Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions
fermy
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 24, 2013

Contax-G is a great lens and it's quite small. The problem with it is the absence of manual focus ring. That makes an adapter rather expensive and focusing feel is significantly worse than a normal MF lens even with the best adapters. I have 90mm Contax-G Sonnar, and while optically it's the best of my 90mm, it's only 3rd in terms of usage. Keep that in mind.

C/Y Planar that you've linked to is certainly a great lens too, but it's not small at all, average size for SLR 50mm f1.4 lens.

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Lightshow
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 24, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

I think the Contax-G 45mm f2 looks like the best option so far. How about this?

http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/pho/3705588042.html

Its an SLR lens(c/y mount), that has a good rep.

The Pen F 38/1.8 is quite sharp with good color, it's main weakness is high contrast light, I like using it in the shade or light overcast days.

The Jupiter 8 & 3 are quite good, as is the Industar 22, the ones with a red P(Pi) have a coating that is or is like Zeiss' T coating from the same era. I've hade good dealings with http://www.ebay.ca/sch/artemstore/m.html

The Industar 69 is a nice fun lens, the borders are soft but the centre is sharp, it's awesome for b&w shots and it's one of a few of the smallest lenses you can mount on NEX, it typically needs a bit of work to get it to focus to infinity.

The Canon RF 35/2 is very good, so is the 50/1.4 & 100/3.5

The Nikkor S.C 50/1.4 in LTM(M39) is real good.

The Contax G 45/2 is loved by many, and is well known to be very sharp.

If I had to pick one of my lenses to keep, it would probably be my Leica Elmarit M 28/2.8

I have a Topcor 50/2 LTM coming, I hope it's as good as my Topcor RE 58/1.8

A lens I got recently, a Helios 103 (53/1.8) is very sharp wide open, the big down side is its mount is Contax RF, meaning the helicoid is in the camera/adapter which can be expensive to buy a new adapter$200+, or you can fluke out and find one that someone removed from a broken camera and mounted it to an E mount adapter like the M39 to NEX adapter, I paid $50 for mine.

A quick test shot of the 103 wide open on my 7, there's not much green or flowers yet to shoot.

The best bang for the buck will prob be the Jupiter 8 & Pen F 38.

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Oleg L K
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 24, 2013

Well, if you want a stay-on-camera lens, having focal length equivalent to ~50mm full-frame is more important than having huge apperture opening.

So, I'd look at 28-35mm lenses, this throws away the numerous 50mm options.

I use Industar-69 28/2.8 from half-frame "Chaika" rangefinder; it has its flaws (vignetting is the worst), but the quality is adequate. And, as far as I know, it's _the_ smallest lens when considered with adapter.

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jpr2
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re: nopa, Penars and Minotars are smaller still :)
In reply to Oleg L K, Apr 24, 2013

Oleg L K wrote:

I use Industar-69 28/2.8 from half-frame "Chaika" rangefinder; it has its flaws (vignetting is the worst), but the quality is adequate. And, as far as I know, it's _the_ smallest lens when considered with adapter.

what is more important vignetting is very well controlled... what is more, one can pick btw. the least expensive (Minotars) & the most expensive (Penars)

jpr2

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Michael Everett
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to fermy, Apr 24, 2013

fermy wrote:

C/Y Planar that you've linked to is certainly a great lens too, but it's not small at all, average size for SLR 50mm f1.4 lens.

There is also the C/Y Planar 50 1.7, which is an extraordinarily good lens, and its a bit smaller and also cheaper than the 1.4. I have no direct evidence but some have said it's even sharper than the 1.4.  If you can afford it, it works beautifully with the Metabones Speed Booster to give about a 1.2 opening, and very close to the original 50mm FL.

Michael

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uhligfd
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 24, 2013

You may need to realize that the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN ($ 99 at B+H in its 'old version', $ 199 in its new arts version (same optics design, just metal and not plastic barrel)) is a worthy non-legacy lens

that is in E-mount, has AF, does annoying clicks in the bag and when focusing, but in image quality, it has it all : pop, wow factor, sharpness, color clarity, freedom of flare etc etc gives the Contax G 45 mm a run for the money. Their RAWS(or ARWs in Sony talk language) look as if they were already Lighhtroom processed ...

