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need advice, i want to start adopting vintage lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by renegade, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. renegade

    renegade Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 3, 2015
    rey
    okay, i just picked up my first adopted lens, the ZD 12-60/2.8-4.0 and it was really great. the optics are superb. now i want to take a shot at vintage manual lenses as it is relatively cheap on ebay and it takes great photos with great bokeh. and i love the vintage effect of it's photos

    i need some advice where to start. im planning to use it as portrait and closeup shots. im completely have no idea on manual lenses. ive done a little research though, but it is better to hear directly from existing users. by the way im using an E-M1
     
  2. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    Just get an old nifty 50 and go from there. Stick to f1.7, f1.8 or f2. No need to pay for f1.4 lenses when you are just starting out. All the main brands should have something that area - Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Contax, etc etc. Really - just get any one from the main marques and try it out. You may find that you hate the experience of manual focusing a lens. So buy cheap.

    For research, read this subforum's stickied threads. If you run out of reading, and want more, then read the following forum from the beginning - http://forum.mflenses.com/manual-focus-lenses-f3.html :)
     
  3. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I love vintage lenses as well. Best thing I've found is to set a budget you are willing to spend and then research the ones you find. I often go out to KEH.com and look at their used lens selections. I prefer ones with aperture rings, just to make my life easier.

    Research their qualities on the internet and buy accordingly.
     
  4. renegade

    renegade Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 3, 2015
    rey
    thanks for the quick reply. i have the OM-system as 1st option. might as well get m42. i have read that it is very hard getting the focus on 1.2 and 1.4 apretures so yes i will stick to higher apretures like 1.8

    by the way does it reduces the bokeh if i will use 1.8 (3.6 equiv)?


    if only i have that luxury of having shops like KEH in my place that i can find tons of vintage lenses. too bad i live/work here in the middle east
     
  5. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    512
    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Ivor
    Hi there renegade and welcome to the forum. :thumbup:

    Can I correct you a little on this? The focal length on m4/3 is doubled so a 50mm lens will have a focal length of 100mm on m4/3. The apertures remain the same. If it's f1.8 on a manual focus lens, it's f1.8 whether you use it on m4/3 or a 35mm film camera. :2thumbs:
     
  6. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    Everything is relative. Only you know if the bokeh is not 'strong' enough for you, but plenty of bokeh examples in the 'Adapted Lens Image Thread' at the top of this subforum :)

    If you are looking for a dedicated bokeh machine though, you kinda need to go full frame. But like I said, its all relative.
     
  7. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I meant you can use their website as a resource to find lenses that might fit your requirements and price range. User that as a jumping off point to do more research.
     
  8. renegade

    renegade Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 3, 2015
    rey
    thanks for clearing this one sir. now i understand.

    no sir, i dont need a full frame especially because of its price point. too much to a hobbiest like me to go full frame. i just need adequate bokeh especially on portraits. ive seen samples on the adopted lens images section and kinda all of them that has better bokeh is closeups
     
  9. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Adapting lenses DOES NOT CHANGE either the focal length, the f/stop, the Bokeh (quality of the blur), or the depth of field (DOF, quantity of the blur) unless you use an adapter that also contains optics to be either a tele-extender or a focal reducer.
     
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  10. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Choosing a platform with lenses that you like is a good idea. That way if you ever go for an expensive adapter like a metabones speed booster, it will work for much of your collection.

    I have a few m42 lenses myself. They work great and there are a ton of options out there.

    Have fun.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Neil
    If you just want something to start out, I'd recommend on of the Yashica 50mms. I have the f2--it's small, easy to focus, fun, is pretty sharp, and IIRC I got mine for right around five bucks. I think the prices stay down because it's a dead format, so not as many people are looking for it compared to Canon/Nikon/etc.

    I also really enjoy my big old metal Konica Hexanon 57. Though I know it isn't as sharp as some newer lenses I just really like what comes out of it. As a bonus, it's heavy enough that in a pinch I could probably use it as a self-defense weapon.
     
  12. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    This is true. However, the OP asked:
    The way I read this question he was asking about whether the depth of field (DOF) is deeper at f/1.8 vs. f/1.4 or f/1.2 and this is definitely the case. In fact, it's the shallower DOF at the larger apertures that might make focusing a bit more challenging (although I wouldn't say I've noticed that much difference). I don't want to open up the entire discussion about "full-frame equivalency" but the OP is basically correct that due to the smaller 4/3 sensor (compared to 135mm film or so called "full-frame" digital) the effective DOF at a given aperture is doubled. What this means is that a 50mm f/1.8 lens on :mu43: gives a similar DOF to a 100mm f/3.6 lens would on a "full-frame" camera.

    As for which lens to start with, I'd contradict the previous advice and recommend you look for a decent 50mm f/1.4 lens. If you're patient you should be able to pick one up for little more than the cost of a less fast (f/1.7-f/2) lens and the extra half to full stop can make all the difference, especially since you specifically mention bokeh (which makes me assume you are looking for a relatively narrow DOF). The faster lens gives you the option of stopping down if you choose to (or if you find nailing focus is difficult) and the f/1.4 lenses I've used appear to be sharper at f/1.8-f/2.0 than a slower f/1.8-f/2.0 lens would be at the same aperture. The quality of the bokeh is also better (to my eye) with the faster lenses, although this is a very subjective judgement. The downside is that the faster lenses tend to be a bit bigger and heavier, but that isn't enough of a difference to matter to me.

