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Gear Talk => Third Party Manufacturers => Topic started by: gigabellone on December 24, 2013, 09:39:57 AM

Title: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: gigabellone on December 24, 2013, 09:39:57 AM
I switched to a 6D some weeks ago, and i'm really loving my new toy :D . However, i only have a nifty fifty to go with it, and now i'm starting to crave for another toy (some of you here call this condition G. A. S. :D ). I'm a gearhead, but i'm also budget-conscious, so, before spending big bucks on L glass, i was considering the plan of getting some cheap vintage primes and adapters to see which focal lenghts would fit my needs. I know nothing about vintage lenses, and the variety and quantity of lenses is a bit overwhelming. I can borrow a Zeiss Planar 1.4/85 with adapter from a friend, so i got that focal length covered. Can you suggest me some cheap 24mm, 35mm and 135mm primes?
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Drizzt321 on December 24, 2013, 12:33:55 PM
Be cautious with vintage lenses, as they will all be manual focus, manual aperture on your 6D after adapter. While the 6D does have an interchangeable focusing screen for one optimized for manual focusing, you still will have to gain experience at that. You'll also need an adapter, and not all lenses will be compatible due to how far back they extend (i.e. will be in the way of the mirror), or will need an adapter with corrective optics which will tend to be a bit more expensive for a quality one over just a simple metal adapter that some lenses might need.

That said, I do enjoy some vintage lenses now and then, but they take more work to use. I'd actually recommend going for the EF 24-105L as your next lens, as it's a great general purpose lens with fairly good optics & performance.

If you already have that and want to get into vintage just because, maybe look into m42 mount lenses. There are a ton of them out there, although of varying quality. You'll generally find 28mm rather than 24mm for 'very wide' as those lenses were designed before the modern computer simulated optics was the rule. You can also look at http://www.panoramaplanet.de/comp/ (http://www.panoramaplanet.de/comp/) for mirror compatibility.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on December 24, 2013, 03:08:40 PM
Generally, you are better off with a low cost camera and decent lenses.  A fine body without good lenses is a sure loser.
You do not need "L" lenses, and a zoom lens is handy for determining the focal length you use most.
A used 28-135 can be picked up for $200.  Its not fantastic, but its decent.  If that's too much, consider selling the camera and get something for less that leaves you room to purchase decent lenses. 
 
In the longer focal lengths, you can sometimes find a old EF 70-210mm f/4 for around $100.  Its good for the price, but does not have digital reflective coatings.  I've never had issues with low contrast using this lens.
Keep an eye on your local craigslist and use the price list reference link on CR to see what actual used values are.
While there are many old manual focus lenses that are very good, they are also sought after and will cost more than a common one that is not up to digital standards.  One of the things old MF lenses are often missing is a proper non reflective lens coating on both sides.  Light reflects of the shiny digital sensor and reduces contrast so it does not matter how sharp the lens is if the image is washed out.
Tell us what you are willing to pay, and we can suggest something.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: johnf3f on December 29, 2013, 04:54:15 PM
If it's any use I get very good results with my Contax-Zeiss 25mm F2.8 T* on both FF and 1.3 crop with an E Bay adapter. Note this is supposed to be about the worst of the Contax-Zeiss lenses - I am still looking for faults! Manual Focus is not an issue for landscapes as the depth of field is so great, though I do use Live View when precision is required.
There can be compatibility issues with some older lenses so have a look here:
http://www.pebbleplace.com/Personal/Start.html (http://www.pebbleplace.com/Personal/Start.html)
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Dylan777 on December 30, 2013, 09:35:50 AM
Why buy adapter(s) + vintange lenses + manual focus?

Brand New Canon 85mm f1.8 @ BH is selling $319: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/cart.jsp (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/cart.jsp)

People selling 135L on CL for low $800.

I took over 1000 photos last holidays with 50 & 135 combo ;) 
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: unfocused on December 30, 2013, 10:50:40 AM
Just do the obvious thing and pick up a "white box" 24-105mm zoom. It will be much cheaper than accumulating several primes and allow you to experiment with various focal lengths. Later, as your budget allows you can start accumulating primes if that's what you want.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: mackguyver on December 30, 2013, 11:04:33 AM
Quote
Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?

No, but L lenses will, no matter which one you pick.  Beware of the L addiction, though... symptoms include red rings, improved upper body strength, and the occasional marital troubles... ;)
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Digbydriver on December 30, 2013, 12:08:05 PM
A friend of mine asked the same question. I think that if you have some good used lenses that cover focal ranges you want and don't have, they might be an option, if you are willing to give up the automatic focusing and exposure aspect of your photography.  The adaptors, however, are not cheap. I told my friend to buy non-L lenses on eBay instead.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Blakegard on December 30, 2013, 01:05:54 PM
If you can find a good copy on Ebay/locally pick up an old 20-35L f/2.8 (Predecessor to the 16-35L) I got mine for about $550 and between a friends 16-35L II and 17-40L I don't see too much difference other than chromatic aberrations, the focus speed and the obvious focal length differences. It pairs great with the 6D too :)
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: RomainF on December 30, 2013, 01:25:35 PM
I consider the 24-105 to be a bad glass. Optically, it ain't that good and that's an f/4. If you want to shoot anything at anytime and get "good" pics, that's your lens.
If you're really looking for that full-frame feeling which is about bokeh and sharpness, go for primes. You'll get great shots. That's the main difference.

