Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,470
Re: Small/phenomenal manual legacy prime lens

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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