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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    They may have haze (has no effect), fungus (also has no effect), cleaning marks (no effect)
    ...and later in the same post:

    Haze is common, and can be surprisingly hard to see. Fungus affects the lens like a combination of haze and scratches
    I'm confused. Are you saying that they do affect the lens (second excerpt), or that they don't (first excerpt)? I feel I must be misunderstanding you somewhere.

    I agree with the general sentiment, though---you rarely know much about the samples of old lenses on which people are basing their opinions, and there are lots of different criteria on which to judge. One person's "soft" is another's "glowing", and whatever you call it, it works in some images and not others.

    Stephen Gandy says good things about the Summar too, IIRC.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    ...and later in the same post:



    I'm confused. Are you saying that they do affect the lens (second excerpt), or that they don't (first excerpt)? I feel I must be misunderstanding you somewhere.

    I agree with the general sentiment, though---you rarely know much about the samples of old lenses on which people are basing their opinions, and there are lots of different criteria on which to judge. One person's "soft" is another's "glowing", and whatever you call it, it works in some images and not others.

    Stephen Gandy says good things about the Summar too, IIRC.

    -NT
    It's sarcasm. Rather heavy handed at that.

    Read some feepay ads, nothing seems to affect a lens' performance unless it's been squashed in a hydraulic press.

  3. #23
    Patrick Robert James's Avatar
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    If you are going to shoot people, the Sonnar clone from Nikon will be really good. It is optimized for closer focus. If you mainly want to shoot general things like landscape, the Canon 1.8 will be the best bang for the buck. If you want a modern sharp lens, the Voigtlander Skopar 2.5 is really good but it will cost you about another $100 or so I think.

    The I-50 is a nice lens, but I wouldn't want it for my only lens. I would skip all the old Leica lenses unless they are optically perfect, which just will never be the case.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Whenever you hear opinions on old lenses, take them 'cum mare salis'. Those lenses are not likely to be as they were when new...Also, don't expect old lenses to perform like modern lenses, they aren't and they won't.
    Thank you for all of that. Don't worry, I'm under no illusions about the capabilities and limitations of older lenses. I wouldn't expect a lens from the 1940s to perform like one from last year. Even sparkling clean, they just won't be quite the same. And that's good, because I like older lenses because they give a look that I like. I enjoy shooting with older equipment because it makes my photos look the way I want. And because there's a certain, viceral enjoyment I get from the feeling of an old camera. For me, they're just more fun to shoot.

    I got my first Leica about 20 years ago. I was working in a camera store that allowed me to support my photography habit...er, hobby. I couldn't afford an M3 by a long shot, and I couldn't even afford a IIIf or a IIIc. The folks at a used camera shop let me have a IIIa with an uncoated, pre-war Elmar 50/3.5 at a price I could afford, and the service guy we used got it cleaned up and adjusted for me at a very good price. But the lens was always kinda low-contrast, compared to the modern SLRs I was used to shooting, and I sold it after using it for about six months, disillusioned with the "Leica mystique." I suspect now that the lens probably needed a good internal cleaning, and that, having had no previous experience with uncoated lenses, I wasn't taking the care that I probably needed to be taking to avoid things like flare. But even though I was generally underwhelmed with the photos I was taking with it, that little IIIa felt so GOOD to shoot. It had a...feel...that few cameras I've had since have had. My Nikon F came close, my Nikkormat FT2 is close, too, even though it's "modern" by my tastes, and my Zeiss Ikon 532/16 was also very much like it. As tiny as it was, my little Voigtlander Vito II folder from 1950 had an unmistakable build quality that was like that Leica, more so than the Vitomatic II I had that was made about 10 years after it. These old cameras just feel more right to me than any of the digital cameras in our closet, and I really love the way they render their images.

    I seem to have gone off on a bit of a tangent that I hadn't expected. Sorry. That's what happens when you start writing about something you love, I guess.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Robert James View Post
    If you are going to shoot people, the Sonnar clone from Nikon will be really good. It is optimized for closer focus. If you mainly want to shoot general things like landscape, the Canon 1.8 will be the best bang for the buck.
    I love shooting people; they're so interesting! But, I also love shooting ANYTHING interesting, and that includes a lot of things that are NOT people. I'm getting the sense, though, that both of those lenses are good all-around shooters and that I would be happy with the results of either one.

    The Russian lenses seem like they're a bit hit-or-miss; maybe you get a good one right off the bat, maybe you have to try a few before you find a really nice one. I've got my (lens-less) Canon P, and I think I'm going to hold out and find either a Canon 50/1.8 or a Nikkor-H 50/2.0 that's in my price range. I've still got some cameras (and other items) that I haven't sold, so perhaps once I sell off a few more things my budget will increase a little.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by 02Pilot View Post
    The Canon 50/1.8 is probably your first best choice, but it's going to be at the top of your price range or beyond unless you get lucky. Canon and Serenar lenses are optically identical.

    FWIW, I happily used a Jupiter-8 on my Canon P for a while before I got a Canon 50/1.5. Buying from a reliable seller (Fedka is one that has an excellent reputation) should ensure you get a good one. The discrepancy between the Leica standard and the Soviet (Contax) standard (described well by Dante Stella - worth reading if you haven't already) is very minor; on an f/2 lens like the J-8 you will likely never even notice it, and if you do it will only be wide open and close up. Within your desired price range, the Jupiter-8 is what I'd go for (and I did).
    I support this view completely. Given the variability in FSU lenses, I think it makes a lot of sense to buy from Fedka, who stands by his products. I shot with a Jupiter 8 on a IIIf for quite a while, and thought the image quality was great. I also own and like the coated Summitar, but you would not find a clean one in your price range.

  7. #27
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    I just devved my first roll shot with my new-to-me (but in absolutely beat-up condition with decent glass) Industar 61.
    The industar was £5.50, and comparing it to my also-new-to-me $450 Nokton 40/1.4, the images certainly do look rather similar (except of course the FOV and faster aperture)
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

    f/64 and be there.

  8. #28

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    You can be very lucky with any Jupiter lens. I own a J-8 and J-12 resp. F/2,0-50mm ; F/2,8-35mm and to be honest the difference between my Leica F/2,0-50mm Summicron and J-8 is not that big .......

    And also that little J-12 has amazing optics. They are calculated according old Zeiss lenses design. J-12 is a Biogon type with the last lens element very deep into the body hence you can not use this lens on every LTM camera. The most important thing is to use a lens hood on these type of older lenses.
    My favorite store: http://www.fotohuisrovo.nl

  9. #29

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    Well, okay. I didn't do what I said I was going to do. I ended up buying an Industar 61 L/D. At $23 shipped for one in (reportedly) clean condition, it was too hard to pass up.

    I still plan to buy a Canon 50/f1.8, and probably something else in a 35, and in an 85 or a 90. That's down the road, though.

    I think I may use the money I saved by getting an Industar to get Mark Hama to do a CLA on the P body (Peabody?)

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken.Cartouche View Post
    Well, okay. I didn't do what I said I was going to do. I ended up buying an Industar 61 L/D. At $23 shipped for one in (reportedly) clean condition, it was too hard to pass up.

    I still plan to buy a Canon 50/f1.8, and probably something else in a 35, and in an 85 or a 90. That's down the road, though.

    I think I may use the money I saved by getting an Industar to get Mark Hama to do a CLA on the P body (Peabody?)
    From what research I've done, that I-61 LD can be very good. I found a comparison between the J-12 35/2.8 and a fairly recent Leitz 35, and while not identical, that Soviet Biogon stood up pretty d@mn well! I know, I've caught what might be an unhealthy fascination with Soviet lenses; I bought a J-8 for a Canon IIb that I will be restoring. I've yet to see negatives from it, but if it performs like the old Zeiss Sonnar I had I will be very happy. As for the build quality of the J-8, I'm impressed. The focussing is very smooth (without regreasing the helicoid), and there is no play in the helicoid. The fit of the lens' threads to the mount on the camera is excellent and the index lines up correctly. I had to remove enough old separated grease from the aperture mechanism to grease several of these, aperture and helicoid. I also degreased the aperture blades and blackened them with a magical marker. The internal glass surfaces had a very very stubborn lubricant haze, almost like a plasticiser haze, which I finally shifted with trichloroethane. I want to add clickstops to the aperture ring. I'll also improve the internal blacking of the lens mount. I'll sort out the focussing issue next, but I have a feeling that for the way I will be using it, it may not be an issue. This lens was made in 1975, and after inspecting the screwheads with a loupe I'm pretty sure I'm the first one to mess with it.

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