Sharpest macro?

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by yossarian, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. I'm wondering if anyone has any opinions/testing regarding FD macro lens,
    especially in terms of sharpness, i.e. which is the sharpest? I currently have
    the Tamron SP 90mm 2.5
  2. I would rate my Canon New FD 50mm 3.5 macro lens as one of the sharpest lenses in my inventory.Absolute astounding clarity and edge to edge sharpness.Many times if there is enough light to focus and hand hold I'll use it as my "normal" lens instead of my FD 50 1.4 because of the outstanding performance.If you own a later generation FD body with laser matte focusing screens it works very well as a all purpose lens.
  3. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    It is generally accepted that the Tokina 90mm f2.5 AT-X and Tamron 90mm f2.5 are two of the sharpest macros available for FD mount. I own the 50mm f3.5 nFD and the Tokina 90mm f2.5 AT-X and the tokina is noticably sharper.
  4. The Tamron 90mm f:2.5 is as close to perfection as I can imagine any lens being. You already have the best macro lens ever made. Why look further? ;-)
  5. 50mm f/1.9 Alpa Macro-Switar glued on to Canon bellows.
  6. I use my New Canon 50mm 3.5 macro on a Canon Auto Bellows reversed with extension tubes (approx.8.5 magnification ratio) - (Canon F1N body and Canon Copy Stand 5)and believe me this is a true test for sharpness and flat field distortion and this lens is no slouch.Hand held or on a tripod at 1.0 magnification ratio won't tell you a lot about how sharp a lens can be.
  7. Douglas, heck, I have to stick my oar in to say I think your last post is not strictly correct.

    The conditions you describe (reversed at 8.5:1) aren't that stringent a test for a macro lens. The optical corrections are identical to using the same lens forwards (right way around) at 1:8.5-- for example, like copying a sheet of typewriter paper. Any macro lens should perform very well in this range, and it will perform as well reversed at 8.5:1.

    Having said that, I agree the 50/3.5 macro is a stellar lens. I bought mine in 1981. It's been a great all-purpose lens for general use as well as macro.
  8. In my previous post I never meant to imply that reversing this lens had anything to do with sharpness.To reach 8.5 magnification ratio on the Canon Auto Bellows system the lens needs to be reversed.What I was trying to get across is that this lens at high magnification ratios is corrected for abberations and flatness of field,unlike some so called macros that work well at life size reproductions but not so good for scientific work.Nonetheless, a great lens for general and extreme photography.Don't want folks getting ruffled over this because we should be proud of what Canon did with their macro system back in the day (FD)- something that went down the tubes when EOS auto focus and digital came along (once again, I'm talking high magnification ratios for scientific work).
  9. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    In actual scientific testing of these lenses the Toknia 90mm f2.5 AT-X is shown to be superior to the 50mm f3.5 NFD Canon plain and simple.
    The magnification the lens is being used athas nothing to do with it.
  10. Michael, is your Tamron 90mm 2.5 an adaptall lens? Was it designed to be used with an extension tube to achieve full magnafication.

    I've got a "vivitar" 100mm f2.8 in Fd mount made by Kiron. Its a fantastic lens designed to be used without extension tubes. Kiron made others that are supposed to be even better: 105mm 2.5 Series 1.

    I've read good things about some of the adaptall lenses. I am only recently learning about their intersting multi-mount system.

  11. I have the 90mm f/2.5 Vivitar Series 1 Macro lens in Canon FD mount. This is supposed to be essentially the same lens as the Tokina 90/2.5 AT-X. Both came with the separate 1:1 adapter which had glass elements. I have read that the 90mm f/2.5 Tamron SP macro and the 90mm f/2.5 Elicar/Spiratone/Rokunar lenses are the same optically but that the Elicar/Spiratone/Rokinar lenses achieve 1:1 magnification by way of a longer helical mount rather than with the separate adapter.

    My other macro lenses for Canon include a 100mm f/4 FLM bellows model, two 50/3.5 Canon FLs, a 50/3.5 FD SSC, a 50/3.5 New FD, a Vivitar 55/2.8 and a Panagor 55/2.8. They are all good but I have not used the bellows lens much yet and I have not compared the 90/2.5 Vivitar Series 1 directly with the 90/2.5 Tamron SP (second model). I don't think it serves much of a purpose to directly compare macro lenses in the 50mm range with those in the 90-105mm range. If you were strictly doing tests with flat copy like newsprint then you might learn somethng. In practice a macro lens in the 90-105 range is more useful when you need more working distance. I will often carry both because I have so many of them but many of the shorter ones are also very good at longer distances and even at infinity. If I am going on a long hike and will take only one lns then I would take a macro lens in the 50-55 range.
  12. Peter McDonough , dec 05, 2006; 10:12 p.m. "50mm f/1.9 Alpa Macro-Switar glued on to Canon bellows."

    Please tell me you're kidding!! I had a fancy for one of these about two years ago, I finally found one, my final bid was $485. The auction ended at over $800, 815 I think. I don't know what they're selling for these days, probably still way high...
  13. I have the Canon 100mm/4 macro and also the Tamron 90mm/2.5. The Tamron lens is amazingly sharp and is a compact lens that can be switched from camera system to camera system. It is one of the sharpest manual acro lenses around, in my opionion. I hardly ever used the Canon macro lens after getting the Tamron.
  14. This lens is one of the camera worlds most underated ...I read way back it achieved over 220#lpmm wide open and more closed down . Its design with recessed small front optic cuts down on flare ,aberrations etc. but I still use it with a lens hood and UV filter cos it is prone to collect dust/spray etc ...
    I also found 3 brand new in a store in Biddeford a few years ago ... unused by a University technical department and I suspect other institutions /Feds off loaded lots of them for later autofocus units. However I doubt if they achieved such stellar optical performance.
    We do seem to be obseessed with aperture as opposed to performance .. a bit like horsepower in cars as opposed to handling.Find 'em whilst you can ..THEYT DONT MAKE "EM ANYMORE!!!!
    My guess is the 100mm/f4 and 200mm/f4 every bit as good as the 55mm but that would be King.
  15. I have the Canon 100mm f4 and have been happy with it but I have not compared it to the tokina 90mm 2.5 or tamron 90mm 2.5. From other uses post, it sounds like the tokina and tamron are better macro lenses in terms of clarity, sharpness, and speed. Is the difference enough to warrent replacing my 100mm macro with one of these? The extra speed and resulting brighter viewfinder would be nice. I find it can be a little difficult to focus the canon under low light conditions.
  16. I have a question regarding the Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 macro lens.
    I'm wondering what method/lens test chart to use to test this lens.
    I got this lens recently. I'm using it on a Canon EOS 50D using a ring adapter that has the AF confirmation chip.
    The beauty about using FD macro lenses on EOS bodies is that the ring adapter does not need to be fitted with a correction glass since we don't focus to infinity.
    I find that the lens to subject working distance required is rather less i.e. the lens needs to be just a few centimeters away from the subject.
    Are there any lens test charts designed specifically for the Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 macro lens to test for resolution and sharpness?
  17. Amongst the earlier posts you will see many recommendations for 100mm and especially 90mm lenses. As you have found the subject distance very close for the 50mm you might consider a longer lens which allows more space. I endorse the early recommendations for the Vivitar Series 1 90mm F/2.5, which I used to use. The Tokina lens is generally believed to be identical.
  18. The lens sold under the Tokina name may have slightly improved coating.

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