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My medium format digital journey - The lenses

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My medium format digital journey
raw images for download
Where do I stand now
The experience
Color Profiles
Resolution Tests
Real World Samples
Color rendition
Dynamic Range
Moiré & aliasing
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More real world images
Three format comparison
Diffractio series
The lenses
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The Bad News
Capture One or LR 4.4
Some comments on Phase One business model
The Ultimate Platform?
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The lenses

The Macro Planar 120/4 at infinity


A good way to test lenses is to shoot a subject with distant treetops. I shot some images yesterday, with all my lenses. All performed reasonably well or as expected according to MTF. The Macro Planar is not intended for distant treetops so it needed to be stopped down to achieve decent quality. The Macro Planar is intended for close up work. This fundings are in accordance with Hasselblad's MTF curves.


MTF at infinity, below:

Planar 120/4 MTF at infinity


MTF at close up range below:

Planar 120/4 MTF at close up

Here are some samples from a very good lens:


Sonnar 150/4 at full aperture, extreme corner.

Sonnar 150/4 at 4, corner


Sonnar 150/4 at 4 center


The Planar 120/4 needs to be stopped down a lot for acceptable corners, due to field curvature. At close distances it would have flat field.


f/16 below:

Planar 150/4 at f/16 corner'


At f/8 it is not sharp at all:

Planar 120/4 at f/8 corner


The Planae is outright unsharp in the corners at f/4:

Planar 120/4 at f/4 corner

Update 2013-07-12


I got some suggestions from Stefan Steib, who pointed out that the Planar is very sharp, but needs to be accurately focused and stopped down to f/11 for optimum sharpness. A page with comparison of all apertures is here.


It seems that the Planar 120/4 stopped down to f/11 works as well at infinity as a Sonnar 150/4 at any good aperture. 

The Sonnar 150/4 

According to published MTF data the Sonnar is an excellent lens, and it does indeed impress! The samples below are at full aperture!






Planar 80/2.8


Not very good fully open 


But pretty good stopped down


Distagon 50/4


Corners are awful at f/4


Corner quite OK at f/8


Last Updated on Thursday, 08 August 2013 12:38  

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