wide angle m42 lens

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by stark_674, May 27, 2011.

  1. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Hi,

    I am going to buy a wide angle M42 lens.
    I use a Praktica MTL3 and a Rolleiflex SL35E (with original Rollei QBM-M42 adaptor)with 50 and 135 m42 lenses.
    I am thinking on buy a FLEKTOGON MC 20/2,8.
    My question is:
    - is 20mm so much wide to combine with 50 and 135?
    - is it better a 28 choice?
    Please suggest to me any lens you think is good for me (Takumar 24/3,5, Mamiya 28/2,8 etc.........)
    THANKS TO ALL
     
  2. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    You will see a vast difference between 50mm and 28mm and that is what I suggest you buy first, as it will be cheap and plentiful in the marketplace. What you do NOT want is to corner yourself with a lens that has too large a difference, as will the 20mm. If you need MORE 'wideness' later on you can supplement your 28mm. Personally, I think that there is TOO LARGE a difference between the 50mm and the 135mm, but marketing concerns gave the mass market many more 135mm lenses than 90mm or 105mm. Your Rollei m42 adapter allows auto stop down of the aperture. Only that adapter and the Fuji-X m42 adapter allow this useful feature. - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2011
  3. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

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    I second going for the 28. The wider the coverage, the more "difficult" the lens is to use. When dealing with wide-angle photography you'll be confronted with composition problems: disturbing stuff entering into the frame any time, difficulty of finding equilibrium between "near" subjects and "background", lack of clear composition (too many elements in a photo give the impression of no proper composition "idea" so to speak), geometric distortion (caused by optics laws and not by lenses' defects), vignetting, non-uniform sky, possibly greater risk of flare, and I think it's also easier to have your horizon not levelled when using a wide angle free-hand.

    If you begin with a 20mm you'll going to hate wide-angle photography quite soon. 28mm is already totally different from a 50mm, in perspective rendering etc., and I would go with a 28mm.

    I am already quite accustomed to use a 24mm which I use quite often. Today I went around for the first time in my life with a 15mm. Shocking to say the least! Also the occasions in which you can use a 20mm are much rarer than occasions in which you can use a 28mm.

    To make a comparison, today I shot some 3.5 135/36 rolls with my Minolta X-700 and 28-85. I also had my Bessa-L with the 15mm with me, and I took "only" around 20 frames. And also those are not all really "legitimate" shots, but I want to arrive to the end of the roll fast because I look forward checking the lens quality, a second-hand purchase.
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I'm another that likes the 28mm focal length but if the 20 is really inexpensive, it's a lot of fun to play with. They're very good at near-far relationships where you want to exaggerate the size of the close object.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It depends, I guess. I find 20 far too wide to have as my only wide. I feel the same way about 24mm. Both of these are "special purpose" lenses to me, with limited general utility for what I shoot (street, landscape, low light, music shows, journalism, candids, etc.). Even Garry Winogrand, the oft-named "master" of street photography, who is known for the technique of getting close with wides, rarely used lenses that were all that wide in the grand scheme of things.

    I appreciate Ken Rockwell's attitude on most things he writes about, but this one stands out to me as one of his most useful, IMO: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/how-to-use-ultra-wide-lenses.htm.

    One of my favorite sentences: "Most people use ultrawides too sheepishly, and get crummy results with tiny subjects dwarfed in the middle of an open frame."
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I find a 24mm, 35mm tandem to be really useful. Most likely though, that is because I tend to use a 35mm lens as my "standard" lens.
     
  7. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    +1. I find a 28 a little too wide for all around use (like leaving on the camera) and not quite wide enough for other times. If you can carry two lenses the 35 and 24 combo for me hits two sweat spots rather than the in between compromise of the 28.

    I agree too that the jump from 50 to 135 is too wide. If I could choose a battery of three prime lenses it would be something like 24, 35, and something in the 85-105 range, preferably a macro. I would only include a 50 if I needed a really fast lens but then I might go 28, 50, 105.

    Fortunately film camera lenses are cheap enough these days that it's not prohibitive to have all the major choices and just have to decide which you are going to carry.
     
  8. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Ok, but...

    Thank you a lot, it is amazing to share all this connaissance.
    Now I would also ask to you to give me an indication on the lens I have to buy.

    Which is the lens (brand and model) you would suggest to me?

    Bye
     
  9. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

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    I would go for any second-hand lens of the Eighties. Older lenses are probably not computer-designed and probably have a less effective coating. Russian lenses can be very cheap but quality controls were not stringent at all so production quality is variable. Anything branded Pentax, Fuji or Praktica should be quite adequate, if a modern lens.
     
  10. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Like many things, it's an individual choice. 28 can be more noticeable -- some find it to be an ideal wide angle. Some find it to be too wide.

    Once you go to 20mm and lower, then you're almost into "specialist" territory. Not that these aren't great focal lengths, but they can sometimes be almost too wide. But you have to try it for yourself and see if it works for you.

    If you're not looking to spend a fortune, the third-party lens makers offered many optics in 42mm screw mount. Personally, I would get a wide angle in screw mount and a different one for the Rollei QBM. Last week, I picked up a f/2.8 28mm Rolleinar for $30. It's in really nice condition.

    There are still deals to be had out there. The key is patience.

    My widest lens for an SLR is an 18mm Distagon, which I bought from a fellow here. It's for the Rollei QBM, and it's an awesome lens, although certainly not for every situation.
     
