$2.50 Rogonar-S v $250 APO-Rodagon-D v $1K Canon MPE Test

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RobertOToole
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$2.50 Rogonar-S v $250 APO-Rodagon-D v $1K Canon MPE Test

Post by RobertOToole »

After my first look at the Rogonar-S 57mm f/8 pre-set aperture lens:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=40472

I've had a chance to compare the lens image quality to the well known Rodenstock APO-Rodagon-D 2x, and the Canon MP-E 65.

Now things get interesting!

For full details and notes with more images see the full test here: https://www.closeuphotography.com/rogon ... -lens-test

For a full size image sample, click on the thumbnail below to see a 2500 pixel image sample of the Rogonar-S at 2.1x:

Image

2.1X TEST: ROGONAR-S 57MM LENS VS APO-RODAGON-D 2X CROP
For this test the Rogonar was stacked at f/5.6 with the lens ID side facing the subject, the APO-Rodagon was set to f/4.5, the sharpest aperture, and focused using extension in retro mount.

Front lens: Rodenstock Rogonar-S 5.6/57 lens reverse mounted
Rear lens: Schneider Makro-Symmar 120 line scan lens normally mounted focused at infinity
Stacked lens nominal aperture: f/5.6 with disk removed
Stacked lens effective aperture: f/11.76

Rodenstock APO-Rodagon-D 2x lens reverse mounted focused using extension
Stacked lens nominal aperture: f/4.5
Stacked lens effective aperture: f/13.95

Camera: Sony A6300
Sensor size: APS-C 23.5 × 15.6 mm. 28.21 mm diagonal. 3.92 micron sensor pitch
Flash: Godox TT350s wireless flash x 2 with one Godox X1s 2.4G wireless flash transmitter

For this test I ran a stack of images in 5 micron steps for each aperture. The sharpest frame was then chosen using Photoshop at 100% actual pixel view. Separate images were selected for center, edge, and corner if needed. Each image was processed in PS CC with identical settings 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.

Note: The crop images had to be saved at a '40' quality to upload.

Rodenstock Rogonar-S 5.6/57 vs Rodenstock APO-Rodagon-D 2x Center

Image

Rodenstock Rogonar-S 5.6/57 vs Rodenstock APO-Rodagon-D 2x Corners

Image

The Rogonar-s isn't bad here but the APO-Rodagon-D 2x is so poor it makes it look like there was a mistake in processing the images. They were shot and processed with identical settings.

The Rogonar-S has better image quality than the APO-Rodagon-D at 2.1x but thats not such a big surprise.


Rodenstock Rogonar-S 5.6/57 vs Canon MP-E 65mm Center

For this test the Rogonar was stacked at f/5.6, the MP-E was set to f/4, the sharpest aperture at this magnification.

Front lens: Rodenstock Rogonar-S 5.6/57 lens reverse mounted
Rear lens: Schneider Makro-Symmar 120 line scan lens normally mounted focused at infinity
Stacked lens nominal aperture: f/5.6 with disk removed
Stacked lens effective aperture: f/11.76

Canon MP-E 65mm f2.8 1-5x Macro lens mounted normally
Stacked lens nominal aperture: f/4
Stacked lens effective aperture: f/12.4

Image

It might be hard to see fine detail due to the 40 quality Jpeg compression but the Rogonar-S is slightly sharper, with better CA control over the Canon MP-E. Thats a surprise!


Rodenstock Rogonar-S 5.6/57 vs Canon MP-E 65mm Corner


Image

In the corners the sharpness is really close between the two lenses, but the Rogonar-S has a clear advantage in CA control. The Jpeg compression has changed some of the colors slightly.

Overall the Rogonar-S delivers better image quality than the MP-E 65 at 2.1x. I don't know about you but after looking at the IQ in these 100% crops, I can't help but be impressed by the Rogonar-S, especially when you consider the cost.

The Canon was the only lens in this test with a completely flat image BTW.

I was pleasantly surprised with the results from the Rogonar-S 57mm, honestly I didn't expect much for $2.50. These are not a wonder lens like a JML21 or even close to a Tominon or Noritsu lens but they are better than any 4 element lens that I've seen, and better than quite a few 6 element 50mm lenses.

If anyone is interested I do have a few extra lenses.

dickb
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Post by dickb »

Looks good, Robert. In this case the 2.50 dollar lens is paired with a 500-1000 dollar tube lens though, so the cost comparison with the other lenses may be a bit less positive than is suggested. Perhaps for a budget option the Rogonar could be paired with a Raynox?

Macrero
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Post by Macrero »

Interesting find. I have a few fixed aperture lenses which I plan to test with the aperture disk removed, though that not always improve performance, actually, in my experience, in most cases performance drops.

Agree with Dickb. It would be interesting to see a rear lenses comparison, and how better does the M-Symmar 120 work compared to other, cheaper options.

