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Author Topic: Thoughts on primes  (Read 18207 times)

dr croubie

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2011, 08:02:41 PM »
The TS-E 90mm seems pretty long to me for people work but it has been great for product photography, so I'll think that over again.

Also if you'r considering the TS-E 90, especially for product photography, consider a Zeiss Biometar 80 for Pentacon six through a tilt adapter. They're sharp (more), fairly cheap, the only downsides are manual focussing and no shift, neither of which matter for product photography. Can get adapter plus lens under €200, get six of each for the price of one TS-E 90 at €1300...
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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2011, 08:02:41 PM »

Edwin Herdman

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2011, 12:52:24 AM »
Thanks for that link.  I was aware of shift adapters - Pentacon lens combo before I got my TS-E 90mm but I never jumped on it.  I might just look into it for a longer lens, though - Hartblei released a 120mm f/4 Superrotator but aside from being likely very expensive and impossible to locate, the aperture seemed a tradeoff compared to the 90mm.  Probably focuses closer though.

I will say this - focus confirmation on TS lenses is way overrated (at least as far as anybody who would consider losing it with an adapted lens a sizable negative).  It can be useful though...but not working at close distances and wide apertures.  Of course, if the adapter has this feature, it's no big deal.  I'd be more worried about incorrect or lacking EXIF data really.

dr croubie

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2011, 01:59:06 AM »
There's also Zeiss Biometar 120 f/2.8 for pentacon six, can get one $100-150 on ebay.

as for AF confirm, you can also get the chips on ebay by themselves.
- No idea how you mount them on an adapter, glue or self-sticky or what
- some sellers will program them for you before shipment to whatever exif you ask for (obviously only lens name and length, no aperture).
- some say you can do it yourself via PC (assuming they give you software and a way to attach it?).
- some say you can do it on your camera (i assume this is a typo, only nikons do that?)

but then, for tilt/shift, live-view is the only way to go, so no point in AF confirm in my opinion. exif would be useful, but unless you have an adapter per lens, or can re-program every time you swap lens, also not very useful for me (with six P6/Kiev lenses)

On the superrotators:
hartblei made them years ago, from Arsenal lenses. look for the deep scalloped edges on the rings like this one. they allegedly used Zeiss glass (or at least the designs from Jena), and were damn good quality for a tiny price.
they used to sell them from hartblei.com

then everyone realised they were good, they stopped making them, sold out of the old stock, and you're lucky if you see them on ebay for the prices they used to be.
then they started working with zeiss 5 years ago, selling via hartblei.de, changed the design to more thinly-sliced focus rings, wrote 'Zeiss' on the front, and now they sell for as much as a canon TS-E (but arguably more versatile)

scratch that, i found a price list. one was $4000, double a canon TS-E 24 II
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 02:20:22 AM by dr croubie »
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bycostello

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2011, 03:58:19 AM »
i'm saving my pennies for 100mm macro prime...  light, 4 stops IS, and macro...  very nice....

Haydn1971

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2011, 07:23:54 PM »
Although I mentioned in another thead, I stumbled upon a three year old 135mm 2.0 last week, wasn't what I wanted right just now, but the £200 odd saving against new made me go take a look and play, then oops, dropped my debit card into the machine ! How did that happen ;-)

Anyways, played around the next day at a meet up in a pub with several friends, phew, I'm really pleased with the look the lens gives me, couldn't resist using it wide open, but finding my focus was a tad off when close up...  I'm getting the feeling I should switch to AF Servo more when taking pictures of heads moving around in close proximity when wide open....  So, lessons learnt ? Don't go looking on the second hand webpages of my local camera shop !

I'm pondering a 17-55mm now, partly as I'm feeling reluctant to spend on several wide primes, especially when the wider cheaper ones seem to get a bad write up and I'm running out of space in my camera bag !
Regards, Haydn

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neuroanatomist

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2011, 08:35:11 PM »
I will say this - focus confirmation on TS lenses is way overrated

Thanks for the reminder about that, Edwin - I don't think I've ever even noticed that (between back-button AF and mostly shooting the TS-E in Live View.
...couldn't resist using it wide open, but finding my focus was a tad off when close up... 

At f/2 and close up, DoF will be extremely thin and any AF error will be obvious. If your body offers AF microadjustment, that may help (fast primes are the lenses that benefit most from AFMA).
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Haydn1971

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2011, 04:37:35 PM »
So having had the f2.0 135mm for a few weeks, I've really fell head over heals on the quality of images I'm getting from it on my trusty old 450D.  There is a certain something about the photos that I can't put my finger on, the colour rendition maybe ? But I'm hooked and have a real desire to get a similar image quality from my other focal lengths.

