Best legacy 35 mm

Started May 20, 2013 | Discussions
John Knuhtsen
John Knuhtsen Contributing Member • Posts: 730
Best legacy 35 mm

Hi

I bought recently a CZJ 35 F/2.4 and a Minolta 35 MD F/1.8.

Tested them with apple blossoms at about F/4-5.6. I think the Minolta wins !

Any other bids ?

Minolta F/4

Flektogon F/5.6

jandu
jandu Regular Member • Posts: 299
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

Elmarit 35mm f2.8.

I think this lens is pretty nice as well.

Jefenator
Jefenator Senior Member • Posts: 2,673
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

I've tried a few: an old AF-Nikkor, Canon FD (older radioactive / concave front element) and Leitz Summicron-R, all f/2 lenses.

The Nikkor is light & compact and has a generous close-focus allowance. The Canon performs a little better and that concave front element is cool to look at.

The Leica definitely leads the pack, though. It does some of the cleanest wide-open renderings out of any lens I've tried and I really like the BOKEH and overall character.

Leitz Summicron-R 1:2/35

The Leitz is not quite as rock-solid in the corners as I might have expected from Leica, but it still does seem to have an edge over the others.

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fermy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,168
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

Of course, "best" lens does not exists. Certainly Summicron is a good one, it better be given the price. Btw, what model/year is your Summicron-R? My favorite 35mm are Canon FDn 35/f2 and Nikkor-N 35/1.4. I prefer both to zebra Flektogon.

Canon FDn 35/f2

Nikkor-N 35/f1.4

Serhan2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,152
Re: Best legacy 35 mm
1

I am waiting for my adapter to try the Nikkor-N 35mm 1.4 to see how it compares with the CZJ 35mm.

Here is a test that compares Distagon 1.4/35, CJZ Flektogon 2.4/35, Samyang 1.4/35, Nikon 1.4/35 (old non aspherical version) and in one shoot the CV Ultron 2/40:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1013201/0

fermy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,168
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

Serhan2 wrote:

I am waiting for my adapter to try the Nikkor-N 35mm 1.4 to see how it compares with the CZJ 35mm.

It's a lot faster, bigger and stronger, that's for sure

While you wait, here's a small taster of Nikkor-N http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic,p,1242685.html

Thanks for the link with the 35mm test, quite interesting. Now I have Distagon lust, damn it.

Serhan2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,152
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

Thanks for the Nikkor-N link, excellent photos.

I ordered a regular nikon-ef adapter. Hopefully it will work esp I will be using with speed booster.

Distagon is very nice lens though it migh not the sharpest. For similar price and size, you can get a used RX1:)

fermy wrote:

It's a lot faster, bigger and stronger, that's for sure

While you wait, here's a small taster of Nikkor-N http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic,p,1242685.html

Thanks for the link with the 35mm test, quite interesting. Now I have Distagon lust, damn it.

Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 6,278
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

My best 35mm lens is my Canon SSC 35/2.8 Tilt/Shift.

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,777
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

I like the Contax G 35/2 a lot, even though it is often considered to be be in the shadow of the other CG primes.

-- hide signature --

Nex-7 with kit lenses, Contax G 35, and a number of legacy lenses (mostly Canon FD)

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verybiglebowski
verybiglebowski Veteran Member • Posts: 3,914
I like more Flek

John Knuhtsen wrote:

Hi

I bought recently a CZJ 35 F/2.4 and a Minolta 35 MD F/1.8.

Tested them with apple blossoms at about F/4-5.6. I think the Minolta wins !

Any other bids ?

Minolta F/4

Flektogon F/5.6

... but hard to compare, because of a different composition, background and resulting light. Flek can focus really close, which is its main "selling" point, don't know about Minolta though.

Here are few more to consider.

My favorite legacy 35 - CZJ Tevidon 35 f1.9

You might look cool with Topcon Auto-Topcor 35 f2.8 RE or enjoy beautiful packaging of Albert Scacht R Travegon 35 f3.5.

