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Best lenses you've *ever* used?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by nickthetasmaniac, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Just for a bit of interesting discussion, what are your three favourite lenses ever? They can be from any format or style, and they don't necessarily have to be the most technically perfect. just the ones that you've enjoyed most :smile:

    No one wants to see an endless list of lenses so please keep it to three and add a little explanation if you like! Perhaps add one image taken with each lens too.

    For me it'd be the following, in no particular order:

    - SMC Pentax DA Limited 1:2.8 35mm Macro - beautifully made and a perfect 'normal' length when used on APS. 1:1 macro, decent speed and sharp at infinity make it hugely versatile. The Pentax Limiteds are something else :smile:

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    - Zuiko Digital 12-60/f2.8-4 SWD - the workhorse. Fast enough, long enough, wide enough, great IQ, sealed and built like a tank. This was the reason I jumped to Four Thirds in the first place and I think it's just about the perfect dSLR travel lens.

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    - Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 25/f0.95 - Like the 35mm Limited, this shows how versatile a prime can be, except it does it even better :smile: Obviously, it's an f0.95, which is very fast... But it's also super sharp from f1.4 onwards, has gorgeous bokeh, renders beautiful star-bursts, focusses down to 15cm, and, perhaps most importantly, is built like a lens should be built. The best lens on the market today? I think so :wink:

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  2. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    I use lenses from 3 manufacturers, so I'll pick 1 from each.

    1. Leica (R) 100 / 2.8 APO macro
    2. OM Zuiko 38 / 2.8 macro (bellows)
    3. Nikon 28-70 / 2.8 zoom
  3. NicolasGOD

    NicolasGOD Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2011
    Riyadh, KSA / France
    For Me

    Nikon 85mm f2 AIS, compact and lightweight tele, really sharp
    Carl Zeiss sonar ZM 50 f1.5, I like the 3D effect of the Carl Zeiss optics, sharpness is there too, and a nice bokeh full open
    Minolta MD M rokkor 90 f4, really a nice lens, only Minolta lens made in Germany, super sharp.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I really like the Zuiko 14-54mm and Zuiko 50-200mm SWD lenses. They perform so well at any aperture, yet they're both so well balanced and compact for their nature. There's just something about the design of those lenses that really feels good...
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    I also love my G.Zuiko 50mm f/1.4. The colors and smoothness of that lens is superb, as well as its fluid handling. The wide open glow is just pleasant, and it looks damn sexy, too...

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    I also love my Jupiter-3. This one is kind of an odd-ball lens as it's not the sharpest or what most of us would call the best performer. It also requires a rather long focus distance. However, the images it takes stopped down are just irreplaceable. It just gives this warm feeling that can't be reproduced easily.

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  5. Kosta

    Kosta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 29, 2010

    hard to pick...

    I favour compact portability combined with ergonomics and image character....

    I'd start with my 50mm Leica M Summicron Rigid
    I also love the OM Zuiko 24mm 2.8
    CV Nokton 25mm 0.95

    hard to pick a third at the moment...
  6. Dangermouse1968

    Dangermouse1968 Mu-43 Regular

    May 26, 2011
    The 65 mm on my Mamiya II was quite stunning :) 
  7. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    My three favorite lenses that I have now are:

    Nokton 25 mm for micro 4/3.
    Wonderful image quality and creative possibilities. It is a joy to use

    Olympus 11-22 mm 4/3 lens
    Fantastic image quality and such a useful range.

    Olympus 50-200 mm 4/3 lens
    Great image quality and works so well with the 1.4 x converter. Oh how I want a micro 4/3 version of this lens.
  8. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    +1 :smile:
  9. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Dublin, IE
    The best lens I have ever used was the Olympus OM 90mm f/2 Macro. Selling it was one of my biggest mistakes. Sometimes I want to buy it again but the prices right now are very high.
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  10. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    1. Nikon PC-Nikkor 28/3.5 on the Nikon F3. Beautiful colours, and I still miss a shift lens up to these days.
    2. Minolta MD Tele Rokkor 100/2.5 on the Minolta SR-T303b. Small and beautiful. Its younger brother MD 100/2.5 performs great on my GH2 as well!
    3. Minolta MD Macro 100/4 on the GH2. Never had such a stunning lens before; it must have been out of this world on a 35mm camera.
  11. harry_s

    harry_s Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    Nikon 80-200 2.8 AF-S

