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Old May 16, 2004, 7:18 AM   #1
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This is the first installment of my converter lens test reports for the FZ-10.

In a process to understand which converter lens can deliver the best result used with the Panasonic FZ-10, I am doing a reasonably extensive field testing. I have Sony VCL HGD1758 1.7X, Olympus TCON-17 1.7X, Minolta ACT-100 1.5X, Olympus TCON-14B 1.45X and Canon TL-55 in hand, and want to determine the best fit of these five teleconverters. I also want to know if the FZ-10 35-420mm F2.8 lens of the FZ-10 can compete against the Nikon 5700 plus TC-E15ED (which is also 420mm). The following is one of my initial tests. THESE TESTS ONLY SHOW THE IMAGE QUALITY OF THE TELECONVERTERS AND THE FZ-10 COMBO AT THEIR MINIMUM WORKING DISTANCE, AND DO NOT IMPLY THE INDIVIDUAL LENS' IMAGE QUALITY BECAUSE THE TESTED LENSES MAY NOT DELIVER THE BEST RESULTS WHEN USED WITH THE FZ-10.

For each converter, the camera is setup to cover the width of a local newspaper. The camera has ISO set to 50 to to minimize noise. The aperture was F5.6 to get maximum sharpness and at the same time avoid diffraction. Moreover, since the subject has white color, exposure compensation is set to +2/3 stop. The shutter speed, which is selected by the camera in the aperture-priority (A) mode, was either 1/50 or 1/60. Other image processing settings are: white balance: Auto, Color Effect: Off, Picture Adjustment: Contrast/low, Sharpness/Lowl, and Saturation/Std.

The following is the center and upper-left portions taken with the Sony VCL HGD1758.
[img]http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/FORUM/F...e/X-Sony17.jpg[/img]
and the following is by Olympus TCON-17:
[img]http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/FORUM/F.../X-TCON-17.jpg[/img]
From these two images, we learn that the Sony 1.7X is sharper with higher contrast than the TCON-17 in the center; but, performs not as good in the corner (i.e., upper left). In fact, the Sony 1.7X is too soft and blurred compared with the TCON-17. The TCON-17 has higher contrast; but, chromatic aberration in the form of purple and greenish fringes seems higher with the TCON-17 than the Sony 1.7X.

The following are the results of Minolta ACT-100 1.5X and Olympus TCON-14B 1.45X:
[img]http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/FORUM/F...ta-ACT-100.jpg[/img]
[IMG]http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/FORUM/F...-14B-1.45X.jpg[/IMG]
It is obvious that the TCON-14B is sharper than the Minolta 1.5X in the center, because each of the letters obtained with the TCON-14B has a much higher and clearer definition than that of the Minolta 1.5X. At the corner, the Minolta 1.5X performs very similar to the center portion with some degrading in sharpness. The TCON-14B is not as good as the Minolta at the corner. Chromatic aberration in the form of purple and greenish fringes can easily be seen and sharpness is also not as good as the Minolta 1.5X. In fact, as far as the corner performance is concerned, the Minolta 1.5X is the best, although it is not as good as the others at the center.

The following is the result of the Canon TL-55 1.4X
[IMG]http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/FORUM/F...Canon-TL55.jpg[/IMG]
In terms of center sharpness, the TL-55 is slightly worse than that of the TCON-14B due to lower contrast; but, it is better than the Minolta 1.5X. Unfortunately, the TL-55 has a poor corner performance that is only better than the Sony 1.7X. But, the contrast of the TL-55 is lower than that of the Sony 1.7X. In practice, this lower contrast may put the TL-55 and Sony 1.7X at the same level with the Sony 1.7X having a slight edge (due to higher contrast).

From the above, here is my tentative conclusion:
Center: Sony 1.7X > {TCON-14B = TCON-17} > Canon TL-55 > Minolta 1.5X
Corner: Minolta 1.5X > {TCON-17 slightly> TCON-14B} > {Sony 1.7X = Canon TL-55}

