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Cheap Rangefinder Lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by sammaritan12, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Dec 17, 2012
    Hello everyone, I was wondering if there are an good rangefinder lenses. I chose rangefinder lenses because they're small and wide angle lenses are easier to find. I am looking for a "normal" on a Micro Four Thirds system and a portrait.
    My budget is either $150 for 2 of these lenses or $350 for an exceptional (for the price) one.
     
  2. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    You'll find most 35mm RF lenses designed for full frame with focal lengths shorter than 40mm will perform poorly on digital. There are a few exceptions, but only a few.

    That said, most 50mm and longer lenses work well. On small and afordable lens that performs very well is the Jupiter-8 50mm f/2. This lens was made for and generally sold with, the Zorki-4, which is a Leica-clone. The lens is generally found in the standard LTM (akak m39) mount as is easily adapted to m43.
     
  3. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Buy a Jupiter-8 50mm F2 for about $20, you might need to buy the rangefinder camera (Zorki or FED) with it to get the cheapest price. Cross fingers and hope to get a good one.

    Adapter £15-ish, I get mine from e-Bay Roxsen.

    £150? No need to approach that kind of money.
     
  4. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Dec 17, 2012
    Why would RF lenses below 40mm poorly on digital?
     
  5. kurtwist

    kurtwist Mu-43 Veteran

    330
    Feb 6, 2011
    Southern Calif.
    In my experience a with few SM 35mm Leica lenses they have been fine- with the advantages and limitations of any older RF lenses.
     
  6. kurtwist

    kurtwist Mu-43 Veteran

    330
    Feb 6, 2011
    Southern Calif.
    ...the most frustrating(to me) aspect of the RF lenses is the typical limitations in min. focus distance
     
  7. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Dec 17, 2012
    The problem with Leica is that they're expensive. The minimum focusing distance to me becomes not a problem if I'm using lenses like 50mm (I think) which requires you to be a fair amount away to get your subject in frame.
     
  8. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    That clearly depends on your subject!

    And to (try to) answer your earlier question:
    The reason lenses below 40mm are unlikely to work well is that the light away from the centre of the image will probably not reach the sensor vertically. Film doesn't mind light arriving at a considerable angle but current digital sensors do, so digitally designed wide angles are designed to get around this limitation. With longer lenses the light will normally arrive more vertically anyway without deliberate design.
     
  9. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    In order for lenses to deliver uniform high quality images across the whole digital sensor, they need to be reasonably telecentric, specifically "image-space telecentric". (check out this Wikipedia article). Film lenses are rarely designed this way.

    The problems of not using an image-space telecentric optical design are made worse when the focal length gets shorter and the angle between the exit pupil and the corner of the image gets greater. In practice, the break point for film lenses designed for 35mm FF and used on digital seems to be around 35mm FL. Many 35mm FL lenses work well but many don't. When the FL gets shorter than 35 the percentage of lenses that yield good image on digital drops.
     
  10. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Mike,
    I have heard this before (and in fact you and I may have even discussed this previously), and I am now curious if this explains what I call "hotspots" in the center of my IR exposures when using an IR filter on my unconverted cameras. Your explanation makes a lot of sense in this application and may be accentuated in the IR exposures.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I believe the cause of the hotspots for IR is a different issue.

    I have lenses that work wonderfully on digital and have a significant hot spot when used with the IR filter. In this case, the newest version fo the Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux Asph. I also have lenses that work fine with IR but on FF digital will have color casts and heavy vignette on the outer edges. In this case, the Voigtlander 12mm Heliar.

    So far, my favorite for IR (on an M8) is the Leica 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit.... i this case no hotspots and at a wide angle.

    The short film flange distance for which rangefinder optics are designed at wider focal lengths do not hit the sensor at optimal angles (hence the issues with the 12mm Heliar). I believe the hotspots with IR are more to do with the coatings on said lenses.... they appear in various lenses of varying film flange lengths at varying focal lengths.

    Various people have been gracious enough to share their experiences with hotspots and specific lenses to help those of us looking to get into IR photography. Here's one I just found:

    http://www.kolarivision.com/lenshotspot.html

    Scroll down and this individual even includes a listing of micro 4/3rds lenses.
     
  12. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Thanks for this. I looked at this table and agree with the listing for Nikon (for which I have a converted camera), but I'm not so sure about the micro 43 list. I can't say for sure that it is inaccurate because I have been using a non-converted camera so far (which of course has an IR cut filter still attached - and that may in fact be the root of my issue), but I have found very few lenses (including some of those that are listed as good performers) that don't result in a bright spot right in the middle of my images (that I have process out, sometimes resulting in a loss of detail).
     
  13. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Dec 17, 2012
    Thanks guys for clarifying that for me. That being said is there such a thing as an affordable rangefinder lens "normal" on Micro 4/3?
     
  14. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    Can anyone give an ebay/amazon link to Jupiter/m43 adapter? Can't find any :(
     
  15. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    137
    Jun 9, 2011
    For a cheap normal-ish, try the industar 69. It is small and may require some modification to focus properly. I do not own it and have never used it, so I can't comment on quality.

    Adapter to look for is usually listed as m39 or ltm.

    Sent from my XT885 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  16. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    My 14-45 kit lens is designed for digital but produces the worst hotspots I've personally seen.

    Hotspots are I beleive caused by reflections from the sensor (which i hear is more reflective than film) lighting up the back of the lens. The sensor has an antireflective coating which stops this being an issue for visible light, but moving away from the visible wavelegths the effectiveness of the coating drops off.
     
  17. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Canon made some great 35 RF lenses too.
     
  18. kreegah bundolo

    kreegah bundolo Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Mar 25, 2013
    Sweden, north of the dalälv
    Johan
  19. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    Thanks for the links! I found lots of adapters and Jupiter lenses here in my own country ))
     
  20. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Unfortunately, the Leica collectors are on to those (as well as the Nikon RF lenses) so they are typically not inexpensive at all