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Archive 2013 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions
  
 
Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #1 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


Hi guys,
i am a Minolta geek, so i got the Zhongyi Lens Turbo for Minolta MD lenses as fast as possible and want to share some initial impressions.

mechanics
  • A big negative first: most of my lenes don't lock! It is not that easy to unscrew them, but when i used the 100/4 Macro which has a rather stiff focusing ring i unscrewed it a bit.
  • The adapter fits okay, but there is a tiny little bit of play

    optics
    i just used it for one walk, so these are early obsevations
  • i think lenses suffer quite heavily at large apertures like f/1.2, f/2.0 and to some degree at f/2.8 also. I use my Minolta MC 58/1.2 on a Canon 5dII quite often and it performed much worse than i am used to. I will make a direct comparison in the future.
  • Stopped down i was quite happy with my lenses, yes - there is some corner falloff - but it is much less than i feared.

    Okay, and now some sample images. All images are accessible at flickr in full resolution.
    I used a Nex-6, shot raw an converted the images with LR 4. I didn't correct CA and my processing was limited to lifting some shadows and pulling some lights.

    Lenses an apertures used are written into the image title



  • May 28, 2013 at 04:28 PM
    Phillip Reeve
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    p.1 #2 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions




    Lens Turbo | Sigma 24/2.8 Super Wide II | f/8.0 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Sigma 24/2.8 | f/11.0 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Minolta MC 100/2.5 | f/8 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Minolta MD 135/2.8 [4/4] | f/8.0 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Minolta MC 58/1.2 | f/1.2 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Minolta MC 58/1.2 | f/2.0 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Minolta MC 58/1.2 | f/2.8 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Sigma 24/2.8 | f/11.0 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Minolta MD 100/4 Macro | f/5.6 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Minolta MC 58/1.2 | f/1.2 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Minolta MC 58/1.2 | f/2.0 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Minolta MC 58/1.2 | f/2.0 by reevedata, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo | Minolta MC 58/1.2 | f/2.0 by reevedata, on Flickr



    May 28, 2013 at 04:31 PM
    ISO1600
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    p.1 #3 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    My Nikon F-NEX Lens Turbo is much less troublesome than your MD.

    The lens mount is tight, but it locks.
    My 50/1.4 is essentially the same wide open on LT as native Nikon FF. Very minor differences from what I can remember my D700 performing like- keep in mind this is with in camera JPG.



    May 28, 2013 at 05:47 PM
    Phillip Reeve
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    p.1 #4 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    ISO1600 wrote:
    My Nikon F-NEX Lens Turbo is much less troublesome than your MD.

    The lens mount is tight, but it locks.
    My 50/1.4 is essentially the same wide open on LT as native Nikon FF. Very minor differences from what I can remember my D700 performing like- keep in mind this is with in camera JPG.

    I might be wrong about the wide open performance, because i didn't compare it directly and usually shoot the 58/1.2 when there is much less light.

    here is a comparison using the Minolta MD 135/2.8 @f/8 both on the 5dII and with the lens turbo on the Nex-6




    May 28, 2013 at 05:53 PM
    ISO1600
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    p.1 #5 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    personally, I am not even concerned with my LT performance stopped down below 2.8-4.0.... I bought one to give me the FF look, which for me is wide open or close to it.



    May 28, 2013 at 07:24 PM
    sebboh
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    p.1 #6 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    the 58/1.2 looks a looks a rather disappointing off center. perhaps it'll still be good for portraits?


    May 28, 2013 at 09:12 PM
    Phillip Reeve
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    p.1 #7 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    sebboh wrote:
    the 58/1.2 looks a looks a rather disappointing off center. perhaps it'll still be good for portraits?

    I just shot a chart with the 58/1.2 using the LT, a normal adapter and the 5dII. LT performance is terrible at large apertures. Will take at least half an hour before publication. When shooting with a MD 50/1.4 performance seemed quite okay, so it might be that the 58/1.2's rear element is too large.



    May 28, 2013 at 09:22 PM
    Phillip Reeve
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    p.1 #8 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    okay, i won't work on those 58/1.2 samples any longer, it think it isn't compatible with the LT.
    I will try the 50/1.4'S now

    i was rather lazy with these test shots, but that can't explain the lousy results.
    More in this set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/96189377@N08/sets/72157633771704420/


    f12_5dII_Minolta_MC_58mmf12 (1 of 1) by reevedata, on Flickr


    f12_NormalAdapter_Minolta_MC_58mmf12 (1 of 1) by reevedata, on Flickr


    f12_LensTurbo_Minolta_MC_58mmf12 (1 of 1) by reevedata, on Flickr



    May 28, 2013 at 09:30 PM
    uhoh7
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    p.1 #9 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    I was having severe fall off at the edges above F8--but after more shooting it seems to be a focus issue--the lens needs to go a bit past center infinity to bring the corners along. Mine does not (yet)

    However, when I shoot mid-distance and focus at the edges, I get dramatcially better edge sharpness.

    Here is the PC-Nikkor 35/2.8 @ around f11 with good edges.








    What would really be useful is a simple way to adjust the infinity.

    apologies for my first overly-negative reaction. :0



    May 28, 2013 at 09:34 PM
    Dudewithoutape
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    p.1 #10 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    Thanks for sharing Philip.

