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Author Topic: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?  (Read 3947 times)

MathieuB

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135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« on: May 20, 2013, 04:49:23 PM »
I've got a photoshoot coming up in a few weeks, a live classical music (mostly flutes) performance by students and graduates.

It will be in a church, but in the middle of the day and with some lights for the gig, so I expect low-light, but nothing that bad.

My current setup is the following:
  • Canon 6D
  • Canon 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5
  • Canon 40mm f/2.8
  • Canon 85mm f/1.8
  • Canon 35-80mm F/4.0-5.6 III (modded for macro)

I intend to bring the 40mm (for wider group shots showing the environment), the 85mm (for full body shots) but I'd like to acquire a 135mm lens for tighter portraits.

As much as I'd love to acquire the beloved Canon 135mm f/2L, I simply cannot drop that kind of cash on it right now.

I could rent the Canon 135mm f/2L for four days for $76 (I live in Canada, so with Lens Rental Canada) but I'd rather invest in a lens that I can sell back in the future when I acquire either a 135mm f/2L or a 70-200mm.

The idea that I came up with was to acquire an older, manual focus, lens that I could use with an adapter to EOS, preferably one with a focus confirmation chip. I'm well aware that I'll have to use manual focus and set the aperture on the lens itself, but that's not an issue for me, as I have experience with that and I don't expect classical music performers to move around too much :P

My only issue is that there are TONS of old manual focus 135mm lenses on the market and I have no idea where to start looking to snatch up a good deal. What I mean is that I'm fine with shopping locally, craiglist, ebay, etc., but I have no idea which old manual focus 135mm lenses are worth considering.

Does anyone have experience with adapting older 135mm lenses to EOS cameras? My budget for a 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) is maximum $200. What would you recommend? This lens will be mainly used for portraits, so obviously a nice bokeh is a pro here. Thank you  :)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 06:27:06 PM by MathieuB »
Canon 6D - Canon EF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 - Canon 35-80mm F/4.0-5.6 III (modded for macro) - Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8

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135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« on: May 20, 2013, 04:49:23 PM »

Danmix

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Re: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 05:08:13 PM »
http://www.flickr.com/groups/bokeh_/discuss/72157594302524412/

I've got this, pentagon 135 2.8, it is a beautiful old lens. It's cheap as well

AdamJ

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Re: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 07:02:13 PM »
Are you sure 135mm will be long enough? I used to photograph my girlfriend performing classical recitals with a baroque ensemble and I found I needed 200mm for those tighter portraits, mainly because I had to stand a fair distance away in order not to be a nuisance to the audience. Very different from a pop concert where you can stand pretty much wherever you want.

Remember to use the 6D's silent shutter mode.  ;)

pwp

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Re: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 07:20:51 PM »
Are you sure 135mm will be long enough? I used to photograph my girlfriend performing classical recitals with a baroque ensemble and I found I needed 200mm for those tighter portraits, mainly because I had to stand a fair distance away in order not to be a nuisance to the audience. Very different from a pop concert where you can stand pretty much wherever you want.

Remember to use the 6D's silent shutter mode.  ;)

+1 Often in these situations I'll at least take the 300is f/2.8  with with me, and often as not I'll shoot 25% of the job with it. You've got a few weeks. If you don't want to drop your $$ on a new lens right now, go to Gumtree/Craigslist/eBay and get a good pre-owned 135 f/2 or 200 f/2.8 or preferably a 70-200 f/2.8 (is or non-is) and sell it again when you've finished the gig. You probably won't drop a penny on it and if you buy smart you could make a small profit.

Another +1 for silent mode. I use it all the time on the 5D3.

-PW

lholmes549

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Re: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 07:42:07 PM »
Recently bought the Pentacon 135mm f/2.8 from eBay for £15...had some dust etc and required some cleaning but an all round awesome lens for such a ridiculous price!

For tight shots I would definitely consider a longer lens unless you're sure you can get close.
6D, FTb, EOS 500  | 14mm f/2.8,  24-105 f/4L, 70-200 f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 135mm f/2.8
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privatebydesign

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Re: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 08:12:39 PM »
In your situation I would rent the 70-200 f2.8 IS MkII and the 1.4 TC MkIII. I shoot a lot of orchestras, symphony, philharmonic, chamber and concert, and as has been posted 135 is often not long enough, I too regularly shoot these gigs with a 300 f2.8 IS for portraits and as wide as the 15mm fisheye for environmental images.

When I shoot these in churches I am getting 1/80 @ f2.8 and iso 800. If you can use a monopod, even with shorter focal lengths it will dramatically increase your keeper rate.

Don't shoot in the musical pauses! Wait until there is some good sound, even silent mode will distract musicians, and conductors can be very problematic if they hear you.
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MathieuB

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Re: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 08:29:42 PM »
Thanks for the flickr link for the pentagon 135mm.

Good point about possibly needing more focal length. I'll be talking with the person who got in touch with me for my services tomorrow and I'll visiting the location this week-end, so I should be able to figure out where I can and cannot stand.

In the meantime, I found what could be an interesting lens:
Vivitar (Komine) Series 1 VMC 70-210mm f/2.8-4, Olympus OM mount, which is available for ~$80.
Anyone has an opinion on it/experience with it?

For what it's worth, I could also get a Canon 70-210 f4 for $100-$150. Slower in the lower focal length part, but I do get AF. Hmmm.

Yes, discretion is a must, so I'll be sure to use silent-shutter mode and to shoot when there's music playing to avoid distracting the musicians.

Indeed, a monopod is a great idea. I have no problem shooting at ISO 3200/6400, so I'm thinking that I should be fine with f/4 at 210mm.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 08:37:15 PM by MathieuB »
Canon 6D - Canon EF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 - Canon 35-80mm F/4.0-5.6 III (modded for macro) - Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8

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Re: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 08:29:42 PM »

phoenix7

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Re: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2013, 01:40:52 AM »
I really like my Asahi/Pentax 135 f/3.5.  Not as much aperture as you wanted but a good lens for cheep.  And you can crank the ISO up on the 6D apparently (I only have a 60D that zero makes a lot of difference :)).
Also when considering older or 3rd party lens don't forget to check flange distance:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance

Timothy_Bruce

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Re: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2013, 08:47:49 AM »
When I was getting rid of some old monitors I found a Tokina 135mm f/2,8 Tele-Auto ( m42 )
very well built all metal construction ( can take a picture of it when wanted ),
super nice focus ring and for IQ and Bokeh take a look yourself.
The first picture is from an 70-200 f/2,8L IS II
100% crop at 2,8
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 08:50:53 AM by Timothy_Bruce »

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Re: 135mm f/2.8 (or faster) manual focus lens?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2013, 08:47:49 AM »