The 180mm Shoot-out
/forum/topic/1181458/0

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Lee Saxon
Registered: Jun 07, 2012
Total Posts: 883
Country: United States

I'm putting together an extensive comparison test of primes at the 180mm focal length. I'll be measuring actual focal length at various distances, running Imatest, doing Diglloyd-esque A-B comparisons of static subjects (some of which will test resolution, some chromatic aberration) at various apertures, and doing "field testing."

These are all stills lenses, marked in f-stops. As some are quite old, I expect actual transmission to vary quite a bit. I would love to measure actual T-stops. Can anyone recommend a way to do this?

Suggestions for additional tests are welcome, as well!

I've acquired these lenses (multiple copies of most):

Hasselblad Sonnar 180/4 CF
Leica APO-Telyt-R 180/3.4
Nikon AF Nikkor 180/2.8D ED-IF
Nikon Nikkor 180/2.8 ED AI-s
Sigma APO-Macro 180/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Tamron SP180/2.5 LD(IF)
Vernon Edonar 180/3.5
Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 180/4 SL
Zeiss Jena DDR Sonnar 180/2.8 MC

(and if anyone can loan or rent a Leica APO-Summicron 180/2, they would be credited as a sponsor)



Lee Saxon
Registered: Jun 07, 2012
Total Posts: 883
Country: United States

[deleted]



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15308
Country: Germany

Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R, 180mm f/2 APO-Summicron-R If you were in Germany, I could lend you my 180/2 for the test. The Leica 180mm f/2.8 II is also a good lens, but maybe not worth buying just for a test. The first version is not that interesting.

Definitely test for CA in tree branches with sun behind somewhere! This is where a lot of these fall down. Also test for sharpness wide open and at f/4 and f/8, at the near limit and infinity, in non-contrasty light conditions. Other than that, boke, near and medium distances, and for portraits.

Maybe consider adding 200mm lenses to the test.



jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 20611
Country: Canada

Sounds like a good plan. Hopefully, you'll have some good atmospherics, as the APO-Telyt-R really shines for distant subjects - infinity and beyond!



Bifurcator
Registered: Oct 22, 2008
Total Posts: 9299
Country: Japan

When you do it include a moderately priced zoom that covers 180mm (hopefully a 100-300 or a zoom of XX-200mm known to be good at the long end) for posterity. It will add controversy to the test and shake some people's faith.

On the prime list there's:

Tamron SP180mm F2.5 LD
Contax 180mm F/2.8
Canon EF 180mm F/3.5L
Nikkor-P Auto 180mm f/2.8
Zeiss Jena DDR Sonnar 180mm F/2.8

All of which I dig.

And
Sigma APO 180mm f/3.5
Zeiss Sonnar 180mm F/4 ZV - as long as you're doing MF lenses.
Jupiter-6 (M39) 180mm F/2.8

Of course most of those won't mount on a Canon body... such a shame! (Maybe borrow a "real" camera for the test! hehe...j/k)



wayne seltzer
Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Total Posts: 4087
Country: United States

180/2.8 APO, VL 180/4, mamiya 200 APO



philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 3103
Country: Australia

Yes, the Voigt 180/4 and do check for CA (a body of water seems to do the trick) and maybe setup a fair bokeh comparo. If 200s are allowed, Minolta's 200mm f2.8 APO.

And thanks in advance for any work you put into this, Lee.



bobbytan
Registered: Feb 03, 2004
Total Posts: 7464
Country: United States

Zeiss Sonnar T* 180/2.8



mpmendenhall
Registered: Aug 09, 2008
Total Posts: 2034
Country: United States

Along with Bifurcators's recommendation for a "moderately priced zoom," you could include the Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6 (a more expensive zoom, reputed to be very good).



artur5
Registered: Oct 09, 2005
Total Posts: 446
Country: Andorra

Bifurcator wrote:
When you do it include a moderately priced zoom that covers 180mm (hopefully a 100-300 or a zoom of XX-200mm known to be good at the long end) for posterity. It will add controversy to the test and shake some people's faith.

