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Which photo lenses could be made as sets?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:07 pm    Post subject: Which photo lenses could be made as sets? Reply with quote

Hello everyone, I am looking for lenses that could be built into sets and would love your advice.

I have a little shop where I work with lens mechanics – nothing fancy, but I can replace mounts, adapt lenses for digital cameras and make them suitable for work on indie cinema sets, or music video sets.

The topic with using vintage photography glass for video is not new, and there are a lot of companies who all do similar things – Leica R, Canon FD, Contax Zeiss, recently Olympus OM, etc.

Those choices are based on the fact that for cinematography one needs lenses from wide to tele focal lengths, that would match in terms of their 'look'. So similar coatings, sizes, f-stops, etc. Leica R is decent example because some lenses have one designer (liek crons with Mandler) and some lenses are japanese designs adopted by Leitz (on the wide end), but made with same coatings, so they almost match in terms of look (even tho some people complain summicrons and wide elmarits don't).

I am looking for a project, maybe one or two years long, to pick a set of lenses for my own personal use and modify them. But I want to do a novel project, not repeat everyone's scheme with same lenses. So far my choices are these:

Minolta SLR Rokkor Lenses. There are tons of variations (MD, MF, X, etc) and I am studying coatins, etc, to see if it's possible to make a matching set from wide to tele.
Topcor lenses – they have a line from 20 to 200, albeit somewhat slow, with elusive 80mm that is tough to find. This is so far very interesting.
Angenieux Exacta lenses – wides are readily available, teles somewhat avaialble, but the 50s are scarse and terribly expensive. This set is also very interesting.

Both Angenieux and Topcors are slow lenses on the wide end (with F stop going as slow as F4, which will probably result in a T stop of 4.5 if not slower).

Minolta are not super fast either (for example olympus has 21/2, 24/2, 28/2, 35/2, 40/2, etc) but still faster then Topcor or Angenieux.

I started looking into Komuras – seems to have some stellar performers in 100mm+ but few wides, and nothing at all in 40-50-60mm range which is crucial for filmmaking.

Does anyone know any interesting, peculiar or less famous manufacturers that might have a 'set' of lenses out there? I'm most interested in older lenses (not 80s or 90s) since those coatings tend to be beautiful and render skin really nicely on video.

There's of course Konica line, which I'm yet to explore, and there are Pentax Takumars too, that I plan to look into, but please, if anyone has any ideas do feel free to brainstorm.

Oh, and I did look into Voigtlander prominent/bessamatic/vitessa lenses, but it seems set cannot be built. Maybe I need to look closer.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Takumar


PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Which photo lenses could be made as sets? Reply with quote

redimp wrote:
Hello everyone, I am looking for lenses that could be built into sets and would love your advice.

I have a little shop where I work with lens mechanics – nothing fancy, but I can replace mounts, adapt lenses for digital cameras and make them suitable for work on indie cinema sets, or music video sets.

The topic with using vintage photography glass for video is not new, and there are a lot of companies who all do similar things – Leica R, Canon FD, Contax Zeiss, recently Olympus OM, etc.

Those choices are based on the fact that for cinematography one needs lenses from wide to tele focal lengths, that would match in terms of their 'look'. So similar coatings, sizes, f-stops, etc. Leica R is decent example because some lenses have one designer (liek crons with Mandler) and some lenses are japanese designs adopted by Leitz (on the wide end), but made with same coatings, so they almost match in terms of look (even tho some people complain summicrons and wide elmarits don't).

I am looking for a project, maybe one or two years long, to pick a set of lenses for my own personal use and modify them. But I want to do a novel project, not repeat everyone's scheme with same lenses. So far my choices are these:

Minolta SLR Rokkor Lenses. There are tons of variations (MD, MF, X, etc) and I am studying coatins, etc, to see if it's possible to make a matching set from wide to tele.
Topcor lenses – they have a line from 20 to 200, albeit somewhat slow, with elusive 80mm that is tough to find. This is so far very interesting.
Angenieux Exacta lenses – wides are readily available, teles somewhat avaialble, but the 50s are scarse and terribly expensive. This set is also very interesting.

