October 21, 2014, 01:12:23 PM

Author Topic: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?  (Read 9407 times)

mrsfotografie

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #30 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).
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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2014, 06:08:34 AM »

Snodge

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #31 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!

chas1113

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #32 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
5D III | 5DII | Fuji X-E1 | EF 17-40 | EF 24-105 | EF 35 IS | EF 50 f/1.4 | EF 100L | EF 70-300L | EF 100-300L | EF 300 f/4 IS

Vivid Color

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #33 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.

eosnut

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #34 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.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #35 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

mb66energy

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #36 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!
TOOLS: EF-S 10-22 | 60 || EF 2.8/24 | 2.8/40* | 2.8 100 Macro* |2.0/100 | 4.0/70-200* | 5.6/400* || 2 x 40D | 600D | EOS M  [* most used lenses]

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2014, 08:53:32 AM »

NancyP

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #37 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/
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  , the big site for manual focus lens enthusiasts.

Larry

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #38 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!

Artifex

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #39 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.
6D, 550D; Samyang 14mm f/2.8, Zuiko 28mm f/3.5, Samyang 35mm f/1.4, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, Sears 55mm f/1.4, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2, Canon 85mm f/1.8, Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f/3.5, Kenko Extension Tubes.

dgatwood

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #40 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.

gigabellone

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #41 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. :)

unfocused

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #42 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.
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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2014, 10:11:51 AM »

Dylan777

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #43 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.
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gigabellone

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #44 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

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Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2014, 04:12:01 PM »