issues as well.

 

But, because the primary use of diopters is close focus, and very low power diopters are of limited usefulness to the people who buy most of them (stills photographers for Tokina), there's just not that many options.

 

Now, compare the Canon +2 to the Tokina +.4.  The canon will put your infinity focus at a half meter, while the Tokina will put it at 2.5 meters.  That's the main difference.  So even though the effect that these will have on the quality of your image will be similar, the amount of things that you can do inside their useful range is very different.  Meanwhile, if you wanted to shoot a very close shot of your actor's eye, or pull a shot of a text message off a phone so it takes up the whole frame, then you'll need the +2.  That's really what it's for.

 

Point is, it seems like you're a little confused about what some of this is for, and it seems likely that you're just getting into anamorphic and read you need diopters so you're getting diopters.  My advice would be to borrow/rent a few diopters and try them out.  Then, consider what situations you need to cover with them, and then decide what you need to buy.  For example someone a few posts back said they got a Leica 55mm achromat.  That is a sweet piece of glass.  But its only useful because of the size of the rig its going on, so for them its perfect.  For a lot of other people, useless.

 

Anyway, good luck.

 

First of all, thank you so much for your kind answer to my newb question. 

Only part I didn't quite get was this 

 

 " One convenient thing about anamorphics is that even though they have poor close focusing, their wide frame means you will likely be further back from your subject for almost everything"  

 

Did you mean that the wide framing would want you to go further back from your subject to include more of the scene? 

Or did you mean that the anamorphic element would make your framing look wider than normal? Sorry for the newbness again lol.

 

In terms of other things you've kindly put down, I've also come to the same conclusion after searching on the web. 

I think I asked these questions due to the fact that I live in a place that is quite detached from the anamorphic hype and couldn't 

get any useful advice. And also I needed a 72mm or bigger achromatic diopter for my lens but couldn't find any that existed other than the tokina. Ones that seem to fit these criteria always seemed too strong. +2 or higher. 

 

I think

1. I will try singlets for starters

2. Maybe try to use a smaller achromat in front of my lens using a step-down, and hope that I don't vignette heavily 

3. Save up and try for the SLR magic diopter option. They seem to be the only other option to the tokina in my case. 

 

I will try some of these options, if not all, and report back. 

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I mean when you shoot anamorphic you tend to literally place the camera further back than you would if you were shooting spherical.  Though I think this is mostly because anamorphic ends up being 2.4:1 or so (after crop), instead of 16x9 for most other applications.  If you were cropping to cinema aspect ratio and shooting with sphericals I'd imagine you'd tend to back up a bit also.

 

Also, http://www.eoshd.com/2010/10/the-anamorphic-miracle-filter/

 

What you're describing is normal. It is just fairly rare to find something that covers the key bases of, achromatic, affordable, very low power, and big.  But a +1 should be fairly easy to find.  It's under .5 that are really hard to come by.

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Oh right, you would do that if you were considering cropping while shooting. 

So far I've found plenty of +1 single elements but I don't think I've seen any +1 achromatics, 

 

And I can't find any material on the quality of the SLR magic diopters? 

Anyone have experience with them? 

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Oh right, you would do that if you were considering cropping while shooting. 

So far I've found plenty of +1 single elements but I don't think I've seen any +1 achromatics, 

 

And I can't find any material on the quality of the SLR magic diopters? 

Anyone have experience with them? 

If you've got the cash, then Redstan sells some very very good diopters, but you need to pay for the quality which you're looking for!

http://www.redstan.com/

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Would anyone who shoots Lomo squarefronts care to shout out what they use for diopters?

 

I know Tito mentioned it, generally, at the beginning.  But the 35mm is giving me a really hard time.  I had been using series 9 tiffens (thanks for the original recommendation), but when I switched from a Gh1 to the A7s the increase in sensor size has made the series 9 super borderline.  Even if I didn't care about money and was prepared to buy $2k diopter I don't think schneider even makes (or made?) a 138mm +.5 achromat.  I know that sounds like a tall order but that's essentially what I'm looking for.  Or even something in the 95-105mm range would get the job done I think.  And foton-a's really just don't seem like an option for many reasons.

