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  1. #1

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    85mm for under 50 EUR?

    I have been looking to get hold of a portrait lens for a few years now, something in the 75-85mm range. However, 85mm in every common mount are SOOOO expensive. Even Jupiter-9 are trading close to 80-90 EUR range.

    What are my alternatives? I am using with Rolleiflex with 35mm attachment at the moment. I also have a 3" projection lens that I taped inside a k-mount macro ring but of course no aperture or focus is fixed at 1m.

    Is converting slide projector lens a possibility?

  2. #2
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Wouldn't you be better off with something a hair longer, but optically better? Nikon Series E 100mm lenses are easily had around $100 US and often less, and will work a lot better for portraiture than a converted slide projector lens would.

    If an 85 is really what you want, you will unfortunately just have to be patient. I did a quick survey of KEH in a few different mounts and I didn't find any 85s for any mount under $200 US.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  3. #3
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Rolleiflex with 35mm attachment???
    Do you mean a Rolleiflex 35mm SLR with a M42 adapter ring?

    Anyway, I'm not sure what camera you're using, but since you seem to be in Europe, watch out for the following in M42 mount (if that works for you - they're also available in Exakta mount):

    Meyer Orestor 100mm f/2.8 - Good but not outstanding.

    Schacht Ulm Travenar 90mm f/2.8 - Outstanding. Has practically the same signature & performance as my Zeiss 85mm f/2.8. Very incisive, maybe too harsh for "nice" portraits (then the Meyer might be better).
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  4. #4
    naeroscatu's Avatar
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    I'm watching the portrait lenses as well but could not find anything in your price range (unless something with easy to fix problems comes along and you take a chance). KEH has them from time to time in Canon FD, Nikon AI-AIS, Pentax K and even M42 mounts but they sell above $100 which I think is fair. You should be safe with the "bargain" grade. Keep watching.
    Mihai Costea

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  5. #5
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    I never saw a cheap 85mm for the 35mm format; you would have better chance with a 100/105 focal length. In Nikon mount, the 105mm f/2.5 are a dime a dozen; there's also a beautiful 100mm Vivitar for Minolta mount I know of.

    135mm are even cheaper because for some reasons it seems to be the least favourite focal length ever devised.

    I once had a Jupiter-9 for M42, and it cost me around 100 CDN dollars. I sold it because I switched from screwmount to Nikon, but it's really the cheapest decent 85mm (f/2 !) you can find.

    If you have a macro bellows, you could try mounting an enlarger lens. It would limit you to closer-than-infinity ranges, but for portraits it might just do the trick.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    You could try a small zoom lens - my Olympus 75-150 f/4 two touch zoom is small, sharp and cheap:

    http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Produ...BCL=&GBC=&GCC=

    Matt

  7. #7

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    I don't agree that 135 is the least favorite focal length. A 135 with closer focusing is very nice for portraits. My 135/3.2 Konica Hexanon and 135/2.3 Vivitar Series 1 lenses both focus to 3 feet and are fine for portraits. I find 135 lenses a little too long for most indoor shooting. A sports arena might be an exception. For outdoor use a 135 is also very handy. If I need to get a lot closer I can use a 135/2.8 Vivitar Close Focusing. The 100/2.5 MC Rokkor is probably my favorite portrait lens but I have four different 85s. A few months ago I bought an old 85/1.8 Canon FL lens in not very good looking condition for US$10 at a camera show. I had it completely overhauled and today I picked up a crisp 8X12" portrait I shot with it. The sharpness and out of focus rendition are both very nice. The lens must be at least 38 years old and might be as old as 44.

    You do get a slightly different perspective with an 85 than with a 100 or 135 and most Japanese made 85s are f/2 or faster. If you like the focal length but don't need the speed as much you might consider a macro lens in the 90-105 range. Some people consider macro lenses too sharp for portraiture but if this doesn't bother you, try it. Even the inexpensive 100/3.5 Cosina/Vivitar/Phoenix/Promaster/Soligor macro lens can give you nice results.

  8. #8

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    The 135mm lens is the poor bastard cousin that gets hidden in the attic.

    Too bad, because a good 135mm lens can be excellent for portraits. It does require a bit more distance between you and your subject, but 135mm lenses are cheap, plentiful and for the most part good lenses.

    And they're almost always significantly cheaper than an 85mm lens.

    I've shot a lot with a 50+-year-old 135mm Sonnar, and it's never failed to impress.

    Here's one (a crop from Ektachrome 100, shot at f/4.0 1/10th of a second):



    Note: My usual portrait subject isn't a baboon!

  9. #9
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    The slower versions of Canon, Nikon, and Pentax 85mm lenses are all reasonably priced. Look at 100 and 105mm lenses as well. What camera body is this for?
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    What camera body is this for?
    Pentax (K or Screw) or Olympus, I did have a 85mm Jupiter-9 but stupidly gave it away a few years back when they were cheap and plentyful.

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