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Sonnar 150 CB on DSLR using Arax tilt adapter - The Orange Mystery

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Sonnar 150 CB on DSLR using Arax tilt adapter
Orange crops
Flower crops
Bokeh crops
Resolution crops
The Orange Mystery
Issues with flare and ghosting
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The Orange Mystery

I published some of the crops on LuLa and got some objection regarding the orange in the orange crops. So I made a very simple experiment.

I took the actual orange on the picture and made a fews spectral samples using my Color Munki Photo. The corresponding Lab values under D50 lighting would be 62, 35, 72.

So I made a small crop from the image and opened in Photoshop and did the following

  • Converted to LAB
  • Added a new selection on a layer and filled it Lab(62, 35, 72)
  • Measured a large sample of the original layer and found it to be around Lab(84,29,90)
  • Created a new layer with a new selection and filled that area with Lab(84,35,72), that is the measued values but using L-value from the image sample to compensate for different lightness.

The resulting image is shown below:

Next I blurred the layer containing the original image, so texture was eliminated:

I think this demonstrates that the rendering of the orange is correct. Mystery solved?

Possible causes for the mystery:

  • The original images were posted as 16-bit TIFF in Prophoto RGB, by mistake. My browser was handling them correctly. Hopefully it is fixed now?!
  • Could be the my oranges have an odd color. They may have had a bleak color when I bought dem. Also, they have been around for a while and may have gone a bit dry in the pealing.

Conclusions (preliminary)

It seems that the Hasselblad Sonnar 150/4 is at least as good than the other tested lenses. Regarding MTF it is a tiny bit better. It has issues with color fringing, but it goes away when stopped down to f/8. A very good lens at a low cost of 300€! 

  • The images from the three lenses tested are very close, I don't think the differences would be visible in A2-size prints.
  • I posted two questions on Luminous Landscape forums regarding which of the images were preferred. Most posters preferred the left image, that is coming from the Hasselblad lens. Very few poster preferred the Sony 70-400/4-5.6 and no one the old 80-200/2.8 APO. This may indicate that classic Zeiss designs may have qualities that make them attractive.
  • The lens seem to work well with the ARAX adapter. A usable tilt configuration at very low cost.
  • I have noticed a lot of ghosting when shooting outside with sun shining from the side. Got hints in a LuLa posting on this being an issue with this lens, too. This lens really need a lens shade. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 10:24  


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