Recommendations please on Legacy lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Jorge Ledesma, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Aug 27, 2011
    Miami
    Hello folks,

    I'm new here and I wanted to probe your collective knowledge. I already have acquired some Hexanons, the 28mm f/3.5 and the little jewel 40mm f/1.8 but I've been perusing the threads and have seen lots of great things on the Takumars but also on the old Olympus OM glass.

    I like the Hexanons but I've been bitten by the legacy bug and I'd like to add some. Between OM and Takumars what should I get. I particularly like that the focus knob are bigger on both of these vs the Hexanons but what other niceties should I expect from OM or Taks.

    Thanks in advance,

    JL
     
  2. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Some of the Takumars were excellent. Try and stick with the ones that had the 'S-M-C' or 'Super-Multi-Coated' designation on the lens, these were the multicoated ones.

    Also, bare in mind that there were the original M42 Takumars, and then the later Takumar 'Bayonet' branded ones, which had the K-mount. AVOID the bayonet ones, they are generally of far inferior optical quality...

    Also, some of the Taks are basically collectors items now, so be wary that you're paying the money for quality rather than rarity...

    Here's the lens review pages from Pentax Forums...

    Pentax M42 Screwmount Wide-Angle Prime Lens Reviews and Specifications - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After the Takumars, the first proper K-mount series didn't have any designation on the lens (just 'SMC Pentax') and these are generally refered to as the 'K' series. In many cases these were SMC Takumars that had been redesigned for the K-mount (not the same as the Takumar Bayonet) and many Pentaxians consider them to be Pentax's best manual lenses.

    I have the SMC K 24/f2.8, 50/f1.2 and 135/f2.5 and they are all outstanding.

    [​IMG]

    After the K series there was the M series. This was designed to go with Pentax's tiny M series SLRs (ME, MX, MG, ME Super) and the lenses are a fair bit smaller than the K's. There also great quality and were made in huge numbers, so they're readily available and pretty cheap.

    I've used the SMC M 35/f2, 50/f1.7, 50/f1.4, 135/f3.5 and 200/f4 and they're all very good and very compact. The M50/f1.7 in particular is an amazing bargain for the quality - get a mint example for less than $50...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Aug 27, 2011
    Miami
    Wow, thanks so much for that introduction to the Taks, I appreciate it.
     
  4. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Oh and a word of caution - quite often you'll see dodgy eBay sellers listing very cheap SMC Pentax f1.2 50mm lenses.

    Generally, what they're actually listing is an SMC Pentax-M 1:2 50mm, which are worth about $20 and is a pretty mediocre lens.

    The two Pentax f1.2's have the following written on the lens:

    - SMC Pentax 1:1.2 50mm - worth $400+
    - SMC Pentax-A 1:1.2 50mm - worth $500+
     
  5. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    The Nikon AIS AND Olympus OM lenses are really nice performers, and Voigtlander and Zeiss are renowned.

    Most of all- what kind of shooting will you be doing? Low Light, plants, bugs, portraits?
     
  6. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Aug 27, 2011
    Miami
    Thanks again for your insights, it's tough out there on eBay wow.
     
  7. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Aug 27, 2011
    Miami
    Thanks for chiming in. Primarily, I shoot street photography but would also benefit from some fast lenses for some evening shooting as well and portrait.

    I've been reading here, that legacy lenses are sharper as they approach f/5.6 so I was thinking if I need to go all out get the more expensive glass.
     
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Takumars can really range from some real dogs to some real gems... Nick gave a really good distinction of them for you. :)

    Zuiko lenses however are much more consistent - I haven't found a bad Zuiko yet Even the most mediocre Zuiko lenses stand up against some of the best of other makes. OM mount is always a "safe bet", and the Zuiko colors are usually the best. Even when another lens is sharper, faster, less glowy, etc., the Zuiko will still generally have the rich colors in its favor.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yeah, a faster lens will be better optimized for wider apertures so it'll generally reach the sweet spot before a slower lens.
     
  10. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Aug 27, 2011
    Miami
    Thanks Ned, I appreciate it. I'm going to try some OM mainly the 28mm, how about Rokkors though?
     
  11. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    If you're already invested in Hexanons, you aren't going to really see gains by jumping ship for Nikon, Pentax/Takumar, Canon FD, or Olympus OM. Really, they're all similar performers, to an extent. Konica was definitely no slouch. It would be much more beneficial for you to just get different focal lengths; you'll see bigger gains. You are going to be wasting your money if you have a Hexanon 28mm f/3.5, and you buy an Olympus 28mm. There isn't enough difference to write home about, Olympus didn't make lenses any better than Konica did, and you'll be wasting your money on another mount for an identical lens.

    Instead, buy yourself these Hexanons
    -21mm f/4 (if you can find it for $300 or less)
    -24mm f/2.8 (it may look expensive, but the Olympus OM version is really no cheaper. I wouldn't spend more than $250 or so on it)
    -55mm or 105mm macro, or try a Konica mount popular lens, like a Tamron, Tokina, or Vivitar macro
    -Any of the longer lenses: 85mm, 135mm,

    Of course, you could always look in other mounts, but don't settle on one or actively look to switch. Instead, browse your local Craigslist and see what's out there. If an Olympus or Takumar comes up at a good price, then jump on it.
    Hexanon 50mm f/1.4 for $50
    Konica Hexanon 50f1.4 Lens
    OM-mount Adaptall adapter, but make him go down in price to $10. This will allow you to use the excellent Tamron adaptall lenses:
    Tamron Adaptall-2 for Olympus
    This kit includes OM 35mm and 135mm lenses. Sell the camera on ebay, or keep it to play around with film, and see what these lenses can REALLY do with a full-size "sensor."
    Olympus OM-1n camera with accessories
    Try this guy's 135mm, 105mm, 300mm. The 200mm is worth taking a look at, as well.
    Vintage Cameras and Lenses
    If this camera really has a Zeiss lens . . .
    Olympus Great 35mm Camera
    Unfortunately, it looks like there are many different "I buy old cameras" ads in there, which means that your market may be tapped, as others seem to be trying to make a business of it.
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Rokkors are also a great choice! I used Minolta in film, and was never disappointed by the lenses. I am only just starting to rebuilt my Minolta collection, but I'm having trouble finding just the right lenses that I want. ;)
     
  13. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Dec 13, 2010
    Chicago
    But that's the beauty of our "system". When using legacy glass, there is no "system".

    I have Minolta MD, Canon FD, and CCTV mount lenses. I don't classify them as such; they're all just lenses. $20 for an adapter isn't much of an "investment".
     
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
  15. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, but for that $20 he could pick up a third-party lens, like a wonderfully-performing Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 in Konica mount, or a 55mm Vivitar macro. What is he going to gain by getting an OM Zuiko 28mm if he already has a Hexanon 28mm? He could of course get the Olmypus 28mm f/2.8, but it's the same focal length, just 2/3 of a stop faster. That's just wasting money on redundancy.

    There's also a an Olympus 28mm f/2.0, but by the same token, he could just get the Hexanon 28mm f/1.8, have an identically-performing lens that's even faster than the Olympus Zuiko, and money in his pocket from not having to buy another adapter. Like I said, there's no reason to get Olympus lenses just to get Olympus lenses. He isn't going to gain anything by having an Olympus lens instead of the identical Konica version.

    And I don't trust $20 adapters, too much of a crapshoot. I've had good luck with Metabones, Kipon, and Voigtlander. I tried an OM $20 adapter, and it sucks. The good adapters feel just as snug as an OEM lens mount.

    If he must get an Olympus lens, to try them, then at least go for something different, something that he will gain something over what he has now, like the Olympus OM:
    250mm f/2
    350mm f/2.8
    300mm f/4.5
    100mm f/2.0
    18mm
    21mm f/2.0 or f/3.5
    24mm f/2.0 or f/2.8
    macro lens (50mm or 90mm)
     
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I don't think the point of having the adapters is to add more lenses of a different brand, but rather to have more choice as to which lenses you can buy when you find them. If you want that Vivitar 135mm f/2.8, it may not be so easy to just find it and get it in Konica mount. It's so much easier if you can look for a Vivatar 135mm f/2.8 and pick it up in any mount from MD to OM to K. If you have a great 50mm f/1.4 that you love in one mount, that doesn't mean you can find the 200mm f/4 you've been looking for in the same mount. Getting another mount adapter doesn't mean that you'll want to run out and buy another 50mm f/1.4 even though you already own another brand.

    Remember, these are all used product not off the retail shelf. You use what you can find, and there's no choice of special order from the retailer. ;)

    I totally agree with this. :D
     
  17. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Yes, I agree with this completely. You'll notice in my first reply, I mention that the OP should at least look for other lenses. However, his post makes it sound like he just wants a different brand for the sake of not having Konica, which is pointless. You'll see that he even wanted to just get another 28mm when he already has a Hexanon one; if he mentioned getting a different lens, then my outlook would be completely different.

    But, there is an advantage in specializing in one company for a while. You learn the handling of their lenses, and in your research you become more knowledgeable about specific differences between products. With Olympus for example, there are not only various different-aperture versions of a lens, but there are the different coated versions, silvernose, etc. Not all Olympus 50mm f/1.8's are created equal. If you just immerse yourself in one brand initially, you focus on the nuances, and you're more likely to find a better deal.
     
  18. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    When Minolta or Rokkor are mentioned I have to chime in :smile:. If you're just starting out with legacy lenses I wouldn't spend too much money. Check first if you really like working with them. Cheap Minolta lenses, with or without the Rokkor designation, are for instance the 50/1.7, 50/2, 45/2 and 28/2.8. These are all decent lenses and shouldn't cost more than $20/€ 20. Take care that you buy MD lenses, not MC Rokkors because these tend to be a bit flat and a bit devoid of colour. If you're willing to spend more, an MD 50/1.4 (Rokkor or not) is a good choice, they're generally well useable at f/2 and can be had for around $50.
     
  19. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    I second this opinion, especially because of the handling. Nothing is more annoying IMHO than having to adjust each time to a different direction for adjusting the aperture and/or focussing if you're out in the field and want to work fluidly. Another reason to stick with one brand is colour signature: different brands can have widely varying colour balance. Just my 2 cents.
     
  20. Lenses

    I got bitten by the 'old glass' bug last spring and picked up quite a few lenses. I have to say that the only ones I find myself using frequently are the Hexanon 1.8/40, because it's small and fast, and the Takumar SMC 1.4/50 because of it's gorgeous bokeh and coloration. The Tak also has a nice heavy feel. I have a Nikon 1.8/50 that I don't use and Konica 4/200 that doesn't get much use either. The later is a nice lens but without image stabilization, you have to use a tripod at any speed under 1/250. I also picked up a Vivitar 2.8/28, which is a decent 'normal' lens on the m43, but if you decide to get one, go for the 2.0/28. That lens is more expensive but the extra stop will be worth it as the 2.8 is kind of fuzzy wide open and once stopped down, the lens is no faster than a fully automatic, image stabilized, kit lens.

    BTW, the Tak is original from my 1971 Asahi Spotmatic. It has quite a bit of fungus but this does not seem to impact its quality in any way.