Canon LTM lenses similar? 50mm f1.8, 1.4, 1.5, 1.2

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by JohnLikesPhotos, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. JohnLikesPhotos

    JohnLikesPhotos Subscriber

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    Hey,
    Longtime lurker with a question.
    I bought a canon 50 1.4 and I'm very happy with it. I was thinking about getting a 1.8 as well for sharper images, would this be a total waste? Are these lenses going to give me different results or am I all set with one and should just get something different? Thanks.
     
  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    If the Canon LTM lenses are anything like the Canon FD lenses the 1.8 lens would be a waste of money, because the 1.4 one is a much better lens.
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I can tell you from personal experience that the 1.2 is, unless you like flare, ghosting, and soft corners, a huge waste of money. I had one years ago before "bokeh" was a fad. I didn't have the internet either to tell me what a wonderful lens it was, so I traded it for a Contax II. :smile:
    As for the other lenses, IIRC they are of different designs - (the 1.5 might be a Sonnar type?) and will have different 'looks". Canon has a site with some info on the older screwmount lenses. I recently acquired a Canon IIb, one look at the prices for the correct Canon lens in as nice condition as the camera and I bought a Soviet Jupiter-8.:laugh:
     
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  4. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    There's one very big difference - the FD 50s are retrofocus (and possibly much later) designs, the LTM lenses are not.
     
  5. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Stick with what you have. It's a great lens. I'd tell you the same if you had the 1.8 too. Instead get a nice 35 or a good short tele to round out your kit.
     
  6. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    I'm using the 50mm f/1.8 on my Canon 2SII. The original chrome version. And although it is in pristine condition throughout, I would not consider it the sharpest lens. I would give it an acceptable rating in that department. I do prefer this lens over some others I've had on account of . . . being generally fast, aperture click-stops (a must-have), a focus-knob on the barrel (another must-have), perfect weight for camera balance, and the fit & finish compliments the camera. I use the lens/camera as my daily carry-around primarily for snapshots, and the sharpness of the lens is really down on my list of needs. I once had a collapsible Industar-50 that I considered to be quite sharp.
     
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  7. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    I've had all three of the LTM 50's and would say stick with what you have. I was never that impressed with the sharpness or contrast of any of the choices though and switched to a leica f/2 in the end. That said the Canon 1.2 was a pretty lovely lens, not sharp but gorgeous looking images for portraits.
     
  8. JohnLikesPhotos

    JohnLikesPhotos Subscriber

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    that's what I'll do. sound advice.

    Thanks to everyone who replied.
     
  9. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    In the same vintage set there was a /2.8 5cm.

    But the /1.4 is a very good compromise only losing out on weight and size to the /1.8, the /1.4 is easier to get filters for, hood just as annoying to obtain.

    Noel
     
  10. goamules

    goamules Member

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    All the Canon lenses are fantastic, but I'd say you have the best one. Speedy, sharp, contrasty, the 1.4 is a killer lens, but each you listed is radically different. The 1.8 is extremely sharp. The person above must have a messed with one. The 1.8 is as good as any Leica lens, for sharpness and contrast. The 1.5 is a Sonnar, I've tested it a lot compared to Nikkors and Jupiters. It's a very, very good lens. It's look is classic sonnar, very different from the 1.8 and 1.4. The speed lens, F1.2, can flare quite a bit, and is pretty soft.

    Here is a test I did of the 1.2, 1.5, 1.8 a while ago:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/garrettsphotos/sets/72157628955481717/
     
  11. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    That's exactly what I remember getting from my 1.2. Mush wide open, not very good stopped down.
     
  12. JohnLikesPhotos

    JohnLikesPhotos Subscriber

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    holy cow. this is exactly what i was looking for. Thank you so much.
    ugh, now I want the 1.5 and 1.8 too..
     
  13. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    I've got the 1.2 and it's sharp, the DOF is just super thin and the contrast drops off enough to where it might *look* like it is not resolving very well. On celluloid it needs a contrasty film/development combo to look as sharp as the slower lenses.

    The 1.8, 1.5 and 1.4 are definitely better value for your dollar, given that the 1.2 can go for $500 and up these days.
     
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  15. 02Pilot

    02Pilot Subscriber

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    That test on Flickr that goamules posted is one of the things that made me seek out the 1.5. While the 1.8 is a great, and much more common, standard lens, the Sonnar look is pretty distinctive; if you prefer it over the somewhat more modern look of the double-gauss 1.8 or 1.4, as I do, the decision sort of makes itself.
     
