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

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions
expireduser
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 17, 2013

I picked up a Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4 for $60 on eBay. I had to watch eBay for a couple weeks to catch mine at that price though. The FDn is much lighter than the older SSC model, you can tell it's an FDn if it has the green lettering and goes to f/22. Without the adapter, the FDn fits nicely in the case my Sigma 19mm came with. The FDn 50mm f/1.4 has typical softness wide open, but at f/2 it starts to sharpen up quickly. It is sharper than my Sigma 30mm f2.8 in the corners, once you get down to f/5.6 or f/8.

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saintz
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 17, 2013

As mentioned, you basically have:

Nikon/Canon FD or FL/Pentax/Olympus/etc. SLR lenses

PEN FT lenses

Rangefinder lenses

Pancakes like Konica 40mm

You can also go with the 35mm f1.7 CCTV lens:

http://www.amazon.com/RainbowImaging-Adapter-camera-Panasonic-Olympus/dp/B005FDH1UO/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1366231084&sr=8-5&keywords=nex+35+1.7

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verybiglebowski
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 17, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

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?

Everything you need on my blog

Pentax M 1.7/50

Minolta Rokkor MD 50mm 1.4

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paul1508
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 17, 2013

The best bang for the buck should be the Canon FD 50 mm f/1.8 and is also the possibly smallest (except the Olympus PEN, which are not as good)

They go really cheap... I got a f/1.4 for 50€

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EinsteinsGhost
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Unsure of this recommendation...
In reply to mgn2, Apr 18, 2013

... but you could also look for Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8. Usually it is the 50mm/1.4 that gets the attention, but 55/1.8 is quite good and cheaper.

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mgn2
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to Joachim Wulfers, Apr 21, 2013

Joachim Wulfers wrote:

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

I can't tell to well from your pics, but are the 2 rangefinders + adapters upfront considerably smaller than the SLR + adapters in the back? I am considering a rangefinder lens on the basis that with the adapter it will be much smaller than say the Pentax 50mm 1.7 or the Minolta Rokkor 50mm 1.4. In my price range that would mean a Jupiter-8...anyone have any ideas how to go about getting a good sample asap? Everything on ebay seems to be from Russia/Ukraine/Latvia with 2-4 weeks shipping! I would pay up for a Voigtlander/Zeiss/Leica lens, but at this point for MF use only (something I would do less often than AF and more for curiosity/fun) I can't justify spending more than $150 including the adapter.

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forpetessake
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to John Knuhtsen, Apr 21, 2013

John Knuhtsen wrote:

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.

I wouldn't recommend Jupiter/Helios lenses as they are soft with lots of aberrations, poor coatings. But Minolta MD 45/2 is a good one and quite underrated too. Because of the latter it can be found very cheaply. I got mine on ebay for around $15. I also tested a number of normal Minoltas and Konicas -- they were all soft with low contrast and excessive halation wide open. Surprisingly, the MD 45/2 showed better results at f/2 than more expensive f/1.4 and f/1.7 versions. I didn't encounter any inexpensive manual lenses with very good performance at large apertures. The best normal manual lens I tested was PenF 40/1.4, but frankly it's expensive, it makes sense to pay a little bit more and get better quality SEL 50/1.8 or 35/1.8.

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EWR72
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to forpetessake, Apr 21, 2013

I have a couple of posts on my Blog about using the Jupiter-3 and the Fujian 35mm on my Sony Nex. There are also a few examples of the OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 and 24mm f/2.8 in my post about Dubai and travelling with the Sony Nex. Maybe it will give you a bit of an idea how they perform on the Sony Nex with a few images. Regards, Evan

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Joachim Wulfers
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 21, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

Joachim Wulfers wrote:

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

I can't tell to well from your pics, but are the 2 rangefinders + adapters upfront considerably smaller than the SLR + adapters in the back? I am considering a rangefinder lens on the basis that with the adapter it will be much smaller than say the Pentax 50mm 1.7 or the Minolta Rokkor 50mm 1.4. In my price range that would mean a Jupiter-8...anyone have any ideas how to go about getting a good sample asap? Everything on ebay seems to be from Russia/Ukraine/Latvia with 2-4 weeks shipping! I would pay up for a Voigtlander/Zeiss/Leica lens, but at this point for MF use only (something I would do less often than AF and more for curiosity/fun) I can't justify spending more than $150 including the adapter.

Typically the size of the adapter for a rangefinder lens is about 1/3 the height of a SLR lens adapter. Here are two pictures showing the Zeiss Contax-G Planar 45/2 besides the Minolta 50/1.4 you are referring to. Theyare not fully comparable, but close.

But this comparison is academic, since I don't think you will find such a combination for the budget you have set. I hope this helps.

-- hide signature --

Joachim

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Oleg L K
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to mgn2, Apr 21, 2013

The smallest relevant lens is (Belo)Russian Industar-69 28mm f/2.8 - originally intended for "Chaika" half-frame rangefinders. Not _great_, but very adequate, especially given its size.  You need to "scramble" some 0.5mm off the adapter depth to make it focus to infinity, AND its worth to remove focus limiters from the lens. Search for instructions on the web.

