View Full Version : Retina lenses compared

06-24-2010, 14:42
Nothing scientific, but I took some test shots with my Retina IIc cameras with Xenon and Heligon and their tele and wide lenses, plus with my Ib with Xenar and pre-war IIa with 2,8 Xenon (actually a five element Xenar). I didn't sharpen the scans, but flickr did with it's automatic resizing.

Full frames:

2,8/50 Xenon and Heligon C:


5,6/35 Curtar-Xenon and Heligon C:

4/80 Longar-Xenon and Heligon C:

Ib 2,8/50 Xenar and uncoated pre-war 2,8/50 Xenon:

Edge sharpness. Ib with it's four element Xenar compared to the six element Xenon on the IIc:

The Xenar is VERY sharp also at the edges stopped down to 8-11, where it matches the six element lenses. It also feels a little bit contrastier (that can't be seen in my bad scans though).

06-24-2010, 16:37
Thanks for the real world tests JBD. For me they are much more usable than tables of lines per millimeter and all the rest of the numbers being tossed around.

06-25-2010, 19:00
One thing I learned was that if I can afford to stop down to 8 or 11, and have no need for the rangefinder, then the Ib with Xenar wins over the more expensive IIc with Heligon!

The largest aperture I used was 4, because it gave the fastest shutter speed 1/500. Controlled lighting and a test chart would have been better, but that's too much mumbo jumbo for me as a user. ;)

06-25-2010, 22:28
I'm typically a daytime shooter and keep the camera at 8 or 11 unless there are shadow details I want to keep. If the day is heavily overcast I load up with HP5 otherwise it's either Ilford PanF or FP4.