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Archive 2008 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests
  
 
Ed Sawyer
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


I posted several scanned PDFs of lens tests from Modern Photography, from the 1970s and 80s.

They are here:

http://www.edsawyer.com/lenstests/

Lately I've been focused on fast glass, and in particular Olympus glass. So, many of them are of Oly lenses but also a fair share of Minolta and Nikon tests also. Basically anything I thought was interesting and adaptable to the EOS mount.

The naming convention is :

XX_yyyyy_qqqq.pdf

where

XX = MP (Modern Photography), BJP (British Journal of Photography) or some other magazine like Petersens.

yyyy and qqqq are the lens brands and focal lengths/speed, like Nikon_35f14 = Nikon 35mm f/1.4 lens tested.

In many cases there are several lenses tested in the same article, I tried to cover that in the file naming convention.

I am fairly new to scanning and converting PDFs like this so they are not perfectly formatted/etc. I did run them through OCR though and optimized what I could.

Read and enjoy. I have quite a few more to add.

-Ed





Nov 14, 2008 at 08:52 PM
cogitech
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Nice!

Thanks!



Nov 14, 2008 at 09:03 PM
Anden
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Sweet! Thanks alot!

A



Nov 14, 2008 at 09:08 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Thanks Ed


Nov 14, 2008 at 09:14 PM
Ed Sawyer
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Glad to help further the collective knowledge. I have easy access to this stuff and a photocopier that makes PDFs pretty quickly, so it's not enormous effort.

When I post more of these to the site, they will go in the same directory so feel free to check back there.

I'll put up some from PopPhoto too, though MP was the better test facility I think.

-Ed



Nov 14, 2008 at 09:36 PM
CVickery
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Thanks Ed


Nov 14, 2008 at 09:38 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Thanks a lot. I remember a time when I used to seek out old issues of Modern and Pop Photo and spend hours in various libraries going through test after test. What a photo geek I was! It's now more difficult to find the really old issues from the early 70's or so. Most libraries have thrown them out and often the digitized versions don't go back that far.


Nov 14, 2008 at 09:51 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Just wanted to add, one of the coolest things about going through the actual magazines are the old photo equipment ads and the style of photography posted in the articles and by the readers, pretty corney stuff by today's standards.


Nov 14, 2008 at 09:55 PM
Ed Sawyer
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


My office happens to be in a big university library, and fortunately we have all the paper issues going back to the beginning (like 1920s or earlier).

LMK if you have a specific article/issue you want and I can pull it.

-Ed



Nov 14, 2008 at 10:02 PM
Ed Sawyer
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Agreed it's cool to see the old ads and old photos too! some are actually pretty good though.

Lots more nudity in pics and ads back then too.

-Ed



Nov 14, 2008 at 10:03 PM
 

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Alf Beharie
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Thanks for posting these test results...I am really supprised that it shows the Nikon 35mm f1.4 AIS to be considerably sharper than the newer Nikon 35mm f2 and that its also considerably sharper than the Zuiko 40mm f2 and Rokkor X 50mm f1.4 too...It makes the 250 I paid for my one a lot easier to swallow


Nov 14, 2008 at 10:21 PM
phuang3
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


The Nikon 200/2 ED was $2400 before!


Nov 14, 2008 at 11:27 PM
Ed Sawyer
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


I too was impressed by the test results on the Nikon 35 1.4 AIS. every other test of that I have seen has had only so-so results @ 1.4 and 2.0... but it looks like they either had a great copy or something! that is one I want to check out in person if I can find one reasonably priced... (e.g. say half or less than the canon EF 35 1.4).

The Nikon 200/2 was surprisingly not so hot in the tests, I thought... well, I guess compared to some others I will post soon. The Canon 300/2.8 FL-F SSC posted some amazing results, that might be worth seeking out for someone. Another nice lens was the Zuiko 180/2, I forget if it was better than the Nikon or not, will post it soon.

Paul I have the results of the FD 300/4 and 300/4L (they did them both back to back), I'll post those soon too. indeed that is a good lens by the numbers.

-Ed



Nov 15, 2008 at 04:52 AM
Alf Beharie
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Ed, do you have results for the Tamron 300mm f2.8 LD IF?...And if so how does it compare to the FD 300mm f2.8 Fluorite?


Nov 15, 2008 at 08:54 AM
mawz
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Ed Sawyer wrote:
I too was impressed by the test results on the Nikon 35 1.4 AIS. every other test of that I have seen has had only so-so results @ 1.4 and 2.0... but it looks like they either had a great copy or something! that is one I want to check out in person if I can find one reasonably priced... (e.g. say half or less than the canon EF 35 1.4).

The Nikon 200/2 was surprisingly not so hot in the tests, I thought... well, I guess compared to some others I will post soon. The Canon 300/2.8 FL-F
...Show more

Any Nikon 35/1.4 on the used market should be half the cost of a new 35/1.4 or less. I payed $400CDN for my AI version a couple days ago.

Note the old Nikon 200/2 is not the same as the VR optically. It's the VR that's the more legendary of the two.



Nov 15, 2008 at 01:41 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Thanks Ed. That's great information.


Nov 15, 2008 at 03:12 PM
Alf Beharie
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


mawz wrote:
Any Nikon 35/1.4 on the used market should be half the cost of a new 35/1.4 or less.



Well you would think so but it is'nt always the case...A brand new Nikon AF 35mm f2 can be bought for less than 200 but I paid 250 for a used 35mm f1.4 AI-S from a camera shop, and that was cheap...I knocked him down 25!...There are several Nikon 35mm f1.4's on ebay at the moment, most of them considerably older than my AI-S version and apart from a really tatty old N version with yellowed glass, they are all over 300.


Note the old Nikon 200/2 is not the same as the VR optically. It's the VR that's the more legendary of the two.


Actually I'd say the only Nikon 200mm lens that truely deserves to be called legendary is the Micro Nikkor 200mm f4 IF AI-S...Best macro lens I've ever come across.



Nov 15, 2008 at 03:32 PM
pdmphoto
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


That was the AI version of the 200/2. The AIS version is known to be optically better. I had one for a while, and found it superb from wide open. Just to darn big and heavy.


Nov 15, 2008 at 04:48 PM
Ed Sawyer
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Good info to know, thanks everyone for sharing your impressions.

Alf, I'll check on the Tamron. I recall seeing that one in the mags somewhere. They (MP) were pretty blown away with the 300/2.8 FL-F though. I think it was the best they had tested in that focal length from anyone up until that time.

Did the optical formula of the Nikon 35 1.4s change over time, I wonder? Presumably AIS would be the best version...?

-Ed



Nov 15, 2008 at 07:15 PM
mawz
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Archived Modern Photography Lens tests


Ed Sawyer wrote:
Good info to know, thanks everyone for sharing your impressions.

Alf, I'll check on the Tamron. I recall seeing that one in the mags somewhere. They (MP) were pretty blown away with the 300/2.8 FL-F though. I think it was the best they had tested in that focal length from anyone up until that time.

Did the optical formula of the Nikon 35 1.4s change over time, I wonder? Presumably AIS would be the best version...?

-Ed


The 35/1.4 did change early on, due to use of radioactive elements in the earliest Nikkor-N versions, it was recomputed sometime in the early 70's. From the K through the AI-S the only real change was the aperture, the AI-S version getting a 9 blade aperture versus 7 blades on the K and Ai versions.



Nov 15, 2008 at 07:53 PM
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