A Few Large Aperture 200/180 Lenses

Started Jan 16, 2018 | Discussions thread
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Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 5,762
A Few Large Aperture 200/180 Lenses

I have had some larger aperture 200mm and 180mm lenses and hope to find out how good each one of them is.  Well, because I have nothing to shoot outside but all white stuff, I quickly setup a not-so-rigorous scene to find out.  Please note that this is just a random and not very serious shoot-out and those who are very serious about lens testing should ignore this post.  Please also note that I did my best on focus, however human error is always possible.

Here is a list of the tested lenses:

LEFT to RIGHT: Canon FD 200/2.8 (with NEXS adapter), Minolta AF High Speed 200/2.8 in MF mode, Nikon 180/2.8, Nikon 180/2.8 ED, Pentax 200/2.5, Tamron SP 180/2.5, CZJ 180/2.8 M42 mount, and CZJ 180/2.8 Pentacon Six (with NEX adapter)

I also added two big guns:

Carl Zeiss APO-Sonnar 200mm f/2 and NIKON AIS 200mm f/2 ED IF

Here are the result.  Draw conclusions by yourself.  I may reshoot all images in the future when weather permits.  Some notes would be necessary:

  • Camera used was a Sony A7II. I used the "176" for focusing.
  •  I used two speedlights and set to a certain fixed output.  All lenses were set to their largest aperture 2.8 or 2.5 unless specifically stated.  Therefore, the two 2.5 lenses (Pentax 200/2.5 and Tamron 180/2.5) produced slightly over-exposed images.
  • The front surface of the front box may not be completely flat.  So, some focusing error can easily be seen if you really look at each image carefully.
  • The thickness of the front/smaller box is about 1.75", which is good enough to see how each lens renders out of focus subjects.
  • This scene has some high contrast components, which can easily show PF/CA.
  • I only fixed the position of my tripod.  However, due to the length of each lens and the tripod position of each lens, focus distance is NOT constant.
  • Focus distance was around 3 meters.

Canon FD 200mm f/2.8

Minolta AF HS 200mm f/2.8 in MF mode

Nikon 180mm f/2.8 non-ED

Nikon 180mm f/2.8 ED

Pentax 200mm f/2.5 at 2.5

Tamron SP 180mm f/2.5 LD (IF).  This is actually a copy of Tamron's 35the Anniversary version (see th gold mark on the lens)

Carl Zeiss Jena 180mm f/2.8 M42 version

Carl Zeiss Jena 180mm f/2.8 Pentacon Six mount.  This is a larger and heavier version than the M42 version.

Then, the two big guns were shot at f/2.8 rather than the maximum aperture f/2.

Carl Zeiss APO-Sonnar 200mm f/2 for Contax at f/2.8

Nikon AIS 200mm f/2 ED IF at f/2.8

Nikon AIS 200mm f/2 ED IF at f/2.8, focused on the left side "Let it snow"

Nikon AIS 200mm f/2 ED IF at f/2.8 focused on  the house portion of the lighthouse.

I did not include two lenses that I own: Nikon AFD 180mm f/2.8 ED IF and Nikon AFS 200mm f/2 ED IF VR (first version).  I do not have the Canon FD 200mm f/1.8.  I hope to find a cheap Olympus 180mm f/2.8 and add it to this line up for future shooting.

Some time later, if I have time I intend to pull all of those smaller aperture 200mm/180mm lenses to do the same.  By smaller aperture, I mean maximum aperture being smaller than f/2.8.

Anyway, don't take this test too seriously.    Thanks.


 Ching-Kuang Shene's gear list:Ching-Kuang Shene's gear list
Olympus D-600L Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-P 70-300mm F4.5-6.3G
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