Since the Nikon 5700/8700 plus Nikon TC-E15ED is also a 420mm capable cam, it would be interesting to know if the 5700+TC-E15ED can compete against FZ-10's Leica lens favorably. Note that this comparison may not give you too much meaningful information because the FZ-10 is a 4mp camera while the Nikon 5700 is a 5mp one. But, one can still deduce some information from this comparison. THE NIKON COMBO USES F5.9 AND 1/104 SEC AT ISO 100, EXPOSURE COMPENSATION +2/3 STOP, SHARPNESS OFF, SATURATION OFF AND IMAGE ADJUSTMENT STANDARD. NOTE THAT THE NIKON COMBO HAS A MUCH SHORTER MINIMUM WORKING DISTANCE. THE FOLLOWING NIKON SHOT WAS TAKEN AT THE SAME POSITION AS THE FZ-10. In the following,
the first is obtained by the FZ-10 with the lens zoomed all the way in at 420mm, and the second is taken with the 5700 plus TC-E15ED 1.5X (also at 420mm).
[IMG]http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/FORUM/F...FZ-10-lens.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/FORUM/F...00-TCE15ED.jpg[/IMG]
From these images, it is clear that the contrast of the FZ-10 on-camera lens has lower contrast than that of the 5700+TCE15ED. The FZ-10 on-camera lens also appears to be sharper than 5700+TCE15ED even though its contrast is lower. This is a great achievement of the Leica lens. On the other hand, the corner portion of this Leica lens has some problems. Please notice the tonality difference between the corner and center images. It is, IMO, huge! The sharpness between the FZ-10 and 5700+TCE15ED look like about the same. However, the Nikon combo has a much higher contrast, yielding a impression of sharpness. Moreover, the Nikon combo has little or even no chromatic aberration while the FZ-10 Leica lens does show some slight purple and greenish fringes.

NOTE THAT THE SOFTNESS OF THE NIKON COMBO MAY ALSO BE DUE TO THE LOW SHARPENING SETTING.

In summary, I believe the Leica 350-420mm lens at 420mm has an edge over the Nikon 5700+TCE15ED combo even though the latter is a 5mp camera when the working distance is near the minimum.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 User Guide


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Old May 16, 2004, 7:49 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting your tests onthe teleconverters Shene it provides useful information for people wishing to purchase a teleconverter to use with the FZ10.

How were these teleconverter lenses mounted on the FZ10, did you attach them via the FZ10 hood or did you use various adapters?

I have seen other postings in relation to the Canon TL-55 whereby people were getting differing results and wondered whether the type of adapter they used was having an effect on image quality.

Harryo








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Old May 16, 2004, 8:54 AM   #3
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Thanks for sharing.

Have you checked the light loss from the various converters? The aperture/shutter compared to the same target and light without the converter might be a rough guide.

Could you link a full sized shot so we can see how far in the corner blurring extends?

Not sure why your images aren't linking ( at least they aren't on my browser). They look right. Usually if the target site isn't sending them right you get a box with a red X. So something seems to be wrong on this end. Maybe HTML is off for some reason. I'll try one to see if they come out the same.

TEST



TEST




EDIT: Not sure what I'm doing differently from you except that I normally use lower case for the "img" – should work either way. The first is with and the second without the .jpg at the end of the address. Evidently your site sends it either way.
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Old May 16, 2004, 3:13 PM   #4
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Harryo wrote:
Quote:
How were these teleconverter lenses mounted on the FZ10, did you attach them via the FZ10 hood or did you use various adapters?
I used PD62. A 62-58 step-down ring for the Sony VCL HGD1758, a 62-55 step-down ring for the TCON-17 and Canon TL-55, and a 62-49 step-down ring for the Minolta ACT-100.

Harryo wrote:
Quote:
I have seen other postings in relation to the Canon TL-55 whereby people were getting differing results and wondered whether the type of adapter they used was having an effect on image quality.
This flat surface test is the most challenging because it can easily reveal various problems at the corners (e.g., chromatic aberraion, softness and light fall-off). The Canon performed respectfully given its lower cost. However, if we categorize each test (i.e., center, corner, etc), it is only somewhere near the top as it could not get a top rating in some category.

Note that this test only involves B/W subject. My other on-going tests will include other factors.

CK

http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam

Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 User Guide


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Old May 16, 2004, 3:21 PM   #5
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slipe wrote:
Quote:
Have you checked the light loss from the various converters? The aperture/shutter compared to the same target and light without the converter might be a rough guide.

Could you link a full sized shot so we can see how far in the corner blurring extends?
Both light loss and light fall-off are insignificant. Normally, the camera will just vary the shutter speed a little when changing/removing(given a fixed aperture). So, I am not worrying about that. The images shown in my original post do not show significant light fall-off either (i.e., center and cornor portions show essentially equal brightness). Since this test was done under sun light that fluctuated a little during the course of testing, I purposely hide this (non-essential) information. Inthe final post (at my site), this will be done in the studio with artificial light.

CK

http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam

Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 User Guide


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