Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Alternative Gear & Lenses | Join Upload & Sell

1       2      
3
       end
  

Archive 2012 · Mechanical qualities of lenses
  
 
jotdeh
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


Great thoughts... I wish I can try more lenses, especially Minolta MC and the Super Taks get great feedback for "build".

carstenw wrote:
There are just so many levels to build quality it is hard to compare on a level playing field.


That's why I think it's good to give examples of how / why a particular lens feels good / bad... you know, to come up with a list of must-haves and deal-breakers.

I absolutely agree that lens hoods should be plastic or rubber - metal is just silly, as it will bend way too easily when knocked, and is difficult to bring back into shape. If a plastic hood snaps it can be glued easily - if it breaks.
In that respect I feel the new Zeiss 15/2.8 is a bit of a disaster, really... At least make it screw in or something...



Aug 04, 2012 at 09:11 PM
sebboh
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


AhamB wrote:
Anyway, these ordered lists are obviously quite subjective. One thing I noticed with the Rokkor 58/1.2 is that the filter ring looks like it's very thin and soft as butter (the ones that have been bent are _really_ bent).


the filter ring isn't thinner than normal for a fast fifty of that era, but it is longer than normal in order to keep the large curvature of the front element from conflicting with filters. i've often wondered if they purposely didn't reinforce it more so that it would bend and absorb the shock of impact from a drop. the high weight of the lens will easily bend it if dropped from waist level. having said that i would have no fear for the optics or movements being damaged by dropping the lens, while if i dropped my c/y 35/1.4 i doubt the filter ring would bend as easily, but would be very worried about ruining the helicoid or knocking elements out of alignment (having disassembled both lenses).

AhamB wrote:
I never pinch my focus rings during normal use. I don't see when/how you would even notice that except when deliberately testing the rigidity of the construction while turning the focus ring... Also, I can't pinch my Makro-Planar 100/2.8 and stop the ring from moving; maybe if use a lot of force but I'm not going to try that.


i've done it accidentally with some of the smaller lenses, perhaps i squeeze abnormally hard.

AhamB wrote:
W.r.t. to older lenses such as Super Taks and Nikkors having higher quality parts -- too bad they don't come with Zeiss optics inside them, then they'd be interesting to me.


indeed, when i have more time i want to stick a few of my zeiss optics into modified rokkor bodies.


AhamB wrote:
The aperture stops are crisp on all my Contaxes and the focus rings are pretty smooth and consistent (esp. on my 50/1.4). I can believe that there is variation among copies though, depending on how much abuse they've received, so their build is definitely not perfect, but IMO that is reflected in their price.


i'm sure when they're new and very well maintained the mechanics function well. i'm just shocked how many of the used ones i run into seem to have issues, especially when the same issues seem much less frequent in 10-30 year older lenses that have obviously seen a lot more wear.



Aug 04, 2012 at 09:19 PM
brockwhittaker
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


From the few lenses that I have:

Leica Elmar 90/4: Dreamy. I don't know what else to say.

Nikon 50/1,2 AI-s: Feels so well built, that I feel it could take a drop, no issues (except a dent in the metal). The focus ring is perfectly weighted with nice.. Inertia. Basically my favourite to focus.

Oly 24/2,8 Zuiko: Built well, not as good as the Nikon, but well. The focus ring is short, which is not great for getting precise focus. Overall, just a step behind the Nikon.

All my FD Lenses: They belong in the trash. They are metal, but feel like plastic. Absolutely pitiful in every way, except maybe optics.



Aug 04, 2012 at 09:45 PM
edwardkaraa
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


I think lenses and cameras just follow the same trends of the period. The lenses that people are raving about here for their heavy weight and sturdiness were made in the 50s and 60s. If you look at the cars of that era, you will see similar trends, but very little refinement. Contax lenses were made in the late 70s to the late 90s, and during that period of time they were only second best to Leica. Maybe not the sturdiest, as they were not meant for abuse, but more for artists who appreciate the "feel" of the lenses combined with the high IQ, just like Leica R and M.


