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Author Topic: Vintage primes set for different photography styles  (Read 3087 times)

sootzzs

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Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« on: October 07, 2012, 09:59:56 AM »
Hi all,

In another post here someone asked about getting set of good, cheap old primes. This gave me an idea: I'm not a pro and can't afford  lots of even non-L specialized lens, but I'd like to learn about different styles of photography (Macro, portraits, wildlife, low light and flash photography and even a bit of manual focusing...). So I thought: "why not to try old primes (whatever brand with adapter for EOS and probably manual focus and aperture)". They are much cheaper (not all) and many still hold great IQ on DSLR's.

Any ideas on which old primes set could fit me (I'm mostly interested in a good macro lens, even if it needs extension tube, Industar 50mm as an example,  a long telephoto 400-600mm and low light wide prime).

From what I've read in other places and seen available on eBay I'm thinking of the next lenses:
* Macro: Canon 100mm f/4 FD, OLYMPUS  ZUIKO MC 50mm F/3.5, any of the 135mm (pentax, soligor...) or as mentioned Industar 50mm pancake on extension tube.   
* Telephoto: no idea actually but I saw quite cheap Paragon 500mm, Kalimar, Five Star etc... . Guess for the price they're offered the IQ is not exactly stellar.
* low light wide angle: Paragon 35 f/2.8, Mamiya/Secor 35mm f/1.4, SMC Takumar 35 f/2.

I've already bought the Super-Takumar 55 f/2 as a portrait lens and just to try manual focus. Didn't received it yet though, so don't know how it will work out.

I use 60D, by the way.

Thanks for you attention!   
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 01:55:27 PM by sootzzs »

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Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« on: October 07, 2012, 09:59:56 AM »

symmar22

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 05:15:19 AM »
What kind of adapter are you planning to use ? Most of the adapter for DSLR conversion use an optical system (like a converter) to achieve the proper flange distance, so it's likely your IQ will suffer from it.

In macro lenses the best is probably the Nikkor 55mm f2.8 (truly a stellar lens), it can be found on eBay for 100-120$, for the same amount you could get a Canon FD 100mm f4, and for 50$ a Canon FD f3.5.

For telephoto you could get the Canon 100mm f2.8, this is an excellent lens that can be found around 100$, though the 100 F4 macro could be used as well. An FD 135mm f3.5 goes for around 50$.

35mm f2 or even 1.4 are considered fast lenses, and therefore quit a bit more expensive. I still use from time to times my Canon new F-1, and bought recently a minty FD 35mm f2 for about 120$, IMO this is a decent price.

I am mainly advertising for Canon FD for one reason: they are as cheap as a major brand lens can be, simply because the FD mount has completely disappeared. You will get superior quality at a bargain price.

Nikon and Pentax are excellent as well, but since their mounts are still compatible nowadays they are much more expensive on the second hand market. Olympus OM are good, but IMO a bit overrated and overpriced.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 06:36:25 AM by symmar22 »

dr croubie

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 06:10:22 AM »
Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 is possibly one of the most well-regarded fifties, 8-element first version goes for just over $100, much more common 7-element version from $50-100 (some people claim 7 is not as sharp, i've got one and don't have any complaints).
That or FL 55/1.2 with an EdMika adapter (although that's $200 plus another $100 for the adapter, but then it's f/1.2).

On the wide end, Takumar 35/2 as you've said, Zeiss Flektogon 20/2.8, 20/4, or 35/2.4 are all well regarded (i've got none of them so google your own opinions). Or any Zeiss in C/Y mount, but then they can go up to almost the price of today's ZE/ZF versions.

For macro, I've got the OM bellows, and i'm waiting for a good price on the 20mm or 38mm macro lenses. I've also got the OM 50mm macro, and a Super Ozeck 28mm f/2.8, and i've just realised I haven't used them since I got them so I can't provide IQ reviews.
Takumar 50mm and 100mm macro are also highly regarded, around the $100 mark.