Best,

- Macrero
https://500px.com/macrero - Amateurs worry about equipment, Pros worry about money, Masters worry about Light

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

dickb wrote:Looks good, Robert. In this case the 2.50 dollar lens is paired with a 500-1000 dollar tube lens though, so the cost comparison with the other lenses may be a bit less positive than is suggested. Perhaps for a budget option the Rogonar could be paired with a Raynox?
Hi Dick,

The Makro-Symmar 5.6/120 happened to already be on the camera....but the makro-Symmars for some time were available for $299 with free Fedex, I shared the link here on the forum at that time so $1000 isn't really fair to say. :shock:

Also I'm using a A6300 body that was something like $700 new, so the price of the entire setup is still less than many of new camera setups people are running here. :shock:

No matter what its still the highest performance $2.50 lens I have ever come across and better than a lot of more expensive lenses. :D

Best,

Robert

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

Macrero wrote:Interesting find. I have a few fixed aperture lenses which I plan to test with the aperture disk removed, though that not always improve performance, actually, in my experience, in most cases performance drops.
That might be the case with lenses on extension only but when it comes to front lenses used in a stacked setup, I find that it improves performance, or doesn't make a difference stopping down with the disk between the lenses and the factory iris is removed or just set to wide open.

In a few cases I really did see a nice improvement with the removal of the factory iris and going to a paper iris between the lenses.

But, I have found one case, I believe it was a Xenoplan, where using the factory iris was best, at least for CA suppression.

In any case I think the performance differences can be subtle so testing needs to be carefully done with the right subjects/targets.

Agree with Dickb. It would be interesting to see a rear lenses comparison, and how better does the M-Symmar 120 work compared to other, cheaper options.
I would like to see those results as well as long as someone else does all the testing :lol:


No but seriously I spent more hours than I want to remember with my 2018 tube lens test, I'll never forget that test, while running the test, and near the end, I had to start over from the start after losing my test notes!

https://www.closeuphotography.com/tube-lens-test

So I don't want get into another big shoot-out tube lens test anytime soon.

I just finished shooting a comparison of 14 enlarger lenses and still need to process all of the files. But, I am thinking of just posting the results for each lens and staying away from shootout style results to save time. Also I have about ten 150mm enlarger lenses that I would like to get to before 2020 is here.

What I really need to find a couple of free interns to do all the work :shock:

I can say for sure that the Makro-Symmar is one of my favorite tube lenses, it seems to introduce a minimum of CAs or none at all in most cases. You can see two test results here with the MS120:


https://www.closeuphotography.com/makro-symmar-xenon

https://www.closeuphotography.com/lomo-3-7x-and-sr120

https://www.closeuphotography.com/makro ... lens-stack

Best,

Robert

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

dickb wrote:.....Perhaps for a budget option the Rogonar could be paired with a Raynox?
Dick,

Sorry I missed the last part of your reply!

Good idea about the Raynox, I could airmail you one of the Rogonars if you want to test it with a raynox.... :D

No but seriously I have a 3 tests that need to be finished, 135 EL lenses, 150 EL lenses and a 4/28 Rodagon, oh yeah plus my high-end 1x HR test I still need to shoot! The 135mm TL test was shot weeks ago, just need to process all the images :(

Robert

Macrero
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Post by Macrero »

It is a kind of a hit-or-miss... You never know how a given lens will perform till you modify it and try it.

I tested the Minolta 5400 with the disk removed and it performed worse.

Recently I tried the Componon 4/28 modded at f/2,2 in combos. It was the "modern" version, modification was quite harder than the one of the older models. Coverage on FF is poor, though that was to be expected. Contrast dropped, no CA issues, but resolution wise I did not see any improvement.

Lol :D I would do that if I had the lens. I was about to buy one of the korean M-Symmars, but I didn't...

Well, no need to be an extensive test, just comparing the Symmar with another cheap rear lens of your choice and whichever front lens would be helpful. The Raynox works well, but CA are quite an issue when used as a rear lens in combos. An enlarging lens would be ok, maybe the Componon 100. Think about it :P

Best,

- Macrero
https://500px.com/macrero - Amateurs worry about equipment, Pros worry about money, Masters worry about Light

dickb
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Post by dickb »

Robert, I'm not criticizing your excellent testing, just saying that your comparison of the cost of the lenses is the bit I am pedantically taking issue with. The list price of the Schneider is bound to be higher than that of the Canon, used prices may be close. Current offerings of the Schneider on ebay are in the 500-1000 range, so reminding us that we missed a great deal on it is completely true but a bit unkind.

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

dickb wrote:Robert, I'm not criticizing your excellent testing, just saying that your comparison of the cost of the lenses is the bit I am pedantically taking issue with. The list price of the Schneider is bound to be higher than that of the Canon, used prices may be close. Current offerings of the Schneider on ebay are in the 500-1000 range, so reminding us that we missed a great deal on it is completely true but a bit unkind.
No offense taken.

My idea was that people could see the performance that you can get for a nice price with their own equipment, in this case including their own tube lens.

Some people here swear by Nikon Ai 200/4 lens for example. I have read posts here on the forum that tube lens performance isn't important at all in terms of overall image quality (that's not what I have found BTW).

