Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
blue_skies
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 23, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

I'm definitely looking for a RF or half frame PEN type lens. Which one of the above would you recommend? I am inclined towards either the Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 or the Olympus PEN F 38mm f1.8/40mm f1.4 or Jupiter-3/Jupiter-8.

I think that you are focused on speed, such as f/1.4.

Most lenses, even the most expensive ones, are not super-sharp at f/1.4, plus you are dealing with sensor-light fall-off, i.e. f/1.4 is not truly a full stop faster than f/2.0.

The Voigtlander (CV) 40/1.4 costs about the same as the Contax G (CG) 45/2.0, and while it is great for those wide-open shots ((link and link), the bokeh can be soso (depending on scene).

I think that the PENs may actually perform better than the CV40, but will be harder to find.

If you are looking for an all purpose lens, I'd choose the CG45, it'll easily blow past the revered Sigma 30, and retains its edge-to-edge sharpness down to f/2.0. The CV40 does not. Of the Contax-G family, the CG45 had the highest MTF performance.

The Jupiter 3 and Jupiter 8 are both copycats of the Zeiss Sonnar design, not the (CG45) Planar design. Check for the Zeiss Sonnars as well, you might find some for cheap.

I agree with Chris_downunder - the CG45 may give you the most of what you want. (Plus you can add an AF adapter in the future.)

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Cheers,
Henry

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