4X Objective Lens Test Comparison - Part 1

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RobertOToole
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4X Objective Lens Test Comparison - Part 1

Post by RobertOToole »

Finally I was able to finish my 4X comparison, I am posting this a little later than I had hoped but as soon as I started to process the results, my main computer went down for a day or two!

The results were really enlighening, but there are so many images I decided to break up the results into 5 groups.

1. 4X For Less Than $100
2. High-End Objectives
3. Enlarging Lenses Compared at 4x
4. High-magnification macro lenses at 4x
5. 3x and 5x lenses tested at 4x.


This is the first group:

4X For Less Than $100

Image


These are the first set of results:

https://www.closeuphotography.com/4x-le ... 00-dollars

This is the set-up.

Camera: Sony ?6300
Flash: Godox TT350s wireless flash x 2
Wireless controller: Godox X1s 2.4G wireless flash transmitter

For the test, the finite objectives were mounted on my 42mm extension tube set-up with Thorlabs CR2C clamps.

Image

The Sony A6300 camera used for the test was vertically mounted on a Nikon MM-11 stand. Manual mode was used at ISO 80, with EFCS.

To avoid any sharpness loss and for consistency I used the two Godox TT350s, at 1/128th to 1/4 power. The flashes remained in place shooting through
Godox plastic half dome diffuser placed over the target.

Comparing these two is particularly interesting for me since I own both but also these are the lowest priced and highest priced out of the 33 lenses I compared.

$17 Amscope 4x vs Canon MP-E 65
100% center crop resized down to 1024px. You can see the full versions of these on my site (I can't get the links to work in a post)

Image

$17 Amscope 4x vs Canon MP-E 65
100% corner crop resized down to 1024px.. You can see the full versions of these on my site (I can't get the links to work in a post)
Image

Each lens was focus bracketed and the single sharpest image for flat field lenses was chosen at 100% view in Photoshop (for non flat field lenses the best center and best corner image were selected). For lenses with an iris, the widest two or three apertures were shot, and the sharpest was chosen for the comparison.

All images were shot as RAW ARW files and processed in PS CC with all noise reduction and lens correction turned off, all settings were zeroed out (true zero) and the same settings were used for all of the images.

A few of the adapters used for the test!

Image

I am working on the second group later tonight and tomorrow.

Questions and comments welcome.

Robert

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

I really like that you did not confound flatness of field with corner sharpness!

What is your verbal assessment of the differences between these two lenses?

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

HI Lou,
Lou Jost wrote:I really like that you did not confound flatness of field with corner sharpness!
Yes. One of the important things I learned in this is you really can have perfectly sharp corners, without a flat field.

Out of the 33 lenses, the lens with the sharpest corners does not have Plan correction.

The Nikon S Fluor surprised me, this is an un-sharpened 100% S-Fluor corner crop:

Image
Lou Jost wrote: What is your verbal assessment of the differences between these two lenses?
That was another surprise.

The MP-E was more consistent over the frame but the Amscope 4X has more detail in the center. The strange thing is the MP-E has better CA correction in the center but the Amscope is more CA free in the corner.

So I think the $17 lens is better here for, something like, 1.7% of the price?

Robert
Last edited by RobertOToole on Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

Looks like I will need to try out one of these $17 wonders!

Nice shootout Robert. I am very much looking forward to the next group. The wafer is working very well as a test vehicle, and of course is the perfect vehicle to test field flatness.

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

ray_parkhurst wrote:Looks like I will need to try out one of these $17 wonders!

Nice shootout Robert. I am very much looking forward to the next group. The wafer is working very well as a test vehicle, and of course is the perfect vehicle to test field flatness.
Thanks Ray.

The wafers should be good when I get in the higher magnifications also. I held off using some of my objectives that I picked up, like a 100x, I could never think of anything to shoot, even just to check sharpness. Now I have a stack of targets!

