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First Legacy Prime

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by sammaritan12, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2012
    I would like to get into legacy primes and I have been researching for a good one but I don't know which one to get, I would like it under $100 and to be in the "normal" focal length. Would a 50mm be too long for micro 4/3 for general shooting?
  2. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
  3. Photophil

    Photophil Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 24, 2012
    Atlanta Georgia area
    I have a box of Pentax SMC lenses left over from my Pentax ME Super days back in the '80s. They work great on my E-PL5 via a Fotodiox adapter (these adapters are very well made, IMO). The SMC lenses (35mm f2.8, 40mm f2.8 pancake, 50mm f1.7) are small, light, well made and very sharp. There is a Pentax 28mm f2.8 that I just saw on the big auction site for prices under $100. This would be a relatively "normal" lens at 58mm on a full frame. I may get one of these myself.
  4. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    The problem is that for m4/3 the "standard" focal length would traditionally be considered to be in the range 17-25mm.

    When looking at legacy glass <20mm can be expensive and 24 and 28mm versions tend not to very fast e.g. F2.8 - F3.5 and many have noticeable barrel distortion.

    I think this why the Pana 20 & 25mm are so popular even with people like me who still have a range of legacy glass available.

    If you have kit lens then for a first prime I would suggest a 50mm F1.4/F1.8 from Nikon/Minolta/Olympus and consider this as a portrait lens then add matching extension tubes and you also have a low cost macro lens as well. Otherwise I would suggest a second hand 20mm Pana f1.7 m4/3.
  5. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    As already mentioned, I think the sweets spot for manual lenses tends to be in the telephoto range (50mm+).

    I think the Konica 40mm 1.8 is nice and compact, or a good deal on a reputable brand's 50mm 1.4-1.8 should perform, or if macro interests you an old 50ish macro from Canon FD, Minolta MD, Konica or Nikon pre-ai would be pretty cheap. I suggest these because the cost relative to a native equivalent will be quite low, and while the image quality may not quite hold up, you will get a hell of a lot more bang for your buck.

    If you are set on a 'normal-ish' legacy lens, at under $100, some 28mm f2.8 would probably fit the bill. I'd either go for one with a close focus ability like the Sigma or an old Vivitar. Also the Russian Industar 69 is pretty small.

    I think anything faster than 2.8 and/or wider than 28mm starts to approach the price of native lenses, and is much bigger.
  6. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Don't be afraid of the f3.5's lenses ie the Konica 28mm f3.5. Plenty fast for day time shooting. The Konica 40mm f1.8 is nice and compact, just don't expect it to be sharp wide open. Its nice though if you stop it down one notch.
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Normal on m4/3 would mean a lens in the 20-25mm range. Unless you're very lucky, that'll be hard to do for $100.

    A long normal, like a 28/2.8 or 28/3.5 is more likely. Look for dead lens mounts (those where bodies are no longer produced for), like Canon's FD or Konica's AR. Performance will generally be comparable to live mounts, and you'll save a lot of money
  8. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2012
    Thanks for all the suggestions guys, I think I will get a 28mm and a 50mm~ lenses on the same mount for general use and portraits as they're so cheap now.
    Which brand has both focal lengths and have good IQ that I can get all (2 lenses and adapter) under $100?
  9. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    I was just researching 50mm legacy's. I saw a sharpness comparison, don't remember where, among takamar(non SMC), minolta, canon, and nikon 1.4's and 1.8's. The Minolta PG 1.4 was the best performer over the aperture range. So I got one, super clean, for $75.
  10. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    I agree about the 40mm, but are any 1.4-2.0 legacy lenses truly sharp wide open? I'm fairly new to all this myself, but I don't think any fast primes I have seem 'sharp' wide open, just 'sharp enough'.

    To sammaritan12, konica are, canon fd, minolta md are generally the best places to start because they are difficult or impossible to use on dslrs without a glass element or changing the mount.

