FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

100mm lens test

Author
Idleidolidyll View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 04 August 2010
Country: New Zealand
Location: Aotearoa
Status: Offline
Posts: 715
Post Options Post Options   Quote Idleidolidyll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 100mm lens test
    Posted: 07 October 2021 at 06:29
Laowa 105mm f2 STF vs Minolta 100mm f2.8 Macro vs Minolta 100mm f2.8 Soft Focus

Well that was interesting. Camera used: Sony A7R. Heavy tripod. 10 second self timer. Manual focus using focus peaking plus an 8x Lupe on the monitor.

Back to the drawing board tomorrow to be more precise and to use a flat target as well as 3D objects.

Given it's a modern design lenses and has received damn good reviews for sharpness, I was expecting the Laowa to be clearly ahead in this test.
However, the Minolta 100mm Macro (5 Pin, non D), famous for it's sharpness in its day, is slightly superior in that respect (with both at f2.8). At f2, the Laowa is clearly softer in the corners than the Minolta Macro. There's not a lot in it but it's visible at 100%.

The Laowa does take the prize for best bokeh at f2 and also at f2.8 although the Minolta Macro is not too shabby there either.
The Minolta 100mm Soft Focus comes in last in sharpness wide open and I'd have to say it's bokeh is 'different' and very nice but hard to compare to the other two lenses.

Given that one of the Laowa reviwers used a 50MP Canon for his test and reckoned the Laowa was a good fit for that resolution: these initial images would therefore suggest that the non D Minolta 100mm f2.8 Macro should be good with the A&Riv (the newer D version of course). That's a spectacular result for a late 1980's design if confirmed.

I haven't pixel peeped at colour fringing but will. In this respect, they all look good.

I'll do this all again tomorrow and measure my target with a laser rangefinder to make sure the subject (objects and target) is placed squarely. I'll then focus on exactly the same point in the scene for a more accurate comparison.

The Soft Focus has three marked soft settings (1, 2, 3) plus 0 which is sharp. I used setting #1. However, the softness setting is not clicked stopped and I could easily set it greater than zero but less than 1: say at 1/3rd. That might be a good test in this context.
The jepgs were created from the RAW's in DxO Optics. All received the same sharpening: no lens adjustments were applied.

Laowa 105mm STF f2 T3.2


Laowa 105mm STF f2.8 T3.2


Minolta 100mm Macro f2.8


Minolta 100mm Soft Focus f2.8 Soft Setting #1






Edited by Idleidolidyll - 07 October 2021 at 08:12
The Art of Photography
https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2021/02/mike-breen-new-zealand-experimental-photographer/
 



Back to Top
QuietOC View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 28 February 2015
Country: United States
Location: Michigan
Status: Online
Posts: 3401
Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2021 at 08:12
Are these crops?

These seems like a very close subject with a far out of focus background. That doesn't show much about rendering, but if that is how you want to use these it can be useful. The spherical aberration of the Soft Focus effect is quite strong at close focus.

Having done these types of comparison a lot, focus will always be a bit different. Spherical aberration also shapes the depth-of-field. Part of my interest in the Soft Focus lenses is how under corrected spherical aberration increases depth of field.

There is no point in comparing sharpness with the soft focus set to anything other than zero.

Edited by QuietOC - 07 October 2021 at 08:19
Sony A7RIV NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA5 Metabones-IV Sigma MC-11 Yongnuo EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9 AF-P/Q
Back to Top
Idleidolidyll View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 04 August 2010
Country: New Zealand
Location: Aotearoa
Status: Offline
Posts: 715
Post Options Post Options   Quote Idleidolidyll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2021 at 08:43
Sure. This was a quick side by side at the end of a busy day.
As I said, I'll do a more 'scientific' test later but I'm sure you're not expecting an exhaustive objective evaluation.
I'm not gonna be competition for the professional lens testers.

I like using my lenses in unusual ways. These three, at first blush, would seem similar. After all, the soft focus lens doesn't HAVE to be used soft.

That said, I reckon the general purpose of all three is to shoot relatively close up.
One is a macro, one a portrait and the last, the Laowa, is a design specifically made for pleasing bokeh and predominantly portraits.

I often do these tests, not to discover how sharp a lens is, but to evaluate it's 'look' so I can use it creatively and for tasks that might not seem obvious.

