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I will be able to test Actar 90 and 120 soon. What to test ? Anyone is interested ?

Hemmi

Member
Hi,

I'm getting Actus GFX, Actar 90 and Actar 120 soon. I will test both lens but will buy only one of them for now.

I've heard Actar 90 is quite good. But there are no reviews on Actar 120 at all. I only came across a couple of comments of people saying Actar 120 is soft.

I would like to compare Actar 120 to Schneider Apo Digitar 120M, because my Cambo dealer says it's got the same quality as the Schneider and it's Macro. But I don't have Schneider and don't know anyone around me who could share it for the tests.

What's the best way to test Actar 120, to be able to draw any solid conclusions about its performance compared to Schneider Apo Digitar 120M, without being able to test both at the same time ?

Also, if you want me to test anything specific about Actar 90 & 120 let me know.
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
In Schneider lenses, the 120mm focal length gets quite crowded. The ones I've discovered are these:
  • Schneider Kreuznach Apo-Componon HM 120mm f/5.6. This is an enlarger lens.
  • Schneider Kreuznach Apo-Digitar N 120mm f/5.6. This is one of three kinds of "Digitar" lenses. I compared the lens data for the Apo-Componon HM 120/5.6 and the Apo-Digitar N 120/5.6. The lens block diagram and data for the two lenses appear to be identical. In other words, I think the Digitar is an Apo-Componon HM in a different housing, perhaps with some non-obvious adjustments in the coatings.
  • Schneider Kreuznach Makro-Symmar 120mm f/5.6. This comes in a variety of flavours, including in Copal, Comput and Prontor shutters, B-0 iris mount (looks like an enlarger lens mount), and the industrial variant I use (labelled Makro-Iris, aperture f/5.9, and availabile in multiple variants optimized for different subject distances).
  • Schneider Kreuznach Apo-Digitar M 120mm f/5.6. I've been told that this is based on the Makro-Symmar, with some attention to the cover glass over the sensor. I don't have independent confirmation of that though so take it with a grain of salt.
  • Schneider Kreuznach Apo-Digitar ASPH 120mm f/5.6. This seems to be its own design; I don't know much about this one, but people who have it seem impressed.
What does that mean for your situation? If the Actar 120 is based on an Apo-Digitar N (which we don't know for sure, but that's where my money would be placed if we were betting), then your Actar 120 will be a good general purpose lens. It won't be spectacular wide open, but you should get good results at f/8. Infinity performance should be good. At actual macro distances (1:1 magnification), it should be decent (and might be better reversed).

Now if the Apo-Digitar M 120 120/5.6 is based on the Makro-Symmar, then you should expect extremely good performance at design distances from wide-open. Mine is phenomenal wide-open at under 2m. It's bad outside of the central part of the frame past 2m until f/11, at which point it becomes excellent across the frame even at infinity.

Your Actar 90 should be an excellent performer. The 90mm focal length also is quite crowded, and no two lenses appear to be exactly the same -- although all seem to be close cousins. I'm referring to the Apo-Componon HM 90/4.5 enlarger lens, the Apo-Digitar 90/4.5, and the industrial mount versions (of which Schneider made multiple variants for different subject distances). Mine is a Type -0024 Makro-Iris variant, and I'm extremely happy with its performance from wide open at close distances and at infinity. I have not tested it at high magnifications, but I think it will be good because it was designed for scanning circuit boards.

It's a bit of a mugs game to try to figure out "the best" lens when you don't have them all in your hand. Why not shoot the ones you have against the scenes you're planning to use them for and determine if you'll be happy?

+++

UPDATE: Cambo describes the Actar 120 as a "macro" lens with 6 elements. The Makro-Symmar lens has 8 elements, while the Apo-Digitar and Apo-Componon HM are both 6 elements (but neither is a "macro" lens, precisely speaking). My money is still staying on Apo-Digitar N cells or Apo-Componon HM cells. ;)
 
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vvince

Member
Hello,

I am definitely interested, mostly in the Actar 90mm.

What I would be interested to know : how does the lens behave for
- table top shooting (focus at close distance 1-3m, F8 - F11) ? Cambo advices the 90mm for table top, so one would expect it to perform very well...
- landscape (focus at infinity, F5.6 - F11). How large is the image circle, for stitching?
- portrait (3-5m, F5.6 - F11). How are the out of focus areas? How many blades for the diaphragm?

And if you have a Fuji GF lens, how is the sharpness of the Actar in comparison to the GF?

I have the Actar 60mm, and if anyone is interested in this one I could also provide some infos.

Cheers
Vvince
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
If the Actar-90 is a Schneider Kreuznach Apo Digitar or Apo-Componon, it should be excellent for all the purposes you listed Vince.

