Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?

Started Apr 6, 2013 | Questions
Amamba
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Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
Apr 6, 2013

As the topic says... what would be a fast (1.8 at least), inexpensive (as NEX is going to be my backup camera used mainly for travels) portrait (i.e. nice bokeh) manual focus lens that I could use with a simple adapter (don't need AF confirm or other bells and whistles).

I understand that NEX can use Canon's FD lenses (which are incompatible with Canon EOS).

What about Oly OM, Nikkor, etc. ?

Any brands that can't be easily adapted (e.g. no infinity focusing) ?

Any known bargains out there ?
Any help is much appreciated !

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dshin525
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 6, 2013

I would look at legacy minolta mc/md mount lenses.

A 50mm 1.7 or 1.4 would probably meet your needs? the 1.7 can be had for $20-$30...and 1.4 for $50-$70ish on ebay. I have both and I like them a lot.

Adapters can be had for $20. Most people seemed to like Fotodix or Rainbow Imaging ones. I have the rainbow imaging and haven't had any issues with it.

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Amamba
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to dshin525, Apr 6, 2013

Thanks !

How do they compare to Olympus OM 50/1.8 ?

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RGBaker
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 6, 2013

Amamba wrote:

Thanks !

How do they compare to Olympus OM 50/1.8 ?

I don't have the Olympus, but I do have the Nikkor & Canon 1.4, and I've used the Rokkor and Takumar M 1.4 lenses.  The difference between them are very subtle -- where one may be called 'cool' and another 'warm' ... we are talking the most minor of variances.  More important, IMHO, is which lens falls most naturally to your hand. 
I'm partial to the Canon FDn lenses -- they are a little lighter and smaller than their 'breech lock' elders, with all the sharpness and warmth I like about both series.  The Nikkor is maybe a touch more clinically cool -- the Rokkor too seemed just a little 'blue'.  The Takumar seems a great little lens, close to the Zuiko in size I think, but I haven't shot enough with it to have a sense for the image rendering.

Any of the above can be had for under $100, sometimes a whole lot under.  Buy and try, my advice.
See my Flickr stream for a few examples of the Canon 50/1.4 --
http://www.flickr.com/photos/geoffbaker/sets/72157632176621287/

Cheers,
GB

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dshin525
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 6, 2013

Amamba wrote:

Thanks !

How do they compare to Olympus OM 50/1.8 ?

I dont have the olympus so I cant comment on how they compare.

There is a lot of info here on legacy lenses for the Nex:

http://www.talknex.com/f12/

The first legacy lens I got was the minolta 50/1.4 and b/c I was so impressed with it, I stuck to minolta lenses. I think i have about 15 right now!

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Lightshow
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 6, 2013

The OM 50/1.8(Made in Japan on the name ring) is a great lens, it's hard to beat at its price point, only I like the feel of my MC lenses more.
The great thing about the NEX is it can mount just about any lens(other than the really small formats [eg. D mount] and a few mounts that don't have adapters. eg. Topcor UV),
Jupiter8 50/2 is a good bang for the buck, it's an M39/LTM RF lens so it's very compact vs an SLR lens which is great for travel, and it's based on a Zeiss design.

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Richard Ettinger
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 6, 2013

I'll add my enthusiasm for minolta rokkor lenses. I've picked up two so far: 45mm f2 and a 50mm f1.7. Both cost less than $50 on Craig's list. I've also picked up a couple of Canon FD lenses and adapted some old Olympus lenses from my film days. I've also purchased a Leica 90mm from Craig's list. All of these have their pluses and minuses but were rather inexpensive except the Leica.

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blakninja
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Lightshow, Apr 6, 2013

I'd suggest the Minolta Rokkor PG 50mm f/1.4, I have it and love it for the colors.

I'm gonna play with the Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 8-element soon.

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davect01
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 6, 2013

Amamba wrote:

As the topic says... what would be a fast (1.8 at least), inexpensive (as NEX is going to be my backup camera used mainly for travels) portrait (i.e. nice bokeh) manual focus lens that I could use with a simple adapter (don't need AF confirm or other bells and whistles).

I understand that NEX can use Canon's FD lenses (which are incompatible with Canon EOS).

What about Oly OM, Nikkor, etc. ?

Any brands that can't be easily adapted (e.g. no infinity focusing) ?

Any known bargains out there ?
Any help is much appreciated !

I have owned several, all MD Mount as I have the adapters for them.  Almost every lens out there has a NEX, E-Mount adapter.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/Lens-Adapters-Mounts-Tubes-/30059/i.html?_dcat=30059&Camera%252FCamcorder%2520Fitting=Sony%2520E&rt=nc

The ones I currently have are 1- 28mm Tokina MD 2- 45mm Rokkor.  Both produce top notch images.

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verybiglebowski
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Jupiter 9
In reply to Amamba, Apr 6, 2013

Jupiter 9, 85 f/2 especially in m39 mount is an inexpensive and nice portrait lens.

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daddyman
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 6, 2013

You should also consider the Konica 50/1.7 or 50/1.4. I have both and they are superb. The 1.7 is a tad sharper than the 1.4 (difficult to see though unless you are pixel peeping), but the bokeh on the 1.4 is magical.

