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.
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.
Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh
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.
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.
Originally Posted by Patrick Robert James
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.
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.
Originally Posted by 02Pilot
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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.
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.
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.
Originally Posted by Ken.Cartouche
A Canon P is not compatible with some wides e.g. J12 and Kobalux 28mms they can interfere with the light baffles, some people use force. The 28mm Orion should be ok.
The FSU LTM lenses can be very good if you get one that has not been mistreated.
A Nikon f/2 in LTM is very good but very expensive.
A Canon LTM /2.8 or /1.8 also very good but both can fog and be etched if they have been neglected.
There is the Cosina Voightlander /2.5 if you can find one modern glass and multi coating.
There are other LTM lenses but all the LTMs have been inflating in price.
A Canon P can tolerate work Id not bother with a CLA until it breaks a ribbon or you get shutter taper.