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OLD vs. NEW ...

Guest .

Hi All,

the difficult question, whether it is worth going for old glass instead of purchasing modern lenses remains unsolved.

Beyond the question if you can do without automatic aperture and autofocus it seems unlikely that the old stuff can compete after decades of development and improvement, which should be visible??!

Image quality can be compared easiest, the value of "by wire aperture" and AF depends on individual assessment.

I can only compare "affordable" old glass to modern SIGMA-lenses ... simply because I do not have expensive old lenses.
In the "affordable" range I have quite a lot of nice things, which already used to be insiders' tips in their age.

Well, let us have some closer looks at some 50mm shots.

The candidates:

Revuenon 50mm 1.9
SIGMA 3.5-6.3 18-200mm DC OS (@50mm)
SIGMA 2.8-4.0 28-105mm Aspherical (@50mm)

The Revuenon is analysed at F-stops 1.9 (open) and 4.0
SIGMA 18-200mm @ 5.0
SIGMA 28-105mm @ 4.5

Comparism: Full frames / crops (center) / crops (edge)

Overview (full frame @50mm)

Revuenon F1.9:


Revuenon F4.0:


SIGMA 18-200mm:


SIGMA 28-105mm:


to be continued.....

Guest .

CROPS (Edge)

Revuenon F:1.9:

Revuenon 1,9 edge.jpg

Revuenon F:4.0:

--Revuenon 4,0 edge--.jpg

SIGMA 18-200:


SIGMA 28-105:


Anyway surprising for my humble opinion ....;)

See you with nice pictures



Well-Known Member
I am rather shocked to see that the ability of the old Revuenon is holding up pretty well against the Sigma modern lenses.

While "not quite" as clean as the newer Sigmas, I would be hard-pressed to see a reduction in perceived quality if I was to view these independently without the pleasure of having your side by side comparisons.

Quite revealing, and a testament to the older (prime) lens.

Guest .

Hi Larry,

thanks for your comment!

The old REVUENON drops slightly towards the edges (when fully open). Slowed down to 4.0 it plays fairly well against its competitors.

The 1.9 center crop displays a sharpness which is really surprising. Neither is there any drop of contrast compared to the test shots with its aperture slowed down.

See you with nice pictures



Well-Known Member
The Revuenon looks very very nice in conjunction with the lines of the Sigma SD14. While the performance of any camera and lens is of paramount interest, it's also a pleasure to see two units that look so NICE together. The Revuenon in this focal length seems to balance the mass of the SD14, and the result is a very nice melding of fine flowing lines and style. It is really quite a nice image on its own.

I have the Revueflex 3003 M42 film camera (Chinon clone) which I use extensively. I also had the Revuenon Special 135/2.8. I wish I still owned it actually. It was a sharp performer.

Thanks for posting this most interesting thread.

Guest .

The 135mm race .....Old vs. New

Hi All,

let me do chapter two "Old vs. New". Now, I had a look at 135mm-performance:

The Candidates:

OLD ---- REVUENON 135mm 2.8

Sample 5.jpg

The Revuenon 135mm/2.8 lenses used to be a very successful production series from the 1960s up to the mid1980s. They were comparatrively cheap in their age and even now you can have them for very little money.

Those who considered themselves sophisticaded have always despised these lenses ... well, nearly everybody could afford them (even me!).

There are two versions of the REVUENON 135. The older ones (up to the mid-70s) are of the same optical quality as the later ranges. The only difference between them is, that you can focus closer with the later REVUENONs. (2.4m old / 1.5m old) (5ft old / 7ft new).

The one above is from the 80s and I got it in very good condition. It looks as if never used before. I got it (for once) not from the internet but from a little photo-shop in a little village. It is completely made from light metal ... nice to hold in hands.

The Opponents:

SIGMA 18-200 DC OS (ca. 135mm)
SIGMA 80-400mm EX OS (ca. 135mm)

Well the SIGMA 105mm EX is not really comparable because it is lacking 30mm tele-length. It is simply the Only SIGMA I have to compare it to the OLD-ally in terms of speed. All my other lenses are slower.
To mention beforehand ... the test turned out to become very difficult to do. Of course I used a tripod ... which was not enough precision. My first attempt resulted in a surprise ... The 2.8 shots performed sharper (when going to pixels) than the slowed down shots.

