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Bizarre Canon 100mm LTM? Or not?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by carvemeister, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. carvemeister

    carvemeister Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 21, 2012
    Shoreham, NY
    Ok, HELP! I've picked up 3 MF lenses for my E-M5. 2 seem to work fine, but one that I just got has rendering that is making me dizzy and just seems like it's a complete mess. Although the glass "looks" perfect, even shining a small light through it, the photos are horrible, until maybe f/11! Even then the focus seems pretty soft. But the corners are horrific as is the bokeh which makes me feel like I downed a pint of Jack Daniels.

    So before I return this to the ebay seller who said the "glass is mint" can somebody tell me - am I missing something? Is it a case of a mismatch with this rangefinder lens on an E-M5? Should I know better? All I heard about this lens was how sharp it was even at f/3.5. BTW- I'm using the correct Fotodiox adapters on this and my Konica 50mm f/1.7, which is very sharp and a Hoya 135mm f/2.8 which I got for ~$20!

    Here's what I mean, with the other two "good lenses" for reference. Brick wall shots were taken on a tripod with IS OFF:

    (Apologies in advance for all the photos, but hoping for a good explanation)












  2. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    Did you not get the OEM beer goggles with your lens purchase?
  3. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Bad lens.
  4. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    Could this partial delamination of an element? Centre of element is fine but outer circumference has delaminated. Just a guess
  5. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I think not. Probably an element knocked out of alignment. But I'm not an expert.
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Oh yes, you got the Canon 100mm M39 Lensbaby Thread Mount, also known as Lensbaby Screw Mount (L39). :) 
  7. carvemeister

    carvemeister Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 21, 2012
    Shoreham, NY
    Hey! I'm glad everybody is enjoying my pain. Yeah, I've got my beer goggles now! Lensbaby? I hadn't thought of that. Somehow, I don't think this will fit the bill, but it is close - damn f/22 spoils it all though.

    So, I guess this does confirm then that it isn't some mismatch I created by using an M39 mount lens. Ned, I'm not sure if that's complete sarcasm (which I enjoy BTW), or some truth as well. Have you actually seen this issue before with this particular lens or mount?

    Thanks for all the quick replies too!
  8. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2010
    You never know how a legacy rangefinder or c-mount lens (old SLR lenses are generally much more predictable) is going to perform until you mount it (or if someone else has tried it and posted results.) It may be the lens, or it may be that the lens is just a bad match for digital sensors.

    Did you search around and find out if others have tried this lens on M43?
  9. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Whatever the cause may be, a bad lens design or a faulty sample, it's not going to go away. You are obviously able to get something sharp in the middle, even at larger distances, so your adapter is probably OK. I would just return it or scrap it, depending on the price.
  10. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    True, though in this case it is almost certainly a mis-replaired/cleaned lens. 50mm and longer lenses rarely fail to work as well with digital as they do with film. It's the shorter focal length legacy lenses that are likely to suffer on digital.

    Canon's LTM lenses are generally very good to superb lenses. Given the extremely poor performance of the OP's 100mm lens and the fact that it is extremely clean lead me to believe that it is suffering from the hands of some unskilled hack who cleaned the lens to improve it's market value and failed to reassemble it correctly. An element could be inverted or element spacing could have been disturbed. I suspect the former.
  11. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2010
    Yeah I agree. I have a Canon 35mm f/2.8 Serenar that works really nice. Just wanted to cover all bases. In any case best thing for OP is to just return it if he can.
  12. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I bought a "mint" 85-200mm OM lens off eBay last summer that had the whole back end falling apart. I noticed the terrible optics before I discovered the cause was three loose screws hiding under the mounting plate (some disassembly required).
  13. carvemeister

    carvemeister Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 21, 2012
    Shoreham, NY
    Thanks for all the input. I agree there's no reason for a 100mm focal length like this one to perform like this. I've never heard of anyone having an issue adapting this lens to micro 4/3. I already pointed the seller to this thread and he emailed me that he'll take the lens back. It did look clean, so he likely didn't realize the problem. I'd put my money on somebody trying to do a hack cleaning job and inverting a lens.

    In the meantime, I'm hoping the Contax G Sonnar 90mm I just ordered will be a more than worthy replacement.
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