Mike

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gowebgo
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 6, 2013

Minolta Rokkor 50mm f1.7 or the Rokkor PG f1.4.

Quite a few samples with both lenses.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/n_davies_001/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/n_davies_001/6910751812/in/set-72157629746171395

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Amamba
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Lightshow, Apr 6, 2013

There's ton of great recommendations, definitely something to think about.

I will keep an eye on CL for a good deal.

I am leaning towards OM or M42 based system because then I could use same lenses on my Canon DSLR.

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YuriS
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 7, 2013

Hi! I do not know what is “inexpensive” for you, but I would highly recommend Minolta MD Rokkor-X 85mm f2.0. Very good portrait lens. And Jupiter-9 as well…

http://natalispalette.jimdo.com/new-and-old-camera-lenses-by-yuri-stangrit/comparisons-and-reviews/minolta-md-rokkor-x-85mm-f2-0-vs-jupiter-9-85mm-f2-0/

http://natalispalette.jimdo.com/photo/minolta-md-rokkor-x-85mm-f2-0-lens/

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seachicken2000
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 7, 2013

Lots of good suggestions here. I'd recommend you check out the S.M.C. Takumar 55mm f/1.8. There's also a lot of useful info on this thread.

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to seachicken2000, Apr 7, 2013

Except for the fact that the lens is radioactive.

Greg.

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captura
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to dshin525, Apr 7, 2013

dshin525 wrote:

I would look at legacy minolta mc/md mount lenses.

A 50mm 1.7 or 1.4 would probably meet your needs? the 1.7 can be had for $20-$30...and 1.4 for $50-$70ish on ebay. I have both and I like them a lot.

Adapters can be had for $20. Most people seemed to like Fotodix or Rainbow Imaging ones. I have the rainbow imaging and haven't had any issues with it.

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I have those, too but I prefer the 50 f2 over the 50 f1.7 because it is sharp across the frame from wide open, and has better anti-flare coating.

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captura
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to captura, Apr 7, 2013

captura wrote:

dshin525 wrote:

I would look at legacy minolta mc/md mount lenses.

A 50mm 1.7 or 1.4 would probably meet your needs? the 1.7 can be had for $20-$30...and 1.4 for $50-$70ish on ebay. I have both and I like them a lot.

Adapters can be had for $20. Most people seemed to like Fotodix or Rainbow Imaging ones. I have the rainbow imaging and haven't had any issues with it.

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I have those, too but I prefer the 50 f2 over the 50 f1.7 because it is sharp across the frame from wide open, and has better anti-flare coating.

That's the very late MD model 50mm f2.

Warning to avoid the 45mm f2 lens. These were very cheaply built and are not very sharp. A few  have had their lens coating peel off. Mine is OK but does not compare to the 50 so I've assigned it to my m43 cameras where it doesn't really matter, LOL.

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TiagoReil
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 7, 2013

First of all, inexpensive is a relative property. IF you say inexpensive total bargain, under 100 dollars, try to get a nice used 50mm 1.4. Minolta MD, canon FD, takumar, etc. Those options where already told. Still,t ye are not the sharpest at 1.4 and are old designs. Sometimes you get less contrast , and obviously less sharpness, and a lot of CA. They are old lenses.

There is another option, that is a bit more expensive, but still a bargain for what it is. Get a samyank/rokinon 85mm 1.4 in the mount you like (for instance, sony, alpha if you have another sony camera. This is a complete manual focus lens, with modern coting and glass, it will be new, and depending where you buy it, it could have a guaranty (probably not from the manufacturer, but from the seller). It is a lens designed for using wide open, and all the reviews Ive seen shows it is excellent for portraits. 85mm 1.4 gives an excellent bokeh, and mostly no loss of sharpness and contrast wide open. Of course it has 3 problems. IT is big, not huge, but big. 85mm 1.4 gives you a very very thin DoF. So thin that is very easy to miss focus. But that is not a problem of the lens, but of looking for speed. And finally, it is more expensive than the used options. 300 dollars.

Personally, I plan on getting a Samyang at some point. It is more expensive, but for what you get, it is an excellent lens. It is a bargain for what it is, but I understand, it may be out of your budget, but still, it is not much of a cost to get an incredible manual focus portrait lens. Search for images in google.

https://www.google.com/search?q=samyang+85mm+portrait&hl=en&safe=off&source=lnms&tbm=isch

So, it is 120, 150 dollars for a really good condition 50mm 1.4, or 300 for a samyang. But spending 300 dollars, you could also think on getting the SEL 50mm 1.8, and a lot more of keepers if you subjects move. Dont know, so many options.

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Jokica
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Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?
In reply to Amamba, Apr 7, 2013

You can not go wrong with with any of the above mentioned.

Still, do not pass over this lenses:

Pancolar / Pentacon 1.8/50 - perfect cheap portrait lens.

Helios 44M-(something). Yes it is f2.0 but it is perfect cheap portrait lens. It is always in my bag for portrait business, together with Jupiter 37A 3.5/135, while more expensive brands stays home :-). Silver Jupiter-9 from 1955 (Contax/Kiev mount) is likely to join them.

The catch is to find good copy of each.

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