After many years of buying and selling adapted lenses...

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by dixeyk, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Today was a big day. For the first time since I started this adapted lens odyssey (with my Olympus E500 seven years ago) I actually came across a great deal on an absolutely mint lens and I did not buy it. More importantly I never even considered buying it. I looked at it, thought "wow that's a great price" and then went right to "that's gonna be a score for SOMEONE ELSE!". As hard as it is to believe I think I have found a set of adapted lenses that work really well for me. I'm happy with the way they feel, work, images they give me and only really have one need in terms of focal length...WA which isn't affordably served by legacy glass.

    I have learned a lot in seven years. I learned that I don't like long minimum focus distances. I like to work close in and lenses that can do that are a real bonus. Because the NEX body is so small I tend to use the lens itself as a grab point so tiny lenses aren't a particular draw for me. The Pen-F is an exception and the IQ is why I bought it not the small size (frankly I wish it was a bit bigger). I shoot a lot at f4 or f5.6 so fats lenses aren't a must for me. I have a couple but find that lenses like the 24/2.8 are fast enough for most of what I do. If I REALLY want shallow DOF or need to shoot in low light the 50/1.4 is there. I learned that at least half of why I prefer the lenses I do is tactile. I like they way they feel in the hand and operate. A lot of the lenses I tried were good. I found the differences between Konica, Canon, Olympus, Minolta, Pentax etc. to be a lot smaller than fans of each might care to admit. I favor Minolta but my Super Takumar 50/1.4 and Canon 50/1.4 were also very VERY good in their own right. I can't even say the Minolta is better...all I can say definitively is that I prefer it. Part of my preference are things that is totally unconnected to optical quality. I thought the Canon FD stuff was kinda homely and my father-in-law thinks the sun rises and sets on Canon. That right there was enough to make me pass. Konica favors a somewhat stiff aperture ring and I like them looser. The thorium elements in the Super Takumar 50/1.4 is slightly radioactive and while i KNOW there is no health risk I'm a 10 year cancer survivor so I passed on the Super Takumars (and why I don't have a Minolta MC 28/2.5 either). My point is much of the reason I have what I have has nothing to do with the lens' ability to make images. That also means that what I like is nothing more than my personal preferences and has more in common with why I like blue jeans and leather jackets than anything even remotely photographic in nature.

    So what did I end up with?

    Minolta Rokkor-SI MC 24/2.8
    This lens is amazingly heavy and deceptively nice. It's sharp, has very nice OOF areas and I can see why Leica might have sold it as an R lens as well. The biggest negative about the lens is that it doesn't peak as well as some lenses. That said, every time I use it I am reminded why I keep it. I like the MC version because the build quality is...robust to say the least.

    Vivitar 28/2 Close Focus (Komine made)
    Too Close to the Fire by dixeyk, on Flickr

    Intent by dixeyk, on Flickr

    This is a great lens that in many ways challenges the Rokkor 24. It close focuses better, is smaller, lighter and sometimes has issues with flare but for under $100 I doubt there is a better bargain out there...although I have heard the 28/2.8 Close focus is also quite good and half that price.

    Olympus Pen-F 38/1.8
    Murciélago by dixeyk, on Flickr

    It's small, sharp wide open and amazingly sharp. It's bokeh can get a bit busy depending on the background but a real sweet lens.

    Minolta Rokkor MC 50/1.4
    Sheltered by dixeyk, on Flickr

    All Hallows Eve by dixeyk, on Flickr

    My favorite fast 50 ever. It feels good, it's heavy enough that it sits comfortably in the hand and stopped down to f2 it is amazingly sharp. I've heard the later MD version is even better. I find that hard to believe.

    Minolta Rokkor MC 100/2.5
    Mick Who? by dixeyk, on Flickr

    Minolta MD 35-70/3.5 macro
    The Herald of the Ice Queen by dixeyk, on Flickr

    Sock by dixeyk, on Flickr

    Games by dixeyk, on Flickr

    Versatile, 3.5 throughout the zoom range, 1:4 and 1:7 macro settings (okay more like close-up) as sharp as a prime between 35-50 and not far off at 70.

    I also have a Sigma 30/2.8 and I have considered picking up a Sigma 19 for a WA option given that they are so cheap.
  2. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    I've found that the tactile is about equal to IQ for me as well. All my normal legacy lenses work the same way- the focus ring and aperture rings operate the same, they share filter ring size and many of them share lens caps as well.

    Fortunately they have good enough IQ that I don't worry about changing to a longer focal length for fast moving situations, I just crop later. Unfortunately they don't focus particularly close, but a helicoid takes care of that.

    I will soon have two lens sets for my 5N- my legacy lenses for those times I can use a tripod and really make the shots I want and AF lenses for those times I'm "running and gunning" or don't know what I'll be shooting.

    The NEX has resurected my photo hobby, and focus peaking with legacy lenses is a major part of that. :)
  3. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Actually I had forgotten but the fact that Minolta lenses all have consistent color between them was definitely part of my decision.
  4. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    I really want a 24mm f/2.8. I was looking for an MD but I gotta tell you, I might just look for an MC instead after this. I think that with the PEN-F 38mm I got today and my Rokkor MC 50/1.4, plus my Tamron 90mm macro, I'm pretty well set. I'd like to get something that reaches out there a bit more, maybe the 135mm f/2.8, after that, I'd be happy to call it a day I think.
  5. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    The MC 24/2.8 is a bit less expensive from what I can tell. They say that the MD has better coatings but I have also read that the differences are pretty minor. The MC 24/2.8 is probably the best feeling lens I have. The combination of the weight and build quality is pretty nice. A lens I would like to pickup is the Minolta MD 70-210/4 macro. Also reputed to have been a design that Leica sold as an R lens (like the 24/2.8 and the 35-70/3.5) and from the images I have seen quite a special lens.
  6. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    The 70-210 is cheap. Might be worth grabbing just to see.
  7. -et-

    -et- TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 26, 2013
    Southern California
    Be careful and do some research before making a purchase.

    I do not remember what versions exist - if any - of the 70-210 in MD mount but I know that in the A mount, Minolta made 3 different versions of the 70-210, each with somewhat different performance. If the same is true in the MD mount, caution is advised.

    In the A mount lenses, the 70-210/f:4.0 version is the one that has attained almost legendary status among many people on the net as the "beercan" lens. I have it (actually two copies as insurance against damage or failure), and I also have the 70-210/f:3.5-4.5 version. I think that the f:3.5-4.5 version is actually a little sharper, and it is definitely smaller and lighter, but IMO the f:4.0 version has some combination of image qualities that are just a bit better. Stay away from the third version (f:4.5-5.6 if my memory is correct), as it is in a much lower class.

    This may be excessive caution on my part, but I thought that I would mention the possibility of more than one 70-210 in MD mount.

    - Tom -
  8. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    The one I was looking at is a f/4. Here's a pic. I can't say it's the one that is legendary though. I'm still learning and trying to figure out all these Minolta lenses...


    ***After looking a little more, it seems this one isn't the "beer can". There seems to be a lot on ebay though and the price still isn't bad. I may have to try one out soon, after I find that elusive 24mm f/2.8.
  9. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    It is my understanding that there is only one version of the MD 70-210/4 and it was a lens that was also sold as a Leica R lens. There were multiple versions of the 75-200 and 75-150 however.

    [TD="class: LensHeader, colspan: 2, align: center"]MD Zoom 70-210mm 1:4[/TD]
    [TD]Focal length[/TD]
    [TD]Minimum focus distance[/TD]
    [TD]Optical design (elements/groups)[/TD]
    [TD]Filter thread size[/TD]
  10. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    According to the Minolta lens database:
    Minolta Manual Lens List

    there's only one version of the MD 70-210 f/4

    Kevin, your thread was a joy to read. I like your mentality so much!!!
    The MD 35-70 is indeed a nice zoom lens

    I myself "feel" that I'm only missing for my collection, a 35mm (most likely will go with an MD 35 F2/8) and a long zoom MD lens (but unfortunately the good ones are either very heavy or too big for my preferences :( )
  11. claude

    claude TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 13, 2013
    Ottawa Canada
    As I am just starting out in these Legacy lens I love reading these types of thread as they are so full of good information. Thank you for posting this thread.
    Btw I'm having a great time with all this.

  12. Mattithjah

    Mattithjah TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 17, 2013
    Czech Republic
    When I bought my NEX, I supposed, thad it is my compact camera for occasion, when I can not load me with heavy and bulky DSLR...

    Yes, this is his role...

    But small legacy lenses are so cute and sexy, that I have more of them, that i really need for shooting... And I would like to buy another one.
    But DSLR legacies are heavy for nex. It isn´t, what I want. I buy my Canon FL 58/1,2 and it has superb bokeh, but it is bulky to carry with me all days... I will sell them and I will buy only rangefinder lenses for my nex in future.
    DSLR lenses for DSLR system, rangefinder lenses for mirrorless system!! :D

    DSLR lenses have one big advantage on nex - they focus MUCH CLOSER! But there is helicoid adapter for rangefinder legacies or sometimes some possibilities of modification of these lenses. E.g., I modify both my Jupiter 8 to focus as close as 0,6m and Both my Industar 69 to focus as close as 0,2m.

    Small rangefinder legacies are so sexy...(and so expensive, compare with DSLR lenses... ;) )
  13. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Kevin, you got me curious and I've got to ask, WHAT is this great deal you decided not to act upon ?!?