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Best Adapted 1.2 Lens for the NEX System

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by carnage0, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. carnage0

    carnage0 New to TalkEmount

    Apr 22, 2012
    greetings everybody.. this is my first post, so i hope i have obliged the forum rules by posting it here

    i was hoping to get some much needed advice about the third party lenses available for the sony nex system

    i have the canon fd 50mm f/1.4 and im addicted - so much so, that i want to upgrade to a f/1.2 lens

    i am slightly confused as to which is the better lens here - as the bokeh on the Minolta MD Rokkor 58mm f1.2 looks stunning - the 50mm Rokkor, too

    on the flipside, i am tempted to stick to canon - but there are so many 1.2 versions of lenses (eg. the 55mm SSC etc) i am not sure which is better out of the lot

    all fetch around £300+ on eBay so i want to make sure i am committing to the right lens/range of lenses to make it worthwhile in the long run!

    any help would be sincerely appreciated!!

    thank you
  2. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    Hi and welcome Carnage0

    You can check out rokkorfiles for some very good information on Rokkor lenses.

    I'm not an expert regarding third party lenses for the NEX system, however I do shoot exclusively with them and I can offer my personal opinion regarding the matter.

    1.4 or 1.2? - The difference between shooting 1.4 and 1.2 is very subtle and there will be times where the difference between the two will be so small that it's hard to tell them apart unless you pixel peep. Regarding the extra stop difference other factors should also be considered when you do a comparison as to which lens are you going to get e.g. a 1.2 will have a slightly narrower dof; a 58mm will be an 87mm as opposed to a 50mm which will translate to a 75mm; and finally the weight, a 1.2 will have almost double the weight of a 1.4 (the 58mm Minolta 1.2 PG is one heavy monster about 400+ grams)

    Bokeh Quality – I will admit, the extra stop does produce more pleasing bokeh, but not by much. Bokeh is also subjective, the background bokeh in the 1.4 looks creamy and smooth (which are the typical descriptions of bokeh characteristics) though I find the bokeh in the 1.2 smoother in a way that oof looks more ‘melted’ and ‘mushed up’.

    Trade offs? – I think the 50-58mm 1.4 and 1.2’s are fantastic lenses! excellent quality, produces amazing results and they’re affordable, however due to the NEX’s 1.5 crop they translate into a 75mm (87mm for the 58mm) nice for portraiture but may be a bit long for everyday shots (this will be subjective from person to person as I have shot with nothing but a 75mm equivalent for a long time). If you’re a bokeh freak it’s a truly fantastic piece of glass, however it’s also not as clinically sharp as other more modern lenses and as everything goes it has it’s pros and cons. IMHO there’s real tendency for these lenses to be 1 trick ponies, however it’s a VERY NICE trick.

    Canon or Minolta? – To be honest, I have not personally used any Canon gear (I have nothing against them, I just never had the chance to own any of them) so I can only comment on the Minolta Rokkors, They’re stellar performers but are they better or worse than Canon? I honestly don’t know, every lens and lens maker will have a signature ‘look’ whether it’s contrasty, has warm tones, dreamy look, etc.. question is, what ‘look’ or ‘signature’ do you prefer? Also depending on your skill at post processing (I suck at it :p ) the brand or type of lens you use will matter little if you know how to skilfully manipulate the image (I really need to learn this skill :confused: ).

    My apologies as I don’t think I was able answer your query, but I hope I was able to help you look at it from a different perspective as well as possible avenues to take when you are doing your comparisons prior to you purchase.
  3. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Well said Phoenix...

    Carnage0, it's quite rare for photo enthusiasts to be well experienced in two or more lens brands of the same equivalent. I've used a Canon SSC 50mm f1.4 with an A1 body but not with my NEX and there's really nothing else I could add to Phoenix's summation (I have no experience of Minolta Rokkors to be able to make a comparison).

    Perhaps you could google sample images of each of the lenses you're considering and compare what comes up. The only quality issue I can think of either way, is if you get problems from the used-condition of the lens itself.

    Another consideration is what other legacy lenses you already own - as sticking to one brand may minimize the amount of adapters you need to buy?

    ... and welcome to the forum! :) 
  4. hodad66

    hodad66 Sony Guru Subscribing Member

    Feb 8, 2012
    Indialantic, Fl
    how about the Nikon 50 f/1.2?