Could I request a few suggestions from users of the f2.0 135mm on other lenses, thinking primarily about the 70-200mm L series and the 24-xx L series, but also the other classic primes.  Budget ? I've not set one, it's more an upgrade plan over the next few years, my current lenses are listed in my signature.  I also have no current plans to upgrade my camera just yet, maybe in a couple of years perhaps, but obviously currently working with a crop body.
Regards, Haydn

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2011, 04:37:35 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2011, 06:53:48 PM »
So having had the f2.0 135mm for a few weeks, I've really fell head over heals on the quality of images I'm getting from it on my trusty old 450D.  There is a certain something about the photos that I can't put my finger on, the colour rendition maybe ? But I'm hooked and have a real desire to get a similar image quality from my other focal lengths.

Could I request a few suggestions from users of the f2.0 135mm on other lenses, thinking primarily about the 70-200mm L series and the 24-xx L series, but also the other classic primes.  Budget ? I've not set one, it's more an upgrade plan over the next few years, my current lenses are listed in my signature.  I also have no current plans to upgrade my camera just yet, maybe in a couple of years perhaps, but obviously currently working with a crop body.

Hmmm...so you started this "Thoughts on Primes" thread, but now you want thoughts on zooms and primes?   :P

I really love the 135mm f/2L, especially for outdoor portraits (a bit long for indoor portraits on crop, but great for that on FF).  Honestly, though - for most typical uses, the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II does as well, with more versatility and IS as well (provided you can handle the additional weight and cost of the lens).  I will say that personally, I found the 70-200mm focal range to be a bit awkward on APS-C - it was a little long for typical indoor use, but still too short (compared to my 100-400mm) when I needed reach.  I like the 70-200mm much better on FF.  The 135L is great for action shooting in poor light (school plays, dande recitals, high school basketball, etc.).

From an IQ standpoint, the 70-200 II is quite similar to the 135L - both are excellent and deliver rich, contrasty colors.  The 24-70mm does as well; I find the performance of the 24-105mm f/4L IS to be a little less than the others just mentioned from an IQ standpoint, but I use it a lot because it's a great focal range and has IS.  On APS-C, I'd really recommend the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, but you have the 15-85mm already, which is in the same class (17-55 is analogous to 24-70, while 15-85 is analogous to 24-105, in terms of utility and IQ).

Which 70-300mm do you have?  If it's the new L zoom, that may serve you just as well as the 70-200/2.8 II if you don't need the wide aperture.  If it's the non-L version, the L zooms will offer a big IQ boost.

One lens I'd consider is the 35mm f/1.4L - it would be a fast 'normal' prime on APS-C, and also delivers optical performance close to the 135L (less sharp in the corners, but similar color/contrast).  On FF, it's a wonderful lens for shooting in dimmer light - I like it as an outdoor nighttime walkaround lens.

Hope some of that rambling helps...
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Haydn1971

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2011, 07:38:17 PM »
Rambling helps a lot ;-)

I was pleased with the 15-85mm, but not in the same giddy way I am with the 135mm...  I found myself taking pictures of bins, traffic signs, step over sea walls today, a few weeks ago, random pictures of friends at a gathering.  The 70-200mm range does concern me on the crop body and when I've played with the comparable 44-125mm range on my crop, I can see why the 70-200mm is the popular choice on a FF.

I've the non L 70-300mm, which I would chop in should I get a 70-200, as I find the 200-300mm so indifferent, I'd not miss it.  I could always add a 5.6 400mm with an extender to feed my long distance ship photo urges, but that's a very long way off right now.  I was considering the 28mm, but deep down, know I'd be selling myself short not getting the 1.4 35mm, same with the lesser 70-200mm options...   Damn, I wish I'd taken up paper folding as a hobby now ;-)

Alternatively, I could just sit and moan about the lack of a EF-S L lenses...  f2.8 40-130mm IS, f2.0 15-40mm IS, f2.8 150-300mm IS, plus some crop versions of L classic primes !  Although, if Canon made these lenses, I'm sure we would be moaning about vignetting or dust or price !  I'll just have to sell my soul and get the f2.8 70-200mm IS !

One question...   Does the L bug ever go away ?
Regards, Haydn

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neuroanatomist

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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2011, 08:29:04 PM »
One question...   Does the L bug ever go away ?

LOL. No. Like any addiction, it starts small. Perhaps, with a $1K or under 'gateway lens' (like the 135L, or in my case the 100L IS Macro).  The you get a second one, not because you have to, of course. Then a setback (non-L prime), after which you vow to never buy another non-L lens for which there's an L equivalent.  After a few more acquisitions, you begin to find that the 'basic' L lenses - UWA and standard zooms, normal and short tele primes, etc. - become less 'satisfying'. You start in on more exotic 'fixes' like TS-E lenses. Eventually, you end up seriously considering the Mk II supertele primes.

But, I can stop any time I want.

Really.
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Re: Thoughts on primes
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2011, 08:29:04 PM »