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Thread: More on the Hartblei T/S

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    More on the Hartblei T/S

    So we've all seen the posts of fuzzy shots from this lens, noticed that it is late arriving and that it doesn't feature at all in the current Phase special offers. We've also seen the post here quoting Phase's lens tech guys saying that the fuzzy edges are within tolerance.

    I, however, have a clear memory of a shot that Michael Reichmann had on his review of the lens (a shot that is no longer there but I am really quite sure about this) which demonstrated the lens as being reasonably sharp to the corner.

    So I bought a S/H one at my dealers the other day having tested it and found it not perfect by a long shot, but better than the loaner Phase version I had, and by a long shot.

    And I am really growing to like it. Over large parts of the frame, and as long as stopped down to the F8-11 range, it's pretty damned good.... sort of authoritative in its drawing. So here are some examples including a direct comparison to the edge performance of the loaner I had.

    First, a centre crop at F11 ISO 100 1/25th Sec, tripod MUP to show what I mean about 'authoritative drawing':

    Attachment 11413

    Now two strips from about centre to left hand edge. The first I have posted before and is the shot at F5.6 from the loaner version I had. The second is an almost identical shot but with the S/H lens I just bought, same aperture.
    Attachment 11415
    Attachment 11414

    Very interesting. This lens is a little unsharp at the right hand edge even at F11 but nothing terrible and I totally think it's useable with a bit if care - and it was about 15% of the price of a new one. I also think this means that when Phase have got the QC issues sorted, there will be a perfectly viable TS solution for use on the Phamiya body - and that has to be good news!

    Tim

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    And here just for reference is the F11 shot full frame followed by a 100% crop from bottom left then from far right ...
    Attachment 11416


    Attachment 11417


    Attachment 11418
    Last edited by tashley; 30th January 2009 at 03:15.

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    FWIW, here are some shots from the Schneider PCS lens on a Rollei, shot on film and then scanned.

    Not sure how they will look - the crops are from a big jpg file. They are better in TIFF, and print nicely to 20" square without issue, to be sure.

    It is film, however, not digital.
    Last edited by Geoff; 5th March 2013 at 04:39.

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    one more
    Last edited by Geoff; 24th July 2012 at 15:42.

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Tashley,

    When you mentioned you bought a S/H, are you referring to the original Hartblei Super Rotator 45mmF3.5? Or is it the original Hartblei 45mm PCS lens? I would think that the Mamiya 645 55mm SHift PCS and the Rollei Schneider 55mm PCS lens would both be better at the edges over the Hartblei. An inexpensive approach would be the Mamiya 645 55mm shift PCS or the Ukrainian 55mmF4.5 Arsat PCS. This lens was designed and built as a PCS lens. It is very sharp at the outer edges, however it has a slight Yellow tinge cast.

    Geoff those files form the Schneider lens are sharp and nice.Maybe an attempt to find one of these Schneider 55mm PCS and have it converted would be nice option.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    It's the Super Rotator 45mm F3.5

    If you can suggest somewhere I can find out mroe about (or even buy) the Mamiya Shifter or the Arsat I'd appreciate it.... google has a thousand leads to nowhere!

    Best

    T

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Tashley,

    Are you located in the US? If so KEH has both the Mamiya 645 55mm Shift PCS lens in ther mamiya 645 Section. I believe that within that same section under 3rd Party Optics, you would the Arsat 55mm PCS.
    Try KEH first, as they have a Return Policy. That way you can test out the optics.
    Remember these lenses are strictly Shift without TILT.

    Your Hartblei 45mm Super Rotator, I'm guessing that its a NEW lens? I am somewhat surprise that i still available, as they were a limited product.
    If you are able to located the Hartblei 65mm T/S that they made, it would be a better performer then the 45mm version. I had one that busted the front lens mount of my Mamiya 645 body. Again, this was a limited production lens.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Quote Originally Posted by Evanjoe610 View Post
    Tashley,

    Are you located in the US? If so KEH has both the Mamiya 645 55mm Shift PCS lens in ther mamiya 645 Section. I believe that within that same section under 3rd Party Optics, you would the Arsat 55mm PCS.
    Try KEH first, as they have a Return Policy. That way you can test out the optics.
    Remember these lenses are strictly Shift without TILT.

