j12 vs electro 35cc vs olympus xa

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by puketronic, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I'm wanting to get an inexpensive 35mm rangefinder, but I'm wondering how these lenses compare in terms of sharpness and bokeh. I don't really plan on spending a lot of money and I do not have an interchangeable-lensed rangefinder so the first option would be most the most expensive but it would offer the most control. I prefer full manual control, but aperture priority might suffice. So regardless to the technical aspects of the bodies, how do the lenses compare?
     
  2. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    If you can find an Olympus 35 SP, they have incredibly good lenses, a small profile, a robust design, everything you could want. I have one and I generally just put it in my backpack or sling bag when I'm walking around my university.
     
  3. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    Thanks but I'm looking for a 35mm focal length.
     
  4. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Difficult comparison when you through the J12 in, as results vary greatly lens to lens. Its a solid performer but I found them to flare very easily without a hood. I had better luck with J12s on Kiev bodies than on LTM bodies.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5470799840/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5198410857/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5201021674/

    I just never connected with the Olympus XA. I really wanted to like it for some reason the results I got out of the lens just didn't make me happy. I felt like the image quality was lower than with other cameras I was using but could never quantify it. Maybe I had a bad copy of the camera? I'll probably give it a go again at some point. If you want something compact though, this definitely is the winner.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4890190510/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4889592391/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4889584335/

    The Yashica 35CC is great. Love mine with one little exception - the aperture blades result in weird, distracting bokeh at times. It isn't an issue in most of my shots though that would depend on shooting style and subject. Great lens. Much more of a regular camera feel than the XA.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/6048705444/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5740473936/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5966538932/
     
  5. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    Agreed on J12's being wonky lens-to-lens. So many of them have been badly worked on (including two that I owned in m39). On the other hand the one that I had for Kneb/Contax mount was just stellar.

    The yashica 35cc I had suffered from the same problem as my yashica 124-g: Radial bokeh. Looking at the prints with their weird swirly bokeh made me motion sick. Then again I hurled during Blair Witch Project and can't read in the car. YMMV.
     
  6. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    ahh compromises. The J12 seems to be a gamble, the XA isn't on par, the 35CC has funky bokeh.

    Are there any other good value 35mm lenses/cameras? I'm undecided. I feel that there really isn't any other options except for the other 38mm-40mm fl rangefinders.
     
  7. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    Oh and about the J12--I've heard that with FSU it's always a gamble and that Fedka is a much safer bet. Would a J12 from Fedka be safe or still wonky lens-to-lens?
     
  8. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Is it really a big difference between 35mm to 40mm? The difference between 35mm and 50mm I do see that, but 35mm up to 40mm, not so much (for me at least).
     
  9. StillKicking

    StillKicking Member

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    A gamble.. it can be.. however, I have bought 10 or more FSU lens from several eBay sellers (all specialist FSU camera sellers) and have never had an issue. Obviously you get what you pay for, so don't expect a brand new Summicron for $50.

    With LTM FSU lenses the general rule of thumb is the older ones are usually better quality. The Jupiter-3 is a lens that varies a lot.. in my experience the Jupiter-8 is the most consistently good and the Jupiter-12 is a solid little lens but you have to watch to for damage to the rear element and side paint (which is easy to fix with a little black paint).

    I have also bought cameras with lenses from FEDKA, including a black J-12.. again all have been good and Yuri is a great guy to deal with.
     
  10. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    IMHO, 35mm to 40mm is a big difference (I also don't like 50mm, so YMMV).

    I find the J12 a good lens: I had 4 at one point, one was super-sharp on one side and soft on the other (decentering?), one was generally softer than the best 2, those 2 were equally good and not *too* far from my reference lenses.
    For a Soviet made 1934(?) Zeiss design, that's pretty good!

    The statements that the J12 performed better on Kiev bodies than LTM I find interesting... My own experience is mostly with LTM versions (briefly had the Kiev version, but didn't shoot much & didn't run any tests). Perhaps focus alignment problems? My own tests were mostly carried out on a Leica M body with an M39 adapter.