'Legendary' status

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Rol Lei Nut Veteran Member • Posts: 4,416
Re: 'Legendary' status

Belgarchi wrote:

Rol Lei Nut wrote:

Belgarchi wrote:

Totally subjective but fun: which lenses are considered as a 'Legend', whatever the reason?

I can think of only a small number:

- Leica R 50/2.0

- Leica R 100/2.8 Macro Apo

Had it. Sold it. Didn't like the ergonomics and wasn't that "legendary" when used for landscapes.

- Contax Zeiss 28/2.0

- Contax Zeiss 50/1.4

My favorite 50 (not that I'm a great 50mm fan).

- Contax Zeiss 85/2.8

Had it, sold it. Good, but I like some other 85/90s better.

That's bizarre. Mine is the best of all 85-90mm in the center of the image (resolution, contrast, micro-contrast, definition) and in the corners, only my Leica R 90/2.8 (barely) beats it.

Mine was not quite as good as the best mainly in the corners (though still very good).

Also my Leica R 90 2.8 (older version) was a bit disappointing in that way. I even tried the last version R 90 2.8, without noticing a large difference. Again, still very good, but lenses like CY 100 3.5, ZM 85 4.0 or even Tokina 90 2.5 Macro are more even across the field.

- Voigtlander 180/4.0 SL Apo

Have it. Good. Specs/weight on paper are great. In practice, I don't use it much.

I am disappointed by mine, excellent at f/5.6 and 8.0, but so-so at f/4.0

Mine is in the "maybe keep" category. As mentioned, I tend not to use it.

- Nikon 28/2.8 AIs

- Nikon 55/2.8 Macro AIs

Good. Find it flattens the image a bit in non-macro use. Prefer the Leica R 60 2.8 Macro.

True. Of course, the price is 'slightly' different.

Actually, when I bought it, it was only just slightly more expensive than the Nikkor 55 2.8.

- Nikon 105/2.5 AIs

Nice. Again, there are some 85/90/100mm lenses I like even better. AI version is pretty big & heavy.

- Nikon 180/2.8 ED AIs

Good lens, but legendary? Very bulky.

- Pentax 28/3.5 K

Very nice. But the Loxia 25 is hogging the 24-28 FLs for me.

- Pentax 31/1.8 FA Limited

- Pentax 85/1.4 FA*

- Pentax 135/1.8 A

- Canon 35/2.0 New FD

- Canon 50/1.4 New FD

I'll add:

-Canon TS-E 24 3.5 II. Lovely lens, but huge & heavy. Sold because I never used it.

-Leica M Summicron 35 2.0 Mk. IV ("Bokeh King"). Maybe not really a Bokeh King, but a very nice, tiny and light lens. The R Summicron 35 2.0 version is great with film.

-Rollei & CY Zeiss 35 1.4. Very nice rendering. My Desert Island lens. In the real world, it's a bit large and heavy.

-CY Zeiss 35 2.8 MM. Very flat field for a 35mm, though with a slight dip 2/3 of the way out. Still one of the best for landscapes, architecture & reproductions.

Interesting, I should try that one, pretty inexpensive too. I wonder if it will be good on APS-C and M43 though, taking into account your assessment of a lower sharpness at 2/3rd of the frame?

That dip is only (slightly) visible at stops wider than f/5.6. Generally speaking it has the flattest field of any 35mm I've used, more than the R 35 2.8 III or even the Canon FD TS 35 2.8 (I seem to have an especially good sample of that one). But brilliance & contrast are a bit below Zeiss' best.

-Rollei Zeiss 35 2.8. Optically different from the above. Field isn't as flat as the CY version (though in practice things are fine by about f/5.6 or so), but it has more character (and is smaller/lighter).

I am trying to find one in good condition for one year now...

Mine is a made in Singapore "Voigtländer Color-Skoparex", but is a better sample than several Zeiss branded made in Germany ones I had.

-CY Zeiss 35-70. Very nice. One of those lenses which can make the dullest light look almost decent. Sold it because I found the zoom range too limiting considering its size & weight.

-Leica R 60 Macro. Simply does everything extremely well.

Yes, I know that one, excellent. I didn't list it because I don't think it has a 'legendary' reputation. That list was about 'reputation', not real qualities of lenses.

-Nikkor 200mm 4.0 AI/S. Probably the best non-APO 200mm, decently light as well.

Very good, yes... but the underestimated Pentax A 200/4.0 (not the M, not as good) is as good and 20% lighter, and the Canon 200/4.0 FDn is sharper (but lightly built, and a lot of CA)

Interesting... How would you rate the Pentax compared to the Voigtländer 180 4.0?

I tried one sample of the Canon, but found it not as good as the FD 80-200 4.0 L at 200mm.

-Olympus OM 90mm 2.0 Macro. Takes portraits as well as a 90mm Summicron, landscapes as well as the CY 85 2.8 and 1:2 Macros as well. What not to like? (o.k., weight could be lower...)

-Tokina 90 2.5 Macro ("Bokina"). Very sharp at all distances. Bokeh: yes. Weight: lighter than the Olympus 90 2.0. Flare: can be present (only real drawback).

-Zeiss ZM 85 4.0. Does everything well in a small package.

-CY Zeiss 100 3.5. As far as pure sharpness across the field at medium/long distances goes, probably my best 85/90/100mm lens. A great landscape choice. Maybe a bit less "character" and atmosphere than some others.

-Canon FD 80-200 4.0 L. Very. very nice. Not impressed by its build quality, decided to keep the CY Zeiss version instead.

-CY Zeiss 80-200 4.0. Canon FD version might have a few points over it optically, but I didn't enjoy using it. The Zeiss feels more like a reliable workhorse.

-Canon EF 70-200 4.0 L (both IS & non-IS). Great user.

-CY Zeiss 100-300. Her Majesty... Sharpeness, contrast, colors - nearly perfect. Only drawback is that lack of AF and OIS can make itself felt.

Should be "Legendary" but less known, expensive or injustly overshadowed by others...

-Leica WATE 16-18-21 4.0. The Loxia 21 is a better 21mm, but the WATE is smaller, lighter and offers FLs down to 16mm...

-Leica R 21-35. Not perfect, but a very good user with great rendering. Gets the best out of dull light.

-Leica R 35 2.8 Mk. III. Very nice & contrasty. Avoid the optically different versions I & II.

In my opinion, it is indeed the best 35mm for SLR. The best, that's it.

-Minolta M-Rokkor 28mm 2.8. Have white spot problem, but tiny and sharp. Works well with Sony FF sensors!

-Canon TS-E 90 2.8 Mk. I. Nicely sharp for landscapes. Tilting can be useful.

-Canon EF 100 2,8 Macro USM. Very nice. Big & heavy for carrying around, but delivers.

-Leica R 180 3.4 Apo-Telyt. Great for longer distances.

Yes but I found it difficult to focus.

-Olympus OM 21 3.5 MC. Life for UWAs is hard in the age of the Loxia 21, but the Oly is light, tiny and works well under the motto "f/8.0 and be there".

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