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Thread: Phase One 28mm vs. Schneider 28mm vs. Rodenstock 32HR

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    Phase One 28mm vs. Schneider 28mm vs. Rodenstock 32HR



    As promised we have completed a real world test of the 28mm LS lens.

    You can download the 100% JPG files and request the raw files on our Phase One test blog.

    It took a little longer than expected, partly because of weather. But also because our initial tests showed more improvement than we were expecting from the 28D, so we wanted to bring in a second copy of the 28D to test against. This 28D performed better especially in the corners (our first copy is going in for tweaking as a result). This test was done against the better performing 28mm lens.

    We discussed the lens with a lens expert at Team Phase One and the new 28mm LS lens is "based on the existing 28mm construction, but with several optimizations. This includes design changes to air-gaps between lens elements, the process regarding lens element placement and adjustment of the lens elements has been optimized, so that centering is better than ever. This has resulted in improved performance, especially in corner sharpness."

    This is reminiscent of the 45mm D vs. non-D lens release. Wherein the absolute best copies of the 45mm were close in quality to the 45mm D, but the D has exhibited much less sample variation.

    More than anything this test shows how difficult it can be to compare complex severe-retrofocus lenses to each other, something Lloyd Chambers amongst others has pointed out (I believe in his review of the 12-24mm). At f/11 it was difficult to get the entire frame sharp on either lens (on a 60mp 6 micron back), with minute focusing differences changing whether the corners or edges were tact sharp. This situation improved at f/16 and f/16.5 but both apertures show diffraction.

    The posted files are only a few of the dozen or so comparisons we shot. The 28D in the files shown in the test was moderately better in the extreme corners, but significantly weaker at the edges and mid-outer sections of the image. Overall (from both these specific files and the other testing we've done) I'd give a decent edge to the 28mm LS, and with a legitimate reason to expect lower sample variation, and the addition of flash sync at 1/1600th and lower tripod/head requirements and better hand hold ability due to use of LS shutter (FP still fires, but timing is such that less FP vibration is felt during the LS exposure) I'd say the 28LS will be popular among our DF based landscape shooters.

    Notably the frame sharpness within the 1.1 crop of a P45+ size sensor and within the 1.3 crop of a P40+ was really good. On the full frame sensors it seems prudent to stop down to f/11.5 to f/16.5 to insure more even sharpness throughout the frame.

    The Rodenstock 32mm HR out performed either 28mm lens. No surprise to those who use a tech camera. It was also a shocking reminder of just how sharp these Rodenstock wides are wide-open. If I have time today I will post the f/5.6 frame from the 32HR - it's shockingly good for a super wide angle that wide-open.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Phase One 28mm vs. Schneider 28mm vs. Rodenstock 32HR

    Great test Doug and the tech setup showing its supremacy.

    Very difficult to get consistent results with such tight focus tolerances and could explain what I'm seeing but to my eyes I'm not see any improvement over the old 28D? While the centre does seem a tiny bit sharper the edges of the frame look worse and rather than just being soft (something that can be sharpened) they are all smudgy like an over shifted tech lens.......... looks pretty ugly. Even the colour rendering is identical which, regardless of what Phase lead us to believe point to the exact same Mamiya lens as old but at the much higher Schneider cost.

    Real shame.
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    Re: Phase One 28mm vs. Schneider 28mm vs. Rodenstock 32HR

    The Rodenstock 28mm HR is also stunning wide open. I was amazed when I tried it at F5.6. I had read in the Rodenstock literature on lens design how they claimed to design the HR series to be mainly used in the F5.6 to F11 range and how they felt that the lenses would perform very well wide open. (check out the PDF downloadable from Rodenstock where they talk about the design qualities of the HR series)

    After shooting and owning 3 different versions of the Mamiya 28mm D lens I knew all about it's limitations i.e soft to not useable in the corners wide open to F8 and needing to be stopped down to F16 even F20 to get good sharpness. I never really felt the older P45+ had diffractions issues at F20, but the IQ160 showed them. The performance of the 28mm Rodenstock still impresses me. I never got to try the Schneider 28mm.

    Thanks to Doug for posting the test results.

    Paul

    Paul

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    Re: Phase One 28mm vs. Schneider 28mm vs. Rodenstock 32HR

    I was surperized by how good the rodenstock 32 and 23 mm performed on the techno, both were very sharp. I use f8-11 on the landscape shots (used to use f16).

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