Best lens for Technical Photography: Coastal Optical 60 mm TESTED

We just tested Coastal Optical 60 mm lens on our Nikon D800 for technical photography (visible, ultraviolet fluorescence, ultraviolet reflected, infrared) and infrared reflectography.  This is an  apochromatic lens in the range 310-110 nm.  Indeed, the lens didn’t need any refocusing while shooting technical photos in the UV, VIS and IR region. It really resulted sharply apochromatic. Coastal Optical Apo Macro 60mm lens is a superb lens for visible and macro photography and consequently for UV fluorescence (UVF). At CHSOS we were more interested to evaluate its performance in UV reflected (UVR) and Infrared (IR) to spot any difference. The technical photos were comparable with those acquired with standard lenses but with the relevant advantage that no refocusing was needed.  Another advantage of an apochromatic lens is that the creation of infrared false color images is straightforward since no registration is necessary between VIS and IR images. The lens was also checked for hotspots in the infrared and test data enriched the Infrared Pho­tog­ra­phy Lenses Database. No hotspot even at the highest F-number was noticed.This property qualify this lens for infrared photography but also for  panoramic infrared reflectography since it can be stopped down in order to increase the depth of field without causing hot spots. Of course, this is also a perfect lens for multispectral imaging (bandpass interferential filters). Its only drawback, very expensive.

Coastal Optical 60mm

Coastal Optical 60 mm tested on Nikon D800 modified full spectrum for Technical Photography.

VIS

VIS photography on Pigments Checker. Coastal Optical 1:4 Apo Macro 60mm on Nikon D800 modified full spectrum.

 


pigments checker v2 vsPigments Checker is for photographers, conservators and scientists interested in technical documentation of paintingss. It has 54 swatches of historical pigments designed for infrared photography, ultraviolet photography and other technical photographic methods for art examination. Check it out!

Pigments Checker is a collection of 54 swatches of his­tor­i­cal pig­ments that have been applied using gum ara­bic as a binder on a cel­lu­lose and cot­ton water­color paper, acids and lignin free. This paper is not treated with opti­cal bright­en­ers, it’s slightly UV flu­o­res­cent, and it reflects IR. Two cross-hair lines, 0,2 mm (ver­ti­cal) and 0.4 mm (hor­i­zon­tal) are printed on each swatch of paper before the appli­ca­tion of paint, in order to have a means to eval­u­ate the pig­ments’ trans­parency in the IR and IRR imag­ing. Among all the pig­ments and their vari­eties ever used in art these pig­ments col­lec­tion select the most used ones from antiquity to early 1950’.


UVF

UVF (Ultraviolet Fluorescence) photography on Pigments Checker. Coastal Optical 1:4 Apo Macro 60mm on Nikon D800 modified full spectrum.

UVR

UVR (UV Reflected) photography on Pigments Checker. Coastal Optical 1:4 Apo Macro 60mm on Nikon D800 modified full spectrum.

IR

IR (Infrared) photography on Pigments Checker. Coastal Optical 1:4 Apo Macro 60mm on Nikon D800 modified full spectrum.

IRF

IRF (Infrared Fluorescence) photography on Pigments Checker. Coastal Optical 1:4 Apo Macro 60mm on Nikon D800 modified full spectrum.

IRFC

IRFC (Infrared False Color) photography on Pigments Checker. Coastal Optical 1:4 Apo Macro 60mm on Nikon D800 modified full spectrum.

IRR

IRR (Infrared Reflectography) on Pigments Checker. Coastal Optical 1:4 Apo Macro 60mm on InGaAs camera.

Coastal Optical  1-4 Apo Macro 60mm test

Coastal Opti­cal 1:4 Apo Macro 60mm (dis­tance cam­era –tar­get 90 cm). No hotspots at any F-number.

 

2016-10-17T16:33:05+00:00

12 Comments

  1. carolina correa February 9, 2015 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Hello Antonino

    Is this lens mount F ready or you have to use mount adaptor? and how is the closest focus distance to the object ?

    • Antonino Cosentino February 9, 2015 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      Hi Carolina, it is ready for Nikon and it focuses at 35 cm.

  2. Aaron February 9, 2015 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    I love this lens. I used while at the NEDCC and I am working hard to get a copy it here at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

    Nevertheless, I am trying to figure out if you can special order a Canon EF mount for it, or if it is only Nikon. With the new Canon 5DS-R coming out, this lens and that camera might be a great pair.

    • Antonino Cosentino February 9, 2015 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      No idea if they make if also for Canon

  3. Luis Bravo Pereira February 9, 2015 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Constantino! I have one Coastal 60mm UV-VIS-IR since 2008 (when it was launched to the market) and since then the lens is my main workhorse for Cultural Heritage photography… I love this lens! The range where this lens is apochromatic is the same range where the sensors of the modern digital cameras present is sensitivity too, so it is a perfect match for a modified digital camera. It is excellent for IR, UV and fluorescence photography, and as you mentioned on your article, ideal for perfect overlapping images without the need of registration! And, of-course, for multispectral imaging is perfect for the same reasons! The definition of this lens is great too, with MTF charts showing excellent resolution, and being probably as sharp as the famous and also expensive too “Zeiss Otus 55mm-f/1.4” (not adequate for multispectral photography!).

    About hotspots, however, some users (including me!) experienced with this lens in some rare cases the appearance of hotspots doing macro-photography, with invisible radiation and near of his closest focus limit!… in such cases, sometimes you can turn around the problem using extension rings, instead of close focusing with the lens.

    Cheers

    Luís Bravo Pereira

    • Antonino Cosentino February 9, 2015 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      Hi Luis, (my last name is actually Cosentino, but nevermind everybody misses it :-)) thanks for the info. Do you know of anybody selling an used one?

      • Taylor Bennett February 11, 2015 at 9:10 am - Reply

        Thanks, Antonino! For mortals such as we, who don’t have the resources to purchase one, this lens can sometimes be rented (try LensRentals). There are also a couple of other versions that might be of interest for some users and applications:
        105 mm UV-VIS lens (F-mount; color corrected for 250-700 nm):
        http://www.jenoptik-inc.com/coastalopt-standard-lenses/uv-vis-105mm-slr-lens-mainmenu-40.html
        And if you’re looking into wavelengths in the range of InGaAs sensors, a 25 mm hyperspectral lens for VIS-NIR (C-mount; color corrected for 400-1700 nm):
        http://www.jenoptik-inc.com/literature/doc_view/6-3-hyperspectral-lens.html
        Coastal Optics has also produced custom versions. There’s a lot of information available about the potential problem with flaring, but it only occurs under limited conditions and there are known workarounds, as Luís noted.

        Cheers,
        Taylor

        • Antonino Cosentino February 11, 2015 at 9:13 am - Reply

          Hi Taylor, thanks for the info! Do you know if LensRental rents in Europe or is a similar service for Europe?

          • Taylor Bennett February 11, 2015 at 9:23 am

            I’m afraid LensRentals ships only to the U.S. They apparently have a Canadian counterpart as well, but I’m not sure if they offer this lens. I don’t know if there is a similar rental service in Europe that offers it. Sorry!

          • Antonino Cosentino February 11, 2015 at 9:25 am

            yeah, that is what I was worried about :-(((((((

  4. Adam February 22, 2017 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    Antonino, what InGaAs camera was used for the test above? Did it have a Nikon Mount?

    Thanks,
    Adam

    • Antonino Cosentino February 22, 2017 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      Adam, yes, Nikon mount adaptor for InGaAs. Cheers

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