    I found one second hand for £500 at a time when I had only previously used slow 70-300s. They're worth an awful lot more than that so I got lucky, really. The tracking AF is the quickest I've experienced to this day (quicker than the 70-200 2.8 VR in my experience) and it helped me sell pictures to global car manufacturers even though it was only bolted to a tired Nikon D50.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/harry_s/930081016/" title="Fowlers Motorcycles Motostar Meeting by Harry_S, on Flickr">
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    "640" height="427" alt="Fowlers Motorcycles Motostar Meeting"></a>
  12. stanleyk

    stanleyk Guest

    May 26, 2010
    I'm with Nick on the 35mm. It's really great.

    Also the Pentax 31mm. That lens is just incredible and worth it's somewhat steep price. It's a shame Pentax isn't better known. The K5 is a really great camera.

    I'd also throw in the Super Takumar 85mm F1.8. Very few lenses are really good at their maximum aperture. That one is.

    I hope they do something mirrorless with Ricoh.

    Actually the Q is quite interesting and I would encourage anyone who is curious to read Steve Huff's review which he posted yesterday. I still think it's too expensive, but like the K5, the build quality appears to be exceptional with a magnesium alloy body. That may to some degree explain the pricing.
  13. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I'd happily travel the world with just a K-5 and 31mm Limited.... :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  14. kundalini

    kundalini Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2011
    It would be easy for me to say the Nikkor Holy Trinity because they fit in one of my bags.....


    ..... yet if I only were to chose three, I would pull the 24-70mm.

    The 70-200mm f/2.8 for its reach, color and clarity. Even at or near 100% crops, the lens is very sharp.


    The Nikkor 14-24mm because there is not another UWA lens this good on the market. Being able to get really smooth bokeh at 14mm and at f/2.8 is pretty awesome....


    The Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 micro is another favorite because I like capturing the small world that we seldom can see with our own eyes and it makes for a pretty good portrait lens to boot.....

    • Like Like x 1
  15. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I hear nothing but amazing things about pentax and the k5/lenses...
    They need to join m4/3 and make pretty da limited lenses for me to GAS over;) 

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Bring it back to some native lenses:
    Panny 20/1.7
    PL 45/2.8
    Panny 8 fisheye - nice color and amazingly sharp, gives that "3D" effect
  17. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2010
    1) Canon EF 100/2 - nice rendering and super fast AF

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    2) Sigma 50/1.4 - my favorite home lens - too big to carry but makes every snap looks nice with any background... even when AF misses a little.

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    3) Panasonic 20/1.7 - because I can (and do) take it anywhere.

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    I was tempted to include Konica 57/1.4, but I guess it's only an honorable mention...
  18. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
  19. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    its hard to come up with just 3... i may have to answer later with another three :) 

    but for the moment I am going with these because to me the best lens is the one that effortlessly delivers a shot that pleases me

    Panasonic 25/1.4 - 4/3 version shot on E-510
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    chorus line by kevinparis, on Flickr

    more examples here

    Panaleica 25/1.4 - a set on Flickr

    Leica 75/1.4 (M Mount) shot on E-P1

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    Eat on the Go by kevinparis, on Flickr

    Contax 50/1.5 CY Mount on E-510

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    Contemplating Eric by kevinparis, on Flickr

    whole lot more legacy shots here....

    Legacy lenses - a set on Flickr

    • Like Like x 1
  20. KS11

    KS11 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2011
    Busan/Hong Kong
    my fav handdowns would be my smc takumar 55mm 1.8 m42 mount lens.....i love this fast fifty and maybe it's my copy (fungus and all), the pics that come out from this lenses has some kind of fungal magic to it.

    2nd would be the 20mm 1.7 for obvious reasons, and then the 14mm 2.5.
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