$50 Schneider Enlarging lens Vs The Mitutoyo 5x M Plan APO

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RobertOToole
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$50 Schneider Enlarging lens Vs The Mitutoyo 5x M Plan APO

Post by RobertOToole »

Thought there might be some interest of this quick test I ran this weekend. The Mitutoyo 5x M Plan APO is very well known so it makes a perfect objective for a comparison. The 4/28 componon is also well known, but at least from all of my tests its always been a poor performer. The center sharpness is fine but the image circle is very small, 30mm according to SK specs, and the CAs are pretty high outside the center. But take a look at the performance stacked! The performance is unreal!

Be sure to leave your comments or questions.

For the full test follow this link to my site:
https://www.closeuphotography.com/50-do ... -objective


COMPONON SETUP INFORMATION
Front lens: Schneider Kreuznach 28mm f/4 Componon lens reverse mounted
Rear lens: Schneider Kreuznach 120mm f/5.6 Makro-Symmar Line Scan Lens set to f.5.6 and normally mounted focused at infinity
Stacked lens NA: 0.217
Stacked lens nominal aperture: f/2.3 via a 8mm aperture disk placed between the two lenses.
Stacked lens effective aperture: f/9.89

MITUTOYO 5X M PLAN APO SETUP INFORMATION
Objective: Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 5X/0.14 Objective
Tube Lens: Thorlabs ITL200 reverse mounted and beyond infinity using 144 mm extension from sensor to lens with 75mm from tube lens to objective
NA: 0.14
Nominal aperture: f/2.9
Effective aperture: f/15.4

TEST SET-UP
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
Vertical stand: Nikon MM-11 with a Nikon focus block

For this test a stack of images was made with 4 micron steps, and was repeated 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. All of the images shown here are single files.

Click on any image below to view a 1500 pixel version in new window or better yet, to open an image in a new browser tab, right click, or two-finger press, and select Open in a New Tab or New Window from the menu. You can also right click, or two-finger press, and select Save Image As and compare the images in any image viewer.


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Results

The Schneider Kreuznach 28mm f/4 Componon lens + 120mm f/5.6 Makro-Symmar lens stack is the better performer across the APS-C sensor. The Mitutoyo is excellent as always but handicapped here pushed down to only 4.3x.

Comments welcome.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

This is a very surprisaing result, since the Componon is not a great performer on extenson. This agrees with Miljenko's result with a different Componon:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... t=miljenko

"Probably the most extreme case is Schneider-Kreuznach Componon-S 50mm f2.8. When mounted on extension tubes, at 2x magnification it produces 1767 LW/PH at picture center when stopped down to f/4.8 and only 750 LW/PH at the edge. It has to be stopped down to f/6.8 to raise edge resolution to 1154 LW/PH. But when mounted on Nikon E 100mm f2.8 lens (at it's best when stopped down to f/4) the resolution jumps to whooping 3138/2988 LW/PH! And if mounted via scanner lens Agfa 107mm f4 the resolution jumps to the highest resolution recorded at 2x !"

This suggests it is not an accident, and not unique to just one tube lens. The field is wide open now in the search for good combos!

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

Lou Jost wrote:This is a very surprisaing result, since the Componon is not a great performer on extenson. This agrees with Miljenko's result with a different Componon:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... t=miljenko

"Probably the most extreme case is Schneider-Kreuznach Componon-S 50mm f2.8. When mounted on extension tubes, at 2x magnification it produces 1767 LW/PH at picture center when stopped down to f/4.8 and only 750 LW/PH at the edge. It has to be stopped down to f/6.8 to raise edge resolution to 1154 LW/PH. But when mounted on Nikon E 100mm f2.8 lens (at it's best when stopped down to f/4) the resolution jumps to whooping 3138/2988 LW/PH! And if mounted via scanner lens Agfa 107mm f4 the resolution jumps to the highest resolution recorded at 2x !"

