Which portrait vintage lens?

Coffy83

I'm New Here
Jul 10, 2020
19
9
Germany
Hi everybody,

I got a R6 with a Canon EF 24mm 1.4, RF 35mm 1.8, RF 50mm 1.2, RF 70-200mm 2.8...So you see what’s missing is a 85mm. I used to have a Canon 85mm 1.4 IS on my R but wasn’t really happy with it, it was good but had a lot of CAs and basically was just boring, it was clinical, I bought it mostly for the IS when filming with the original R and sold it when buying the R6.

The obvious choice would be the RF 85mm 1.2 but I don’t want to spend that kind of money at the moment and I really got into vintage lenses lately especially since having these mirrorless bodies. I bought a few old Zeiss, Helios, Pentax 50s and 135s for 30-80€ and I am so happy with them. They have so much character and it is really fun using them. As I will also only use the 85mm for hobby shoots with family and friends why not get a vintage lens here too. The thing is, the good ones are not 30-80€ but 150-600€. An investment I am willing to make but I do want some info beforehand. However there isn’t much info about it on the net and definitely no comparisons between the 3-4 lenses I am considering. So hopefully any of you have used one or two of them.

These are the lenses I am considering:

- Leica Summicron 90mm 2.0 (R or M)
- Zeiss Planar 85mm 1.4 (Contax)
- Zenit Helios 40-2 85mm 1.4 (New)
- Meyer Görlitz Somnium 85mm 1.4 (Somehow a Zenit 40-2 copy)

I was also considering the famous Jupiter 9 which is half the price but I don’t think it’s optically in the same league as the ones above.

my budget is 500€ max.

Thank you!
Dennis
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
1,275
1,368
I'm currently using on my EOS R a wonderful lens often sold under value: the Summicron Leica R 2/90mm, dreamy wide open, surgically sharp closed down a bit. You won't get the M version for less than (at least) $1000. So, just get the R, you won't regret it!
Compared to the R lens, Helios and Meyer are mechanically just crap.
 

TAF

EOS RP
CR Pro
Feb 26, 2012
463
147
Another area you might enjoy exploring is REALLY vintage lenses. The attached photo was taken with my EOS-M set to B+W, and is straight out of the camera. The lens is a large format view camera lens - a Kodak Ektar 203mm f7.7, which is at least 100 years old. I paid $30 at a local antique store. I used a bellows normally meant for close up work (about $35 new on eBay) to achieve the right distance to the image sensor, and a 'C' mount flat adapter (about $20 on eBay) which fit the front mount of the bellows to attach the lens (which fit through the hole in the adapter and came with a threaded nut for holding the lens in the view camera).
 

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Coffy83

I'm New Here
Jul 10, 2020
19
9
Germany
Thank you for your comments. I actually did buy a Summicron R 50mm f2 and a 90mm f2 for 750€ combined. Both are from the early 70s and in mint collectors conditions...practically new. A massive bargain considering the prices here in Germany.

I am into vintage glass anyway these days and love shooting randomly with my collection of 50s and 135s like the Zeiss Pancolars, Takumars, Jupiters or various Helios lenses on my R6 and R but these Leicas are on a completely different level (also in price) I was shocked to be honest. I did a comparison between 7 different 50mm lenses from the 1960s all the way to my RF 50mm 1.2 which obviously was the sharpest and most contrasty but the Leica wasn’t far off. It is pretty sharp at 2.0 and at 5.6 there wasn’t much of a difference in sharpness. It basically was lightyears away from all the other vintage 50s. Of course under the right lighting conditions. The Leica flares like crazy when pointed near a light source like vintage lenses do.
Another thing are the adapters LR to RF, I got 3 different ones and the lenses wobble on all 3. Not much but enough to be somehow annoying.

The obvious and practical choice would probably be to sell the 90mm and to buy the obvious contenders in this price range like the Canon RF 85mm 2.0 or the Samyang 85mm 1.4 AF RF for roughly the same price. Every review I saw of the Samyang praised the lens for its sharpness, bokeh, construction etc. Internal focusing, f1.4, weather sealing, good autofocus...it is probably completely irrational to keep the 60 year old Leica :) but somehow the pictures I took with it have the leica magic ....or I am just blinded by the brand name and its history and the phenomenal construction and weight of these lenses. :)
 

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Reactions: Del Paso

Viggo

EOS R5
Dec 13, 2010
4,780
1,467
Not sure about what it might go for where you live, but I love the Classic Zeiss 100 f2.0 mp.
 

