High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?

Started Jun 17, 2010 | Discussions
djst
Regular MemberPosts: 217Gear list
Like?
High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
Jun 17, 2010

I was searching a bit for lenses after being inspired by PhotoByRichard's thread ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1041&thread=35538518 ) about his new Pentax 25mm 1.4 lens and it seems there are actually plenty of similar lenses to choose from.

Apparently this one is the one Richard got, and it sells for $89 plus shipping: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/546271-REG/Pentax_C22525KP_C22525KP_1_C_Mount.html

But why is that one so expensive compared to e.g. this 25mm f/0.95 lens: http://cgi.ebay.com/95-25MM-FAST-NEW-BOLEX-16MM-CAMERA-C-MOUNT-LENS-G1-/280521480308?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item4150621874

Or how about this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/New-CCTV-Lens-25mm-F1-2-C-mount-can-use-M43-camera-/140408956471?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item20b106a637

Does anyone know more about these lenses, which ones to watch out for and which ones that are actually good (well, for being c-mount lenses )? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

 djst's gear list:djst's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +1 more
Medgyesi1
Regular MemberPosts: 124
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to djst, Jun 18, 2010

You need to look for 1" (inch) lenses - they generally cover (almost) the 43 area. Which means you get minimal vignetting. You need to look at the rear diameter of the lenses as well, because many of them needs to be machined ("cut") to the small opening of the adapter - I have a 12.5mm 1.4 KOWA lens that needed a few hours of work in order to fit. But the mentioned Pentax fits straight on.

PS At least one of the lenses you mentioned is for 1/2" sensors, so it should give severe vignetting...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
zcream
New MemberPosts: 9
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to Medgyesi1, Jun 20, 2010

Interesting coincidence. I was thinking of buying the 25mm f1.2 lens the seller claims to fit on a GF1 with minimal vignetting.
Has anyone bought it and tried it out ?

The lens is for a 1/2" image circle but sometimes the image circle ends up being larger. And the picture posted is not too bad.
Here is his sample pic.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?VISuperSize&item=140408956471

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mjohnston
Regular MemberPosts: 195
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to djst, Jun 20, 2010

Start out with a Computar 12.5mm f1.4 for a bit of cheap wide angle capability. You can get em for $25 from surplusshed.com, if they still have any. It's so cheap you won't worry too much about wrecking it when you're filing it down

Here are a few shots taken with one.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Vadimka
Regular MemberPosts: 422Gear list
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to djst, Jun 20, 2010

I can't really vouch for any of these lenses, moreover I would not call any of these c-mount lenses High quality. Some of them might be better quality than others, but they are still CCTV lenses that were mnf to the lower standards, using cheap glass. Because there were meant to be used on low resolution Monitors and low res recording (generally 480x320 lines or so) They were not meant to produce good bokeh, contrast or control much of an aberrations, etc. (but some will provide decent Sharp images) If center Sharpness is what you care for, go ahead and get some cctv glass, you will enjoy it. Just do not spend $1000 on cctv lens, cause I've seen it happened before. As long as you buy it cheap, you will always resell it to someone else who wants to try them at later time.

Now if you want High-end C-mount lenses and have some money to burn, than you are talking about Cine lenses from proven top-shelf Cinematographic and Photographic companies, such as Kern, Angenieux, Kinoptik, Dallmeyer, Cooke, Hugo Meyer. There were also few american lens manufacturers that produced great product back in 50s, such as Bausch & Lomb and Kodak. Of cause there were more mnf that I just mentioned, but I'm only mentioning some high end (with kodak being an exception, with decent image quality and medium build). In addition each brand had different lines of product with some better than others (for example Switar was high end Kern line, or Plasmat for HMeyer, etc)

One thing for sure most of before mentioned will provide great results with excellent color consistency, bokeh, ca and pf contorol, and most of cine lenses will give you excellent contrast and that is the fact. (unless you are talking bout un-coated Meyer lenses from 1920s, but those are mostly collectors items anyways) So again it all depends on how much money you want to burn, what fov you need and what is the draw characteristics important to you.