If you are  experienced gourmet, you can put your fingers on Contarex Distagon 35 f4, or dare to own Leica 35 f1.4 Summilux, or at least f2 cron or Summarit f2.5.

Not to forget small and sexy Voigtlander 35 f2.5 Color Skopar original.

Want some Eastern style? Try Mir 24M

And that's just the beginning of a 35mm story

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fermy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,168
Re: I like more Flek
2

verybiglebowski wrote:


And that's just the beginning of a 35mm story

...The end of which is a financial ruin.

verybiglebowski
verybiglebowski Veteran Member • Posts: 3,914
Very true... (n/t)

fermy wrote:

verybiglebowski wrote:


And that's just the beginning of a 35mm story

...The end of which is a financial ruin.

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blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,468
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

SQLGuy wrote:

I like the Contax G 35/2 a lot, even though it is often considered to be be in the shadow of the other CG primes.

Same here.

I think that it is only because of the MTF chart, and the FL. The 28 is wider, and the 45 is narrower. On an APS-C sensor, the CG35 has little weaknesses.

The CG35 is the pre-runner of the Zeiss ZM 35/2.0, which has gotten many accolades, on both APS-C and FF.

Both the ZM35 and the CG35 should be placed high on anyone's list, with the CG35 being the better price/performance trade-off - plus it behaves 'better' on a Nex-7.

Both these two Zeiss lenses (ZM35 and CG35) render very sharp from edge to edge, even when used wide open, but like the Sigma 30 (S30), they produce non-attractive OOF rendering, which can be a bit harsh at times.

I also like the Cosina Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 Nokton. This lens renders almost opposite the two aforementioned Zeiss' lenses, it produces much softer OOF rendering, and also behaves 'better' on a Nex-7.

In contrast, both SAL35F18 and SEL35F18 are impressive in their own right. They render very sharp from about f/2.2 onwards, but their OOF rendering does not display the harshness.

As to the OP, I also have the Olympus OM 35/2.8, which is from the same vintage as the Minolta MD 35/2.8, and it is a very nice lens, when stopped down.

As to ranking:

The ZM35 would be my first choice, as a favorite for 35mm lenses, but it is a tad large. I have not tried the Leica 'cron or 'lux lenses (I did use an Elmarit on 28mm).

The CG35 is a by far the best value for the money.

The CV35 is a specialty lens, but I find it a very interesting lens, something about f/1.4 and people rendering. It gives great subject isolation, but also great subject texture.

The two Sony (A, E) lenses are very good at what they do, and the SAL35 is a true bargain.

The OM35 is a bit slow on APS-C, but it is a widely used lens, and can be had very cheap.

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Cheers,
Henry

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dshin525 Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

I have the voigtlander untron 35mm/1.7 and it's by far by my favorite.

The only gripe with it initially was the min. focusing distance when used with a regular adapter. Then I got the hawks factory adapter and it improved it to less than 10 inches.

Here's a couple examples, shot wide open...great colors and sharpness.

Example of min focusing distance

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,777
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

If you want something small, relatively inexpensive, not that common, and imbued with some interesting character, you can also look for a Schneider-Kreutznach Retina-Curtagon 35/2.8. These are German-made lenses that were used on Kodak and Voigtlander (and maybe other) cameras back in the 50's and 60's.

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Nex-7 with kit lenses, Contax G 35, and a number of legacy lenses (mostly Canon FD)

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John Knuhtsen
OP John Knuhtsen Contributing Member • Posts: 730
Re: I like more Flek

Thank you guys for responses and ideas. I have to try some more with these two lenses. I tried the Flek at nearly minimum distance on some flowers, but I did not succeed with something usable. It surprised me how short the DOF are, so almost nothing was sharp, even at F/5.6. And I like more pictures of people.

I cannot afford a summicron or elmarit this year. Maybe a distagon is more cost effective, but how much better than my Flek ?