TES

I'm New Here
Feb 20, 2021
23
2
Hi everybody,

I got a R6 with a Canon EF 24mm 1.4, RF 35mm 1.8, RF 50mm 1.2, RF 70-200mm 2.8...So you see what’s missing is a 85mm. I used to have a Canon 85mm 1.4 IS on my R but wasn’t really happy with it, it was good but had a lot of CAs and basically was just boring, it was clinical, I bought it mostly for the IS when filming with the original R and sold it when buying the R6.

The obvious choice would be the RF 85mm 1.2 but I don’t want to spend that kind of money at the moment and I really got into vintage lenses lately especially since having these mirrorless bodies. I bought a few old Zeiss, Helios, Pentax 50s and 135s for 30-80€ and I am so happy with them. They have so much character and it is really fun using them. As I will also only use the 85mm for hobby shoots with family and friends why not get a vintage lens here too. The thing is, the good ones are not 30-80€ but 150-600€. An investment I am willing to make but I do want some info beforehand. However there isn’t much info about it on the net and definitely no comparisons between the 3-4 lenses I am considering. So hopefully any of you have used one or two of them.

These are the lenses I am considering:

- Leica Summicron 90mm 2.0 (R or M)
- Zeiss Planar 85mm 1.4 (Contax)
- Zenit Helios 40-2 85mm 1.4 (New)
- Meyer Görlitz Somnium 85mm 1.4 (Somehow a Zenit 40-2 copy)

I was also considering the famous Jupiter 9 which is half the price but I don’t think it’s optically in the same league as the ones above.

my budget is 500€ max.

Thank you!
Dennis

Hi Dennis, I am a total 85mm user for portraits, and I have a few suggestions for you.

I have a lot og 85 and recently added the RF85 1.2 to the stack and this lens is amazing in every way, so I am going to sell some off like the EF 85 1.8, EF 85 1.4 IS, EF 85 1.2 and Sigma Art 85 1.4

But I will keep my Tamron 85 1.8 VC as this lens have some special look.

Also the EF 85 / 1.2 have a special look but no need for both a EF and RF version.

I was not aware that you could adapt other lenses to the R system, I guess there are some adapters, could you perhaps advice me there - thanks

I still have my old Nikon 85 1.4 from when I was shooting Nikon F3, would be lovely to try to adapt that lens to R system

Other lenses that I have that are great if you can adapt:

Zeiss 80 / 2.0 for Contax 645, an amazing lens and if you can adapt you could would also only use the center sweet spot of the lens image circle.

Other lenses I have is Pentax 67 90/2.8 and 105/2.4 good lenses (don't have the any system any more) but not like the Zeiss 80 / 2.0, I also have Pentax 645 75 / 2.8 and that lens is tack sharp but not the right focal lens, Mamiya RZ 90 / 2.8 is interesting but the RZ 110 / 2.8 is amazing but perhaps too long, and of cause the Mamiyc C330 twin lens 80 / 2.8 (but I am sure that can't be adapted). I actually also have an old Rolleiflex SL66 there must be sitting an 80mm on the Camera too, I will have a look.

BTW there is also a Lensbaby 80 or 85, I have it but can't remember the spec.

Very exited to know you can adapt old lenses to your Canon R system, if you could you point me in the direction I would be grateful.

Cheers, TES
 

Coffy83

I'm New Here
Jul 10, 2020
19
9
Germany
Hi TES,

You got some great lenses there! The R System is really good for adapting old lenses and the focus peaking is a game changer for focusing with the old glass compared to the DSLRs. The easiest lenses to adapt are m42 lenses but the other mounts work just as well. I adapt m42, m39, Leica R, Minolta, QBM Rollei and Contax. They all work great, fully manual though. If you don’t mind fully manual you can basically always buy the cheapest adapters out there 15-50€ depending on the mount, never had any problems and I always go for the cheapest metal ones. I use them both on the R and R6.

I also have some RF lenses like the 50 1.2 and of course they are superior but vintage can offer some magic these new, sometimes clinical lenses don’t have. For landscape, architecture I use the new ones but when I have the time, I often go for the old lenses for portraits or hobby flower, arty photography. There is something calming about using your hands to focus and taking your time for this one picture.

Here are some samples I took for my wife’s Instagram page in the last couple of weeks. They are all taken with vintage glass more than 40 years old adapted to the R6.
 

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