Recommend me manual focus glass

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by j-dogg, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    That I absolutely must have to adapt to a Canon EOS system, since it meters all lenses in all modes.

    inb4 Nikkor glass, I already have quite a bit

    inb4 Leica

    I mean old m42 stuff, obscure stuff that wasn't made by Canon or Nikon
     
  2. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    The Mir-1b is nice, its a 37/2.8 m42 mount. Quite small too. :smile: I used it a lot wide open when i still had it and I am happy with the results.
     
  3. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Look at C/Y mount Zeiss for Contax/Yashica.
    Can be pricey but some nice stuff out there.
     
  4. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    From what I've heard, EOS bodies *don't* meter accurately with adapted lenses...

    But since I'm (sigh!) considerting such a solution myself (current lack of alternatives), it might help if you said which kind of lenses you were interested in.

    You mention Leica: Leica R or M? If R, which focal lenghts are you missing? (Pretty much the same goes for Nikon).

    There are many good *obscure* lenses out there, but what do you need?
     
  5. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    Meh, kind of open to anything, looking for a fast telephoto and a good wide.

    I have been running Nikon pre-AI glass from my Nikkormat system for a year in conjunction with my L glass and I have loved the results. With most Nikon glass it seems to overexpose a 1/2 to 1 full stop, my 50 1.4 Nikkor-S sometimes will go a full 2 stops but I love the background rendering.

    I have been using an EOS 5D digital with a full-frame 24x36mm sensor and it's spot on most of the time but on my Elan 7e and EOS 650 it seems to be off by a considerable amount, I use the 5D as a very expensive light meter and copy the settings on the Elan 7e / EOS 650 and the prints seem to be pretty close in exposure.

    Fast portrait glass, ultra-wides, those are always on the list of want. I love my Nikkor-P 105 f2.5 and Quanataray 135 f2.8 but have considered going back even older.

    Not looking for Leica glass unless it is cheap (and most R-glass is Minolta anyway) I'm not paying 500-1000 dollars for something that doesn't have autofocus or image stabilization and doesn't natively work on my EOS system.
     
  6. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Actually, most R glass *isn't* Minolta (maybe 4 1970's vintage lenses were).

    Anyway, the 90mm Summicron is very similar to the (newer) Nikkor 105 2.5, just does everything one stop sooner (f/2.0) and isn't that expensive.

    The Leica 180mm Apo-Telyt can sometime be found at bargain prices and is compact and excellent.
    The Nikkor AI(S) 200mm is also compact and very good.

    Good ultrawides: Zeiss 18mm, Leica 19mm (second version), Vivitar/Tokina 17mm (sample variation permitting), Zeiss Jena 20mm, Mamiya 21mm.
     
  7. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Jupiter 9.
     
  8. MDR

    MDR Member

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    MF tele lenses I quiet like Schacht Travenar 2.8/85 mm (a Tessar Clone); Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8/120mm Exakta or M42 mount, Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 4/135 (not fast but beautiful) Exakta or M42, Hugo Meyer Trioplan 2.8/100 (Triplet good portrait lens) Exakta or M42. I admit I have a soft spot for GDR lenses and older obscure german glass, they are not the sharpest lenses but they can give you a distinctive look.
    MF Normal lenses I can recommend: Nikon pre AI 2/50mm; Carl Zeiss Biotar 2/58mm M42 or Exakta; Pentax Super Takumar 1.4/50; Industar 50 3.5/50 M42
    WA lenses: Zeiss Jena Flektogon 4/20mm; 2.8/24mm; 2.8/35mm all M42 or Exakta mount.

    Dominik
     
  9. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Generally agree with your list (I'll add a Schacht Travenar 90mm 2.8 which is nearly identical to the excellent Rollei-Zeiss 85mm), but I've never heard of a Zeiss Jena 24mm!??!

    There was an ISCO 24mm, a Zeiss Jena 25mm 4.0 (also very good) and a Carl Zeiss 25mm 2.8 (C/Y and Rollei - variable in quality).
    Any more info?
     
