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Your Top Ten Classic Lenses
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Alex, the Minolta 35-70 Macro, the Fujian and
the 1.6/33 mm Wesley are on my 11 to 20 List... Like 1 small


PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Wolfgang Like 1 small


PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Until now the proportion of the mentioned primes and zooms is as following:



PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here is a distribution of the named top lenses by their focal lengths, grouped into categories.

As long as zooms transcend the boundaries, I took the lowest FL value of each zoom (even if you might have got them for other preferred FLs). U-wides are 15mm to 22mm. I am not sure all of you accept putting lenses from 70mm to 120 into one category, so correct me please if you disagree. All tele and zooms starting from 300mm and up to 1000mm are put into one 300+ category.




PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My selection of current personal favourites, several of which are as much for their quirky nature in use (most still producing good results).
In no particular order:

My adapted 50mm/1.2 projector lens
the 24mm/2.8 for Pentax Auto 110 (just about covers APSC)
Pentax DA 10-17 fisheye zoom
Panagor 500mm/8 mirror lens (the only mirror lens I have that's light enough to be used with the Techart pro)
My 1930's Shuttered Kodak 105mm/6.3 Anastigmat
Pentax 50mm/1.7 (M or F versions, the A series is too cheaply made)
Cosina 100mm/3.5 Macro (I prefer it to my Tamron SP90 macro due to lighter weight & cleaner condition)
Industar 50 (collapsible LTM 50mm/3.5)
My focal reducer (I'd prefer the metabones but only have an RJ version)
An adapted 0.7x-0.45x c-mount long working distance microscope objective.

Admittedly there are more AF zooms that get used more than these, but that's simply down to convenience.
A few of the items might be replaced by others on a regular basis, but you don't want a top 15 so I'll leave it there. Laugh 1


PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also gravitate towards inexpensive lenses, due to extreme value
as compared to modern electronic variants.
I have been very fortunate, in that my 'classic' lenses all are
extremely clean copies, without heavy wear and with super-clean optics.
My collection numbers only a few lenses, simply due to focal lengths being covered
quite well already.

I'm only going to list 3:

1 - Tamron 27A: SP 28-80 f/3.5-4.2 BBAR MC Adaptall-2
Cost: $28 US
--Colors & sharpness; build quality are excellent.
This is my most frequently-used lens.
In spite of being nearly all metal and glass construction, it's small and lightweight.
Zoom range is just perfect for most situations of my interest.

2 - Soligor(Tokina) 400 f/6.3
Cost: $29 US
--Huge & long but lightweight, build quality excellent.
Only very mild CA for early-1970s lens, its weight is small but it delivers in good light.
Very good for shooting birds from a tripod out my back door.

3 - Tamron 23A: SP 60-300 f/3.8-5.4 BBAR MC Adaptall-2
Cost: $60 US
--"The Zoom that thinks it's a Prime"
This one is as heavy as it is large, but build and image quality are first-rate.
No tripod mount ever offered, but easily fixed with a cheap aftermarket ring
for Canon A(W) and insert material. Mine must be used horizontally and/or on a tripod
due to zoom creep, but I don't use 300mm pointing up.



I'll make honorable mentions of the Soligor C/D 500 f/8 T2 CAT and Soligor(Tokina) 75-260 f/4.5 M42
in my signature, as they both look nearly new and untampered with. There are some others in my sig
and a few that are not, which I have not yet given a fair tryout.


PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Kiron (Panagor) 4/21mm
2. CANON 2.8/24mm
3. CANON FD 2/28mm
4. Zeiss Flektogon 2.4/35mm, SMC Pentax-M 2/35
5. Rollei Distagon/ Voigtländer Skoparex 2.8/35
6. Rollei Planar, Voigtländer Ultron 1.8/50 (all versions)
7. Mamiya 1.4/55mm, Zeiss Prakticar 1.4/50mm
8. CANON FD 1.2/85mm, Rollei HFT Sonnar 2.8/85mm
9. Meyer Orestor 2.8/100mm
10. Meyer Orestor 2.8/135mm, Zeiss Sonnar MC 3.5/135mm
11. Jupiter 4/200mm, Jupiter 2.8/180mm

With some exceptions this is kinda budget list and i like it that way.


PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Rollei Zeiss 85mm 2.8
2. Pentax K 50mm 1.2
3. Minolta Rokkor MC 24mm 2.8
4. Minolta Rokkor MC 100mm 2.5
5. Pentax Super Takumar 85mm 1.9
6. Olympus Zuiko 55mm 3.5 macro
7. Konica hexanon 135mm 3.2
8. Rollei Zeiss Ultron 50mm 1.8
9. Pentax K 35mm 3.5
10. Minolta Rokkor MD 50mm 1.2

more or less my most used lenses, in kind of the right order


PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Zeiss 18mm f/4 MM
2. Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 AE
3. Zeiss PC-Distagon 35mm f/2.8
4. Zeiss 50mm f/1.7 MM
5. Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 MM
6. Canon FD 20-35mm L
7. Canon FD 28-85mm f/4
8. Canon FD 135mm f/2
9. Olympus OM 24mm f/2.8
10. Tamron SP 24-48mm

All of the above, with one exception, are lenses I’ve sold, lost or broken but felt the need to buy again. A good test I feel.

I rarely use anything above 135mm so, aside from the lack of AF, could mostly live with that set on an FF Mirrorless.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order of focal length:

Olympus OM Zuiko 24mm f2.8 - Sharp and tiny, moderate CA but easily corrected
Nikon 28mm f2 Ai-S - Seemingly good at everything, very crisp sunstars from f2.8
Carl Zeiss Distagon 35mm f1.4 - Superb performer as expected considering the cost
Nikon 55mm f2.8 Micro-nikkor - Possibly the sharpest and most consistent lens I've ever used
Mamiya 65mm f4 L-A - Wonderful rendering on 6x7 not tried it on digital
Mamiya 80mm f2.8 - Very nice bokeh, better than the f1.9, excellent on an extension tube
Mamiya 150mm f2.8 A - My favourite lens, sharp and lovely bokeh
Mamiya 200mm f2.8 APO - A lens that I've tried for years to get for sensible money
Nikon 300mm f2.8 EDIF - Nothing else to compare it to but it's always performed brilliantly

Tamron SP 35-80mm f2.8-3.8 - Possibly the best classic zoom lens I know of (rivalled only by the zeiss 35-70)


PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CZJ Tessar 2.8/50
Fujinon 2.2/55
Enna 3.5/35
Meyer 3.5/30
CZJ Pancolar 2/50
Takumar 3.5/35
Schacht 3.5/35
Steinheil 3.5/100
Petri Orikkor 2/50
Schneider Xenon 1.9/50


PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Favourites = the ones yielding the best snaps is dependent on motive and what sits on the camera at that time. Hence I do not have systematic rankings based on sharpness and contrast.

My various optical devices have accumulated over the years - partly by chancing to spot a cheap item, partly through an early interest in the history of their manufacturers. Having used several formats sized from Linhof 6x9 cm down to pocket sized Minox I have temporarily given up developing and printing and settled for MFT with Metabones speedboosters plus a few of the excellent , but huge and cumbersome, 4/3s optics.

In the past week I have been using my MFT camera partly with the usually very good Zeiss Contax mounts 28-85 and 100-300, but for my particular motive one day, a Nikon AiS 18mm f3,5 beat them due to its wider field of view, in spite of its not entirely sharp corners.

Today I used a favourite indoors optic, the Schneider xenon 50mft 0,95, but its depth of field is too shallow when fully open, so I stopped down to 1,4 and was very pleased.

Others here have given praise to Zeiss Jena, and I concur, the 80mm made after they revised their numbering system can compete with its west-German close relatives.

In conclusion; favouritism is bound to depend so much on chance that those who may use this netsite to gain useful advice on optical and mechanical quality should beware of following this thread for that purpose.

p.
orthographic edits only


Last edited by paulhofseth on Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:23 am; edited 2 times in total


PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My classic 10

Olympus OM 21mm 2.8
Mamiya Sekor CS 35mm 2.8 superb
Minolta MD III Macro 35-70mm 3.5 but beyond the 35mm setting
Olympus OM 50mm 1.4 6xxK serial number and no complaints
Mamiya Sekor SX 55mm 1.8 for landscapes
Tokina AT-X 90mm 2.5
Olympus OM 100mm 2.8
Canon FD SC 135mm 2.5 for the Ernostar/Sonnar rendering
Minolta MD III 135mm 3.5
Minolta MD I 200mm 4.0