I had some samples of some Cine glass in this thread:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=34376770

-- hide signature --

Snap away

 Vadimka's gear list:Vadimka's gear list
Leica Digilux 2 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha NEX-6 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
djst
Regular MemberPosts: 217Gear list
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to mjohnston, Jun 20, 2010

mjohnston wrote:

Start out with a Computar 12.5mm f1.4 for a bit of cheap wide angle capability. You can get em for $25 from surplusshed.com, if they still have any. It's so cheap you won't worry too much about wrecking it when you're filing it down

That's an interesting lens. I did a search and couldn't find it anywhere. Where did you buy yours from? (I'm based in Sweden, if that makes any difference.)

I'll plan on getting the 9-18mm but this would be a nice addition for some low light capabilities and character.

Edit: I just saw that your link: surplusshed.com. Thanks!

 djst's gear list:djst's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
djst
Regular MemberPosts: 217Gear list
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to Vadimka, Jun 20, 2010

Vadimka wrote:

If center Sharpness is what you care for, go ahead and get some cctv glass, you will enjoy it. Just do not spend $1000 on cctv lens, cause I've seen it happened before. As long as you buy it cheap, you will always resell it to someone else who wants to try them at later time.

Right, I want to buy something cheap and just use it for fun/creativity. The question is: which lenses are the best value? I hear that the Pentax lens is a good buy, but are there even better ones? (as in either higher quality for the same/similar price, or same quality for lower price)

 djst's gear list:djst's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Trafford
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,313
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to mjohnston, Jun 20, 2010

The last picture looks like something an old VP camera
would produce.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mjohnston
Regular MemberPosts: 195
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to djst, Jun 21, 2010

Oops sorry, f1.3, not f1.4. Keep getting it confused with Cosmicar's 12.5mm, which is 1.4.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Vadimka
Regular MemberPosts: 422Gear list
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to djst, Jun 21, 2010

Right, I want to buy something cheap and just use it for fun/creativity. The question is: which lenses are the best value? I hear that the Pentax lens is a good buy, but are there even better ones? (as in either higher quality for the same/similar price, or same quality for lower price)

Well, if you want cheap lenses you have few options. First would be a cctv lenses like Pentax/Cosmicar will do the trick. Computar is also known in Security industry as solid performer on a small budget.

You can also dig around the the Eb*y and find some inexpensive low end Cine lenses in c-mount. (there are some under $200) Here are few options to search for:
Animar (consumer quality cine lenses made in 50s by Bausch and Lomb USA)
Raptar (later version of Velostigmat made by Wollensak USA in 60s)
Ektar (top of the line Kodak aslo from 50-60s)

Good thing about cine stuff that you buy used on auction, is that you will not loose any money on it when you sell it later down the road. Just do a bit of a research and wait for auction. Don't use "Buy Now" option and buy Ektar for $700 cause I saw some on eb*y, just wait for decent auction. Hope this helps.

Here is the sample with 63mm ektar probably at f2 (look how well it handles the bokeh, and its the toughest one with lots of tree branches and brick wall on background) And this is one of the cheapest Cine lenses I have.

 Vadimka's gear list:Vadimka's gear list
Leica Digilux 2 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha NEX-6 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
djst
Regular MemberPosts: 217Gear list
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to Vadimka, Jun 21, 2010

To be perfectly clear, I'm not planning on spending more than around $100 for a c-mount lens. If I wanted to spend hundreds of dollars, I'd be crazy not to get the proper Noktor lens...

I guess the Pentax 25mm lens is indeed the best value. Thanks all!

 djst's gear list:djst's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jonas B
Forum ProPosts: 14,596
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to djst, Jun 21, 2010

djst wrote:

To be perfectly clear, I'm not planning on spending more than around $100 for a c-mount lens. If I wanted to spend hundreds of dollars, I'd be crazy not to get the proper Noktor lens...

I guess the Pentax 25mm lens is indeed the best value. Thanks all!

I have one of those Pentax lenses which I don't use anymore. I may have a spare Computar 12.5/1.3 as well. Should you happen to visit Göteborg you can try them out.

