Your best lens.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by waynecrider, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Your best lens and the runnerup, any format. Based your determination on such things as resolution, contrast, saturation, bokeh, or just the look it gives. Not by usefulness.

    My two top picks 1. MF Rollei 80mm Planar F2.8 HFT. Really sharp, great contrast and saturation. Gives a look that I have not been able to get from any other lens. 2. A hard pick: Probably my old Nikon 50mm F1.8 N model, although the Nikon 24mm F2.8 is a hell of a lens. The 50 edges the 24mm just because it's an outstanding lens for the price and it's sharp. The recent 50mm D lags behind.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    in 120 it is the 50mm on my mamiya 6. It is simply greeat in all ways. I 4x5 I love my nikkor 75mm sw. having said that everything changes depending upon need. I have a 58mm XL MC that is great in 6x9 and for shooting interiors, but useless for many things.
     
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    120: 40mm Zenzanon PE. Utterly sharp and clear - and wide.

    4x5": 150mm f:4.5 Apo-Lanthar - or possibly 15cm f:6.8 zeiss Doppel-Amatar. Both are very sharp lenses, but with personality.

    5x7": 165mm f:6.8 Angulon. Wide-ish, and very "clear". and the 210/6.1 Xenar - and the older f:4.5 version of the same; and symmars from 150 to 300mm. Most of the time it seems I use the 90/8 Super Angulon though...

    8x10": So far, it's the 210/6.8 Angulon. But i wouldn't like to be without the 210/5.6 symmar, or the 240, 300 or 360 Symmars, or (if I'm going more than 00m from the car) the 355/9 G-Claron. And the 121/8 Super-Angulon, or the 165/6.8 Angulon.
     
  4. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Hmmm...
    35mm: Maybe my Nikkor 105mm f1.8 manual focus;
    120: Probably the 150mm f4 Sonnar for Hasselblad;
    4x5: I's say the 270mm f9 Apo Artar
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Favorites--well there's the 36cm/4.5 Heliar in my avatar for that classic Heliar look on 8x10" and occasionally larger at portrait/still life distances. I also really like the Zeiss 135/3.5 Planar for 4x5"--not the greatest bokeh, but not bad, and it's fast and super-sharp for handheld LF work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2007
  6. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    135mm for C220
    135mm for P67
    250mm Fuginon for 4x5

    I have never been happy using a wide angle lens on any camera I've ever had one for. Strange, how similar the three above are in some ways. I guess I "see" that way.
     
  7. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Don't forget to add why it's your best lens. This ain't a favorites contest..:tongue:
     
  8. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    The choices I made are absolutely based on their being favorites! I may have better lenses than those I cited; they may have elements cemented with leprechaun spit, but so what? For me at least, all my lenses do their job well or I wouldn't own them, but the ones that matter most do it well and complement the way I see.
     
  9. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    In 4x5 Schneider 110XL is my favorite lens. It's small, extremely sharp, compact, and it has huge coverage. Oh yeah, plus it's a really good focal length for the format.
     
  10. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I have to go with my Nippon Kogaku Nikkor-S 5.0cm/f1.4.

    It was the lens that "made" Nikon as a serious PJ camera when one was chosen from the production line to go with the S2 that some (well-known - you fill in his name) photographer from Life Magazine bought to rush over to Korea and cover the start of that war in 1950.

    The photo sharpness of the lens, and consequent capability to enlarge the images w/o loss of detail, "shocked" the Life photo editors. They couldn't understand why the photog had brought a MF camera into a war theater! :wink:

    [Note: My two are later production models from the mid-1950's.]
     
  11. Magnus W

    Magnus W Member

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    That would be my Pentax smc 28/3.5 (not the smc-m lens). It has a brilliance and clarity that is obvious even when you look in the camera. A runner up is the Pentax smc 85/1.8; wonderful contrast and bokéh. My favourite lenses.

    -- MW
     
  12. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    Contax Zeiss T* 35 mm f2.8 Very sharp and comfortable focal length. I don't have it anymore. though

    6x7 cm

    Pentax SMC 45 mm 2.8 Tack sharp, very wide angle

    4x5

    Nikkor M 300 mm Very sharp. Lots of room for movement. Interesting perspective for landscapes and abstract shots.
     
  13. alan c. davis

    alan c. davis Member

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    Hexanon 35 UC LTM. Beautifully built, small, light (120gms) and razor sharp.
     
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  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    My Canon FDn 50mm f1.4 aperture for aperture gives the best overall performance of all my Canon lenses.
     
  16. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    50mm on Mamiya 7 which is extremely sharp, and 110PS macro for my Bronica SQ-Ai for its versatility and high quality over its range. Don't make me choose.
     
  17. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Depends on my mood and which way the winds blowing, so I will list the ones that I seem to use most.
    35mm..... Canon FD 50mm 1.2
    120....... 150mm Sonnar, 'Blad
    5X4...... 90mm Rodenstock Grandagon
    Seems to have covered wide thru to short tele as well!
    Tony
     
  18. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    My "best lens" as in image quality is too hard to pin down, so I'll try to do it by format or Camera brand.