If you're cheap (not really smart…lenses get you pictures, not bodies) and looking for MF lenses,  you know what's the best bargain ever ? Old Nikon lenses. Pre-Ai ; Ai ; Ai-S are insanely great lenses. And you can pick them for about 100/150$ in shops (meaning you can find them for 50$ on craigslist). You'll need an adaptor which will cost you a few bucks on ebay.
Get what you wanna get and what will makes you happy. 28 f/2.8 ; 50 f/1.4 ; 50 f/1.2 for about 350$ (most expensive one) ; 85 f/1.8 : 105 f/2.5 ; 135 f/2.8 ; 200 f/4 ; 300 f/4....
All these lenses can be find for a hundred bucks each, no joke.
Automatic exposure works perfectly on Av.

As Blakegard wrote it, if you're cheap but looking for AF lenses, have a look on the old L-series-glasses side. The ones which have been designed during the film-era.
Contrasts and AC won't be that great when wide open and the sides will suffer but they remain to be good lenses. On wide-angles, we don't actually have a great glass. The main improvement on all the versions (20-35 ; 17-35 ; 16-35 ; 16-35 II) have been about the sides. Sharpness is real good on the center even on these old lenses.
I think that you paid a lot for yours Blakegard. I've had a hard time selling my 17-35 for 350 (which i paid 390).
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: EverydayGetaway on December 30, 2013, 02:16:58 PM
This is why I don't frequent this forum as often, everyone makes it out as though you can't take a good photo without a >$1000 lens.  I can't believe there's such a lack of support for vintage lenses.  I shoot mostly with vintage glass and when comparing it with shots I've taken on some of the newer glass my old stuff does better.

As long as you're not opposed to manual focus and aperture, vintage lenses are a great way to figure out which primes work best for you.  You should also look into Samyang (Rokinon, Bower- same brand, different label) primes.  I've had their 8mm in the past and now have their 85mm (chose it over the EF 85/1.8, owned both for several weeks) and both are excellent lenses.

Take a look through these threads, there's a lot of great information here.  Also, feel free to PM me with any questions.  I highly recommend any Yashica ML primes, I have 3 (28/2.8, 50/1.7, 50/1.4) and they are among my favorite lenses and they adapt very easily and without mirror interference.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=644277 (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=644277)

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1228845 (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1228845)

Also, I highly recommend the EG-S focus screen.  It's very easy to install and for me it makes a big difference in manually focusing.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: TexasBadger on December 30, 2013, 02:40:31 PM
Vintage wine will help you find the way.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: mackguyver on December 30, 2013, 02:49:37 PM
Vintage wine will help you find the way.
True, but a compass, GPS, or even a vintage sextant will do you better -- but it won't be as much fun as the wine.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: yorgasor on December 30, 2013, 03:21:23 PM
I've done a lot of research on the old Nikon glass for use on my 5D Mk III.  Nikon ruled the professional range in the 80's, and has excellent support on Canon mounts with adapters.  Beware that some have glass too far back and may get in the way of the mirror.  I mostly wanted something that I could use as a good reverse lens for high magnification macro shots, so I got a 24mm f/2 AIS lens for ~$200.  It's a decent lens, and will get nice shots when I have time to manually focus the lens.  The bokeh is very different, sometimes distractingly so.  This was one of my first sample shots I took of my daughter at very close range:

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2835/11328686214_cfeeb6bc49_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/98400159@N08/11328686214/)
Tea Time (http://www.flickr.com/photos/98400159@N08/11328686214/#) by yorgasor (http://www.flickr.com/people/98400159@N08/), on Flickr

Here is a list of other Nikon primes I'd like to eventually get.  It's a solid list, and I tried to pick the best ones from each focal range.  Some of them are still pricey, enough so that I'm sure I'll end up getting the Canon 135mm L lens, which has a very nice autofocus, and only a couple hundred $$ more, and would be much more useful.  I didn't find any notes in my research that any of these were incompatible with Canon, so do some due diligence and make sure before you make a purchase.

nikon manuals lenses keh.com
300mm f/4.5 ed-if ais  $300-400
135mm f/2 AIS  $650
35mm f/1.4 ais $500
85mm f/1.4 AIS $650
28mm f/2 ais $200
50mm f/1.8 ais $100

The 300mm lens is the most intriguing for me, as my current lens collection maxes out at 200mm.  If I were you, I'd probably only get the 50mm and maybe the 28mm nikon lenses, and maybe the 300mm if you're looking for a good way to get reach.  The other ones are expensive enough to make it not worth the hassle of vintage / non-autofocus.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: 7enderbender on December 30, 2013, 03:42:37 PM
Just do the obvious thing and pick up a "white box" 24-105mm zoom. It will be much cheaper than accumulating several primes and allow you to experiment with various focal lengths. Later, as your budget allows you can start accumulating primes if that's what you want.

Hm. Not sure about that. It depends on what the OP is after really in his photography. I personally find the 24-105 to be a very limiting lens because it is f/4. I really only use it for portrait shots with studio lighting where you stop down anyway. For everything else it's pretty expensive for what it is.

I agree though that MF lenses are no fun on a modern camera given the limitations of today's AF viewfinders. Interchangeable screens only help very little with that issue.

