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Showcase Cosina (Super Cosina) 100-500mm f/5.6-8 MC MACRO

Discussion in 'Adapted Lens Sample Image Showcase' started by Machi, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. Machi

    Machi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2015
    Massive push/pull zoom lens made by Cosina in the 80's.
    It's evidently close relative to the Vivitar Series 1 100-500mm and Phoenix 100-500mm but
    there are some differences. Cosina has bigger filter thread (72mm vs 67mm), it's heavier (1200g vs ~1000g)
    and has smaller focusing distance (2.5 vs 3.5 meters).
    It has good sharpness but, as many older lenses, it's prone to flare and internal reflections which can lower contrast in the image.
    It's slow lens but it has good IQ from wide open (5.6/8) up to f/16.
    Few examples from the E-PM2. All are handheld shots so I added few crops at full resolution only in case when I was sure that result is (almost) unaffected by motion blur:

    100mm f/5.6 ISO640:


    Crop at 100%:


    500mm f/8? ISO640:


    500mm f/16? ISO640:


    250mm f/~8 ISO500:


    100% crop from different image in the sequence:


    500mm f/11 ISO800:


    100% crop from different image:

    • Like Like x 5
  2. Machi

    Machi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2015
    Another two examples.
    Both images are at 100 mm. First is wide open (f/5.6), second one is at f/11.


    • Like Like x 4
  3. Machi

    Machi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2015
    I'm trying to found limits of this old lens, and despite some optical flaws, results are often very interesting.
    Here are two sets of images of International Space Station (ISS) from the beginning of August.
    Exposure wasn't ideal so I lost some details (big outer solar panels are only partially visible).
    Images are processed using stacking and deconvolution.
    First set is at 500mm f11 and second set is at 500mm f16. All images were 2× enlarged.


    • Like Like x 6
  4. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I find that pretty damn cool, for a legacy lens I would say it's doing very well.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  5. Machi

    Machi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2015
    I'm back with some more informations and shots by this lens, which is very often offered on eBay but despite this fact,
    there isn't much images taken by this lens on the net.
    I have now this lens for more than ten months and I like it very much as reach of this lens is really intoxicating and
    it allows lots of experimenting. Working with this lens isn't easy but it's fun.

    I did few tests and measurements which I think could be useful. Interesting finding is that true weight of this lens is 1440 grams.
    This is much more than 1200 grams which I found on internet.
    With simple adapter (MD->M43 in my case) and plastic hood it becomes 1560 grams (3.4 lbs).

    Other thing which I wanted to know is true transmission of this lens.
    My results corresponds with few reports which claim that this lens is apparently much slower than listed f-values 5.6-8.
    At 100mm f/5.6 transmission is ~6.3 and at 500mm f/8 it's ~9.4.
    At 100mm f/8 it's ~8.6 and at 500mm f/11 it's 11.3.

    Sharpness is good and chromatic aberrations are well corrected for old zoom without advanced glass.
    Biggest inherent problem, at least in case of my copy, is noticeable astigmatism which smears small details in vertical direction.
    It could be partially corrected by deconvolution but as I found this aberration isn't main factor which limits image quality so I don't care much about it.

    Main problems with this lens is that at longest focal length it has extreme resolution (1.5" per pixel), at the same time it's slow lens and
    it's very difficult to focus it precisely as DOF is very limited.
    Resolution together with slowness means that shots from the hand are possible only in case of very good conditions.
    Precise focusing is then key to sharp image.
    Then there is of course possibility to use monopod or tripod. But even with tripod and fast shutter speeds (1/400-1/1000s) it's not easy.
    I found that I have best result with timer combined with 1 or 2 second antishock. Only then there is very high chance that image will be limited
    by quality of lens itself. At least theoretically because there is one final obstacle which isn't special for this lens but works for every long focal lens.
    Turbulences in the air significantly affects resolution especially in the hot summer days.
    This effect depends on distance of image target but in bad (hot) conditions it could be easily visible even at distances less than 10 meters.

    Finally here are some examples taken with this lens (majority of them at ISO400):

    Tulip at ~300mm. This one is with local contrast enhanced but without sharpening.


    Great grey owl at 500mm (Zoo Ostrava).


    Snowy owl at 300mm (Zoo Ostrava).


    Even action photos are possible with some luck - wild duck at ~400mm.


    Cowslip (Primula veris) at 500mm f/8.


    I haven't much landscapes with this lens as field of view is very small but there are some -
    the highest mountain of Beskydy mountains, Lysá hora, from distance ~32.5 kilometers (20 miles) at 500mm.
    Smaller hills are at distances 14 and 22 kilometers.


    Austrian Airlines' Boeing 777 at altitude 10 kilometers (500mm).


    And finally something more distant - image of the Moon made from 100 stacked images (at 500mm).


    There are more images from this lens on my new Flickr account.
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    • Winner Winner x 2
  6. Machi

    Machi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2015
    I had some time and a nice weather so I could finally test my Cosina together with JJC pistol grip.
    Pistol grip fulfilled my expectations, it's probably the best combination for the handheld shooting with a long focal length push-pull manual zoom lens. Still it's pretty hard to obtain good image as one needs to be lucky, fast and precise.
    Fighting hares - ~250mm f/8 1/1000s, ISO1600:


    Group of roebucks - ~400mm f/8 1/800s, ISO800:


    Venus and Jumbo Jet - ~500mm f/8 1/800s, ISO320:

    • Like Like x 3
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