  11. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    The 28mm, 50mm, and 135mm are the only focal lengths I need for my m42 bodies. When I need something wider, I have 24mm and 18mm lenses that I can use on a bayonet body.

    Here are the 28mm lenses that I have and have been very pleased (with the exception of the last one) with their performance.

    Asahi 28mm f/3.5 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar

    Fujinon 28mm f/3.5 SW

    Vivitar 28mm f2.8 lens with TX mount

    Vivitar 28mm f2.5 lens with M42 mount

    Vivitar 28mm f2.5 lens with TX mount
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I really like my Vivitar Series 1 28mm f/1.9 in M42 mount. It is the main reason I have not sold my Spotmatic, actually.
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    A Takumar 35mm f/3.5 is one of those lenses that get it 'just right' every time. The 35mm f/2.8 is great too.
    The 28mm f/3.5 Takumar is another fine performer, but like many others here suggest, it may be a bit too different from your 50mm lens, and too wide, to be a logical step to a wider lens. I own the 28mm f/3.5 and love it. But I never really use it. The 35mm gets all the use. And once in a while I'll use an 18mm for tight interiors and so on.

    The combination of a 35mm and a 20/24mm lens is a great combination.

    - Thomas
     
  14. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    While lenses in the 18-21mm range are my favourites, I normally pair them up with a 35mm.

    If 50mm is your "normal" lens, I agree with the others about going for a 28 (or maybe 24mm).

    None of these are 28mm, but:
    The 20mm Flektogon you mention can be very good, though the f/4.0 is supposed to be even better (that's the one I have).
    The 21mm Mamiya in M42 (also available branded as Rolleinar or Voigtländer in Rolleiflex QBM mount) is decent, though probably not better than the Flektogon.
    The Zeiss 18mm for Rolleiflex has a lovely Zeiss 3-d look and I often prefer it for its look to other lenses (not many, mainly a Leica 19mm) which might be sharper in the corners.
    A Soviet Arsat H 20mm I had was very good, probably as good or better than the Flektogon.
    A Soviet Mir-20M I also had wasn't as good, but still decent if you can get it cheaply.
    Way out of your range, but I've found the Vivitar/Tokina 17mm to be surprisingly good.

    Hope this helps...

    P.S. I also loved the Takumar 35mm f/3.5, but talking about 35mm lenses opens up a whole new can of worms... :tongue:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2011
  15. Luc More

    Luc More Member

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    Forget the 20mm if this is going to be your only wide angle lens IMHO.

    When I bought my first wide angle, many moons ago, I went for a 24mm in order to get a "real" wide angle effect indeed. 35mm is too close to the "normal" field of view (whatever that is) and I often go out with just a body and a 35mm lens only when I want to travel "light". Many compact cameras have the 35mm as their only (fixed) lens. You can use the 35mm to shoot a portrait (not from too close but yes a full body can be done). I wouldn't try portrait with anything wider.

    Despite of my initial choice of a 24mm, I agree that for wide angles, 28mm is a more effective focal length and you'll get to use it more often then the 24, and get more of a wide angle than the 35.
    If you find 28 a bit wide, there have been 29mm and 30mm also coming from the former East Germany. I have a 30mm which isn't too bad at all. But that doesn't noticeably change the field of view compared to a 28mm.
     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Here are two close-ups made with 35mm lenses. Can be done. You just have to watch the angle, or use the distortion to your advantage.

    People will always bicker about what is the best focal length, and at least this discussion gives you something more to think about.

    Good luck in your choice. Let us know how you fare.

    - Thomas
     

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  17. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Ok then... Thanks to all...
    I bought today a M42 Flektogon 35 f/2,4 MC.
    Your suggestions about the different focal lenghts have been very useful to make a choice, and I go from a 20mm to a 35mm choice.
    I will use this lens with my m42 cameras and my rolleiflex sl35 camera too.
    I also have a Contax RTSII with a CZ 50 f/1,7... Do you think I can obtain a good quality system using the flektogon and an adapter ring M42-CY? Or maybe I can lose quality using the adapter?
    Let me know something if you can.
    Thanks to all
    Denny
     
  18. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Peleng 8mm f/3.5 circular fisheye :wink: Yes, I have one. No, I don't use it much...

    Sometimes I'm on a super wide angle kick and then 17mm or 20mm is great. Other times, 24mm is as wide as I want to go. 28mm seems to be the one I use the least. 35mm is good too. Really, you should find your scene and then frame it appropriately with the lens you need rather than saying "I'm going to shoot 20mm today," though I must say I have gone entire days with just the 20mm and got great results.
     
  19. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Flektogon is a good one. I have a really nice Pentax 35/2 M42 that I love. A bit big especially with the "correct" hood but a great lens.
     
  20. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    IIRC, M42 lenses can't be used on C/Y bodies keeping infinity focus (or using an adapter with an optical element = bad).
     
  21. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Wide angle lenses do not necessarily distort people just because they are wide lenses. Your distance from the subject, and where you place him or her within the frame do. So, will a wide lens distort a head shot? Of course. But that is because to get a head shot with a wide lens, you need to get very close and will probably use the edges of the frame in at least some shots. "Portrait" does not just mean "head shot." It simply means that it is a photo about a person, probably with the person in the frame. This means that wide lenses are not as a rule bad for portraiture. My favorite portrait pictures are generally taken with normal to moderately wide lenses. They are not generally head shots.
     
  22. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    I had a Soligor 28/2.8 and it worked fine, not as great as my nikkor 35/2-O, but still it was good. The only bad thing about is the MFD of 18 inches if I remember correctly.