28-35mm purchase question

Machi

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Slightly off your specifications with focal length ~36-37mm and overall cost 120-130€ but
I quite like combination of Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 and Roxsen focal reducer.
This combination can be both sharp at f/2.8-f/5.6 or very fast with up to f/1 for night shooting.
Both are multicoated.
This combo has one disadvantage and it's violet veil in photos when shooting against Sun with darker background
(visible in second photo).

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carrots99

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From all the suggestions, and after I've read things on various sites and forums, including around here, this is my list for a potential purchase, considering all cons and pros of each lens:

- Minolta MC Rokkor SI 28mm f/2.5 (prone to yellowing of inner rear element)
- Olympus OM-SYSTEM G.ZUIKO AUTO-W 28mm f/3.5 (the f2 version would be better but more expensive)
- Meyer-Optik Görlitz Lydith 3.5/30 (the zebra version looks really cool and should be spot-on on my Oly body)
- Vivitar 28mm f2.8 MC Close Focus
- Canon FD 28mm f/2.8 S.C.
 

3dpan

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Just curious why you would choose the G.Zuiko instead of the later Zuiko MC, and why f/3.5 instead of the faster f/2.8 ? Not saying you're wrong, just curious in your reasoning.
 

carrots99

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Just curious why you would choose the G.Zuiko instead of the later Zuiko MC, and why f/3.5 instead of the faster f/2.8 ? Not saying you're wrong, just curious in your reasoning.
Just because I was thinking on spending less, but yes you're right, I could or should wait a bit longer and get a faster (and coated) version of the Olympus if I choose to buy it
 

tkbslc

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I can't imagine any of these are going to be even remotely in the same ballpark in terms of sharpness and contrast as your 12-60mm at 28mm unless you stop it down to f8. Since you are going for f2.8-3.5 lenses, there is no aperture advantage. I don't think you are going to get enough "character" at f2.8+ to make this worth the purchase. I'd save your money towards something you really want (like the Nokton you mentioned above).

Sorry, I was supposed to ask before replying again...
 

The Grumpy Snapper

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Just curious why you would choose the G.Zuiko instead of the later Zuiko MC, and why f/3.5 instead of the faster f/2.8 ? Not saying you're wrong, just curious in your reasoning.
I was wondering that. I have the f/2.8 version lying around somewhere. I actually prefer it to the OM 24mm f/2.8 on m4/3 but that may be because the 24mm suffered decades of hard use and has internal water marks from being submerged in Georgian Bay and dried out in an oven. My 28mm is mint as it wasn't part of my daily use kit.

I must admit to eyeing up the Kamlan 28mm f/1.4 as a slightly long standard on m4/3 and a wide standard on APS-C.
 

carrots99

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Thank you @tkbslc and @The Grumpy Snapper ...you may be right with your observations...I was just thinking on acquiring such lens so that I could use it as an "all around" street and travel lens, especially for being small and more portable than the 12-60 and that I could easily use to take some shots without needing extra wide angles provided by the 12-60 or any other wider lens.
 

felipegeek

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@carrots99 I have a Minolta MD 28mm 2.5 and it definitely has the yellowing optics. It's also rather large and heavy compared to to the MD 28mm 2.8. My copy of the latter is not sharp so I don't use it much. I should look for a good copy of the 2.8 as it's small size makes it a good all day carry lens.

I also have an MD 35mm 2.8 which I love. It has a quality about it that compliments nicely with the MD 50mm 1.4 (late 49mm filter version) and the MD 100mm 2.5. It close focuses at about 10 inches which makes it a favorite for flowers and such. The only drawback is infinity focus being at the 20ft mark on the barrel, at least with the generic adapter I have it mounted to.
 

carrots99

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@carrots99 I have a Minolta MD 28mm 2.5 and it definitely has the yellowing optics. It's also rather large and heavy compared to to the MD 28mm 2.8. My copy of the latter is not sharp so I don't use it much. I should look for a good copy of the 2.8 as it's small size makes it a good all day carry lens.

I also have an MD 35mm 2.8 which I love. It has a quality about it that compliments nicely with the MD 50mm 1.4 (late 49mm filter version) and the MD 100mm 2.5. It close focuses at about 10 inches which makes it a favorite for flowers and such. The only drawback is infinity focus being at the 20ft mark on the barrel, at least with the generic adapter I have it mounted to.
I've ended up buying a Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm F3.5, especially because of its small size / IQ ratio.

Tell me one thing to feed my curiosity : despite its size and weight, is the Minolta 28mm f2.5 really sharp enough that makes it stand from any other 28mm lens, or not really?

Thanks and happy holidays!
 

felipegeek

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@carrots99
I can't say without any other adapted lenses from other brands at the 28mm focal length. I conducted a wholly unscientific test just now with the 28mm 2.5, 28mm 2.8 and 35mm 2.8 on an E-M1 mk1 1/40th, ISO 400, f5.6. RAW converted to JPG. Subject is about 15ft away. I focused on the left lamp and used the magnifier to finesse it. Cropped the image to about 35% of frame with no other changes.

The 28mm 2.5 seems to me to have a slight edge in the lot. This is a very primitive test judging by the dust and edges of the bulb. I don't see differences between them in this case matter much in any practical sense. Real world use in situations that bring out the individual qualities and weaknesses of each of the lenses would be needed for useful objective test.
 

