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12 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

My suggestion would be to it like the World Cup.

Pair the vintage lenses together by focal length (as best as you can) and play them off against each other so you get the best of the vintage stuff.

Then play the winners of those matches off against the modern versions.

You haven't got like for like with the modern ones but at least you'll be pitching what you have deemed to be the best of the best of the vintage ones to compare them to.

If you have an Android device, then I've written a couple of automated stepper apps for Panasonic cameras that might potentially be of use to you for this sort of testing.

There is a basic bracket one which you could find useful for looking at highlight roll off etc but also a more elaborate one which will cycle through selectable parameter permutations such as saturation, contrast etc which can be of use in looking at different responses as well.

With both apps, it automates the stepping of the parameter and taking the shot for you so you can just set up the lens, press go and it will take care of the rest so you will have sets of exact like for like shots for each lens.

You will also get a better context of what lens works best with your particular camera's sensor.

I'm actually swinging in the opposite direction - the more I look at lenses the more I realise that "best" isn't a thing - there are only preferences and tastes.  My plan is therefore to present each lens as it is more to allow others to judge what works for them.

I am beginning to suspect that lens choice is strongly linked to camera choice.  If you are recording 14-bit RAW and put on a modern sharp cinema lens then I doubt that many would complain that the lens is too sharp or that the picture looks too digital.  However, if you are recording 8-bit / over-sharpened / overly compressed / overly contrasty then the overall result from a vintage lens may be preferable because the halation may soften edges and partly counteract the over-sharpening and the lack of overall contrast may counteract the contrast applied.  

In this sense you have to think about the lens as part of an imaging system, along with added filters, the filter stack in the camera, etc etc.

In addition to all that are the creative looks you may want to achieve.  Some projects want neutrality, but others may want the benefits of inaccurate colour rendering, softness, retro / vintage look, sharp / digital / gritty look, etc.  More subtle still, lenses have varying degrees of 3D rendering (even at identical DOF settings) and this may be used intentionally for subtle dramatic effect.  Every aesthetic aspect is a creative choice that will suit some projects, despite potentially being very niche, or even being very undesirable in other situations.

10 hours ago, anonim said:

Good man, I'm starting to pray for you :)  

Thanks!

I just looked at the remaining lenses and discovered that supposedly the Petri 135mm was delivered two weeks ago and "left in a safe place" but a search of the front of my house didn't find it.  I'm not so disappointed as it was a very cheap purchase (I was the only bidder) but the biggest loss was that the cost of postage was more than 3X the cost of the item!  ebay is always a gamble anyway, so I'll take this one for the team 😁😁😁

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18 minutes ago, kye said:

I just looked at the remaining lenses 😁😁😁

Then go ahead - but from my experience any list of GAS lenses madness could not be perceived as complete without Helios (Гелиос) 40-2 85mm 1.5 ... That will swirl you at incomparable way (I call it "The best of Rachmaninov") :)

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43 minutes ago, kye said:

I'm actually swinging in the opposite direction - the more I look at lenses the more I realise that "best" isn't a thing - there are only preferences and tastes.  My plan is therefore to present each lens as it is more to allow others to judge what works for them.

I am beginning to suspect that lens choice is strongly linked to camera choice.  If you are recording 14-bit RAW and put on a modern sharp cinema lens then I doubt that many would complain that the lens is too sharp or that the picture looks too digital.  However, if you are recording 8-bit / over-sharpened / overly compressed / overly contrasty then the overall result from a vintage lens may be preferable because the halation may soften edges and partly counteract the over-sharpening and the lack of overall contrast may counteract the contrast applied.  

In this sense you have to think about the lens as part of an imaging system, along with added filters, the filter stack in the camera, etc etc.

In addition to all that are the creative looks you may want to achieve.  Some projects want neutrality, but others may want the benefits of inaccurate colour rendering, softness, retro / vintage look, sharp / digital / gritty look, etc.  More subtle still, lenses have varying degrees of 3D rendering (even at identical DOF settings) and this may be used intentionally for subtle dramatic effect.  Every aesthetic aspect is a creative choice that will suit some projects, despite potentially being very niche, or even being very undesirable in other situations.

 

OK

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I would just caution that with many (most?) old lenses your individual copies can be light years different to someone else's exact same lens.      Many things will be the same but with old lenses there can be all sorts of issues (let alone if some were not great copies to begin with).

 

Still at least you get to find the lenses that YOU like.

 

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30 minutes ago, anonim said:

Then go ahead - but from my experience any list of GAS lenses madness could not be perceived as complete without Helios (Гелиос) 40-2 85mm 1.5 ... That will swirl you at incomparable way (I call it "The best of Rachmaninov") :)

Ideally I'd have a great many more lenses, but practicality must play some part unfortunately!!

I am actually not a fan of the swirly bokeh of the Helios lenses.  They look fine for one or two still photographs, but using them for video is a little strange and using it as a general-purpose lens in a lens kit isn't really a sensible idea.  Of course, these are FF lenses and I'm shooting on a MFT sensor, so even with my 0.7x SB I'm still only getting the more central part of their image-circle and avoiding the really crazy swirly effects :)

11 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

OK

Will my approach miss some crucial aspect?  I figured that if I shoot RAW stills then the comparison is as useful across multiple cameras as I can make it, and there might be some interest from the P4K crowd too.

