What Other Lenses Are Great by f2?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by tjdean01, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Lenses Great by F2 (Help Add to Our List!)

    I shoot a lot in low-light (or else long focal length with medium light) and although the OM-D sensor is useable at ISO 3200, it would be nice if every lens were like the 75/1.8 and sharp (contrasty, little CA and fringing, etc) wide open (corners excluded). A lot of f1.4 lenses aren't sharp until f4. Based on lenses that I and others in this thread own, I'm compiling a list of "YES," "NO," and "MAYBE" lenses. The need to hold the lens steady is very important and since longer focal lengths are harder to hold, that's been kind of factored in.

    YES - Great by f2.0
    • Olympus 12/2.0 - It's so wide it's easy to hold even if you stop down a tad.
    • Panasonic 14/2.5 - a definite yes because it's sharp wide open and very easy to hold steady
    • Panasonic 20/1.7 - not only is it wide but it's great at f2 anyway
    • Panasonic 25/1.4 - see Netfun's post below
    • Olympus 75/1.8 - Wonderful at f1.8
    • Pentax 50/1.7. It's bad at 1.7, but it all clears up by f2, and f2 isn't much worse than f5.6.
    • OM 50/2 and 90/2 macros - see Netfun and inuini2005's posts below
    • Canon FD 50/1.4 - see gcogger's post below

    • Olympus 45/1.8 - usable wide open, but is really very good at f2.2 and doesn't get a whole lot better if you go to f5.6
    • Olympus 60/2.8 - macro, so you can't fault it for being f2.8. Seeing that it's already very good wide open and so long, I put it here

    (Surprisingly) NO - Need F4 for Good Image Quality
    • Konica Hexanon 40/1.8 - according to many, one of the sharpest lenses ever. Sure, but, I have 3 of them sitting here and I'll tell you, at f1.8 the lenses are not good. f2.8 is also mediocre. You need f4 or f5.6 before you can call this lens great
    • Konica Hexanon 50/1.7 - matches the Pentax 50/1.7 at all apertures but most copies don't have half stops thus the next stop is 2.8. I haven't tried the older version which has half-stops at f2. UPDATE: lens can be modified to have f2
    • Konica Hexanon 57/1.4 - has half-stops at f1.4, f1.7, and f2, but the lens is not sharp at any of those apertures. f2.8 is mediocre. (f4 and f5.6 are terrific, however.)
    • Konica Hexanon 135/3.2 and 3.5 - only considered because being sharp at f4 at such a long FL is noteworthy (neither are good wide open). I would like to try the 2.8 versions. That said, you still need 1/200 or so to hold them steady.

    Anyone else have any lenses that are very good by f2 or f2.2?
  2. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    May 25, 2010
    The Canon new FD 50/1.4 is very good (sharp with goos contrast) by f/2 IMHO, and doesn't improve that much as it's stopped down from there. As always, though, one man's 'sharp' is another man's 'soft' :)
  3. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Yep, I remember seeing both the Canon and Olympus 50/1.4s when I was looking to buy a "nifty fifty." If I remember correctly the Pentax was the cheapest of the bunch :wink:
  4. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Patrick Kristiansen
    I have the om50's, both 1,8 and 1,4 versions. The 1,8 is superior in terms of sharpness, and I'd say quite good wide open. The 1,4 is hardly usable for anything but a soft focus shot before 2,8, but has character, so I enjoy portaits with it.
    I can, as many others vouch for the pl25 and oly 75 ,I use them mostly open, both are excellent.
    If you are willing to pay for one and are lucky enough to find it, it is hard to beat the om90f2 macro. It is tacksharp wide open, both close and far focus, has a beautifully rounded 9-bladed diaphragm, and is a sheer pleasure to shoot with. Only issue is some longitunal ca wide open, but only in highcontrast areas, not much anyway. Highly recommended:)
  5. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    I just looked that up and boy. Cheap! Does it have a stop at f2? How much better does it get when you hit f4 or 5.6? I have a 50 already but, as you know, you can never have too many :) Plus, I have a nice OM-1 sitting on the shelf without a lens. I need something to display on it that I can also use :wink:

    Ahh, my friend has this lens. He says it's pretty amazing. He bought it new like 20 years ago $500 which was apparently an amazing deal. Tack sharp wide open? Wow. I'd love to have one!
  6. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Any modern Leica Summicron will be good at F2. I would also add the Minolta 40mm Rokkor-C or CE lenses designed for the Leica M-mount. These lenses all cost serious bucks, though.

    I find most older nifty-fifty SLR lenses really need to stop down to f2.8 to be really sharp when adapted to m4/3.
  7. MarylandUSA

    MarylandUSA Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    Poolesville, Maryland
    Paul Franklin Stregevsky
    Hexanon 50/1.7 and half-stop clicks

    The Konica Hexanon AR 50/1.7, Generation 1, can focus as close as 0.45m and lets you click at every half-stop. You have Generation 2. Generation 2 focuses no closer than 0.55m and lost the half-stop clicks. The optical formula and quality remain the same, but the lens barrel is slimmer and shorter, and the less is lighter. To achieve the slimmer barrel, I'm guessing that Konica removed the ball bearings that had made allowed Gen. 1 to focus so smoothly.

  8. inuini2005

    inuini2005 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    OM 50mm legacies and maybe Canon 50mm F0.95

    I own the OM 50mm F1.2, OM 50mm F2 Macro and OM 55mm F1.2,
    I think among the three, the 50mm F2 Macro is the sharpest. Some even say that it is one of the few sharpest lens produced, I have no proof of it though.

    The two F1.2s, they are quite soft wide open, and when stopped down they produce very good results in my eyes.

    As for the Canon F0.95, it is very dreamy...coz it's a dream lens...it gets much sharper at F2 onwards...but who's gonna use it if it's not used at wide open...
  9. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    My Hexanon 57/1.4 seems to want to be at 2.0 or higher too--though part of that can probably be attributed to me being terrible at manual focusing.
  10. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Well that sucks that I'd get the crappy one. I'll have to sell it and get one with the half-stops like the the first two here. I see that you'd be able to tell them apart by the rows on the focus ring. Thanks! :thumbup:

    UPDATE: No need for me to sell my Konica 50mm f1.7 and buy the version with half stops. I took her apart (I paid $21 so what the heck) and created a stop at f2.0! I tested it first and although f1.7 isn't useable, f2 is. Kind of proud of myself here!

    If you're in doubt that your 50/2 macro isn't one of the best lenses ever all you need to do is take a shot at f2 and one at f5.6. If the f2 shot doesn't improve much when you go to f5.6 then you've got a really good lens! Judging by the price of the lens on Ebay, it's a winner, and a tjdean01 YES! :)

    About the F1.2s, I'm guessing they have to be F2.8 before getting sharp shots? I have a 1.4 that's similarly unimpressive (see reply below).

    No sir, I assume you're focusing correctly. I just bought the Konica 57/1.4 because it's very sharp (at f5.6) and it has half stops. So I incorrectly assumed that since I have stops at f1.4, f1.7, and f2, that f2 would be sharp. But I was wrong. The lens is not sharp at any of those apertures. IN FACT, the Konica 50/1.7s above BEAT it at f2 (based on my copies, anyway).

    UPDATE: I'm updating the lists of lenses in the YES, NO, and MAYBE categories above based on the help from you guys :wink:
  11. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    I have allways thought that Oly 12/2 is a true lowlight performer?
  12. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    Olympus make 2 Super High Quality 4/3 zoom lenses that are very sharp at F2.0, the 14-35mm and 35-100mm. If they produce the rumoured high end model with full 4/3 support these wonderful lenses will be in great demand again.
  13. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    That might be true. Haha. I have a Minolta 50/1.4 too, which is probably a little sharper at wider apertures now that you put it that way. Still, I like everything else about the Hexanon more so I use it much more often.

    Still, of course the Oly 45 has them both beat at 1.7-2, I'd say (though I've only had it a few days). I'm not one for serious testing but it's pretty clear.
  14. MarylandUSA

    MarylandUSA Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    Poolesville, Maryland
    Paul Franklin Stregevsky
    The true cost of buying an f/2 zoom

    If I bought one or both of Oly's f/2 zooms, I'd need to factor in the cost of a divorce.

  15. kmack

    kmack Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 12, 2012
    I have a Canon Serenar 50/1.8 in LTM that looks very good (to me) at 1.8 and f2 on my OMD.
  16. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    This thread was en-LIGHT-ening for a guy who shoots a lot in low light (due to my sleeping habits and work schedule, actually). I didn't mention price, but that is definitely a factor in my lens buying decisions. For me to have a prime in a variety of focal lengths, I'm going to go with the following (I have about half of these):

    I can't afford the 12/2 but I have the 14/2.5 and am getting the wide angle converter to make it 11mm. The 20/1.7 is a must-have. Sigma 30/2.8 is sharp wide-open and $100 used so that's on my list. Getting longer, the 45/1.8 is a must have. Then the $20 modified Konica 50/1.7 or the similar Pentax. An odd focal length and not good at f2 but fair at f2.8, the Konica 57/1.4 is, for now, for the price, the lens I'll keep at that FL.

    For longer lengths, with my budget in mind, for now I'll have to settle for the 40-150mm for anything in that range. Slow, yes, but cheaper than dropping $400 for a good 85mm legacy lens when what I really want to save my pennies for is the 75/1.8. I don't think I'll need a 100mm prime but if I do, some legacies exist for $150 or so. And for 135mm, as much as I'd like a fast one, I'm going to settle for the f3.5 for now. I mean, $30 vs $150 for an f2.8 is an easy decision for me for now considering the 20/1.7 and 45/1.8 will run me $700!
  17. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I agree with everything except these two ;

    • 14mm cannot do F2 so what're you even including it for? :eek:
      By this reckoning you may as well test the two SigmaF2.8s ...

      mZuiko 45mm = great at F2. :| "Usable wide open" is a joke, right?
  18. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    It's not F2 but I love my OM100/2.8, tiny, light and not too pricey for what it does. I use it for gig photos from a mile away mostly and love it. Takes a decent macro with a raynox dcr150 on the front too :)

    Would love to hear people's verdicts on other fast-ish lenses >70mm and <$250
    Just looked at the OM90 macro but it's near $1000, argh!
  19. timg

    timg Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 13, 2012
    I think I'd have to agree with Dean on this one, I step my 45mm down a notch or two when I can to get better IQ whereas I'm perfectly happy using my p20 wide open.
  20. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    And I would agree with Ulfric. I've had three copies of the 45/1.8. Very happy with them all wide open.