Saturday, December 23, 2017

Comparison ~ Sony, Nikon, Asahi 200mm lenses

Trolling the 'net for lowest cost highest quality lenses has turned up a Few Fun Things.  With this in mind, a couple lenses arrived in the boite au lettre thanks to fleaBay and leboncoin and I wanted to see how they compared.

The setup -

  • Sony A6000, 100ISO, AWR converted in Sony's software 
  • Big Beefy Manfrotto tripod 
  • Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 SEL OSS 
  • two, count 'em, two! Nikon Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5 Ai
  • Asahi (Pentax) 200mm f/4 Super-Takumar
To hold the Nikon zoom and Super-Takumar lenses I used a broad L-bracket I made as a cradle.  I was concerned that the tripod mount on the bottom of the A6000 might shear under the weight of the telephoto lenses.  It was hard to keep things aligned and focused, so I took several passes.  Even with this, I'm not convinced the results are fully representative of what the three lenses are capable of.  But perhaps its close enough for government work (as we say).

The results -

If you click on the image it'll take you to the Flickr hosting site. Once there you and look at the file at full resolution. In many cases the differences between lenses is small and likely can't be seen until you take a squint at the image at 100 percent.

Takumar Nikon Sony 200mm Comparison

My observations -

The Sony 55-210mm SEL OSS is really quite sharp in the center of the frame at 210mm.  The corners suffer a bit, though.  Still, if a subject is centered in the frame, it'll be wickedly sharp.  I think this is interesting given the rather modest price of these built-to cost lenses.  Though I think I also see the center performance very slightly degrade as the aperture is stopped down.

The Nikon Nikkor lenses are very slightly soft at 200mm compared to the other lenses here.  The corners are in keeping with what I've seen from zoom lenses, too.  That is, they too are soft compared to fixed focal length optics.  As is common with older lenses that I've looked at, contrast and resolution improve one or two stops down from wide open.

The Asahi 200mm f/4 Super-Takumar is a wonderful little lens.  It's nearly as long as the Nikkor zoom lenses, but given the Super-Tak's smaller diameter barrels it feels a lot smaller than the Nikons.  With fewer lens elements, the Asahi is lighter, too.  It feels good in the hand.

One of the things many people across the 'net note holds true with this lens, too.  This Super-Tak's focusing mechanism is incredibly smooth and is quite nearly perfect.  It's a real joy to use.  More importantly, the resolution and contrast are quite good out to the very edges of the frame.  All this and a price of 11Euros, to boot.

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