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Optar Illumina S16 16mm Test

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  • Optar Illumina S16 16mm Test

    Earlier i tested few vintage OKS 16mm lenses here http://bmcuser.com/showthread.php?17...ested-on-BMMCC and now one more lens test here. This time it is Optar Illumina S16 16mm lens. Its a Zeiss copy made somewhere in early 2000 in Zenit factory in russia in collaboration with US developers. The manufacture of those lenses stopped some years ago and all you can get is a last samples from factory storage.
    The lens is rather heavy. Smooth focusing. First time it feels stiff but later you start to understand that it is not stiff but just don't suited for very fast focus pulling. It has few very thin adjustment shims placed between rear mount and lens body. The focus ring was rather prickly so i decide to cover it with rubber ring pad. The lens have no front filter thread, but i mount there with self-adhesive tape empty 77 mm filter ring from disassembled cheap filter. Fits perfect. Overall build quality is very nice but on my sample rear part was screwed very lightly (maybe it was done for storage purposes) so i need to tight it by myself more secure. Also for unknown reason one of the screws was just glued to its hole because thread was broken. Hmm, quality control with vodka and balalaika...

    Images shot in RAW on BMMCC with Mosaic OLPF installed.
    To fix possible Cross Hatching effect image XY transform was set to 0.5.
    The lens itself shot on Yashica 28mm lens.
    Processed in DaVinci Resolve with custom LUT generated with LUTCalc (Gamma: Cineon to Amira709, Color Gamut: REC2020 to Alexa-X-2. https://cameramanben.github.io/LUTCa...alc/index.html



    T1.3


    T2


    T2.8


    T4


    T5.6


    T8


    T11


    T16


    and at closer distance:

    T1.3


    T2


    T2.8


    T4


    T5.6


    T8


    T11


    T16


    more tests coming soon...
    Last edited by shijan; 01-14-2018, 12:44 PM.
    All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here https://lavky.com/radioproektor/

  • #2
    These are great lenses. The flares are kind of Lucky Charms as in you get a handful of different shapes and colors. Some of them have a Cooke style iris so you get ninja stars in addition to the octagons. I prefer them to the superspeeds because they have an 8mm and a 9.5mm that cover S16 and the triangular aperture of the mkii and mkiiis is pretty lame.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Howie Roll View Post
      These are great lenses. The flares are kind of Lucky Charms as in you get a handful of different shapes and colors. Some of them have a Cooke style iris so you get ninja stars in addition to the octagons. I prefer them to the superspeeds because they have an 8mm and a 9.5mm that cover S16 and the triangular aperture of the mkii and mkiiis is pretty lame.

      Thanks for sharing.
      Yes, i like this flare look too. Wonder how the focusing ring feels on other samples and how it compare to Zeiss or Veydra. Are you use few of them? Is the focusing stiffness equal or different from lens to lens?
      All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here https://lavky.com/radioproektor/

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      • #4
        Thank you for this test .

        Comment


        • #5
          I have the Optar 8mm T1.3, which complement perfectly my Zeiss HS mk1 set. It's even a little warmer which excellent sharpness and low distorsion. The only unacceptable was the focus stiff ring... Very easy to fix it (removing all the original grease) if you are handyman.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have both the 16mm and 25mm, and focus ring is same as the Zeiss Super Speeds (9.5 and 12mm) but all were recently CLAd, new lenses from storage will be stiff, and need to be cleaned and re-lubed, the old grease is making the focus stiff. Once serviced, these are excellent lenses. CinemaTechnic in LA offers service for the Optars and Zeiss Super Speeds. Duclos in LA only Services the Zeiss Super Speeds, and other Cine lenses, but not the Optars.

