WARNING: DO NOT buy the ITL200 on Ebay

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physicsmajor
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:56 pm

Post by physicsmajor »

Got my rail oriented properly and aimed it at a business card. The whole frame is printed mid-gray, but as you can see it's really a combination of all printing colors as well as interspersed black dots. With the fibers of the card as well, this seemed to be a nice easy test image.

As before, tube lens setup per Robert's best results with Mity and the ITL-200, except this is the Carmen Haas ITL-200 drop-in. This is the equivalent of 8.6x from a Mity 10x on a 16 Mpxl APS-C DSLR sensor.

The card was not completely flat, and slightly angled relative to the image plane. This is thus a stack of 6 images taken at 10 um intervals, stacked in Zerene with PMax to maximize sharpness and emphasize any CA. There is a mild global lighting gradient across the frame, which is due to a single nondiffused light providing illumination (this was intended as a quick test). It's not vignetting. If I should be shooting with less than 10 um intervals using the Mity, let me know - I'll redo this.

Let me know if you can find any flaws whatsoever. I'm embedding 100% crops, with full resolution link at the bottom of this post.

Center:
Image

Off-center:
Image

Corner:
Image


Full resolution here: https://iili.io/JjAiMv.jpg

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Mine arrived today, the packaging was deplorable. A small box housing the lens dangling in a large bag. Thankfully, they spent the time to wrap the poor thing at least.

Image
Pale white box with "yag optics" written on tape and an SFexpress sticker that they didn't bother to fully peel off.

Brand name and any connection removed. I'll still be calling this the CMH-200, ITL-200 clone by Carman Haas. Does it hold up optically? Hope so!

It's shipped from Wuxi, cannot find the shipping address.

This is legit now the "合格" brand, illustrated on that suspicious looking green sticker. It means "qualified" or rather "quality check passed".

I really like this little lens case, it's well made. That sticker is an eyesore, I'll get rid of it.

I'll run some tests later.

Macrero
Posts: 850
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Valladolid , Spain

Post by Macrero »

You, guys, are real detectives :P

Shabby sales practices, no doubt. Lens is still listed as "ITL200 Tube Lens" with a stock photo of the genuine Thorlabls item. Fortunately it is performing well, it seems.

I'm currently using a MFT camera and I do not use larger than 150-180mm FL tube lenses with none of my infinity objectives. But it would be interesting to see further tests and comparisons.

Best,

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

physicsmajor
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:56 pm

Post by physicsmajor »

Huh, mine was packed crazy well - and shipped fast. The white plastic case was surrounded with an incredible amount of bubble wrap, enough to distend the thin white cardboard box, and the box was further wrapped with bubble wrap. I think it could have been used as a ball without any concerns.

I wonder if we bought different listings. Mine was $190 with free shipping. Perhaps yours was a 3rd party who forwarded it on, but mine was definitely shipped directly from Carmen Haas.

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

physicsmajor wrote:Huh, mine was packed crazy well - and shipped fast. The white plastic case was surrounded with an incredible amount of bubble wrap, enough to distend the thin white cardboard box, and the box was further wrapped with bubble wrap. I think it could have been used as a ball without any concerns.

I wonder if we bought different listings. Mine was $190 with free shipping. Perhaps yours was a 3rd party who forwarded it on, but mine was definitely shipped directly from Carmen Haas.
Wow 190 with free shipping, that sounds nice. Mine was $180 and shipping cost a whopping $40. I expect far better packaging for $20.

Definitely a different source then, the company in question is based in Suzhou. They claimed a foreign company based in India approached them with blueprints and specs to make the lens. They also claimed where was no indication of it being an ITL-200. They said they made 50 of them and the transaction was completed just as the virus blew up.

They sent the lenses to another location in Suzhou because this is a common practice as they claim. Indian customers usually use a proxy to deliver their items as a consequence of the nation's extremely high custom rates. I suppose the proxy was meant to bring the lens into India physically, but of course the virus halted all inbound travel. Therefore the batch is stuck and the transaction went void. This is all speculation of course, based on what the company told me over Wechat.

It sure is getting weird here. Some people had the lens sent from Suzhou, mine is from Wuxi. :roll: :roll:

I just hope their bad packaging didn't ruin the lens. I'd be whinging at them if it did.

fofx
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:11 pm

Post by fofx »

Curious if any of you have any updated opinions on this clone/knockoff ? I bit the bullet on this one as well, the seller told me it is shipping from Singapore, but I don't know what to believe after reading this thread.

dmillard
Posts: 593
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Post by dmillard »

I also ordered one, and I'll test it against a known ITL200 when it arrives. I'll post my results here, if no one else has already done so. :)

David

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Here's my comparison article: https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... hp?t=41851

For those who have bit the bullet, I'm sure it tastes like strawberries or watermelon... well those are my favourite fruit anyway.

