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Any recommendations for adapted lenses with "swirly" bokeh in the 40mm-to-55mm range?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Jonathan F/2, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I'd like to know which lens(es) I can adapt that has the swirly/dreamy bokeh-look in the 40mm-to-55mm (the classic portrait) range? I'd imagine a c-mount lens would probably be my best bet, but I'd like to know if there is are any other lenses I should know about. Thanks for any recommendations!
  2. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    My fav was the 35mm Fujian (or is it Fujinon) 1.7. But it's a bit hit or miss in buying that lens, and is just short of your FL.
  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Yeah I have the 25mm 1.4 Fujian c-mount lens, but it's a bit short of being a portrait lens. I think they make a 50mm 1.4 as well, but I was interested to see if there any other lenses that would work with that effect.
  4. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    The Helios 44-2 or 44-3 would be the standard recommendation I suspect. Super-cheap, millions available, great swirly rendering. They're 58mm f/2 and run about $50-60 in great condition M42 mount. Between the two, I prefer the 44-3 for its build and handling. They're both preset apertures.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    I've got a REALLY fun 50mm c-mount lens (the one with the big glass on the front end) that I don't use nearly enough. It's in great shape. Looking for $30 for it.
  6. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    You can make the Panasonic 25/1.4 have swirly bokeh by just putting a mask of the right diameter on the front of the lens. I used a pair of step up rings to hold a mask cut from card stock. Make mask cutout between 21mm and 25mm in diameter depending on how much swirl you want vs. how much vignette.


    Normal (no mask):

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Swirly (with mask and vignetting correction):
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 4
    • Informative Informative x 3
  7. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I would also take a look at the Minolta 58 1.4. Softer wide open (not so swirly) but sharp as a tack at f4. Most copies I see go for $50 or under.
  8. gs3xr_fun

    gs3xr_fun Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 30, 2013
    The Nikkor 55mm 1:1.2 non-Ai have a swirly bokeh.
  9. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Any more ideas of swirly bokeh lenses and soup bubbles bokeh lenses (in M42 mount would be better)?
  10. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 15, 2014
    Helios 44-2 plus focal reducer = 41.2mm f1.4. Without the focal reducer, you lose considerable swirly parts of the image due to crop factor.
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Thank's Gary.
    I tough that it would be the opposite, because the crop factor is x2 (58mm = 116mm) it would result in more shallow DOF for closer subjects and then more swirl blur on distant background elements.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 15, 2014
    I see what you mean, good point. Since you have to get closer to the subject, background will blur more. So there's a trade-off. It could be I just wasn't taking advantage of that without the focal reducer, so I'll have to experiment more.

    ...edit: Oops, I see what I said here doesn't completely make sense - too early in the morning. Anyway, I'll test them again. I might be able to get my carpeting to swirl, but if not, I may have to wait until weekend to get outside and find a leafy background.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  13. Roger

    Roger Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2011
    Western PA
    I vote for the Helios lenses. I have 2 Helios 44-2's and a Helios 44M. They have decent swirl when you try for it but not as much as if you used them on a 35mm camera. I like my 44-2's better than the 44M but the 44M is easier to use (not preset). I think it is sometimes cheaper to buy a Zenit camera with lens than just the lens.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    If you have the Helios and Focus reducer, it would be useful to see sample photos (with, and without focus reducer).
    Thank you.
  15. EdH

    EdH Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 14, 2014
    Devon, UK
    The Zeiss Biotar 75mm f1.5 is super swirly and super expensive. The Russsian Cyclop 85mm f1.5 is cheaper and very swirly but has no diaphragm (I believe it's originally for night vision) so it's permanently wide-open. It is M42 mount and I think it's optical design is based on that of the Biotar 75mm.
    (Edit: The Helios 40-2 is same as the Cyclop but is a conventional camera lens and has a diaphragm. They're still available new.)

    There's also the Biotar 58mm f2 upon which the Helios 44 is based, but it's obviously more expensive.

    I've also got a Haiou-64 58mm f2 which is a Chinese Helios 44 copy with Minolta SR/MD mount which can also sometimes do swirly. Mine seems swirlier than my Helios 44-2 and sharper in the centre wide open.

    It might be that it's harder to get the swirl on a crop sensor (I suppose because we're cropping out the swirliest bits) but on my Helios and the Haiou you have to work pretty hard to get decent swirl. I can't yet do it reliably on either lens. It's still a bit of trial and error.

    Here's one with a little swirl from the Haiou 64:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    P9213971 by Ed Herridge, on Flickr
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Inexpensive one to try.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    There is little quality control on those Fujian 35mm 1.7. One might render well and have a decent look, others (like mine) can be decentered and simply very difficult to get much out of. I guess they are cheap so it's easy to try several examples.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    For the swirl bokeh I've already decided for the Helios 44-2. Nice bokeh and good IQ even wide open.
    I'm going to order one. I'm a bit disapointed with the fact that I may need to buy a focal reducer to get the best of the swirl bokeh, but I'll see when I got it.

    Now I'm looking for a soap bubble bokeh lens. It's a bit different effect from swirl bokeh.
    It is the bokeh one get from the Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 50mm f2.9.
    Problem is the one Meyer Trioplan I've found doesn't have a M42 mount and need to be adapted...
    I hope there's some cheap option. I value IQ also.
  19. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    It's a bit longer than what you're looking for, but the C-mount Computar 75mm f/1.4 offers some swirly bokeh as you can see here.
  20. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    I'm definitely going to try it.
    Looks good and this way one can keep the excellent IQ of the Pana/Leica.
    Do you have any picture of your costume made mask?
    • Agree Agree x 1
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