Today I’m sharing my impressions on Pergear 60mm F2.8 lens in Fuji X mount. The sample was provided by Pergear in April, and it is an early prototype. I also had time to shoot with it and chance to provide feedback on any discovered flaws few months ago. Hopefully they are fixed in a production line lens samples. I’ll mostly focus attention on generic mechanical and optical performance. It’s important to take into account that it is not a perfect sample, but is good enough to get initial impressions.
Pergear 60mm F2.8 lens design
First of all, it looks like the Pergear 60mm F2.8 lens has SLR based optical design, and due to that, there is about 1 inch of mount-section that is basically a built-in adapter for Fuji X mount. When I look into the rear, the last glass element is positioned quite far inside from the rear mount. This lens could therefore possibly be produced for various mounts, possibly including DSLRs.
The second noticeable thing is the lens size. It is quite large and has noticeable weight for 60mm lens, though all of that is possibly a result of implementing 2:1 Macro focusing support. The Pergear 60mm actually has a compact optical formula when focused to infinity when front element sits deep inside the body of the lens.
When you focus closer to 1:1 Macro range, whole front optical module is moving toward the lens front inside lens frame tunnel. At 2:1 Macro focusing distance the front optics is near the filter thread area.
It is interesting to see slightly curved built in “hood-plate” to cut out stray light. Perhaps it is not rectangular to help OOF area look more smooth…? However there is also one more important reason to have that front plate – to hide very long aperture control pin located in left-up area of front chamber when looking from the front.
Pergear 60mm f/2.8 lens mechanics
The Pergear 60mm f/2.8 lens has extremely smooth and precise focusing with a large and wide focusing ring. Though the focusing is great for macro and close up, but at far distance the focusing trow is just few degrees. So precisely focusing at far distance requires more patience and accurate movement of the focusing ring.
The Pergear 60mm f/2.8 aperture ring does not have click stops, which makes the lens less expensive to produce, but is a feature that many photographers do not like. I also prefer to have click stops. On the other side of the coin, the ring moves with noticeable effort and keeps its selected aperture value very well.
It takes some time to get used to the the position of the focus ring, and that both control rings have the same texture. I quite often found myself grabbing it instead of aperture ring when looking into viewfinder – that is my main complaint here. What may have helped here is for Pergear to add diamond-textured rubber ring on top of aperture ring, so it will be easier to recognize it by hand.
Speaking of overall build, the Pergear 60mm f/2.8 macro lens is constructed like a heavy armored tank. It is all metal with a thick frame and moving parts. This prototype sample does not have protective glass in front area which I see in production sample pictures. I was also not able to unscrew the front nameplate to install internal filter glass, but filter thread would allow me to easily mount regular protective filter.
Also this prototype sample had a slightly offset Fuji X mount red dot by about 5mm radially. I think that should be fixed on production samples too.
Picture samples with Fuji X-T1 and Pergear 60mm f/2.8
Here are few image samples taken with this Pergear 60mm f/2.8 and Fuji X-T1 camera.
Distant picture samples with Pergear 60mm f/2.8
Few more pictures of distant scenes.
And now back to macro shots. All pictures in this articles are taken with the Pergear 60mm f/2.8 handheld, which means there may be some minor motion blur. I have to admit that shooting at 2:1 Macro requires very bright light, steady hand and fast shutter speed. So I had to elevate ISO high very often, especially during rainy day shooting.
In many cases I had to hold the front of the lens barrel near the target by putting hand on the surface and holding lens for extra point of support. Focusing was still difficult.
The Pergear 60mm f/2.8 is front heavy, so you also might find a robust Fuji X body made of magnesium alloy like the X-Tx series to be an advantage.
What I like a lot is the way this Pergear 60mm f/2.8 is renders the out of focus areas. It is very nicely blurred with pleasantly soft and smooth details that brings that 3D perspective to the scene.
2:1 macro and focusing precision
When shooting at 2:1 macro distance it is critical to have proper tripod for the best image results. Also such a close focusing distance has extremely shallow depth of field that can be less than 1mm deep. As such, it may be extremely difficult to get whole field in focus, and is very easy to get out of focus shot due to camera move when pressing the shutter button.
With the Pergear 60mm aperture set to f/5.6 things are slightly easier with about 3mm depth of field, though still very high accuracy of movement is required.Below are few pictures of textile surface at 2:1 Macro. That fabric density is four rows in 1mm.
The first shot was taken at f/2.8, and the following one at f/5.6
Again, the first shot was taken at f/2.8, and the following one at f/5.6
Below is a series of shots taken at different Macro modes with the Pergear 60mm f/2.8 . The object on the picture has length of 5.4cm or about 2inches.
1:2 Macro (F2.8 and F5.6)
1:1 Macro (F2.8 and F5.6)
2:1 Macro (F2.8 and F5.6)
As you might have gathered, there are quite high technical challenges of precisely capturing object at 2:1 Macro. When it comes to a moving target you also need great light source. This helps keeping ISO lower and increasing shutter speed. I personally didn’t have good success of capturing moving insects, especially when shooting without tripod.
For all this, I am sure macro shooting experts can take much better pictures with the Pergear 60mm f/2.8 than me, and so hopefully images in this article are representative enough what results you may obtain. These samples are straight out of Fuji camera without any post-processing.
Personally I have liked using this lens for extreme close-up pictures of lens disassembly. To use it like this, I put it on a tripod and set the aperture to f/8. I found taking in-the-field outdoor macro pictures is going to require more practice. I would also definitely recommend a good tripod and perhaps extra artificial light for best results.
For all that, the Pergear 60mm f/2.8 2:1 macro lens is quite a good affordable option. There are more convenient but much more expensive alternatives on the market. It is a noticeably large and heavy lens that is capable of taking extremely close macro shots if you learn/know how to do it properly.
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