Email me if you ever try a wafer. After this comparison I am now an expert on cleaning them. One downside is they collect tiny bits of dust like a magnet. You wipe it off and you can make it worse with contamination from a cloth. My secret, and I tried everything I could think of....Painter's tape. I have 2 inch wide roll. Works like magic! Keeps them sparkling clean and won't leave residue. :D

Robert

lonepal
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Post by lonepal »

Good job Robert!

I appreciate your work.
Looking forward to seeing the other episodes!
Regards.
Omer

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

lonepal wrote:Good job Robert!

I appreciate your work.
Looking forward to seeing the other episodes!
Thanks Omer.

Working on finishing part 2, hopefully by tomorrow.

Part 2 is looking good so far with a couple more surprises.

Best regards,

Robert

Pau
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Post by Pau »

Excellent work!
Pau

microman
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Post by microman »

Awsome work. Been waiting for something like this for a long time !
Its so hard to compare tests made by different persons as the cameras and setup are not the same. Did not think the Gold Nikon would be that bad compared to the cheaper ones. :shock:

lothman
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Post by lothman »

Thanks Robert, extremely helpful.

zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

Excellent work, Robert! Thank you for sharing!

Did you include contrast as a consideration, in your overall resolution/performance ranking?

My peculiar eyes prefer the MPE over AmScope from center to corner, probably because its seemingly better contrast. I know sometimes purple fringe of CA can be mistaken as better contrast though, and I don't know what your resolution target should look like.

It was Ichty who told me about the excellent CA control of the LOMO.

I am surprised the LOMO did so well, even at the corners. I have seen it sold for $12-15 shipped to USA. Its price may increase though, after this test of yours :twisted:

I was going to buy an AmScope 4x, but it looks unnecessary now, since I already have the LOMO 3.7x.
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

microman wrote:Awsome work. Been waiting for something like this for a long time !
Its so hard to compare tests made by different personons as the cameras and setup are not the same. Did not think the Gold Nikon would be that bad compared to the cheaper ones. :shock:
Glad it hear it was interesting Microman!

I also expected something better from that gold 4X.

Image

The CFI Plan 10X is a such a great lens.

Robert

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

zzffnn wrote:Excellent work, Robert! Thank you for sharing!

Did you include contrast as a consideration, in your overall resolution/performance ranking?

My peculiar eyes prefer the MPE over AmScope from center to corner, probably because its seemingly better contrast. I know sometimes purple fringe of CA can be mistaken as better contrast though, and I don't know what your resolution target should look like.

It was Ichty who told me about the excellent CA control of the LOMO.

I am surprised the LOMO did so well, even at the corners. I have seen it sold for $12-15 shipped to USA. Its price may increase though, after this test of yours :twisted:

I was going to buy an AmScope 4x, but it looks unnecessary now, since I already have the LOMO 3.7x.
Thanks zzffnn!

Wafers are a tough unforgiving subject sometimes since they are so reflective, I think the Lomo would have performed even better with a real life subject that didn't reflect so much light back!

Contrast is tough to judge since some of the lenses seem to be lacking in contrast but they actually seem to show more resolution. In this comparison I converted every image with the exact same settings. Some of the lenses would look a lot better with just a quick levels or curves adjustment.

I ordered a Lomo 3,7, and I paid more than $15, I wanted one with the plastic case and paper work. The 3,7 markings and barrels vary so much. I tried to pick one as close to yours as possible. :D

I agree you don't need the $17 lens!

Thanks again!

Robert

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

Pau wrote:Excellent work!
Thanks Pau.

Lots more work coming, this was just the first batch :D

The Nikon Fluor and S Fluor are in the next group, they really surprised me! Seeing how they performed compared to others like the PlanAPOs, and Mitytoyo 5x made the all the hours I spent on this worth it.

Robert

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

lothman wrote:Thanks Robert, extremely helpful.

Thanks Lothman.

Happy to share my work here when I think about all the times you and the others have helped me over the years :D

Robert

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