My recommendation would always be to start with primes to have more DOF options. The OP already has the nifty-fifty so I would add another prime in that class such as the 85 or 100 or something at the wide end if that's more desired. Yes, they are plastic and everything. But honestly, so are most of the L lenses. Just better plastic. Optics are all very good and certainly not worse than on the 24-105 (which is optically also great, don't get me wrong).
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: unfocused on December 30, 2013, 04:23:01 PM
Just do the obvious thing and pick up a "white box" 24-105mm zoom. It will be much cheaper than accumulating several primes and allow you to experiment with various focal lengths. Later, as your budget allows you can start accumulating primes if that's what you want.

Hm. Not sure about that. It depends on what the OP is after really in his photography...

I've got nothing against primes. I have four of them. But, for someone with a new body and one $100 lens, I feel that a good walk-around zoom is the most economical beginning point. I've done manual focus and primes for 30 years or more, mostly because that was the only choice I had when I began taking photographs. I'm am so over that.

But, if you are talking primes, I can't imagine not having a 24 or 28 mm wide angle and a 100 or 135 mm short telephoto at a minimum. Just those two lenses will set you back more than the street price of a 24-105. I just think it is bad advice to suggest someone load up on a bunch of outdated manual focus primes when they can get a perfectly functional all purpose zoom that will help them learn the craft first.

Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: the lizard of oz on December 30, 2013, 10:00:11 PM
Personally if you're going to go down the vintage lens path I would seriously invest in some mamiya 645 C lenses and get an adapter off ebay for $50.00.  The lenses themselves are superb, well built and can be found for well under $500 online. Sure you only get manual focus but the resolution leaves pretty much anything else for dead on my 5D.  I use them on an EOS M too, still work well but the weight and size never quite balances right.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Halfrack on December 31, 2013, 01:08:21 AM
I think I am reading the OP in that they have/had some EF-S lenses that covered a number of focal lengths.  What lenses were they, and we can point you to a few equivalent tools. 

The idea of getting some vintage lenses to use is mostly misguided.  They don't have the coatings and current technology to make use of what the 6D can offer - and if nothing else it will find any and every flaw.  The reason to use vintage glass is to go fully manual or to achieve a 'look' out of camera.  If this doesn't match up with what you want, stick to what you can afford in the current line up.

It's hard to look at the same focal length day in and out, but there are a number of cheap zoom's that can scratch an itch.  Based on what I saw on your blog, a 17-40mm f4, 24-105mm f4 and/or 70-200mm f4 lens should be in your future - cheap even in euro's and you will sell again when upgrading later on for a net-zero cost.  You've spent over 1,600 Euro's on a camera, and it's only as good as the glass you put in front of it.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: TexPhoto on December 31, 2013, 01:29:00 AM
How about getting some vintage Canon EOS lenses?  Seriously, adapters suck. 
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: S Cartwright Photography on December 31, 2013, 05:49:11 AM
If nothing else vintage lenses have a lot more character & quirks than more modern lenses so in that respect will make you think about what you are shooting and how to shoot it.  I have a few helios 44 lenses one is uncoated an flairs like a bi**h but in certain circumstances that flair looks spectacular.

http://www.scottcartwright.co.uk/blog/view/m42-lenses-on-dslr (http://www.scottcartwright.co.uk/blog/view/m42-lenses-on-dslr)

Its worth picking a few up cheap from ebay just for a play around.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: gigabellone on December 31, 2013, 09:19:49 AM
I think I am reading the OP in that they have/had some EF-S lenses that covered a number of focal lengths.  What lenses were they, and we can point you to a few equivalent tools. 

The idea of getting some vintage lenses to use is mostly misguided.  They don't have the coatings and current technology to make use of what the 6D can offer - and if nothing else it will find any and every flaw.  The reason to use vintage glass is to go fully manual or to achieve a 'look' out of camera.  If this doesn't match up with what you want, stick to what you can afford in the current line up.

It's hard to look at the same focal length day in and out, but there are a number of cheap zoom's that can scratch an itch.  Based on what I saw on your blog, a 17-40mm f4, 24-105mm f4 and/or 70-200mm f4 lens should be in your future - cheap even in euro's and you will sell again when upgrading later on for a net-zero cost.  You've spent over 1,600 Euro's on a camera, and it's only as good as the glass you put in front of it.

I've got nothing against primes. I have four of them. But, for someone with a new body and one $100 lens, I feel that a good walk-around zoom is the most economical beginning point. I've done manual focus and primes for 30 years or more, mostly because that was the only choice I had when I began taking photographs. I'm am so over that.

But, if you are talking primes, I can't imagine not having a 24 or 28 mm wide angle and a 100 or 135 mm short telephoto at a minimum. Just those two lenses will set you back more than the street price of a 24-105. I just think it is bad advice to suggest someone load up on a bunch of outdated manual focus primes when they can get a perfectly functional all purpose zoom that will help them learn the craft first.

As you have correctly guessed, i had a T2i with 3 lenses: 18-55mm/3.5-5.6, 50mm/1.8 II, Sigma 10-20mm/4-5.6. The kit lens and the Sigma were sold, and now the T2i with the Tamron 17-50mm/2.8 is for my family to use. I got the 6D a month ago, purposedly bought without the kit lens. F/4 is kinda slow, i knew i wouldn't want to trade the fast aperture with the zoom. I took pictures with the nifty fifty and i discovered i don't like the focal length much. I always feel i'm leaving something outside the frame, and head and shoulders portraits show a not so pleasing distortion.

Renting gear is not an option here in Italy. So it came to my mind that maybe buying cheap vintage lenses, using them for a while, and then reselling, was a cheap way to test many different focal lengths. I have no real interest in vintage lenses.