Aug 04, 2012 at 09:47 PM
sebboh
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


edwardkaraa wrote:
I think lenses and cameras just follow the same trends of the period. The lenses that people are raving about here for their heavy weight and sturdiness were made in the 50s and 60s. If you look at the cars of that era, you will see similar trends, but very little refinement. Contax lenses were made in the late 70s to the late 90s, and during that period of time they were only second best to Leica. Maybe not the sturdiest, as they were not meant for abuse, but more for artists who appreciate the "feel" of the lenses combined
...Show more

i think it's more of a pricing issue than a styling issue. those lenses from the 50s and 60s aren't much, if any larger than lenses of the same manufacturers in the 80s. the weight difference is noticeably though. the price of materials and labor drastically increased during that time period though (especially labor in japan). i suspect zeiss's experience with contarex led them to abandon the idea of producing the best mechanical and optical design possible in favor of something more marketable. it seems (to me) they chose to save money on the mechanical aspects of the lenses so that they wouldn't have to cut costs as much on the optics (the right decision imo).

here's an article of possible interest/relevance on the evolution of the pentax 50/1.4 by mike johnston:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/sm-02-11-24.shtml



Aug 04, 2012 at 10:15 PM
rico
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


At some point, Hassy lens markings were changed from engraved to silkscreened. Pretty tacky of CZ, and you can see markings abraded to unreadability on some eBay offerings. The Contax RTS engraving standard was maintained until the end (with a couple of exceptions).

Cosina build is peculiar. On one hand, the metalworking is impressively old school; on the other hand, barrels come loose. Do they not know of grub screws and threadlocking?



Aug 04, 2012 at 10:41 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



briantho
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


AhamB wrote:
Regarding the Contarex quality: it may have been great but I've read that you need to have expensive maintenance done on them (sometimes involving manufacturing special parts that are no longer available), and if you don't they can degrade to the point of becoming unusable.


That's mostly propaganda spread by the same people who charges exessivly for service. I have 7 Contarex lenses which are all a dream to use. I did have one serviced, but only because the aperture was faulty. These lenses are 50 years old, and of course they sometimes need service, but not more than any other brand.



Aug 04, 2012 at 10:54 PM
AhamB
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


jotdeh wrote:
Great thoughts... I wish I can try more lenses, especially Minolta MC and the Super Taks get great feedback for "build".


The S-T 55/2 or 55/1.8 is extremely cheap (I got mine for 25 euros + shipping or so). It's a pretty good lens but I'd rather spend twice the money on a CZJ Pancolar 50/1.8, which has much poorer built quality but more interesting optics IMO.

In that respect I feel the new Zeiss 15/2.8 is a bit of a disaster, really... At least make it screw in or something...

The fixed "hood" on the new Zeiss isn't really a full-sized hood; it's probably fixed to keep the front element protected, but it still allows filters to be mounted.



Aug 05, 2012 at 08:11 AM
carstenw
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


I think the point was that if the lens is dropped, and the hood dented, it cannot be exchanged easily.


Aug 05, 2012 at 08:58 AM
edwardkaraa
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


carstenw wrote:
I think the point was that if the lens is dropped, and the hood dented, it cannot be exchanged easily.


We read quite often on the forums about someone dropping his lens from 1-2 meters height, and nothing happens to the lens except a few minor scratches. I always wonder if we use the same lenses

For me, any lens that is dropped needs to go back to the factory even if miraculously it seems to be working fine.

This said, the only time I have dropped a lens from tripod height was 30 years ago and it was a Canon new FD 50/1.4 and it needed a major surgery at the service center.



Aug 05, 2012 at 09:19 AM
jotdeh
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


Well with the 15/2.8... it's not just about dropping the lens from 2m high... but rather, maybe bumping it (its hood) somewhere. Then I'd want to replace it myself, even if they charge 100 Euro for a spare hood.


Aug 05, 2012 at 07:44 PM
lovinglife
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Mechanical qualities of lenses


With Leica lenses, I have a big problem where my wallet is not mechanically strong enough to hold the cash when i go to buy one


Aug 05, 2012 at 08:45 PM
1       2      
3
       end




FM Forums | Alternative Gear & Lenses | Join Upload & Sell

1       2      
3
       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Retrive password