In super critical situations (pictures of a winter forest with millions of trees, bare branches etc which create 29 MB jpegs from the 24 MB RAW of a NEX 7 in 12 by 18 inch print resolution) the Contax G 45 just wins by a hair and its glory.

I have both lenses, these are my best horses! One available for $ 99, the other for $ 500+ of the bay, with its own doubts as to state of preservation, from a private buyer and no warrantee ...

My 2 cents, no more, no less; other that that the Contax G 45 outshines all those Leica Summi... lenses as well and may be the best lens in that focal length ever made. But I have not tested every S.. or K.. or ... lens, I have not.

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mgn2
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to uhligfd, Apr 24, 2013

Appreciate all the replies. However my original quest seems to have been lost among the many (excellent) suggestions. Again:

-Not looking for an SLR lens (adapters are huge and I've already got Rokkor 45mm f2 on the way)

-Not looking for anything slower than f2 (already have Sigma 30mm f2.8) even given there is sensor fall-off and loss in sharpness wide-open

-Want lens to be pocket-able including adapter (no bigger than Sigma 30mm or 16-50 kit lens)

-Want to spend less than $500 (prefer $300 unless I am paying up for Zeiss/Leica/Voigtlander glass which is secretly what I really want!)

So far my options from this thread seem to be:

Contax-G 45mm f2 (lack of MF ring and AF adapter too expensive)
Fujian 25mm f1.4 (c-mount)
Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 (min focusing distance too far, weird bokeh?)
Olympus Pen F lenses (38mm f/1.8 and 45mm)
Jupiter 8 50/2 with an L39 adapter
Jupiter3 50 F/1.5 (the Sonnar clone)
Nikkor S.C 50/1.4 in LTM(M39) (how big are these?)
Canon RF 35/2, 50/1.4 (how big are these?)
Sony SEL3518
Sony SEL5018
Cosmicar 35mm f1.7
Industar 22 and 69 -not fast enough although very small
Lecia Summicron 35mm f2 -too expensive
Pentax/Cosmicar 50mm f2.8 -not fast enough
Cosmicar 50/1.4 -not into 'machining'
Leica Elmarit M 28/2.8 -too expensive, not fast enough

Let me know if you have any other thoughts, suggestions.

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LarryPhoto
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 24, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

Industar looks good but it is f2.8. The Contax-G looks great though it has gone up in price a lot. Is it much better than the SEL5018 if at all accounting for the lack of AF (I would not want to get the $300 adapter)?

Not much beats a NEX 50mm 1.8, and I've had a lot of sharp MF lens, and only my Nikon 105 AIS lens seem as sharp.

Oh, I've had the Contax 45mm F2, and I think the Nex 50mm beats it, BUT if you go Contax G, the 28mm 2.8 is tops in my book.

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Lightshow
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 24, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

Appreciate all the replies. However my original quest seems to have been lost among the many (excellent) suggestions. Again:

-Not looking for an SLR lens (adapters are huge and I've already got Rokkor 45mm f2 on the way)

-Not looking for anything slower than f2 (already have Sigma 30mm f2.8) even given there is sensor fall-off and loss in sharpness wide-open

-Want lens to be pocket-able including adapter (no bigger than Sigma 30mm or 16-50 kit lens)

-Want to spend less than $500 (prefer $300 unless I am paying up for Zeiss/Leica/Voigtlander glass which is secretly what I really want!)