Mir seems to be interesting for me to try. I have a jupiter 3 (m39), and just ordered an old zorki 1 from Skt. Petersburg to put beside my leica 3c.

boardsy Senior Member • Posts: 2,215
Re: Best legacy 35 mm
2

No idea about best, especially taking price into account - but the FDn 35/2 is a great compromise between cost, speed, size/weight (old chrome nose version is great, but a beast), clinical sharpness and oof/bokeh (nice closed aperture shape too!).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/59079068@N02/8488828025/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/59079068@N02/8403320322/

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Stujomo
Stujomo Senior Member • Posts: 1,430
Re: Best legacy 35 mm
1

Don't know about best but here's the Nikon 35mm f1.4 Ais.

F1.4

and now at f2.8

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verybiglebowski
verybiglebowski Veteran Member • Posts: 3,914
Re: I like more Flek

John Knuhtsen wrote:

Thank you guys for responses and ideas. I have to try some more with these two lenses. I tried the Flek at nearly minimum distance on some flowers, but I did not succeed with something usable. It surprised me how short the DOF are, so almost nothing was sharp, even at F/5.6. And I like more pictures of people.

I cannot afford a summicron or elmarit this year. Maybe a distagon is more cost effective, but how much better than my Flek ?

Which Distagon? I mentioned (relatively) cheap Contarex 35 f4, but there is exclusive 35 f2, Than C/Y versions as well as modern 35 f2 and f1.4, Rollei and probably many other.

And then, what means better

I can say, that after playing with over thirty 35mm FOV lenses on my NEXes, Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f2 ZE (with Metabones Smart (not SB) adapter) is the sharpest 35mm lens across the frame that I own. But it is big, heavy and rather expensive.

It's faster brother 35 f1.4 has beautiful (for standard 35mm) short distance blur, but it is not overall sharper, just faster. (my samples, my test etc...)

New Sigma 35 f1.4 Art is even sharper, but I sold my copy because of rather harsh bokeh.

Mir seems to be interesting for me to try. I have a jupiter 3 (m39), and just ordered an old zorki 1 from Skt. Petersburg to put beside my leica 3c.

You might find some Leitz R lenses (I have Elmarit 35 f2.8) for rather solid price (even if it seems they all went crazy those days), but beside great build quality, you would probably not get top MTF figures or so...

I have Jupiter too, but not Mir 24M (because I can't find one for 100 USD in a good condition, which would be reasonable price for me). I would rather gowith Kiev than Zorki, but just my preference....

Anyway, it all depends... there is no best lens, like there is no best painting brush or sculpture material. But it is great fun to try them all...

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sebboh Contributing Member • Posts: 559
Re: Best legacy 35 mm

blue_skies wrote:

SQLGuy wrote:

I like the Contax G 35/2 a lot, even though it is often considered to be be in the shadow of the other CG primes.

Same here.

I think that it is only because of the MTF chart, and the FL. The 28 is wider, and the 45 is narrower. On an APS-C sensor, the CG35 has little weaknesses.

The CG35 is the pre-runner of the Zeiss ZM 35/2.0, which has gotten many accolades, on both APS-C and FF.

Both the ZM35 and the CG35 should be placed high on anyone's list, with the CG35 being the better price/performance trade-off - plus it behaves 'better' on a Nex-7.

Both these two Zeiss lenses (ZM35 and CG35) render very sharp from edge to edge, even when used wide open, but like the Sigma 30 (S30), they produce non-attractive OOF rendering, which can be a bit harsh at times.

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Cheers,
Henry

i have to disagree here having owned the g28, g35, and g45 and used them all on the NEX in addition to numerous other lenses. the g35 is noticeably weaker in real world usage and i certainly wouldn't call it sharp across the frame wide open. i really felt it needed to be stopped down to f/8 or f/11 to get satisfying corners in landscape shooting. also, the modern zm 35mm lenses are totally different designs from the contax g 35/2 – more complicated biogons versus the rather simple planar design. i did really like the size, color, contrast, and bokeh at f/4 and smaller from the g35 though.

if i had to pick a favorite 35mm it'd be the c/y 35/1.4:

c/y 35mm f/1.4 wide open

it's a little big on the NEX though so taking size into account maybe it would be the leica m lux pre-asph:

leica m 35mm f/1.4 summilux pre-asph wide open

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