With the budget i set for my next lens purchase (1500€), i could get the 24/1.4 L, or the Sigma 35/1.4 and the 24/2.8. How did you choose your primes before buying them? Did you always start having a zoom first, and then got the primes based on the experience with that particular focal length?

Vintage wine will help you find the way.

How come it didn't came to my mind? This one is even cheaper than a Red Ring! :D

http://www.ebay.it/itm/Sassicaia-1985-/281234074652?pt=Vini&hash=item417adb6c1c&_uhb=1 (http://www.ebay.it/itm/Sassicaia-1985-/281234074652?pt=Vini&hash=item417adb6c1c&_uhb=1)

Quote
Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?

No, but L lenses will, no matter which one you pick.  Beware of the L addiction, though... symptoms include red rings, improved upper body strength, and the occasional marital troubles... ;)

Yeah, the plan was to test the focal lengths, and then getting Red Rings in those i liked the most. :D
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Artifex on December 31, 2013, 10:02:41 AM
I personally am a fan of vintage lens. I allow me to have multiple prime, covering much of the most useful focal length, at a very low price. Moreover, since I use a 6D (FF camera) and a custom split-screen focusing screen, I really get the same feeling when shooting than with my Pentax K-1000 film camera, with which I learned to love photography. I must point out that I do photography for artistic purpose and not professional purpose.

Of course, modern lens often offer more feature; AF, better sharpness, better coating, electronic aperture, more CA, etc. You are never going to have the same thing in a 50$ vintage lens than in a 1000$ modern lens. However, if like me, you always work in full manual, you might find the difference not so great. Also, if you study the lens themselves before buying, you will be able to find good deal on stunning lens.

Lots of people are advising against using vintage lens, which is only logical, because those lens don't fit the way they work. I really don't think they are giving bad advice, but IMO they are taking for granted you're needs and workflow are similar to theirs. If vintage lens fit the way you work, I really don't see why you shouldn't at least try working with one and see if you like it; you might love it, and if not, you can always sell it back the same price you bought it (if you take care of your gear, it is not 2 more month of use that is going to change the value of a 30 years old lens!).
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Artifex on December 31, 2013, 01:31:07 PM
Also, to find the way, it is really simple, we got to cut your head!  :P

Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: dgatwood on December 31, 2013, 02:08:17 PM
Yeah, the plan was to test the focal lengths, and then getting Red Rings in those i liked the most. :D

I thought that's what a 24-105 was for.  :D
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: sama on December 31, 2013, 02:10:24 PM
I personally am a fan of vintage lens. I allow me to have multiple prime, covering much of the most useful focal length, at a very low price. Moreover, since I use a 6D (FF camera) and a custom split-screen focusing screen, I really get the same feeling when shooting than with my Pentax K-1000 film camera, with which I learned to love photography. I must point out that I do photography for artistic purpose and not professional purpose.

Of course, modern lens often offer more feature; AF, better sharpness, better coating, electronic aperture, more CA, etc. You are never going to have the thing in a 50$ vintage lens than in a 1000$ modern lens. However, if like me, you always work in full manual, you might find the difference not so great. Also, if you study the lens themselves before buying, you will be able to find good deal on stunning lens.

Lots of people are advising against using vintage lens, which is only logical, because those lens don't fit the way they work. I really don't think they are giving bad advice, but IMO they are taking for granted you're needs and workflow are similar to theirs. If vintage lens fit the way you work, I really don't see why you shouldn't at least try working with one and see if you like it; you might love it, and if not, you can always sell it back the same price you bought it (if you take care of your gear, it is not 2 more month of use that is going to change the value of a 30 years old lens!).

+1  exactly what I have in mind.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: sdsr on December 31, 2013, 04:57:07 PM
I switched to a 6D some weeks ago, and i'm really loving my new toy :D . However, i only have a nifty fifty to go with it, and now i'm starting to crave for another toy (some of you here call this condition G. A. S. :D ). I'm a gearhead, but i'm also budget-conscious, so, before spending big bucks on L glass, i was considering the plan of getting some cheap vintage primes and adapters to see which focal lenghts would fit my needs. I know nothing about vintage lenses, and the variety and quantity of lenses is a bit overwhelming. I can borrow a Zeiss Planar 1.4/85 with adapter from a friend, so i got that focal length covered. Can you suggest me some cheap 24mm, 35mm and 135mm primes?

A few random points:

1. Unless you're trying to stop action or want extremely shallow focus, f4 on a FF body can be quite impressive; I get excellent results wandering around in a city at night with the 24-105, for instance.  I agree with the poster who said that this lens is a good way to figure out which focal lengths you like (which isn't to say this lens isn't good in its own right).

2. You don't need expensive "L" primes to get excellent results - the recent 24/28/35 IS primes and 40mm pancake are all first rate, and, provided you're willing to fix the purple fringing, so are the 85 1.8 and 100 f2.  Depending on what you shoot, the less expensive predecessors of those IS lenses can yield impressive photos too (take a look, for instance, at some of the photos sporgon has shown here taken with the old 35mm f2).

3. Old manual lenses aren't necessarily cheap (though of course I don't know what you mean by "cheap"); it's a shame you don't like 50mm because that range is the cheapest (you can buy 50mm 1.4s for as little as $50; I recently bought a 55mm Canon FD 1.2, which looks as though it were made last week, for a mere $300), with 135mm being perhaps the next cheapest range.  Wider lenses usually cost more, and some aren't cheap by any standard (especially the best fast 85mm lenses).