On the prime list there's:

Tamron SP180mm F2.5 LD
Contax 180mm F/2.8
Canon EF 180mm F/3.5L
Nikkor-P Auto 180mm f/2.8
Zeiss Jena DDR Sonnar 180mm F/2.8

All of which I dig.

And
Sigma APO 180mm f/3.5
Zeiss Sonnar 180mm F/4 ZV - as long as you're doing MF lenses.
Jupiter-6 (M39) 180mm F/2.8

Of course most of those won't mount on a Canon body... such a shame! (Maybe borrow a "real" camera for the test! hehe...j/k)

Which one of these won't mount on a Canon body ?
Or do you meant a NIKON body ?



Lee Saxon
Registered: Jun 07, 2012
Total Posts: 883
Country: United States

Thanks for the comments, guys. So far I've purchased Nikon 180/2.8 ED AI-s, Leica 180/3.4 APO-Telyt-R, and Tamron SP180/2.5 LD-IF.

Since the Nikon is cheap and common, I've bought several and will screen for bad samples. Doubt I'll be able to do this with any of the other competitors, but we'll see.

carstenw wrote:
Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R, 180mm f/2 APO-Summicron-R If you were in Germany, I could lend you my 180/2 for the test.


I've always wanted to do BMW European Delivery (factory pick-up). Add in the chance to use a 180/2 and I might have to finally do it!

carstenw wrote:
The Leica 180mm f/2.8 II is also a good lens, but maybe not worth buying just for a test.


There's enough R demand I'm sure I could resell it after the test. I may go for it.

Bifurcator wrote:
Zeiss Sonnar 180mm F/4 ZV - as long as you're doing MF lenses.


I thought the ZV series were just rehousings of the CFi/CFE lenses (into "classic" silver like the C lenses), so the Zeiss 180/4 ZV was the same lens as the Hasselblad 180/4 I mentioned in the OP. Is that not right?



erichard
Registered: Nov 27, 2005
Total Posts: 645
Country: United States

You might as well include the Canon 70-200 2.8 II zoom, as that is the biggest competitor for many folks, if you have it. Non Alt, but would be Alt vs Canon.



pdmphoto
Registered: Jan 02, 2005
Total Posts: 3268
Country: United States

Older Sigma 180/2.8 APO Macro was available in Nikon mount. Angenieux 180/2.3 APO was also available in NIkon mount. The Angenieux very hard to find in good condition, and expensive. The Sigma's have been showing up lately and are excellent.



hauxon
Registered: Feb 24, 2005
Total Posts: 1718
Country: Iceland

The Voigtlander 180/4 is a sweet lens.



Lee Saxon
Registered: Jun 07, 2012
Total Posts: 883
Country: United States

Exciting new 180/3.4 APO-Telyt-R arrives tomorrow and I just realized I forgot to order a Leitax!! Guess it's just gonna sit around looking pretty for a while :/



ocean2059
Registered: Jul 16, 2008
Total Posts: 579
Country: United States

Lee, look forward to your comparison. Will you be using Nikon or Sony body? Thanks,



thrice
Registered: Jul 10, 2008
Total Posts: 3354
Country: Australia

ocean2059 wrote:
Will you be using Nikon or Sony body?


He stated Nikon FF in the first post.



Almass
Registered: Feb 11, 2011
Total Posts: 494
Country: United Kingdom

The standard for the 180mm is the Leica R APO 180/2.8. It would be redundant to test for the Cron 180/2 as both Elmarit and Cron level out as of 2.8.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15308
Country: Germany

Except that the 180/2 Cron is f/2!!!



jamesdak
Registered: Mar 16, 2004
Total Posts: 742
Country: United States

erichard wrote:
You might as well include the Canon 70-200 2.8 II zoom, as that is the biggest competitor for many folks, if you have it. Non Alt, but would be Alt vs Canon.


Well, I already tested my Canon 70-200/2.8 zoom against both my Leica R 180/3.4 and my Mamiya 200/2.8 APO and the Canon fell short of both lenses across the board. The version II will have to be a lot better than the first USM to come close to the good primes.



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