    Your Hartblei 45mm Super Rotator, I'm guessing that its a NEW lens? I am somewhat surprise that i still available, as they were a limited product.
    If you are able to located the Hartblei 65mm T/S that they made, it would be a better performer then the 45mm version. I had one that busted the front lens mount of my Mamiya 645 body. Again, this was a limited production lens.
    Hiya, and thanks for the info!

    My lens is a reasonable (but not perfect) condition second hand lens. I snapped it up despite it's not being perfect because these lenses are famous for high sample variation and actually this one seems pretty good. They almost never come up for sale second hand.

    After some research I've seen that the Mamiya shifter does appear at reasonable prices on eBay quite often so I think I'll stick with the Hartblei for now. I have a proper tech camera with glass arriving soon for serious tilt/shift work so the Hartblei can just stay in my bag for more casual or opportunistic use. I think I can easily work around its little weak spot!

    Tim

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Even better news on this second hand Hartblei: Capture One 4.6 has lens corrections for the Phase version of the lens that work really well on the 'old' version that I have and when you apply them (and there are full options for amount and angle of tilts and shift) they correct the image's mild distortion and in the process automatically slightly re-crop the frame. You end up with a file with slightly larger pixel dimensions (I think because of the math of the interpolations in the lens corrections, it goes from a standard 7216 x 5412 to in this example 7322 x 5491) but, and this is the good bit, a very slight crop has been applied, taking of any lack of sharpness at the extreme edges. You can see from these examples just how slight this crop is.

    Both shots tripod, MUP and cable release, ISO100, F16 and speeds 1/25th

    The first in unshifted, full frame.

    The second is with 6mm rise and is the full frame after the lens correction and auto-crop. Then there are three edge frames at 100% with no further sharpening.

    I would happily print this, with no further cropping, to at least 40x30 inches

    This lens is a surprise bargain winner. If you can find one, try it first but don't be put off by a little edge weakness. It comes out in the wash!

    Tim

    Attachment 11514

    Attachment 11525

    Attachment 11517

    Attachment 11516

    Attachment 11518
    Last edited by tashley; 1st February 2009 at 02:57.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    I picked one of these up last week too. Mine is in excellent shape, and in *some* situations, renders like yours above. However, in other situations, it looks like crap. Here is what I've inferred for mine so far:

    1) It likes the close to mid range focus points -- go to infinity and it falls apart rapidly

    1A) Mine likes f 5.6 and f8 and f16, but for some weird reason, not f11???

    2) It does have some CA, especially notable after about 2/3 out from center

    3) Don't combine tilt in the same direction as a relatively large shift lest 1/3 of your image goes to smear.

    4) Used unshifted it makes a decent lens, even with a few degrees of tilt, about on par with the 35.

    5) I need to do a *LOT* more testing with this lens to figure it out!

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I picked one of these up last week too. Mine is in excellent shape, and in *some* situations, renders like yours above. However, in other situations, it looks like crap. Here is what I've inferred for mine so far:

    1) It likes the close to mid range focus points -- go to infinity and it falls apart rapidly

    1A) Mine likes f 5.6 and f8 and f16, but for some weird reason, not f11???

    2) It does have some CA, especially notable after about 2/3 out from center

    3) Don't combine tilt in the same direction as a relatively large shift lest 1/3 of your image goes to smear.

    4) Used unshifted it makes a decent lens, even with a few degrees of tilt, about on par with the 35.

    5) I need to do a *LOT* more testing with this lens to figure it out!

    Cheers,
    That's fascinating. I find mine ok at infinity 'cept for a bit of fuzz on the far right when all settings are at zero, so I turn it so the 'right' is either on the bottom or the top depending on the scene, then it's fine, cos it's sky or water that get the fuzz. Mine is also incrementally better from 5.6 through 11 for centre and 16 for edges. I am surprised how really good it was shifted up - it looks pretty much as good as I'd expect a regular prime and since up-shift is how it'll mostly get used that suits me fine.

    I'm going to experiment more with it, especially with some tilt, but I do think the main issue is that it will perform great with some permutations and poorly with others and therefore it will be hard ot trust other than in a few set 'vanilla' situations. Let's continue to pool experiences. I have a feeling all this will be useful for many people, especially me!

    :-)

    ps may I rudely ask what you paid and where you found it? The S/H market for these is very imperfectly priced...