Both Angenieux and Topcors are slow lenses on the wide end (with F stop going as slow as F4, which will probably result in a T stop of 4.5 if not slower).

Minolta are not super fast either (for example olympus has 21/2, 24/2, 28/2, 35/2, 40/2, etc) but still faster then Topcor or Angenieux.

I started looking into Komuras – seems to have some stellar performers in 100mm+ but few wides, and nothing at all in 40-50-60mm range which is crucial for filmmaking.

.


Komuras are wonderfully cinematic and paint beautifully.
There are 24,28,and 35mm in Komura wides.
Stellar 100mm and 135mm as well.
Takumar would also be my next recommendation with a full range of focal lengths and that wonderful smooth engineering and ergonomics
T


PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canon FD SSC;

Zeiss Contarex;


PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hard to say. You might also look at Fujinon, Yashinon, Mamiya/Sekor but less popular focal lengths from those brands are hard to find. Also Pentax/Takumar (and Nikkor) Focus to the left from infinity while most others focus to the right. That might be a problem for video shooters. You also need to take into account build quality. Not al old lenses focus smoothly anymore. So you would probably need to service them first.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An ebay seller shop_old_school (OSC SALES) assembles sets of vintage photo lenses for video use.

Takumar Click here to see on Ebay

Zeiss Click here to see on Ebay


PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, over the years, all lens producers have improved their coatings so these have changed. Minolta would be my bet in terms trying to keep the same colour profile..
Read this thread
https://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?92246-Minolta-Rokkor-Survival-Guide
I think the guy had the same goal in mind: using lenses for video/cinematography and explains clearly his choice. Home made glass and coating, colour consistency between lenses...


PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leica M.
21/2,8, 35/1,4, 75/1,4, 90/2, 135/3,4


PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first choices would be FD SSC. Their ergonomics are almost perfect and relatively easy to work on and declick. You can even get EF mount conversion kits(at least you could). 24/1.4, 55/1.2, 85/1.2 Aspherical set of primes and a 24-35/3.5 Aspherical zoom.

And Vivitar pyramid preset series of lenses. Or really any preset lens. It's my favourite variety of lens, clickless and you can pre-choose the minimum aperture. Unfortunately there isn't a ton of them made, they quickly jumped into semi-auto apertures and jumped even faster to fully auto apertures.

The older you get in lenses the slower the wide angles get and the less wide the lineup gets, and camera lenses in general you won't find a matched set of f2 or f1.8 lenses, they will range from f4 & f3.5 at the wide end to f2 through f1.2 for normals and then slower again the longer you go.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antoine wrote:
Of course, over the years, all lens producers have improved their coatings so these have changed. Minolta would be my bet in terms trying to keep the same colour profile..
Read this thread
https://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?92246-Minolta-Rokkor-Survival-Guide
I think the guy had the same goal in mind: using lenses for video/cinematography and explains clearly his choice. Home made glass and coating, colour consistency between lenses...


A set of S-M-C Takumars or a set of Super-Takumar for identical color profiles. ..


PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your replies.

GL Optics in China is already rehousing Contarex lenses, they don't do the 1.4s, just the f2s.

I would like to potentially choose a set that I would do a proper rehousing for later, if it proves to be nice image-wise.


Takumars are now on my radar.
I would love to get some komuras, but I don't know how to fill the gap between 35 and 100.
Canon FD SSC asphericals are now too hard to find, and are also quite expensive. Also a lot of companies are rehousing them already, and I'm interested in a novel set.
Fujinon and Yashinon together with Sekors are now on my radar, thank you.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

redimp wrote:
Thank you all for your replies.

GL Optics in China is already rehousing Contarex lenses, they don't do the 1.4s, just the f2s.

I would like to potentially choose a set that I would do a proper rehousing for later, if it proves to be nice image-wise.


Takumars are now on my radar.
I would love to get some komuras, but I don't know how to fill the gap between 35 and 100.
Canon FD SSC asphericals are now too hard to find, and are also quite expensive. Also a lot of companies are rehousing them already, and I'm interested in a novel set.
Fujinon and Yashinon together with Sekors are now on my radar, thank you.


