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Vintage MF lenses nowadays primes

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HJvK View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HJvK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Vintage MF lenses nowadays primes
    Posted: 11 February 2021 at 10:55
Dear forum people ,

I am a bit devided in thoughts, after exchanging my a55 for my new (but used) A7S I need to build up a set of lenses to grow the versatility of the camera so that I can use it more extensively. However budget is a tight and getting good things for less that maybe require a bit more tinkering and optimising is actually something that suits me.

I am a largely hybrid shooter so I do video and photo. And picked up a M42 yashicon 50mm 1.9 as starting point with a adapter.

I am thinking to buy a FE kitlens with AF for the moments that I want to be low-profile, carry one lens and need to be sure to lock the focus on quickly for lets say the social encounters. Just to have ease of mind. Also the OSS I expect it to take some of the shake out on video to make it at least more usable and provide me with a quick set I can just pick up and take with me everywhere.

For vintage glass I might feel the urge to invest in a small gimbal for video because it seems to be the most vertasile and effective stabilisation wheter you are standing still or doing moving shots. I am only a bit worried about the focussing while moving on MF glass.

And I was thinking about getting M42/Minolta MD/Canon FD primes to complete the kit. However I am not so sure anymore, I am just a tad dissapointed with the Yashicon; I feel that the image tends to get very flat if there is (even just a bit) of light from the wrong direction and I feel that the lens vignets quite strongly. Getting on focus is quite slow still but perhaps that's just practise. So overall I feel I am missing out on this lens. And in my mind this translates to every old vintage prime out there. So there we are, I am devided in toughts that this maybe isn't the way to go and that I need some more patience and build a kit with newer E mount primes, perhaps AF primes.

Perhaps you could advise me further. Is this just something this lens is known for? Is it the adapter? Will other lenses give me a different result and feeling? and if so would you recommend canon fd? or minolta md?

So basically, probally not a new question, but I am just asking people who use MF vintage lenses on sony bodies what their general opinion and recommendation is.

Edited by HJvK - 11 February 2021 at 10:59
 



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pegelli View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2021 at 11:16
You can take a look here at sample shots from many adapted lenses

Couple of other thoughts:
I have a Yashica 50/1.9 DSB in C/Y mount, while OK it's not great, don't know if it's comparable to your Yashicon in M42 mount

Don't forget all lenses (especially older ones with less modern coatings) really benefit from an effective hood to avoid veiling and lower contrast

I have good experience (sharpness, colours, contrast) with MF adapted lenses from Olympus OM, Minolta MD, Asahi/Takumar as my three "top brands". Good deals can be found on many of them

I also have MF lenses from Tamron, Helios, Meyer-Görlitz, Konica etc. Some good, some not so good but with "character", so you need to know what you're buying to avoid being disapointed

I never used Nikon or Canon MF lenses so can't comment on those.

Getting at least one AF zoom lens for your "easy days" is a good plan and the 28-70 is not too expensive and not bad at all for a kit lens.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2021 at 12:03
I'd echo Pegelli's comments. I have a number of pre-AF lenses in various mounts, mostly M42 and PK. By and large the Japanese and East Germans totally sorted making good standard lenses by around 1970 and only the coatings improved later, though eventually they did make smaller and lighter version with palstic bodies, the smallest and lightest of which are the Miranda/Cosina/branded PK ones made for Pentax.

I have a soft spot for the old Zeiss Jena Tessar lenses, which had fewer air-to-glass surfaces than most other contemporary designs and gave better contrast with the weak coatings of the time. Late film-era lenses had multi-coatings and best contrast. As Pegelli said, they all need either a lens hood or a strategically-place hand to stop glare and veiling if you shoot toward the light (or sometimes if you don't).

Some of the lens designs had a quite swirly bokeh which you either like or hate. Most of them had uncompensated spherical aberration which (usually) made the OOF highlights nice and soft rather than the onion rings of later (early aspheric) lenses.

My advice is to buy a few on ebay or pick them up from the bargain junk basket in camera shops (where I got most of mine!) and just try them. Adapters from China are cheap enough to leave one on each lens.

Edited by Miranda F - 11 February 2021 at 12:06
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A7Rii, A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras ...
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QuietOC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2021 at 12:18
The 28-70 OSS impressed me, but the second copy I tried was less well aligned. A few online accounts vehemently decry it constantly.

I haven't found a vintage prime that compared well with the lowly FE 50mm F1.8. It has more under corrected spherical aberration than I have seen in vintage normal primes. It has very smooth out-of-focus.

I tried a Contax Zeiss 50mm F1.4 Planar. It was well-aligned but optically very similar to the Minolta/Sony and Canon AF lenses. Maybe it has better coatings.

My best vintage 50mm is a Konica Hexanon 50mm F1.8.

Edited by QuietOC - 11 February 2021 at 17:42
Sony A7RIV NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA5 Metabones-IV Sigma MC-11 Yongnuo EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
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Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9 AF-P/Q
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9000AF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 9000AF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2021 at 15:26
I like the 24-70 f/4 a lot as a one-lens option, I have been using it since 2014. It's not perfect, but small and really solid for travel.

I agree with pegelli on the top tier brands. I have decided to go all Minolta Rokkor (late MC and MD) after trying others, b/c of color matching and similar rendering across lenses. Much easier for video and in post, with the same set of parameters fitting most of the time. This saves some time since there is no lens data in EXIF for unchipped lenses.

Minolta made their own optical glass and coatings, which allowed them to control color much more tightly than most others. I don't buy into Minolta colors being "special" or better, but they are the same for each lens.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2021 at 17:18
This is another vote for the 24-70mm F/4.0 CZ lens for Sony FE-mount. I got one some time ago because I wanted a rather light weight zoom - and it is an OSS lens that matches well with my older A7.

As to vintage lenses: There are so many - you don't even see the horizon. So here my 2c on a couple of them which are unbeatable bangs for the buck:
- Konica Hexanon AR F/1.7 50mm
- Konica Hexanon AR F/1.8 40mm
- Konica Hexanon AR F/3.5 28mm (has a very cool hood - if you can get it)
- Soligor F/2.5 35-70mm (available in various mounts)
- Soligor macro F/3.5 100mm (plastic-fantastic, it's also marketed under other brands - even as a Voigtlander lens).
Prices should be very low (20-40 Euro) since these are heavily underrated lenses.

Leica (-R), Contax, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus and Canon (FD) lenses will cut into your budget more substantially. Instead of Contax lenses Yashica ML lenses might provide rather affordable alternatives (there are also some good zooms, like the 28-85mm ML). M42 lenses, particularly Takumars and Fujinons, have become more expensive as well - IMO (if you monitor ebay auctions a bit).

Maybe you should think about your MF vintage lens kit first and then try to fill the gaps with items which are both, affordable and high quality.


Edited by waldo_posth - 13 February 2021 at 22:41
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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2021 at 17:28
My own favourites include:

Any m42 Takumar
Zenitar 16mm fisheye
Hexanon 200/3.5

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QuietOC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2021 at 17:38
Maybe the 24-70 ZA was/is more prone variation? There seem to be more people against it then the 28-70 OSS even. I've seen a lot of comments comparing the two with people preferring the 28-70.

DXOMark recently reviewed the 24-105G. And I was using their results to compare with the 24-70ZA. The 24-70ZA looks to be quite a bit better at 35 and 50 mm. The 24-105 G seems to be best at the far ends, which does seem to be how most people use zooms.

There is a lot of hype about the new 28-60 pancake zoom too. It is the one normal zoom that supports all the latest features--specifically the aperture drive feature. But it also lacks OSS and is even dimmer than the 28-70.

Edited by QuietOC - 11 February 2021 at 18:09
Sony A7RIV NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA5 Metabones-IV Sigma MC-11 Yongnuo EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9 AF-P/Q
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HJvK View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HJvK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2021 at 09:10
Very usefull information, it lights my enthousiasm so to say.
In the meanwhile does anybody have some recommendation for getting a handy aftermarket "sunhood-solution" for vintage lenses?

Also does anybody have experience with the Fotodiox Pro Vizelex ND Throttle Minolta to Sony E-Mount Adapter? Sounds like a handy piece of kit for filming (getting down to the right shutterspeed with shallow DOF even in daylight)

Edited by HJvK - 12 February 2021 at 09:20
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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2021 at 10:29
You can get some nice metal screw-in hoods on the internet for reasonable prices...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 9000AF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2021 at 15:17
Originally posted by Bob J Bob J wrote:

You can get some nice metal screw-in hoods on the internet for reasonable prices...


That's what I have for the lenses that didn't come with a hood. I have some wider metal hoods that I use with a step-up ring, so I can reverse them for storage. For example a 62mm hood with 49-62 step-up fits nicely on a 50mm prime.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AVLB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2021 at 12:26
I too switched from an APSC to FF in the form of an A850 (2018) and then onto an A99 about a year later. I was also lacking FF lenses apart from a 70-400 and 70-200, as all my other lenses were dedicated APSC ones.

I slowly built up my collection which not only included Minolta AF range of primes, but also some M42 lenses. My favourite M42 ones have to be the SMC Takumar 55mm f2, the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm f2.4, the Pentacon 30mm f3.5 and the Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f3.5 Sonnar MC.

There are a huge range to choose from out there and quite baffling at first, as although there are some sites dedicated to MF lenses, there are not the reviews to go with them, in many cases.

I must admit now, I am gathering rather a large collection of vintage lenses, some are fair, some good and some excellent. Shop around and don't push up the prices by paying too much! I always tell my wife, she can sell them to cover my funeral expenses
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Basil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2021 at 22:05
I tell my wife that's it's not hoarding if it is camera stuff. So far, she believes me.
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