I had to repeat the whole test going for mirror-lock procedure ... which then proved, that even the SD14's very soft mirror-stroke slightly blurred my results at 1/60s. (You never would have noticed that in practice ... but when going to the pixels ... when comparing image results very carefully, it plays an important role.

I now know, that lens tests are absolutely worthless, when done without precision.

Full frames (all @ 5.6 aperture)

REVUENON 135mm 2.8:

REVUENON 135mm - 5.6.jpg

18-200mm DC OS: (@135mm / 5.6=open)

18-200mm 135mm-5.6.jpg

80-400mm EX OS: (@128mm 5.6 / (5.0 would be open))

80-400mm OS - 128mm-5,.6.jpg

105mm EX MACRO (@5.6)

105er Macro - 5.6.jpg

To be continued in a minute with the CROPS



REVUENON 135mm 2.8 (@2.8)

Revuenon 135mm - 2.8.jpg

Guest .

Old vs. New ... 135mm Crops

... This time I am going to do without the edge crops. It is not worth to compare them to center simply because there are no visible drops in image quality (with neither of the above lenses).

CROPS ...ALL @ 5.6


CROP REVUENON 135mm - 5.6.jpg

18-200mm DC OS:

CEOP 18-200mm 135mm-5.6.jpg

80-400mm EX OS:

CROP 80-400mm OS - 128mm-5,.6.jpg

105mm MACRO:

CROP 105er Macro - 5.6.jpg

Well again mentioned! The 105mm EX MACRO has the disadvantage, that it lacks 30mm of tele-lenghth for the same crop-range ... that must be put into consideratuion when comparing full aperture performance.

Revuenon @ 2.8

CROP Revuenon 135mm - 2.8.jpg

SIGMA 105mm EX OS @ 2.8

CROP 105er MACRO Blende 2.8.jpg


If considered, that all of the above shots would be considered high quality, (if not looked at the pixel) and if one takes into account that I am comparing a 500,-€ lens (105mm Macro) to a 20,-€ lens (Revuenon) then the results are an extreme surprise to me.
Although the 105mm is of course sharper and better performing as far as contrast and clearness are concerned (when fully open), differences are rather little, when looking at the pixel.

Slowed down ... sorry ... it can absolutely match with the zooms?! What do the others think?

Manual focussing was no problem at all ... just go form tghe Pentax fiewfinder-magnifier ...that helps a lot!

See you with nice pictures


P.S. Very convincing (by the way) again the performance of the 18-200mm DC OS


Well-Known Member
In the first trio of images, I feel that the Revuenon 135 actually takes the prize! Astounding!

In the crops, it's a little hard to tell, but a couple of things are obvious: 1) contrast differs between lenses 2) color rendition differs between lenses.

If I was to concentrate on sharpness ALONE (which is only a part of the whole), I would give it to the Sigma 18-200, but only by a whisker! Just look at the "Phillips" logo in the satellite dish - it's all pretty close!

The 105 is not doing quite as well, but like you say it's actually at a disadvantage in this comparison.

Having said all that, if I chose a "favorite" image of those crops ---Yes! The Revuenon once again!

A GREAT and FUN test, Klaus! I realize these aren't "MTF" types of tests, but I take great pleasure in seeing "real world" tests (comparisons, actually) like these.


Well-Known Member
The only thing I can think of to add to this conversation is that, because I was not there during the moment of releasing the shutter, I have no way of knowing what Klaus actually saw with his own eyes. What was the contrast actually like?

For example, the last two sample images show quite a difference in contrast and I wonder which of the two lenses was more faithful to the reality?

From my own personal experience, I often have people remark that my photos appear to be a little "flat", when compared to their results that appear to be more "pleasing" because of the inherent additional contrast. The same commenters often stop and think about that when I reveal this.