4. DSLRs don't work well with manual focusing unless you're willing to use live view and a tripod (which, for me, takes all the fun out of it) or conjure up a special focus screen for your 6D and have good enough eyesight to use it accurately (compare the viewfinder on just about any decent old film camera and you'll see what I'm talking about).  Over the past couple of months I've been buying vintage lenses and greatly enjoy using them but only on mirrorless bodies, where the magnification made possible in an EVF makes them easy to focus (I seldom find "focus assist" useful, though), especially if the body happens to have IS (it's not easy to manually focus a long lens via magnified view without stabilization as you're focusing).  You may react differently, of course, but don't be surprised if you find obtaining accurate focus to be a frustrating experience.  Try using manual focus only on your 50mm lens and see what you think.  On a camera body that makes manual focusing easy, you may well find yourself preferring it in many situations (I know I do).

5. Conversely, Canon probably has the best/fastest/most accurate auto-focus of any dslrs, and their camera bodies are designed with AF in mind; it seems a shame not to use it.

6. If you do want to pursue vintage lenses, there are specialist sites that can help you; at least one is devoted to Minolta-Rokkor lenses, another to Canon FD.  Some sites show interesting comparisons mixing new and old lenses.  There are lots of resources out there on line; even basic searches such as "best 24mm legacy lens" will yield useful results.  It's an entertaining pursuit, though if you were doing this for a living you might find it merely frustrating and confusing....
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: unfocused on December 31, 2013, 05:08:43 PM
I took pictures with the nifty fifty and i discovered i don't like the focal length much. I always feel i'm leaving something outside the frame, and head and shoulders portraits show a not so pleasing distortion...

With the budget i set for my next lens purchase (1500€)...

It's always hard to make a recommendation for someone else and even harder when trying to adjust for European vs. American prices.

I would still recommend the 24-105 as the most versatile choice, but it sounds as though you've ruled that out so...I think I would look at the new 24mm 2.8 IS. The price has been cut in the U.S. and I assume it has been reduced in Europe as well (if not, it's overpriced).

It's sharp and will serve you well for many years. To my personal taste, neither a 28mm or a 35mm is wide enough. If I use a wide angle, I want the "wide-angle look" and that requires the 24mm. Wider than that introduces too much distortion for my taste, except for the occasional novelty shot. Certainly not an everyday lens. A 24mm can be a perfect "street photography" lens.

If you can get by with an 85mm, the f1.8 is a great lens for the price. In the U.S. you could get both these lenses for your budget and have the start of a good prime kit. I find the 85mm a little short for my tastes, but then, I like to shoot portraits with a longer lens when possible -- at least 100 mm and sometimes 200 mm. The 200 mm f2.8 prime is also a very good bargain.

If you get the 24 2.8 IS and the 85mm 1.8 you'll have the range covered that you previously had and you'll have three basic prime lenses that you can keep in your kit forever. I still think the 24-105 is a better choice, but these would be my second choice.

Since your English is obviously excellent, go to LensRentals.com and read "Roger's Take" on some of the lenses to get a good "real world" perspective that is far more balanced than whatever advice you'll get on this forum.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: eosnut on December 31, 2013, 10:10:55 PM
For the longest time I thought I had no use for a 35mm lens.  If I wanted wide I wanted at least a 28.  But then I went through the exif data of my library with a program called ExposurePlot.  Guess what.  Most of my shots taken with a zoom that included 35mm in the range, were shot at or near 35mm.  I was blown away.

The moral is, get a zoom and find out what you really shoot at.  Then sell the zoom and buy your primes to match what you found.

As far as vintage glass, I shoot a lot of it.  But I do it for "the look", not to get cheap primes.  If you want your photos to look like they were shot in the 1950's, put an Industar 50 3.5 on your camera!
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: dgatwood on December 31, 2013, 11:30:01 PM

I did a similar look at my photos and concluded that 42% of my photos could be covered with my 16-35.  I also concluded that I pretty much use the 24-105 about evenly through its range, and am badly hurting for the lack of the next 30mm, up to about 135, causing lots of unnecessary lens changes to my 70-300L now that I'm on a full-frame body.  Then again, I already pretty much knew that, but it was nice to confirm it.

Finally, I concluded that I pretty much shot very little between about 150mm and 300mm, and that I almost invariably used the 70–300L within a narrow range from 260–300mm on crop, equivalent to about 421–480 on full-frame, which falls entirely outside the range my lenses currently cover, and that I almost never use my 70–300L below about 250mm unless I'm using it at the opposite end to grab things that are just a little bit outside the range of my 24–105L.

I kind of wish Canon made a 200-500, except that such a lens would probably end up being too big and heavy for me to actually be willing to carry it around, so I guess TCs on my 70–300L are the only really viable choice.  *sigh*
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: AE1Pguy on January 01, 2014, 12:09:42 AM
You could get a nice used 100 or 105 f/2.8 macro for not too much money. I have an aging Sigma that is very sharp, and still a useful focal length for portraits.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: mrsfotografie on January 01, 2014, 06:08:34 AM
For the longest time I thought I had no use for a 35mm lens.  If I wanted wide I wanted at least a 28.  But then I went through the exif data of my library with a program called ExposurePlot.  Guess what.  Most of my shots taken with a zoom that included 35mm in the range, were shot at or near 35mm.  I was blown away.