    Nikon 50mm f/1.2

    Ken claims that it is the sharpest lens that Nikon makes at f/2.......
  5. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Since none of the lenses that could give you f/1.2 are native to the NEX pick the one that provides the image quality assets that you are looking for. Flickr/photoSIG and other sites allow you to search photos by lens used and can be a great asset when trying to decide between lenses.

    Personally most my non-NEX lenses are either Pentax K-mount or Contax/Yashica mount, but I have Pentax, Contax, Yashica & Vivitar stuff. Then there's the m42 mount stuff.

    Unless you are heavily invested in a dslr/lens system already and could/would use the lens on that dslr I wouldn't worry about which brand a lens is, I'd worry more about the image quality it could give me.

    Just my thoughts, YMMV. :) 
  6. carnage0

    carnage0 New to TalkEmount

    Apr 22, 2012
    sorry guys, was unfortunately offline for a week after posting! not the best introduction to the forum perhaps.. :) 

    really appreciate your detailed responses and insight; there is so much to learn about this stuff and for a newbie it can be pretty daunting..

    i decided to stick to the canon range in the end and got a pretty sweet deal (compared to other listings) a 1.2 55mm SSC

    it just arrived today so havent had a chance to test it; but im feeling slight loyalty to canon at the moment

    the 1.4 SSC 50mm is absolutely incredible; cannot get over the performance to be fair - especially in low light with the NEX 5N.

    i read somewhere that the NEX 5N out performs the Canon 5D MKII in low light at certain ISOs - fantastic camera.

    i cant seem to get over stepping out in almost near darkness, shooting with a high exposure and seeing the scene like it was taken in a sunny afternoon. absurd.

    @Phoenix - no apologies necessary bruv, you provided a detailed, insightful and easy to understand response! i understand the differences can be slight, but i couldnt resist the charm of the 1.2 images

    thank you all again for your responses; hopefully this wont be the last you've heard of me on the forum :) 

    merci and salutations!
  7. carnage0

    carnage0 New to TalkEmount

    Apr 22, 2012
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    these were taken around midnight last night in south wales UK with the 1.4
  8. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    If you like night photography (like me :)  ) then you've stumbled across the right camera for it (like me :)  )... the NEX sensor is just unreal!

    From my experience night shots up to ISO 1600 on the NEX has very little distinguishable grain. Then there are ways to minimise or at least 'mask' the resulting grain from using higher ISO in near total darkness with the NEX.

    Congrats on your new lens! :) 
  9. carnage0

    carnage0 New to TalkEmount

    Apr 22, 2012
    oh man, nail on the head - i love night photography, especially going around a city and capturing some wonky exposures of streetlights, making patterns and such... can be so creative in that sense

    i'm still wrapping my head round the ISO factor to be honest! still experimenting in this arena...

    i see you have an industar lens in your collection; hows that working out for you? i have 2 en route for the ukraine :) 

    fitting soviet lenses on a modern camera is just as absurd for me!! cant get over this shit :p 
  10. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Small 'going back to the basic' tweaks makes huge improvements in night photography because the NEX sensor is so good. Dropping Exposure Comp. to say about -2 (in shutter priority mode) will lower your autoISO by 2 stops (from say 3200 down to 800). The improvement in grain is astonishing. You will also get a darker more dramatic photo. Doing this on other sensors don't yield as good a result.

    Auto exposure will expose your compositions (highlights and shadows) to an equivalent average of a middle grey value, so night shots will appear like afternoon shots. By dropping your Exp.Comp. setting to around -2 during night shots, you will get a pic more similar to what you're seeing - PLUS the added bonus of getting less grain due to a lower ISO.

    The opposite is true when taking pics in the snow where everything is white. Auto exposure will produce dull dirty middle grey snow... you would then raise your Exp.Comp. to around +2 you'll get a pic more similar to what you're seeing.

    Still haven't had a chance to use it... been quite busy lately. But yeah, I'm nuts about Russian lenses too - especially the old stuff with Russian writing all over :eek: 

    I've posted a review of my Russian Helios... the swirl bokeh that Russian lenses seem to have is really cool. Just click on its listing on my signature below.
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