I switched to a 6D some weeks ago, and i'm really loving my new toy . 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. ). 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....