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First manual focus lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by RicardoAC, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. RicardoAC

    RicardoAC Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alvados, Portugal
    Hello friends!

    Recently entered the world of the M43, bought an e-PL2 and I am thinking of buying my first manual focus lens, which one, you folks advise?
    50mm and 135mm
    Minolta or md or nikkor?? Or other...

  2. chicks

    chicks Mu-43 All-Pro

    I really like the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.4, very nice lens. Konica Hexar lenses have the advantage of a very short registration distance, so the adapters are the shortest of the SLR lenses. They're known for their sharpness, too.

    There's a sample image archive here for many lenses, have a look through that for examples of each lens. Maybe you'll find something cheap at the Feira da Ladra? :) 
  3. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    It depends on the type of photography that you prefer, but I would probably go with a 50mm. There are numerous out there - check some of the threads here on the forum and compare the color and contrast. Welcome!
  4. RicardoAC

    RicardoAC Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alvados, Portugal
    I there friends
    I found in some portuguese shop this lens:
    - Helios 58mm f/2 - 39€;
    - Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 - 40€;
    - Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 - 50€;
    So....;-) i´m still a bit confused!!!
  5. chicks

    chicks Mu-43 All-Pro

  6. larsjuhljensen

    larsjuhljensen Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 26, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    From what I know these are all great, but they also all look overpriced to me. The only possible exception is the Helios (depending on which of the many, many models it is and which state its in).

    When I check prices online, you should not pay much more than 25 EUR for the Canon or the Minolta. These things were sold as kit lenses back in the days, so the market is flooded with them.

    If you go to flea markets and have a bit of patience, you should be able to pick up some decent 50mm in the f/1.7-2 range for very little money. They often come with a large rear cap attached, which is called an old SLR camera. :biggrin:

    If you are fine with paying 40-50 EUR, I would suggest looking for an f/1.4 instead. You should be able to find, for example, a Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 for that. I have heard many good things about that one, but the same is true for the 50mm f/1.4 Minolta Rokkor and Konica Hexanon lenses.
  7. larsjuhljensen

    larsjuhljensen Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 26, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Didn't you mean Konica Hexanon and not Hexar? They use the same adapter, but the Hexar lenses were the low-price range of Konica, so I would certainly go for the better (and still cheap) Hexanon series.
  8. chicks

    chicks Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oops, yes, Hexanon.
  9. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    The Rokkor 50/1.4 is good, but I like the FD 50/1.4 and 50/1.8 better. I did an extended comparison (3 part series) a while back with 12 50-ish lenses, including the Rokkor 50/1.4, Hexanon 40/1.8, 50/1.7 and 57/1.2 and FD 50/1.4 and 50/1.8. (and some AF m4/3 native glass).


    In the 135mm range, the Minolta MD or Rokkor X-PG 135mm f/2.8 is hard to beat. Brilliantly sharp with great bokeh.
  10. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'd worry less about the brand and more about the specific lens, as some of these have been neglected for a while. I think everything being mentioned here makes sense, except for the Voigtlander :) . And I agree that a 50mm lens is the way to go. Great selection out there, and good bargains to be found if you are patient.
  11. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    What type of shooting are you intending to do with this lens?

    Bear in mind that the 50mm lenses end up being telephoto lenses on :43: despite the fact that they are "normal" lenses when mounted on their original cameras, due to the 2x crop factor of the :43: sensor. This makes them fantastic portrait lenses (especially any of the f/1.4s).

    I've found that the 135mm focal length on :43: ends up being a fairly odd one for me -- too tight for most portraits or for a "walkaround" lens, but not enough magnification for anything I really want to get close with (e.g. birds or wildlife). Obviously YMMV, but that is my experience.

    If you're looking for a good "walkaround" lens, you might want to consider something in the 24-28mm range. I have a Vivitar (Kiron) 28mm f/2.0 (in Canon FD mount) that I quite like shooting with. It provides a close to "normal" field of view.

