50-60mm f/1.2 lenses for the Sony A7/A7R that can be had for ~$500 or less

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Amin Sabet, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    I've found that there are still a few very fast normal lenses on the used market for close to or less than $500:
    Canon 50/1.2 FD
    Canon 50/1.2 LTM
    Canon 55/1.2 FD
    Canon 55/1.2 SSC FD
    Nikon 50/1.2 AI
    Nikon 50/1.2 AIS
    Pentax K 50/1.2 (often under $400)
    Pentax A 50/1.2
    Olympus OM 50/1.2 (sometimes over $500)
    Olympus OM 55/1.2
    Minolta 50/1.2
    Minolta 58/1.2 (sometimes well over $500)
    Konica 57/1.2

    Others that I'm missing here?

    Please tell your experience with these lenses. I bought the Pentax K, which seems to be the least expensive of the bunch, and am looking forward to its delivery. I used to own the Zuiko 50/1.2. Should have kept it!
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    I've had a Nikon 50/1.2 AIS for some time. I considered it unuseable at f/1.2 on my Panasonic GH2: too much glow around highlights and not enough contrast. Stopping down to f/1.4 didn't improve much so the first useable aperture was f/2 and that's the same as on my Minolta MC Rokkor 50/1.4 (that I still have). Contrast on the Rokkor at f/2 is somewhat lower than that of the Nikkor but not enough to keep € 300 tied up in the Nikkor, so I sold it and never looked back. I suspect that a lot of these f/1.2 lenses have to be stopped down to deliver acceptable image quality and then there's no point in getting one, you really have to get one that's acceptable wide-open. And then there's depth-of-field, or rather the lack of it...
  3. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 22, 2012
    Canon FL of course: Great "entry-level" f1.2 lens that is very sharp by f2.8. I did a very unfair comparison with the FE 55/1.8 here. The FD 50/1.2 L is another one that's just beyond the price range.

    There's also the Porst 50/1.2 in a variety of mounts, but I have never shot with it.

    In the astronomical league there's the M-Hexanon 50/1.2, Noct-Nikkor 55/1.2, and Hexanon LTM 60/1.2
  4. Mathieu Decodts

    Mathieu Decodts TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 5, 2013
    I have the canon fd chrome nose 55mm f1.2

    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathieu_decodts_photography/12550070175/player/" width="800" height="531" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    got it for 150 pounds (about 210 dollars)

    Looked for one for 3 years in good condition that wasnt £300 ($500)

    I was looking for it because historically it was supposedly Canon's first "L" lens. They basically poured money and R&D into it to beat the Nikkor of the time and apparently they did so with aplomb! (I dont have it to compare, sorry but this lens is amazing!)

    I have had it for 2 months, shooting first on my a3000 and now on my new a7R. It is far and away my favourite lens ever, its hilariously sharp at about F2.8 but glowly and bokehlishious wide open.

    Wide open pretty much OOC except for skin smoothing because its too much detail for a portrail (check the Bokeh!)

    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathieu_decodts_photography/13491019315/in/photolist-k815jT-k81oCg-k81UfF-k82d9X-k83NQu-kYHUXi-mmTfQd-mxpwoh-mxrn92-my9DQq-mya12i-mzzmk9/player/" width="1600" height="1068" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    And at f4 or so
    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathieu_decodts_photography/12934738663/player/" width="1600" height="1062" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    Sharp and contrasty (I boosted it a little but its stunning)

    As you can tell I love this lens. Its one of the few lenses that has exceeded my expectations. I wish I had the Zeiss 55 1.8 to compare, but I suspect I would hate it because its a "straight" "modern" lens and its 5 times the price!
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Mathieu Decodts

    Mathieu Decodts TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 5, 2013
    oh here is another with the glow used to full effect on purpose ( I was going for a fairytale kinda look, soft and glowy)

    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathieu_decodts_photography/14056645313/player/" width="1600" height="1068" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>
    • Like Like x 2
  6. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    I recently had the opportunity to briefly compare a Minolta 58mm f/1.2 to my Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 on my A7.

    Here's my take:

    • The lenses meter the same in the vast majority of situations. Only rarely was I able to get the camera to show a metering difference between the Minolta's f/1.2 and the Voigtlander f/1.4.
    • The smoothness of the bokeh is more or less the same.
    • The Voigtlander with its more modern coatings hands flare far better than the Minolta does.
    • The Voigtlander is sharper at all apertures until around f/4. After that they're about the same.
    • The Voigtlander has much less glow and contrast loss from spherical aberration wide open.

    Now don't get me wrong, I was still quite impressed with the Minolta 58mm f/1.2 It certainly deserves its status as a cult classic, but for me, I don't see it being able to replace what I already have.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Mathieu Decodts

    Mathieu Decodts TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 5, 2013
    one more, pushing the slim depth of field for a soft focus effect and attention grabbing eyes, this is OOC except for white balance correction (mistake I made) so soft and sharp and lovely 3d effect.

    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathieu_decodts_photography/13225367035/player/" width="897" height="1024" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>
    • Like Like x 4
  8. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    There's the f/1.2 or faster lenses wide open thread at fredmiranda.com.

    At f/1.2, it's all about the character, and how you control/avoid/make use of the glow. I also contributed a few images to that thread with my Nikon AI-S on NEX.

    I like the minimum focus distance of the AI-S 50mm, which is 45cm.

    Also used the Nikkor AI-S on my D600, here is an indoor album. But the widest I used was f/1.4.

    I need to use my Rokkor 58mm f/1.2 more, but California is too sunny.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    I think of my Canon FL 55/1.2 as a poor man't Otus because it is big, heavy, manual and superior to most 1.4 lenses I've tried at f/1.4.

    I'm sure the Otus is even better at f/1.4 - at 20x the cost it had better be! ;) 

    12114741196_bef896b1d9_z. Craig by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 1
  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    We here in soggy Oregon weep for you, Brian. :rolleyes: 
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Mathieu Decodts

    Mathieu Decodts TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 5, 2013
    Likewise from Ireland lol. But the a7r can do iso 50 and 1/8000. So it is OK in moderate sunshine

    Sent from my E2001 using TalkEmount mobile app
  12. leemik

    leemik TalkEmount Rookie

    Mar 17, 2014
    There is a Porst 50/1.2 that is a Fujinon EBC 50/1.2 clone.. Seems like a pretty nice sharp lens with well behaved bokeh ~$300.. The Fujinon version goes for like 2x the price for the same lens, diff branding.

    There is a Porst 55/1.2 made by Cosina that is very soft and glowy from the pics I've seen..~$300. It's not to be confused with the Porst 50/1.2 nor the Cosina/Tomioka/Chinon/Yashinon 55/1.2

    There is a Cosina 55/1.2 designed by Tomioka that is sharp wide open and has some VERY interesting bubbly bokeh.. ~$300 This lens is a bargain because I think it's a clone of the Revenuon/Chinon/Tomioka/Yashinon 55/1.2 which goes for A LOT more money because of the name.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. leemik

    leemik TalkEmount Rookie

    Mar 17, 2014
    I just slap a polarizer on when it's very sunny out.. seems to give me enough to shoot at 1.2 and makes the colors more vibrant..even less of a worry with the superfast A7(r) max shutter speed.
  14. Mattithjah

    Mattithjah TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 17, 2013
    Czech Republic
    My Canon FL 58/1.2 was for 200$ and is ok for me :)  But it is huge and since I have CV Nokton 40/1.4, I dont use Canon a lot…

    Matej (sent from phone)
  15. John D.

    John D. TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 7, 2013
    I've been looking for a Zuiko 50mm f/1.2 but they go for "stupid money" on that "Big Auction Site" in the sky. I'm talking $450 - $600 in excellent condition (and sometimes more?!?!) . And trust me - I've looked at them all. Yep - they are really that much. So, last week, I take another look - and there is a "Buy It Now" from someone who is selling a case with 6 lenses he bought at an "Estate Sale" (probably a garage sale?), a bunch of C adaptors (whatever those are?), some microscope adaptors, and other junk I have no idea what they are. BUT - I'm looking at one of his silly pictures - and there is a Olympus/Zuiko 50mm f/1.2 in the lot... The Buy it Now? $340. As I just sold a print in a Gallery for the same amount so I hit the "Buy It Now".. I looked up at my bride and said "I just did something really good or really stupid"...

    She just looked at me - as she always does - and rolled her eyes... :rolleyes: 

    Anyway - everything arrived.. And the 50mm f/1.2 was in the lot... But - funny enough SO WERE TWO OTHER Zuiko 50mm f/1.2 lenses!! All in excellent condition - not a mark, no fungus, not a scratch - nothing! They appear to have never have been used or even taken out of their storage case? And the other lenses? An Olympus/Zuiko 50mm 1.4, a Nikon/Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 and a trashed Soligar something...

    Anyway - these are from yesterday - Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.2 manual lens on my Sony A7R. The Zuiko 1.2 has legendary bokeh @ 1.2. The shots below were taken RAW and with only slight PP and a touch of sharpness, is pretty straight out of the camera. What is HYPER-SHORT Depth of Field? Well, with this lens focused at 14" - the TOTAL DOF is exactly 0.12" or about 3mm @ f/1.2.




    - John
    • Like Like x 7
  16. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    So how much do you want for 'the other 2' ;) 
    • Like Like x 1
  17. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Looks like money well spend and looks like you'll make money on top ;) 
    Great shots btw
    • Like Like x 1
  18. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    That was my first thought as well :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  19. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Those photos look great. The bottom one might be able to use a little of the CA dropper in Lightroom.

    If they don't have fungus, they were likely used at least some. Long terms storage is a great way to cause fungus. I'd guess they got use (but only minimal use) enough so that they received regular UV light to keep spores in check but not enough that they didn't get any visible wear.

    Pretty awesome though. This is the kind of story we all hope for.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. John D.

    John D. TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 7, 2013

    You guys are relentless ;)  Hey - I just got them and will probably pass one on.

    If I do - I'll post it on this site first, OK??

    Best to all - an my thanks for all the comments..!

    • Like Like x 2
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