  10. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Sorry of course you're right 4/25mm Flektogon, there is a 2.8/24 Flektogon which I have for the Eclair Camflex (Motion Picture Camera) good lens, but I am not sure if it covers the 36x24mm Format

    Dominik
     
  11. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    I have an Exa Ia with a Carl Zeiss Jenna 25mm f/4 and a CZJ 120mm f/2.8
     
  12. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    I've heard that was a fantastic little piece of glass.
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    You'd have to pay $500-1K for these lenses, but they'd be worth it:

    Contax 85mm Planar f1.4 - I'd have to dig around in my archives at home to see if/where I put the images I shot with this on my 5D (some of which showed my ex, which is why I might not still have them).

    Contax 35mm Distagon F1.4 - It's a big honkin' lens, with an equal price tag, but it is truly legendary. Well worth the cash.

    Contax 28mm Distagon F2 - 'nuff said.

    Another lens maybe not quite so pricey as the first few, but still not cheap would be the Contax 25mm Distagon F2.8.

    More important even than what lens you put in front of the camera is the mount adapter you use to put them on it. Don't stint and think you can get away with a cheap (~$100) adapter. I had one and it damn near got stuck permanently on my camera and/or the lens! I did get it off the camera body but almost broke something on the focusing screen retaining clip in the process. Spend the money for a good adapter before you go glass hunting.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2011
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  15. X. Phot.

    X. Phot. Guest

    Not necessarily true IMO. I only use M42 primes with my EOS 630's. Primarily the 50mm 1.4 SMC Takumar, followed by a 135mm 2.5 SMC Takumar, plus a 200mm 3.5 prime and a 28mm prime. Just set the mode to Aperture Priority and adjust the camera aperture value to 1.0. That's it. Whenever you adjust the lens aperture, the camera exposure follows. I am very pleased with the exposures made.
     
  16. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    While not M42, you could check out Canon FD system.

    Jeff
     
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Jeff- IIRC the Canon FD lenses can't be adapted to the EOS bodies because the Flange-to-Film-Plane distance is less than that of the EOS bodies, which would automatically turn every FD lens into a macro lens or at least eliminate infinity focus.
     
  18. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Sorry I forgot about that!

    Jeff
     
  19. X. Phot.

    X. Phot. Guest

    That's a very important point. The adapters I use with my 630's retain infinity for all the lenses. It took a bit a searching to find a supplier for such an adapter. And even then, I had to modify the adapters "ever-so-slightly" so they would function properly.
     
  20. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    The Helios 44-7 is a nice one too. :smile:
     
  21. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Maybe I'm missing something but I thought one advantage of the EOS system over Nikon was the Canon lenses?
     
  22. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    When it comes down to it, some Nikon glass is better than the equivalent piece in the Canon lineup, and vice versa. The advantage of Canon over Nikon is in the auto-focus, moreso with the big long lenses because in the EOS system, the focusing motor is built into the lens, not in the body, so you get the right size motor for the lens. Nikon has more recently compensated for this with their big lenses by adding booster motors to speed autofocusing. This also leads to reduced battery life by having two motors to run, but this is a problem unlikely to be observed by most of us - if it rears its head at all, it only happens for the pro action photographers who are firing off hundreds if not thousands of shots in the course of a single sporting event, all of which are shot with 400 f2.8 or 500 f4 lenses.
     
  23. PaulMD

    PaulMD Member

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    It's not flashy Leica glass, but you can't beat the original SMC Pentax (no -A or -M) series for a combination of price and quality. Pentax produced several lenses that, while slow, surpass faster lenses even wide open You can either "spend" lens groups for speed, or you can spend them on correcting various abberations. I can confirm that my SMC Pentax 35mm f/3.5 is a gem (as is my medium format SMC Pentax 6x7 75mm f/4.5, and my SMC Takumar 35mm f/3.5 that preceded it, I'm virtually certain both are direct copies). I just picked up a SMC Pentax 28mm f/3.5 on the same impression. I haven't shot it yet as it needs some cleaning, the aperture is a bit slow.

    Pentax's Super Multi Coating is a major boon. It virtually eliminates flare and was DECADES ahead of its time. After the patent expired virtually everyone (that is, everyone who hadn't licensed it already) quietly copied it. They also were way ahead of the game with regard to normal lenses - the Takumar 50mm f/1.4 was definitely in the upper tier in its time and still holds its own today. I don't think there was even another 50/1.4 SLR lens at the time. Maybe Nikon had a pre-AI lens out, but it'd be close.