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Tim,

    Glad to hear that you were able to get a "decent" second hand Hartblei T/S Super Rotator. The entire Hartblei line of PCS and T?S optics he sold had pretty much a high level of inconsistency of quality control. I went through numerous lenses before I received a decent one. Even with the ones I have in my possession, it was still pausible.

    If you are located in the USA, why don't you contact a test for the forum with the various PCS and T/S optics out there? I guess that would be a great service to all here.

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    OK, I bought Jack's Harblei. Jack should now have enough to pay for that new private jet to take him to the workshops It is a very nice lens. For what I do (landscapes) it should work very well. It came today and I spent most of the afternoon testing it with various levels of tilt and shift. I have come to the conclusion it will serve me very well in the field. For many shots I will just use focus bracketing and Helicon Focus. For ocean and lake shots with waves this lens will be the one I will turn to. Unless the new Phase T/S tests out drastically better I will be holding on to this version at a third of the price. I will post some landscapes from my Big Sur trip in a few weeks. Thanks Tim for pushing me off the fence on whether to purchase one and thanks to Jack for having one conveniently available for me.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Quote Originally Posted by smhoer View Post
    OK, I bought Jack's Harblei. Jack should now have enough to pay for that new private jet to take him to the workshops It is a very nice lens. For what I do (landscapes) it should work very well. It came today and I spent most of the afternoon testing it with various levels of tilt and shift. I have come to the conclusion it will serve me very well in the field. For many shots I will just use focus bracketing and Helicon Focus. For ocean and lake shots with waves this lens will be the one I will turn to. Unless the new Phase T/S tests out drastically better I will be holding on to this version at a third of the price. I will post some landscapes from my Big Sur trip in a few weeks. Thanks Tim for pushing me off the fence on whether to purchase one and thanks to Jack for having one conveniently available for me.
    Great news Scott,

    I'm kinda addicted to mine actually. It's so cool and quirky and also very sharp if you know how to get the sharpness out of it. I suspect they're all different and take some individual learning but hey, at these prices...

    Hope you really enjoy it!

    t

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Quote Originally Posted by smhoer View Post
    OK, I bought Jack's Harblei. Jack should now have enough to pay for that new private jet to take him to the workshops
    Pretty hard to get even an economy class seat on SouthWest for the whopping $200 profit I made on it... If you think you paid too much, please return it immediately for a complete refund. You can even return it after your Big Sur trip with my compliments as long as it is the same shape as when you received it...

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Whoa Jack, If I thought it was too much I wouldn't have paid it. It was a joke. Now that I have tested it I believe it will be one of the last lenses I would sell. I continue to be surprised by it.

    I have been thoroughly testing the lens today and realized I was having trouble focusing. The eyes are not what they used to be. I created a cheat sheet and had it laminated. The cheat sheet is based on various tripod heights above the ground all with 5 degrees of downward shift. If anyone is interested here it is.

    51" 2 degrees (2.33 turns)
    45" 2.25 degrees (1.66 turns)
    30" 3.5 degrees (2.33 turns)
    25" 4 degrees (2.66 turns)
    12" 8 degrees (as far is it will turn)

    I tested in a large parking lot setting various soda cans out on the plane of focus. The results were spot on at f16 & f11. The corrections available in C1 do a great job and the files sharpen up well in CS4. My only nit is some slight CA at the edges when shifted. Hope everyone has has a good weekend.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Quote Originally Posted by smhoer View Post
    Whoa Jack, If I thought it was too much I wouldn't have paid it. It was a joke. Now that I have tested it I believe it will be one of the last lenses I would sell. I continue to be surprised by it.

    I have been thoroughly testing the lens today and realized I was having trouble focusing. The eyes are not what they used to be. I created a cheat sheet and had it laminated. The cheat sheet is based on various tripod heights above the ground all with 5 degrees of downward shift. If anyone is interested here it is.

    51" 2 degrees (2.33 turns)
    45" 2.25 degrees (1.66 turns)
    30" 3.5 degrees (2.33 turns)
    25" 4 degrees (2.66 turns)
    12" 8 degrees (as far is it will turn)

    I tested in a large parking lot setting various soda cans out on the plane of focus. The results were spot on at f16 & f11. The corrections available in C1 do a great job and the files sharpen up well in CS4. My only nit is some slight CA at the edges when shifted. Hope everyone has has a good weekend.
    Scotty, that looks like it might be very useful if only I could work out what it's telling me!

