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Author Topic: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?  (Read 4387 times)

Albi86

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Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« on: September 22, 2012, 06:44:34 AM »
I was wondering, since we all know Nikon lenses can be mounted on Canon bodies but not viceversa, is it not smarter to buy manual-focus-only lenses always in Nikon mount and buy an adapter?

That would minimize the inconveniences of side-grading, and would make expensive lenses such as Zeiss, Voigtländer and Schneider-Kreuznach a very safe investment.

Is there any disadvantage I'm neglecting? Any problem with aperture control?

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Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« on: September 22, 2012, 06:44:34 AM »

SJTstudios

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 07:46:42 AM »
It all depends on your shooting style, manual focus is really fun in photography. If you are doing street or portraits only, it would be nice. But if you shoot sports, wildlife, or landscape, you wouldn't be able to hit tack sharp focus. I carry a voigtlander 40mm f/2 in my bag, because itsngoodmfor m/f. If you make the in envestment in Nikon glass, you wouldn't be taking advantage of a dslr. Maybe start with some cheap canon primes, like the 50 1.8, and the 35 f/2, because they are bad at af. If you enjoy it, buy the Nikon lenses, and then if you want to stop m/f-ing, just sell your canon gear, and you then get a Nikon dslr.

Albi86

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 08:57:55 AM »
It all depends on your shooting style, manual focus is really fun in photography. If you are doing street or portraits only, it would be nice. But if you shoot sports, wildlife, or landscape, you wouldn't be able to hit tack sharp focus. I carry a voigtlander 40mm f/2 in my bag, because itsngoodmfor m/f. If you make the in envestment in Nikon glass, you wouldn't be taking advantage of a dslr. Maybe start with some cheap canon primes, like the 50 1.8, and the 35 f/2, because they are bad at af. If you enjoy it, buy the Nikon lenses, and then if you want to stop m/f-ing, just sell your canon gear, and you then get a Nikon dslr.

Mmmm... my point was a bit different.

I love primes, and I think I would like to MF with lenses built for that scope - much more than with the nifty. Let's keep telezooms out of the equation for now.

I wanted to know if there is some particular disadvantage in mounting lenses with F-mount on Canon cameras via adapter. The great advantage is of course having only one set of lenses (those Voigtländer and Zeiss jewels, mostly) and being free to buy Canon and Nikon bodies at pleasure.


RAKAMRAK

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2012, 09:13:37 AM »
OP, I see your point. The message is kind of sad :(. You are loosing long term faith in canon. You are basically half expecting to move to Nikon may in 5 years, or in 10 years, or in 15. :(

Once you are going the path of manual focus definitely you have precluded fast moving subjects. However, if you are very efficient in manual focusing then probably you can still do those objects. (as from reading other posts of other posters here it appears to me that many of them actually prefer to do manual focusing with fast moving objects). But for getting the focus confirmation you would need to buy the Nikon-EOS adapters with focus confirmation chips. Other than that I do not foresee any problem with using Nikon mount lenses with Canon. In fact I want to buy the Nikon 50mm 1.2 lens in near future (as the canon version is out of my reach) which is a complete manual lens even in Nikon mount (so technically in your situation). You are already willing to forgo AF and going for the high quality glass of Zeiss (just read about it, never used myself), therefore, I am not sure how you would not be able to take the benefit of DSLRs (as the other replier has said), especially when canon can do stop down metering. To add from personal experience, I sometimes use a Pentax manual lens with adapter on my canon bodies, never faced any problem till now. Even the cheap non-chipped adapter is well machined and a snug fit to both the lens and the camera mount. Everything is manually controlled - aperture and focus. Added a ebay dual 45 degree split microprism focusing screen (brightscreen and katzeye too costly, at least now). I guess if you are buying Zeiss you wll definitely buy brightscreen or katzeye focusing screens which will perform even better than my cheapo focusing screen (not that mine is doing badly for me). So I do not see your problem.

But, die hard canon fans may not be happy at your decision, given that you are standing at the door between Canon and Nikon rather than strengthening the ranks of the Canon users :). I would say smart move.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 09:26:39 AM by RAKAMRAK »
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Albi86

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 09:29:10 AM »
OP, I see your point. The message is kind of sad :(. You are loosing long term faith in canon. You are basically half expecting to move to Nikon may in 5 years, or in 10 years, or in 15. :(



The opposite, I'm thinking of going Nikon now and leave the door open if in the future Canon will be best choice again.

The problem in switching systems is the loss of money concerning selling your gear and buying some new. I see these MF lenses are very solidly built and thus durable, so they look like an interesting long-term investment, if you can mount them on bodies by different brands.