So far my options from this thread seem to be:

Contax-G 45mm f2 (lack of MF ring and AF adapter too expensive)
Fujian 25mm f1.4 (c-mount)
Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 (min focusing distance too far, weird bokeh?)
Olympus Pen F lenses (38mm f/1.8 and 45mm)
Jupiter 8 50/2 with an L39 adapter
Jupiter3 50 F/1.5 (the Sonnar clone)
Nikkor S.C 50/1.4 in LTM(M39) (how big are these?)
Canon RF 35/2, 50/1.4 (how big are these?)
Sony SEL3518
Sony SEL5018
Cosmicar 35mm f1.7
Industar 22 and 69 -not fast enough although very small
Lecia Summicron 35mm f2 -too expensive
Pentax/Cosmicar 50mm f2.8 -not fast enough
Cosmicar 50/1.4 -not into 'machining'
Leica Elmarit M 28/2.8 -too expensive, not fast enough

Let me know if you have any other thoughts, suggestions.

Here a pic of my LTM RF's:

The Jupiter 3 & the Nikkor 50/1.4 are similar in size to my 50/1.8 below.

The Canon camera museum has more info about their RF lenses.

http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/lens/s/19-35.html

The rangefinder forum has lots of info on different RF lenses that I haven't even seen yet.

Minimum focus distances of most RF lenses are 0.7M or more, a helicoid adapter is required to focus closer, the Pen F lenses can focus closer by design.

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mgn2
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 25, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

Appreciate all the replies. However my original quest seems to have been lost among the many (excellent) suggestions. Again:

-Not looking for an SLR lens (adapters are huge and I've already got Rokkor 45mm f2 on the way)

-Not looking for anything slower than f2 (already have Sigma 30mm f2.8) even given there is sensor fall-off and loss in sharpness wide-open

-Want lens to be pocket-able including adapter (no bigger than Sigma 30mm or 16-50 kit lens)

-Want to spend less than $500 (prefer $300 unless I am paying up for Zeiss/Leica/Voigtlander glass which is secretly what I really want!)

So far my options from this thread seem to be:

Contax-G 45mm f2 (lack of MF ring and AF adapter too expensive)
Fujian 25mm f1.4 (c-mount)
Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 (min focusing distance too far, weird bokeh?)
Olympus Pen F lenses (38mm f/1.8 and 45mm)
Jupiter 8 50/2 with an L39 adapter
Jupiter3 50 F/1.5 (the Sonnar clone)
Nikkor S.C 50/1.4 in LTM(M39) (how big are these?)
Canon RF 35/2, 50/1.4 (how big are these?)
Sony SEL3518
Sony SEL5018
Cosmicar 35mm f1.7
Industar 22 and 69 -not fast enough although very small
Lecia Summicron 35mm f2 -too expensive
Pentax/Cosmicar 50mm f2.8 -not fast enough
Cosmicar 50/1.4 -not into 'machining'
Leica Elmarit M 28/2.8 -too expensive, not fast enough

Let me know if you have any other thoughts, suggestions.

Have another one to add possibly: Lecia Summicron 50mm. Any thoughts on this..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-R-50mm-f-2-Summicron-Standard-Lens-/330907332835?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item4d0b9d30e3

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mgn2
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 25, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

mgn2 wrote:

Appreciate all the replies. However my original quest seems to have been lost among the many (excellent) suggestions. Again:

-Not looking for an SLR lens (adapters are huge and I've already got Rokkor 45mm f2 on the way)

-Not looking for anything slower than f2 (already have Sigma 30mm f2.8) even given there is sensor fall-off and loss in sharpness wide-open

-Want lens to be pocket-able including adapter (no bigger than Sigma 30mm or 16-50 kit lens)

-Want to spend less than $500 (prefer $300 unless I am paying up for Zeiss/Leica/Voigtlander glass which is secretly what I really want!)

So far my options from this thread seem to be:

Contax-G 45mm f2 (lack of MF ring and AF adapter too expensive)
Fujian 25mm f1.4 (c-mount)
Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 (min focusing distance too far, weird bokeh?)
Olympus Pen F lenses (38mm f/1.8 and 45mm)
Jupiter 8 50/2 with an L39 adapter
Jupiter3 50 F/1.5 (the Sonnar clone)
Nikkor S.C 50/1.4 in LTM(M39) (how big are these?)
Canon RF 35/2, 50/1.4 (how big are these?)
Sony SEL3518
Sony SEL5018
Cosmicar 35mm f1.7
Industar 22 and 69 -not fast enough although very small
Lecia Summicron 35mm f2 -too expensive
Pentax/Cosmicar 50mm f2.8 -not fast enough
Cosmicar 50/1.4 -not into 'machining'
Leica Elmarit M 28/2.8 -too expensive, not fast enough

Let me know if you have any other thoughts, suggestions.