To fill in the focal length gaps or on character, less popular, not all manual and one OEM:

Tokina AT-X Pro 17mm 3.5 too big/heavy though
Canon EF 24mm 2.8 as good as the nFD or OM 24mm 2.8
Sony FE 28mm 2.0 similar quality in classic manual not at the same price/performance
Ricoh (FF1) 35mm 2.8 real pancake with triangular aperture
Canon EF STM 40mm 2.8 better than all 40-45mm manual classics
Canonet 45mm 1.9 its size and character
Color Yashinon (Electro 35 GS) DX 45mm 1.7 better optic than the Canonet
Classic Sigma EX DG 70mm 2.8 Macro (non Art) or otherwise the
Umax Mirage II 75mm 5.6? scanner lens, more versatile than thought


PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never let possession of equivalent FL or even the same make and model of lenses influence my decisions on lenses. That makes it easy to collect hundreds of lenses in support my lens acquisition affliction. I must have 8 or 10 schneider tele arton and meyer helioplan. I know I have at least 6 konica 57mm 1.4. But I am making a concerted (read "feeble")effort to offload some of the mountains of ancillary junk that tends to come in association with cameras and lens lots.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamaeolus wrote:
I never let possession of equivalent FL or even the same make and model of lenses influence my decisions on lenses. That makes it easy to collect hundreds of lenses in support my lens acquisition affliction. I must have 8 or 10 schneider tele arton and meyer helioplan. I know I have at least 6 konica 57mm 1.4. But I am making a concerted (read "feeble")effort to offload some of the mountains of ancillary junk that tends to come in association with cameras and lens lots.


Congrats !!!!

I have only one hexanon 57/1,4. IT's a chrome ring, ámbar coated, with EE Mark, series 733xxxx.

Did you see any difference among the oldest and the all black newer 57/1,4 hexanon in IQ department?

Thank you


PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

papasito wrote:
jamaeolus wrote:
I never let possession of equivalent FL or even the same make and model of lenses influence my decisions on lenses. That makes it easy to collect hundreds of lenses in support my lens acquisition affliction. I must have 8 or 10 schneider tele arton and meyer helioplan. I know I have at least 6 konica 57mm 1.4. But I am making a concerted (read "feeble")effort to offload some of the mountains of ancillary junk that tends to come in association with cameras and lens lots.


Congrats !!!!

I have only one hexanon 57/1,4. IT's a chrome ring, ámbar coated, with EE Mark, series 733xxxx.

Did you see any difference among the oldest and the all black newer 57/1,4 hexanon in IQ department?

Thank you


I see no differences between these lenses. Samples:

Hexanon AR 57/1.4 Black

#1


Hexanon AR 57/1.4 Silver Ring

#2


PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oldhand wrote:
papasito wrote:
jamaeolus wrote:
I never let possession of equivalent FL or even the same make and model of lenses influence my decisions on lenses. That makes it easy to collect hundreds of lenses in support my lens acquisition affliction. I must have 8 or 10 schneider tele arton and meyer helioplan. I know I have at least 6 konica 57mm 1.4. But I am making a concerted (read "feeble")effort to offload some of the mountains of ancillary junk that tends to come in association with cameras and lens lots.


Congrats !!!!

I have only one hexanon 57/1,4. IT's a chrome ring, ámbar coated, with EE Mark, series 733xxxx.

Did you see any difference among the oldest and the all black newer 57/1,4 hexanon in IQ department?

Thank you


I see no differences between these lenses. Samples:

Hexanon AR 57/1.4 Black

#1


Hexanon AR 57/1.4 Silver Ring

#2


I agree. If there are, negligible yo my eyes.

Thank you, very much.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot make a top ten choice. Easier to name a few of my least favourite lenses that I own:

Prinzflex Auto MC 1:3.3 F=200mm
Auto-Panagor Macro Zoom 1:4 75-150mm
Auto Exaktar 35mm F2.8
and maybe a bit more controversial the Meyer/Pentacon 200mm F4


PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

papasito wrote:

I agree. If there are, negligible yo my eyes.

Thank you, very much.


