Today I used a lens I also bought in Holland at he store I talked about before. I was really exited by this lens because it feels really good in the hand. It is nice and heavy and it zooms from 35 to a 105mm which I like for walking around in a city for instance. It also has a dedicated zoom setting that lets you get close with a 1:3 magnification, also nice for a city walk because now you can take some nice closeups of random details. I tried to find out some more details about this lens and Revuenon but besides some reviews of other lenses from the same manufacturer I found little about the brand itself. I wanted to know more about Revuenon because the lens feels good and seems to be of some good quality mechanically but optically it is terrible, at least my lens is. There is a small crack in the front lens, something you can see on some of the photos. Maybe this lens fell down once and shifted some lens elements internally. The problem is that you can not get a sharp focus on 35mm, you have to go to 40-45mm to get something in focus. If you are at 35mm you can “turn on” the macro setting and get focus that way but it is strange. This might be caused by a lens that is shifted internally but there are other problems, the amounts of chromatic aberration, specially at 3.8 is something you don’t see anymore at even the cheapest lenses made today. The glare is also noticeable and the lens is soft overall but specially in the corners and it has low contrast. There is also a lot of barrel distortion even at a 105 mm.
Most of these problems can be brushed away in post but the lack of sharpness not. Of the 15 pictures I took today I still like some of them but I wish it was a better lens. I might take it apart one day, as a practice and to see if there is something I can fix. You can see here the before pictures, those are JPEG’s from RAW files straight out of the camera. The after pictures are attempts of mine to make something out of these (hopeless) RAW files. I used Lightroom this time.
On the left you see the before picture and on the right the after picture. You can clearly see the barrel distortion and the softness, specially in the corners. This picture was taken at ca. 50mm, f5.6 and iso 640.
On this picture you can see the light bleed and a bluish color cast and softness of the lens, even if i mist focus on one of the branches of the tree some others would be in focus. This picture was taken at 105mm, f5.6 and iso 2000.
On this picture you can also see the light bleed, barrel distortion and soft focus. I could not focus at 35mm for some reason so I used the macro setting to get some kind of focus. This picture was taken at ca. 35mm, f5.6 and iso 640.
The left picture is shot at f3.8 and you can clearly see that some of the wires turned blue because of CA, the other picture is taken at f16 and there you see it hardly. The pictures is not in focus but the black and white version I made is not bad, it hides most of the problems.
Here I tested the macro setting. The picture is soft again and the out of focus parts when a highlight are like mist, the other out of focus parts are not bad. This picture is not usable but the closeup characteristics can be used for some “artsy” shots I think.
This picture is take at F16 and 105mm. The CA is not so bad but you can see the curve in the shoreline. At f16 and this distance you might think that more of the picture would be in focus but the overall softness hides this. I used focus assist to try to focus on the boat but even looking in the viewfinder it was impossible to get the boat in focus.
This is one of the pictures I like. I took the picture in an angel so at least some parts would be in focus. It is not sharp but with the boosted contrast it looks sharper and usable for me. I like the out of focus parts and at f3.8 the CA is this time minimal and because of the angel the distortion is hard to see.
The CA is bad at this picture, specially in the highlights.
This is also a picture I like. It is similar to the other picture of the roof. I like it because of the texture of the roof. It is shot at f16 and it is still soft but more sharpness would not necessary make the picture better.
For specific circumstances this lens is usable but because it is heavy I don’t think I would carry it with me because I have enough other lenses that can take the same pictures and also work in other circumstances.
4 thoughts on “Fujifilm X-T1, Revuenon 35-105mm f3.8”
Great write up!
Hello, I don’t know if this will be relevant after 3 years but I have the same lens and I also had same symptoms as you did; terrible CA, very soft, no focus at 35mm etc… Other symptoms include focusing beyond infinity at middle region of zoom, and distance reading written on lens was completely off. I am pretty sure you have a bad calibration or shifted/broken optical element. Testing for my theory is easy: When properly calibrated, this lens is (to my suprise) parfocal. A feat impossible to achieve if every element is not perfectly in place. Focus on any object (any distance) at, say, 75mm and it will maintain razor sharp focus all the way from 35 to 105mm without moving its focus block. If it doesn’t behave like this (I know mine initially didn’t) you have a problem… Mine was calibrated properly, but for Nikon F mount. Instead of opening it up, I’ve fixed it by attaching a spacer to compensate for the different flange focal distance.. On some vintage lenses, one should not blindly screw optic blocks all the way in; for different lens mounts, they must be glued to a proper position. My point is, I highly doubt somebody took his sweet time and specifically calibrated my M42 lens for F mount. I suspect this is the end result if everything is screwed all the way in. If thats the case, see if unscrewing the lens 1 complete turn from its mount (so you’ll offset the lens flange by exactly 1mm) solves your focus, softness and CA problems. I can’t comment on problems arise from cracked front glass but my example has noticable CA and purple fringing only at f3,8 and maybe at ~f4,8 depending on light conditions. After f5,6, It has no noticable CA and great sharpness for its vintage. Good contrast too if I am careful no sunlight hits the front element. Still a terrible lens at the extreme end of the macro regime though.
Thank you for your long comment. It is definitely something I might try when I feel like it one day. I use the lens now as a showpiece, these old lenses have their own charm. I still use my vintage lenses, but I gravitate more to fixed lenses because they are lighter to carry with me. If I go heavy; I take my Nikon lenses from the nineties and the d700, they have their own charm to, but they bring personal memories with them..