Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

Started May 25, 2020 | Discussions
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

I have not been buying many lenses as is well known - our dollar bumps around being worth just 65 US cents at the moment although it is much better with the GBP than it was historically when I was a lad - AUD$2 will buy about GBP1.06. But moaning is no use ...

It is possible that some Chinese vendors are ignoring the US$ and doing a direct conversion to AUD$ because I have just bought a Neewer 85/1.8 in EF mount locally for AUD$116 freight free. Ignoring the delivery freight (by courier no less) but allowing for our GST that would be AUD$105 and the net after say AUD$15 implied freight must be getting close to US$60.

So what is the attraction besides price? Well in is aps-c and manual focus in EF mount. But I just happen to have a dumb EF-M4/3 focal reduction adapter made by RJ.

The fact is that aps-c puts its full image circle on the 4/3 sensor when focal reduced. In an era where the clamour has been to try and get legacy 135 film capable lenses back on their “proper image circle” sensors it is oft forgotten that the aps-c fits nicely on 4/3 when focal reduced.

Focal reduced I have a 60mm f1.2 or 120/1.2 FF fov eq. Does it work - yes it does seem to be able to take photographs in the dark that are reasonable. I have not fully explored the lens as of yet but it seems reasonably good.

It has its quirks. It comes with reasonable solid build quality, a claim of MC that I have no reason to disbelieve, a quite acceptable strong hood already screwed into place that is not reversible but can be removed. It is supplied with a 72mm cap that fits on the mounted hood. The aperture has discreet soft clicks but is unusually marked 22-10-6-4.5-3.5-3-2.5-1.8 The lens extends to focus with smooth action.

So what do I have? Cheap bottom feeding adapted thrills with no scuff marks, dirty lenses, fungus, delamination, dust, has perfect focus action, and no aperture issues. And delivered to my door for no more really than the oft asked GSP freight ex-US.

The only issue is that this particular lens is a rare bird as dumb EF made for the aps-c image circle and therefore a standout to be focal reduced to M4/3. It has the advantage of the focal reduction capability over other aps-c lenses made for Sony E mount and directly remounted to M4/3.

This lens is sold under all sorts of product names and “unbranded” as well. For Nikon and Canon mounts “Kelda”, “Lovoski” “Jintu” and (expensively and coy about the “aps-c” business) “Opteka”. It is also available as remounted and sold as Sony E. I am sure that I hvae seen other branded names in th epast.

In the meantime I cannot find it anywhere as cheap as I bought it - but one site offered it at the same price if you bought four of them  Looks like I was “quite fast” ....

If anyone else knows of cheap dumb modern lenses made for aps-c in EF mount I could be quite interested.

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Tom Caldwell

QuietOC
QuietOC Veteran Member • Posts: 5,128
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt
1

Samyang makes four APS-C MF SLR primes: 8/3.5, 10/2.8, 16/2, 300/6.3. I briefly owned the 16mm and enjoyed using it.

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M_digicapt Senior Member • Posts: 3,138
Sample images?

Sounds interesting! I also have the dumb EF to M43 focal reducer... does it sharpens up by F2.8? A sharp 60mm f2  would be great for portriats and night gatherings...

walter g1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,022
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

Tom,

Neewer 85mmf1.8 is a 6/6 design.

Opteka 85mm f1.8 is a 10/7 design.

There are also cheap 85mm f1.8 lenses with a 9/7 design.

petrochemist Veteran Member • Posts: 3,096
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

I believe I have the same focal reducer yet I've found most of the APSC lenses I've tried have not covered the sensor. The different sensor ratio probably being responsible.

It should be noted that 'APSC' is used for several different crop factors 1.5x (most of my APSC kit) 1.6x (Canon) & 1.7x (older Sigma)

I've only tried a few 1.5x with the reducer all of which clearly showed the inside of the hood.

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OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Re: Sample images?

M_digicapt wrote:

Sounds interesting! I also have the dumb EF to M43 focal reducer... does it sharpens up by F2.8? A sharp 60mm f2 would be great for portriats and night gatherings...

I am working on it as I have only had it one day. Seems sharp enough - I have to adjust the focal reducer as it focuses way before infinity.  I find that FR adapters are not always perfect infinity even though they always work.

The lens seems sharp on lcd to my tin-eyes - even wide open - but I will have to get some off the camera to be more sure.