  16. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    The 1.2 I had came on a Leica M3 (with a Leitz screw-to-M adapter). I used it with T-Max 3200 for existing light, stuff like a band playing in a dimly lit bar for example.
    I traded the lens even for a Contax II with a collapsible Sonnar (f:2, uncoated) and got pictures I liked much better under the same conditions with the same film.
     
  17. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Dont think so both of mine have the same signature.
    They use the glass catalogue from the 50's the type IV summicron the glass catalogue from the 70's. The later lens will have better microcontrast on a MTF machine, if you tried, e.g. it is better then the type III summicron on a MTF machine.
    The /1.8 will out perform the /1.2 and /1.5 detectable with slow film and solid tripod. but the /1.4 will be pretty good and very close to the /1.8 especially when both are at f/2... otherwise the difference is size and weight.
     
  18. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Comparing the Sonnar types to the double Gauss types really isn't fair. The Sonnars evolved as a large-aperture lens in the early 1930s, when lens coatings were not available. They gave a very good performance with a minimum of internal surfaces -4- compared to the dG, which has a minimum of 6 internal surfaces. The dG type had somewhat better performance at maximum aperture, but the price paid was flare. The Gauss lenses really had to wait for coatings to do their job well.

    Canon LTM lenses - http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/lens/s/50-85.html
     
  19. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    Thanks for sharing. What film was that? They look so soft. Could it caused by using a digital camera with a smaller sensor? :wink: Just in jest.

    But seriously . . . By my calculations the best I can observe on my monitor is ~90 dpi or ~3.5 lpmm. Viewing web images for sharpness at that resolution is not very useful.

    Can someone provide actual "test data", such as lpmm resolution data (center and edge) for the Canon lenses in question? That would be helpful.
     
  20. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    Well, that's all well and good but maybe someone else would prefer the other look?

    I've shot stuff with my Jupiter-8 Sonnar clone that I wish I had lugged the Canon around for.
     
  21. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    That's entirely possible. In just the right circumstances it could be useful. But for what they cost, it's worth knowing what the lens will do before one shells out for it.

    I have a J-8 as well, I've made only a few photos with it, but I'm very pleased with the results. Very similar to the Sonnar it's a clone of.:smile:
     
  22. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    All the Canon LTM lenses are very usable today, e.g. the 35mm /2 is a '62 (or'63 for type II) design, comparable with the type I summicron but higher contrast. the 5cm /1.8 again is comparable with the type I summicron, but higher contrast. Canon designed both of them after the Leitz statement lenses, and glass catalog improvements...

    Some people have a set of Cosina Voightlander lenses in LTM for multcoatng contrast (dull day use) and a set of Canon for compression (on sunny days).
     
  23. goamules

    goamules Member

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    To the questioners above on do I have more data, I'm a lens user, not scientific tester. I don't care about lpm, dpi, or RPM. I shoot lenses, lots of them, on film and digital. I see the results, on monitors, negatives, and prints (wet darkroom and bubblejet). You can take a great picture with ANY lens. Pixel peeping, talking about micro contrast and dpi is just noise. Go out and shoot. If you want a really sharp, nice Canon RF lens, I (and hundreds of thousands of other photographers over generations) like the 50/1.8 and 1.5. If you want a soft focus, dreamy look, I like the Canon 50/1.2 or early Nikkor 50/1.4. But the point is I don't think anyone sees a great photograph, and then says, "yeah, but the microcontrast is not as good as a Ver 2 Summicron..." or "I can tell he wasn't using a Canon 2.0, too bad..."
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I agree, photographers particularly amateurs worry too much about the photographic technicality s of their pictures rather than what they "say", if anything.
     
  25. John Earley

    John Earley Member

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    It seems that for many photographers, the gear is more important than the image. I sometimes fit that statement. :wink:

    ETA My Canon P with 50/1.4 and 35/1.8 are my sunny day kit.
     
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  26. sangetsu

    sangetsu Member

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    If you are shooting with the 1.2, you really need to make sure your rangefinder is precisely adjusted, ideally to the lens you are using. I found my Canon 50/1.2 to be soft on my Canon 7, but sharp on my Leica M4. I also shoot the Canon 50/.095, and found that is quite sharp when stopped down to f/1.4, sharper than a regular Canon 1.4 shot wide open.

    The Canon LTM lenses often are less sharp than they should be because clumsy repairmen sometimes lose the adjustment shims located between the focusing helicoid and lens group. These lenses develop haze on the inside rear elements which must be cleaned off before it damages the internal coating. Often they are not reassemblec correctly.