This suggests it is not an accident, and not unique to just one tube lens. The field is wide open now in the search for good combos!
The biggest gains I see from stacking lenses, for me anyway, is the elimination of most CAs and the expanded sensor coverage, not just increased sharpness.

These images are from a 2017 test where I tested three Componon 28s. (https://www.closeuphotography.com/4x-lens-test-part-3)

Componon 28/4 center crop at 100%. Sharpness is ok with mild purple CAs.

Image

Componon 28/4 center crop at 100%. Sharpness drops off and the CAs are worse. BTW the corners are soft due to a small image circle and not field curvature.

Image

When stacked on the Makro-Symmar the drop off problems and CAs are eliminated and with better sharpness across the sensor.

Now that we are aware of the results that are possible with stacking lenses imagine for a second that you have probably already sold off some of the sharpest lenses you have ever owned with even shooting one single image through them. I owned and sold at least a dozen Componon 28/4s over the years so I am just glad I have a couple left!

I have another 28mm Componon that is really really good, better than the lens here, more on that later. :D

Robert

Adalbert
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Post by Adalbert »

Hello Robert,
Upss, actually I wanted to buy the Mitty 5x but I've been confused ever since I read the results of your test :-)
Does the Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon N 2,8/50 perform as good as the Schneider Kreuznach Componon ?
BR, ADi

mjkzz
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Post by mjkzz »

wow, thanks Robert! Stacked config seems to be the way.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

Steve, Robert's and Miljenko's tests clearly show that the resolution of the prime lens can increase greatly by stacking. Miljenko's center resolution numbers demonstrate this unequivocally.

Part of it is not mysterious. I've been arguing for along time here that stacked lenses at low m have a dramatic potential for increased sharpness over single lenses with extension, due to the difference between EA in the two cases. It is the difference between EA=f*(m+1) for extended lenses versus EA= f*m for lens combos. Lower EA means less diffraction. For m close to unity the combo could have twice the resolution of the same lens on extension!

See for example
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=31547

Also, some chromatic aberations can cancel out if light passes through two different lenses. THis part deopends on pure luck, it seems.

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Post by Beatsy »

Lou Jost wrote:Steve, Robert's and Miljenko's tests clearly show that the resolution of the prime lens can increase greatly by stacking. Miljenko's center resolution numbers demonstrate this unequivocally.

Part of it is not mysterious. I've been arguing for along time here that stacked lenses at low m have a dramatic potential for increased sharpness over single lenses with extension, due to the difference between EA in the two cases. It is the difference between EA=f*(m+1) for extended lenses versus EA= f*m for lens combos. Lower EA means less diffraction. For m close to unity the combo could have twice the resolution of the same lens on extension!

See for example
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=31547

Also, some chromatic aberations can cancel out if light passes through two different lenses. THis part deopends on pure luck, it seems.
Thanks Lou. I didn't see your reply before I deleted my question. It didn't take long to find info confirming that resolution can indeed be increased by lowering the effective aperture. Hence the deletion. Thanks for the info though - and sorry to leave you hanging...

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Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote: Part of it is not mysterious. I've been arguing for along time here that stacked lenses at low m have a dramatic potential for increased sharpness over single lenses with extension, due to the difference between EA in the two cases. It is the difference between EA=f*(m+1) for extended lenses versus EA= f*m for lens combos. Lower EA means less diffraction. For m close to unity the combo could have twice the resolution of the same lens on extension!
Even for higher mags the effect is still valuable, though not as dramatic as 1x. For example, a f2.8 lens on extension at 4x has f14 effective, NA 0.14, while using tube lens has f11 effective, NA 0.18. I'd expect folks would pay a good deal more for a NA 0.18 objective vs NA 0.14, though as Robert says the bigger advantage seems to be coverage and CA suppression...though who knows why these are better!