The only real difference between the two Hexanon AR 1.4/57 lenses apart from their looks, is that the silver ring lens has full aperture stops only, while the black model has half-stops as well.
The silver ring model looks a little "cooler" to some - ie more fashionable Smile
I prefer the black model for the extra aperture control
Tom


PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for the last few years i have been buying lenses faster than i can try them out ...up until now have been to busy ......not in any order

Rokkor 50-135mm F3.5
rokkor 35-70 macro F3,5
viv S1 28-90 F2.8-3.5
favorite 50 at the mo fujinon 55mmF1,8 ...replaced my FDn50 F1.4
jupiter 135F4
tak 35mm F3.5
sigma 70-200 APO ..sharper than my rokkor 70-200f4..going to test it against my new viv 70-210 vr3

lens i wish i not sell (before i had MILC it was on FD mount ) and looking for another sigma 50-200 f3.5-4.5 APO


PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tough to narrow it down to ten. Best thoughts at the moment:

1 - Vivitar 90mm f/2.5 Macro - Simply the best lens ever made. Soooo sharp.
2 - Canon nFD 24mm f/2.0 - I liked it a lot on film; on µ4/3 it's my favourite normal.
3 - Mayer Optik Goerlitz Trioplan 100mm f/2.8 - the bokeh king.
4 - Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 - so beautiful to hold and handle; lovely bokeh.
5 - Canon nFD 50mm f/1.2L - my favourite lens to take portraits with.
6 - Canon nFD 100mm f/2 - sharp, solid all-around performer.
7 - Helios 44-3 58mm f/2 - the best of the 44's; the dictionary definition of classic.
8 - Volna-9 50mm f/2.8 Macro - artistic bokeh beautiful for macro and portraiture.
9 - Canon nFD 20mm f/2.8 - there's something magic about it; I like everything I shoot with it.
10 - Canon nFD 50mm f/1.4 - my most-used lens ever for good reason: it does everything great.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eeec wrote:
Tough to narrow it down to ten. Best thoughts at the moment:

1 - Vivitar 90mm f/2.5 Macro - Simply the best lens ever made. Soooo sharp.
2 - Canon nFD 24mm f/2.0 - I liked it a lot on film; on µ4/3 it's my favourite normal.
3 - Mayer Optik Goerlitz Trioplan 100mm f/2.8 - the bokeh king.
4 - Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 - so beautiful to hold and handle; lovely bokeh.
5 - Canon nFD 50mm f/1.2L - my favourite lens to take portraits with.
6 - Canon nFD 100mm f/2 - sharp, solid all-around performer.
7 - Helios 44-3 58mm f/2 - the best of the 44's; the dictionary definition of classic.
8 - Volna-9 50mm f/2.8 Macro - artistic bokeh beautiful for macro and portraiture.
9 - Canon nFD 20mm f/2.8 - there's something magic about it; I like everything I shoot with it.
10 - Canon nFD 50mm f/1.4 - my most-used lens ever for good reason: it does everything great.


Thank you.
Do you like the nFD 50/1,4 more than the older FD 50/1,4?

Why?


PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My problem with nFD is the bearings for focusing are plastic which in many case have degraded/degrade... That's what happened with my nFD 24 mm 2.8 and led me to give it away and only buy Minolta MD. This should not be the case for FD SSC...nor for high range lenses (L,...) who should be allright though... You may also choose Olympus, Pentax as alternatives.
One of the main advantages of legacy lenses is robustness...


PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antoine wrote:
My problem with nFD is the bearings for focusing are plastic which in many case have degraded/degrade... That's what happened with my nFD 24 mm 2.8 and led me to give it away and only buy Minolta MD. This should not be the case for FD SSC...nor for high range lenses (L,...) who should be allright though... You may also choose Olympus, Pentax as alternatives.
One of the main advantages of legacy lenses is robustness...


Thx Antoine


PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antoine wrote:
My problem with nFD is the bearings for focusing are plastic which in many case have degraded/degrade... That's what happened with my nFD 24 mm 2.8 and led me to give it away and only buy Minolta MD. This should not be the case for FD SSC...nor for high range lenses (L,...) who should be allright though... You may also choose Olympus, Pentax as alternatives.
One of the main advantages of legacy lenses is robustness...

Plastic bearings are okay when they are not overstressed.
Canon pioneered them and the first implementation wasn't always spot on.

FDn 50/1.4 does not exhibit bushing failure BTW.