November 28, 2014, 09:24:50 PM

Author Topic: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?  (Read 9747 times)

unfocused

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #15 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 I just think it is bad advice to suggest someone load up on a bunch of outdated manual focus primes when they can get a perfectly functional all purpose zoom that will help them learn the craft first.

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2013, 04:23:01 PM »

the lizard of oz

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #16 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.

Halfrack

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #17 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.
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TexPhoto

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2013, 01:29:00 AM »
How about getting some vintage Canon EOS lenses?  Seriously, adapters suck. 

S Cartwright Photography

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #19 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

Its worth picking a few up cheap from ebay just for a play around.

gigabellone

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #20 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

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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
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 09:25:18 AM by gigabellone »

Artifex

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #21 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!).
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 02:15:33 PM by Artifex »
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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2013, 10:02:41 AM »

Artifex

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2013, 01:31:07 PM »
Also, to find the way, it is really simple, we got to cut your head!  :P

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dgatwood

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #23 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

sama

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #24 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.

sdsr

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #25 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....

unfocused

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #26 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.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 05:10:32 PM by unfocused »
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eosnut

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #27 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!

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2013, 10:10:55 PM »

dgatwood

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #28 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*

AE1Pguy

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #29 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.

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2014, 12:09:42 AM »