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Nikkor 180mm vs Canon 200mm vs Leica APO 180mm

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#1 dp297


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:07 PM

I was wondering whether anyone has any experience on the optical quality and sharpness of the following 180mm lenses
Canon 200mm f2.8
Nikkor 180mm f2.8 ED and
Leica APO Telyt 180mm f3.4

or even better any photos

#2 Astro Boy

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:45 PM

I have had the Nikkor 180 sharp lens but had some CA wide open and a small amount at F4 it was an old AIS so the new ones may be better.
Hiro has a Leica 180 and from memory said it was so sharp that it gave square stars on a 5D MKII
Canon make a 200 F2.8 that people seem happy with I didn't know they made a 180 F2.8

#3 dp297


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:52 PM

You are of course correct...there is no 180 mm Canon...I mean the 200mm.
So I guess the sharpest is the Leica APO Telyt...which goes for about 1000 dollars..

#4 gezak22



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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:51 PM

I had a Canon 200mm f2.8L MK1 for ~ 3 years and I liked it a lot. It had to be stopped down to ~f3.6 for prettier results. Wide open it only worked for narrowband images, but the low signal intensity and the sharp light cone made focusing a real pain.

#5 Samir Kharusi

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:33 PM

The Canon 180mm/3.5macro is also supposed to be excellent. Check out the MTF. I prefer to use a lens that is of the same brand as the camera body. Autofocus is particularly useful during the day... Actually with Canon teles (>=100mm focal length) I use the autofocus even for astro on a bright star or planet. It's never let me down. A weakness I noted with the Canon 200mm/2.8 is with modded cameras. The Red channel gives larger stars than the Green and Blue at f2.8. Rather than closing down the aperture and increasing the necessary integration time, I prefer to sharpen the Red much harder than the other two channels. An annoyance that can lead to red donuts if overdone, but no lens is perfect, no matter how hard we wish for it. Nevertheless this is all predictable from Canon's own MTF data. Basically, after much testing, I decided that for decent astro performance you need the MTF curves for 30 l/mm to be >70% over your frame's format (full 35mm or 1.6x crop). The Canon 180mm/3.5 macro delivers that at f3.5, the Canon 200mm/2.8 II falls short, and that's probably what impacts performance with modded cameras.

#6 piaras


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:58 PM

Should I look at the Canon macro instead of the 200? Using a modded camera and looking at getting a lens in this range.

#7 fco_star



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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:20 PM

Nikkor 180mm

#8 LeCarl


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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:35 AM

nikkor too, because:

Indeed the leica is closed more, this give eventually better result.
BUT instead of a little bit of chromatic aberration the lens do a bit flared stars at corners like my cheap plastic 18-55mm... :roflmao:
The 18-55 is good plastic but somewhat not better than the nikkor at F3.5, or maybe F2.8...
See leica: http://www.flickr.co...09546/lightbox/
See nikkor http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/
See nikkor closed at f3.5? by aperture http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/

I will certainly not pay 1000$ for a 180mm lens that doing this...
(the stars is bigger in leica too, maybe in this test the leica was not focused to details, more on color)

In this price range, I seen borg scope that do this field with focal reducer...

If I get 600$ I will buy an astrotech AT65quad! THIS give very good flat field!
My friend have one, and we are more than impress about the value of this lens/scope, the field is narrower but... :jump:

#9 Samir Kharusi

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:27 AM

My suspicion is that the Canon 200mm f2.8 II, when closed down to f3.5 could have performance quite close to the Canon 180mm f3.5 macro. But the 200mm is a lot cheaper. If you wish to have a macro lens for daytime use, then obviously the 180mm would make more sense. If your daytime needs are more sporty than macro then obviously the 200mm would make more sense. The 180macro has a reputation for sluggish autofocus.

As an aside, nobody has a monopoly or super special expertise in lens design. All lens designs are compromises to a certain cost level/weight/etc. Leica also makes 180mm S lenses that go for $7k each. I expect these to be significantly better than a $1k Leica lens, especially if you stretch the format size of your sensor. I suspect that 3rd party lenses compromise further by more lax quality control, so you may be unlucky and get a particularly poor lens while everyone else raves about how great their own samples are. I am not particularly enamored by astro premium APOs either. They tend to be much slower in f-ratio than camera lenses, weigh more and if the manufacturer does not offer a matched field flattener you are up the creek. Check out my website below for direct comparos of two Canon camera lenses vs two TeleVue premium imaging APOs. They compromise on different facets, but the Canons sell in the thousands and thus have economies of scale built into their pricing. I expect that both Canon and Televue are capable of designs that can go head to head against the other, but the reality is that their markets are different, and design accordingly. You want a visual scope that can stand high magnification at the eyepiece but can be used on a smallish astroCCD? Go for an astro OTA. You want a DSLR astroimaging OTA that is hardly ever to be used as a visual scope you go for a camera lens (but you can of course always use a camera lens as a visual scope).

#10 orlyandico


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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:59 AM


Thanks for your insights. I have the Canon 180 macro but have never really used it for anything. Glad to know its competent wide-open!

(because my copy always gets used at f11 to f22....)

I have an EOS-to-QHY adapter, so when the Rosette falls below my balcony roof next month, I'll try it.

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