What about more modern lenses of the previous generations that are worthless and useless because the focus by wire or USM motors are broken and out of service. Fried chips but good glass. They are already junked, superior optical quality over vintage just need proper focus and aperture refinements anyway. Something worth looking into with the Fuji XF lens lineup down the road. Wink


PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not at all into filming, and therefore I've hesitatetd to answer. I know we're in a MF lens forum here, but there's an AF set of lenses that might suit your needs: The early Minolta AF lenses. Why?

1) consistent "heavy metal" build quality, at least for the inside parts
2) direct manual focus without play (unlike most later AF lenses)
3) consistent optical performance (the entire lineup was designed within maybe five years)
4) better optical performance than most previous MF lenses
5) wide range of focal lengths available (16mm Fish, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm, 300mm, 400mm, 600mm)
7) fast lenses available (2/28, 1.4/35, 1.4/50, 1.4/85, 2/100, 2.8/200 APO, 2.8/300 APO, 4/600 APO)
8 ) often ridiculuosly cheap for their performance
9) very balanced spectral transmission (all lenses have the same spectral transmission); no outliers like with the Takumars or the Zeiss glass

I have written a large book about theses lenses (well, and about the A900) a decade ago, albeit in German. It is available on Amazon (books) and on my website for free download (http://www.artaphot.ch/minolta-sony-af/alpha-systembuch). you may translate it using a proper translation engine.

Steve


PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
...
(9) very balanced spectral transmission (all lenses have the same spectral transmission); no outliers like with the Takumars or the Zeiss glass
...


Reference please about the Takumars.

How to reconcile "very balanced spectral transmission" with "all lenses have the same spectral transmission"? Laughing Perhaps "color balance" is meant? Color balance is maintained through similar CA correction and consistent coatings.

Sorry I don't have a reference other than my own experience having owned 17, 20, 24, 28, 35, 50 , 55, 85, 105, 120, 135, 150, 200, 300, 400, & 500mm focal lengths of each, including the Macro-Takumars -- the spectral balance of Super-Multi-Coated Takumars and of Super-Takumars, is consistent within each coating designation.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, that set of spectral transmissions for the Takumars would quite interest me.
I have measured my Ultra Achromatic Takumar and Quartz Takumar 85mm only.

Just to reapeat, there are quite a few sellers who have converted Leitz and Canon
lenses into sets for video recording; also some Russian lens sets are on the market.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:
stevemark wrote:
...
(9) very balanced spectral transmission (all lenses have the same spectral transmission); no outliers like with the Takumars or the Zeiss glass
...


Reference please about the Takumars.

The Super-Takumar 1.4/50mm, for instance, or the Macro 4/50mm ... extremely yellowish due to thorium glass. You'll be able to correct that to a certain degree, but a yellowish tint will always remain. Same applies also to later Pentax lenses; the Pentax AF 2.8/35-70 for instance that arrived just yesterday has a pronounced "warm" color balance as well. I like it, but its not consistent with other Takumar or Pentax A lenses!


[quote="visualopsins"]
stevemark wrote:

How to reconcile "very balanced spectral transmission" with "all lenses have the same spectral transmission"? Laughing

There's no reason to laugh. Actually, in a previous life, I've been using spectrophotometers extensiviely (you may want to read the corresponding wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet%E2%80%93visible_spectroscopy): You can precisely measure the transmittance at a certain wavelength. If you have a machine that scans the the entire visible (or even UV-VIS) range, you'll get a readout showing the spectral transmission e. g. of a lens (or, in my case, a molecule).

visualopsins wrote:

Perhaps "color balance" is meant? Color balance is maintained through similar CA correction and consistent coatings.

The main factor influencing spectral transmission is the glass. If it absorbs in the UV/violet range (as some high rectractive glass does), you get a yellowish tint. Speciually adapted coatings can correct that to a certain degree, but that makes sense only if the glass itself doesn't absorb too much at a certain wavelength.

visualopsins wrote:
Sorry I don't have a reference other than my own experience having owned 17, 20, 24, 28, 35, 50 , 55, 85, 105, 120, 135, 150, 200, 300, 400, & 500mm focal lengths of each, including the Macro-Takumars -- the spectral balance of Super-Multi-Coated Takumars and of Super-Takumars, is consistent within each coating designation.