 

I just looked at the redstan diopters and that 82mm .25 sounds amazing and I wouldn't hesitate a second except I just don't think it's quite big enough, i think its almost the exact same size as the series 9.   It would be perfect for the 80mm or the 50mm but it is just too much money for something I can't use on the 35mm.  At the very least I'm giving up a lot of freedom with my crop, which could possibly still be worth it except....

 

I've never had access to an achromat diopter.  I would love to be able to shoot these lenses around 2.8 in certain circumstances (I consider the 35mm sharp at T4, and the 80mm at T5.6).  If the right diopter could make that happen then I'd say it would be well worth a significant investment.  My understanding is that the worse your optics are the more pronounced the improvement the doublets will have and I'm just not sure where the lomos fall on that specturm.  Has anyone with experience with squarefronts had any success with achromats?  Report your findings? If they don't get that job done then there isn't much point in worrying about achromat's for me anyway, and I would just get some big old singlets.  Which would be so much simpler.

 

Any advice would be great! Thanks!

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I’ve got a Schneider 138mm Close-Up +1/2.

I’ve also got a question.

 

If I want to cut this down so I can mount it in a 95mm threaded housing (for an Iscorama54),

Does the power of the diopter drastically change? I’m guessing it doesn’t.

But I’d love to hear from a smart / experienced person.

(I prefer to ask stupid questions than make stupid mistakes.)

 

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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If you've got the cash, then Redstan sells some very very good diopters, but you need to pay for the quality which you're looking for!

http://www.redstan.com/

Thank you for your helpful info, these look very good indeed. Didn't know they made these! 

 

 

 

I’ve got a Schneider 138mm Close-Up +1/2.

I’ve also got a question.

 

If I want to cut this down so I can mount it in a 95mm threaded housing (for an Iscorama54),

Does the power of the diopter drastically change? I’m guessing it doesn’t.

But I’d love to hear from a smart / experienced person.

(I prefer to ask stupid questions than make stupid mistakes.)

 

Thanks in advance for your advice.

 

Hello JaeM 

 

I was actually wondering about that myself when I found big diopters on the net but just thought I would use them with some kind of adapter rather than cut them. The original poster here suggests that if you use big diopters (bigger than your thread size) you'll get less distortion and unwanted aberration etc that you would get in the corner of the images from smaller diopters. But I guess it depends on your preference. 

 

But back to the cutting, here's what I came across. Its a completely different application of the glass but have a look anyway. 

 

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1888757 

 

Haven't heard of any camera shops who cut glass for you but its normal practice in the optometry business. Like cutting the lens from your old glasses to fit new frames etc. This doesn't seem to change the power (unless you mean cutting the glass face) 

 

Hope this was of some help for your question, if any. 

And nice to see a fellow kiwi here btw lol. 

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Every time I open this forum, I see new threads asking questions about diopters and close ups, and how they work, or why some are more valuable than others. Would it be too arrogant of me to ask for this thread to be pinned? :P

 

The first post answers 99% of all other threads questions, and it's always better to have centralized information instead of roaming around dozens of threads looking for one specific reply.

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Tito,

 

Do you know if I put a doublet on my lomo squarefronts if I'll be able to shoot them down to T3, or maybe T2.8?  Right now they're good at around T4.  I'm thinking about buying some large achromatics but they're pretty expensive and I'd like to know how much image improvement I can expect before I drop the cash.  The Tiffen's you recommended are nice for close focus but I'd love to be able to open the aperture up a bit.

 

I'm asking you because you're one of the few on here with experience with squarefronts.

 

Any guidance is much appreciated! Thank you!

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Tito,

 

Do you know if I put a doublet on my lomo squarefronts if I'll be able to shoot them down to T3, or maybe T2.8?  Right now they're good at around T4.  I'm thinking about buying some large achromatics but they're pretty expensive and I'd like to know how much image improvement I can expect before I drop the cash.  The Tiffen's you recommended are nice for close focus but I'd love to be able to open the aperture up a bit.

 

I'm asking you because you're one of the few on here with experience with squarefronts.

 

Any guidance is much appreciated! Thank you!

 

Man, gotta have some more time to write a proper reply. Hang on, by the end of the week at the most!

 

Anyone know the telltale signs between a Tokina 0.5 and 0.4? Google image search isn't helping. Tia

 

You wanna know their difference visually? The 0.5 is a single element diopter, which means it is much thinner than the 0.4 doublet, which means that the 0.4 improves your image quality considerably while the 0.5 just changes your focus distances.

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