Hybrid Aspherics

A short note about fears of lenses in lenses made partially from plastic or similar material.

Hybrid Aspherical Lens

The first lens with a hybrid aspherical element. The outside is glass and the inside is plastic. This way the front lens is not scratched

A hybrid aspherical element is an element (lens) consisting of a glass base on which plastic is grown / fused, creating the desired shape for the required optical tasks.

From amateurs, I hear different negative opinions about hybrid optical elements. Most often, I come across something like these statements:

  • hybrid aspheric is a sign of a bad lens
  • over time, the plastic darkens, becomes cloudier, and the image quality decreases
  • plastic scratches easily and the lens can deteriorate quickly
  • lenses with such elements become unusable after a couple of years
  • it’s better to use any other lens, if only not with plastic lenses
  • it is impossible to calculate the optimal parameters in the hybrid due to differences in the optical properties of glass and plastic
  • and many other similar opinions

Now, in 2019, I have a lens in my hands Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70mm 1: 3.5-4.5Dwhich is Nikon's first lenswhose optical design uses a hybrid aspherical element. The first version of this lens MKI NON-D has been produced since 1991. At the time of this writing, my lens is over 25 years old. Roughly speaking, this is a lens with the oldest aspheric lens inside. Image from this instance Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70mm 1: 3.5-4.5D has not undergone any significant changes, and his aperture in the T-steps is at the right level.

The same Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70mm 1: 3.5-4.5D

The same Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70mm 1: 3.5-4.5D... There was also a time when no one indicated 'Aspherical' on the case.

For all the time of communication with a large number of lenses I have never met before that hybrid elements lose their original properties. I highly recommend not taking hybrid aspherical horror stories to heart., especially when it comes to modern lenses. In the general case, I have a positive attitude to such technology, since this allows us to reduce the cost of high-quality optics and make it available to a large number of amateur photographers.

  • the front or rear lenses of the lens are not made of plastic, and therefore these elements are glass and it is difficult to damage them. Internal lenses can only be scratched if you disassemble the lens
  • a special plastic or special acrylic is used in the lens, which they try to make resistant to darkening and degradation from time to time
  • from the lens repair masters I’ve never heard of the detachment of the plastic part of the lens of the lens from its glass part
  • many successful lenses in their design have hybrid aspherics and are very popular. First come to mind Nikon 35mm f / 1.8G DX и Canon 17-55 / 2.8 IS
  • of course the phrase 'all lenses are glass'sounds much better than' some plastic or hybrid lenses'. It is psychologically difficult for many photographers / amateur photographers to switch from any classic glass' Zeiss / Leica /any other nice photo brand'on some modern' science fiction plastic products' cast in China or Vietnam

Thoughts on what will happen to mine Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70mm 1: 3.5-4.5D after a couple of decades, leave in the comments. It is also interesting to hear users who have ever encountered any real problems with lenses whose optical design includes all plastic, acrylic or any other plastic-like elements.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

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Comments: 57, on the topic: About hybrid aspherics

  • Paul

    “Thoughts about what will happen to my Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70mm 1: 3.5-4.5D in a couple of decades, leave a comment”

    What will happen? Yes, the same as with plastic bumpers and headlights of modern foreign cars - NOTHING. When used correctly.

    • anonym

      Plastic headlights become cloudy over time.
      Even the expensive Mercedes))
      W220 and W210, for example.

      • anonym

        Plastic headlights do not cloud with time, but from exposure to dust / sand particles that crash into them while the car is moving.

        • Denis

          ultraviolet light makes them turn yellow
          and more scratches when wiping with a rag than when moving

          • Air force

            The headlights are heated, but the inside is a halogen lamp. And if you throw snow outside, then microcracks will appear

            • Denis

              factors work together, by the way, ultraviolet halogens also emit
              the headlights get noticeably hot in summer, but hardly in winter. snow thaws, but nothing more

              • Michael

                In winter, they also noticeably heat up. If the headlights are glass, then an attempt to clean them with snow ends with a replacement.