I put it down to the spoiling effect that modern high contrast colour television imaging has impacted on people's visual expectations and their consequent willingness to "look" instead of "see".

Just my observation over the years, folks. You most certainly have your individual right to vary your mileage (kilometreage?) to accommodate your preferences. ;)

Sincere regards, Jim R

Guest .

Hi All,

thanks for being interested in my little "Old vs. New" comparism.

Well, did I mention that I do not like test-pictures at all .... :) ... I really do not at all because all the forums are fed up with it. There are these chaps who really do nothing else than test-pictures instead of going for photos ... :).

I am different ... I love photographs ... test shots are nothing more than a necessity to optimise once photo-equipment.

I love my photo toys a lot!!! Yes, they are rather toys to me than tools. I have never sold a lens or a cam in my life. I just gave it into good other hands.

Well what am I diong here???

A lot of nonsense has been written about the use of old (historic) glass on modern DSLR cameras. Most of the tests are worthless because those, who conduct them do not work precisely.

I am very glad, that high quality DSLR-photography is no longer a privilege of the rich but a chance to all those who like it.

Using old (and cheap) lenses is a very good chance to find access to photography. Those who can work lenses without AF and automatic aperture are closer to the basics of photography than those who just release the shutter with more comfortable equipment..... :)

I really think, that my children should learn it this way ....


Neither do I intend to picture out, that the old things are better than modern SIGMA equipment ...

What I do not like are the scornful looks of those who always say, that cheap always means bad. I know what I am talking about ... now I too have the expensive toys ... nice to have ... but I can assure everybody who has just little money to spend on the issue, that tere are a lot of alternatives to save money ... not image quality. :)


Indeed, I have a very big "arsenal" of very old lenses available. I collected them over many years and I know each bit and piece exactly. None of these lenses was expensive or prestigious. In earlier years it was necessary to find out the pearls in the affordable range of photography ... now it is a hobby of mine .... value for money, you know. :)

What I am going to present here is the pearls among very many cheap "so-so" lenses!!!

Let me lose a word on my beloved 105mm EX MACRO.

It is a fantasically sharp and brilliant lens! The REVUENON is fine as well ... slow it down to 4.0 and it can compete. At full aperture the 105mm is unbeatable. Again ... I am comparing two crops above that cannot really be compared because the 105mm is lacking 30mm tele-lenght. It clearly wins the race in terms of sharpness, brilliance and contrast.

The 18-200mm DC OS is an amazing and fascinating lens that I would not want to miss anymore. I have read such amounts of rubbish about it ... well ... I am "fighting" for that lens since I have got it. I cannot understand people complayning about it ... let the pictures talk ... they do not lie.

The 80-400mm EX OS was accused again and again of being unshurp at full stretch ... nonsense ... it is sharp as a knife at 400mm .... most of the testshots ever done are blurred by the testers ... and so forth.

Finally ... I am showing very extreme crops in this thread, in order to picture out very very little differences in the lenses' performance. All of the shots so far are very high quality. Do not forget ... we are looking at the pixel here.

Let me go on with the 28mm race ... Old vs New ... to get LIGHT IN THE DARK

See you with nice pictures



Guest .

28mm race ... Old vs. New ...

Hi all,

They used to be wide-angles in the 35mm film age. With our SIGMAs and their APS-C sensors they are normal-lenses.

Well there is no shortage of 28mm lenses on the second hand M42 market. An awful lot of different brands are available.

The affordable lenses are available at very little money ... I do have quite a number of such lenses.

I would like to present the "pearl" out of my 28mm-lenses here and compare it to modern equipment again.

The candidate OLD -- VIVITAR 28mm 2.5:

Sample  1.jpg

The VIVITAR is very easy to recognise because of its unique housing-shape.

It is by far not the most frequently manufactured 28mm lens from the "stone age:)" but it is not rare either. It was built over many many years right up to the end of the M42 era.
I got this comparatively recently from the internet and was fascinated from its very fine image quality at once....