    If you are planning to buy cheap adapters off eBay, I wouldn't worry too much about getting the same mount because the savings on a good deal may be greater than the cost of an additional adapter.
  11. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Agreed. Although I haven't had the pleasure of mounting some newish Leica or Carl Zeiss glass on my camera :biggrin:
  12. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    The sharpness of a lens has little to do with its age, within reason. There are old lenses that are astoundingly sharp and brand new lenses that are embarrassingly soft. Moreso, sharpness is only a small part of what makes a lens good. How it renders a scene is influenced by many factors well beyond an MTF chart. Softness with manual glass is usually more about manual focusing than it is in the glass itself.
    I'd recommend the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 because it's easy to get, not expensive (~$80-90), and an amazing lens that consistently produces my best shots. Its colour-rendition is unmatched in my opinion; it's bokeh is perfection; and it had all the sharpness you could want.

    I don't like Canon's 28mm lenses as much as their 24mm. The FD 24mm f/2.8 can be had in EX condition for around $100 and is very nice. I sold mine to fund upgrading to the f/2.0, but I wouldn't hesitate to shoot with the f/2.8 anytime I needed a normal length on µ4/3.
  13. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2012
    Has anyone shipped from KEH overseas to Australia? What are the prices for shipping as KEH has great lenses.
  14. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    You can just add a lens to your cart and calculate shipping. It's $59.95 to Sydney. I find KEH doesn't offer as nice or as many "mint" lenses as you can find on eBay where the shipping and lens are both usually a lot cheaper. Just make sure that you buy from a top-rated seller.
  15. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2012
    Alright I think I will buy off eBay. I have narrowed it down to 3 brands: Canon, Minolta and Konica.
  16. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    My opinion is you don't want to or need to spend very much for old SLR lenses in the 24mm to 50mm range. Cannot speak to RF lenses.

    The Sigma 19mm and 30mm f2.8's are both good lenses for M43, and were recently on holiday sale for $149 USD in the USA. That legacy wide angle lens had better be really good if you are going to pay $100 for one, and many of them are not.

    I recently checked out my OM 35mm, Super Takumar 35mm and a Kmart 35mm, all f3.5 against the ($150 refurb) 4/3 Zuiko 35mm f3.5. The latter, a modern lens, is so much better from edge to edge, although the older OM and Tak approached it in the center. I also have two Vivitar and one Tamron 28 mm's. The tamron is OK, but the Vivitars are really bad. I think the kit 14-42 lens is better than the Tamron.

    On the other hand, you can't go wrong with any 50mm from a major camera maker, unless you overpaid. If you can live with f1.8, these lenses are common and cheap as dirt, but work well. I have the Canon FD, a Konica AR, and have always owned an Olympus OM. All are nice and a poor man's stand-in for the Olympus 45mm.

    edit: My Canon FD 50mm f1.8 and Konica 50mm f1.8 were $5 single bid wins at the shopgoodwill.com auction. Both had murky descriptions, but I knew what they were from the pix. I got a Vivitar 28mm f2 for $45 there too. That was the only time I bid to win, and I regret it as it's a pig.
  17. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    For wide open, the Minolta 45 f/2 is wonderful. Small, compact, and someone did a shootout here comparing it to the two native options, and most people couldn't tell the difference. Sells for 25-50 USD on ebay and others. Picked up one new old stock, still in original box and everything. One of my favorite lens.
  18. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    They have some good prices there. Do you know if they ship to europe and what are the shipping charges?
  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Konica Hexanon 50mm/1.4 and 57mm/1.4 lenses are. The 40mm pancake is a fine lens, but not quite in the same league. I ditched mine for the Zuiko 50mm's (f/1.8 and f/1.4) because I found the Zuiko to have much better color than the Konica pancake, but Konica's 50mm/1.4 still blows 'em all away.
  20. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yeah, I think my Zeiss glass is the next sharpest after the Konica in my all-manual glass collection.
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