Have another one to add possibly: Lecia Summicron 50mm. Any thoughts on this..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-R-50mm-f-2-Summicron-Standard-Lens-/330907332835?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item4d0b9d30e3

I've further narrowed down my choices as I'm looking for a good trade-off between sharpness, bokeh and low-light performance:

Leica 50mm F/2.0 Summicron-R
Contax-G 45mm f2
Olympus Pen F lenses (38mm f/1.8 and 45mm)
Jupiter-8 50 f2
Jupiter-3 50 f1.5

Without adding any more lens options, which one of these would you pick? Which is the best bang for the buck?

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blue_skies
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 25, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

I've further narrowed down my choices as I'm looking for a good trade-off between sharpness, bokeh and low-light performance:

Leica 50mm F/2.0 Summicron-R
Contax-G 45mm f2
Olympus Pen F lenses (38mm f/1.8 and 45mm)
Jupiter-8 50 f2
Jupiter-3 50 f1.5

Without adding any more lens options, which one of these would you pick? Which is the best bang for the buck?

I don't know the Olympus PEN lenses myself, but they are getting great reviews here and they are quite a bargain - I see some available on Ebay for under $100 (38mm) and $250 (45mm).

The Leica and Contax are about the same price ($500), but, when both are on the adapter, the Contax will be smaller. The Contax 45 is most likely one of the sharpest lenses on a Nex camera. Check out this post:

Seeing is believing.

Not to confuse anyone, but I consider Contax C/Y and Leica R to be in a similar class, and Leica M and Contax G to be in a different class, and not only because of (mirrorless) compactness, but because designers had more freedom to optimize the lens (no mirror box).

I would place a summilux, with f/1.4, above Contax-G, but the summicrons, with f/2.0, are very, very close imo. It makes the Contax-G's an absolute bargain - they are even much cheaper than the summarits.

Personally, I am not a great fan of 50mm on the Nex, and, in 50mm FL, I only have the Contax-G 45/2, the Olympus OM 50/1.4, the Minolta MD 50/1.7, the SAL50F18 and the SEL50F18, so I have a limited sample set, but the Contax-G 45 easily surpasses my other 50mm lenses, at all apertures, which is kind of odd, because usually (even slightly) longer FL lenses resolve more detail (ie. appear sharper).

As to Nex photographs, over and over again, I have seen some of the most impressive images being done with the Contax-G 45/2.

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Cheers,
Henry

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Feyris_
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 25, 2013

Before I bought the sony 50mm and the sigma 30mm, I loved to use the hexanon 40mm/1.8

Very small (pancake), fast and sharp. I paid mine less than 40€

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nidri
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 25, 2013

M-Rokkor 40/2

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nelsonal
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 25, 2013

My choice would be a Jupiter-3.  It's soft to about f/2-2.8 though hits all your other requirements nicely.  I've found more of the very similar (but usually more expensive) Summar.

If you clean and relubricate most older lenses, the damping can be set as desired.

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mgn2
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 26, 2013

Thanks much for the Contax G suggestion and Jupiter-3 as well. About the SLR lens suggestions, well thank you but I specifically did not want to add any more lens choices! I've decided I'm going to get either the Contax G 45mm F2, Jupiter-3 or Jupiter-8. I see the CG45 at adorama for $400, can't find it anywhere else. What is the cheapest/best adapter for the CG45? Anyone have a direct comparison between the CG45 and Jupiters?

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blue_skies
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 26, 2013

Check http://www.top35mm.com for Russian lenses. You will find Jupiter there - search for M39 mount. (You can get an M39 adapter or convert to M mount with screw-on bajonet ring). Also check ebay for these lenses. I think $100 for the 50mm Sonnar should satisfy. Most other lenses are cheaper.

