Low-cost lens calvacade #2

A little preamble: many of the lenses I’m trying out here are “pre-set” types where there is one ring to set the minimum aperture stop and a second ring to change between wide open and closed down to the selected number. Using them with ‘Aperture Priority’ mode on the Sony is easy and works well; I often just set the ‘stop’ ring to its limit (f16 or f22 for these lenses) and then just dial it in to where I get the depth of field or shutter speed I want. However with each lens I have tried to take at least one shot wide open so I can see how sharp it is at maximum aperture. This doesn’t always work in bright sunlight even with ISO set at 100 as the Sony’s top shutter speed is 4000. In some cases I’ve shot under lower light conditions just to have a look, but I don’t always include those shots.

The next lens in the line-up is the Cunor 200mm f4.5:

Cunor 200mm

Once again we have a lens without any significant information about its manufacture. No worries, because results are what matter! Ah, shame about that. I wanted to like this lens because a 200mm prime could be useful. Not this one.  I took pictures and then I took them over again. I checked the glass three times. Nothing helped. Particularly not the f4.5 maximum aperture. It takes a lot of glass and brass to make a ‘fast’ lens and this one hasn’t got it and isn’t. Herein I’ve tried to find the best shots it did in the equivalent of a whole roll of film.

Lilac in winter. Full frame shrunk down.

Doesn’t look too bad, right? Now look at a 640×427 segment from the full size image:

Lilac in winter segment.

It’s like that in every shot at any distance or aperture; soft to the point of blurriness. Combined with the ‘slow’ maximum aperture, slightly low contrast, and a somewhat stiff focusing ring and you have a lens I must rate as only ‘fair’. I am not surprised by this however, as I wasn’t expecting great results from a “no-name” brand lens. Colour rendition is okay if a bit muted and no sign of significant chromatic aberration.

With some effort you can get ‘artistic’ results:

Dreamy images are possible.
Okay for full-frame, just don’t look close at the details.
When all else fails, take a picture of the dog.

(The last three shots were post-processed in many ways; the lens does not perform on its own.)

Oh well. Another ‘fair’ lens. We’re 0 for 2 so far.

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