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Paul C

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Buy the 7artisans 35mm f1.2. The compact size, native mount, wide aperture, vintage look, and cheap price make it great.
I have this In x mount and it's my favorite lens. Sharp enough for landscape, fast enough for low light and portraits. Highly recommend. Only negative is the lack of coating, but it's rarely been a problem for me.
I agree with this sentiment: the arrival of inexpensive "Generic" Chinese MF lenses with a M4/3 mount has changed the options compared with just a few years ago.

I tried lots of adapted lenses - but as the years go by and I can afford to add more native M4/3 lenses into my camera bag the need for adapted lenses falls away. Without the converter/adapter - I can often fit 2 native lenses into my camera bag where one adapted lens once sat.

I love the Meike 25mm F1.8 - it comes in native M4/3 mount. Head-to-head it was tested to come out just a bit better than the 7-Artisans equivalent. It is very small in size - like an old OM 28mm F3.5 that I once owned. The focus is smooth, Micro contrast is good, and the colour great - just the feel I wanted from a "legacy" lens in a modern inexpensive lens.

I also have a Cheecar 50mm F1.8 in M4/3 native mount that is optically good - but not quite so smooth mechanically as the Meike. The alternative Meike 50mm F2.0 is a problem - at wide apertures edge sharpness really does take a hit - but a mark II version 50mm/F1.7 Meike has just been released with very good reviews....so perhapse that wil be my next purchase.

As always with any "APSC" or "full frame" size lens used on M4/3 - the lens hood is criticial for stopping out of image light that will otherwise be creating internal reflections from the "wasted" lens surfaces outside the M4/3 crop area that kills colour and contrast. I use the big "three-position" fold out rubber ones designed for telephot0 full-frame lenses.

As with earlier postings on this thread - I did like using adapted 24mm and 28mm "macro" lenses in the past. I have about 6 of them in various brands that I tried out and used. These typically went to 1:4 ratio and work well as manual control "standard" lenses on my M4/3 bodies - great for close up still life and at 2-4 m distance for 3/4 portraits.

Then who wouldn't also want a 50mm F1.7 - 1.8 - to make a fast "100mm" equivalent portrait lens for head and shoulders shots? I found the OM 50mm F1.8 and Pentax SMC 50mm F1.7 to adapt well to M4/3....but again, buying inexpensive new native M4/3 mount lenses results in more convenient sizes and cleaner optics....and those legacy lenses are packed away now.

Chosing which legacy lens brand was best was more closely related to the deterioration of the lens over time in each individual lens than make or model. Sadly - legacy lenses leach gas from the plastics and grease as a layer of "haze"on the internal lens elements -- and after 30-50 years have had ample time to do just that....and this explains why the same lens can be rated so differently by different owners on websites such as the fabulous PENTAX-FORUM database.
  • Just Google "Lens Haze" to see what others have seen
  • That cherished "glow" and "bloom" of old lenses may well be a layer of vaporised oil on the lens!
    • If you have the skill to strip, clean and reassenble a legacy lens then prepare to be amazed by the "before and after" pictures that result.
    • Doing this is no mean feat - as you need lens wrench tools, patience and a lens test bench to ensure the lens elements go back together accurately "on-axis" to avoid the decentering that blights many kitchen table repairers on eBay.
      • My advice - always refuse to buy the lenses with the telltale loss of paint where the lens wrench fits into the slots on the front of any secondhand lens. My guess is that all have had haze and fungus scrubbed away from internal lens elements before being manhandled back together and sold as "mint".
    • Furthermore this "repair" mentality risks real damage to complex lens designs where cemented "compound lens elements" come apart separating the lens balsam with dire results. This latter happens spontaneously in legacy zoom lenses - and is one reason why so many of the 2-touch Zukio OM 70-150mm zooms show such bizzare internal lens crescent patterns.
      • Only try cleaning on very simple lens designs - typically the short telephotos or "standard lenses" of the 1970s-80s that typically used only 4-5 internal lens elements with no compound lens elements needed.
      • Wide-angle legacy lenses, in contrast, often have a compound front or "second" group, and far less tolerance for "home repairs"

The only lenses where legacy glass still seems a better bet to me now is
  1. MID TELEPHOTO: My choice is to adapt the Nikon-E 100mm F2.8. This is a very simple plastic short and lightweight lens with great image quality that adapts well to make a fast "200mm" equivalent on M4/3 - great for headshot portraits and for isolating subjects in a landscape...at a fraction of the cost of the current M4/3 wide aperture professional zooms
    • The Pentax smc 100mm F2.8 is a good alternative.
    • The OM 100mm F2 is a costly alternative - but gains closer focus by virtue of a complex internal design of 7-8 lenses with floating elements that massively increases the haze risk compared with the simpler 4 elements in 4 groups design of the Nikon E and 5E/5G design of the pentax.
  2. TRUE MACRO LENSES: I still like the Vivitar 55mm macro lens made by Komine - this is a true 1:1 macro, is built to fantastic standards, and works really well adapted to M4/3. AF and OIS are no advantage here, so legacy macro lenses can add a lot to your camera bag capability for little cost compare with the native M4/3 alternatives (though I seem to see a trend that old "true macros" from the film era are fetching higher and higher prices on eBay than even a few years ago)
    Screen Shot 2019-12-27 at 22.48.52.png
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