In January 2015 the 75 year old swedish photo magazine FOTO was closed by the owners. FOTO was a member of the EISA organization and a well respected magazine, featuring the work of many of the world most famous photographers.
Like most photo magazines it also contained a section with reviews. Among those were lens reviews, made with the help of MTF equipment at Hasselblad’s laboratory in Sweden. And since the magazine had been MTF testing lenses for over three decades, it possessed one of the largest archives of lens reviews in the world.
When FOTO was closed this valuable archive was taken over by the technical editor Christian Nilsson. To prevent it from falling into oblivion he founded the website Lensfreaks.com and renewed the collaboration with Hasselblad’s laboratory so that the MTF testing could continue.
The lens reviews are based on both field testing and MTF measurements carried out with an optical bench at the Victor Hasselblad factory in Gothenburg, Sweden. Per Nordlund, optical engineer at Hasselblad, is the operator of that equipment. The photographing, analyzing and writing part of the work is done by Christian Nilsson.
Unlike most MTF tests on the web, the fact that ours are done without any camera involved means we can avoid several sources of errors and limiting factors. For example, we measure MTF at many frequencies, from 10 up to 60 cycles/mm, and usually at inifinity. An exception is when we review macro lenses, as they are measured both at inifinity and at close focus. To simulate the various filters used in digital sensors we put appropiate stacks of specialized optical glass between the lens and the instrument.
However, the biggest advantage is that the reviews are comparable across platforms and over very long time periods. Something we have good use of. Because our archive consists of around 1000 MTF tested lenses, the oldest launched already in 1990. Since all of the MTF tests have been made in the same way, even the oldest lenses in our archive can be compared to the newest ones we review.
Lens reviews, both new and from our archive, will be published at Lensfreaks.com on a regular basis. We will also publish inteviews with photographers and people in the camera and lens manufacturing industry. Tips on good photographers and subjects are highly welcome!
You can contact Lensfreaks by sending a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org