A Good Fast Lens to Buy?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by tjdean01, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    I have both Pentax and Konica 50/1.7s and they're both great, sharp from f2.2 (or whatever the next stop is). I had a Super Takumar and it was an amazing lens. 50/1.4 and while it wasn't good at 1.4, it was as good at 1.7 as the other two are at 2.2. So I get a half a stop bokeh from this lens. This is, I don't want this M42 screw mount, yellowing, slightly radioactive lanthium coated lens.

    So, what to replace it with? A Konica 57/1.2 or a Minolta 58/1.2 would be good but these are $400 lenses. So, for around $100, would I be limited to 50mm f1.4 lenses? I know there are more than a few of them. Actually, I had a 57/1.4 (Konica) but actually returned it to the seller because the focus wasn't smooth. I'm kicking myself for not seeing how she did at f1.7...I can't imaging it's better than the Takumar 50/1.4 @ 1.7, but maybe it is. I should try to get that lens again....or one like it.


    Here's the Super Takumar screw mount at f1.7. What other lenses for under $100 are this good or better?

  2. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    If you want a fast lens that is sharp wide open, you will need to fork out a pretty penny (most likely on the new Panny 42.5mm F1.2). All of the legacy 1.2 or 1.4 lenses that I have tried are quite soft wide open and need to be stopped down to around F2 to become sharp. That being said, I did end up keeping the Konica 57mm F1.4 lens. I found this lens to be slightly sharper then most other 1.4 lenses, and I also found it to have the best colour, contrast, and bokeh. Stopping down to 1.7 and it produces some very acceptable results.
  3. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Change your thinking.
    Everything else will kill you quicker than your lens.
    Enjoy it.
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Why bother with legacy stuff? - the Oly 45/1.8 is small, light, has lightening-fast AF, great IQ and in the big scheme if things isn't that expensive. It's very sharp wide open and delivers great character Bokeh.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    the Takumar and Pentax K 55mm f1.8 is a killer lens. Put it on a focal reducer (EOS to M4/3 with eos PK adapter) and you got a 40mm F1.3

    Here it is in action at f2 (F2.8 with focal reducer)

    View attachment 348832

    Oh and I got my SMC pentax K 55mm f1.8 for 60€
  6. dadadude

    dadadude Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2013
    San Carlos, CA
    Minolta Rokkor MC 58mm 1.4. The best $50 you will spend.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. TheRenaissanceMan

    TheRenaissanceMan Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 11, 2013

    Soft and dreamy wide open, razor sharp by f/2, creamy bokeh, and great colors. A bit of an awkward focal length on m43 imo, but a terrific piece of glass.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Mu-43 mobile app
  8. bobpur

    bobpur Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 11, 2014
    Second on the Oly 45mm, I have a drawer full of old fast lenses from Zeiss to Takumars and Helios. The little 45mm beats all of them for sharpness and has
    auto focus.
    In the old ones the Takumar is the best ( forget the BS about Radioactive ) and it can be cleared with an LED desk lamp in a day.
    They are all excellent but if you want to get artsy all have different rendering of color , contrast and background. The best for portrait is my reveunon 55 1.4
    the skin color is the best and gives nice smooth transitions where the Oly 45 is way too sharp and contrasty.
    There is not one the same.
  9. lattiboy

    lattiboy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 16, 2009
    The Konica 50mm f/1.4 is the sharpest 50mm I ever used (and I'm not kidding when I say I've used dozens of them). It's compact, cheap, and dead sharp.

    That said, on MFT, I've found the Konica 40mm f/1.8 to be the most versatile "cheap" lens out there. The FoV is really nice (a standard FF 80mm) and stopped down to f/2.8 it is razor sharp!

    Also, Konica has the smallest non-RF adapters and it's a pancake lens, so the whole thing is roughly the size of a 45mm f/1.8 Oly!
  10. HaViet

    HaViet Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2014
    Hartford, CT
    So OP, what did you end up buying?

    There are so MANY choices in the 50mm range.
  11. Jason C

    Jason C Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2014
    Yep, got mine for $39! I also bought my Konica Hexanon AR 57mm f/1.4 for $39, and I like it a little better than the Minolta...

  12. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I always smile when I read something like this, as the shootout spatulaboy did between the Pana, Oly and Minolta 45s had people guessing wrong about 70% of the time. And it is significantly cheaper. Not all legacy lenses are the same, and each has traveled a different road.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
  13. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Yeah, the M.Zuiko 45mm is excellent, great AF etc etc, but sometimes the old manual 50mm lenses have something you want, some more character.
    I bought my 45mm after a day of hideously wrong focus with a manual lens, but I keep both types and use them all.
  14. The Konica 1.8/40 is NOT sharp at 1.8 - it's downright nasty wide open. Stopped down it is OK, but still not great.

    Orfeo, can you give me a better description of, "the Takumar and Pentax K 55mm f1.8 is a killer lens. Put it on a focal reducer (EOS to M4/3 with eos PK adapter) and you got a 40mm F1.3? What model focal reducer are you recommending for the EOS to M4/3 piece?

    This is an intriguing setup.
  15. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    I love the Minolta Rokkor X 1.4. Although the Olympus OM 1.4 (Later series) could be my new favorite. Yard sale for $25.
  16. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Yellowing SMC Takumar lenses can be cured by exposing them to UV or sunlight. Look on pentaxforums for instructions.

  17. StirlingBartholomew

    StirlingBartholomew New to Mu-43

    Apr 10, 2014
    One reason to use legacy lenses is everyone else is shooting Oly 45/1.8 and you get a different look with old lenses. I have three 50-55mm Pentax lenses from 40-50 years old. The oldest was the standard lens on the Pentax S1a, 55mm F1.8 Super_T. It has really nice look wide open, very soft. You can't get that look with Zuiko digital glass. I also have the Pentax M 85mm f2 which is the least desirable model of the Pentax 85mm f1.7-f2 (several models). My copy is a coke bottle wide open. But decent from f2.8-f8. For only $1000 I could replace it with Zuiko 75mm f1.8+lens hood. That isn't going to happen.
  18. Kwekwe

    Kwekwe Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2014
    Gravesend Brooklyn NY
    Did a video last night with an old Canon FD 50mm F1.4 and it was lovely on my wee GF3 that's been hacked to shoot at 150 megabits per second
  19. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    The "look" of legacy glass is why a lot of people shoot it. This is the OM 50 1.4 wide open.


    The Oly digital lenses are generally very sharp. And when I want that they are great. As another example, the PL25 is definitely less sharp than the Oly75 for example and I really like it too.

    PL25 @ 1.4


    Razor sharp is not always useful or flattering.