150mm - 180mm Mid-Telephoto Lens - Infinity Test

The area enclosed by the red square is represented below at 100% magnification. No sharpening, color, or contrast adjustments were made. For the Canon and Sonnar I did my best to focus on the yellow street sign with the 4-way intersection mark (looks like a + sign) at the bottom of the cropped image. The other lenses were simply set to their infinity marks.

See notes on the limitations of this test at the bottom of this page.

Wide open
Canon lens at F5
180mm Sonnar at F2.8
150mm Hartblei at F2.8
150mm Kaleinar at F2.8
150mm Tele-Xenar #1 at F4
150mm Tele-Xenar #2 at F4

Canon lens
180mm Sonnar
150mm Hartblei
150mm Kaleinar
150mm Tele-Xenar #1
150mm Tele-Xenar #2

F16 or F22
Canon lens at F22
180mm Sonnar at F22
150mm Hartblei at F16
150mm Kaleinar at F16
150mm Tele-Xenar #1 at F22
150mm Tele-Xenar #2 at F22

Some limitations of these tests:

1) Point of focus. The Canon and Sonnar do not stop at their infinity marks (actually, the Canon doesn't even have an infinity mark or focus scale), so I had to focus these two lenses as best as I could. The other lenses were set to their infinity marks.

2) Flare? This is what prevents me from posting my bokeh test shots. For some reason, the Pentacon mount lenses tend to flare out at smaller apertures when put on my Canon D-SLR. It is noticeable as a general over-exposure and washed out look in the F22 shots. The problem was really bad in all of the bokeh shots (where the lenses were focued at 2 meters), even at wider apertures. I'll have to look into this before posting more results.

3) Lens shade. This time I didn't use a lens shade on the Pentacon mount lenses out of laziness (but the Canon lens had its dedicated hood attached). I simply set the tripod in a shady area and took my photos. So no stray light was directly striking the front glass, but perhaps the use of a shade would have improved the color and contrast somewhat?

4) Representative sample. I am using my own equipment for these tests, some purchased new but other pieces purchased used. I do not know the history of the lenses I purchased used, and so some of them may have been disassembled or serviced prior to their coming into my possession. At any rate, the lenses tested here are assumed to be a "representative sample" of what is commonly available. Variations in manufacture among other things may skew the results, and so these test images may or may not accurately reflect what you can expect from a different lens specimen.


All text and images Copyright © 2004 - Kevin Ing