              • Denis

                henceforth I will be more careful, I cleaned both of them with snow ...
                especially with foglights often do this
                in summer, the main problem during the day if you drive with low beam is the wires melt if the lamp is powerful :)

              • Denis

                (insulation fuses next to the lamp)

              • Victor

                The insulation of the wires (any!) Is heated and melted ONLY from a bad contact (connection). The reason must be sought there.

              • Denis

                in fact, if instead of the standard 55W lamp you put a brighter one, the current will flow more than the calculated one, the wires will heat up in general, and then there is a hot bulb nearby and summer in general

            • Max

              So the lens will turn yellow from ultraviolet radiation! Horror !!!

      • Onotole

        By the way, does anyone know what kind of plastic is used to make lenses? Polycarbonate?

  • Air force

    I don’t know for the lenses, but I go with glasses with plastic lenses. Lenses are lighter and thinner. This is a plus. But to find high-quality and inexpensive is unrealistic. So I would not say that plastic makes the lens more accessible, it increases the capitalist’s profit, that’s all

    • 1Ds_mk3

      The time of cheap, high-quality and fast lenses has not come and will never come.
      Especially in the falling photographic market.

    • anonym

      At first, due to scarcity, fashion, and the absence of any reliable useful information, merchants tear three skins. Moreover, prices are taken from the ceiling. When it comes to official deliveries, it turns out that the price is not so crazy, and they are not as awesome as they were presented at first.

  • Onotole

    Durability is good, but what about picture quality?
    Are not aspherical elements responsible for the “onion” bokeh? Or bokeh with a bright dot in the center? By removing some (spherical, not so unpleasant, and often even desirable) aberrations, others are introduced - at first glance subtle, but 100% synthetic.
    In short, spherical lenses rule! spherical lenses - Foreva!

    • Michael

      Caesar - Caesar. I'd rather live without spherical aberrations and without changing the sharpness across the frame

      • Onotole

        What is the change in field sharpness? The use of aspherics is not a guarantee of its absence, as well as lenses without aspherical elements may or may not have such quality.

        • Michael

          Doesn't guarantee, but improves. Shiriki without aspherics and special elements is still a song. There is much less efiekta on the TV range

  • Ololoev

    It is worth remembering that today when we buy almost any product, we pay not so much for the materials from which this product is made, but for the technologies that are contained in it.

    Mineral glass cuts off the UV range, which provides polymer lenses with durability, and stabilizers in the polymer protect it from changes. The manufacturer tests polymers under harsh conditions that simulate decades of use, often under aggressive conditions. And only those compositions go further that have passed such tests. Hence the price of a product that “passes” more than a dozen years, being lightweight and reliable.

    • Alexander

      You are so naive - “the manufacturer is testing …… ..” The manufacturer is a capitalist .. And he doesn't give a fuck what you will do next with his product - especially when the warranty runs out ... This is the “evil grin of capitalism” ... They only test to determine and to correct the service life ... All this technical progress is based only on selfish interest ... Everything else is secondary for the capitalist ... Remember the words of Vladimir Ilyich: "The capitalist will commit any crimes for the sake of super-profit" Now this is an Axiom - "Golden Words" of the leader of the world proletariat ...

      • anonym

        You are an interesting person. The author writes to you that the lens does not lose its properties for a quarter of a century, and you don’t care about the quality of the capitalist. This kind of aspherics allows you to create relatively inexpensive lenses in the Tamron 28-75 / 2.8 class, although it probably has its drawbacks, possibly in the form of imperfect bokeh. I have no answer why prosperous socialism has not yet reached the autofocus Zenith and remained at the Helios 44-2 level, and rotting capitalism creates autofocus 28-70 / 2.0. It turns out that the capitalist does not care at all, and even the most budget cameras and lenses beat off their resource for 7-10 years

        • Air force

          Yeah, after 25 years he shot the same scene and compared the picture quality)

          • Onotole

            Actually, this is not a problem at all - to find some frame from 25 years ago and recreate the conditions. This is about harshness-haze.
            Regarding darkening - the article already indicates the methods and results of testing for this, read carefully.

