Readers stories: Lens Test Trioplan 50mm F2.9 and 100mm F2.8


The next readers story has been written by Henrik Fessler (Article originally posted on The post reviews two of the Trioplan lenses you can find here on eBay.

Contact me at if you have an interesting story to share on this blog. Thanks!


Henrik Fessler:
I am not such a big friend of showing off my camera gear. Ultimately the photographer shoots the pictures, not the camera. But today i’ll make an exception.
The good thing with Micro Four Thirds is the small flange distance between sensor plane and lens mount, as compared to other camera systems. This also makes it possible to put in a metal valve (aka lens adapter) to combine these lenses with a MFT body.
This results in a multitude of possibilities to mount old lenses to a modern digital camera system.
Whether old lenses with a M42 mount, FD Canon lenses, or the Nikon mount system that didn’t change in principle for a few decades, or a couple of other mount systems long gone: With MFT (and the other compact camera systems) a plethora of body-lens combinations can be realized.
I did discover two lenses that are roundabout 50 years old by now: It’s the 50mm and 100mm Trioplan lenses from Meyer/Gˆrlitz (so they were produced in the former GDR): On the inside you’ll find there -aside from lots of air- only three lenses giving the trioplan its name.

Hence there’s some funky specs:

  • Very lightweight, long focusing distance (~100cm for the 100mm)
  • Is as long as it suggests: 10cm length and a focal length of 100mm
  • Not so pricey, you can get them at around 150(+/-50)Ä leaving not too deep marks in your wallet. The M42 Version is more expensive, but it’s also available with an Exacta mount, for which MFT adapters are also available
  • A light metal lens that pleases your hands as well
  • The resolution specs (link to MTF measurements provided below) look quite … ahm sort of vintage :wink:
  • But now for the most important thing: Monster BOKEH :mrgreen:! I am sure: If Monet and the other impressionists would have owned a Trioplan, then we wouldn’t have paintings from them but shots made by the Trioplan!

Sure it’s up to your taste, whether you’ll find these crazy aberrations such as
happy aperture circles and heavy flares pleasing. But for my taste there’s nothing better around to shoot off flowers’n twigs into a fascinating Bokeh cosmos. With the 100mm Trioplan (200mm full frame equivalent on a Micro Four Third Camera) there’s nothing much more to photograph than flowers’n twigs, but it excels at it.
With the new focal length reducers available it might also be worth thinking about adapting this lens to these new possibilities of the MFT system (with a focal length 0,7 reducer the Trioplan 100mm F2.8 would become full frame equivalent of 140mm F2.0 lens :wink:)
A long story cut short: look at a Trioplan sample shot for yourself, whether you’ll find the pictures of this impressionist lens as fascinating as i do:

And if you like the tech part of photography and you want to dive into the geeky side of photography: I also have measured the MTF curves of this lens (alongside with the 50mm Trioplan lens) in my lens measurement test of the Trioplan Lenses … in the end it’s not comparable to today’s quality levels, but in the end it will be the picture, that makes the difference …

Check out the current Trioplan lens eBay acutions (Click here).


UPDATE: E-P5 sensor gets DxOmarked. And first $150 off at CameraLand


UPDATE: We just got notified by that there are two Black E-p5 superkits (with 17mm 1.8 and VF-4) in Stock with a $150 discount at CameraLand (Click here). P.S: DOn’t worry about the one wrong picture you see on top. They say they uploaded the wrong pic for mistake. The seller is super trusted!

The Olympus E-P5 sensor just got tested at DxOmark (Click here) and as expected it delivers the same kind of performance of all other Olympus 16 megapixel cameras (and same performance as the GH3). The new PEN is certainly a nice camera but the DxO team writes:

“With the market moving towards smaller, highly portable cameras featuring APS-C format sensors, Olympus needs to constantly reassert the advantages of the MFT format.”

I do hope the new GX7 camera will mark a clear new advancement in terms of image quality performance. it certainly delivers a great advancement in terms of features (in body IS, built-in EVF and so on). Meantime the E-P5 ins’t a hotseller according to the Amazon US mirrorless ranking (Click here). Same story for the German ranking and UK ranking.


Something MFT? Sigma big announcement coming…


Sigma Poland started a teaser for a big Sigma event. The text says: “Overthrow the system with Sigma. Liberation is coming…” I think this could become interesting for the Micro Four Thirds system too. There are some speculation running on the web:

1) Sigma could launch a new system camera with new mount
2) Sigma could launch a system camera and join the Micro Four Thirds system
3) Sigma could launch a sort of universal system adapter where all Sigma lenses can be used on all mirrorless systems (including MFT).

I think “option 3″ could be the right answer. But I am secretely hoping “option 2” is the right answer! Imagina  Sigma DP MFT camera (they are yet available as fixed lens camera only) having a new generation Foveon sensor! I know I know ….I am dreaming :)


Panasonic working on a similar Canon 70D phase detection sensor


The recently announced Canon 70D ($1199 DSLR) is the first camera having an on sensor usable phase detection AF area that  covers 80% of the frame. On paper this sounds like a sort of holy grail solution for mirrorless cameras. There are many advantages like:

  • AF works at apertures down to F11
  • AF covers 80% of the frame
  • AF works in light levels as low as 0 EV
  • Can work with face detection to keep moving subjects in focus

But Panasonic engineers came up with a similar solution described in US patent 8482657 (Click here). The patent contains plenty of images and description for the more advanced tech friendly readers. I don’t think that sensor will be used for the soon to be announced GX7. But I am sure the next GH may feature exactly that kind of on sensor phase detection feature.