best legacy 85mm prime lens.

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by colbycheese, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    i wanted to get an 85mm lens to do some video with. I was looking at the rokinon 85mm but i would prefer to get a legacy to save some money. my question is what are the best legacy 85mm lenses
  2. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:

    I've dealt with KEH numerous times over about a decade, they are great to deal with and prices close to eBay (although I often buy on KEH and sell on eBay to fully cover costs + add a little to my kitty)

    I'd say almost any of the older legacy lenses in that focal length will be outstanding, the differences invisible on a print to anyone except you.[]=Fixed+Focal+Length+Lenses,+Mfg

    If you don't already have any legacy lenses I'd probably put my money on either the Minolta or the FD as being bang for buck (NB, equal bang half the bucks) of almost anything else in that list.

    As it happens I love the quality FD adapters from Ciecio7 (and I seem to have no problem attaching and detaching unlike some I read of here) and so I'd probably look at the FD85mm f1.8 for less than $300 on that list ... but if I didn't have my investment in FD already then that Konica would attract me.
  3. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Real Name:
  4. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    was also thinking about the 85mm opteka for nikon mount. They are around 99 bucks us but i don't know much about the lens if its anygood. Also i will browse KEH for deals
  5. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    The Pentax-A* 85mm f1.4 or the Canon FD 85mm f1.2 L are the best legacy 85mm lenses you can buy.
  6. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 15, 2014
    You can rent a Canon FD 85mm f1.2 L super cheap from this place:

    If renting isn't an option, the 85/1.2 is way too expensive to buy, probably because it's famous. The FD 85 f1.8 OTOH is affordable. It's sharp stopped down and has a cinematic look. But I don't think it would cost a lot less than the Samyang, which is sharp wide open.
  7. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I am a fan if the C/Y Planar 85/1.4 but that will be much steeper also.

    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
    If this decision is about saving money and also about 'the best', then go for the Rokinon. The best legacy 85's are more expensive than the Rokinon (granted, they're also built far better and don't fall apart as easily).

    But here are some of the 'best.'

    Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L
    Zeiss (C/Y mount) Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 (the Zeiss 85mm f/1.2 is even better, but is absurdly expensive)
    Olympus 90mm f/2 Macro
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:
    to the OP I'll reply to this post:
    and say that at one time I tried to standardize on OM mount lenses over FD mount reasons were that the OM lenses are great (often better than the FD, but at least equal). The reason for this was twofold:

    The physical direction you turn the aperture and the focus ring is consistent within a brand, knowing this and learning this really helps you get a feel for things and that muscle memory makes it easier to focus and set aperture quickly.

    I can use the OM lenses on both my EOS and OM-1 cameras.

    as it happens I really do prefer where the aperture ring is located on the OM lenses and also I often like to take out the pin from the OM adapter so that it never engages the iris. This allows me to focus quickly wide open; then the masterstroke of the OM design is that the Depth of Field preview button on the OM lenses is on the lens barrel. So I can then press and hold this as I take (allowing a moment to have it settle and get the light reading) and take knowing that I've focused open and taken stopped down.

    The fact that my FD300f4 is such a beautiful lens (as is my FD50f1.4) makes this a difficult choice. I used to own also the OM 300mm f4.5 and while it was also an excellent optic, I found that the focus smoothness of the FD (being an Inner Focus mechanism) and the quick release holder made that my preferred choice in 300mm ... thus I've not rationalised as I'd like to have.

  10. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    If you're buying this lens for video, why not consider the Rokinon Cine version. They take the ball bearings out of the aperture ring and it will turn smoothly and silently. I found that's important when shooting video in changing light. None of my legacy lenses are cine lenses, and my camera always gets a jolt when I turn the ring. Some testers also think the newer Rokinon 85 is a bit sharper too.

    I have the older Rokinon 85 f1.4. My FD 85mm f1.8 was a lot cheaper. I prefer the smaller FD.
  11. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
  12. docfox

    docfox Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 26, 2011
    Hatfield, PA
    I like the 85 mm f/2.0 Zuiko (third from left) designed for the Olympus OM series.



    It is light weight, fast, of solid construction and excellent optical performance. I like it for catography using my 4/3 and m4/3 cameras.


    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
    • Like Like x 2
  13. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Real Name:
    I love my Nikkor 85mm/2.