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Old Jul 5, 2007, 6:49 PM   #1
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After my favoable experience with the Tamron Tele-Macro Zoom in the Pentax mount, and having nothing comparable for my Minolta system, I decided to give the Minolta 10-210 f/4 a try. This is a long discontinued constant aperture lens which has lately acquired cult status as "the beercan", selling like hotcakes on ebay at nearly twice the original selling price. Our second crop of Monarch caterpillars are growing rapidly, so I decided to do a comparison, using the Sigma 180 macro APOas a benchmark. This was not intended as a lab bench or resolution chart controlled comparison, but rather as a real world trial, using the lenses hand held as they would be in the field, with fill flash, AF & SR on. By the time I got to the Tamron, the caterpillar had chewed down the end of his leaf to the point that hehad backed up to where his "pose" was no longer comparable, and the weak early morning light had increased, but to be consistent, I continued to use the flash. (The caterpillar is head down on the hanging leaf.)

Let me know what you think.

"The Beercan" @210mm, Maxxum 7D, hand held, fill flash.

Edit: Caterpillar lengthabout 1 1/2" (35 - 40mm)
Lens to subject distance about 3 1/2 - 4 feet (1 - 1.2m)

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Old Jul 5, 2007, 6:51 PM   #2
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Sigma 180 macro APO, Maxxum 5D, hand held, fill flash
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Old Jul 5, 2007, 6:56 PM   #3
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Tamron 70-300 @ 180mm, Pentax K10D, hand held, fill flash
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Old Jul 6, 2007, 5:39 PM   #4
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It looks as if you have another good way to to take excellent macro shots. The real-world test gave good results and in that condition it's hard to tell differences in lens quality among the three, for me at least.
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Old Jul 6, 2007, 9:33 PM   #5
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Can we presume that you cropped the images for posting here, rather than resized them?

Cropping would preserve the sharpness of the original image, but resizing would discard detail in favor of preserving the entire image.
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Old Jul 7, 2007, 5:42 PM   #6
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Areasonable question - I did crop out extraneous background, but the images were still too large to fit the guidelines for posting, so I reduced them, downsizing them appropriately for fitting the IE window on my monitor without scrolling. Originals were taken in jpeg format (no RAW), with minimal post processing (but no Photoshop).

Thanks for asking.
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Old Jul 7, 2007, 8:11 PM   #7
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Unfortunately, there are too many uncontrolled variables here for this to be a meaningful comparison.

First, the Maxxum 7D and 5D both have 6MP image sensors, but the Pentax K10D has a 10MP image sensor. The image from the K10D would contain greater detail than the images from the Maxxums. (Systematic Error)

Second, the first shot was taken at 210mm while the other two were taken at 180mm. The image from the 7D would have a greater magnification that the others. (Systematic Error)

Third, the images were reduced, probably not uniformly. (Random Error)

Sorry, if this sounds harsh, but I'm an analyst and former metrologist. I can't help but examine systems and try to find flaws in them, and measurement systems hold a special place in my heart.

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Old Jul 8, 2007, 11:56 AM   #8
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nice shots
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Old Jul 8, 2007, 1:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
This was not intended as a lab bench or resolution chart controlled comparison, but rather as a real world trial, using the lenses hand held as they would be in the field
I don't think many people havethese 3 lenses, and thoughtit would be of interest to have similar images from each. I think it should have been clear fromfrom the abovestatement at the top of this thread that this was a "rough" test -there was no intention to produce anything that would stand up to that kind of critical analysis. Additional explanation should not be necessary, but the questions have been raised. These are the lenses I have, and the cameras I have, and all I wanted to do was to see whether each of the telemacros would be equally useful in the close up range. I do not have the lenses in the same mount so obviously could not use them on the same body, nor do I have duplicate bodies - I took already mounted lenses so I would not lose additional time changing lenses (when you are photographing living subjects in a comparison, you want them in the same place and position, and they can move if you delay too longbetween shots), nor risk introducing outdoor dust into the bodies unnecessarily. The beercan does not have a marked 180 setting, so rather than introduce an unknown by approximating, I chose the nearest marked setting - and so reported. Pictures were taken at similar resolution and reduced to 640 pixel height and posted at 72 dpi to make them as comparable as possible.

Anyway, enjoy the images.

Thanks Jdar and Jolly for the positive comments

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Old Jul 10, 2007, 8:52 AM   #10
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TCav wrote:
Quote:
Unfortunately, there are too many uncontrolled variables here for this to be a meaningful comparison.
I think it's clear from this test thata caterpillar is still ugly regardless of lens quality or camera brand/model.

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