Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions
mgn2
Regular MemberPosts: 138Gear list
Like?
Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
Apr 12, 2013

I just got a NEX-6, having got rid of my Nikon DSLR gear. So far I have the kit 16-50 zoom and the Sigma 30mm 2.8. Also have a Fuji X100. I would like to add a good quality prime with large aperture (1.8 or 1.4 or better), but would like to stick to the 2 reasons I bought the NEX-6..usability of cheap old lenses and light/small compact package.

I see dozens of very informative posts on manual lenses, but most of them compare hundreds of popular legacy lenses without regard to cost, aperture, size or weight including the adapter, or they look for the smallest lens without regard to price (may as well get a Zeiss or expensive Sony OSS lens).

So my question - what is the lightest and smallest (adapter included) manual legacy lens I can find used, with the best bokeh and sharpness for $75 (including adapter). Any FL, but mainly looking at around 35mm, 50mm and longer.

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sony Alpha NEX-6
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
John Knuhtsen
Contributing MemberPosts: 530
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 12, 2013

You will find some answers here in a very new thread:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51275866

Frankly said you are a bit late (I was also). 3 years ago one could pick up legacy lenses for almost nothing (the price you say). But now that we have these mirrorless with space for adapters (m4/3, ricoh gxr, samsung, nex) the prices for the good pieces have exploded (5-10X). And remember that these lenses are not produced any more. So now it is a question of finding some markets that does not know this development. Although ebay is a very nice place to look, prices there are not low. On the other hand internet also makes it possible to find reviews on almost any valuable legacy lens. So read them also before buying. Legacy lenses are (most often) made for full frame, another good thing.

Maybe such a message here is provoking. Sorry. But what I mean is, that Sigma 19 and 30 are hard to beat. Except they are not legacy.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kuuan
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,365Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 12, 2013

Takumar 1.8/55 + M42>NEX adapter

Pentax M 1.7/50 + Pentax K>NEX adapter

Olympus OM Zuiko MC 1.8/50 + OM adapter

possibly somewhat bigger but even cheaper: Hexanon 1.7/50 or 1.7/57 + Konica AR adapter

-- hide signature --

photos mostly taken with manual lenses on Sony NEX5N, Pentax K-x and *istDs: http://flickr.com/photos/kuuan/

 kuuan's gear list:kuuan's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix F31fd Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Pentax *ist DS Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Sony Alpha NEX-5N
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SimonOL
Contributing MemberPosts: 709Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 12, 2013

"Compact, cheap and sharp" limits your choice quite a bit. Fast 50mm lenses are plentiful and can be cheap but with your budget you are limited to legacy lenses designed for old film SLR cameras which tend to require quite bulky adapters.

2 lenses spring to mind which might fit your criteria:

  • Konica Hexanon 40mm f/1.8 (pancake lens)
  • Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8 (pancake lens)

Both of the above are tiny and available within your budget. Adapter will add considerable bulk and weight though!

Push the budget a little more and the Olympus OM Zuiko lenses are worth considering as they are very compact and light.

Push the budget further and the Olympus Pen F lenses (38mm f/1.8 and 45mm) are truly very compact and also use a tiny adapter.

Typically, wider lenses with fast apertures are more expensive than 50mm lenses as they are scarcer and more in demand. Faster apertures also tend to add weight and bulk.

I'm sure more options will be suggested soon!

 SimonOL's gear list:SimonOL's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
isvana
Regular MemberPosts: 203Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 12, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

...So my question - what is the lightest and smallest (adapter included) manual legacy lens I can find used, with the best bokeh and sharpness for $75 (including adapter). Any FL, but mainly looking at around 35mm, 50mm and longer.

Light + small = rangefinder lens

Cheap = Russian

Try a Jupiter 8 50/2 with an L39 adapter... handy hint is to buy a Zorki film camera with the lens for less than you can buy the lens standalone!

 isvana's gear list:isvana's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Sony Alpha NEX-6
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kuuan
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,365Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to isvana, Apr 12, 2013

isvana wrote:

mgn2 wrote:

...So my question - what is the lightest and smallest (adapter included) manual legacy lens I can find used, with the best bokeh and sharpness for $75 (including adapter). Any FL, but mainly looking at around 35mm, 50mm and longer.

Light + small = rangefinder lens

Cheap = Russian

Try a Jupiter 8 50/2 with an L39 adapter... handy hint is to buy a Zorki film camera with the lens for less than you can buy the lens standalone!

great advice! much smaller than what I listed above, great bokeh!

