'Legendary' status

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
fferreres Senior Member • Posts: 1,076
Re: 'Legendary' status

Rol Lei Nut wrote:

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.

Mine is stupidly sharp wide open under a 24mp sensor, both in resolution, contrast and micro-contrast. Like you have a magical sharpen algorithm with absolutely no noise the size of a normal 50mm lens and a bargain price. It's small. Weights nothing. I don't think ti should be considered legendary, because it looks like nothing, has a very simple design, doesn't even have any unique look: looks exactly like all the other german made all metal Rollei lenses. It's almost impossible to distinguish it from the 50mm Planar or even the Distagon 35mm at quick glance. At the time it was launched, based on all I've seen and read, while nobody makes the point, I think this was the best 85mm to have been ever made. The C/Y version appeared years later.

- 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.

I had purchased one and it was horrible. I had to open it and fix the front optical group, including scratched pain and reposition it (all easy), but it changed it to quite bad lens sample to probably one of my favorite 35mm.

-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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