Long end, look for a Takumar 300mm f/4.0, in M42 mount, or if you're strong then maybe in Pentax 67 mount is cheaper.
Also Zeiss MC Sonnar 180/2.8 and 300/4.0 in Pentacon Six mount are good, the 180 can go for $100-200, I paid $250 for my MC Sonnar 300mm. Damn nice in good light when you can keep shutter speeds high enough to handhold them.
Meyer Optik Orestegor 500mm f/5.6 is also for Pentacon Six, buy an adapter or you can swap the mount to M42. It's good. But buy a tripod.
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preppyak

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 09:00:29 AM »
What kind of adapter are you planning to use ? Most of the adapter for DSLR conversion use an optical system (like a converter) to achieve the proper flange distance, so it's likely your IQ will suffer from it.
Actually, most of them dont require that. I can use Nikon AI, Contax-Yashica, Tamron Adaptall, and a variety of other lenses with just a simple mount converter and no glass.

That said, I think you'll find the tele's to be extremely frustrating to manually focus on anything moving. For still objects with your camera on a tripod, you can use 300+, otherwise, it's a waste. Likewise, due to the 60D being APS-C, its hard to find anything truly wide angle (<20mm or so). But, there are definitely a wealth of options in the 24/28/35 range, and a bunch in the 50 and macro ranges.

I've had decent luck reading the reviews here: http://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/

sootzzs

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 09:52:13 AM »
Thanks for your attention. The reason I've started this post is because I believe I am not the only "serious amateur" or whatever you call us, that can't afford the really high end equipment but really want to expand his knowledge. So old glass seemed to be the most reasonable choice for me (while understanding it limitations of course).

symar22: The problem with FD/FL lenses (as preppyak mentioned) that they are the ONLY lenses (I believe) that need optical element to correct the light path on EOS. The other just can be mounted using simple hollow adapter (correct me if I am wrong).

dr croubie: Thanks! Great suggestions. I'll see what eBay has to offer on them (the macros especially).

Do you think that 135mm Takumar could be used as Macro with extension rings? it seem like a very nice lens for the price.

 

symmar22

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 11:36:08 AM »
Sorry, I did not know about that for the FD mount. Now you say it I had one of these Chinese adapter ring I used when I switched from Nikon to Canon to mount my 105 micro Nikkor on the 5D2.

So I guess we are talking M42 mount here.... The Takumar 135mm f3.5 has an excellent reputation, but don't forget the longer the focal, the more extension you will need, but for the price, it's difficult to go wrong. Be careful to take only Takumars and SMC series as I think the Super-Takumars are not multi-coated and could give you some surprises with the colour rendition.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2012, 01:40:04 PM »
Sorry, I did not know about that for the FD mount. Now you say it I had one of these Chinese adapter ring I used when I switched from Nikon to Canon to mount my 105 micro Nikkor on the 5D2.


One of our regular posters (Ed Mika) manufacturers FD-EOS adapters as well as conversion kits for FD to EOS mounting.  While its true that the cheapie Chinese made kits with glass are worthless for high quality photography, its not true that you can't find good stuff..

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=9447.msg174139#msg174139
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 01:42:38 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2012, 01:40:04 PM »

symmar22

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 08:15:50 AM »
Just to add to my previous post, my Chinese adapter was just a Nikon to Canon ring with no glass element, so IQ was preserved, it's just that it was too un-practical to use. I saw the Ed-Mika adapters, it looks quite impressive, though not cheap (price for quality), but with good FD glass it might be worth it....

paul13walnut5

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 11:41:33 AM »
IQ isn't necessarily the issue.. it's lack of infinity focus!

I used MD lenses for a bit, mainly because I already had them, unfortunately the flange depth for MD is about .5mm different from EOS, and so you either hacked your camera mount and filed the aperture linking pin down on the lens (rendering both camera and lens useless for future use with anything else) or got an optical adaptor.

So avoid MD.  I had looked into Contax Yashica, (lots of nice zeiss glass kicking around cheap) but it was a convoluted process.

Unfortunately things like older Nikon F lenses retain some value, M42 or T2 might be the path of least resistance.

sootzzs

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 08:40:37 PM »
Thanks guys!

Got the 55 f/2 and 135 f/3/5 Super-Tacs. Will add pictures and opinions as soon as I'll have them in my hands and play around a bit.

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Re: Vintage primes set for different photography styles
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 08:40:37 PM »