It certainly isn't. See below. S-M-C Takumar 1.4/50mm (above) and S-M-C Takumar 2.8/105mm (below). Both images taken with the same manual color settings on the A900. Upper image (1.4/50mm) cropped to fit the size of the lower image (2.8/105mm).



S


PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
visualopsins wrote:
stevemark wrote:
...
(9) very balanced spectral transmission (all lenses have the same spectral transmission); no outliers like with the Takumars or the Zeiss glass
...

Reference please about the Takumars.

The Super-Takumar 1.4/50mm, for instance, or the Macro 4/50mm ... extremely yellowish due to thorium glass. You'll be able to correct that to a certain degree, but a yellowish tint will always remain. Same applies also to later Pentax lenses; the Pentax AF 2.8/35-70 for instance that arrived just yesterday has a pronounced "warm" color balance as well. I like it, but its not consistent with other Takumar or Pentax A lenses!

Thorium yellowing is a caveat to avoid when assembling sets for uniform color balance. Treatment results vary from completely clear to partial clearing to no effect in my experience.

The Macro-Takumars do not yellow or have thorium glass. Other Takumars with thorium are 1:2/35mm and 1:1.9/85mm, though yellowing seems less common than with the 1:1.4/50mm lenses. The 8-element Super-Takumar 1:1.4/50mm is thorium free.

The sets I refer to are very specific -- all are M42 mount, excluding any K-mount or Pentax A or later AF lenses. The coatings on all focal lengths within the specific sets is uniform.

The two Macro-Takumar 1:4/50mm and the Super-Macro-Takumar 1:4/50mm all had the same coatings as my Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 1:4/50mm. Thus a Super-Takumar set wouldn't include one.

stevemark wrote:
visualopsins wrote:

How to reconcile "very balanced spectral transmission" with "all lenses have the same spectral transmission"? Laughing

There's no reason to laugh. Actually, in a previous life, I've been using spectrophotometers extensiviely (you may want to read the corresponding wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet%E2%80%93visible_spectroscopy): You can precisely measure the transmittance at a certain wavelength. If you have a machine that scans the the entire visible (or even UV-VIS) range, you'll get a readout showing the spectral transmission e. g. of a lens (or, in my case, a molecule).

Though I laugh at the literal contradiction, I do understand what was meant. However, here we are limited to the visible spectrum color balance, not the transmission range into IR and UV, although like Klaus I would like to see those for the all the Takumars.

stevemark wrote:
visualopsins wrote:

Perhaps "color balance" is meant? Color balance is maintained through similar CA correction and consistent coatings.

The main factor influencing spectral transmission is the glass. If it absorbs in the UV/violet range (as some high rectractive glass does), you get a yellowish tint. Speciually adapted coatings can correct that to a certain degree, but that makes sense only if the glass itself doesn't absorb too much at a certain wavelength.

Visible spectrum color balance, i.e., spectrum not including IR/UV, is influenced by CA correction and coatings.

stevemark wrote:
visualopsins wrote:

Sorry I don't have a reference other than my own experience having owned 17, 20, 24, 28, 35, 50 , 55, 85, 105, 120, 135, 150, 200, 300, 400, & 500mm focal lengths of each, including the Macro-Takumars -- the spectral balance of Super-Multi-Coated Takumars and of Super-Takumars, is consistent within each coating designation.

It certainly isn't. See below. S-M-C Takumar 1.4/50mm (above) and S-M-C Takumar 2.8/105mm (below). Both images taken with the same manual color settings on the A900. Upper image (1.4/50mm) cropped to fit the size of the lower image (2.8/105mm).



S

It certainly IS if non-yellowed copies are used to compare! Smile

A yellowed copy has no place in a set matched for visible spectrum color balance.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:

The Macro-Takumars do not yellow or have thorium glass. Other Takumars with thorium are 1:2/35mm and 1:1.9/85mm, though yellowing seems less common than with the 1:1.4/50mm lenses. The 8-element Super-Takumar 1:1.4/50mm is thorium free.