I'm certainly surprised.

Scarodactyl
Posts: 421
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:26 am

Post by Scarodactyl »

In conclusion, WARNING: DO buy the ITL200 on Ebay

fofx
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:11 pm

Post by fofx »

Macro_Cosmos wrote:Here's my comparison article: https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... hp?t=41851

For those who have bit the bullet, I'm sure it tastes like strawberries or watermelon... well those are my favourite fruit anyway.

I'm certainly surprised.
Thanks for writing up that post. That was certainly surprising to see that it had an edge over the authentic ITL200.

You mentioned that you had bad results with reversing the lens (the recommended orientation) when using it with a 20x objective. Were you able to do more tests so that you could elaborate on this? Was this with a Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 20x?

physicsmajor
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:56 pm

Post by physicsmajor »

Macro_Cosmos, thank you very much for the comparison article! I wish I could have done a proper side-by-side, but without a real ITL-200 I wanted to defer to someone who could provide the community with a more definitive answer. My findings boiled down to "it's definitely sharp, seems good."

Could you note the exact spacing in your setup? Objective shoulder to tube lens front housing, and tube lens rear housing to sensor? I have a Mity 10x and would like to reproduce your setup.

At current I am using Robert's high-magnification setup with the "ITL200" reversed and 245 mm between it and my sensor plane, and it's very sharp in plane without transverse CA on a flat field as I showed above. But for mineral work, where there are a lot of 3D features out of plane, I'm getting some axial CAs most evident in in out-of-focus highlights. I get this at 10x and 2x (don't have a Mity 5x yet).

At this point I suspect optimizing axial CAs may require a more particular sensor-to-tubelens spacing than sharpness alone, and that might be why the spacing is specified so overtly by Thorlabs (forward facing, 148mm from rear housing to sensor is Thorlabs' instructions). Sharpness may be more invariant than these axial CAs. What I'm seeing may well be a problem for the real ITL-200 as well, but most people may be shooting flatter fields with better diffused light than I so axial CA is less of an issue. With the Carmen Haas "ITL-200" reversed and 245mm housing to sensor plane, the Tominon 35mm lens outperform my Mity 2x at 2x in terms of axial (out of plane) CAs.

I do plan to try with the housing-to-sensor distance changed to 148mm, 145mm, and probably then all of these with the lens facing forward instead of reversed as it is currently. But I'd start with your setup if you wouldn't mind sharing.

Edit: it sounds like you started from infinity focus, and if you're using Thorlabs' holder just feel free to note the distance from the rear of the holder to the flange of the Z6 and the front of the holder to the objective shoulder.

physicsmajor
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:56 pm

Post by physicsmajor »

I've mostly been working at 2x lately, but preliminary results from changing the tube lens to forward orientation and reducing the housing-sensor distance to 148 mm (+/- 500 um or so) have helped with axial CAs. This is much more fun to retouch than with the sensor 245mm back.

A couple examples from tonight's work, Mity M plan apo 2x (which I think is pushed down to about 1.7x with the new tube lens to sensor distance). Shoulder of objective 72 mm from front of forward oriented CH-200 tube lens, sensor 148 mm from rear of CH-200. I am using a D7000, so crop frame only.

I deliberately tried to provoke highlights, I diffused the incoming light about half as much as usual.

Austinite from Gold Hill, Utah
Image

Fluorite from Huanzala mine, Peru
Image

Pyrite from Huanzala mine, Peru (same specimen, different area)
Image

Chris S.
Site Admin
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Post by Chris S. »

Physicsmajor,

Your images look good, and are evidence that the 2x Mitutoyo objective can make fine pictures. I also use this lens, and have often wondered why a few forum members dislike it.

This said, every 2x Mitutoyo I've tested (perhaps 6-12 specimens?) shows a bit of transverse chromatic aberration in the form of cyan edges on high-contrast details located toward the outside of the APS-C frame. This sort of CA is very easy to correct in post, and my bet is that Mitutoyo allowed it as a trade-off to deal with other lens constraints: Designing a 2x lens might not be difficult, but designing a 2x lens to be parfocal with higher-powered Mitutoyo objectives likely increases difficulty.