I did not look at the reviews being more intent in the opportunity of such a cheap lens that was also capable of being so fast.  The reviews when read are so disappointing that even cheap would not be good enough.  But the lens has been around for a while and maybe it has been tweaked since first released?

Things that I saw in reviews:

Aperture - the aperture stops on mine work fine.

Build quality - mine is good.

Focus action - mine is quite smooth.

There seems to be a need to take a swipe at anything that Is cheap.  But the proof is in the eating and no doubt mine can be expertly dissected just as soon as some images Can be seen.

But for the moment the lens seems good value for what I paid, but the Opteka branded version from a US vendor seems three times The retail price that I paid plus the extra freight Is almost as much as my landed price to my door.

The main quirks are that the aperture ring has “odd” stops: 22-10-6-4.5-3.5-3-2.5-1.8 and it comes with a decent hood fitted with 72mm end cap.  The hood does come off and could be slipped over the lens body but not mounted reversed. The revues say that a 58mm lens cap could fit - not supplied.

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Tom Caldwell

OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

walter g1 wrote:

Tom,

Neewer 85mmf1.8 is a 6/6 design.

Opteka 85mm f1.8 is a 10/7 design.

There are also cheap 85mm f1.8 lenses with a 9/7 design.

Not doubting but the Opteka looks very similar apart from the colour of the ring and has the same odd numbered and spaced stops.  Perhaps out of the same factory with different optics?

One might wonder why these stops are rated differently. Closer to half stops?

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Tom Caldwell

OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

petrochemist wrote:

I believe I have the same focal reducer yet I've found most of the APSC lenses I've tried have not covered the sensor. The different sensor ratio probably being responsible.

It should be noted that 'APSC' is used for several different crop factors 1.5x (most of my APSC kit) 1.6x (Canon) & 1.7x (older Sigma)

I've only tried a few 1.5x with the reducer all of which clearly showed the inside of the hood.

Zero vignette with this lens and this focal reduction adapter on my M4/3 camera image.

I am off shortly to try and set the FR adapter to register infinity.

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Tom Caldwell

M_digicapt Senior Member • Posts: 3,138
Re: Sample images?

Tom Caldwell wrote:

M_digicapt wrote:

Sounds interesting! I also have the dumb EF to M43 focal reducer... does it sharpens up by F2.8? A sharp 60mm f2 would be great for portriats and night gatherings...

I am working on it as I have only had it one day. Seems sharp enough - I have to adjust the focal reducer as it focuses way before infinity. I find that FR adapters are not always perfect infinity even though they always work.

The lens seems sharp on lcd to my tin-eyes - even wide open - but I will have to get some off the camera to be more sure.

I did not look at the reviews being more intent in the opportunity of such a cheap lens that was also capable of being so fast. The reviews when read are so disappointing that even cheap would not be good enough. But the lens has been around for a while and maybe it has been tweaked since first released?

Things that I saw in reviews:

Aperture - the aperture stops on mine work fine.

Build quality - mine is good.

Focus action - mine is quite smooth.

There seems to be a need to take a swipe at anything that Is cheap. But the proof is in the eating and no doubt mine can be expertly dissected just as soon as some images Can be seen.

But for the moment the lens seems good value for what I paid, but the Opteka branded version from a US vendor seems three times The retail price that I paid plus the extra freight Is almost as much as my landed price to my door.

The main quirks are that the aperture ring has “odd” stops: 22-10-6-4.5-3.5-3-2.5-1.8 and it comes with a decent hood fitted with 72mm end cap. The hood does come off and could be slipped over the lens body but not mounted reversed. The revues say that a 58mm lens cap could fit - not supplied.

Thanks.

Maybe the simpler 6/6 renders differently...

In the US the Opteka 85mm costs $90 shipped. There's a chance that the cost of importing the lens to the US and then to Australia is the reason for the price you see.
The same thing happens here sometimes, some things are cheaper if ordered directly from China.

OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

walter g1 wrote:

Tom,

Neewer 85mmf1.8 is a 6/6 design.

Opteka 85mm f1.8 is a 10/7 design.

There are also cheap 85mm f1.8 lenses with a 9/7 design.

Not that I care that much but this Opteka thing has me a bit puzzled:

Looks like 6x6 in the illustration

It seems to be found at reduced prices when I look closer.  I can only find them in Nikon mount that might account for some small  weight discrepancies.  One vendor claims that they are full frame capable - all others just list the Nikon dslr bodies that they will mount on.

Visually they are the spitting image of the Kelda/Jintu/Neewer lens and hood apart from "Opteka" finishing.

The illustrated Optekas have the same crazy stops 22-10-6-4.5-3.5-3-2.5-1.8* and the same focus scale markings in feet and metres*.  They both have minimum focus distance of 0.85m.

The vendor I bought mine from is now advertising the Neewer at AUD$172 (free delivery) - which is a big jump from the price I bought mine. It is said to fit all EF mount dslr bodies (listed) but carefully notes that other than aps-c and it will vignette.  No such warning in the Opteka listing but only one listing intimates that it is a FF lens (see above).

*To add fuel one (only) Opteka for Nikon mount has the apertures scale as:

22-11-7.5-4-3.2-2.5-1.8 and a focus scale with similar spacing but with feet only markings. But otherwise they all look the same and all claim 10x7 optical construction.

I might wonder if there are actually two different Opteka lenses being sold but described as the same thing - if so the buyers must be getting pot-luck as to what is actually being delivered.

This basically "Kelda" lens has been around for a few years now and I wonder if there might have been running changes in the specification.

Opteka is just another re-brander like the others as far as I know.

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Tom Caldwell

OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
10 Sample images ... here y'are
3

Bear in mind I am using an RJ focal reduction adapter EF-M4/3

Panasonic GM5 camera body

Early test - almost no light  my eyes did not find it nearly this bright

A sort of "edges" test wide open bright sunlight

Stopped down to "f10"

jpg straight out of camera of course. No vignette.

I found that the camera was focusing infinity before the end stop - quite a bit.  So I tested both the plain and focal reduction adapters with an expensive "known good" lens - the adapters seemed ok.  So I have found a not terminal fault that justifies the very low price.  However and of course the focal reduction adapter can be adjusted for good infinity focus - which I did.  As I intend to use this lens as a very fast knockabout MF lens I will leave the adjusted FR adapter paired to it.  So from my point of view - I am happy with my purchase - even if it only has six elements in six groups. 

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Tom Caldwell

petrochemist Veteran Member • Posts: 3,096
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

Tom Caldwell wrote:

petrochemist wrote:

I believe I have the same focal reducer yet I've found most of the APSC lenses I've tried have not covered the sensor. The different sensor ratio probably being responsible.

It should be noted that 'APSC' is used for several different crop factors 1.5x (most of my APSC kit) 1.6x (Canon) & 1.7x (older Sigma)

I've only tried a few 1.5x with the reducer all of which clearly showed the inside of the hood.

Zero vignette with this lens and this focal reduction adapter on my M4/3 camera image.

I am off shortly to try and set the FR adapter to register infinity.

It may be that I tested mine with UWA/fisheye lenses that where close to the minimum coverage needed for APSC. There are quite a few 'APSC' lenses that can actually cover FF.

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M_digicapt Senior Member • Posts: 3,138
Re: 10 Sample images ... here y'are

The results look good.

OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

petrochemist wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

petrochemist wrote:

I believe I have the same focal reducer yet I've found most of the APSC lenses I've tried have not covered the sensor. The different sensor ratio probably being responsible.

It should be noted that 'APSC' is used for several different crop factors 1.5x (most of my APSC kit) 1.6x (Canon) & 1.7x (older Sigma)

I've only tried a few 1.5x with the reducer all of which clearly showed the inside of the hood.

Zero vignette with this lens and this focal reduction adapter on my M4/3 camera image.

I am off shortly to try and set the FR adapter to register infinity.

It may be that I tested mine with UWA/fisheye lenses that where close to the minimum coverage needed for APSC. There are quite a few 'APSC' lenses that can actually cover FF.

I have four Sigma DC (aps-c) lenses that I can focus reduce on M4/3  Only one gives a very faint vignette that you have to look hard to see.  One, a very wide zoom, will vignette the fixed hood petals at 4:3 format but when I switch the camera to the lens 3:2 format the hood vignette disappears.  I also two Pentax aps-c lenses - they also are ok.  As is the present Neewer lens.  But I do agree that there may be some lenses made for aps-c image circle that might vignette.  However focal reduction of “standard” aps-c (whatever that is) should give slightly more than an aps-c image circle on a 4/3 sensor.  Most lenses do have a little spare in their image circle. Not guaranteed of course.