My lens is sharp from wide open. I almost never shoot lenses wide open, but I would use this one at f/4.5. By f/5.6 it's arguably as good as it gets. Performance at infinity is superb, as is up-close. The image circle is enormous. At f/11 I can shift it 30mm in landscape on my GFX 50R (but this is pushing it). I'd say 20mm on the long edge on a 33mm x 44mm sensor is more realistic for best quality. See for yourself. There's a flat stitched panorama shifted 20mm at infinity here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1eV6BBuI1SC0zaGb3_NKxXFdJsmQISLYW?usp=sharing

My copy is in the Makro-Iris industrial mount, so it has 5 blades that are curved inwards. The enlarger versions have five blades too, but curved outwards, which makes a weird shape I don't like. Schneider made a lot of different versions for industrial purposes. Mine is a Type -0024, which seems to be the most common one on eBay at the moment. Others were optimized for closer or farther distances.

I'm not your guy for comments on the quality of the out of focus areas. However, from looking at some samples where background blur is prominent, I'm not seeing anything unpleasant (e.g., jittery/nervous).
 

Alkibiades

Active member
If the Actar-90 is a Schneider Kreuznach Apo Digitar or Apo-Componon, it should be excellent for all the purposes you listed Vince.

My lens is sharp from wide open. I almost never shoot lenses wide open, but I would use this one at f/4.5. By f/5.6 it's arguably as good as it gets. Performance at infinity is superb, as is up-close. The image circle is enormous. At f/11 I can shift it 30mm in landscape on my GFX 50R (but this is pushing it). I'd say 20mm on the long edge on a 33mm x 44mm sensor is more realistic for best quality. See for yourself. There's a flat stitched panorama shifted 20mm at infinity here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1eV6BBuI1SC0zaGb3_NKxXFdJsmQISLYW?usp=sharing

My copy is in the Makro-Iris industrial mount, so it has 5 blades that are curved inwards. The enlarger versions have five blades too, but curved outwards, which makes a weird shape I don't like. Schneider made a lot of different versions for industrial purposes. Mine is a Type -0024, which seems to be the most common one on eBay at the moment. Others were optimized for closer or farther distances.

I'm not your guy for comments on the quality of the out of focus areas. However, from looking at some samples where background blur is prominent, I'm not seeing anything unpleasant (e.g., jittery/nervous).
thanks for sharing the pics- the lens could not be better.
I have the apo digitars 80,90 and 100 mm and i tested them on the new 100 MP sensor and even there they deliver perfect results. I found the apo digitar 100 at the corners the best, in the center they are on the same level.
Apo Digitar or Apo-Componon- they all are absolutly worth the little money that they costs.
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
thanks for sharing the pics- the lens could not be better.
I have the apo digitars 80,90 and 100 mm and i tested them on the new 100 MP sensor and even there they deliver perfect results. I found the apo digitar 100 at the corners the best, in the center they are on the same level.
Apo Digitar or Apo-Componon- they all are absolutly worth the little money that they costs.
Cheers! I'm really happy with it. It's small, light, shifts well, has good contrast and is extremely sharp. I used a BV to LTM (39mm x 1/26th") adapter, so it fits on the same board I use with the Apo-Componon HM 60/4.
 

vvince

Member
If the Actar-90 is a Schneider Kreuznach Apo Digitar or Apo-Componon, it should be excellent for all the purposes you listed Vince.

My lens is sharp from wide open. I almost never shoot lenses wide open, but I would use this one at f/4.5. By f/5.6 it's arguably as good as it gets. Performance at infinity is superb, as is up-close. The image circle is enormous. At f/11 I can shift it 30mm in landscape on my GFX 50R (but this is pushing it). I'd say 20mm on the long edge on a 33mm x 44mm sensor is more realistic for best quality. See for yourself. There's a flat stitched panorama shifted 20mm at infinity here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1eV6BBuI1SC0zaGb3_NKxXFdJsmQISLYW?usp=sharing

My copy is in the Makro-Iris industrial mount, so it has 5 blades that are curved inwards. The enlarger versions have five blades too, but curved outwards, which makes a weird shape I don't like. Schneider made a lot of different versions for industrial purposes. Mine is a Type -0024, which seems to be the most common one on eBay at the moment. Others were optimized for closer or farther distances.

I'm not your guy for comments on the quality of the out of focus areas. However, from looking at some samples where background blur is prominent, I'm not seeing anything unpleasant (e.g., jittery/nervous).
Thank you very much Rob for sharing the pics and information.
Your lens looks really good, with full shift capabilities (20mm on the Actus).
However I am not sure if the Actar 90mm is based on your Schneider lens : look at this thread

Cheers
Vvince
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
Only Cambo knows for sure, and they're not telling. ;) I wish they would, to be honest, because that would make it easier to make informed choices.

The only other 60mm f/4 I'm aware of that has a larger image circle than the Apo-Componon 60mm f/4 is the Rodenstock Rodagon-WA 60mm f/4. It's a good lens when you close it down to its optimum aperture range of f/8 to f/11, and the larger image circle is nice.
 
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