In the ~50mm domain the interesting el-cheapo lenses are (Ukrainian) Industar 61LD 55/2.8 and (Russian) Industar 50 50/3.5 (be sure to pick the rangefinder version for the latter).

The former has non-rotating front, f/2.8, great contrast, but may suffer from flare. The latter is flare resistant, has smoother controls, though the front rotates and it's only f/3.5.

Jupiter 8 50/2.0 should be good too, but expect higher price.

The legendary Jupiter 9 85/2.0 is only recently replaced by bulky 85/1.5; irrelevant for NEX. If you want Jupiter 9 (~130-150 $), avoid rangefinder versions - they have worse min-focus-distance, and you anyway cannot gain small size with this focal length. Go for M42 or M39 SLR version and use larger adapter; they sum-up to the same length in the end of the day.

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Joachim Wulfers
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to forpetessake, Apr 21, 2013

forpetessake wrote:

John Knuhtsen wrote:

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.

I wouldn't recommend Jupiter/Helios lenses as they are soft with lots of aberrations, poor coatings. But Minolta MD 45/2 is a good one and quite underrated too. Because of the latter it can be found very cheaply. I got mine on ebay for around $15. I also tested a number of normal Minoltas and Konicas -- they were all soft with low contrast and excessive halation wide open. Surprisingly, the MD 45/2 showed better results at f/2 than more expensive f/1.4 and f/1.7 versions. I didn't encounter any inexpensive manual lenses with very good performance at large apertures. The best normal manual lens I tested was PenF 40/1.4, but frankly it's expensive, it makes sense to pay a little bit more and get better quality SEL 50/1.8 or 35/1.8.

The Konica 40/1.8 (also shown in the group of lenses above) is one of the better ones in this category, sharp, with great contrast and you can probably find it for $ 80, including the adapter. Below is a shot I took in the Fall.

f8, 1/160, ISO100, -0.7EV

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Joachim

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Michael Everett
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to expireduser, Apr 21, 2013

Nicholas W wrote:

I picked up a Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4 for $60 on eBay. I had to watch eBay for a couple weeks to catch mine at that price though. The FDn is much lighter than the older SSC model, you can tell it's an FDn if it has the green lettering and goes to f/22. Without the adapter, the FDn fits nicely in the case my Sigma 19mm came with. The FDn 50mm f/1.4 has typical softness wide open, but at f/2 it starts to sharpen up quickly. It is sharper than my Sigma 30mm f2.8 in the corners, once you get down to f/5.6 or f/8.

+1 on the Canon FDn 1.4, although the way prices have gone I doubt if you can find a good one for $60 anymore.  I have had two, the first was cheap and it was not that great.  I paid more for the second to get one in excellent condition and it was worth it.  I think I paid over $100 for it a couple of years ago.  The Canon FDn 1.8 is also very good, but not as quite as good as the 1.4.  The older Canon FD are excellent lenses, can be gotten cheap, but man, they are heavy.

If you go the OM 50 1.8 route (BTW not as good as the Canon IMO), be sure to get one that says on it "Made in Japan."  Those are the best.

Someone mentioned the Fujian.  I got one ($19 with adapter), and it's a fun lens for what it is: Mediocre in center and complete mush on the edges.  Under some circumstances it can make an interesting portrait lens.  You don't worry about bokeh; everything outside the center is so fuzzy it might as well be bokeh.

Michael

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wwwOKCOMEONcom
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to Oleg L K, Apr 21, 2013

if they are manual lenses,can they use Nex 's crystal image zoom ?

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mgn2
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to Joachim Wulfers, Apr 22, 2013

Joachim Wulfers wrote:

mgn2 wrote:

Joachim Wulfers wrote:

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

I can't tell to well from your pics, but are the 2 rangefinders + adapters upfront considerably smaller than the SLR + adapters in the back? I am considering a rangefinder lens on the basis that with the adapter it will be much smaller than say the Pentax 50mm 1.7 or the Minolta Rokkor 50mm 1.4. In my price range that would mean a Jupiter-8...anyone have any ideas how to go about getting a good sample asap? Everything on ebay seems to be from Russia/Ukraine/Latvia with 2-4 weeks shipping! I would pay up for a Voigtlander/Zeiss/Leica lens, but at this point for MF use only (something I would do less often than AF and more for curiosity/fun) I can't justify spending more than $150 including the adapter.

Typically the size of the adapter for a rangefinder lens is about 1/3 the height of a SLR lens adapter. Here are two pictures showing the Zeiss Contax-G Planar 45/2 besides the Minolta 50/1.4 you are referring to. Theyare not fully comparable, but close.

But this comparison is academic, since I don't think you will find such a combination for the budget you have set. I hope this helps.

-- hide signature --

Joachim

Thanks so much for posting the comparison pics! The Contax lens does look considerably smaller to me. Are the Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses worth the extra money over the other manual lenses for sharpness, bokeh, color, etc.? I'm curios about legendary Zeiss/Leica/Voigtlander and having never tried them, this may be a good introduction. Say I was looking to spend $300-$500, what is the smallest lens I could get that would give me the best bang for the buck?

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Oleg L K
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Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50
In reply to wwwOKCOMEONcom, Apr 22, 2013

Sorry, what is "crystal image zoom"? I don't recall anything like this on my NEX C3.

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