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Tom Caldwell

OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Re: 10 Sample images ... here y'are

M_digicapt wrote:

The results look good.

Yes I am pleased - when we are not expecting much it is hard to be disappointed.  Note that infinity focus is at about 10 metres on the focus scale with a known good adapter (more a nuisance issue) - but I have been able to tune my focal reduction adapter to get infinity focus at infinity.

If it is of the RJ variety be aware that turning the adjustment anti-clockwise from the front can possibly screw off the cap holding the lens elements in place without adjusting the actual focal length.

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Tom Caldwell

petrochemist Veteran Member • Posts: 3,096
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

Tom Caldwell wrote:

walter g1 wrote:

Tom,

Neewer 85mmf1.8 is a 6/6 design.

Opteka 85mm f1.8 is a 10/7 design.

There are also cheap 85mm f1.8 lenses with a 9/7 design.

Not that I care that much but this Opteka thing has me a bit puzzled:

Looks like 6x6 in the illustration

Yes it looks like 6x6 but I suppose a few of the apparent elements could be a bonded group without the boundary between elements shown. Certainly no more than 6 groups.

It seems to be found at reduced prices when I look closer. I can only find them in Nikon mount that might account for some small weight discrepancies. One vendor claims that they are full frame capable - all others just list the Nikon dslr bodies that they will mount on.

Visually they are the spitting image of the Kelda/Jintu/Neewer lens and hood apart from "Opteka" finishing.

The illustrated Optekas have the same crazy stops 22-10-6-4.5-3.5-3-2.5-1.8* and the same focus scale markings in feet and metres*. They both have minimum focus distance of 0.85m.

FWIW those apertures fit well with a constant increase in aperture diameter (smallest 4mm then 5mm increase each stop till wide open which gets a bigger jump) rather than the more useful proportionate change. To give our usual stops each aperture diameter should be 1.4x the previous one.

The drawing does show a wider gap between f/1.8 & f/2.5 than for any of the other 'stops', so it looks to be more accurate than the optical elements suggested. Perhaps the wrong optical layout accidentally got overlaid on the lens drawing - I suspect that would be more likely to be missed than the wrong value being added to the specs.

An intriguing puzzle Tom, thanks for sharing it.

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QuietOC
QuietOC Veteran Member • Posts: 5,128
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt
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OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Re: Search for the cheap new aps-c to adapt

QuietOC wrote:

There's an "ugly" copy of the Opteka offered by KEH for $29: https://www.keh.com/shop/opteka-85mm-f-1-8-black-manual-aperture-manual-focus-lens-for-canon-ef-mount-55-1.html

Maybe a volunteer could buy this and pull it apart to see what the optical formula actually is?

I suspect that there might be two models made by the same firm each with the “unusual” stop values. Notably there are two series of them - one of them in the spitting image of the Kelda/Neewer/Jintu etc In Opteka livery which is undoubtedly (in my mind) the same lens as it has “everything” the same right down to the stop values, minimum focus distance, focus scale markings and significant gap to “f1.8”. This is presumably the 6x6 and is an aps-c lens. Must try it on my S1 to see if there is vignette.

The other (one listed Opteka only) has a different stop value scale, claims to be “FF” and has a different (10x7) optical scheme - something that is claimed by all vendors of the Opteka 85/1.8 whilst illustrating what is obviously a Kelda-based 6x6 which seems identical to my Neewer lens.

As this lens has been around for a while it may even be possible that the optical scheme has been updated as a result of the bad reviews it first received. My first impressions have been that this (Neewer) lens actually performs better than its street price and reputation might otherwise indicate.

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Tom Caldwell

OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Huh? Who said “aps-c”?
2

Just tried my new Neewer lens on the Panasonic S1 (FF) camera body.  No sign of vignette - this seems to be a full frame image circle lens.  It is a dumb MF lens on a dumb EF-L adapter so there is no chance (?) of the auto-crop feature of the camera being invoked - unless of course that there is some inner magic involved whereby the camera body can somehow detect a vignette when it sees one and trim it off

So the puzzle proliferates - is my Neewer one of the 10x7 optical bunch or have the vendors of the Kelda/Neewer/Jintu version become mixed up in their own rhetoric whilst warning that FF camera bodies will vignette and that the lens has a 6x6 optical formula.

Opteka claims 10x7 and make no mention of FF or aps-c, only one vendor claims that the Opteka version is FF capable.