    There are also a good number of legacy macro lenses that provide good value (look for the Canon 50mm f/3.5), especially when compared to the limited, expensive native macro options.
  12. mowog6000

    mowog6000 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2012
    Oregon City Oregon
    Pat bailey
    I use a Minolta f2.8 28mm MC lens about 90% of the time It cost me $40 at a photo shop you may get one cheaper on Ebay This is the one that takes 55mm filters not the later 49mm one.
  13. RicardoAC

    RicardoAC Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alvados, Portugal
    I there friens

    DeeJayK, yes the purpose it´s more to be a "walkaround" lens, but i´ve no experience with any kind of lens, i came from "the compact world" :biggrin:

    I like to be discret when photografing, so I thought 50mm was the ideal :confused: :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

    Maybe i´ll by one 28mm to, if i find one cheap :biggrin:

    On ebay.uk with shiping, it´s almost the price i get here in Portugal. so maybe i´ll buy it here. I´m now contacting with some shops to find what is on the market.

    Thanks all for help!:2thumbs:
  14. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    I own several Minoltas in the 50mm range (MC 50/1.4 MD 50/1.4). Both are quite good for had on the cheap. I also own the 100 2.5/135 2.8. If you want some reach these are great, I like the IQ from the 100 a little better and find it great for a longer reach without being unusable. The minolta 24/28mm are great lenses, I've had both, didn't use either because I have a PL25 and I prefer using AF lenses in general.
  15. montaggio

    montaggio Mu-43 Regular

    I've got a Canon FD 50/1.4 and 135/2.5 that I have started to use on my E-M5. Good glass at very reasonable prices. I find the 50mm more versatile for my type of shooting. With the 2x crop impact, the 135 is typically a bit long. Both are lots of fun to use and produce great images. Suggest starting with a good quality 50mm and try first. Lots of quality choices at good prices. Then try it out and see how you like it. With the improvements in MFT glass of late, I could almost see myself eventually going to the Oly 45 and 75 instead of the 2 Canon lenses. Then again, I probably only have $125 or so into both of those MF lenses! You could probably get a mint 50/1.8 for $25 or so on fleabay. If not, let me know - I'm pretty sure that I have one of those around here too.
  16. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    50mm lens would be more discreet for street shooting than a 28mm (meaning that you can put more distance between yourself and your subject).

    Which focal length feels more "comfortable" to shoot with is a very personal choice. One thing you can do to see what it's like to shoot at a particular length is to lock your zoom lens down at a particular focal length and shoot with it for a while to see what it's like. Obviously with the 14-42 you won't be able to simulate a 50mm prime, but you can shoot at 28mm. To simulate a 50mm you can rack your lens out to 42mm and then just remember that your field of view with a 50mm is going to be a bit tighter than that.

    That said, if you can find a cheap source for these lenses there's no reason why you can't buy both a 50mm and something wider. Here in the US if you haunt thrift stores, yard sales and pawn shops you can generally find decent lenses for $20 or less. The faster ones, like the f/1.4's, can be found for under $50.
  17. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William B. Lewis
    Sounds like a nice 50 would do you well. The good news is that everyone made good to great 50's. I've got a Leica 50/2, Nikkor 50/1.4 & Industar 50/2.8 that I use right now and need an adapter for my Canon FD 50/1.8 from my Mother's old AE-1 :D  as well.

    I'd suggest a Canon FD or Pre-AI Nikkor 50/1.8 or 1.4 lens - they'll be cheap, fast, good quality and easy to find because lots of both were made and sold world wide.

    I'll also mention that my Pre-AI Nikkor 24/2.8 makes a great walkabout normal lens on my E-PL1.
  18. RicardoAC

    RicardoAC Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alvados, Portugal
  19. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Those C-mount lenses (made for CCTV cameras) are nice, cheap, small and fun. Since c-mount actually has a slightly shorter register than :43:, the adapters are the most compact possible. However, IMHO they're really more "specialty" lenses than general-purpose. The 25mm does not quite cover the entire :43: sensor, which causes some vignetting. They also often exhibit a "swirley" bokeh effect. Neither of these artifacts (vignetting or swirley bokeh) is particularly bad, but they do mean that images made by these lenses tend to have a particular "look". [Note: these opinions apply to the 25 and 35mm lenses, I don't have any experience with the 50mm c-mount lens.]

    Check out the sample image threads to get an idea of what each can do:
    • [thread=6795]Fujian 25mm f/1.4 CCTV image thread[/thread]
    • [thread=11083]Fujian 35mm f/1.7 CCTV image thread[/thread]
    • [thread=30789]50mm f/1.4 CCTV image thread[/thread]
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