    Has anyone compared the LT or the FR (focal reducer on eBay) to the SB? I wonder if the 58 1.2 would perform the same way on the SB.



    May 28, 2013 at 09:59 PM
     

    Search in Used Dept. 



    Phillip Reeve
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    p.1 #11 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    okay, i shot a series with the Minolta MC 50/1.4 an have to say, that i am rather disappointed.






    both series were shot with the same lighting and WB, so the LT adds a green cast.




    May 28, 2013 at 10:10 PM
    rscheffler
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    p.1 #12 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    For some of your images the 58/1.2 with LT softness actually doesn't look so bad and there is some decent edge sharpness, though it might not be in the same plane as the center of the frame. It would seem though that a Canon 5D/6D is still the best option for faithful lens performance and relatively easy adaptability, unless you feel like buying a Leica M.


    May 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM
    Phillip Reeve
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    p.1 #13 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    rscheffler wrote:
    For some of your images the 58/1.2 with LT softness actually doesn't look so bad and there is some decent edge sharpness, though it might not be in the same plane as the center of the frame. It would seem though that a Canon 5D/6D is still the best option for faithful lens performance and relatively easy adaptability, unless you feel like buying a Leica M.

    stopped down the cornerperformance is better than i expected.
    But i am disappointed about larger apertures, image qulity is significantly reduced even in the center. The samples i saw from the original SB implied a much better performance.



    May 28, 2013 at 10:35 PM
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    p.1 #14 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    Dudewithoutape wrote:
    Thanks for sharing Philip.

    Has anyone compared the LT or the FR (focal reducer on eBay) to the SB? I wonder if the 58 1.2 would perform the same way on the SB.


    LT & FR are one in the same. I bought the focal reducer and it is a lens turbo.



    May 29, 2013 at 12:21 AM
    rscheffler
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    p.1 #15 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    Phillip Reeve wrote:
    stopped down the cornerperformance is better than i expected.
    But i am disappointed about larger apertures, image qulity is significantly reduced even in the center. The samples i saw from the original SB implied a much better performance.


    This is probably the difference between getting a 'famous' lens designer like the guy who made the Costal Optics lenses make your lens adapter vs. some guy in a Hong Kong back alley. Lots of times the back alley guy is actually quite good, just not necessarily class leading.

    But even the SB samples I've seen appear to induce some glow/SA at times. I guess what I'm getting at is that the 58/1.2 & LT images can still be considered usable, depending on what you're after. If you hadn't have shown the test charts and all I had to go by were your forest scenes, I would have been pretty happy with those (and still am). High SA and edge smearing with such a lens is a given anyway and part of the look. The LT just exaggerates it. Funny, I've been buying 1950s era 50mm RF lenses because some have lots of glow wide open. Seems the LT can offer this option as well.



    May 29, 2013 at 12:42 AM
    eno789
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    p.1 #16 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    One theory is that Lens Turbo amplifies field curvature. That can explain the poor corner performance, and stopping down helps but not solves the issue. It would be interesting to see a test with macro lens or a lens known to have flat field.

    Anyway, I treat this as a special tool, and will use it when corner is not important.



    May 29, 2013 at 01:30 AM
    eno789
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    p.1 #17 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    Posted at talknex, duplicate here.

    Here're some comparison shots. The test was not scientific (there can be framing and focusing errors), but I think Lens Turbo is a very useful tool, even though the corners are bad.

    Lens Turbo, Nikkor 35mm f/2 AIS
    followed by D600 Nikkor 35mm f/2 AF-D




















































    May 29, 2013 at 01:48 AM
    ebookman
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    p.1 #18 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    I purchased the Zhongyi Lens Turbo for Minolta MD primarily to use with my Minolta Zoom MD 35-70mm f/3.5 lens. A genuine 35-70 with something close to f/2.5 was very appealing. It just arrived this afternoon and these are a couple of the first shots taken at f/5.6. The first shot is taken at a focal length of 70mm and the second at 35mm. On the first shot my interest was looking at the edges and in the second shot I wanted to see how it handled architectural angles and straight lines. The zoom lens and the adapter are quite heavy on my Nex 5n but this may be a good combination and in the comfort range of this adapter.














    May 29, 2013 at 02:59 AM
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    p.1 #19 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    ebookman, looks like a good combo.


    Brian, thanks for the shootout. Great comparisons.


    I'm thoroughly enjoying my LT. I have 3 Nikkors on the way right now, so the only lens I've actually used with it so far is my 50/1.4 AIS, and I think it does great.


    NEX-6, lens turbo, Nikon 50/1.4 by Chris.jpg, on Flickr


    Gauges by Chris.jpg, on Flickr


    Flowers by Chris.jpg, on Flickr


    Lens Turbo + 50mm f1.4 AIS by Chris.jpg, on Flickr



    May 29, 2013 at 03:14 AM
    Dudewithoutape
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    p.1 #20 · Zhongyi Lens Turbo first impressions


    ISO1600 wrote:
    LT & FR are one in the same. I bought the focal reducer and it is a lens turbo.


    I had a strong suspicion of this myself, but didn't want to assume. I guess for half the price of the SB, what can we expect? Sounds like the overall consensus is people are generally happy with it. Not being able to use the fast 50s from the MD line WO sucks though.



    May 29, 2013 at 05:48 AM
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