Lens Haze Question

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Swandy, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran Charter Member

    362
    Dec 15, 2009
    I have someone shipping me two versions of the Olympus Zuiko 50mm f1.4 lens to purchase one of. (For use on an EP2 - currently have an Oly 50mm f1.8 but not happy with the focusing of it.)
    One lens has - according to the seller - "very minor hazing on the outer edges of an inner element". Since - based on what he as said about the other aspects of the two lenses - this is the one I would normally prefer, what do I look for in testing the lens? Especially as far as image quality being effected - what types of shots should I take and what should I look for in the shots?

    Thanks for any advice,
    Steve
     
  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Steve, my understanding is that haze generally decreases lens contrast. Also, some people say "haze" to mean any opacity, which could mean fungus or lens element separation (which can be worse than fungus). Personally, I would only buy a lens with haze if it were valuable enough to justify having it professionally taken apart and cleaned.

    KEH (www.keh.com) has an OM 50/1.4 listed in BGN (bargain) condition for $59. Based on my experience with them, that will be a fairly clean lens in good working condition with no haze or other condition that will affect pictures taken with it. They have several in EXC condition in the $140 range, and those are what the average Ebay seller with 99.2% feedback would call "mint -". KEH is very conservative with their rating system.
     
  3. antonisphoto

    antonisphoto New to Mu-43 Charter Member

    9
    Dec 29, 2009
    >>>what types of shots should I take and what should I look for in the shots?

    Steve,

    since you have the advantage of comparing two samples of the same lens, any tests at all would show the better of the two. Some ideas:

    - I would test for flare by shooting each lens at an angle to a bright light source (a window or lamp) which may be at the edge or outside the frame.

    - Shooting at, say, a lit building at night, may point up some smearing effect (around the pin points of light) that may be caused by internal haze.

    - Look at high contrast subjects with sharp edges, such as white sunlit surfaces against deep shadow (or black). Is there any blooming or flare evident?

    - For accuracy in comparing results you should put the camera on a tripod.

    - The standard test of shooting book cases can still be used for comparison purposes. Look for smearing in small type, etc. You will need to line up the camera as squarely as possible. The test is limited because (a) you are shooting at middle distances not infinity, (b) a good lens isn't always one with a flat field.

    Keep in mind that some of these things may become evident only in part of the frame. So if you see nothing wrong at the upper left quadrant, it doesn't mean the lower right is also fine.
    Thankfully, we are shooting digital and not film these days or these tests could cost a mint!

    Good Luck!

    Antonis
     
  4. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran Charter Member

    362
    Dec 15, 2009
    Amin and Antonis,
    Thanks for your opinions. I am pretty well set on the copy of the lens without the fungus. But we will see.
    Isn't this stuff fun???
    Steve
     
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Sure is! Looking forward to seeing some OM lens photos :drinks:.