    Personally, my #1 recommendation would be the Canon FD 50/1.4, but if you have a preference for OM or M42, there are good options there as well.

    Here's an example of the sort of creamy bokeh I've achieved with my Canon 50/1.4 (there are other examples in this thead):
    full.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
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  13. NWright

    NWright Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jan 13, 2014
    Michigan
    Totally agree. Most of these lenses are not great at their widest apertures. I'd wager that stopping down a 1.4 to 2 is noticeably different than using a 1.8 at 1.8 or 2.
     
  14. EdH

    EdH Mu-43 Top Veteran

    629
    Jul 14, 2014
    Devon, UK
    Ed
    It's worth bearing in mind that (in my experience) many older adapted lenses are almost unusable wide open. So an f1.8 lens, for example, is often only usable from f2 or f2.8, but as has been said an f1.4 lens might be usable from f1.8/f2.0. It might help to check out the 'Adapted Lens Sample Image Showcase' on this site for wide open samples, although bear in mind that many of these are selected shots to show off the best of a lens rather than to demonstrate its weaknesses!

    I've found that Olympus Pen F lenses (although I've only got 3) seem to be pretty good wide open, although sometimes with swirly, or just crazy, bokeh. Here's a couple of examples with the Olympus F.Zuiko 38mm f1.8 for Pen F, wide open:

    16271765972_30ec675c61_z. O38_5 by Ed Herridge, on Flickr

    16666988343_073f67c01a_z. White Bluebells? by Ed Herridge, on Flickr

    Bokeh smoothes out once you've stopped down a bit:

    17135679369_bc6e726523_z. Apple Blossom with Bokeh Spaniel by Ed Herridge, on Flickr

    17297082972_97c59ee4e7_z. P4289878 by Ed Herridge, on Flickr
     
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  15. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    My very personal opinion?

    The 2 manual lenses that are really, really worth it, even with all the native options that are around?

    50mm/1.4 - $80-$100
    90 or 105mm/2.8 Macro - $100-$150

    These two lenses will still shine even with the full native range at your disposal. An old 50/1.4 obviously loses some ground compared to the tiny, tack-sharp 45/1.8 or 42.5/1.7, but at 1/3 to 1/5 the price, even used? And the special colours, contrast and bokeh that comes from old lenses is tricky to replicate digitally, so if you like it, go for it. The macro is also a no-brainer. Even ones designed for film are so sharp you can cut yourself on them, serve double-duty as a medium telephoto, and give you more working distance than any native macro option.

    I have about a dozen legacy lenses, and some are surprisingly great performers, especially with a cheap $99 focal reducer. I don't use a lot of them very much, but they're worth so little (all between $20-100) that it's hard to sell them. I wouldn't say they're necessarily better than a native lens, but not necessarily worse, either. And the one that I use most often is a Vivitar 55mm/2.8 Macro that goes to 1:1. It splits the difference between the two lenses I mentioned above, has beautiful out-of-focus rendering for portraits when wide open, and fantastic detail stopped-down and close up. I got it for $50. As soon as the Leica 45/2.8 or Oly 60/2.8 gets down below $200, maybe I'll consider trading up. But macro works best with manual focus anyway, so having the smooth, damped, mechanical long-travel (700 degrees!) manual focus ring with hard stops is something that I will never be able to replicate with a focus-by-wire electronic lens.
     
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  16. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Portraits and closeup: if you want to really blur the background go for a Tokina 90/2.5 AT-X macro or Tamron SP 90/2.5 macro. Or Nikon 105/2.5 or Orestron 80 or 120 2.8. These lenses are very long on m43, you can try to see how this feels with your 12-60 and the 2x digital converter.
    If you want a super cheap alternative and more usable focal length look for any 50/1.8.

    The amount of background blur is not so simple to compare: a 50mm at 1.4 on m43 will give you the same amount of background blur as a 100mm at 2.8 on full frame. Here you are comparing two different lenses that gives you the same FoV and blur. If you accept this comparison the difference is two stops.

    Keep in mind that a used Sigma 60 or a Oly 45 are very cheap and are great lenses.
     
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  17. renegade

    renegade Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 3, 2015
    rey
    thank you guys this has been very informative to a beginner like me
     
  18. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Possibly correct if and only if the OP was using the term "bokeh" (quality of the blur) incorrectly when he should have used "depth of field" (quantity of blur) and only correct if your guess as his missing wording, which you've added, is correct. When dealing with such approximate equivalences it is mandatory that you define the comparison format and include full equivalent specs. In this case both f/stop and focal length. Still, the equivalence, if there is one, has to do with DOF. The bokeh will remain the same whether a given lens is used on m4/3 or full frame or whatever and comparing DOF of a given lens on two different formats is pointless as either the field of view changes or the relative distance to subject and to background change if you move to match field of view.
     
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  19. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    You're absolutely correct. I made the assumption you state simply because the OP made reference to whether a given f/stop would "reduce" bokeh, which doesn't really make sense unless you interpret bokeh as depth of field. While the terms are most definitely distinct, they are quite often used interchangeably, especially by those who may be new to photography.
     
  20. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I find that M42 lenses have gotten really expensive of late.

    Konica AR and Canon FL/FD are my recommendations for cheaper but high quality glass since they have a short flange focal distance and can't be adapted on any DSLRs.

    Canon FD is easier, since if you're getting a focal reducer you can easily get Nikon and M42 adapters to FD. Nothing adapts to Konica, because it was always a pretty uncommon camera.
     
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