Monday, 2015-11-09

A small lens test

I was bored one night so I’d thought I’d check just how flare-y my 70s era 35mm ƒ/1.4 Nikkor is for point light sources.

So it’s off to Slussen where I captured the rain-soaked ambiance of the Big City.

(All images below link to full-size JPGs.)

As expected, the 35 wide open has coma galore:

small version of NI35_1.4
35mm ƒ/1.4 N @ ƒ/1.4

But stop it down to ƒ/2, and it cleans up nicely.

small version of NI35_2.0
35mm ƒ/1.4 N @ ƒ/2.0

Compare with a much more modern lens, the Cosina-Voigtländer Ultron 40mm ƒ/2. This is a lens with at least one aspheric element, modern coatings, but also built with constraints in mind (compactness):

small version of CV40_F2.0
CV40 @ ƒ/2.0

Here are both lenses at ƒ/5.6:

small version of NI35_5.6
35mm ƒ/1.4 @ ƒ/5.6

small version of CV40_F5.6
CV40 @ ƒ/5.6

Some observations….

It’s clear Nikon designed the 35 as a general-purpose PJ lens, where you used it wide open at night when you really had to. It’s remarkably compact with a 52mm filter size and doesn’t really give anything up stopped down.

The images are basically straight out of camera. The warm cast in the 35mm images are from the yellowing of its radioactive thorium lens element.

Focus was on the construction sign by the stop sign in the middle of the image.

Exposure was 1/60 @ ƒ/1.4 and ISO 400 (EV 7).