Arax 80mm tilt/shift lens - opinions

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Blighty, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Fellow Apuggers,
    I just bought an Russian Arax tilt/shift lens which, considering the price, I'm quite chuffed with. Does anyone else out there in Apugland have one and, if you do, what's your opinion? I'm having great fun doing the usual 'toy' effect kind of shots and exploring all the other possibilities but the resulting negs look less contrasty compared to my Nikon primes, even when no tilt or shift is employed. The images are tack sharp but just lack that bite that I'm used to. Is this normal for T/S lenses or typical of Russian optics in general. Regards, Blights
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    It's a medium format lens. Bellows flare?
     
  3. Abbazz

    Abbazz Member

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    I have the 35/2.8 Arax tilt and shift lens in M42 mount. It is a bit soft wide open but sharpens nicely when stopped down. I find the contrast is OK though maybe somewhat inferior to top-notch prime lenses.

    Here are some pictures using maximum tilt -- the first one was taken wide open:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Could you post some pictures taken with your lens so that we can compare?

    Cheers,

    Abbazz
     
  4. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    The Ukraine made Tilt-Shift lenses offered under the Arax name, and also under their real name of Arsat, are usually in well designed lensmounts, however the lenses are the same identical lenses also offered in standard lensmount, thus are not really "wide-field" lenses, and you can run out of coverage if you are not careful. The 35mm is just the same 35mm lens that was made as a moderate wide angle for the Kiev line of 35mm SLR cameras, the 80mm is the same lens optics as used in the normal Arsat 80mm lens for the Kiev Medium-Format SLR's. These glass elements are just put in tilt-shift mounts. Being that the 80mm was designed to cover 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 at infinity, it will have coverage for movements when used on 35mm format cameras in the tilt-shift mount, but the 35mm will be much tighter.
     
  5. Abbazz

    Abbazz Member

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    I am surpised by your statement. Shouldn't a lens designed to cover 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 (6x6) have no problem covering the full 35mm frame, even with the maximum amount of shift (11mm)?

    I regularly use the T/S 35mm on my Pentax SV and have yet to run into coverage problems, even with full shift/tilt.

    AFAIK, the 35/2.8 tilt and shift lens is an exclusive Arax model and is not sold under the Arsat brand.

    Cheers,

    Abbazz
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Here is what the ARAX site says:

    http://www.araxfoto.com/specials/tilt-shift-80/


    This lens was never made at the ARSENAL factory. It is produced by ARAX from medium format MC ARSAT 80mm lenses. We are the OEM for lenses distributed under different brands for other companies. You can find them as ARSAT, BIG, FOTEX, PHOTEX, etc. All of these lenses are manufactured by ARAX technicians.
    You can use this lens on any 35mm digital or film cameras.
    Comes with protective caps and case.
    Specifications
     Lens elements: 6 Multicoated
     Focal length: 80mm
     Focusing scale: 0.6 m to infinity
     Minimum focusing distance: 0.6 m
     Aperture scale: f2.8 to f22
     Shift: 11mm
     Tilt: plus/minus 8 deg
     Lens rotate: 360 deg


    MC ARAX 2.8/35mm Tilt & Shift lens
    This lens was never made at the ARSENAL factory.

    It is produced by ARAX from MC ARSAT 35mm Shift lenses.

    We are the OEM for lenses distributed under different brands for other companies. You can find them as ARSAT, BIG, FOTEX, PHOTEX, etc. All of these lenses are manufactured by ARAX technicians.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2007
  7. Abbazz

    Abbazz Member

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    Yes, Tom, you are of course right, these lenses are also sold under the Arsat brand.

    My understanding is that Arsat makes shift lenses for 35mm from Russian or Ukrainian MF glass. Then Arax adapts a Canon-style tilt and shift module to the Arsat shift lenses. Finally, Arsat rebrands the Arax modified T/S lenses to sell them under its own name.

    Cheers,

    Abbazz
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yes, ARAX state on their website that they use ARSAT milti-coated optics in their lenses (thus Ukrainian).
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    My medium format ARSAT (65mm & 55mm) lenses are sharp and contrasty. I have switched backs and lenses and compared lens performance with the same scene and lighting. ARSAT 55mm versus my 60mm MC Schneider Curtagon and 50mm MC Zeiss Flektagon lenses. Images made with all three lenses are excellent and comparable.

    The 55mm ARSAT has become one of my favorite MF lenses, my 55mm ARSAT is a small bit sharper than my 65mm ARSAT.
     
  10. goros

    goros Subscriber

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    Hi all,

    I've always wanted a T&S lens, but using Nikon cameras I had no other option than using a Lensbaby. I was even thinking in buying a Canon manual body and one of the Canon T&S lenses.

    That was until I discovered this thread about Arax T&S lenses. I'm really interested in buying the 35/2.8 but have some questions regarding construction quality. What quality should I expect? Are they well built? Metal or plastic barrel?

    You know waht I mean.

    Cheers
     
  11. Abbazz

    Abbazz Member

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    Alfonso,

    The Arax 35/2.8 T&S lens is reasonably well constructed, with a metal barrel. It feels solid and quite heavy in the hand. The controls do not feel as well damped as on a Canon T&S lens, but built quality is globally OK. The aperture ring is not damped at all and has a plastic preset mechanism, which seems a bit flimsy. I wish Arax had skipped the preset, which is not very useful on a T&S lens anyway.

    Cheers,

    Abbazz
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2007
  12. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    My 85mm Arax is built like a brick shithouse. All metal construction - apart from the glass bits! Pretty solid.