            The Zeiss 9.5 Mk2/3 have a 14.5"" image circle, which will just cover the BMPCC/Micro Cinema camera sensor, as it is slightly smaller than the S16 film gate, the 9.5, which it just did manage to barly cover. The 9.5 image circle is smaller than the 12, which has a 16.5 mm image circle, so it has less fall off at the edges, both tested on a MFT sensor to compare the projected image circle). The Optars have a projected image circle larger than 15.xmm image circle, and edge sharpness is improved over the Zeiss lenses.
            Cheers
            Last edited by Denny Smith; 03-18-2019, 09:08 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by lluiscl View Post
              I have the Optar 8mm T1.3, which complement perfectly my Zeiss HS mk1 set. It's even a little warmer which excellent sharpness and low distorsion. The only unacceptable was the focus stiff ring... Very easy to fix it (removing all the original grease) if you are handyman.
              I have some experience with this (i disassemble OKS lenses before and put a Helimax XP grease into them which makes them focusing very easy by one finger) but don't like to disassemble the lens without knowing the correct workflow. Wonder if you have any tutorial or photos in which way to to disassemble that lens?
              When i unscrewed rear mount part of the lens i find there only a screw which is limiting a focusing rotation. Is it possible that i just need to unscrew it and then unscrew the helicoid itself?
              All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here https://lavky.com/radioproektor/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by shijan View Post
                Yes, i like this flare look too. Wonder how the focusing ring feels on other samples and how it compare to Zeiss or Veydra. Are you use few of them? Is the focusing stiffness equal or different from lens to lens?
                I've got a set or them and they're all pretty similar, well dampened but not stiff. The movement is pretty similar to my mkiii, definitely not a 1 finger focus. "Vintage" lenses are a mixed bag sometimes sitting in a box for a decade can be harder on a lens than daily use.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, older lenses will need to be serviced before using them to avoid any damage. I just tested the Veydra Mini Primes against both the Zeiss and Illumina SS, the later two were about the same, as Howie said, dampened, but the focus Ring turns easily. The Veydra's are more dampened, and turn a little stiffer than the Super Speeds. That said, all of them work well on a follow focus.
                  Cheers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shijan View Post
                    I have some experience with this (i disassemble OKS lenses before and put a Helimax XP grease into them which makes them focusing very easy by one finger) but don't like to disassemble the lens without knowing the correct workflow. Wonder if you have any tutorial or photos in which way to to disassemble that lens?
                    When i unscrewed rear mount part of the lens i find there only a screw which is limiting a focusing rotation. Is it possible that i just need to unscrew it and then unscrew the helicoid itself?
                    But you need to clean all helicoids. If I remember correctly after disassemble the rear mount you'll find the two central guides... You need to remove them (both with two screws) and unscrew the focus ring, which contains two parts screwed...(with the screw that you mention which limits the focus range). You need to remove it and unscrew both parts and clean both helicoids and later do the same with the central helicoids... Of course is PRIMORDIAL to mark everything (some helicoids can have different entry points) and leave everything at the same point when you assemble it.
                    All the best

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Denny Smith View Post
                      The Zeiss 9.5 Mk2/3 will cover the BMPCC/Micro Cinema camera sensor, as it is slightly smaller than the S16 film gate, the 9.5 just did not manage to quite cover. The 9.5 image circle is only slightly smaller than the 12, (both tested on a MFT sensor to compare the projected circle). The Optars have a larger projected image circle, so edge sharpness is improved over the Zeiss lenses.
                      Cheers
                      Well, the Zeiss 9.5 mk1 (which has an exagon iris) covers also perfectly the s16/Pocket/Micro frame, at all stops (optics are the same as mk2/3). There is a very very insignificant blur at the extreme corners.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good to know, I had read some reports of the Zeiss SS (HS) Mk1 9.5 vignetting, but I think that mist have been a "out of alignment" copy, on one older lens, and the other report was trying to use the lens in a Super 16 film camera full gate.

                        While the optical design is the same, coatings were improved on the Mk2 and 3 from what I have read. Also the Mk1s were designed to fit a camera blimp, somhave a short focus throw, compared to the Mk 2 and 3, which have a redesigned focus helical. Also the biggest issue with the otherwise smaller, and excellent Mk1s, according to a Duclos Lens tech I talked to, is parts for the Mk 1s are next to impossible to source, and used copies have well worn focus helix, which can cause the image to shift during focusing. Also the lens element mounting on the Mk2/3 are improved. The newer Mk2/3 are still readily serviceable, with available parts, including the focus helix, front and rear lens elements. I had to have the focus helix replaced on both of my Zeiss SS, due to wear caused by previous owners using them without having the lens mechanics serviced.
                        Cheers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Good info Denny. I used extensively the mk1 from the super 16 ages (including also the 9.5, which I consider the best of all with minimal distorsion). I have also serviced them. Never had to change any part... basically take care of the helicoids and "restore" the shape of the central guide (which tends to deform and cause the "play" while focusing).
                          I like the mk1 set for the Pocket due its smaller size and lightness... Perfect for a gimball work.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes, this is the advantage of the Mk1s, which were designed for the smaller S16 film cameras in use then.
                            I agree on the 9.5, it does have less distortion than the 12mm, which is why I got the 9.5. I have a mint 12mm Mk3, just serviced by Duclos, for sale if anyone is interested. PM me.
                            Cheers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'd be really cautious trying to disassemble the Illuminas. I was going to send my set in to have them serviced and the guy at Duclos wouldn't even take my money. I'd have understood if it was just a single lens but a set of 6 is a days work. Instead I sent them to Visual Products in Ohio. I was estimating about 6-8 hours and they only charged me for 3, turned them around in a week. Paul is the guy and you have to call him because he doesn't have a computer. Old school.

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