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  1. #1
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    Handholding Takumars: 85 vs 105mm?

    Hello,

    I figured I'd ask if anyone of you has any hands-on experience using the 105 mm f2.8 Takumars?

    I have a 135 f2.5 gathering dust in the closet, mainly due to me having problems using it handheld. Yes, I know I was asking for trouble using such a long lens handheld, but I thought I was steadier on my hands... Need to cut down on the coffee, I think.

    So, now I am thinking along the lines of a 85 or 105 for handheld portraits with APX100 or possibly Tri-X, wide open or near wide open. Does that sound totally off?

    As a sidenote, does the f2.8 or f3.5 aperture give me too much depth of field for portraits?

    Photos or examples very welcome...

    TIA,
    Jimi
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  2. #2
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    There's no reason you can't handhold this lens. You may be aware of the rule of 1/focal length in mm as the slowest safe shutter speed for handholding, for example the slowest safe speed with a 105 mm lens would be 1/105, in practice 1/125. If you have shaky hands you will need to use higher speeds, maybe a technique like "Breathe in, breathe out, hold breath and press shutter release" will help. I don't think you will find the depth of field of a 2.8 or 3.5 lens wide open will be excessive, a lens like an 85 mm f2 would help you to use a faster speed but this lens is expensive now.
    What camera are you using? Vibration levels go up as SLRs get older, the "camera shake" may be caused by the camera itself rather than your hands.

  3. #3
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    Thanks David,

    I use an old Spotmatic and it works wonderfully well with the f1.4 50 I also have. The 85s are kind of scarce around here (Sweden) but compared to the Nikon stuff they go for peanuts. And the 105s for half a peanut.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  4. #4
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Interestingly, I had (still have) some old screw-mount Takumars. I also had some quite clean screw-mount Pentax bodies (S1a, SV, Spotmatic) but I never could get a sharp picture because of their vibration levels. I got rid of the cameras but still use the lenses sometimes on a Bessa L (Leica-type non-rangefinder camera) with an adapter. On this body the lenses are really sharp!

  5. #5
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    I would not think you should have any problems on handholding lenses in the focal length, as long as you remember not to shoot slower then the focal length of the lens, I regularly shoot upwads of 300mm lenses hand held with no problems, but if you stick to the 135mm needs to be at least shot at 1/150 or faster, you should be okay, practise your breathing techniques and you should be fine, when I find myself getting shots that are soft, it tells me, I am shooting to fast and my technique has deteriorated...

    Dave

  6. #6
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    Satinsnow: I guess it's a matter of "practice technique, grasshopper..." I was right now thinking of using a monopod to be more steady. To practice breathing never hurts, either...

    David: Strange this, I never had any issues with vibrations or mirror slap with the Spottie, except with the 135 lens. But I may have to have a look-see on the prints and negatives again...

    TLRs and wide angle lenses are normally my best friends when it comes to rock-steady stuff.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  7. #7
    Marco Gilardetti's Avatar
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    Considered you already have a 135, an 85 sounds the right choice. 85mm is, however, my favourite length for portraits.

    I own a good old Takumar 85mm f:1.9 that I occasionally use on a (old just as much) Voigtlander with screw mount, and of which I can't say but good words about. If used wide open, it shows a pleasant natural flou effect which I like very much. If hands movement is an issue to you, this lens' great aperture would let you use very fast shutter times. Depth of field is very shallow, but you understand that the definition on the final print depends as well on magnification of the negative, and you can always close the aperture if you need.
    I know a chap who does excellent portraits. The chap is a camera.
    (Tristan Tzara, 1922)

  8. #8

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    I have all 3 lens, the 135, 85, and 105 which I use on a regular bases on either spotmatic f or Chinon Body with Winder. All 3 can be hand held with 400 speed film and a good technique. If need to shoot hand held with a 150mm or 200mm I push TriX to 800 or use TMAX 3200. You can shoot with a 85 as low as 1/60th and the 105 and 135 at 1/125 if you shoot a with markman's stance, lay the lens across the palm of your left arm and keep the elbow tucked close your body and control your breath, left foot forward. I can usually get an 8x10 or 11x14 with much trouble.

    I use my 105 as my normal lens, the 85 is heavy but really good for available light work.

  9. #9
    Seele's Avatar
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    Paul,

    Is that a Chinon CE-3 Memotron that you use? I thought that the long-throw and rather stiff shutter release button tends to encourage vibrations.

    There again I tend not to have too much vibraton problems with my ancient M42 lenses with even more ancient SLR bodies; the sometimes infuriating mirror pre-release on the old Dresden-made Contax cameras can be quite helpful even though you're practically shooting blind anyway. There again I had no problem hand-holding a 240/4.5 manual-diaphragm, metal-barrel Tele-Ennalyt which I had stupidly sold. Oh well.

  10. #10

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    It is CE-4, when I bought it in the late 70 or early 80's I was working out of Southern Italy. I had a camera repair shop in Bari rebuilt the release to shorten the throw and soften the release, not a smooth as the Spotimatic F but much better than when I bought the camera. The winder sounds like sewing machine and it is not much faster than hand advance, with fresh batteries 1.5 to 2 FPS. The light meter no longer works, although once in a while the diodes will come on. I bought a second body from E bay but the meter was not working either, just too lazy to take in for repair, I use a spotmeter most of the time. When I was working and needed very critical shots held held I used a rangefinder, Lica IIIG or Canon 7 with a 90 or 135. I know of folks who hand held a 300mm and shoot at 1/500th or 1/1000, but I cant vouch for the quality of their work or recommend it. All in all I think most people can hold and shoot up to 200 with fast film and practice.



 

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