“The performance of Carl Zeiss: Super Tele lenses and Digiscoping up to 1620 mm on the X-Pro1” by Jan Vogelaar


This friday the X-pert corner article is replaced by a Jan Vogelaar review. Please continue to support Rico’s great work and purchase his book Mastering the FUJIFILM X-Pro1” (Kindle Edition) (Apple iBook Store) (German version)”.

A review by Jan Vogelaar (author of various books like “Contarex, Contax G & Leica M Lenses Guide to Digital Imaging on the Fujifilm X-Pro1” [ebay (click here) or at camerabooks (click here)]

The development of photographic tele-lenses cannot be complete without Carl Zeiss AG. Today we speak about digiscoping on digital camera’s, however do you know, even the word “digiscoping” did not exist, but Carl Zeiss already in the nineteen fifties offered the solution for connecting and using a monocular on a photo camera. The longest tele-lens Zeiss offered as early as 1958 was the 4.0/250 mm Sonnar. The mounting of an 8 x 30 B monocular on the Contarex camera and lenses was offered in 1960 and creates with the 4.0/135 mm Sonnar a 1080 mm tele.

The Camera

The Fujinon XF lenses are newly designed for the APS C sensor. Al other lenses in my book however are originally designed for film. Many new lenses for the digital cameras today are a modification of film design lenses.

The scores for the lenses are given on a scale of 1 to 10 for sharpness and brilliance, 10 is best. For Color fringing and color aberration the score is also on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 equals totally absent.

All material is produced in a timespan of about 2 hours and no post-processing for aberrations or sharpness is performed. All files are .jpg from Photoshop and/or the Fuji .jpg in camera engine.

1 photo 1_zps414ddc65.jpg

The Fujinon XF lenses are newly designed for the APS C sensor. All other lenses in the book are originally designed for film. Even many new lenses on the digital market today are a modification of film design lenses.

The Monoculars and the Adapters

Zeiss offered in 1960 the 8 x 30 B monocular which was mountable on the 50 mm Contarex Planar & Tessar and on the 4.0/135 mm Sonnar lens by means of a ring (number 20.1633) fitting into the ø 49 mm filter mount and to the monocular with a ø 27 mm thread. Later in 1969 Zeiss introduced a Contarex B56 ring (number 20.1642) fitting on the 8 x 30 B monocular with the same ø 27 mm screw.

2 photo 2_zps6119d638.png

For the picture above: The left ring (20.1633) protrudes 7.6 mm into the lens mount and does not touch the front lens of the 4.0/135 mm. However the ring at the right (20.1639) protrudes 9.9 mm into the mount and is not suitable anymore for the 4.0/135 mm. It will hit the front lens! The B 56 ring (20.1642) not pictured here) will fit all Contarex lenses.

In order to show you the shooting point you see here the 50 mm standard lens photograph.

3 photo 3_zpsc52a074c.jpg

The Contarex Monocular 8 x 30 B combinations in this article

The lens/monocular speed is determined by the monocular front lens diameter only! The distance setting for the camera lens is set at infinity. Focusing for the combination is done with the monocular’s focusing. Of course you will need a tripod, the more weight creates the better stability. For the release it is best to use a cable or the self-timer. Heavy wind or traffic can be quite disturbing, a minimal vibration is noticeable immediately!

Originally in 1960 Zeiss introduced a prism monocular, later the strait type monocular came available. I have tested the Zeiss monocular, but any monocular that mounts well will do the job.

4 photo 4_zps855efcfd.jpg

Left to right: the Planar 2.0/50 mm, the Blitz Planar and the 4.0135 Sonnar, all with ring & monocular.

5 photo 5_zps52a13ab8.jpg

The combination of the Contarex 3.5/115 Tessar on the bellows looks a bit odd but is fine.
The tripod is connected to the bellow’s screw and makes a stable set.

The Contarex mount Sonnar 4.0/250 mm tele-lens results

** CLICK HERE to Read the Rest of the Article **

X100S firmware 1.02 available!


 photo firmware_zps8dddb44d.png

Fuji is famous for frequently releasing firmware updates and the constant improvement of its cameras. Now they just released the firmware 1.02 for the X100S here.

The phenomenon is fixed that the brightness of the OVF bright frame doesn’t change according to a surrounding brightness in case of ISO 1600 and higher.

Keep it up Fuji!… and what should be next? A fully customizable Q-menu as Ivar suggest in the comments? (RAW shooters would be very happy)

If you want to know how to do update, check out Fuji’s clear step by step guide here (and read Rico’s firmware update tips.)

Patrick (and thanks for the link, Kim)

Fuji X100S update guide

 photo guide_zps61e78c02.png


Silkypix 5: improved image processing of X-TRANS files soon!


 photo silky_zps8c50fea6.png

Silkypix 5 promises better X-TRANS RAW-files support soon. Here is the press release:

“Ichikawa Soft Laboratory (Representative Director: Yoshikuni Ichikawa; Headquarters: Chiba City) has succeeded in improving image processing algorithms in the digital development software “SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro5,” further improving picture quality when developing RAW images from the “X-Trans CMOS Sensors.”

“SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro5” has received high praise on its image quality from many customers since it became compatible with “X-Trans CMOS Sensors” (16 February 2012), but with these improved image processing algorithms, it can now further utilize the functions in “X-Trans CMOS Sensors,” as well as create images that maintain high resolution while eliminating images such as moiré.

We have already completed the technology for improving these image processing algorithms, and plan on releasing an updated version of “SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro5” in the near future.

For every Silkypix user ou there, click here to check it out.


X-PRO1 deal: save $300 at digitalrev (savings also in Europe)


 photo digitalrev_zps6b96a4b9.png

Check out this deal at digitalrev! If you purchase the X-PRO1 body you’ll save $300 dollar (price at AmazonUS, BHphoto and Adorama is $1399).

It’s a good deal also for Europeans. Just check out the Digitalrev shop in your country here and compare it with your Amazon here.

FR-reader Peter has been in touch with DigitalRev and he told me that their X-PRO1 body is indeed brand new. Apparently it is their regular price (for now), not a time-limited sale. Shipping cost and exchange rates may lead to price variations.

Did you find other interesting X-PRO1 offers? Just share them in the comments.


Free X-E1/X-PRO1 photographers guide book PDF


 photo x-e1_zps47490dd3.png

If you click on this link, you’ll be able to download a free PDF photographers guidbook for the X-E1. (If you want the free X-PRO1 book [with instruction on how to use SILKYPIX], click here) From the description:

“This is an official guidebook for the premium interchangeable lens camera, FUJIFILM X-E1. It is intended to help users enjoy photography even more with tips on how to use each of the various functions. It also includes an interview of photographer and some gallery of their works.”

It can’t match Rico’s “Mastering the X-PRO1“(Kindle Edition) (Apple iBook Store) (German version), but take a look at it, it’s nice, free and well worth a read!

And check Fujifilm’s lenses and accessories catalogue here (PDF)

Fuji X-E1: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay Fuji X-PRO1: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay