Need opinions on 85mm from owners

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Andym72, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    I'm looking to get a old, adaptable 85mm in the f/1.7 to f/2 range. I'm don't mind which, Japanese, East German, or Soviet. My personal preference would be the OM or MD f/2s purely because of how small they are, but they seem to be in high demand (and fetching equally high prices).

    I would be interested in comments, opinions and experience about the 85mm lenses you own. For instance how smooth the focus ring is, does it have glow wide open, could the bokeh be called busy, etc.
  2. I have the OM-Zuiko MC Auto-T 85mm f/2 and like to use it for it's sharpness and compactness / low weight. Wide open it lacks a little contrast but stopped down at 2.8 or more it shows it's very high image quality.

    View attachment 307677

    Bokeh is very nice too, nicer than most m4/3 lenses.

    View attachment 307678

    I purchased my lens in a local shop (NL) for used photo gear for 250 euros which it is well worth to me.
  3. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Why not a Samyang 85mm f1.4? Pretty good, and pretty cheap on ebay in a variety of mounts.
  4. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2013
    You can try Soviet Jupiter 9 (which is a copy of Zeiss Sonnar 85mm 2.0). If you can find the earlier rangefinder silver version (up to the end of sixties) - that one will be razor sharp wide open with creamie bokeh. You can get a decent copy for as low as 75-100 usd. These are some image samples from Jupiter 9 on digital body -
  5. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    I have been using Konica Hexanon AR 85mm F1.8. They are one of the best constructed lenses (I personally love the make and feel of them). Adapters are cheap and plentiful for them. Very sharp and produces creamy bokeh. On the plus side, they are quite small compared to other 85mm lenses that I have tried, so they go well with m4/3 cameras. On the down side, they are usually quite rare and a bit pricy. I see them sometimes listed on Ebay for around 400$, but if you can find one for cheaper, then its a steal.
  6. MarylandUSA

    MarylandUSA Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    Poolesville, Maryland
    Paul Franklin Stregevsky
    table of classic 85mm lenses

    Check out my table of collected comments about older 85s in my online table.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I agree with this. I got the Bell & Howell version of this lens for $190 in very nice condition in Nikon mount, including shipping.

    The lens is sharp even wide open, although it's a bit low contrast wide-open, it gets contrasty by f2. By f2, I'd match it with any of the legacy 85mm lenses from the camera makers.

    The older legacy 85mm lenses might be better made, but they are either slower, or much more expensive.
  8. dadadude

    dadadude Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2013
    San Carlos, CA
    MD Rokkor-X 85mm f1.7

    I found this for $5.... Now you probably won't have quite my luck, but if you hold out long enough you can find something fairly inexpensive. This by the way is an outstanding lens and a joy to use. I only wish I could use it as a true 85mm.

  9. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    I will concur with the Samyang lens suggestion. I haven't owned one, but it seemed very nice to me when I tried it before, and excellent image samples abound on the internet.

    I used to own a minty super takumar 85mm f/1.9 a number of years ago - but they are pricey these days.
  10. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    Thank you for the excellent resource.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    If you can find a SMC super takumar 85mm 1.8, I don't think you can do much better than that IQ or build quality/feel wise. Definitely one of my favs. That said, the market prices seem rather crazy at 300-450ish. I paid 150 for mine and it seemed like a steal.
  12. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Actually, that Minolta 85mm f1.7 for $5 is about as good as it gets.
  13. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 — a great lens and relatively inexpensive compared to Minolta, Pentax or Olympus lenses of the same focal length.

    Jupiter-9 is a very nice lens, especially its rangefinder variants, but the Soviet quality control was spotty at best and if the lens you want to buy had been taken apart chances are it was incorrectly put together (its construction is rather complex).
  14. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Here's my Jupiter 9 85mm F2:

  15. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
  16. caspert79

    caspert79 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 4, 2013
    What about a pre-AI Nikkor H or H.C. 85mm f/1.8? Found mine for 90 € in used condition but with good glass and mechanics. Sharpness, contrast and colors are excellent and even pretty good wide open. Check this test shot @1.8, only post processing: exposure and white balance.
  17. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I can attest that the old Nikkor 85mm lenses are good and you can get good buys on pre-AI or early AI versions. The newer ones are even better but have higher prices. The SamYang/Rokinon 85mm is the best you can get for the price right now. You can get a brand new one for under $300 and good used ones for even less. I would argue that it is as sharp if not sharper than the current Nikkor or Canon 85mms!
  18. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    I am rather fond of my 85/2 Minolta MD. With the adapter it is almost the exact same size and weight as the Oly 75/1.8.

  19. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    Thanks for sharing...I enjoyed the comparison between the 60-75mm particularly.

    You left off the Oly 17mm F2.8 fyi :tongue:
  20. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    I don't think hanging 513g (plus mount adapter) off the front of an E-PL3 is a good idea!

    The Nikon AI(-s) 85mm f/2 looks like a decent option. Oddly, the going rate for this lens is much less than the nFD, OM or MD lenses, and yet it is for the F Mount, which is still in use, when the other 3 mounts have been superseded and abandoned. I would have expected the opposite.
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