-- hide signature --

photos mostly taken with manual lenses on Sony NEX5N, Pentax K-x and *istDs: http://flickr.com/photos/kuuan/

 kuuan's gear list:kuuan's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix F31fd Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Pentax *ist DS Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Sony Alpha NEX-5N
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jokica
Regular MemberPosts: 496Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to kuuan, Apr 12, 2013

@kuuan: Did you mean 1.4/57

kuuan wrote:

... or 1.7/57 + Konica AR adapter
 Jokica's gear list:Jokica's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
wakkaday
Regular MemberPosts: 181
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to kuuan, Apr 12, 2013

but which is a good lens? not worth getting a small lens which is rubbish

which one has good bokeh sharp pics?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SimonOL
Contributing MemberPosts: 709Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to isvana, Apr 12, 2013

isvana wrote:

mgn2 wrote:

...So my question - what is the lightest and smallest (adapter included) manual legacy lens I can find used, with the best bokeh and sharpness for $75 (including adapter). Any FL, but mainly looking at around 35mm, 50mm and longer.

Light + small = rangefinder lens

Cheap = Russian

Try a Jupiter 8 50/2 with an L39 adapter... handy hint is to buy a Zorki film camera with the lens for less than you can buy the lens standalone!

These are certainly cheap - is it true that there is quite a large sample variation with these so you might need to buy a few copies to find a really good one? I don't know myself - just something I've read elsewhere.

What about a sample from this lens

 SimonOL's gear list:SimonOL's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kuuan
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,365Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to Jokica, Apr 12, 2013

Jokica wrote:

@kuuan: Did you mean 1.4/57

kuuan wrote:

... or 1.7/57 + Konica AR adapter

right

( today is not my day really, very overworked )

-- hide signature --

photos mostly taken with manual lenses on Sony NEX5N, Pentax K-x and *istDs: http://flickr.com/photos/kuuan/

 kuuan's gear list:kuuan's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix F31fd Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Pentax *ist DS Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Sony Alpha NEX-5N
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kuuan
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,365Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to wakkaday, Apr 12, 2013

wakkaday wrote:

but which is a good lens? not worth getting a small lens which is rubbish

which one has good bokeh sharp pics?

all recommended are very good lenses, if not, why would I recommend them?

ok, you want to have it narrowed down or expounded?:

the Jupiter 8 is smallest, great bokeh, downside it starts @ f2, may not be very sharp wide open and mentioned sample variations, coating most likely not best

the following ( minus Hexanons? ) are very small for SLR lenses, not 'that' much bigger / heavier than the J-8 but their resp. adapters are abt. 1.7 cm longer:

the Pentax M 1.7/50 is sharp even wide open, good bokeh, great handling and build quality, very good coating

S-M-C / SMC Takumar f1.8/55, a bit less sharp wide open than Pentax M, 3D rendering, great bokeh, very good coating, great handling and build quality

Olympus 1.8/50 ( somebody may disagree ) but my copy not very sharp wide open but ok, about same level than Takumar 1.8/55, good bokeh, great handling, good coating only if you get latest version MC or 'made in Japan" ( it says so on it;s front ring

Hexanons I don't have personal experience with but are said to be very good, can't comment on size, adapter a bit shorter than of the above and they might be available the cheapest

-- hide signature --

photos mostly taken with manual lenses on Sony NEX5N, Pentax K-x and *istDs: http://flickr.com/photos/kuuan/

 kuuan's gear list:kuuan's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix F31fd Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Pentax *ist DS Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Sony Alpha NEX-5N
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John Knuhtsen
Contributing MemberPosts: 530
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to John Knuhtsen, Apr 12, 2013

For $50 one might have to go russian:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51145904

They are all M42. Jupiter3 50 F/1.5 (the Sonnar clone) is not mentioned since it is M39. It might be quite expensive now (especially in black). Helios lenses (58 F/2) also are not mentioned (M42). M39 are for rangefinders (Zorki, Fed, Lecia lll) so the adapter is very thin. Elmar 50 F/3.5 is funny but might destroy the sensor if collapsed. It is also a rather soft lens (designed around 1920). The cheapest could be to buy a complete Zorki. There are plenty of them on ebay.

Then another option is Minolta MD 45 F/2. It is also very small built and light. I think I got one last week for $50.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
ny rinz
New MemberPosts: 16
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to kuuan, Apr 12, 2013

And keep the Zork and shoot some awesome FILM! (and impress the local hipsters--nothing is hipper than a Zorki). I travel with a Jupiter 8 and Jupiter 9 and swap them between my Zorki and my NEX 7. Often end up with excellent film vs. digital comparisons. (Film usually wins in blind taste tests of uninformed viewers, btw.)

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
earlyadapter
New MemberPosts: 5Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 12, 2013

As others have indicated, ebay is a good source for lenses. But it's also possible to pick up nuggets by bidding for whole cameras.

2 weeks ago, I got a complete OM10 for $40, and was lucky to get a bag, it's 50mm f1.8 and a 75-150 in a case..... Film included, working model. My mouth just dropped open when it arrived. I'm an old Pen FT user, which I traded in the 70's: that's the one I'd really like to get.

 earlyadapter's gear list:earlyadapter's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Ari Aikomus
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,768
Like?
Buy new Sigma 30/2.8 or 19/2.8...
In reply to earlyadapter, Apr 12, 2013

...I guarantee that you will not regret. I just got 19/2.8. What a great little lens. 30/2.8 is not worse.

-- hide signature --

http://koti.mbnet.fi/tidis/AAikomus.jpg
- Ari Aikomus -
'Why should I feel lonely ? is not our planet in the Milky way?'

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Joachim Wulfers
Contributing MemberPosts: 735Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 12, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

I just got a NEX-6, having got rid of my Nikon DSLR gear. So far I have the kit 16-50 zoom and the Sigma 30mm 2.8. Also have a Fuji X100. I would like to add a good quality prime with large aperture (1.8 or 1.4 or better), but would like to stick to the 2 reasons I bought the NEX-6..usability of cheap old lenses and light/small compact package.

I see dozens of very informative posts on manual lenses, but most of them compare hundreds of popular legacy lenses without regard to cost, aperture, size or weight including the adapter, or they look for the smallest lens without regard to price (may as well get a Zeiss or expensive Sony OSS lens).

So my question - what is the lightest and smallest (adapter included) manual legacy lens I can find used, with the best bokeh and sharpness for $75 (including adapter). Any FL, but mainly looking at around 35mm, 50mm and longer.

My light, small, sharp, wide manual, cheap and not so cheap are:

Olympus OM 50/1.8, very sharp and reasonably compact.

Konica Hexanon 40/1.8, very sharp, nice colour rendering and compact

SMC Pentax 40/2.8, nice compact lens

And then the not so cheap Zeiss Contax-G Planar45/2, very sharp and great colours. And the Voigtlander Ultron 35/1.7 which is one of my preferred lenses.

All shown with their respective adapters

-- hide signature --

Joachim

 Joachim Wulfers's gear list:Joachim Wulfers's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Voigtlander 21mm F4 Color Skopar Pancake II +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
evoprox
Senior MemberPosts: 1,121Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to Joachim Wulfers, Apr 12, 2013

Nice set, Joachim. I own 3 of those lenses + an old silver-nose 50mm Zuiko (sold the rest). The 45mm Planar is hard to beat for what I bought it for, but the Zuiko (latest version) is no slouch either and opposed to older versions of that lens and the 40mm Hexanon my MC Zuiko is perfectly useable @f2.8.

-- hide signature --

'Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.' Dali

 evoprox's gear list:evoprox's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Fujifilm X-Pro1 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mgn2
Regular MemberPosts: 138Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to evoprox, Apr 16, 2013

Thank you all for replies and suggestions. As usual I have too many choices!

I think the Pentax M 1.7/50 or Olympus OM Zuiko MC 1.8/50 may fit the bill. It is $50 or less on ebay it seems. Would these be particularly light and compact lenses with the adapter? Which adapter is recommended? I am going to avoid the Russian stuff as I don't want to run the chance of having a bad sample.

Another question - what is the cheapest Zeiss glass I can get to try on my NEX?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mgn2
Regular MemberPosts: 138Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 17, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

Thank you all for replies and suggestions. As usual I have too many choices!

I think the Pentax M 1.7/50 or Olympus OM Zuiko MC 1.8/50 may fit the bill. It is $50 or less on ebay it seems. Would these be particularly light and compact lenses with the adapter? Which adapter is recommended? I am going to avoid the Russian stuff as I don't want to run the chance of having a bad sample.

Another question - what is the cheapest Zeiss glass I can get to try on my NEX?

Anyone have a Pentax M 1.7/50 + adpater vs. Minolta Rokkor 50mm 1.4 + adapter comparison? Which setup is bigger/clunkier and which has better IQ?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
probert500
Contributing MemberPosts: 953Gear list
Like?
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to isvana, Apr 17, 2013

isvana wrote:

mgn2 wrote:

...So my question - what is the lightest and smallest (adapter included) manual legacy lens I can find used, with the best bokeh and sharpness for $75 (including adapter). Any FL, but mainly looking at around 35mm, 50mm and longer.

Light + small = rangefinder lens

Cheap = Russian

Try a Jupiter 8 50/2 with an L39 adapter... handy hint is to buy a Zorki film camera with the lens for less than you can buy the lens standalone!

Light and small also = olympus zuiko.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads