R80-200/4: The best 135mm lens?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by michael_fan|1, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. According to the technical data published in Leica web site. When I compared the MTF graphs of R80-200/4 to M APO 135/3.4 and R APO 70-180/2.8, I noticed the MTF of R80-200 is better than M135/3.4 APO all the way. Then I compared it with R APO 70-180/2.8 at 135mm, when both at wide open, the 80-200 has a better MTF (I know this is unfair as one at 2.8 and the elmar at 4), however, at 5.6 and 8, again the elmar has a better MTF and this also applys at the 180 end. (The MTF of Elmar is not as good as the APO 180/2.8 but very very close)
    Base on the above, can I conclude the R80-200/4 is the best Leica 135mm lens ever (or just in term of MTF)?
     
  2. Very interesting. The R80-200 was made by Kyocera, wasn't it? How does the R80-200 compare to the R90/2.8?
     
  3. I wouldn't conclude anything until I had actually shot with the lenses. The 80-200 is a great lens, but MTF can be difficult to interpret, and of course, it doesn't tell you everything.
     
  4. Michael, I just took a very quick look at the MTF graphs on the Leica site, and it appeared to me that the M 135 had better performance than the R 80-200 at the three apertures tested, though the results weren't really comparable since graphs for the 80-200 were at the 80mm setting.
    Could you provide a screen shot of the graphs you're referring to?
     
  5. The 80-200/4 ROM is one of Leica's bargain lenses. It was designed, I believe, shortly after the 70-180 APO. It's like a baby APO lens and is stunningly good regardless of money (accepting of course its max f4 aperture). Looking at the files from this lens and my 180/2 APO, there's some difference, but not it's not vastly inferior to the 180 cron.
    Charlie
     
  6. I agree with Charlie, it's a great bargain! Whether it has the best MTF curves or not it's a great lens with no bad habits.
     
  7. Hi Johnathan,
    In Leica site, there're MTFs of 80-200/4 at 80,100,135,180 and 200 and I used the 135 to compare with the M 135 APO since I think we need to use the same focal length for comparsion.
     
  8. Hi Robert,
    As MTF for R90/2.8 is not available and no comparsion can be made.
    I looked at the MTF of R90 AA, since only MTFs at 80 and 100 are available for 80-200/4, again no direct comparsion can be made. When I compared 80-200/4 at 80 with 90AA, the 90 AA is better.
    For 80-200/4 at 100, overall the 90 AA is better but at 5.6 , 20lp/mm up to 5 mm(Y'), the Elmar is slight better and at 5.6 40 lp/mm up to about 7 mm(Y'), the Elmar is more obvious better than 90AA.
     
  9. By looking at MTFs, I wonder if in some aspect in actual photos taking, the 80-200/4 is superior to its APO big brother? And as the 80-200/4 is too good, so Leica didnt make it an APO as it would beat its APO brother!?
     
  10. I can't say if the 80-200/4 is best at being a 135, but I will say it can keep up with the 70-180/2.8 with the exception of being a beast of a lens plus being one of the most expensive. The 80-200/4 is one of Leica's great bargains and only can be bettered by adding a tripod collar. I just feel uneasy locking this setup on a tripod only by the R8/9's tripod lug. Oh, you do know you probably just increased the prices on the last remaining stock by boasting about this gem of a lens...
     
  11. Michael, you're right! My "quick look" at the Leica site was too quick. I scrolled down to the MTF graphs for the 80-200 at 135 and it indeed looks better, at least on paper, than the vaunted M 135. Very surprising!
     
  12. Hi Jonathan,
    Yes, I was very surprised,too when I first looked at the MTF of 80-200/4 and compared with other famous Leica lenses.
    Although people may argue that MTF is not everything but I still think MTF can serve as one of the objective reference of lens performance.
     
  13. As compared to the 135mm APO lens in the M mount, the mtf graphs of the zoom shows that it drops off more toward the corners. The M lens is more flat across the field. And of course, the M lens is 1/2 stop faster. Stopped down to f/5.6 it looks like the zoom is sharper in the center, but, as mentioned above, drops off toward the edges. They are both very, very good lenses.
    With regard to the Elmarit zoom, please keep in mind you are dealing with an f/2.8. The faster the lens the harder it is to make it good. It's f/2.8 performance is comparable to the f/4 performance of the less expensive zoom. That's phenomenal. Of course, it is a heavier lens (but your wallet is a lot lighter).
    All three are phenomenal lenses. In practical use, I doubt anyone would see a difference.
     
  14. As compared to the 135mm APO lens in the M mount, the mtf graphs of the zoom shows that it drops off more toward the corners. The M lens is more flat across the field. And of course, the M lens is 1/2 stop faster. Stopped down to f/5.6 it looks like the zoom is sharper in the center, but, as mentioned above, drops off toward the edges. They are both very, very good lenses.
    With regard to the Elmarit zoom, please keep in mind you are dealing with an f/2.8. The faster the lens the harder it is to make it good. It's f/2.8 performance is comparable to the f/4 performance of the less expensive zoom. That's phenomenal. Of course, it is a heavier lens (but your wallet is a lot lighter).
    All three are phenomenal lenses. In practical use, I doubt anyone would see a difference.
     
  15. I have used the 80-200 f/4 as wsell as the 70-180 f/2.8 APO extensively for many years and found the latter to be in a class of its own. The 80-200 is great but the 70-180 even with a 2X is a stunner....
     

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