I DO want to know at what aperture the corners become sharp but also how they separate subjects from the background, what the OOF looks like, the contrast etc.

I was wondering whether this evaluation might make me think about selling one but actually, the three are quite different and will give me interesting takes on the same scene.
The Art of Photography
https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2021/02/mike-breen-new-zealand-experimental-photographer/
Back to Top
Phil Wood View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 24 March 2013
Country: United Kingdom
Location: England
Status: Offline
Posts: 1869
Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2021 at 12:24
I only know the Min 100/2.8 out of this set - it is a rather special lens. I am not surprised to see it shine in sharpness - which is not really what the other two are about. I quite fancy a 100mm soft.
Back to Top
QuietOC View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 28 February 2015
Country: United States
Location: Michigan
Status: Online
Posts: 3401
Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2021 at 12:59
The Minolta/Sony macro is only flat field at 1:1. My Canon EF 100mm F2 USM blows it away at normal portrait distances and for landscapes. The Macro also has a lot of texture in out-of-focus areas. It is best stopped down at 1:1. I've used it for sensor testing because it had the lowest amount of corner shading at F4 on APS-C of the lenses I had at the time.

I've been looking for a Minolta Soft Focus and the 100mm F2 for a while, but no one seems to be selling either them in the US. The Soft Focus I did find was misaligned.

Edited by QuietOC - 07 October 2021 at 13:11
Sony A7RIV NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA5 Metabones-IV Sigma MC-11 Yongnuo EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9 AF-P/Q
Back to Top
Jonas A-R View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 29 December 2007
Country: Denmark
Location: Denmark
Status: Online
Posts: 1606
Post Options Post Options   Quote Jonas A-R Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2021 at 13:24
Originally posted by Idleidolidyll Idleidolidyll wrote:


Given that one of the Laowa reviwers used a 50MP Canon for his test and reckoned the Laowa was a good fit for that resolution: these initial images would therefore suggest that the non D Minolta 100mm f2.8 Macro should be good with the A&Riv (the newer D version of course). That's a spectacular result for a late 1980's design if confirmed.


Another way to look at this: The minolta (or any other lens) will be better on the a7rvi than on any lower resolution camera.



Originally posted by Idleidolidyll Idleidolidyll wrote:

I'll do this all again tomorrow and measure my target with a laser rangefinder to make sure the subject (objects and target) is placed squarely. I'll then focus on exactly the same point in the scene for a more accurate comparison.


Jim Kasson has come up with a robust method to test lenses: lens-screening-testing
a9 a6300
21/2.8 Loxia 35/1.4Z 50/1.4Z 85/1.4GM 90/2.8G Laowa 100mm F2.8 Ultra Macro 100/2.8GM 135/1.8GM
12-24/4G 24-105/4G 100-400/4-5.6GM 2x TC
 



Back to Top
Idleidolidyll View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 04 August 2010
Country: New Zealand
Location: Aotearoa
Status: Offline
Posts: 715
Post Options Post Options   Quote Idleidolidyll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2021 at 19:58
Only had the Soft Focus Minolta for about 3 months: bought off eBay.
I've used that soft focus lens a few times for landscape shots and it's interesting. To be fair, I'm still learning what I can get out of it and the combinations of soft focus vs aperture are massive. I'm starting to quite like around f5.6 with various levels of soft focus for a sharper overall shot with a glow.

The Laowa, with it's apodization adjustment and aperture adjustment, is sorta similar. I'll have to play around with every setting to figure out its 'look' and then what to shoot with it. It's not a macro so I'd could use a close up spacer to get in closer than its 0.9m closest focus distance.

The old Minolta Macro is one 'everyone' should own (or it's Minolta D and Sony SAL100M28 progeny's). I see it scores really high on the Dyxum lens catalog and I'm not surprised.

BTW: the images above are 100% crops. I shot from around 1.8m which would have been a head and shoulders portrait. This crop is from the top centre edge, not the centre.

More later
The Art of Photography
https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2021/02/mike-breen-new-zealand-experimental-photographer/
Back to Top
Idleidolidyll View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 04 August 2010
Country: New Zealand
Location: Aotearoa
Status: Offline
Posts: 715
Post Options Post Options   Quote Idleidolidyll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2021 at 03:54
It was nice out today so I took the three lenses for a bike ride and a practical evaluation.

