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Lenses for a Beginner

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by tjdean01, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    I have a PM2 and some decent lenses but I'm looking to get a couple cheap, fastish lenses as a gift for a beginner. She doesn't mind manual focus because she played with my PM2 and a 35/1.2 (50 with a focal reducer). She had a DSLR in the past but sold it for financial reasons. She experimented with bokeh but couldn't do well with the kit lens. I know you CAN do well with an APS DSLR, so she probably didn't know about stopping down (I'll teach her).

    Anyway budget is pretty low (she can always upgrade in the near future) because I'm not sure how much she'll enjoy using it. $50 a lens and maybe only get 1-2 to start. I got her a used PM1 for $60. Lens ideas I'm thinking:

    Konica 40/1.8 - I have 3 of these and I could actually GIVE her one. It's pretty crappy below f2.8 though. AR-m4/3 adapter - $10

    Vivitar FD 28/2.8 - Free. I have one of these I could GIVE as well. IFL might be easier to handle, but less of the blur she wants. FD-m4/3 adapter again $10.

    m4/3s kit lens - Which one is ultimately the cheapest used? (IMO they are all good lenses, even the 14-42s.) I could give her my O14-42 but I prefer the colors over the 12-32 so I'm not sure I want to part with it just yet. Plus I could still sell it for $80.

    17/2.8 - I really think she'd love this lens for its size. But it still commands $150 used. I wish I could find one with fungus or something.

    30/2.8 - I have this and don't use it much, but again, I could make $130 selling it.

    Any other suggestions of something really cheap and somewhat decent that's of a suitable focal length? I was thinking the Pentax 110 lenses but they kind of look weird on the camera for a beginner!
  2. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I would say a 28mm and a 50mm. The 28 would be her 'normal' and her 50 would be the portrait. Mount is irrelevant, but make sure the 28 is at least half decent on m43. Most 50's are decent, unless you get a bad copy ofcause. Has she got an evf for the PM1? For playing with mf lenses, evf's kinda rock the experience hard.
  3. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    See if you can find a used Oly 45 f/1.8. Will make her fall in love (with it, not you). :rolleyes: 
    • Like Like x 1
  4. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 3, 2014
    Lacombe, Alberta
    Honestly, I just got a package of a 50 mm f.1.7 MC minolta rokkor, f2.8 28 mm Minolta Celtic MD and a 200 mm F4.5 Minolta Rokkor X on ebay for $50. And that's not even a particularly good deal. MD Rokkor and Pentax are usually the best 'bang for the buck.'
  5. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    A Helios 44-2 or 44-3 is well within the budget range and great fun. I see the Olympus 14-42 fit auctioning on eBay for $40 pretty regularly; the 40-150 goes for not much more.
  6. PMCC

    PMCC Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 18, 2013
    Just your 40/1.8 , 28 2.8 and Oly kit lens. Then with the budget you can always buy better lens for yourself :lol

    P.S. Most cheap manual lenses are probably going to be crappy below F2.8, anyways.
  7. Rum Maximus

    Rum Maximus Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2013
    LV, NV
    Not sure if they fit your desired budget, but I would suggest the older m42 Takumars. The older Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 is a great little lens even wide open. The earliest 8-lens variant 50mm f/1.4 was my 1st manual focus lens and that sparked my interest in older manual focus glass.

    Also consider some of the older Russian lenses as well - I am quite happy with the ones I have, and there are several more older Russian lenses on my "Want List".

    As for the Auto-110 lenses, I have all but one variant of them and I am not sure I would recommend them to start out with. The lenses are all fixed at f/2.8 since the aperture adjustments were originally done in the body of the 110 camera. They are fun to play with but the fixed aperture is a limitation in my opinion for times when you want or need to stop the lens down.

    Jusy my .02 worth.
  8. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    I will say anything close to 50mm. My first adapted lens was a 50. I chose on the basis that I already had a 14-45 range with my kit zoom and wanted to get that little closer and see what f1.8 could do instead of the f5 or so of the kit.

    I was bang for buck more pleased with this than anything since.

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    • Like Like x 1
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa

    Excellent OM lenses like the 50f1.8 cost $20. My above shot is just such evidence (shot at f1.8)
  10. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    What about letting her use your 30mm? Its an alright lens will work well with the camera and is a long "normal" just a thought or look for a low cost 17 2.8 or Sigma 19mm I see the odd bargain come up here, though not less than £50/60. If she is fine with MF go for an M42 adaptor or L39 and look at some of the former Soviet Union lenses some are really quite nice and can be had at low low prices plus there are Pentax, Ricoh and a load more options. The Jupiter 8 is a great little lens (L39) as is the Helios 58mm m42 lens both are from Zeiss designs.
  11. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa

    I don't wish to pan the Sigma 30mm, but at f2.8 its just not shallow (enough for me) as a "normal" ... sure you can take a closeup of your thumb and go "ouhh ... look how shallow the DoF is" but for "normal" photography at normal focal lengths its a bit lackluster and doesn't really shine above the good kit zooms (such as the 14-45).

    I came from film (for some 30 years before digital) and am used to what I see there. Sometimes I just can't get a look I want with anything less than f1.8 on a m43 format.

    For instance, taking normal head and shoulder shot with the Sigma:
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    I didn't have a full frame digital on the day I did this, so its 35mm negative vs digital, but the OutOfFocus look is going to be the same. This is 50mm @ f1.8 vs the Sigma 30mm (wide open) @ f2.8 (which will look like the 35mm at f5.6)

    The 50mm @f1.8
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    There are definitely times when there is nothing like a shallow normal to capture a scene not looking telephoto and not looking wide but being able to isolate the subject.

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  12. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    I would not use the 30mm for shallow DOF shots, but as a walk around lens at low cost and high quality for that cost its a blinder. I would think you need something like the PL25 1.4 to get in the same ball park as a 50mm 1.8, I am not a shallow DOF user, if I was I would most likely buy an M9.
  13. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Tell us, what did you decide?
  14. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Start them out with the Sigma lenses. Sharp, fast focus and $200 ish dollars.
  15. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    Unless you already have a 14-42 or similar, in which case it provides nearly nothing. Even its size is not much advantage.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    The original Panasonic 20mm is a great walk around lens on the compact cameras (like GF's) but the sigma makes it just bulky enough to make it pointless. It performs optically no different to either of my 14-4x zooms but it is not a zoom and has no OIS

    An excellent condition 20mm f1.8 used is 200 dollarish too
  16. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
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