'Legendary' status

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OP Belgarchi Senior Member • Posts: 1,607
Re: 'Legendary' status

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.

- The Pentax has more CA than the Voigtlander, and the focal is slightly different (+20mm), but except that, it is very similar... and costs 10 times less.

- Many Canon 200/4.0 have issues: loose helicoid, and dust / haze inside. But a perfect condition one will amaze you. I didn't use that Canon zoom though, I can't compare.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,469
Re: 'Legendary' status

Belgarchi wrote:

Mathieu18 wrote:

Legendary: Remarkable enough to be famous, very well known. Not revolutionary...

I dont have quite the high threshold as some on here but of these the few I’d agree with are the Hollywood 28/2, Voigt 180 APO (I’ll add the 125 APO), the Nikon 28/2.8 (borderline), 105/2.5 and 180/2.8 ED, Pentax 28/3.5 and 31FA, and Canon FD 35/2 but the thoriated BL. Don’t know about a few but I think either of the 50/1.4s are okay but can’t keep up anymore, they CY 85/2.8 is great but not legendary,

Well, Ming Thein's warm recommendation was already enough for me to make it 'Legendary', but I bought one and it is indeed totally exceptional.

Please don’t misunderstand, I own a MMG copy and love it! If we want to call it a legend I’m not going to argue about it.

I’l add the CY 21/2.8, 35/1.4, and 100/2. The Nikkor-O 35/2 and the Minolta 58mm f/1.2. Maybe the Takumar 50/1.4 8 elemen but the 7 element was pretty underwhelming. Probably the Contax G 45/2 as well

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Rol Lei Nut Veteran Member • Posts: 4,507
Re: 'Legendary' status

Belgarchi wrote:

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.

- The Pentax has more CA than the Voigtlander, and the focal is slightly different (+20mm), but except that, it is very similar... and costs 10 times less.

- Many Canon 200/4.0 have issues: loose helicoid, and dust / haze inside. But a perfect condition one will amaze you. I didn't use that Canon zoom though, I can't compare.

Thanks, I'll take a good look at the Pentax (and maybe give the Canon another chance as well). I do find the Voigtländer 180 4.0 expensive for a lens I'm not completely convinced about.

Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 5,936
Re: 'Legendary' status
1

Belgarchi wrote:

Ching-Kuang Shene 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:

- Nikon 105/2.5 AIs

I fact, except for the 105/2.5, which is a semi-legendary, none of the other lenses are legendary. By legendary, IMO, a lens has to have a historical importance, uniqueness with the best image quality at that time. Maybe you change the AI-S to pre-AI, then IMO the Nikon 105/2.5 is a legendary. There are some legendary lenses in my mind:

  • Germany (East and West): Carl Zeiss 180mm f/2.8 the original Olympia Sonnary rather than post-WW2 ones, the Topogon and Hologon series (up until the Contarex era), and the original post-war Biogon series. Of course, the Carl Zeiss Mirotar 500/4.5 and 1000/5.6, and Carl Zeiss Jena Spegielobjektiv 500/4 and 1000/5.6 have to added. One more from Germany, Voigtlander Zoomar 36-82mm f/2.8. If you are lucky, you may be able to rent a Zeiss 50mm f/0.7 and 35mm f/0.7. The first one, a planar type with a relying system inside, was designed for a half-frame Contarex camera. The combo was used to explore the back side of the moon. Finally, the mother of all modern untra wide angle: Goerz Hypergon.
  • America: I would pick Celetron C8 orange tube, Questar 3" and Questar 700.
  • Japan: Perhaps the Nikon AF-D 28mm f/1.4, 28-45 f/4.5 (the first wide zoom), Nikon AIS 300mm f/2 could be included. Nikon also made the first 80-200mm f/2.8. For Canon, perhaps the first telephoto lens using FL glass.

These are the legendary lenses popped up from my brain. There are certainly more for other people to add.

CK

You are defining 'Legendary' from an historical perspective. What I meant was lenses with a reputation of being able to capture incredibly good photos.

Just like most of your posts, you never make your intention clear. If that is your definition/intention, IMO you should state it clear. On the other hand, I did say it clearly in my post:

By legendary, IMO, a lens has to have a historical importance, uniqueness with the best image quality at that time.

In terms of image quality, you should not compare modern lenses with legacy ones due to technology advance.  In your case, your “lengendary” lenses perhaps are all modern ones.  This is why I have “at that time” stated clearly.  So, please make your intention clear so that you will get what you want.

CK

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MikeyBugs95
MikeyBugs95 Regular Member • Posts: 305
Re: 'Legendary' status

I've never had the chance to use one, and probably never will, but how about the Pentax FA* 200mm f4 Macro?

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It's a pretty simple task of 3D modeling something. It's getting it to fit that takes most of the time!

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jjcpa Regular Member • Posts: 327
Re: 'Legendary' status

I define "legendary" as no other lens at the same focal length can suppass it regarding to characteristics or rendering or special effects. In the above list, I used to have CY 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4, 85mm f2.8 and 180mm f2.8. I sold them all except 50mm. They are good but don't think they are legendary. Currently I own both Nikon 105mm f2.5 AI and 105mm DC. I compared them carefully and prefer DC one so for me AI one is not legendary. I am not sure I know any one is lengdary, Maybe voigtlander 125mm or Zeiss 135mm or Nikon 105E?

OP Belgarchi Senior Member • Posts: 1,607
Re: 'Legendary' status

MikeyBugs95 wrote:

I've never had the chance to use one, and probably never will, but how about the Pentax FA* 200mm f4 Macro?

Ah yes, it has an incredible reputation, but I never used it myself.

By the way, it is very heavy too... most exceptionally good lenses are heavy.

I suppose that light weight has a price.

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MikeyBugs95
MikeyBugs95 Regular Member • Posts: 305
Re: 'Legendary' status

Belgarchi wrote:

MikeyBugs95 wrote:

I've never had the chance to use one, and probably never will, but how about the Pentax FA* 200mm f4 Macro?

Ah yes, it has an incredible reputation, but I never used it myself.

By the way, it is very heavy too... most exceptionally good lenses are heavy.

I suppose that light weight has a price.

And rare from what I've seen. And when up for sale VERRRYYY expensive.

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It's a pretty simple task of 3D modeling something. It's getting it to fit that takes most of the time!

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Bob Janes
Bob Janes Veteran Member • Posts: 3,066
Some more nominations from Minolta (and others)
1

Minolta AF35/2.0

Minolta AF100/2.0

Minolta 135STF

Minolta AF200/2.8

Minolta AF70-200/4.0 (aka 'The Beercan')

also

Contax G 45/2.0

and (although they are not interchangable lenses)

Hexanon 38/1.8 on the Konica Auto S3

Minotar 35/2.8 on the Minox 35EL/GL/GT

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biza43 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,891
Re: 'Legendary' status

Several incarnations of the Zeiss C Sonnar 50 f1.5.

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Fazal Majid
Fazal Majid Senior Member • Posts: 1,732
Re: 'Legendary' status

David Kieltyka wrote:

The Zeiss 21/*4.5 Biogon in Contax Rangefinder mount. It was the widest rectilinear lens made at the time (1954) for 35mm format cameras.

Better yet the 38mm Biogon in the Hasselblad SWC made for aerial photography purposes (because of its lack of distortion).

The Leica Noctilux and the Nikon Noct-Nikkor.

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David Kieltyka
David Kieltyka Veteran Member • Posts: 5,433
Re: 'Legendary' status

Fazal Majid wrote:

David Kieltyka wrote:

The Zeiss 21/*4.5 Biogon in Contax Rangefinder mount. It was the widest rectilinear lens made at the time (1954) for 35mm format cameras.

Better yet the 38mm Biogon in the Hasselblad SWC made for aerial photography purposes (because of its lack of distortion).

Yes. The two lenses are basically the same design: one for the 135 format, the other for medium format.

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Stacey_K
Stacey_K Veteran Member • Posts: 8,936
Re: 'Legendary' status
2

How can you not include the elmar 35 and 50mm f3.5? Those are about as legendary as you can get.

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OP Belgarchi Senior Member • Posts: 1,607
Re: 'Legendary' status

Stacey_K wrote:

How can you not include the elmar 35 and 50mm f3.5? Those are about as legendary as you can get.

I didn’t pretend that my list is final... as for these two lenses, thanks for adding them; what happened is that in my mind, I was writing about ‘SLR’ lenses, but didn’t write it down...

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Bohemien
Bohemien Contributing Member • Posts: 734
Re: 'Legendary' status

Fun thread, interesting lenses mentioned so far, and it's always nice (and dangerous ) to hear about lenses I hadn't looked at yet.

I'd include the

Nikkor 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E

to what has been mentioned yet - legendary not for it's price or IQ, but because Galen Rowell allegedly used it to shoot his famous Rainbow over Potala Palace photo (I've read that somewhere but can't find the reference, that's why I say "allegedly").

I personally like it because it is small and light while offering decent IQ, making it a perfect travel telephoto lens when one wants to travel light. Plus it's very affordable, a real winner for me. Only downside is its serious zoom creep, so I mainly use it at either 75mm or 150mm, but that's ok.

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RemcoR Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Re: 'Legendary' status

Belgarchi wrote:

MikeyBugs95 wrote:

I've never had the chance to use one, and probably never will, but how about the Pentax FA* 200mm f4 Macro?

Ah yes, it has an incredible reputation, but I never used it myself.

By the way, it is very heavy too... most exceptionally good lenses are heavy.

I suppose that light weight has a price.

The Pentax FA* 200 F4 macro is 1080 g (38.1 oz.). Not very heavy I think, or do you mean another lens? The legendary Contax 100-300 is just over 900 g. Very light compared to modern zooms in that range.

RemcoR

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OP Belgarchi Senior Member • Posts: 1,607
Re: 'Legendary' status

RemcoR wrote:

Belgarchi wrote:

MikeyBugs95 wrote:

I've never had the chance to use one, and probably never will, but how about the Pentax FA* 200mm f4 Macro?

Ah yes, it has an incredible reputation, but I never used it myself.

By the way, it is very heavy too... most exceptionally good lenses are heavy.

I suppose that light weight has a price.

The Pentax FA* 200 F4 macro is 1080 g (38.1 oz.). Not very heavy I think, or do you mean another lens? The legendary Contax 100-300 is just over 900 g. Very light compared to modern zooms in that range.

RemcoR

For a 200/4.0, 1080 g is very heavy, The Contax Zeiss zoom is attractive: I never tried it, but it is very tempting, I don't have any 300mm lens.

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MikeyBugs95
MikeyBugs95 Regular Member • Posts: 305
Re: 'Legendary' status

Belgarchi wrote:

RemcoR wrote:

Belgarchi wrote:

MikeyBugs95 wrote:

I've never had the chance to use one, and probably never will, but how about the Pentax FA* 200mm f4 Macro?

Ah yes, it has an incredible reputation, but I never used it myself.

By the way, it is very heavy too... most exceptionally good lenses are heavy.

I suppose that light weight has a price.

The Pentax FA* 200 F4 macro is 1080 g (38.1 oz.). Not very heavy I think, or do you mean another lens? The legendary Contax 100-300 is just over 900 g. Very light compared to modern zooms in that range.

RemcoR

For a 200/4.0, 1080 g is very heavy, The Contax Zeiss zoom is attractive: I never tried it, but it is very tempting, I don't have any 300mm lens.

The Nikon 200mm f4D micro is 1,180 g. The Sigma 180mm f3.5 is 965 g. The Canon 180mm f3.5 is 1,090 g. The Tamron SP 180mm f3.5 is 985 g. 1,080 g is about average (average is 1,060 g) among these mostly modern AF lenses .

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Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 5,936
Re: 'Legendary' status

Bohemien wrote:

.... because Galen Rowell allegedly used it to shoot his famous Rainbow over Potala Palace photo (I've read that somewhere but can't find the reference, that's why I say "allegedly").

Well, in this case, you perhaps would also add Nikon AF 80-200mm 1:4.5-5.6D because according to Thom Hogan.  Some people aim for light weight but good enough lens quality, some other people may go for the extreme only for image quality, etc.  Extrapolating in this direction further, you may also add Rapid Rectilinear, in particular those cheaper ones, because Edward Weston bought one for $5.00 and used it to record so many great images.

CK

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FKS
FKS Senior Member • Posts: 2,991
Re: 'Legendary' status

I have the 85mm f1.4, and read Ming's article. Found the f2.8 for a good price (MMG!), and I must say I like it better than the f1.4.

Belgarchi wrote:

Mathieu18 wrote:

okay but can’t keep up anymore, they CY 85/2.8 is great but not legendary,

Well, Ming Thein's warm recommendation was already enough for me to make it 'Legendary', but I bought one and it is indeed totally exceptional.

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