The moral is, get a zoom and find out what you really shoot at.  Then sell the zoom and buy your primes to match what you found.

I found I grew into the 35 mm focal length; in the past this focal length didn't move me but since then I've moved in closer to my subjects and found the 35mm focal length helps to get a little bit more dramatic effect.

So.... I've now replaced my 24-70 with a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 and it's great. For sufficient light and flexibility I have a 24-105 f/4 (canon).
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Snodge on January 01, 2014, 07:03:07 AM
In my mind, vintage (for me, M42) lenses are for fun, when I just feel like wandering around somewhere with no particular purpose. They produce images that look very different to the usual Canon/Sigma/Tamron EF mount lenses, and some of them are still very sharp.

While of course these old lenses are manual focus only, with a bit of practice you can get sharp images manual focussing, even through the viewfinder. Not only that, but they are designed for manual focus operation, whereas the way things are with Canon et al at the moment, while you can manual focus, they're not really set up for it.

The manual focus M42 lenses on ebay are in general cheap enough - stick to the Pentax lenses if you're on a budget, as the Zeiss lenses seem to demand a premium. For most of them, there are reviews if you google the lens.

If you feel like sticking with the EF mount and autofocus, and you want to play around with focal lengths to experiment, Canon have an EF 28-135mm which could be worth considering, but there possibly isn't much difference in focal lengths to make it worth getting over the better 24-105mm L lens.

For myself, when I switched to full frame, I got the Tamron 24-70mm as I already have a 70-200mm L lens which gives a nice range of focal lengths for me.

Everybody has their own path, so finding the way for each of us will be slightly different!
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: chas1113 on January 01, 2014, 08:22:36 AM
"I switched to a 6D some weeks ago, and i'm really loving my new toy :D . However, i only have a nifty fifty to go with it, and now i'm starting to crave for another toy (some of you here call this condition G. A. S. :D ). I'm a gearhead, but i'm also budget-conscious, so, before spending big bucks on L glass, i was considering the plan of getting some cheap vintage primes and adapters to see which focal lenghts would fit my needs. I know nothing about vintage lenses, and the variety and quantity of lenses is a bit overwhelming. I can borrow a Zeiss Planar 1.4/85 with adapter from a friend, so i got that focal length covered. Can you suggest me some cheap 24mm, 35mm and 135mm primes?"

Not sure what "cheap" is to you, but in the Contax/Yashica Zeiss realm of manual focus lenses there is the C/Y 25mm 2.8 Distagon, the 35mm 2.8 Distagon, the Vario-Sonnar 35-70mm 3.4 and the Sonnar 135mm 2.8. I have the 28mm Distagon, the 35-70mm and the 85mm Planar. You will love the rendering of the 85mm, but watch out for fringing wide open in harsh light. I generally shoot at f/2 and up. There is something to the Zeiss "3-D effect" obtained with these lenses under certain lighting conditions and at the proper camera-subject distances that even L lenses cannot replicate. Do not attempt to shoot moving subjects with these lenses, it's next to impossible.

Another gem that is relatively cheap is the C/Y 85mm Sonnar 2.8 as well as the 100mm Sonnar 3.5. The advantages to all these lenses is that they are small and light. Perhaps the lightest of the bunch is the Olympus Zuiko 24mm 3.5. A tiny lens with good image quality.

Start researching and do due dilligence, because there are similar lenses sporting the same names for differing formats. Some adapters work; some don't. Coatings can be radically different as well as mounts. A lot of the legacy lenses, may/may not clear your mirror which can damage your camera. A good resource for technical specs on these is the website PebblePlace.

—chas
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Vivid Color on January 01, 2014, 11:36:58 AM
To the OP: I also have a 6D and like many others on the form, I think getting a 24-105L is an excellent idea. You say you want to figure out which focal lengths to get, well this lens plus EXIF information will allow you to do just that. It's also a great lens on the 6D. You might be amazed at what this lens can do on the 6D. (OK, maybe this lens is not as outstanding as the 24–70 2.8 II, but it's great nevertheless.) And, while I don't know this for sure, I would think it would be easier to resell a gently used 24-105L than it would be to resell some of the vintage glass you are considering buying. As I said, I don't know this for sure, but it is something to consider and check out. And think about the total cost of these lenses, which includes the net cost of buying and reselling them and the adapters. In particular, be careful not to overestimate how much money you can get from reselling any of these items. But, if you really want primes to use, here are the focal lengths of the lenses I owned when I had a film SLR: 28, 55, 105, and 200. This set of lenses served me quite well, although once I experienced what modern lenses could do, I sold them. In your own case, since you already have the 50, you could get a 24 or 28, and then get a prime (or as we used to call them in the older days, a fixed focal length lens) anywhere between 100 and 135.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: eosnut on January 01, 2014, 03:06:42 PM
A lot of the legacy lenses, may/may not clear your mirror which can damage your camera. A good resource for technical specs on these is the website PebblePlace.

+1 on this.  I caused a $400 repair bill by having a $20 lens hit my mirror.  It you can't find out that it will work, assume it won't.  Especially under 50mm.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on January 02, 2014, 01:28:28 AM
I switched to a 6D some weeks ago, and i'm really loving my new toy :D . However, i only have a nifty fifty to go with it, and now i'm starting to crave for another toy (some of you here call this condition G. A. S. :D ). I'm a gearhead, but i'm also budget-conscious, so, before spending big bucks on L glass, i was considering the plan of getting some cheap vintage primes and adapters to see which focal lenghts would fit my needs. I know nothing about vintage lenses, and the variety and quantity of lenses is a bit overwhelming. I can borrow a Zeiss Planar 1.4/85 with adapter from a friend, so i got that focal length covered. Can you suggest me some cheap 24mm, 35mm and 135mm primes?