    :-) Tim

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Tim,
    The table assumes the camera is leveled. The first number is the measurement from the center of the lens to the ground (or intended plane of focus). The second is the tilt required to get all in focus. The third number is the number of turns on the tilt dial of the Harblei to get to that tilt. I used a silver sharpie pen to put a permanent dot on the tilt dial so I could count the rotations. Here is a link where I got the original tilt requirements. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...using-ts.shtml

    I find it very hard to focus accurately in my Mamiya AFDII's dim viewfinder. One day I will have to upgrade to a body with a brighter viewfinder but that will probably just keep up with my aging eyesight.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Quote Originally Posted by smhoer View Post
    Tim,
    The table assumes the camera is leveled. The first number is the measurement from the center of the lens to the ground (or intended plane of focus). The second is the tilt required to get all in focus. The third number is the number of turns on the tilt dial of the Harblei to get to that tilt. I used a silver sharpie pen to put a permanent dot on the tilt dial so I could count the rotations. Here is a link where I got the original tilt requirements. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...using-ts.shtml

    I find it very hard to focus accurately in my Mamiya AFDII's dim viewfinder. One day I will have to upgrade to a body with a brighter viewfinder but that will probably just keep up with my aging eyesight.
    Thanks Scott, I sort of thought that's what you meant, just couldn't quite see the numbers. I hadn't seen that LL article but it is very useful and I thank you for pointing it out!

    I had been doing something similar with a tethered setup to find the same answers and had finally worked out at my tripod's 'half-way' height just what degree of tilt and what aperture and focus scale distance would give me focus on the floor from very close to infinity. Like you, I used a sharpie to mark the adjustment knurl. Determined minds think alike!

    I have a shot I want to make which is a forest floor with focus at the level of the leaf litter throughout and from near to far, with the verticals of the tree trunks vanishing into OOF, which was why I went through the process.

    I love the lens. It would be even better if it were clinically dependable but in a weird way, it has more character than anything other than a Noctilux and you just end up wanting to work with it... I find inexpensive products with surprising skills quite exciting!

    Best

    t

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    One thing to understand about the Hartblei is that (I believe) there were two sources, a Czech and Ukraine factory
    supposed to be a lot of difference in QC
    I have one direct from a guy called 'Anton' from Hartblei many years ago. These are supposed to be better than thos served up by kievcamera or some such that used lenses from an Arsenal (no relation to Arsenal/Boris in Germany/HK)

    anybody know the real story? All I know is that the one I have ain't bad at the edge, with shift (I need to dig it out)

    Victor

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Tim,
    Yes, we do think alike. The measurements I quoted correspond to my tripod at Chin height, two sections extended, one section extended, one section at the second widest splay and the 12" is the height of the lens above the tripods head mount. I am finding the lens more and more dependable the more I experiment with it. I am surprised at the resolution when the focus is spot on. And yes, it is sharper corner to corner when shifted 5 degrees (thanks Jack for finding that quirk).

    All in all I am very pleased Jack was willing to part with it. This could become one of my favorite lenses. Now if I can just afford the 28mm.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Quote Originally Posted by smhoer View Post
    Tim,
    Yes, we do think alike. The measurements I quoted correspond to my tripod at Chin height, two sections extended, one section extended, one section at the second widest splay and the 12" is the height of the lens above the tripods head mount. I am finding the lens more and more dependable the more I experiment with it. I am surprised at the resolution when the focus is spot on. And yes, it is sharper corner to corner when shifted 5 degrees (thanks Jack for finding that quirk).

    All in all I am very pleased Jack was willing to part with it. This could become one of my favorite lenses. Now if I can just afford the 28mm.
    You know what? The 28 is great, sharp, wonderful etc BUT its weak corners cost you quite a lot of pixels if you want to crop to the sharp zone. I am yet to fall for it fully though I must look of Guy's method for dealing with it - can't find the thread right off...

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    Just brought it back to life Tim. Should be on top of the threads
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: More on the Hartblei T/S

    The 28 will definately be in my future but probably ot until this next winter. My system is new to me so I need to spend some time with it to determine what is used and what is needed. The 45 T/S is one of my favorite focal lengths so I see it getting a lot of use this year. I am trying to keep my kit to 5 lenses max and I currently have the 35, 45 T/S, 55-110, 105-210 and 300 ULD.

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