Andrew, thanks for the post.
With your background, I am curious about your thoughts on the 135's. 2.0 vs. 2.5 vs. 2.8 vs. 3.5.
Also curious what you think of the 55mm f/1.2 S.S.C. (not Aspheric model). It is one of my favorites regardless, but I would like to hear what you have got to say about it on a technical level, especially in comparison to the other f/1.2 offerings.
I have the older FL 55mm f/1.2 and I quite like it. It is not sharp wide open but I use it that way, between the narrow DOF and the softness it yields a nice effect.
with the 135mm lenses - the f2 is the sharpest, but in my opinion there is not enough difference to warrant the extra weight over a f2.8. Plus with all the weight in the glass of the f2 lens they are not that quick to focus...
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
The f2.5 is an interesting lens - optically about the same as a f2.8. I like them because they are an odd aperture and feel very balanced....I haven't used a f3.5 version, mainly because the f2.8's were common and cheap enough....
With the 50/55 mm f1.2 lenses I totally agree with hpulley - the FL 55/1.2 has a lovely quality to it, especially when used wide open. Not soft, not sharp, and yes - a little dreamy. I took one of my favorite photos of my wife with one mounted on a pellix..
If I wanted a f1.2 lens to use I would buy a NFD 50mm/1.2L - it is the sharpest wide open of all the "standard" F1.2 lenses I got to use (which Is most of them - 55/1.2 FL and SSC (I never did get to use the 55/1.2 ASPH - I wish I had but they only made around 360 of them..), the 50 1.2L and 50/1.2 standard. Oh, I forgot I also had a S 50/1.2 on the VT Rangefinder..).
I kept my 55/1.2 because it is a very early example (it has a chrome filter ring), and is in very nice condition, and as I said, looks great on a camera. Optically I've found it is not that sharp wide open - a little less sharp than the FL 55/1.2 I have wide open, but because of the SSC coating it is higher in contrast. At f4 it becomes a brilliant lens - but thats not why you buy a high speed lens...
Personally I would buy a Old FD (chrome mount) 50/1.4 SSC lens - for the slight loss of light you get an amazing lens that is sharp wide open, and just that little bit sharper stopped down. I've owned 5 or 6 different ones, and all have been amazingly sharp..
Of all the 1.2 lenses I used the NFD 85/1.2L was the best. Sharp wide open (you got the eyes in focus, but the eye lashes were just out of focus on a big print...), exceptionally sharp at f2.8.
And I'll never forget the first time I looked through one mounted on a New F1. I was sitting in my bosses office, and when I looked through the camera the image in the viewfinder was brighter than daylight - that is - brighter than looking at the subject directly..
It's the only lens/camera combination that this ever happened to me with.....
I have the 50mm 1.4 S.S.C. It is my most-used lens out of all my lenses in any format. Even with some light fungus, it is sharp. Someone wanted to clean it out for $45, but I said forget it! It is sharp as it is, and I don't want someone monkeying with the elements if I like what I am getting.
I have the FDn one as well, just because it came in a kit. I use it as a backup or a loaner. No hood, though.
I also have the 55 f/1.2 S.S.C. with the proper hood. It is one of my favorite lenses aesthetically speaking, as both you and hpulley describe. As you also said, I mount it when "dreamy" or "no-light shooting" are the words.
The 55 does have the most major barrel distortion I have ever seen in a fixed-focal-length lens, though. So I gave up on shooting brick walls with it. ;)
I use the 55 with the Canon low light screen. I think it might be called the F screen (old F-1). Still only seems to show the D of F of about f/2.0, even wide open.
Andrew thank you so much for your valuable insight! I truly appreciate all the wonderful feedback.
I'm selling the zooms because I decided that it's just not what I want for this FD setup. I wan't compact and light weight. (Thus choosing the FDn 50 f/1.4 over the SSC version) I also like the 100 f/2.8 because its very small and light as well.
I think I'm going to be happy with this kit for now but I definitely will be on the lookout for some of these lenses. I also hope to have an F-1 someday as well.
This is always the picture I post when someone asks about the 55/1.2 Aspherical
What are your collective thoughts on the Vivitar 28mm f/2.5 I hear it's made by Kiron, and thats a good thing.
Well I guess the 200mm is coming back. Is pretty beat up but still usable. I sold it with a full description and appropriate images on eBay and I just got a claim filed against me for a refund. Lol people can be so rude when selling things online. I'm often reminded how much I hate dealing with eBay.
Digging up my own thread here but I want to ask a specific question.
Presently I have the 28 f/2.8, 50 f/1.4, 100 f/2.8 and 35-105 f/3.5. All "New" FD mount. I'm looking to buy the 35 f/2 right now and I have a chance to get the New FD version at a really good price. Is there any reason to prefer the older versions over the latest one? It will be used on a T90 as that will be my only FD body.
In the future I will look to replace the 28 f/2.8 with the f/2 version and potentially the 100 with the f/2 version as well.
I like the old 35/2 concave lens SSC II version I have. It is really, really sharp though it has a slight yellow cast. I hear the new ones are just as sharp but without the yellow cast but I've never tried one.
As I've mentioned before I much prefer my 28/2 to the old 28/2.8 that I had, both new FD mount.
I use a 100/2.8 (new FD) and while I yearned for a time for the 100/2 I never got it, I got an FL 85/1.8 instead. In fact I use the 100/2.8 more however, including a whole roll I recently shot with it using Delta 100 in my Canon TX. My copy isn't even in that great a condition but I still like the images it produces, go figure. Not sure why but the 85mm focal length has never appealed to me on 35mm cameras though I use 80mm on 6x6 and 90mm on 6x7 all the time as they're more normal lengths there.