To say that I am puzzled is very true as is to confess that I am happy with the lens nevertheless is also a fair assumption.

This also proves that the infinity focus is not quite precise as the apparent infinity is at the10 metre focus ring mark - just like the EF-M4/3 adapter. This is the last mark on the scale before infinity which is not a huge issue and probably could be adjusted out by adjusting the focus ring rather than by shimming - if I could be bothered.  This would mean that the extending lens would not be as fully retracted at infinity - which tends to indicate that the mount plate is really at issue.  The mount plate is screwed to the lens base so it is not a universal mount - meaning many plates could be used. Furthermore shimming could be done as a sandwich insert.

An image of the boundless clear blue Australian sky this beautiful autumn morning shows not even a hint of vignette on a FF sensor.

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Tom Caldwell

OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
The Kelda 85/1.8 EF mount updated

There is no doubt in my mind that the lens sold under various brand names as Neewer, Jintu, Kelda and Opteka is a lens made by Changchun Kaila Optronics who use the brand name “Kelda”. In fact my lens bought as a “Neewer” has no maker branding whatsoever and looks identical to a Kelda.  Images of the “Kelda” lens appear to be  unbranded as well. I am not sure if the lens sold as “Opteka” is branded.

I have already discussed what the correct lens formula might be - stated as 6 elements in six groups (6/6) as a Neewer the Opteka Version claims 10/7 but illustrates 6/6 in its promotional material diagram.

Looking at the reviews of the Kelda the Ephotozine one seems the most balanced.  Noting its cheap price not much is complained about other than a gritty focus action and odd aperture lettering. This review claims that the optical formula is 9/7 and states the weight to be 385 gm - I weighed mine and with caps and hood it came to 380 gm which seems within reasonable tolerances.  The review seemed to indicate acceptable quality and good value.  Indirectly from another review (Meike 85/1.8) by the same source of weight 372 gm this weight was considered quite reasonable for such a lens.

There is another review by “NPS” (National Photographic Society)  which I have discounted simply because it is so similar to make it seem to have plagiarised the Ephotozine review.

The Review by “Trusted Reviews” seems more intent on finding a way to not like the lens because it is cheap. One might wonder if each reviewer were checking the same lens.  It was found to have unacceptable Chromic Aberration and lacked Sharpness and was front heavy (unacceptably heavy), the aperture action was stiff but although sold as an aps-c capable lens the angle of view claimed was good enough for FF sensor use.  Noted that the optical formula in this review was stated to be 6/6.

The lens was first marketed in 2015 and the two reviews seem to be so far apart that I might wonder if the reviewers were talking about the same lens.

My image samples and my experience indicates that the lens is not a bad performer the weight is reasonable for what it is the focus action is very smooth and well damped (not at all “gritty”) and the aperture also works smoothly with soft tactile definite feel click stops that are silent-action.  Mine was sold as “aps-c 6/6” but handles FF with no sign of vignette.

The mystery of the exact optical formula remains - is it 6/6 or 10/7 (or even 9/7?)  I am not willing to open up my perfectly good lens that I am more than happy with just to resolve this issue.  These formulas are quite different.  The only one published by a diagram seems to be the illustrated 6/6 which Opteka claimed to be 10/7.

I cannot explain the poor review and reasonably good review of the “same“ lens.  My present (wild) guess is that maybe the lens was first released as 6/6 but was revised - therefore the 6/6 formula was not working well and there were other teething issues.

This was replaced (seems incredible) by a new optical set 10/7 or 9/7 which not only improved the performance but could be done without any apparent change in the exterior design (might this be possible?).  Also why market it as an aps-c lens when it seem a quite capable FF lens?

It seems that there has been quite a lot lost in the translation between engineering and marketing and just why remains a mystery.

From my point of view the one I have is a quite capable, well built and very low priced, good buy.  I don’t care that much just what the optical formula is but if 6/6 is not sophisticated enough for good images then surely it has a 10/7 (or 9/7) optical formula inside.  Which leads to the curiosity - was there some worry that the optics were rather close to someone else’s design that it has been promoted as 6/6 (and aps-c) to throw in a red herring or two? Nobody is going to know for sure without a lens tear-down and the reviewers must just accept the specification as they are told.

Cheap, acceptable build, images well, and a bit of a mystery.

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Tom Caldwell

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