5 minutes ago, noone said:

I would just caution that with many (most?) old lenses your individual copies can be light years different to someone else's exact same lens.      Many things will be the same but with old lenses there can be all sorts of issues (let alone if some were not great copies to begin with).

Still at least you get to find the lenses that YOU like.

There is obviously sample-to-sample variation, but short of having a lens testing machine this is the best I can do.  

However, if we are looking at things like colour rendering, bokeh, 3D, halation, etc then sample variation is likely not a significant factor.  Also, if my test shows a lens to be unsharp then a quick Flickr search will show if this is normal or a faulty lens.  What searching Flickr will not do is show two lenses pointing at the same thing for direct comparison purposes, which is what I find is most beneficial.  

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17 hours ago, kye said:

IMG_3494.thumb.jpg.39ae456de77f62f3edc6c526e04fca39.jpg

I can feel a lens test coming on...  I'm only waiting on three more lenses and then I'll do it and share with everyone.

I haven't completely worked out how I should do it, any specific advice?  I'll shoot RAW stills on my GH5 with each lens at a few apertures - probably wide open, f2.8, and f8.  I find that the most useful lens test is at an identical aperture at least a stop from wide-open for any lens as the differences aren't to do with aperture settings or how sharp they are wide open, and f16 is getting into diffraction territory.

The goal of the test for me is to compare the look of modern budget lenses vs modern high quality lenses vs vintage lenses to find the aesthetic that works for me, and work out which lenses I want to keep.

Lenses:

  • 8/4 SLR Magic
  • 14/2.5 Panasonic (focus-by-wire)
  • 14-42/3.5-5.6 Panasonic (focus-by-wire)
  • 17.5/0.95 Voigtlander
  • 28/2.8 Yashica
  • 35/3.5 Takumar
  • 37/2.8 Mir
  • 40/1.8 Konica Hexanon (x2 - not shown - still in transit)
  • 40/4 Lomo (lens from popular non-ILC Russian pocket film camera)
  • 55/1.8 Takumar
  • 58/2 Helios (x2)
  • 135/2.8 Minolta
  • 135/3.5 Petri (not shown - still in transit)
  • 135/3.5 Takumar
  • 150/4 Takumar
  • 200/4 Takumar
  • 200/3.5 Minolta

And yes, I know I'm not winning any Instagram-worthy-photo competitions 😂😂😂

whats with the hexanon i thought they had really short focal flange lengths and didn't adapt to a lot of cameras ?

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8 minutes ago, leslie said:

whats with the hexanon i thought they had really short focal flange lengths and didn't adapt to a lot of cameras ?

No idea.  I don't pay attention to such things.  The GH5 is mirrorless, so every SLR lens probably adapts to it.  I just search ebay if there's an adapter and if there then I go ahead.

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Just now, kye said:

No idea.  I don't pay attention to such things.  The GH5 is mirrorless, so every DSLR probably adapts to it.  I just search ebay if there's an adapter and if there then I go ahead.

i read that the hezanons are nice lenses and bought one on further investigation found out they dont mount easily to the ef mount/ or at all

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13 minutes ago, leslie said:

i read that the hezanons are nice lenses and bought one on further investigation found out they dont mount easily to the ef mount/ or at all

EF mount has a considerable flange distance, and there may well be mirrored lens systems with a smaller flange distance than it, which would mean that flawless adapting isn't possible.

I'd be surprised if the largest mirrorless flange distance was as large as the smallest mirrored flange distance.  This is the beauty of mirrorless, basically every SLR lens system can be used.

I have non-SB MFT adapters for Minolta MD, Pentax PK, and M42, and a M42 SB 0.7x adapter.  The Konica AR to MFT adapter is still in transit, and I bought a Nikon to MFT adapter by mistake because the auction title said M42, but unfortunately all the Nikon lenses have the focus ring the wrong way so I won't have any use for it.

I started reading about lenses and worked out that M42 was a common mount, so I got the adapter and then started looking at those lenses because I had worked out how to use them.  If you're buying non-SB adapters then they're really cheap, so it's an easy way to do it.

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2 hours ago, kye said:

 

I'd be surprised if the largest mirrorless flange distance was as large as the smallest mirrored flange distance.  This is the beauty of mirrorless, basically every SLR lens system can be used.

 

That is generally the case.    Pentax did make a mirrorless with the K mount but that is probably one of the main reasons it flopped.     An already small user base and at the time , little reason to use K mirrorless instead of a K mount DSLR.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance

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8 hours ago, kye said:

Will my approach miss some crucial aspect?  I figured that if I shoot RAW stills then the comparison is as useful across multiple cameras as I can make it, and there might be some interest from the P4K crowd too.

It is definitely useful to approach it that way if the goal is to provide it as a test for people looking to evaluate those particular lenses.

You could split hairs and say that even in RAW the camera will still be in play in terms of influence but every single lens test/example on this thread is subject to that (and worse because a majority are not shot in RAW) so you'll still be ahead of the game there!

