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Ultra-fast and/or very wide lens suggestions/tips?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by shleepy, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. shleepy

    shleepy New to Mu-43

    Jul 12, 2011
    I, like many people, I was lured into buying a m4/3 camera because of the potential to adapt virtually any kind of lens for its use - especially those cheap, ultra-fast C-mounts. My E-P2 will be arriving in the mail tomorrow, and I started doing research about what "fun" lenses I could get.

    It wasn't until a couple days ago that I realized that C-mount lenses will almost invariably have serious vignetting (and/or other) issues, in addition to the potential adapter incompatibility issues that I already expected. And although the E-P2 will be my "fun lens experimentation" camera, I'm sure that the novelty of an ultra-fast lens will quickly wear off if the lens in question only covers 85% of the sensor and/or is soft to the point of looking like it's covered in butter.

    Could someone please provide some suggestions for any of the following:

    • 1) What kinds of potentially interesting lenses to avoid entirely. E.g., I know that D-mounts are probably no good, having been designed for 8mm, and that Switar RX lenses are also questionable, not having been designed for photography.

      2) Who (maybe on eBay or else on these/other forums) does goods jobs with modified lenses. E.g., I've seen sellers jieying-usa and ed_lee83 sell some modified ultra-fast C-mounts

      3) Which fairly affordable ultra-fast lenses, f/1.1 or better, CAN actually produce 100% sensor coverage (light vignetting OK, but not to the point of always having completely black corners) and not completely and utterly soft photos

      4) Which fairly affordable ultra-wide lenses are available and have been successfully used with m4/3 without extreme vignetting. This thread is great, but my goal for an ultra-wide is not necessarily a huge aperture... doesn't hurt, of course ;) 

    And I also have a question that's not quite in the tip/suggestion category:

    • 5) When the Noktor f/0.95 lens was announced, I noticed that the online community was quick to point out that they are likely re-branded C-mount industrial lenses, which are already sold under DO Industries or other brands. Has anyone found a significantly cheaper source of those lenses, though? I've seen the industrial ones on eBay for roughly the same price as the m4/3 Noktor. Moreover, would those lenses + C-mount-to-m4/3 adapters even produce good results? IMO, it's possible that the lenses were slightly modified to get them ready for recreational use, in the process of being rebranded.
      *EDIT: Woops, corrected to Noktor*

    I have a feeling that I'll end up with a Nokton 25mm f/0.95, eventually, if I can find it for ~$800. And I think that the size and quality of the Nokton 35mm or 40mm f/1.4's MIGHT just justify their ~$500 price tags, as well. That said, there are some proven ~35/1.4 and ~50/1.2 lenses in OM, Canon FD, or other mounts that can often be found on eBay for ~$300 or less, while a lot of the 50/1.4 lenses are outright bargains. And I do already have an OM 50/1.4. But if there are some fun, fast C-mounts that can be gotten for relatively cheap, I'd want to play around with them before spending significant sums of money.

    So that I'm not a total leech, here are a few links that I've found useful in my research:
    25mm c-mount vignetting shootout
    good c-mount adapter discussion
    Using Ultra-Fast Lenses on DSLR Cameras - not completely relevant for m4/3, but related
    All of the above also have links or mentions of other threads/articles that are useful.

    Thanks for your input!
  2. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    The Noktons are not re-branded C-mount lenses but are designed from the ground up.

    However the Noktor is another story - similar name but not related at all.
  3. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2010
    Philadelphia, PA
    No time for a long answer right now, but after having played with a few dozen c-mount lenses, a few thoughts about them:

    - No ultrafast c-mount I have seen is sharp wide open, but they may still be usable and have a certain charme to them (thinking about the 25/0.95 Angenieux).

    - Almost all 25mm lenses show vignetting. If you use them in the 6:6/1:1 mode, this gets a bit better, and if the background is dark, nobody will notice anyway. There is a rumor that some are without vignetting (like one of the Schneider lenses), but the 20+ different 25mm c-mounts I had all had dark or distorted corners.

    - Best value in 25mm c-mount IMHO the Computer 25/1.3. Some say it needs modification, mine works without modifying it (just remove the stop screw of the focus ring). Of the older ones, I like the Wollensak Velostigmat or Raptar, good coverage also. Cooke Kinic has the swirly bokeh but is expensive. BTW, the Computar 12.5/1.3 is also good but, of course, has considerable vignetting.

    - I have tried three different c-mounts in 25/0.95. I love my little Angenieux lens, but if I now wanted to buy a fast lens like that, I would buy the new Voiglander Nokton. Keep in mind that these fast lenses are very difficult to focus, and I think the larger size of the Nokton would actually be an advantage (haven't had a chance to try it, though).

    - I find some longer c-mount lenses under-rated. There are some nice 75mm lenses from Schneider out there, and the fast 75 mm CCTV lenses are usually also good (Navitar, Computar etc, all similar). The 75/1.8 (or 1.9?) Fujinon is supposed to also be very good, but I have not tried that. And then there is always the 75/1.9 Kern Macro Switar...

    - Very few D-mounts make sense; some seem to have larger coverage or you can use them with extensions for macro, but not for normal photography. Switar RX 50mm worked fine, still could kick myself that I sold it, it's one of the smallest 50mm lenses out there.

    - Unless you are heavily into video, most c-mount zoom lenses are not worth the trouble, even with modification. Never tried the modified Fujinon 12.5 but the unmodified one is very nice and has great colors. May be worth it if you really want a manual wide lens. Personally, don't use WA enough and am happy with the Computar 12.5 and or others with WA converters.

    - Best adapter I have is from Hawk on ebay, model C5.

    All my personal 2cts, of course...

    • Like Like x 2
  4. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    The Noktor was the re branded lens
  5. shleepy

    shleepy New to Mu-43

    Jul 12, 2011
    D'oh! Yes, Noktor is the one I meant, and it looks like those just come in the 50mm (not 25mm)... roughly same price and availability as the Nokton, it looks like, eh?

    Thanks for the comments, everyone.
  6. ekoe

    ekoe Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 26, 2010
  7. jesselavender

    jesselavender New to Mu-43

    Jul 7, 2011
    It's definitely not wide...actually it's very long, but I just picked up a C-mount that I love for video, although I've only had it a day.

    [ame="http://vimeo.com/26584507"]Panasonic GH2 and Canon TV Zoom (C-Mount) TEST 1 on Vimeo[/ame]
  8. ekoe

    ekoe Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    Nice. What Canon zoom is that, jesselavender? Are you using ETC crop mode?
  9. jesselavender

    jesselavender New to Mu-43

    Jul 7, 2011
    It's a Canon TV Zoom. 18 - 108mm f/1.6. Made in the 80's I think. Such awesome lenses. I use it with and without ETC mode. It vignettes, but a 130% zoom in the edit fixes that. There's a guy on eBay, Edwin_lee83 I think, who sells them. He posts on the marketplace forum on here sometimes.

    Here's another video i shot with it this weekend.

    [ame="http://vimeo.com/27026225"]Tybee Anniversary / GH2 Hacked / Zeiss 28mm / Canon Tv Zoom on Vimeo[/ame]
  10. kau

    kau Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 18, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Chinese cctv lens

    I recently ordred, out of curiosity, the 2 chinese brand cctv lens, sometimes with the namd Fujian: 25/f1.4 and 35/f1.7. The 25mm has heavy vignetting wide open but improves in IQ stopped down to f4. The 35mm has better IQ with little vignetting. They're both in the $20 zone and come with a tiny 'extension tube'. If you use both on the same lens, you can almost get down to a 1:1 magnification - a cheap macro set up, light and portable.
    If anyone is interested, I shall try to post some images this weekend. (Is there a cctv lens image thread?)
  11. Paul C

    Paul C Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 29, 2017
    Is there a cctv lens image thread? well there is one now that you have posted this Kau !

    For experimenters, December 2018 web adverts at £55 GBP / USD $70 / €61 offer you a triple pack of C-mount 25mm, 35mm and 50mm lenses - with a C to M4/3 adapter, macro lens spacers, a metal lenshood and lens tissues thrown in as well.

    25 35 and 50 lenses.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    So what of the Image Quality - well the advert gives a hint!
    25 35 and 50.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Clearly the 25mm vignettes a lot on the M4/3 sensor and seem destined for use only in low-key lit portraits unless you crave the "Lomo Effect" - but the 35mm and 50mm look OK at a fraction of the price of a native m4/3 lens or an adapted f1.4 to f1.7 Pentax or Zuiko.

    I have no financial connection with the advertiser - but for the price of a Pizza supper for 2, these 3 lenses might offer a week of creative photography instead.

    What is the collected wisdom of the MU43 forum? Since Kau seems to have bought 2 of the triple set - what was the outcome? Was it a week of fun and then packed away at the back of the cupboard and forgotten - or are any still being used in the camera bag?

    best wishes - Paul in the UK
  12. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 15, 2016
    if you thinking about going for nokton, get yourself
    25mm f0.95 / 42.5mm f1.2, that will cost you roughly 300$ and provide great value for the price, since the lens is very sharp.
    rokinon/slrmagic 35mm f1.2 comes around the same price
    as rokinon50mm f1.2

    I'd rather not waste my time on c-mount lenses. you end up paying 50-100$ for a toy, you won´t be happy with. i think i saw somewhere 50mm f1.1 designed for 1" sensors, but it has big enough circle to cover MFT sensor.

    there are tons of cheap Chinese lenses in f1-1.2 range which will cost you somewhere between 100-200$
    kamlan 50mm f1.1
    neewer/7artisans 35mm f1.2
    and many more.

    or get yourself speed booster+f1.4 lens.

    on the wide angle there is not much cheap. you can go, for fast 3rd party glass, like
    rokinon 16mm f2.0 + speed booster, which will give you effectively 12mm f1.4 lens.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  13. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    While not Ultra wide or Ultra fast I've found the Pentax Auto110 lenses rather good, and the 18mm is at least moderately wide & fast. They don't have an aperture as that was in the camera body - there is an adapter available adding one but it's about 5x the price of the simple ones!

    For me wide open (f/2.8) has proved sufficient so far.

    The 18mm/2.8 & 24mm/2.8 are both smaller than most c-mounts, and designed to cover about the same size as MFT. They actually cover APSC reasonably!

    For ultra wide/fast you can always have a play with single element monocles - could be fun but expect severe aberrations.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    I don't think adapting C-mount makes much sense anymore, unless you want special effect lenses. There are too many good native lenses that are cheap, and outstanding ones that are pretty affordable. I was going to make a list, but there are too many! Also, if you add in speed boosters, there are exponentially more choices.

    I tried them and the adapter wouldn't allow focus past about 5 feet. So I got a refund. I know the lenses are usually fine with the right adapter, but 1 round trip to the post office was enough fun for me. So I never got any replacements. I will say they are CHEAP lenses barely worth what you pay. They have all the build quality of dollar store toys.

    If you want some dirt cheap manual lenses, check out 7artisans. They have 25mm f1.8 and 50mm f1.8 lenses for $80 each that are actually good optics with real lens build. (Or spend a bit more and get used AF P25mm f1.7 and Oly 45mm f1.8)

    Or of course, there are dozens of 50mm SLR lenses to adapt from yesteryear. Some older gems you could find for as cheap as the CCTV toy lenses.
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