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Sonnar 150 CB on DSLR using Arax tilt adapter

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Sonnar 150 CB on DSLR using Arax tilt adapter
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The previosly reported problem with lens flare was probably caused by internal reflections in the adapter used. The problem will hopefully solved by painting all the interna anodized surfaces matte black.



One of the reasons for these tests is to find out if Zeiss lenses have some mythical properties compared to contemporary japanese designs. The other reason is to find out if a Hasselblad MF lens on an Arax tilt adapter is a worhwhile alternative to more expensive TS options. 

The lens chosen for this test was one of the better of the classic Zeiss lenses for the Hasselblad, the Zeiss Sonnar 150/4 CB. I got this lens used, at a very good price. Now, is this lens OK? I think so. 

I compared the MTF curves for the Sonnar 150/ measured by Zeiss to the MTF curves for the Sony Alpha 70-400/4-5.6G APO mesaured by the Swedish periodical Foto. Foto tests at the Hasselblad factory and their measurements on Zeiss lenses are very close to Zeiss data. Foto unly publishes data at 20 lp/mm, but according to their data the 70-400 at 150 mm should be a snudge better than the Zeiss lens.

Click here for Zeiss own description of the lens.

I tested the lens on my Sony Alpha 77, an APS-C crop sensor camera with 3.9 micron pixel pitch. That camera was choosen for two reasons:

  • I wanted to use the most demanding sensor I have.
  • I wanted to use live view for pinpoint focus accuracy.

To sum up shortly here are some MTF figures:

Lens10 lp/mm20 lp/mm 40 lp/mm80 lp/mm
Sonnar 150/49081
Sony 70-400/4-5.690795220
Minolta 80-200/2.8APO90815318
Zeiss Data Sheet for Sonnar ;-) 918055???

From this it is pretty clear that the Sonnar 150 tested is a pretty decent sample, being slighthly better than the other lenses at f/8. My MTF data is a ver close match for those published by Zeiss, coincidence or not?!. The Sony/Minolta lenses may hold a small advantage at larger apertures, however. (I'll come back to that issue)

Note: The images used for Imatest MTF evaluation are not sharpened. The curves that can be compared are the black ones. 

The figure belows combines the MTF curves into one diagram. Note that scaling here is different, it shows LW/PH (Line Widths/Picture Height) and lalso goes to twice the Nyquist limit. The curves indicate that the Zeiss Sonnar is performing best of the three and the Sony 70-400/4-5.6G is the weakest performer. 

The crops on the following pages are sharpened with "landscape preset" in LR4.3.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 10:24  


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