More broadly though, I had interpreted, incorrectly I think, that what you were wanting to do was more in pursuit of how those lenses worked for your own personal taste/needs hence why I thought it would be appropriate to run a stepped variable parameter test under the colour profile(s) you would be using on your GH5 to give it a more representative context.

Unless you've found a way to shoot RAW video on it ;)

That approach would also have had value if you were trying to create a cohesive matching set from a disparate bunch of lenses so, for example, you might find that you prefer overall performance of the Minolta 135mm over the Takumar 135mm but that it lacks a touch of contrast that would closer align it to the other Takumar focal lenses but with +1 contrast in the profile it can bring it into line etc etc

You may well find some magic combinations that way.

Or at least rule out the shit ones !

 

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3 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

It is definitely useful to approach it that way if the goal is to provide it as a test for people looking to evaluate those particular lenses.

You could split hairs and say that even in RAW the camera will still be in play in terms of influence but every single lens test/example on this thread is subject to that (and worse because a majority are not shot in RAW) so you'll still be ahead of the game there!

More broadly though, I had interpreted, incorrectly I think, that what you were wanting to do was more in pursuit of how those lenses worked for your own personal taste/needs hence why I thought it would be appropriate to run a stepped variable parameter test under the colour profile(s) you would be using on your GH5 to give it a more representative context.

Unless you've found a way to shoot RAW video on it ;)

That approach would also have had value if you were trying to create a cohesive matching set from a disparate bunch of lenses so, for example, you might find that you prefer overall performance of the Minolta 135mm over the Takumar 135mm but that it lacks a touch of contrast that would closer align it to the other Takumar focal lenses but with +1 contrast in the profile it can bring it into line etc etc

You may well find some magic combinations that way.

Or at least rule out the shit ones !

Ah, that makes a lot of sense :)

I shot a pre-test-test today with a few of the lenses and it was interesting.  I might be different to other people, but I find it difficult to evaluate lenses without having them in a controlled comparison.  Other people seem to be able to see random videos shot with different equipment / different lighting / different grading and be able to kind of triangulate the attributes of lenses and even compare them.  I can't seem to see past the dozen or so other variables, at least not enough to spend hundreds of dollars on a lens.  So in that sense the direct comparison is useful for me, even if no-one else.

I am trying to create a set of lenses for myself, which is why I'm testing the lenses I will definitely keep as well as the other candidates.  I may end up choosing a lens I don't own, but I'd have to learn to work out how to evaluate without comparative tests, so I'm not sure about that.  

My test today compared the 14/2.5 Panasonic, 17.5/0.95 Voigtlander, 37/2.8 Mir, and 58/2 Helios on 0.7x SB.  I was curious about the performance of the Mir (it's meant to be apochromatic), to see how the Voigt compared to a modern lens and a vintage lens, and also what character the Mir had.  The results were all over the place, with each lens winning outright in some aspect.  Both the Voigt and the Mir were modern in some ways, vintage in others, and both had better performance than the 14mm at some things (kind of making them more modern than it), and the Helios is no slouch either, even with my cheap Chinese focal-reducer.

I think the complete test will be really interesting.

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42 minutes ago, kye said:

I may end up choosing a lens I don't own, but I'd have to learn to work out how to evaluate without comparative tests, so I'm not sure about that.  

Philip Reeve is a good resource https://phillipreeve.net/blog/

It is more geared towards individual tests but there are quite a lot of comparison ones too such as this 35mm one

https://phillipreeve.net/blog/35mm-comparison-voigtlander-zeiss-leica/

In a more aesthetic direction, Shutterdial might be an interesting resource for you to browse based on what sort of attributes you need though.

Its not a completely EXIF based search engine for Flickr but it works quite well in terms of suggestive searching along with additional selection of focal length, aperture and shutter speed.

Here, for example, I've searched for indoor Takumar shots taken at f2

http://www.shutterdial.com/#/search?s=takumar indoor&a=5

So you can browse the images then click on them to go through to it on Flickr to see the full EXIF.

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2 hours ago, mercer said:

This shot is with the Zeiss 25mm 2.8. I posted a similar shot a while ago that was taken with my Canon 28mm 1.8...

22BA7E8A-0CDD-4047-9298-30F08A4606DE.jpeg

Any chance of posting that other shot?  Seeing them side-by-side would be great and I went back 10 pages and couldn't find it lol.

If you go to Insert Other Media -> Insert Existing Attachment then you can choose between every image you've ever attached on the forums, it's quite useful for revisiting previous images :)

 

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1 hour ago, kye said:

Any chance of posting that other shot?  Seeing them side-by-side would be great and I went back 10 pages and couldn't find it lol.

If you go to Insert Other Media -> Insert Existing Attachment then you can choose between every image you've ever attached on the forums, it's quite useful for revisiting previous images :)

 

I think I may have posted this in my old “Midtone Detail” thread. I don’t really love the grade from either so it may be hard to tell any characteristics. But have it. 

2B796DB0-D4F7-4004-B554-1D9BEEDD55E6.jpeg

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