          • Arkady Shapoval

            If the picture has gotten worse, then try to refute my thesis :)

            • Dim

              Quote: “I don’t have an answer why prosperous socialism did not grow to autofocus Zenith and remained at the level of Helios 44-2, while decaying capitalism creates autofocus 28-70 / 2.0.”
              The problem with your attack on socialism is, dear, that now you can completely freely buy old lenses from Seitz, Schneider, ISCO and the like, mega-brands, from the West, from the east of Germany or from there directly from a store in Austria and compare with bought on the same e-bay by Helios, right on a modern carcass and draw conclusions yourself. It is also true that there is no iron curtain and many have now traveled decently to countries of prosperous capitalism. This is to say that in the end you can leave your abstruse-authoritative-all-knowing hints to yourself.

              • Novel

                You can see how flourishing socialism works in Venezuela now. But every time your socialism is “wrong”.

              • Dim

                In Venice we can observe a gentle advance of democratic values, which slows down for obvious reasons. Something like the Arab spring with explosions and massive bloodletting in ordinary people. I don’t know how it is with democracy in Libya now, but personally I don’t want this for anyone, even for you. Read at least about Vasco da Gama - going to the aid of Christians in India, or there about the study of the eclipse of Venus in Tahiti, which was carried out by the famous British discoverer. Essentially different tools for different jobs. If you have something wrong with your vision, throwing mud at someone is unlikely to help.

              • Dim

                You don’t trust me, obviously, here’s an interesting article by the Financial Times (not a post-socialist resource) about US hegemony: http://www.bbc.com/russian/amp/news-48224296

              • Dim

                They themselves stuck a label. They themselves put things in order. I planted a kindergarten itself, I will water it myself.

        • Victor

          Capitalism has always made good goods for the rich and well-to-do. Socialism made bad, average, and occasionally good goods for the poor and the poor. Even today, communist China and Vietnam make goods for the poor.
          The bourgeoisie began mass production of “correct” autofocus lenses in 1985, with the Minolta 7000 AF. I would like to note that the real end of the USSR was not the formal 1991, but just 1985, the arrival of the destroyer and the Western agent of Gorbachev and Co. Since about 1983, the country's development has already stopped. This can be seen not only in photographic equipment, but across the entire range of consumer products. Then there was a small inertia of 5-7 years, based on the achievements of the past, and then the catastrophic “capitalist” collapse of the 90s, where we sometimes lost five hundred and more high technologies a year. Today, neither we nor the bourgeoisie can often repeat these technologies.

      • Novel

        What sick you are there. Helios in hand. Stolen from Zeiss.

        • Dim

          And the people who were brought together in concentration camps, this is of course nothing like that, amid concern for moshna.

          • Novel

            That’s who would say it. In the presence of the Gulag and the millions thrown into the furnace of revolution. Two boots of steam and no one knows which is worse. Zeiss had at least normal optics.

            • Dim

              You may need to rethink your priorities or values ​​there. There is such a book, I don’t remember the name exactly, but something like: NKVD certificates on the situation in the country. Dear comrades, all the good people from the enlightened West, and then did not doze off. This does not mean at all that I support the bloody terror of the Bolsheviks. But the desire of some to make a neighbor better from their sense of justice, when personifying themselves with God, is simply the limit to everything

          • Denis

            prisoners in concentration camps walked for days without stopping, testing shoes, for example
            obviously, in the excellent quality of the zeiss there is also their merit

            • Dim

              You can also recall the experiments on prisoners to survive after a long stay in cold water. They were so “nice” that for some time they were afraid to use their really priceless results.

      • Dim

        No need to ascribe to me my fantasies, I, like, do not pounce on anyone in order to neutralize my cognitive dissonance.

      • coroner

        Quote:
        Remember the words of Vladimir Ilyich: "The capitalist will commit any crime for the sake of superprofits"

        And these are not his words. And the quote is distorted. Learn the materiel.
        His words are: "The main problem with quotes on the Internet is that everyone believes in their authenticity."

        • Dim

          Mindflow?

  • anonym

    Now, is that why photo (bokeh) from cheap zooms does not suit many?
    And cheap Chinese fixes, to put it mildly, do not impress a sophisticated look.

  • Reader

    At the end of the previous topic about the stub - it is easier to turn plastic lenses and power consumption is less.

