Zenzanon PS 110mm f/4.5 1:1 Macro

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by lawrence___, Jun 11, 1999.

  1. I haven't heard any discussion on the Zenzanon PS 110mm f/4.5 1:1
    Macro. I am wondering if anyone is using this lens. Can anyone tell
    me what the image quality of this lens is?

    I am actually looking for a short-tele. The macro ability is just an
    addition bonus for me. Should I just consider the PS 135mm f/4.0 or
    the old PS 110mm f/4.0 Macro indeed?

  2. Hi Lawrence,
    I'm Kate from Australia, and I'm afraid I can't give you any advice here, but I myself am looking at purchasing an SQ Ai with a 110mm Macro lens. So if anyone has any information or advice I too would be glad to read about it.
  3. I received a new PS 110mm f/4.5 (from www.robertwhite.co.uk) this past week. I ran a roll of E100SW 220 through my SQ-Ai with this lens. I used a tripod and cable release. Here are my impressions.

    The lens is big--72mm lens, 3 1/4" diameter body, 4 1/2" long at infinity, and 8" long at 1:1. It has the same functionality as the PS 80mm f/2.8 lens--DOF preview, "T" function, 1/2 stop increments f/4.5 to f/32. There is a magnification scale on the lens--"1:25" at infinity to "1" at 1:1. This scale is used to calculate exposure compensation at the various magnifications. (A table is provided in the manual.) The lens came with a high-quality, padded vinyl, draw-string bag, rubber bayonet-mount hood, front and rear lens caps.

    Upon mounting the lens, I found that the split-prisim portion of my focusing screen was useless--it was typically half black. As a consequence, I had a few shots that I failed to get focused exactly right. Focusing, by the way, from infinity to 1:1 required nearly a full turn of the focusing ring.

    I used a Polaris Digital light meter in incident mode. I shot the recommended meter on a variety of subjects outside of my home (typically flowers). My shutter speeds were 1/15 and slower--up to 2 seconds. I locked the mirror up for every shot. I shot the nearest 1/2 stop (meter plus compensation). The magnification scale, as marked, effectively translates into 1/3 stops. Most of my exposures were within an acceptable limits. (I have had similar results with E100SW using the PS 80mm f/2.8 lens--it is a true ISO 100 film for me).

    The lens seems quite sharp, edge-to-edge, (when I held up my end of the bargain) at the upper end of the scale (f/8-f/32). (I used a 4x loupe on a light box.) I didn't shoot but one or two frames at f/4.5, but in one of them, I can almost read the white lettering on the tires of a truck parked two houses down. The color and contrast of my transparencies are quite pleasing as well.

    I don't think I would use this lens as my "regular" lens unless I got a different focusing screen. The dark split prisim is too problematic. The camera also seems bulkier with this lens attached, although it is reasonably balanced. Macro is one of my favorite styles of photography, so I guess I'll be switching lenses frequently.

    As a post script, I highly recommend Robert White Co. in Britian. Prompt, personal, service is always welcome and unexpected when dealing on the Internet. His prices on Bronica (including 3-day air from England) are less than domestic mail order.

  4. I understand it's now 18 years since this post, but I was wondering anyone might have this manual, and be able to scan/snapshot this table, please?

    Many thanks.
  5. (Check your post on Flickr -- but for the benefit of future readers ...)

    I did not get a manual with mine, but your quest inspired me to throw together a table via spreadsheet that I've been meaning to make. I shall try to link it in here.

    The numbers down the left attempt to correlate with the way the lens is marked. I hope I got it right, it shows no compensation at infinity, and 4x or two stops at 1:1, so that appears correct!

    (As to the ancient questions in this thread ...)
    I think it's a fantastic lens, many medium format lenses barely focus as close as 3 feet/1 meter, and in some of the shots that catch my eye I could be right on the boundary of switching between straight lens and an extension tube. Being able to just crank the focus ring until it's in focus, anywhere from infinity down to about a foot or so is really nice. (That and I so far have not acquired an extension tube!)
  6. I own the older (1:4) 110mm macro and don't use it as much as my 135mm with a close-up lens. I find the image quality of all the PS lenses to be very good provided you stick with f5.6-f11 and keep the camera steady. If you already own a 80mm PS I wouldn't recommend the 110 over a 135 or 150 unless you do lots of close-up work. But honestly I shoot macro with my 45mp dslr, MF can't come close to IQ or convenience.
  7. Standard digital camera lenses can't hold a candle to my 110 macro. I would have to spend $1500 with my digital camera manufacturer to get the image quality I get out of my $120 Zenzanon PS 110 macro. To each his own.

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