Check keh, amazon, ebay and craigslist for CG45. Price for an EX+ copy is around $450 or so.

The Metabones adapter is best, but also the most expensive. You have to order it directly from their website.

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Cheers,
Henry

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Jonathan_Whiteman
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 26, 2013

If it was me I would go for either the SEL35F18 or the SEL50F18 (actually, if only one then the 35mm as it's more versatile and anyway, the 50mm is longer than the Sigma 30mm so doesn't fit your criteria).  I've got the 40mm F2 and the 50mm f1.4 ROKKOR's and they're great lenses and cheap too (one was $80, one was free) but the native lenses are extremely good as well and the AF an OSS makes them more useful more of the time.  You'll be happy with the others too of course so there's no wrong choice here.  Have fun with whatever you go for and post some photos when you have please

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mgn2
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 28, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

Check http://www.top35mm.com for Russian lenses. You will find Jupiter there - search for M39 mount. (You can get an M39 adapter or convert to M mount with screw-on bajonet ring). Also check ebay for these lenses. I think $100 for the 50mm Sonnar should satisfy. Most other lenses are cheaper.

Check keh, amazon, ebay and craigslist for CG45. Price for an EX+ copy is around $450 or so.

The Metabones adapter is best, but also the most expensive. You have to order it directly from their website.

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Cheers,
Henry

Thanks after looking at some sample pics of the Jupiter it seems like it won't be quite as sharp as the CG45, and probably hard for me to work with. The Zeiss lens on the other hand seems to produce some amazingly sharp pictures in the right hands. I've been playing around with the Minolta Rokkor 45mm F2 the last few days and find MF to ba real joy on my NEX-6. I think I'm going to get the Cf45 from Adorama. Before I pull the trigger, anything else I should look at in the Zeiss or Leica options under $1000 (I feel very comfortable with MF already, and think its worth paying up for high quality glass I could potentially use forever)?

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verybiglebowski
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Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens
In reply to mgn2, Apr 28, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

blue_skies wrote:

Check http://www.top35mm.com for Russian lenses. You will find Jupiter there - search for M39 mount. (You can get an M39 adapter or convert to M mount with screw-on bajonet ring). Also check ebay for these lenses. I think $100 for the 50mm Sonnar should satisfy. Most other lenses are cheaper.

Check keh, amazon, ebay and craigslist for CG45. Price for an EX+ copy is around $450 or so.

The Metabones adapter is best, but also the most expensive. You have to order it directly from their website.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

Thanks after looking at some sample pics of the Jupiter it seems like it won't be quite as sharp as the CG45, and probably hard for me to work with. The Zeiss lens on the other hand seems to produce some amazingly sharp pictures in the right hands. I've been playing around with the Minolta Rokkor 45mm F2 the last few days and find MF to ba real joy on my NEX-6. I think I'm going to get the Cf45 from Adorama. Before I pull the trigger, anything else I should look at in the Zeiss or Leica options under $1000 (I feel very comfortable with MF already, and think its worth paying up for high quality glass I could potentially use forever)?

While Carl Zeiss Planar 45mm f2 T* is sharp lens, bokeh is not its strength. That is true for most planar design lenses.

I personnaly like more Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f1.5 C ZM. Soft wide open, with most aberrations uncorrected for smooth and unique oof area rendering, very sharp when stooped down to f4 and above. Sony SEL 50 f1.8, would be however my recommendation. If FF lens is not the must for you, SEL 50 is an outstanding and reasonable priced lens.

A little secret of mine - if you want small lenses with planty of character, (and quite rare), check Takumars 58mm f/2.4 or Takumar 58 f2.

The first one is Heliar design and probably widest lens of that design, while the second is Sonnar. Those two Takumars are not sharp wide open, but they both have unique rendering and bokeh. Adapters are rather big, but both lenses are in fact very small. Smaller than already small above mentioned CZ Sonnar 50 f/1.5 C ZM.

It is important to make priorities, as there is no "perfect" or "best" lens.

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