  • Past Crocodile

    The problem of old optics is not in plastic if it is. And in mechanics, condensate, mushrooms, and so on), the nikkor presented by Arkady also twisted. Nothing new. On the glass, condensate and mushrooms, on plastic so, wipe with a swab at a time. Turbidity is not noted.
    Complex aspherics had to be glued and pasted ... but that's what 99 percent of those sitting on this site won't get anywhere) there are nuances.
    And so it’s all, buy guys fluorites and complex aspherics. And may there be happiness and $$$ radiation to you)

  • Igor Rozhkov

    Polymers paint worse. Less detail in shadows. The Japanese do not “melt” the polymer onto glass, but use a special hot melt glue. Later, fungi (mold) grow in the layer of this glue, due to which the contrast and quality of the image in general drop. You can see them under fluorescent lighting. It is interesting that this mold more affects the glass of coastal countries, apparently the sea air contributes to their growth. In Japan, photographers-collectors keep their optics park in special lockers, inside of which the microclimate is automatically maintained to prevent this mold from forming in the lens lenses. One could continue the educational program further, but print too lazy. My opinion is that you need a lens for a couple or three years, then you can buy any one. For long term use, I would not bother with polymers.

  • Past Crocodile

    Igor, don't drive the readers into a stupor) that Nikon has one thing, the boot has another. Mushrooms grow everywhere. The adhesives are also different - starting from Canadians ending with # er knows what epoxies have old sigma, for example) if you want the lens to be eternal - do not take the rolling from oli and expensive tops on the adhesive - those that you yourself cannot wash if you do. The eternal objectos is a mechanic multiplied by your hands. Well, or a repairman, which is a big question. By the way, film cameras are there too) the principle is the same.

  • Past Crocodile

    In general, I will add - the main thing in rinsing with a lens is the ability to find a donor for it. Neither always comes in handy. Or it takes up to # era a long time.
    For instance. One of my completely overgrown whitemouth 80-200 4.5, which was a plantation of algae in the light (puff, something like a soapy white brew in the light), was excellently washed optically. But ... I got rusted off the tail so that I had to cut off the bayonet completely.
    Since the series was the first ancient one, it turned into a waitress for a year and a half, until the second one came with a completely broken lens unit - but a whole tail.
    In general, it is creativity with glass, with iron - so, waiting for spare parts)

  • Artem

    but what about temperatures, plastic changes its properties from temperatures. In the film era, I had a soap dish, in the summer, great pictures, and in the cold, the soap was solid.
    from recent examples, tamron 28-75 2.8, over time, began to soft on the open

    • BB

      I see we have a new highly intelligent troll. Ban it already ...

  • Passing by

    The topic, here is an interesting topic about bright autofocus tams) the thing is that it is essentially one-time. I explain. The construct is essentially a Chinese toy. Adjusting screws in plastic) guides, bushings, etc. more fun, but also not far gone. As a result, when trying to build, ideally you have to seal !!! Which is generally akin to luck. Well, there was a price tag to play in general. Although optically not bad.
    As for the soap dishes - xs, I didn't hold it in my hands, I don't know. That is, there was initially on the skoka I know in the mass models there was plastic by default.
    MTL practices worked for me up to minus 20ti. No longer tormented. Or there were no frosts). Alive to this moment, did not even climb)
    Something like this.

  • anonym

    We all will die

    • BB

      oh oh

    • anonym

      Oh, how ... But it's true!
      So is it worth buying what's cheaper (plastic)?
      The plastic case is still all right, and it's more pleasant to hold metal in your hands.
      Only high-quality optics are hardly made from hybrids.
      Optics - plastic! The monitor is plastic! Photos - with plastic faces ... And then you are surprised that from a DSLR, that from a smartphone - the same (unpleasant).

      • anonym

        Ku!

  • Reveur_Ph

    Thank you Arkady!
    You raised a very interesting topic, I am very sorry that it fell into the economy and politics.
    For a long time I myself have not been able to make a choice: 85s nikon-g-1.8, tamron-1.8-f016, or samyang af 1.4 (with hybrid lenses) ...
    Now, I'm more inclined to samyang (I am satisfied with the manual).

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