By the way, all my Mitutoyo objective tests are conducted on a Mitutoyo MT-1 tube lens, focused at infinity from the camera sensor. I haven't been careful about the distance between objective and tube lens, because Mitutoyo states that this isn't important, so long as the objective is not far enough away from tube lens to cause vignetting.

--Chris S.

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

physicsmajor wrote: Could you note the exact spacing in your setup? Objective shoulder to tube lens front housing, and tube lens rear housing to sensor? I have a Mity 10x and would like to reproduce your setup.

Edit: it sounds like you started from infinity focus, and if you're using Thorlabs' holder just feel free to note the distance from the rear of the holder to the flange of the Z6 and the front of the holder to the objective shoulder.
Unfortunately I don't have those numbers with me, it will be incredibly hard and imprecise to measure as well.

With an aperture installed in the front, there's a quite liberal range of play with regards to infinity focus. There's at least 1mm "wiggle room", so it's certainly fine. I measured about 147 from the surface of the tube lens to the camera sensor. Flange is 46.5mm, Nikon Z+FTZ which I just assumed. It's pretty much identical to Thorlabs' specifications.


As you can see here, the lens does protrude the holder by quite a bit:
https://macrocosmosblog.files.wordpress ... jpg?w=1024

Also the holder features heavy duty male threads, so it recesses into the tubes by a fair amount as well.
The distance from the holder to the FTZ is about 103mm. Then there's the SM2>F mount adaptor (thorlabs part) and the FTZ.
Image
Hope this helps. I'm not measuring the distance from the threads of course, they are buried inside the tubing.

I however do recommend focusing to infinity yourself. If you have the Thorlabs SM2 holder, you probably have their variable tubes as well. I used a 3'' SM2 tube with the SM2V10 variable tube.

fofx wrote: Thanks for writing up that post. That was certainly surprising to see that it had an edge over the authentic ITL200.

You mentioned that you had bad results with reversing the lens (the recommended orientation) when using it with a 20x objective. Were you able to do more tests so that you could elaborate on this? Was this with a Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 20x?
I had tests but they were from a while ago using the Mit 20x. It's better to make new ones using the standardised target. However as I've elaborated in the article, doing so will render my coaxial epi-illumination setup invalid. Reversing the lens means it's no longer focused to infinity, while in theory does not allow optical components to be inserted into the optical path without compromising the integrity of the setup. Ghosting and CA might blow up.

For the Mit 20x I used to have, reversing yielded observable worsened results compared to Thorlabs' spec sheet. I don't have that lens anymore.
Chris S. wrote:Physicsmajor,

Your images look good, and are evidence that the 2x Mitutoyo objective can make fine pictures. I also use this lens, and have often wondered why a few forum members dislike it.

This said, every 2x Mitutoyo I've tested (perhaps 6-12 specimens?) shows a bit of transverse chromatic aberration in the form of cyan edges on high-contrast details located toward the outside of the APS-C frame. This sort of CA is very easy to correct in post, and my bet is that Mitutoyo allowed it as a trade-off to deal with other lens constraints: Designing a 2x lens might not be difficult, but designing a 2x lens to be parfocal with higher-powered Mitutoyo objectives likely increases difficulty.

--Chris S.
I guess people dislike it because conventional 2x setups that involve lens coupling, the Minolta 5400 scanner lens, and Laowa's 1-2x quite easily outperforms it.

I am however highly interested in this 2x lens, it would do wonders for my coaxial epi-illumination setup. I can't imagine how I would get that to work with Laowa's 100mm or 2.5-5x, or the Minolta lens, it's... well, highly non-trivial.

It would be harder to pack 1x and 2x lenses into the size of an objective, so I personally think it's harder to design. This is reflected by the price.
1x: 2499
2x: 955
5x: 720
Could also be supply and demand of course! :oops:

physicsmajor
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:56 pm

Post by physicsmajor »

Here's an example using the Mitutoyo 10x with Carmen Haas tube lens, all else equal with the above 2x photo of Austinite from Gold Hill, Utah (I believe this is pushed down to about 8.6x):

Image

This is the full usable frame; it did have to be cropped slightly as there was some small amount of motion in X and Y resulting in stacking artifacts. This is to be expected when working at 10x with the macro rail on a tripod looking at the specimen on a shelf... did my best to increase rigidity and honestly I'm surprised it wasn't significantly worse! The amount cropped was under 5%.

No problems with sensor coverage, but I'm using APS-C (Nikon D7000) and don't have a full frame body available to test with.

The corner cyan CA is gone, as is all other CA I can try to find. Thanks Chris for noting that was likely inherent to the Mitutoyo 2x objective.

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