The Macro-Takumar 4/50mm as well as the Super-Macro-Takumar 4/50mm and the SMC Macro Takumar 4/50mm all are radioactive. The first and the third lens mentioned are listed here (https://camerapedia.fandom.com/wiki/Radioactive_lenses) as being radioactive, the second one is in my possesion, ad it has the typical yellowing of radioctive lenses.

I still can't see how you can recommend the (Super-)Takumars if so many lenses are prone to yellowing and/or re-yellowing after UV treatment ... !

The sets I refer to are very specific -- all are M42 mount, excluding any K-mount or Pentax A or later AF lenses. The coatings on all focal lengths within the specific sets is uniform.

The two Macro-Takumar 1:4/50mm and the Super-Macro-Takumar 1:4/50mm all had the same coatings as my Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 1:4/50mm. Thus a Super-Takumar set wouldn't include one.

visualopsins wrote:

A yellowed copy has no place in a set matched for visible spectrum color balance.

Yes, for sure - but even if you would manage to completely remove the yellow color cast of a thoriated lens (which i doubt), there's still the problem that these lenses immediately after the UV treatment will start againto turn yellow and the brown ... ! Not what I would like to have for a set of filming lenses ...

Sorry about my English - I try to express what i mean, but obviously sometimes i don't succeed. Please don't hesitate to correct me, or to ask if I'm (unintentionally) writing "nonsense". Thanks in advance Wink

S


PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
visualopsins wrote:

The Macro-Takumars do not yellow or have thorium glass. Other Takumars with thorium are 1:2/35mm and 1:1.9/85mm, though yellowing seems less common than with the 1:1.4/50mm lenses. The 8-element Super-Takumar 1:1.4/50mm is thorium free.


The Macro-Takumar 4/50mm as well as the Super-Macro-Takumar 4/50mm and the SMC Macro Takumar 4/50mm all are radioactive. The first and the third lens mentioned are listed here (https://camerapedia.fandom.com/wiki/Radioactive_lenses) as being radioactive, the second one is in my possesion, ad it has the typical yellowing of radioctive lenses.

I still can't see how you can recommend the (Super-)Takumars if so many lenses are prone to yellowing and/or re-yellowing after UV treatment ... !

The sets I refer to are very specific -- all are M42 mount, excluding any K-mount or Pentax A or later AF lenses. The coatings on all focal lengths within the specific sets is uniform.

The two Macro-Takumar 1:4/50mm and the Super-Macro-Takumar 1:4/50mm all had the same coatings as my Super-Multi-Coated Macro-Takumar 1:4/50mm. Thus a Super-Takumar set wouldn't include one.

visualopsins wrote:

A yellowed copy has no place in a set matched for visible spectrum color balance.

Yes, for sure - but even if you would manage to completely remove the yellow color cast of a thoriated lens (which i doubt), there's still the problem that these lenses immediately after the UV treatment will start againto turn yellow and the brown ... ! Not what I would like to have for a set of filming lenses ...

Sorry about my English - I try to express what i mean, but obviously sometimes i don't succeed. Please don't hesitate to correct me, or to ask if I'm (unintentionally) writing "nonsense". Thanks in advance Wink

S


Maybe non-yellowed copies aren't as available in the market now? I had no problem buying clear copies 10-15 years ago. I did purchase some yellow copies to experiment with treatment. Iirc, out of 5 lenses one didn't change, three cleared partially, and one cleared completely. Sorry, sold, I don't know if any re-yellowed. I haven't heard about re-yellowing beginning immediately after de-yellowing... None of the 15 or so M42 55mm models I bought recently, to compare optics, are yellowed. The recently bought Super-Takumar 1:2/35mm "fat boy", listed as radioactive, is clear.

Here are no-X's and others measurements:

http://forum.mflenses.com/radioactivity-of-old-manual-lenses-t25714.html

I read someplace the very low radiation levels in the Macro-Takumars and some others is due to Lanthanum, not Thorium, glass.