Bodies, instaed, come and go anyway every 2-4 years. And I doubt any body will outresolve the Zeiss 100mm anytime soon: on lensrental there's a nice article about how this lens performs much better on the D800E than the D800, a sign that even the D800 is not enough.

RAKAMRAK

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2012, 09:49:30 AM »
OP, I see your point. The message is kind of sad :(. You are loosing long term faith in canon. You are basically half expecting to move to Nikon may in 5 years, or in 10 years, or in 15. :(



The opposite, I'm thinking of going Nikon now and leave the door open if in the future Canon will be best choice again.


My bad, that was another possible interpretation of your statement. :)

You are quite right in your arguments. And as my long and convoluted reply earlier tried to make this point "I do not see any problem with your plan."

The lenses will be of great quality and in any case you would be doing everything manually with Zeiss, whether you buy in canon or nikon mount. Just that you might not be getting lens info on the EXIF data (if that is an issue at all).
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 09:51:56 AM by RAKAMRAK »
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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2012, 03:42:51 PM »
I was wondering, since we all know Nikon lenses can be mounted on Canon bodies but not viceversa, is it not smarter to buy manual-focus-only lenses always in Nikon mount and buy an adapter?

That would minimize the inconveniences of side-grading, and would make expensive lenses such as Zeiss, Voigtländer and Schneider-Kreuznach a very safe investment.

Is there any disadvantage I'm neglecting? Any problem with aperture control?
As long as its a totally manual lens, you only have to deal with the somewhat klutzy adapters.  If I were buying a new lens and it was available in Canon mount, thats the way to go.
However, in terms of being able to resell a manual lens, having one that could be adapted fit Most DSLR bodies might have the most value.
Not only can a Nikon F lens be adapted to Canon, but also to Sony/Minolta, and a few others.  That increases the possible number of users who might want to buy it.  Just watch out, many of those old Nikon lenses have odd protrusions or other gotchas.
Of course, buying vintage medium Format lenses with their very long flange distance would allow them to be adapted to almost any DSLR.  The old Zeiss Hasselblad Distagon T* lenses are fairly good and low priced for a Zeiss lens. I've adapted one, and I love the smooooth manual focus.
 
 

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2012, 03:42:51 PM »

Albi86

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2012, 03:49:12 PM »
I was wondering, since we all know Nikon lenses can be mounted on Canon bodies but not viceversa, is it not smarter to buy manual-focus-only lenses always in Nikon mount and buy an adapter?

That would minimize the inconveniences of side-grading, and would make expensive lenses such as Zeiss, Voigtländer and Schneider-Kreuznach a very safe investment.

Is there any disadvantage I'm neglecting? Any problem with aperture control?
As long as its a totally manual lens, you only have to deal with the somewhat klutzy adapters.  If I were buying a new lens and it was available in Canon mount, thats the way to go.
However, in terms of being able to resell a manual lens, having one that could be adapted fit Most DSLR bodies might have the most value.
Not only can a Nikon F lens be adapted to Canon, but also to Sony/Minolta, and a few others.  That increases the possible number of users who might want to buy it.  Just watch out, many of those old Nikon lenses have odd protrusions or other gotchas.
Of course, buying vintage medium Format lenses with their very long flange distance would allow them to be adapted to almost any DSLR.  The old Zeiss Hasselblad Distagon T* lenses are fairly good and low priced for a Zeiss lens. I've adapted one, and I love the smooooth manual focus.

Thank you, but I was mostly talking about current DSLR lenses. Doing some maths, I've seen they're less expensive than pro-grade zooms, and offer better quality and higher value over time. Plus, I'm sure it makes photography much more involving and entertaining.

A setup like Zeiss 28/2, Voigtländer 58/1.4 and Zeiss 100/2 is roughly my idea. Any other suggestion is well accepted!

RAKAMRAK

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2012, 04:11:37 PM »
what about Zeiss 21mm?

http://diglloyd.com/ has a comparative review of all the Zeiss lenses. But the reviews are for paid subscribers only.
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Albi86

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2012, 04:25:56 PM »
what about Zeiss 21mm?

http://diglloyd.com/ has a comparative review of all the Zeiss lenses. But the reviews are for paid subscribers only.

The 21mm is 500€ more expensive and 1 stop slower. Not a good deal to me, for only 7mm less. The 28mm is quite fine :) I would consider the much cheaper Voigtländer 28/2.8 but I can't find any review... for free at least :P

elflord

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2012, 04:58:46 PM »
I was wondering, since we all know Nikon lenses can be mounted on Canon bodies but not viceversa, is it not smarter to buy manual-focus-only lenses always in Nikon mount and buy an adapter?

That would minimize the inconveniences of side-grading, and would make expensive lenses such as Zeiss, Voigtländer and Schneider-Kreuznach a very safe investment.