The Opponents

SIGMA 18-200mm DC OS (3.5-6.3)
SIGMA 28-105mm Aspherical (2,8-4.0)

The full frames (all of them slowed down to 7.1 / 6,3):


VIVITAR 28mm 6-3.jpg

SIGMA 18-200mm (@28mm):


SIGMA 28-105mm (@28mm)


to be continued with the crops....

See you with nice pictures


Guest .

CROPS ... 28mm

CROPS: (all slowed down to either 7.1 / 6.3)



CENTER VIVITAR 28mm 6-3.jpg


EDGE VIVITAR 28mm 6-3.jpg

SIGMA 18-200mm OS:


CENTER OS-28mm-7-1.jpg


EDGE OS-28mm-7-1.jpg

SIGMA 28-105mm:


CENTER 28-105mm-7-1.jpg


EDGE 28-105mm-7-1.jpg

to be continued with the full apertures ......

See you with nice pictures


Guest .

28mm race ... Old vs. New ...FULL APERTURES

VIVITAR @ 2.5:

Full Frame:

Vivitar 28mm 2-5.jpg


CENTER Vivitar 28mm 2-5.jpg


EDGE Vivitar 28mm 2-5.jpg

SIGMA 28-105mm (@28mm / 2.8)

Full Frame:



CENTER 28-105-2-8.jpg


EDGE 28-105-2-8.jpg

See you with nice pictures


Guest .

Conclusions .....

Hi again,

These are really very extreme crops (please compare to the full frame pictures) that again go to the pixels.

I find it very hard this time to spot differences at all. All shots are highest quality for my opinion.

What are your impressions?! :)

Thoes who would like to go back to the roots of photography ... doing without automatic aperture and autofocus.... can go for the VIVITAR ... (IMHO). The pictures do not tell it.

I can only hope that you find this interesting as well.

Again mentioned ... I am showing my best glass here. Such performance is no matter of course. I could prove as well, that I have average lenses in the low-budget range.

If you are interested I can go on with a 200mm Old vs. New race ... I do have a nice and cheap 200mm "stoneage" lens, too.

See you with nice pictures



Well-Known Member
Jim wrote: The only thing I can think of to add to this conversation is that, because I was not there during the moment of releasing the shutter, I have no way of knowing what Klaus actually saw with his own eyes. What was the contrast actually like?

For example, the last two sample images show quite a difference in contrast and I wonder which of the two lenses was more faithful to the reality?

A very good observation, Jim! Since I have no way of knowing what Klaus's eyes are seeing, there is no information available regarding the true contrastual elements of the image. My "preference" for the Revuenon in this case was simply from my own eyes and what I perceive to have the best contrast and overall appeal.

And, of course these "tests" are more for overall, everyday FUN than anything else. :z04_discosmilie:



Well-Known Member
Klaus wrote: These are really very extreme crops (please compare to the full frame pictures) that again go to the pixels.

I find it very hard this time to spot differences at all. All shots are highest quality for my opinion.

What are your impressions?! :)

I have to agree with this, Klaus. Frankly, all of the images look good enough for my eyes. So, I guess what I really like about these comparisons, is that PERHAPS my "old glass" (Takumars, Sears, Chinon, SMC Pentax, etc.) will be perfectly usable to the point that I can use them with confidence on the SD-14.

Part of the anticipated fun that I will expect, is to be able to compare all my old lenses in my incipient uses of the SD-14...and that is a GOOD thing!

Regarding the 200mm comparisons - bring them on! :z04_pc2:


Guest .

200mm Race OLD vs. New .....

Hi All,

When searching the internet for an affordable and fast 200mm telephoto lens, quite a number of those lenses will be displayd on your computer monitor.

Open apertures form 4.0 to 3.5 are frequently offered and easy to have. Faster lenses normally become rather expensive.

I like my ALBINAR 200mm M42 tele. :)


I got the ALBINAR in very nice (like new) condition for very little money.

Its image performance is fairly well so that I so far did not go for a modern lens with comparable speed.

ALBINAR: (@6,3)



ALBINAR: (@3.5)


CROP Albinar3,5.jpg

.... to be continued ....