I shot a from similar viewpoint (hand held) and tried a few different settings to get a handle on how I'd use these in the future.

See if YOU can ID them (some are easy).

It's weird to have three '100mm' lenses that are so different. I'm thinking I'll have to carry at least two, and sometimes all three, of them on many of my expeditions now...........dammit!

1.
[IMG]
3 lenses A by Michael J Breen, on Flickr[/IMG]

2.
[IMG]
3 lenses B by Michael J Breen, on Flickr[/IMG]

3.
[IMG]
3 lenses C by Michael J Breen, on Flickr[/IMG]

4.
[IMG]
3 lenses D by Michael J Breen, on Flickr[/IMG]

I was mainly interested in shallow DOF and appearance of blur today. I'd probably use them a stop or even 2 stops down most of the time.

More specifically:

The Laowa is 'best' between f2-f4 at T3.2 because, obviously this lens is all about the bokeh. It could be a good all rounder as it is really sharp at f4-5.6.

The Soft Focus lens works well at f4-5.6 with just a little soft focus dialed in. Sometimes though, using it at f5.6 with max soft focus looks great. I'm going to shoot some more landscape with this, I think it will be interesting.

The Macro is still sharper than the others (even at longer distances like 4-5 metres) but it's close. Obviously that is my go to macro but it also has smooth OOF wide open and is a great all rounder and the AF is a bonus.
The Art of Photography
https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2021/02/mike-breen-new-zealand-experimental-photographer/
Back to Top
Miranda F View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 11 January 2014
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Bristol
Status: Offline
Posts: 3847
Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2021 at 10:56
Originally posted by Jonas A-R Jonas A-R wrote:


Jim Kasson has come up with a robust method to test lenses: lens-screening-testing


That's a good reference and worth reading. The main problem I have with most published lens tests is that the real world is not flat and lens tests that assume it is are a bit pointless.

For example many of the cheaper film-era zoom lenses (and a few more modern ones) had huge curvature of field and a significant amount of what I will (with deference to Jim Kasson) continue to call 'decentring'. As a consequence any picture taken even at quite small aperture with a distant treeline background (at least in winter) will show three branches with huge amounts of blur one side and not the centre, and possibly not in the other side. If you have nearby trees as well, the variation in field with distance becomes obvious. But in this case, the only difference is which branches are OOf because some will be however 'good' the lens is.

I do agree with Jim that one of the best ways to test your lens is to take pictures of your usual kind and look at the results, but I'd add that taking some particular ones (eg tree branches, brick walls, etc) can be useful in finding out how your lenses behave. I won't say 'distinguishing good ones from bad' because every lens I've ever tested has good points and bad ones and the trick is to know what these are and select the lens for the occasion or work around the defects.

So in the case of the lens above, make sure you use a wide enough aperture to put distant trees OOF, and if you want distant cityscape sharp, use a different lens...
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A7Rii, A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras ...
Back to Top
Idleidolidyll View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 04 August 2010
Country: New Zealand
Location: Aotearoa
Status: Offline
Posts: 715
Post Options Post Options   Quote Idleidolidyll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2021 at 11:56
There are lots of resolution, sharpness, color fringing and distortion tests of this lens and I read many of them before I bought it.

No point in me repeating the same yawn inducing charts if you can read it on sites that specialize in that stuff.

I knew it would be sharp, I knew it was well corrected: I only want to know what it's look is and figure out where it fits into my visualisations.

I'm really pleased that all three lenses are quite different: that justifies my purchase.

Now I'm gonna shoot with it a lot and learn how I can mis-use it to make great shots.
THAT is my kind of testing.

Of course, that means I'll have to shoot digital for a while: I hope my film cameras don't get jealous.

Field testing:

Moving subject, aprox 8 metres. Wide open T3.2

Life as we know it. by Michael J Breen, on Flickr

Apr 6m f2 T3.2

My Back Yard by Michael J Breen, on Flickr



Edited by Idleidolidyll - 08 October 2021 at 19:00
The Art of Photography
https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2021/02/mike-breen-new-zealand-experimental-photographer/
Back to Top
Dyxum main page >  Forum Home > Equipment forums > Lens Talk

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.094 seconds.

Monitor calibration strip

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer

In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania

Feel free to contact us if needed.