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Lou Jost wrote:Also, some chromatic aberations can cancel out if light passes through two different lenses. THis part deopends on pure luck, it seems.
I expect there is some luck involved, but I think the reduction of CA seen by Robert is also systematic.

I get the feeling that most or all of the lenses that Robert is stacking are optimized for magnifications that are far away from 1:1. In that case just adding extension drags them away from their design point in a way that has long been recognized as adding aberrations.

We usually focus on aberrations that reduce sharpness, but I would not be surprised if CA gets increased also. If so, then dragging each lens back toward its design point by stacking could reasonably be expected to reduce CA as part of the bargain.

--Rik

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ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

rjlittlefield wrote:
I get the feeling that most or all of the lenses that Robert is stacking are optimized for magnifications that are far away from 1:1. In that case just adding extension drags them away from their design point in a way that has long been recognized as adding aberrations.
4.3x should be within the design parameters of the 50mm lens, mounted in reverse. But apparently the Componon-S are much better for infinity/landscape use than they are as enlarging lenses, unless we're talking really big enlargements!

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Post by viktor j nilsson »

Learning a ton from these discussions. I'm beginning to understand why stacking can increase resolution and reduce some aberrations. Too a while to get used to the thought, stacking just felt like something inferior that I did for to a lack of better options when I was starting out

But if this approach has such clear merits, why are there no objectives that are natively designed like this? Or are there such objectives? Does this design just become so limited in it's use that it is difficult to market?

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Post by ray_parkhurst »

viktor j nilsson wrote:Learning a ton from these discussions. I'm beginning to understand why stacking can increase resolution and reduce some aberrations. Too a while to get used to the thought, stacking just felt like something inferior that I did for to a lack of better options when I was starting out

But if this approach has such clear merits, why are there no objectives that are natively designed like this? Or are there such objectives? Does this design just become so limited in it's use that it is difficult to market?
All infinite objectives use this technique.

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Post by Lou Jost »

ALL modern infinity-corrected objectives are designed exactly for this kind of lens stacking.
EDIT-oops, I see Ray beat me

viktor j nilsson
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Post by viktor j nilsson »

ray_parkhurst wrote:
viktor j nilsson wrote:Learning a ton from these discussions. I'm beginning to understand why stacking can increase resolution and reduce some aberrations. Too a while to get used to the thought, stacking just felt like something inferior that I did for to a lack of better options when I was starting out

But if this approach has such clear merits, why are there no objectives that are natively designed like this? Or are there such objectives? Does this design just become so limited in it's use that it is difficult to market?
All infinite objectives use this technique.
Ray, Lou, you are of course correct and I'm a little embarrass I didn't think of that before I wrote. But those systems are modular. And normally optimized for a higher magnification range. Where, from what I understand based on the above, the benefit of a stacked design is actually smaller than for the ~1x range.

I was thinking o something that from the outside looked like a l traditional camera objective, but internally was designed as a two-lens stack, optimized for a specific, low magnification. Are there such a thing?

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Post by RobertOToole »

Lou Jost wrote:ALL modern infinity-corrected objectives are designed exactly for this kind of lens stacking.
EDIT-oops, I see Ray beat me
Maybe I miss understand your statement Lou?

As far as I know and I could be wrong but modern microscope objectives are designed to fit in a certain system like Nikons CFi-2 with a standard 200mm tube lens that gives you a set field and magnification. This is also the case with Mitutoyo and the system objectives that just happen to work well pushing and pulling the magnification for photography.

(Did anyone ever figure out if the QV line with 100FL tubes are the same as the M Plans?)

Qioptiq System 125 is the only system (according to Qioptiq) that is designed to cover large sensors with for various magnifications with the same objectives using different focal length tube lenses depending on intended use. I think they are correct.

This is slightly off topic but its interesting that the Qioptiq MTF graphs show spacial freq from 100/200/400 cy/mm not the normal standard 10/20/30 that most manufacturer share. :shock:

Robert

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