BTW, I rounded up to $1000 for the Canon, I paid $770 or something directly from Canon USA on their site but they do sell for around $1000 last time I checked.

The MS120 deal, sorry about that but I did post the offer, but there are a lot worse. I posted here (and emailed) sharing the Qioptiq Mag.x 5X/0.20 at $600 in Korea with AF module and the scope head, entire tube lens, AF module and objective for $1000. The TL alone was quoted to me at $16,000 new, without objective. After watching for about 6 months without any offers I low-balled the seller for the objective only, no AF module, and they took it. I don't want to say what I paid. :shock: After about a year the last mag.x finally sold and the scope head listing disappeared.

Maybe someday someone a batch of 8x Mag.x will turn up in Korea and we will get the tip? Who knows?

I did kick myself a few times for the Inspec.x 105 3.5x for $200 (with delam or fungus) after I calculated the extension I would need I passed ! :roll:

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

BTW I should mention again, I have 3 of those Rogonars to sell, actually 2 left to sell if anyone is interested.

I will give you the lens, just pay for shipping at cost and $5. handling. Hope I don't get stuck with these :shock:

dickb
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Post by dickb »

RobertOToole wrote: oh yeah plus my high-end 1x HR test I still need to shoot!
Sounds most interesting. Please include the SR 5.6/120 and perhaps the Rayfact VL 1.4

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

Got curious so I couldn't resist.

Rogonar-S 8/57 at f/5.6 stacked with Raynox 125mm (DCR-250, AKA MACROSCOPIC LENS MODEL M-250, Model DCR-250, Model CM-2000 2.5X, +8 diopter)

100% view crops at 2.36x

Image

Nice results in the center, good contrast and sharpness, a little touch of CAs. Corners are a little less sharp but there was a lot of field curvature, it took a big stack to get the entire field in focus.

Normally I run the Raynox +8 straight forward but it might work better here in reverse maybe?

Compared to the MS120? The Raynox has slightly more CAs, also more field curvature.

Robert

Macrero
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Post by Macrero »

Thank you for the test, Robert! That's pretty much what I expected.

I actually see a tad better resolution in the Raynox + Rogonar center crop. Field curvature is not a problem when stacking and CA are not that bad.

With an enlarging lens result should be even better, especially coverage and CA. You just saved me some cash :P

Best,

- Macrero
https://500px.com/macrero - Amateurs worry about equipment, Pros worry about money, Masters worry about Light

kaleun96
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Post by kaleun96 »

Nice test and interesting results! By any chance have you tried the Rodenstock Trinar f2.5/20mm?
RobertOToole wrote: The Makro-Symmar 5.6/120 happened to already be on the camera....but the makro-Symmars for some time were available for $299 with free Fedex, I shared the link here on the forum at that time so $1000 isn't really fair to say. :shock:
The Makro-Symmar is of course a great tube lens but like dickb I find the results aren't always particularly indicative since I don't have the MS120 myself and we know using it as tube lens can greatly impact the performance.

The Raynox250 is a good alternative to use for side-by-side comparisons as suggested but I do understand it doubles the work for you so it's not always practical.

If we have enough tests showing the Raynox250 is similar to, but not as good as, the MS120 we can at least infer for other tests where the MS120 is used that the Raynox would likely be a suitable alternative.
- Cam

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

kaleun96 wrote:Nice test and interesting results! By any chance have you tried the Rodenstock Trinar f2.5/20mm?
RobertOToole wrote: The Makro-Symmar 5.6/120 happened to already be on the camera....but the makro-Symmars for some time were available for $299 with free Fedex, I shared the link here on the forum at that time so $1000 isn't really fair to say. :shock:
The Makro-Symmar is of course a great tube lens but like dickb I find the results aren't always particularly indicative since I don't have the MS120 myself and we know using it as tube lens can greatly impact the performance.

The Raynox250 is a good alternative to use for side-by-side comparisons as suggested but I do understand it doubles the work for you so it's not always practical.

If we have enough tests showing the Raynox250 is similar to, but not as good as, the MS120 we can at least infer for other tests where the MS120 is used that the Raynox would likely be a suitable alternative.
Hi Cam,

No, I didn't know Rodenstock even made a Trinar 20mm!

Some of the non-Rodagons can be pretty good performers in my experience. I did run some 50mm EL lenses earlier this summer, a complete waste of time other than discovering the E36 48mm, but one of the better lenses was the old Rodenstock/Omegaron, 1:3,5/50 Rogonar (non-S) 4 element. Sharper and better CA correction than some 50mm 6 element lenses but that's still not saying much, the E36 48mm image quality was on another planet.

Good idea on testing tube lenses. I do have a lens coming in this week so if I can remember I can run a quick side test on another TL. I don't test TL that often anymore actually. I have my favorites that I rely on now. I must have tested something like 100+ tube lenses mostly in the 80-120 range. I tested something like 20 or more 135-150s in the last month alone. :shock:

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