    The Pentax ME is an incredibly underrated camera. It's a 1.0x (actually, 0.97x or something) magnification SLR with a standard split-prism focusing screen. Compared to any other SLR I've handled, including my K1000SE, it feels like the same difference as between an IMAX screen and a movie screen. It's bigger, it's brighter, it's better, period. You can buy the original ME for $20-30, it's absolutely the best deal in film photography. Throw a $50 50/1.7 on the front and you'll have an incredible setup. Forcing yourself to use a normal lens is incredibly for your composition skills, just take that one lens out on a walk and you'll feel better about yourself.

    The one thing to note is that in my opinion, M42 glass is superior to K mount glass because the K-mount aperture lever is forced wide-open by the plastic square frame inside my Canon 40D. If I rotate the lens to the 'lock' position, the lens is stuck wide open no matter the aperture setting. I think this may be a peculiarity of the adapter, but you have been warned. Also, you should spend at least the $20 a manual focus screen off the auction site will cost you. It will make manual focus ***incredibly*** easier. You could even pay for a Katzeye or a real glass screen, it will probably be even better.

    Zeiss, Rollei, or Leica glass obviously needs no introduction. I also absolutely adore my Nikkor 105mm f/2.5, it's extremely sharp wide open. This is what's left after I crop away 75% of the image, wide open. I simply don't give it a second thought, it's an absolutely amazing lens despite minor pitting on the rear element.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2011
  24. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    Yashica Yashinon DX 50/1.7, an absolute gem of a lens. The Yashinon Tomioka 55/1.2 is nice, but not cheap. Some of the old Sears, Ricoh, Chinon, and Revue M42 lenses are also quite good. Mamiya Sekor made some excellent M42 primes as well.
     
  25. PaulMD

    PaulMD Member

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    ^^^ Yashinon is also underrated in my opinion. It's not a digital-mountable lens, but I love my Lynx 14E, it's fast and sharp at f/2 and usable at f/1.4 with a heavy body and mechanical leaf shutter. It's the best party and low-light camera for under $1500. (it costs $90).

    Also, Fujinon M42 glass. Fuji did and does a terrible job of marketing their products. Look at their large format lenses, they marketed a single and a multi coated product under the same name and the only difference is that one is marked on the inside and one is marked on the outside of the lens (despite different coverage). They left poor Kerry Thalmann to puzzle out what they did. Their terrible job announcing the reorganization of their film line makes more sense in that respect. They have always sucked at marketing their products.

    That said, the products are GREAT. Fujinon LF lenses are completely in line with Zeiss, Schneider, Nikkor, and any other manufacturer you care to name. I'd bet their 35mm lenses are too, and they're CHEAP. You may have to clip some aperture pins to make infinity focus, but it'll be a $40 lens so who cares?
     
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  26. eSPhotos

    eSPhotos Member

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    From 50+ of M42 lenses I had, I would recommend the following:

    East German M42:

    Flektogon 20mm/f4 - Top landscape lens that is quite sharp stopped down. Many claims it has no distortion but that's not entirely true. My fav landscape lens after Distagon 28mm/f2.8.

    Flektogon 35mm/f2.5 MC - Very sharp in the middle even wide open but not so at the edges unless stopped down. Close focusing (20cm?) is very handy. I would rate this is one of the best East German lenses. Single coated 35mm/f2.8 version flares alot and interfere with EOS mirror.

    Pancolar 50mm/F1.8 MC - I like the colours it randers. Quite sharp wide open. Single coated 'zebra' is as good. Unfortunately the Pancolars will interfere with EOS mirror.

    Sonnar 135mm/F3.5 MC - Produces smoothest bokeh. Bitingly sharp. It gets a fair share of votes for the best manual focus 135mm lens.

    Russian M42:

    Jupiter 9 85mm/f2 - You love it or you hate it. The swirling and fuzzy bokeh can be distracting. Only useful stopping down to f5.6 and beyond.

    Tair 11A 135mm/f2.8 - I think this is the sharpest Russian lens ever made. Good bokeh as well.

    Jupiter 21M 200mm/F4 - Quite sharp wide open. Buttery bokeh. Very bulky though.

    Pantax Takumars are generally very good. However, the 'favorite' 50mm/f1.4 will interfere with EOS mirror.