    6x6 Rollei 6008i- 150mm Schneider tele xenar, 90 Scheider APO makro
    6x7 Mamiya 7II- 150mm Mamiya (the 80mm is amazing too)
    6x8 Fuji GX680III 150mm Fuji GX-M
    4x5 150mm Sinaron-SE (sironar-s)
    6x17 Fuji GX617 180mm Fujinon ( not many choices here)

    I noticed a pattern that the best seems to be the slightly long lens. This may be because they are a popular length and therefore the manufacturers made an extra effort, or that some of the technical restraints of wide angle or long lenses are not present. It's easier to cover a larger piece of film with a slightly longer lens than a normal or wide, and you tend to use the center section of the lens and have less fall off and curvature. Wide angles can have all sorts of issues because of the complexity of their designs, retrofocus, wide coverage, etc.
     
  19. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Probably the 85mm f/1,4 AFD Nikor
    Its ultrasharp with a pleasing out of focus blur and I love to shoot it wide open. Its followed by my 50mm f/1,4 AFD which I use a lot indoors where the 85mm is a little to long sometimes.

    6X7cm
    The 45mm f/4,0 SMC Pentax
    Thats a great wideangle for landscapes and closeups
    Its followed by the 165mm f/2,8 which I use for the MF portraits I shoot of my son.

    4X5inch
    The 38mm f/2,5 Zeims................. oh wait somethings wrong here :D

    13X18cm
    Probably the 140mm f/250 pinhole I'm building
    Don't know why since I havn't used it yet :smile:

    Kind regards
    Søren
     
  20. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    35 -50/1.4 SMC Takumar and 50/2 Xenon on my Retina 3c -both tack sharp
    120 -80/2.8 Biometar (P6) and 75/3.5 Tessar on my Rolleiflex -both tack sharp too. The 80/2.8 Xenotar on my Century Graphic is exceptional too with a nice bokeh.
    4X5 -127/4.7 Ektar and an 8-1/4"/4.5 B&J barrel lens that is wonderfully soft wide open and sharpens up nicely at f16
     
  21. nze

    nze Member

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    35 mm my Xa4
    120 80mm of the sl66
    8x10 fuji 360A
     
  22. mjs

    mjs Member

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    Minolta Rokkor 58mm f/1.2. *Sigh* Closely followed by a long-gone Vivitar Series-1 135mm f/2.8 (as I recall: could be wrong about the ratio. Been a long time!)

    Today: Fujinon 180mm f/5.6 (4x5) or Fujinon 420mm (8x10).

    mjs
     
  23. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    8x10 -- Schneider 300 f/5.6 Symmar (500/12 convertible). It's one of only two lenses I own for this format (the other being a 90 year old Wollensak triple convertible). It has just magnificent bokeh and sharpness, and great coverage for 8x10.

    4x5 -- Tossup between the Schneider 210 f/5.6 APO Symmar and 90 f/5.6 Super Angulon XL. I'd vote for the 210 simply because it's more versatile (and portable).

    Hasselblad 500 c/m -- The Zeiss 150 f/4 C T* Sonnar is my favorite -- it's just magnificent as a portrait lens, and I like the bokeh and focal length better for portraits than the 80. The 80 is a better walkaround lens, though, and if I had to take only lens with me it's what I'd choose.

    35mm Canon -- the 70-200 f/4L. Magnificent. The TS-E 24 f/3.5L is pretty cool too, but it impresses me less now that I shoot LF.
     
  24. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    MF: I agree with Mr. Callow, I adore the 50mm on my mamiya sixes. For medium format that is the clear winner, for me. It is just so sharp and distortionless.... and compact. I also like the 150 very much- don't believe what they tell ya. That is one helluva lens for landscape.

    35mm format slr: Nikkor 105 f/1.8. My favorite small format slr lens by far. Wonderful bokeh. Awesome build. Affordably excellent.

    LF: Schneider 150/265 convertible. Don't ask me about colour rendition though, I only use it for b&w. Very versatile, tack sharp, and ultracompact. Folds up easily into two of my LF cameras.

    Lens I most covet: the Schneider 47 super A.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2007
  25. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    For 35mm, my favorite lens is the Contax 85mm F1.4. Gorgeous bokeh, makes for a terrific portrait lens. It is also very versatile in use - I shot not only portraits with it but architectural details when I took it to Cambodia.

    For large format, the Kodak 14" Commercial Ektar. Yes it is big, yes it is heavy, but it produces gorgeous bokeh also, very smooth transitions between focused and out of focus areas, and excellent contrast without being harsh.
     
  26. Allen

    Allen Member

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    For 35mm my Nikkor 105mm f2.8 AI lens I just love this lens, it was my 2nd lens and my most used lens until I got the Rollei.
    For 6X6 my Rollei sl66 150mm F4 Sonnar lens, my most used lens. I just got a 250mm Sonnar but I had to send my Rollei in the shop before I could use it much so who knows , when I get the Rollei back I have to give that lens a good workout and see what happens.
    For 4X5 my Fujinon 240mm F9 A lens, I love this lens on the Shen Hao I have a 300mm lens but I think that is a little too much for the Shen