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Quality difference: ISCO ULTRA STAR HD & ISCO ULTRA STAR HD PLUS (red)

Thomas Crown

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Hello friends,


I am kindly looking for your feedback around how the ISCO ULTRA STAR HD (gold lenses with a blue line and blue star) compare to the later ISCO ULTRA STAR HD PLUS (red lenses).

Are these close to each other in the image quality they present or is the difference worthwhile in taking note of?


Curious to hear about your input?


Thank you in advance.

Bildresultat för isco ultra star hd


Bildresultat för isco ultra star hd


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  • 1 year later...

Both won an Oscar.

In general the HD plus, which was available in different f stop settings, was developed for higher MTF and more consistent resolution over the field.

Due to them being mostly retrofocus construction, a long focus base lens with a minifier converter, they could gain higher light output with matched projection lamp mirrors.

The problem can be found in the multiplex theatre peak time, you could get one, that performs outstanding, and another one, that performs very good, but not better than the HD variant.

The HD variant was also sold in a selected and stepped down studio version, which did offer the best screen quality. Color temperature might also be an issue. Some perforn quite cold, others are spot on with the same lamp and mirror.


From the Schneider series, the later variable base lenses (VP) and the Premiere series offer an even higher MTF, than the best Ultra Star plus, as long as the lens surfaces and anti reflex port glass is kept cleanest possible.

And not to forget the Japanese Nissin lenses, they're also very good.

For me, the geral rule is, stay away from everything older than 1995. 


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