Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?

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Maklike Tier
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Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
3 months ago

I've been thinking about the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 as my next lens, but instead of that I was maybe thinking about trying to find some classic glass and attaching it to my E-P5.

For all you manual focus fans out there, what would be a great piece of glass for MF street and general walkabout style shooting?

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joergzielosko
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Crop factor
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

Maklike Tier wrote:

I've been thinking about the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 as my next lens,

The problem with legecay glass is the 2.0 crop factor of mFT. If you want a 17 mm mFT lens for street photography such as the Voigtländer (35 mm FF equiv.), you need a 17 mm legacy lens. But that's not easy to find.

The large majority of legacy FF glass is in the 24 - 135 mm range, so you can get anything from normal (about 50 mm equiv.) to telephoto, but no wide angle.

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Maklike Tier
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Re: Crop factor
In reply to joergzielosko, 3 months ago

Well yeah I'd be looking at FF lenses in the 25mm area.  Are they rare?

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s_grins
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

Except of legacy MACRO lens, I've retired all other manual lenses 2 years ago.

No more fun for me

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Camera in bag tends to stay in bag...

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Araldite
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Re: Crop factor
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

Nikon did a 20mm and 24mm, Olympus made a 21mm and there are some in the 17-*18mm class if you have adapters. Zuiko in the film days made some small wide angles.

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JulesGo
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Re: Crop factor
In reply to joergzielosko, 3 months ago

I use a SkyWatcher Black Diamond 600MM 80ED f/7.1 astronomy telescope. If I add a 2X TN (a TC for scopes), it gives me 2400mm with the M43 crop factor. Not bad ! I consider it my poor man's Big White Lens...

Tricolored Heron - Wakodahatchee Wetlands, FL.

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Jules Gobeil
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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

Maklike Tier wrote:

I've been thinking about the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 as my next lens, but instead of that I was maybe thinking about trying to find some classic glass and attaching it to my E-P5.

For all you manual focus fans out there, what would be a great piece of glass for MF street and general walkabout style shooting?

Wides seem very popular but what is wrong with medium telephoto?

If you find an exquisite Canon FL 50mm f1.4 and fit it to a FD focal reducer you get a very sharp MF lens of some real quality.  Also the focal reducer converts the lens by giving an extra stop of light and the net effect on the crop factor is 1.4x instead of 2.0x.

In effect your FL 50mm f1.4 becomes a 70mm f1.0.

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Tom Caldwell

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joergzielosko
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Re: Crop factor
In reply to JulesGo, 3 months ago

JulesGo wrote:

I use a SkyWatcher Black Diamond 600MM 80ED f/7.1 astronomy telescope. If I add a 2X TN (a TC for scopes), it gives me 2400mm with the M43 crop factor. Not bad ! I consider it my poor man's Big White Lens...

Tricolored Heron - Wakodahatchee Wetlands, FL.

-- hide signature --

Jules Gobeil
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Absolutely impressive! But I doubt that your combination could be useful for "street and general walkabout"

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0MitchAG
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

Maklike Tier wrote:

I've been thinking about the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 as my next lens, but instead of that I was maybe thinking about trying to find some classic glass and attaching it to my E-P5.

For all you manual focus fans out there, what would be a great piece of glass for MF street and general walkabout style shooting?

There is a Minolta 28mm F2.8 but at this point you're better off buying the Sigma 19 or 30, as I've read it's not a great lens when adapted.

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Domagoj Batinic
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

Maklike Tier wrote:

I've been thinking about the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 as my next lens, but instead of that I was maybe thinking about trying to find some classic glass and attaching it to my E-P5.

For all you manual focus fans out there, what would be a great piece of glass for MF street and general walkabout style shooting?

i'm using almost exclusively manual lenses, when i go out shooting i usually pick 3 lenses out of over 130 i have.

here you can see samples from 127 lenses i tested so far:

http://forum.mflenses.com/wolverinex-testing-my-lenses-series-link-list-t39524.html

as for lenses for street shooting, good choices are Nikkor 20mm/4, Sigma super-wide II 24mm/2.8

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and good number of legacy lenses (list in profile)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/domagoj-b/sets

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Tony8232
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Re: Crop factor
In reply to JulesGo, 3 months ago

I use a SkyWatcher Black Diamond 600MM 80ED f/7.1 astronomy telescope. If I add a 2X TN (a TC for scopes), it gives me 2400mm with the M43 crop factor. Not bad ! I consider it my poor man's Big White Lens...

Tricolored Heron - Wakodahatchee Wetlands, FL.

-- hide signature --

Jules Gobeil
Nature photographer - Photographe de la nature
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Not bad? That's incredible!
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90891174@N04/

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Eric Nepean
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 3 months ago

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Maklike Tier wrote:

I've been thinking about the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 as my next lens, but instead of that I was maybe thinking about trying to find some classic glass and attaching it to my E-P5.

For all you manual focus fans out there, what would be a great piece of glass for MF street and general walkabout style shooting?

Wides seem very popular but what is wrong with medium telephoto?

If you find an exquisite Canon FL 50mm f1.4 and fit it to a FD focal reducer you get a very sharp MF lens of some real quality. Also the focal reducer converts the lens by giving an extra stop of light and the net effect on the crop factor is 1.4x instead of 2.0x.

In effect your FL 50mm f1.4 becomes a 70mm f1.0.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

I have the FD 50mm F1.4 and find this works great ... do you know if there is an IQ difference between the FL and FD series?

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Eric

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Ron Evers
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

I shot adapted vintage lenses for 3 years on my G1.  For the street I would use a Vivitar 24/2.8 (Minolta mount) @ f5.6 pre-focused @ 10feet.  This gave me in focus from about 7 to 18 feet.  Here is a shot from the hip sample:

Please click View Original Size.

Discrete shot from the hip into the light.

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The wood is clear between the knots.

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jeffharris
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

Maklike Tier wrote:

I've been thinking about the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 as my next lens, but instead of that I was maybe thinking about trying to find some classic glass and attaching it to my E-P5.

For all you manual focus fans out there, what would be a great piece of glass for MF street and general walkabout style shooting?

If you want a wide angle lens, then adapting a manual lens from another system really won't do given the M4/3 sensor crop. When you adapt a wide angle, it becomes fairly normal. I have a Nikon 20mm f2.8 I bought when I was shooting film and was very disappointed when I adapted it for my GH2.

That said, you are some wide angles you could adapt. Voigtländer makes a 12mm f5.6 and 15mm f4.5 (available in Leica M and L mounts). They are much more expensive than faster native M4/3 lenses, so their benefit is questionable. I have a native M4/3 SLR Magic 12mm T1.6. It's quite a good little lens with nice film-like rendering. Lots of character.

As for suggestions for manual lenses you could adapt (relatively cheaply, I assume? )… a few of my faves and lenses I use regularly, especially the first three.

  • Voigtländer 35mm f1.4 (M mount) Okay, it's not cheap, but a great little lens. A favorite walkabout!
  • Voigtländer 75mm f2.5 Color Heliar (L mount)
  • Nikon 105mm f2.8 AI-S macro
  • Pentax SMC Takumar 50mm f1.4 
  • Pentax SMC Takumar 105mm f2.8
  • Olympus OM 135mm f 2.8

If you want a great wide angle, just get a Voigtländer 17.5mm. It's one of my favorite lenses, native OR adapted!

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photoholiko
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Domagoj Batinic, 3 months ago

Domagoj,

I cross check your results with some of the lenses I own, it was very informative you have a good selection of legacy lenses, thanks for sharing!

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photoholiko
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

The widest legacy I have is the Vivitar 20mm/f3.8 (FD mount)

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dougjgreen1
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Re: Crop factor
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

Maklike Tier wrote:

Well yeah I'd be looking at FF lenses in the 25mm area. Are they rare?

There are TONS of legacy 24mm to 28mm lenses out there. The real question you should be asking is, are they anywhere near as useful on a Micro 4/3 body as either of the two outstanding fast native 25mm AF lenses that exist for this system from the primary manufacturers.  And I have to say, the answer is no.   Or if you really WANT to manually focus, the Voigtlander you are looking at is much the best option.

The legacy lenses in the 24mm range almost certainly won't be as sharp, they won't be as fast, and they won't be anywhere near as easy to focus.

To me, the best purposes for legacy glass are: Macro, Portraiture with fast lenses having particular bokeh, and long fast lenses in focal lengths unavailable in native lenses.

Slightly wide to normal lenses for street shooting are one thing that the Micro 4/3 system has in vast abundance of excellent choices. I strongly suggest you choose and use one of those (or, like many of us, MORE than one of those).

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uberzone
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Eric Nepean, 3 months ago

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Maklike Tier wrote:

I've been thinking about the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 as my next lens, but instead of that I was maybe thinking about trying to find some classic glass and attaching it to my E-P5.

For all you manual focus fans out there, what would be a great piece of glass for MF street and general walkabout style shooting?

Wides seem very popular but what is wrong with medium telephoto?

If you find an exquisite Canon FL 50mm f1.4 and fit it to a FD focal reducer you get a very sharp MF lens of some real quality. Also the focal reducer converts the lens by giving an extra stop of light and the net effect on the crop factor is 1.4x instead of 2.0x.

In effect your FL 50mm f1.4 becomes a 70mm f1.0.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

I have the FD 50mm F1.4 and find this works great ... do you know if there is an IQ difference between the FL and FD series?

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Eric

I have a full set of FDn lenses including the 14mm 2.8 and the 24mm 1.4. They are both fantastic and work great on m4/3, but the really don't make much sense practically speaking. The Panasonic 14mm 2.8 is crazy small and works just as well as the Canon FD 14mm 2.8. Same story for the Canon 24mm 1.4 vs the Panasonic 25mm 1.4 (the Panasonic is sharper in this case at larger apertures). The use of a Speedbooster will give you a slightly different focal length and make them a bit faster however.

To answer your question, I would stay away from FL lenses and only get the FD or FDn versions. They have superior coatings and are universally sharper. I prefer the FDn lenses because they are smaller and lighter than their FD counterparts. Consensus seems to be that the top "Aspherical" FD lenses are just slightly better than the equivalent "L" FDn lenses. The size and weight make them not worth it to me, so I went with FDn.

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neil holmes
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to Maklike Tier, 3 months ago

Maklike Tier wrote:

I've been thinking about the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 as my next lens, but instead of that I was maybe thinking about trying to find some classic glass and attaching it to my E-P5.

For all you manual focus fans out there, what would be a great piece of glass for MF street and general walkabout style shooting?

Canon FD L series fast primes....

Oh and the Tamron 300 2.8 adaptall...with the silent shutter mode, and this lens, no one would EVER know you are taking a picture! (actually I do love the lens on FF, APSC and m4/3).

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Eric Nepean
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Re: Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?
In reply to uberzone, 3 months ago

uberzone wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Maklike Tier wrote:

I've been thinking about the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 as my next lens, but instead of that I was maybe thinking about trying to find some classic glass and attaching it to my E-P5.

For all you manual focus fans out there, what would be a great piece of glass for MF street and general walkabout style shooting?

Wides seem very popular but what is wrong with medium telephoto?

If you find an exquisite Canon FL 50mm f1.4 and fit it to a FD focal reducer you get a very sharp MF lens of some real quality. Also the focal reducer converts the lens by giving an extra stop of light and the net effect on the crop factor is 1.4x instead of 2.0x.

In effect your FL 50mm f1.4 becomes a 70mm f1.0.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

I have the FD 50mm F1.4 and find this works great ... do you know if there is an IQ difference between the FL and FD series?

-- hide signature --

Eric

I have a full set of FDn lenses including the 14mm 2.8 and the 24mm 1.4. They are both fantastic and work great on m4/3, but the really don't make much sense practically speaking. The Panasonic 14mm 2.8 is crazy small and works just as well as the Canon FD 14mm 2.8. Same story for the Canon 24mm 1.4 vs the Panasonic 25mm 1.4 (the Panasonic is sharper in this case at larger apertures). The use of a Speedbooster will give you a slightly different focal length and make them a bit faster however.

To answer your question, I would stay away from FL lenses and only get the FD or FDn versions. They have superior coatings and are universally sharper. I prefer the FDn lenses because they are smaller and lighter than their FD counterparts. Consensus seems to be that the top "Aspherical" FD lenses are just slightly better than the equivalent "L" FDn lenses. The size and weight make them not worth it to me, so I went with FDn.

I have FD50mm F1.4 - with the Metabones speedbooster this makes a 35mm F1.0 lens which seems to be quite sharp when stopped down half a top or so, and not to bad wide open. The depth of field is  narrow, as one would expect.

The FD 50mm F1.2 is supposed to be quite a sharp lens but its quite expensive to buy used, and I don't see the point in buying it since I already have the 50mm F1.4.

As you mention, there's not much potential in most of the FD wide angle lenses, except possibly if you already have the FD 24mm F1.4, then with the Metabones it becomes a 17mm F1.0 But if you don't have it already, one may as well buy the Voigtlander Nokton 17mm F0.95 for about the same price.

There's potential in the telephotos, with the FD85mm F1.8, FD100 F2.0  and FD200mm F2.8 and 200mmF4.0 being available for reasonable prices and forming interesting combinations with a 0.71x  speedbooster

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Eric

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