Is there any disadvantage I'm neglecting? Any problem with aperture control?

SLR lenses with mechanical apertures will also play well with mirrorless cameras.

You lose AF confirmation and lens exif as others have pointed out. Otherwise I don't see much reason not to use it. The adapters are a slight inconvenience, it just adds one extra step to changing lenses. If it really bothers you, adapters are cheap enough that you could just permanently mount each lens on an adapter.

Because you don't have focus confirmation any more, you will probably want a good focusing screen -- no down side to replacing the focusing screen if your glass is all f/2.8 or faster.  Canon have an alternative screen if you have a 5DII or 1 series, otherwise get an aftermarket like katzeye or brightscreen.

ontarian

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2012, 05:09:20 PM »
I was wondering, since we all know Nikon lenses can be mounted on Canon bodies but not viceversa, is it not smarter to buy manual-focus-only lenses always in Nikon mount and buy an adapter?

That would minimize the inconveniences of side-grading, and would make expensive lenses such as Zeiss, Voigtländer and Schneider-Kreuznach a very safe investment.

Is there any disadvantage I'm neglecting? Any problem with aperture control?
As long as its a totally manual lens, you only have to deal with the somewhat klutzy adapters.  If I were buying a new lens and it was available in Canon mount, thats the way to go.
However, in terms of being able to resell a manual lens, having one that could be adapted fit Most DSLR bodies might have the most value.
Not only can a Nikon F lens be adapted to Canon, but also to Sony/Minolta, and a few others.  That increases the possible number of users who might want to buy it.  Just watch out, many of those old Nikon lenses have odd protrusions or other gotchas.
Of course, buying vintage medium Format lenses with their very long flange distance would allow them to be adapted to almost any DSLR.  The old Zeiss Hasselblad Distagon T* lenses are fairly good and low priced for a Zeiss lens. I've adapted one, and I love the smooooth manual focus.

Not all adapters are Klutzy (good term!), just most.  Of course I'm biased, I make adapters (that are 5X more expensive than the norm).

ontarian

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2012, 05:12:52 PM »
Canon people like shooting Canon lenses.  This is true in my case and I'm sure its true for many, many others.  Unfortunately Canon orphaned their line of fantastic manual focus lenses when they went to the EOS mount in 1987 with a longer lens registration distance.  The only adapters that would make infinity focus had to be optically corrected which stole light and added distortion so a pro lens started acting optically worse than the cheepest entry level zooms.

This is why I make mount swap kits, not quite adapters but replacement mounts.  This brings those great lenses back to play in EOS for us Canon fanboys.

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2012, 05:12:52 PM »

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2012, 05:23:42 PM »
I've bought a whole whack of old Nikon MF primes, I love using them on my nikon digital bodies since I often shoot all manual anyway and there's nothing like those old, all-metal lenses for precision focus and feel.  I missed being able to use my old Canon FDs.

I have a cheap adapter ring I also use to mount them onto EOS bodies when I feel the need, but mostly that's only when I'm shooting on my IR-converted 50D as none of Canon's modern lenses seem to be able to focus at IR wavelengths.

There's a much better adapter ring by Novoflex which would allow you to even set the aperture on newer G-series F-mount lenses but that adapter's prices is likely a couple hundred by itself but supposed to be better than the cheap stuff you get from eBay or similar.

So, if you like shooting with old F-mount glass, GO FOR IT! :)
They work great and the performance/$ beats much of the newer stuff and few, except Samyang, Zeiss and Voightlander can match the feel these days.

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2012, 05:44:40 PM »
Buying MF lenses in F mount will also allow you to use them on Nikon bodies (obviously!), which as far as I can tell have a better focus confirmation system than Canon's.

On my D700, I have three indicators in the bottom corner of the viewfinder: left and right arrows and a dot in the middle. The dot confirms focus and the arrows tell me which way to go if I'm not there yet. It works very very well and makes MF a breeze. It looks like this: <| O |> and it works for whichever AF point I choose, not just the center.

Moreover, no chip is required for this to work, as Nikon has built this compatibility into their AI/AI-S standards that have been in effect for some time (not quite sure which designation of lenses is fully compatible with MF confirmation, since there are so many classifications, but suffice to say it's most lenses built in the past 20-30 years).

Can someone with a higher-end (5D2/3 -> 1Dx) Canon body chime in here? I only remember having one focus confirmation dot on my old XSi, and I believe the lens needs to be chipped for that to work at all, which some manufacturers don't do.

Apologies if I've misconstrued Canon's focus confirmation system; I'm only speaking from memory.

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Re: Manual Focus Lenses: Smarter in F-Mount?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2012, 05:44:40 PM »