Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 Review

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Introduction

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 is a modern version of the the original Primoplan 58 / f1.9 lens, which was developed by Meyer-Optik Görlitz’s designer Paul Schäfter in 1935. This updated Primoplan optic is manufactured using high-end coated glass made by Schott and O’Hara, features an iris diaphragm of 14 steel blades for a near-circular aperture, has a minimum focuising distance of 75cm, and comes in 9 different mounts, including Canon, Fuji X, Nikon, M42, Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, Pentax K, Leica M and Leica TL. The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens costs €1,999.00.

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Ease of Use

With a maximum diameter of 60mm and a length of 88mm, the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 is well-suited to Sony’s full-frame mirrorless camera bodies. Weighing in at around 290g, it’s a surprisingly light lens.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens mounted on a Sony A7R II body

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens mounted on a Sony A7R II body

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens mounted on a Sony A7R II body

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens mounted alongside a Sony A7R II body

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 boasts superb build quality. The lens has an all-aluminium casing and it features a metal bayonet. With no need for a zoom ring, the manual focusing ring spans a significant width of the lens barrel and is exceptionally smooth to operate, complete with a useful depth of field scale.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

Side of the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

Front of the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

Rear of the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens

At the end of the lens is the aperture ring, with the aperture ranging from f/1.9 to f/16. Note that this ring rotates smoothly throughout the range, with no actual hard stops (except at f/1.9 and f/16), which is perhaps better suited to movie recording than shooting stills.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

Side of the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

Side of the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 is a relatively simple lens with 5 elements in 4 groups. A 14-bladed rounded diaphragm, combined with the fast maximum aperture, helps provide incredibly smooth bokeh blur. There’s no optical image stabilisation, but the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9’s short telephoto focal length and fast maximum aperture largely alleviate the need for it.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens in-hand

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

A small round metal lens cap and a circular lens hood that screws into the front of the lens are supplied in the box. The filter diameter is 52mm.

Focal Range

The diagonal angle of view is 32.2°, i.e. the same as that of a 75mm lens in a 35mm full-frame system.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

Field of view at 50mm

Manual Focusing

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9’s manual focusing ring is positioned at the end of the lens barrel and is exceptionally smooth to operate, complete with a useful depth of field scale. It also has a large rotation angle which enables precise focusing and moves smoothly without any play. The precise engravings in meters and feet help make manual focusing a veritable pleasure, especially in conjunction with the excellent Peaking feature offered by the Sony A-series cameras.

Chromatic Aberrations

Lateral chromatic aberrations, typically seen as blue or purple fringes along contrasty edges, are well controlled with the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens. The crops below give you an idea of what you should expect in a worst-case scenario.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9
Light Fall-off

Wide open at f/1.9, there’s some noticeable light fall-off in the corners, but this clears up quickly upon stopping down.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

Vignetting at 75mm

Macro

With a close-focus point of 0.75m, the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 isn’t really a macro lens. The photo below shows how close you can get to your subject.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9

Close-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens has an iris diaphragm with no less than 14 circular aperture blades, which has resulted in outstanding bokeh, as you can see in the crops below.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9
Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9
Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Sharpness at 75mm

For this test, the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens was attached to a Sony A7R II camera, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. The self-timer was used in order to avoid any vibrations that may result from tripping the shutter. Slight tonal changes are due to slight changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame

The full frame at 75mm

In the centre of the frame, sharpness is acceptable at f/2.8, improving at f/4 and reaching peak performance at f/5.6-f/11. Diffraction sets in at f/16. The edges aren’t anywhere as sharp as the centre until f/8 onwards.

Aperture Center Crop Edge Crop
f/1.9 f1_9.jpg f1_9.jpg
f/2.8 f2_8.jpg f2_8.jpg
f/4 f4.jpg f4.jpg
f/5.6 f5_6.jpg f5_6.jpg
f/8 f8.jpg f8.jpg
f/11 f11.jpg f11.jpg
f/16 f16.jpg f16.jpg

Sample Images

The thumbnails below link to full-sized samples taken with the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens mounted on a Sony A7R II compact system camera.

1/125s · f/0 · ISO 320

1/125s · f/0 · ISO 125

1/125s · f/0 · ISO 250

1/125s · f/0 · ISO 160

1/125s · f/0 · ISO 500

1/800s · f/0 · ISO 100

1/125s · f/0 · ISO 100

1/500s · f/0 · ISO 100

1/400s · f/0 · ISO 100

1/200s · f/0 · ISO 100

1/125s · f/0 · ISO 2500

Specifications

  • Light intensity: f1.9 – f16
  • Mounts: Canon, Fuji X, Leica L, Leica M, M42, Micro-Four-Thirds, Nikon, Pentax, Sony E
  • Aperture: 75mm
  • Rangefinder Coupling: not supported
  • Weight: ~ 290g
  • Angle of view: 16°
  • Minimum focusing distance: 0,75 m
  • Blendenlamellen: 14, steel, special anti reflex coating
  • Filter diameter: 52mm
  • Optical design: 5 elements in 4 groups

Conclusion

Essentially a longer focal length version of the Primoplan 58mm f/1.9 that we reviewed yesterday, the new Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 lens is even more capable of producing some wonderful bokeh effects when used in the right shooting conditions, thanks to the longer focal length and extra aperture blades (a whopping 14 in total). Although it can’t focus quite as closely (75cm, versus 60cm on the Primoplan 58mm), it is easier to create that lovely swirly bokeh.

Build quality is the same, that is to say, outstanding. We continue to miss having hard stops on the aperture ring, although there is at least a marking for f/16 on the lens barrel, unlike on the 58mm lens, while the wider aperture and focusing rings make the Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 easier to use.

Priced at €1999, the Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 is even more expensive than the Primoplan 58mm f/1.9, but the slightly longer focal length and two extra aperture blades do make it better suited to portraiture, so if that’s your specialist area, this is the one to go for…

(photographyblog.com, https://goo.gl/4vfy9W)

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