Using C mount lenses frequently?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Crdome, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
    I would like to hear from those who routinely use c-mount lenses with any frequency. What len(s) are you using and what are you shooting?

    Thank you. -Chrome
     
  2. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    348
    Feb 1, 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    After going a bit overboard with buying them and then getting another 30something at an estate auction, I have gone through a lot of them... Many of them were fun, but I am not a collector and not rich enough to keep them all, so I sold most of them again and came out even or maybe a little bit ahead.

    The ones I kept for now are the Fujinon 25/1.4 CCTV which seems very nice but I still need to modify the rear. Also have the 12.5mm Fujinon, nice colors but the usual vignetting. Also kept the CCTV Computar lenses in 25mm and 12.5mm and an old Cooke Kinic 25/1.5 for its funky swirly bokeh. Btw, over time I happened to own 4 copies of the Angenieux 25/0.95. If I were rich, I would have kept one, but as nice as they are, I sold each one of them for over $1200 which is much more than they are worth to me. Of the ones around 50mm only a Switar 50/1.4 was acceptable, but not even close to my Summicron 50/2 or a 50mm Planar, so I sold it for more than what a Summicron would cost you... I like the 75mm FL, and still have a small Schneider 75/2.8 and a Kern Macro Switar 75/1.9. That last one is beautiful, but I may have to sell it anyway, unexpected expenses coming up... Same with a really nice Schneider 100/2.8. Selling those two will hurt, especially the Switar. I have debated with myself whether to sell the Switar or the 85/1.4 Zeiss Planar, and while the Switar looks much better, I find the Planar easier to use and on the GH2? Sold most of the longer ones except a 150mm Kinic. Finally, I have a few Kodak cine lenses adapted to c-mount, a 40/1.6 and a 63/2 functional and a few others (50/1.6 and 25/1.4) that need servicing if I decide to invest in it. Those last two are totally corroded on the outside and ugly but the glass is decent and they would still take decent pics after relubing and adjusting them.

    However, like so many others, I got into the c-mount lenses because of the novelty factor, the small size, and the fascination to use a 60 year old lens on a modern camera. But by now the portfolios of native lenses have grown so much, that I find myself using them less and less. For me, the Panny 20/1.7 made all the nice 25mm c-mounts obsolete. The main problem: I need a viewfinder to use them and while the lenses are great in size for my GF2, the LVF1 sucks. And many small ones look ridiculous on the GH2 ;)

    So, the most honest summary would be that I still own some but many of them got so little systematic use that I wouldn't even have presentable examples on short notice. Maybe I shouldn't even have responded, because I don't seem to use them routinely ;)

    Stefan
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. the.growler

    the.growler Mu-43 Regular

    When I first started playing with adapted lenses, I was in search of a compact, manual focus, 50mm-equivalent for street photography. In retrospect, I could have saved myself a lot of time and money if I had just bought a Pen F/FT 25mm (which I finally did), because all of the 25mm C-mount lenses I tried, from cheap-as-dirt CCTV lenses to expensive vintage cine lenses, suffered from very similar image issues: vignetting, edge softness and swirly bokeh. Now, don't get me wrong - those characteristics can be used to positive effect if you want a particular look, but they weren't what I was looking for in a street lens.

    I still have one no-name 25mm f1.4 CCTV lens which I keep for making "antique" images, a 35mm f1.7 Fujian w/ macro rings that I use for close-up work like eBay photos and documenting lens tear-downs (it works just fine as a macro lens) and a Computar 25mm f1.3 that I rarely use but can't bear to part with because of the work I put into it to modify it for infinity focus. All of my other C-mount lenses I sold at a loss. In theory, I gained some experience in return. :rolleyes:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    609
    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    rpamparo
    Fujian 35mm CCTV

    this is the only one I have and I consider it a novelty to get something a little different. i shot different things with it but not very often. here are some ...

    <a href="http://flickriver.com/photos/rpamparo/tags/fujian">[​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Herbert
    I have the Fujian 35mm CCTV lens off from eBay. The copy I have has serious flare. I cannot use for anything other than as a toy lens.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I'll second that -- my copy of the 35mm also suffers from [post=270556]prodigious flare[/post]. It seems that some others here have had a better experience with it, but I use mine very rarely due to the issue.

    I also have an unbranded 25mm f/1.2 which I use once in a while. As with all 25mm c-mounts I've seen there is significant vignetting with this lens.

    The c-mount lens I use most is the [post=286317]Computar 75mm f/1.4[/post] which is a very competent lens. I've seen some (admittedly very subjective) comparisons where this lens appears to approach the ability of the O75. I'd probably use it more if the 75mm (150mm equivalent) focal length was a more comfortable fit for me. As it is, I use it primarily as a longish portrait lens. The bokeh does tend a bit toward the swirly side.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Interesting. My story's similar, though I WISH I could have picked up 30 C-mounts at an estate auction and played with them! I've been through probably 10, and the only two I presently have anymore are a 25mm f/1.5 Cooke-Kinic which I love for its swirly bokeh (definition of a true 'specialty lens') and an 85mm Meopta Openar f/2.8, which is an amazingly compact portraity lens on m43. The rest I've sold for a slight profit overall, but then I'm a very selective buyer and quite frankly got very lucky with a few that were very poorly described on eBay and turned out to be spectacular.

    Also, prices seem to be climbing recently, which has kept me out of the market. I still look around--because it's just plain fun playing with these lenses--but I expect I'll never own more than 2 or 3 of them.

    EDIT: as to the Fujian 35mm f/1.7, I've had two copies and found both to be very difficult to focus (sloppy mechanism) and not worth the trouble.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
    Thanks Stefan. Your response is exactly what I'm looking for, and I'm hoping to receive a broad range of perspectives of others. I'm trying to justify the purchase one or two of your aforementioned type lenses, but wondering if I'd use them. I don't mind looking silly with a small c-mount on the GH2, rather I'm pondering whether I might be less conspicuous using c-mounts for street shooting. Unfortunately that body isn't inconspicuous.

     
  9. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
    Thanks Growler. This is the type information I am searching for to assist in decision making. -Chrome


     
  10. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
    Thanks Rpamparo, I see a consensus developing here. -Chrome

     
  11. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
    Thanks Keith. I appreciate you and the other respondents sharing their experiences. It seems unamious

    75mm is an FL I was considering whether it be the Computar or a 16mm variety. You have touched on an issue tormenting me. Namely if the... "focal length was a more comfortable fit for me". My biggest disappointment with the MFT format is the 2x crop factor. To achieve the magnification of the subject I desire comes at the expense of loosing my desired FOV. Nothing feels quite right to me now. Mostly I've used the 7-14 since acquiring it, but FOV isn't a issue with an ultra wide lens. -Chrome

     
  12. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
    Mellow, thanks for for sharing your experiences. I do use two C mount lenses a Kodak Cine Ektar 1.4/25 and the Cosmicar 1.5/22.5~90 which is a monster with an 82mm filter ring.Their wide aperture makes them my two lenses of choice documenting abandoned buildings. The f/4 of my Panasonic lenses don't face up to the challenge of those dark environments. I'm looking for something smaller in the 50-100mm range for street shooting.

     
  13. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    348
    Feb 1, 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I had a few 75mm c-mount lenses. The Computar CCTV lens is very likely similar to others like the Navitar that I had and liked. The one I never tried but heard good things about is the Fujinon 75/1.8 (I think). I like the Fujinons and think they have the best optical quality among the CCTV lenses I tried, just nice in colors and contrast.

    There are also tons of older ones, the Macro Switar 75/1.9 clearly the best I have used but that lens also regularly sells for over $1,000 on ebay. The cheaper Yvar was o.k. but nothing special. I like Schneider lenses, and I had two versions of their 75/2.8 which were both very nice. There is a chrome version that is slightly larger and excellent quality, and a smaller version that is almost diminutive for a 75mm but also can sow just a tiny bit of vignetting. Some older Wollensaks and Kodaks were nothing special IMHO. The 75/2.5 Angenieux is very nice, a bit softer but in a nice way. Probably should have kept it. The one thing I did not like was the minimal distance was over 1m IIRC.