28-135 IS isn't very good, but it'll get the job done at getting you used to a range of focal lengths
and maybe get some cheapest 70-300 you can find, get them both cheap and used and dump em off for the same price paid when you know what you want for real
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: mb66energy on January 02, 2014, 08:53:32 AM
I fiddled around with a Pentacon f/2.8 29mm lens (via M42 adaptor) - quality improved above f/8 but was never satisfying. After getting a second hand f/2.8 24 EF for 150 bucks in a local store in mint condition I had a lens which was contrasty and sharp from f/2.8 on. I used it a lot on my 20D and 40D.
Last month I checked my old FD lenses on the EOS M and was frustrated: Except the f/1.4 50 S.S.C. (chrome ring) and the f/3.5 50mm macro lenses like the 1.8 85, 3.5 135mm, 2.5 135mm, 4.0 200mm, 4.0 300mm are vastly inferior compared to a EF 2.0 100mm or the EF 4.0 70-200mm L (non-IS).

So I decided to stay with the current EF lenses I have - and will use vintage lenses for "special effects". The 1.4 50mm S.S.C. will have it's place but - as someone remarked in this thread - the AF option is a great one and I am missing it really.

About my lens choice: In 1990, during a visit at photokina, cologne, I fell in love with the compact and fast EF 2.0 100mm: If I will ever have the money, the time and enough ideas to do photography as hobby or better, as passion I would like to have a prime set with 25(24), 50(49), 100, 200, 400mm focal lenghts. From my footer you can see that I am on the way - and if I ever will go to FF, I will keep the EF 2.8 24mm, the two EF 100mm lenses and the EF 5.6 400, sell the rest (hopefully) and buy a EF 1.4 50mm IS lens. Just the excellent EF 4.0 70-200 will stay.

From the price perspective I think it would be interesting to you to consider the 2.0 100 as a light tele prime which is one of the best of it's bread. If you need a red ring, buy metal paint, tape and a brush and make one!
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: NancyP on January 02, 2014, 09:56:16 AM
I too am adding digital full frame (6D) to an existing APS-C (60D) and my FF lens collection has gaps . I have a bunch of late 1960s- early 1970s all manual M42 lenses left over from my film camera, a Mamiya-Sekor DTL 1000. Some are quite good, some are optically less good but have interesting effects, some are "meh". It cost me about 10 bucks, cost of the adapter, to try them out. Color rendition of the 50mm to 60mm lenses in my collection is really nice. I also bought a good Nikon F mount adapter (Fotodiox Pro, 70 bucks, far better than the cheapies) for some AIS lenses that were given to me (camera long since gone), and am in the process of trying out those. Of the lenses that I have tried so far, the Mamiya-Sekor 60mm f/2.8 1:1 macro is a favorite. Another interesting lens is the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2. At f/1.2, that is a very low contrast, "dreamy" lens, good for special effects; at f/2 and smaller, it is very sharp and contrasty - it makes a decent astrophotography lens at f/2.8 (barely discernable coma).

Caution: check websites such as :
http://www.panoramaplanet.de/comp/ (http://www.panoramaplanet.de/comp/)
for mirror clearance on M42 lenses and 5D body.
All M42 lenses ought to work for APS-C.

CHeck reviews and forums at www.mflenses.com (http://www.mflenses.com)  , the big site for manual focus lens enthusiasts.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Larry on January 02, 2014, 12:26:11 PM
One of the things old MF lenses are often missing is a proper non reflective lens coating on both sides.  Light reflects of the shiny digital sensor and reduces contrast so it does not matter how sharp the lens is if the image is washed out.

This is the first time I've heard this mentioned.  ???

is a digital sensor more reflective than film was/is?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Artifex on January 02, 2014, 01:08:24 PM
One of the things old MF lenses are often missing is a proper non reflective lens coating on both sides.  Light reflects of the shiny digital sensor and reduces contrast so it does not matter how sharp the lens is if the image is washed out.

This is the first time I've heard this mentioned.  ???

is a digital sensor more reflective than film was/is?

Thanks!

+1. Also, I use MF lens extensively and frankly never noticed my images were washed out. True, some lens like the Sears 55mm f/1.4 have low contrast wide open, but stopped down a bit, it is similar to modern lens. On the other hand, my CZJ 135mm f/3.5 seems to have higher contrast than modern lens, even wide open.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: dgatwood on January 02, 2014, 05:55:49 PM
The manual focus M42 lenses on ebay are in general cheap enough - stick to the Pentax lenses if you're on a budget, as the Zeiss lenses seem to demand a premium. For most of them, there are reviews if you google the lens.