Jonas

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Vadimka
Regular MemberPosts: 422Gear list
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to djst, Jun 21, 2010

djst wrote:

To be perfectly clear, I'm not planning on spending more than around $100 for a c-mount lens. If I wanted to spend hundreds of dollars, I'd be crazy not to get the proper Noktor lens...

Proper Noktor? There is nothing proper about that lens. It is nothing more than cheap cctv lens with added µ4/3 mount.

-- hide signature --

Snap away

 Vadimka's gear list:Vadimka's gear list
Leica Digilux 2 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha NEX-6 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mpgxsvcd
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,638Gear list
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to Vadimka, Jun 21, 2010

Here is a video lens review that talks about some of the inexpensive c-mount lenses and what to watch out for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FPbqhFt_oY

 mpgxsvcd's gear list:mpgxsvcd's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
djst
Regular MemberPosts: 217Gear list
Like?
Re: High quality and/or cheap C-mount lenses?
In reply to Jonas B, Jun 27, 2010

Jonas B wrote:

I have one of those Pentax lenses which I don't use anymore. I may have a spare Computar 12.5/1.3 as well. Should you happen to visit Göteborg you can try them out.

Thanks Jonas! I actually went a slightly different route and bought a Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 after realizing it was just as cheap as a Pentax c-mount lens but much, much higher quality.

I'm obviously still learning here. Hopefully I'll get the lens in about 2 weeks from now (bought via eBay from a Japanese seller).

-- hide signature --

David Tenser
My camera equipment: http://djst.org/camera/

 djst's gear list:djst's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Anfy
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,380
Like?
I have to thank you all...
In reply to djst, Jul 1, 2010

... since here I got the inspiration to purchase an unexpensive and lovely Computar 12.5mm f/1.3, already machined, which perfectly fits the Hawks_Factory C-mount adapter.

It may vignette a bit, but this gives a retro fun look... and this small lens (it is difficult to evaluate from the pictures how much tiny some C-mount lenses are) comes so cheap compared to the "official" wide angle zooms!

Ciao e grazie!

-- hide signature --

Viva la evolución!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Matijaa
Forum MemberPosts: 78
Like?
Re: I have to thank you all...
In reply to Anfy, Jul 2, 2010

Anfy wrote:

... since here I got the inspiration to purchase an unexpensive and lovely Computar 12.5mm f/1.3, already machined, which perfectly fits the Hawks_Factory C-mount adapter.

Where did you find an already machined version? It sounds like something I'd like to try on my PEN but machining the lens sounds like too much risk/hassle.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Anfy
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,380
Like?
Re: I have to thank you all...
In reply to Matijaa, Jul 6, 2010

Matijaa wrote:

Where did you find an already machined version? It sounds like something I'd like to try on my PEN but machining the lens sounds like too much risk/hassle.

Well, I could never try myself! A seller on that "e-coastal site" had one copy, and for an interesting price too.

Ciao!

-- hide signature --

Viva la evolución!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Melbourne Park
Senior MemberPosts: 2,405Gear list
Like?
Almost got a bargain ...
In reply to Anfy, Jul 6, 2010

I "bought" a 58mm Voigtlander lens from our local distributor, its price was $0.00 on the web, with $8.80 postage, so I thought I'll try. Bought it with PayPal. I got a receipt from PayPal, and then I got a receipt and delivery details from the company.

The next day, I got the phone call. "I've refunded your postage. Sorry but our database is crazy, your are not the first". I had a nice conversation with the guy ... told him about getting micro four thirds. I said I already had a '70s Pentax 50mm f1,4, and he said some of those were great lenses. Hmm ... I will try it. My dad died recently and he gave me his gear recently, the F1.4 was in a leather case for it. I'll feel a connection taking shots with it I reckon.

If the database had of said $20, well then I'd have had a legal claim (due to "Consideration". But I would not have pushed them for it, even if the database had of said $20... the lens was a demo, available for $Au379. With a Leica C bayonet. Not a bad buy for Australia.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads