Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?

Started Apr 6, 2013 | Questions thread
TiagoReil Senior Member • Posts: 1,585
Re: Recommend an inexpensive fast MF portrait prime for NEX ?

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.

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.

 TiagoReil's gear list:TiagoReil's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro +3 more
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