I'd add Helios to that list for the same reason.  They're very inexpensive, but they're good lenses.  I've had a lot of fun doing portrait photography with a Helios 44M (58mm f/2).  As long as I don't focus at infinity, it works just fine (and if I do, I'd better remember to put it into live view first, or else I get a mirror hang).  If infinity focus were crucial, I'd probably choose to sacrifice a little bokeh quality and use the 44M-4, which does not snag the mirror.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: gigabellone on January 10, 2014, 06:26:25 AM
In the end i have decided to drop the idea of getting vintage lenses. Good ones are as expensive as EF lenses, plus the cost of adapters. I'll be picking up a used Canon EF 28-135 next week for 200€. It covers almost all the focal lengths i'm interested in (except 24mm), and i'll be able to sell it with few (if any) loss. Thanks everyone for the advice. :)
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: unfocused on January 10, 2014, 10:11:51 AM
In the end i have decided to drop the idea of getting vintage lenses. Good ones are as expensive as EF lenses, plus the cost of adapters. I'll be picking up a used Canon EF 28-135 next week for 200€. It covers almost all the focal lengths i'm interested in (except 24mm), and i'll be able to sell it with few (if any) loss. Thanks everyone for the advice. :)

I think you made the right decision.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Dylan777 on January 10, 2014, 10:44:57 AM
In the end i have decided to drop the idea of getting vintage lenses. Good ones are as expensive as EF lenses, plus the cost of adapters. I'll be picking up a used Canon EF 28-135 next week for 200€. It covers almost all the focal lengths i'm interested in (except 24mm), and i'll be able to sell it with few (if any) loss. Thanks everyone for the advice. :)

I think you made the right decision.

+1...if you not in hurry, wait for x-mas holidays. BH has great deals on EF and L lenses.
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: gigabellone on January 10, 2014, 04:12:01 PM
+1...if you not in hurry, wait for x-mas holidays. BH has great deals on EF and L lenses.

I'm envious of the low prices on camera gear in USA. :D
I think that the shipping costs and customs fees would nullify any savings.
And i can't see myself staying for a whole year with just a 28-135 and a nifty fifty.... :P
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: mrsfotografie on January 10, 2014, 07:58:51 PM
+1...if you not in hurry, wait for x-mas holidays. BH has great deals on EF and L lenses.

I'm envious of the low prices on camera gear in USA. :D
I think that the shipping costs and customs fees would nullify any savings.
And i can't see myself staying for a whole year with just a 28-135 and a nifty fifty.... :P

+1, we suffer from a lot more tax  ::)
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Artifex on January 10, 2014, 08:08:26 PM
+1...if you not in hurry, wait for x-mas holidays. BH has great deals on EF and L lenses.

I'm envious of the low prices on camera gear in USA. :D
I think that the shipping costs and customs fees would nullify any savings.
And i can't see myself staying for a whole year with just a 28-135 and a nifty fifty.... :P

+1, we suffer from a lot more tax  ::)

I don't know where exactly you are from, but in Québec (Canada), it is a bit ridiculous! Gear sold at B&H is cheaper with taxes, customs and shipping than here before taxes (and we have 14,975% of taxes).
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: mrsfotografie on January 10, 2014, 08:24:00 PM
+1...if you not in hurry, wait for x-mas holidays. BH has great deals on EF and L lenses.

I'm envious of the low prices on camera gear in USA. :D
I think that the shipping costs and customs fees would nullify any savings.
And i can't see myself staying for a whole year with just a 28-135 and a nifty fifty.... :P

+1, we suffer from a lot more tax  ::)

I don't know where exactly you are from, but in Québec (Canada), it is a bit ridiculous! Gear sold at B&H is cheaper with taxes, customs and shipping than here before taxes (and we have 14,975% of taxes).

I'm in the Netherlands, 21% tax  :-\
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: Artifex on January 11, 2014, 09:18:00 AM
+1...if you not in hurry, wait for x-mas holidays. BH has great deals on EF and L lenses.

I'm envious of the low prices on camera gear in USA. :D
I think that the shipping costs and customs fees would nullify any savings.
And i can't see myself staying for a whole year with just a 28-135 and a nifty fifty.... :P

+1, we suffer from a lot more tax  ::)

I don't know where exactly you are from, but in Québec (Canada), it is a bit ridiculous! Gear sold at B&H is cheaper with taxes, customs and shipping than here before taxes (and we have 14,975% of taxes).

I'm in the Netherlands, 21% tax  :-\

Ahahahah, well, you beat us!  :P
Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: sagittariansrock on January 11, 2014, 01:40:42 PM
...improved upper body strength...

This made me laugh so hard!
Yesterday I packed up my backpack with my all of my FF gear and tripod (2 zooms, 1 camera, 1 extender, 1 flash), and realized there is no way I can hike with that.
Since it is still less than what wedding photogs carry, I am amazed at their strength!

Title: Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
Post by: sagittariansrock on January 12, 2014, 03:20:22 PM
In the end i have decided to drop the idea of getting vintage lenses. Good ones are as expensive as EF lenses, plus the cost of adapters. I'll be picking up a used Canon EF 28-135 next week for 200€. It covers almost all the focal lengths i'm interested in (except 24mm), and i'll be able to sell it with few (if any) loss. Thanks everyone for the advice. :)

Good to know you have already made a decision- but I'll add my 2 cents just in case. You say 50mm seems slightly too long, you might need a 28-35mm range in that case. If you are not sure, buy the 35/2 used and try it out. If you are sure, then you can get the 35/2 IS or Siggy 35/1.4 and be happy for a while :)
Something to think about. While 28-135 is a very versatile lens (my 2nd lens, and the first IS lens I owned), the pictures with 28-135/6D might not be remarkably better than the T2i/18-55.
While a FF is good enough to even make a f/4 zoom shine on it, I don't see the point of not taking advantage of the great depth of field and using fast lenses if I can.