    I did not look much at 50mm lenses except for the Switar which was nice but I sold it because I had others that were better if larger. Closer to the 50mm is the Kodak 63/2 which is a nice lens I really should use more often. It is quite sharp when stopped down a bit. The only two 100mm ones that I came across and liked were the mentioned Schneider 100/2.8 and the Kodak 102/2.7 which has a really nice IQ. Of course, there is the fabled Kern 100mm Macro Yvar lens but that is way beyond my price range. I had the 150/3.3 Makro that is a very cool lens and the IQ was nice, but without stabilization this length becomes tricky to use and the 150mm unfortunately showed some vignetting, otherwise I would have kept it just for the coolness factor.

    Stefan
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
    Stefan,

    Thank you for the massive amounts of information and time you have provided here and thru PM. I'm quite tempted to try finding the 63,75,and possibly 100.

    Recently I purchases a beautiful 100mm C mount, it beautiful and felt amazing in my hands. Unfortunately it was an Argus C-3 mount for 35mm format. Pacific Rim was amazing allowing return including refunded shipping.

    As you can see in the link, it is quite diminutive for a 100 mm compared to my small Cine Ektar 25/1.4.

    This lens has tormented me since, and can't get it out of my mind. If only there was an Argus to m4/3. Moments ago in hopes to rectify this situation, I purchased an inexpensive Argus 3 "Brick" on eBay. Its body is mostly bakelite so I ought to be able to dismantle it easily to remove its mount ton try cobbliing together with an appropriate m4/3 adapter.

    -Chrome
     
  15. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Forum requires password for link.
     
  16. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I use a Navitar 50mm F0.95 which has almost full converage for MFT. While technically a 1" format it actuall can cover way more than that and if one is enterprising and can build a replacement for th ec-mount interface a significant improvement in vignetting can be had.

    The primary issue is the diameter of the lens at the c-mout precludes it fitting into any adapter or even a custom mounting so the back focus position is well off so far focus of ~1 meter is all that can be realized. Not bad since I was mostly using it for marco work so not a major issue for me.

    Not many but some examples here.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. capodave

    capodave Mu-43 Top Veteran

    514
    Jul 4, 2010
    Southern Cal
    Dave
    8106525291_e4da28a3ba_b.
    Heaveny Chair Lift by CapoDave, on Flickr

    I Have a Kern Paillard 25mm F 1.5 that I have used for low light.
    I haven't used it much since I got the Oly 45.This was shot with an E P1.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. m0nsieur2

    m0nsieur2 Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Mar 8, 2012
    I'm not a C-mount pro, but I enjoy using the 25mm f/1.2 ebay lens. It offers unique images that put instagram to shame for impersonating the old cheap camera lens effect.

    I also bought a 10mm Cine lens to use as a fisheye, from a guy who used to make movies with it. I use the Cmount adapter that came with my ebay lens. This lens is disappointing in that it only covers about half of the frame (a circle in the center) and can only seem to focus within a 4ft range. I've also tried a CS adapter but that didn't improve. It's too bad because the glass is clean and aperture and focus are smooth moving.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    348
    Feb 1, 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I think that the fast and wide c-mount lenses were the hope of many of us in the beginning, but I have never heard of one that does not show severe vignetting. There are a few that are still usable if you crop, but then you get something equivalent to a 14-16mm but at least with better low light performance. The Fujinon and Computar 12.5/1.3 lenses are examples for those. But you can always try them in the ETC mode for video, a 10mm might work there and give you a great low light option. In general, almost all of them vignette up to 25mm, and there are only a few that don't, especially if you use 16:9 or 1:1 formats on the GH2.

    Stefan
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a Cosmicar 75mm 1.4 C-mount lens I picked up off Ebay. I don't use it much and the corners are soft, but at 2.8 it is tack sharp in the center with a very unique image quality. I can't explain it, but it has a certain quality none of my other lenses exhibit. I've been thinking of selling it, but I got it for a good price and they're sorta hard to find.

    Here are a couple of samples with the lens on the E-M5:




     
    • Like Like x 2