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Bitten by LBA - Canon FDn 35mm f/2.8

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by pvp_victor, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    Recently read that "6 months spent with a 35mm lens on the camera can make a photographer better". I am a pretty ordinary photog but decent with manual focusing. So ended up at this review on the Canon http://erphotoreview.com/wordpress/?p=3019. The review sold the lens to my heart.

    It is available for around USD 80 to 100 on the Bay. My initial Questions are:
    1. I am VERY satisfied with my OM Zuiko 28mm F/2.8 for all of my Landscape shots. Will a jump to the Canon 35mm make any difference ? With the 28mm Zuiko in the bag, I'm not interested in Sigma 30mm F/2.8 Lens (unless the price falls below USD 120/-. Hi hi hi).
    2. The sony SEL 35mm F/1.8 (with OSS) sells for around USD 400 on the Bay. That is nearly USD 300 more than the Canon. When I can do hand-held shots at 1/20 sec with my Zuiko, in what way OSS in a 35mm lens can help me ? Does the F/1.8 aperture stand out ?
    3. The Sony SEL 50mm F/1.8 has OSS and sells for around USD 250 on the Bay. Is it better to Juuuuump all the way to 50mm ? Specially when the 55-210 lens can be used at 55mm with OSS (ignoring the bokeh) ???
    4. Like the Canon EF-NEX autofocus adapter, is there any 3rd party autofocus adapter to the Sony A to E mount ? This confusion is because both the Sony SAL 35F18 and SAL 50F18 sell for around USD 150. Ahhhhh. Sony giveth a compact camera body and taketh money away thro Lens.

    My problem is, I'm so much comfortable with having an aperture ring with default Shutter Priority mode in my NEX5R. I feel constrained with my native 16-50 and 55-210 lenses without an aperture ring. But the OSS in them is a GIFT. Recently I had a completely usable night shot with the 55210 at ~200mm and 1/30 seconds, thanks to OSS and me being sober that day.

    By now you would have realised that I am completely mixing things up (manual focussing, A-mount and the native E mount) and sucked deeply into confusion. Its been a week since I slept (why has my nose suddenly grown in length ?). PLEASE pull me out.
  2. Lisandra

    Lisandra TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    First of all calm down man, most of us have been where you are, but calm the F down, youre gonna have a heart attack...

    Second of all, if you truly want to take the article to heart (the 6 months thing), none of those lenses will work, you need a 24mm (24x1.5=36mm). But thats semantics, 6 months with a 50 equivalent (what I did) will do the same, so that 35 is back in play. In all honestly, 6 months without OSS will also teach you a heap of things about proper technique, and what shutter speeds to use at what situations. But...to go through your questions

    1. yes and no. No if your shooting things fairly up close like people and whatnot, the difference between 42mm and 50 (remember we have to account for the crop sensor) will be negligible. In landscapes every single mm you notice, the 35 will feel considerably more "tele".
    2.Itll be a gigantic jump. From the aperture alone that 1/20 shot you took would have been at a muuuuch safer 1/60, and with oss you can shoot that same scene at say 1/40 and use ISO 800 instead of 1600 (because of 1 stop os, I know theyre rated for more but for examples sake). Also, stopping the sony down to your zuikos 2.8 will give you a much sharper result.
    3.Well now were talking about a fairly big jump. Your zuikos 42mm equiv is going to be significantly different than the 75mm youre getting out of the 50, this is portrait territory here. I suspect 6 months of only 75mm will frustrate you more than actually teach you. Now between it and the 55-210 theres a GARGANTUAN difference. Were talking about 2 and 2/3s of a stop here, simply put, the 50 will be able to get you shots the 55-210 simply cant. Unless you have a tripod. And even then...the 50 will also be heaps sharper.
    4. easy piecey, LA-EA2 for APS C nex bodies and LA-EA4 for full framers. They are not cheap, but the auto focus will be very fast. This is what i do, I dont have a single E mount lens, the A mounts are better. Keep in mind that no A mount lens has OSS (except a few sigmas). Plus all old konica minoltas, sigmas, and tamrons with a mount will af equally fast with those adapters too!!!

    Were I you? Id get the sel 35 1.8, turn off OSS and af, and get to shooting for 6 months. If a moment comes that you absolutely need oss itll be right there, same with af.
    • Informative Informative x 2
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  3. Lisandra

    Lisandra TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    Oh wait, on number 4...no, theres no 3rd party adaptor that does that, sorry
  4. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I think that 35mm referred is for full format.

    Personally I think that 28mm and 35mm are too close and I can usually crop the 28mm image. OSS is completely different matter, it depend where and what you shoot.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    Thanks Lisandra for the detailed info. I was grinning from fear-to-ear while reading your comments "most of us have been where you are" and "6 months of only 75mm will frustrate you more". One of the reasons why my 50mm is less used. And thanks are due to xXx1 for the comments "28mm and 35mm are too close" and "it depends where and what you shoot" which brought my blurred focus (pun intended) to some sort of decency. Once again thanks to both of you.

    I am a pure hobbyist who shoots only for the fun of it where buying legacy glass was extremely satisfying (and addicting). After reading both your comments, I think its time to stop buying Legacy lenses.

    It is a toss up between the Sony 35mm F/1.8 and Sigma 30mm F/2.8 (Ex) DN. These two lenses are pretty close in DXO ratings (http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Best...t-primes/Best-prime-lenses-for-the-Sony-A5000). The Sigma challenges Sony in performance but the Sony has OSS and quicker AF (may be focus tracking too). Time to test these two in person. I think Time to loose sleep over native lenses. 30mm or 35mm ? Sigh ... this LBA ...
  6. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    There is no reason to stop, just moderate.

    I think that sqrt(2) is quite good spacing between focal lengths (but you may need several lenses for different uses [50mm macro, fast 50mm, good 50mm]). So starting from 12mm my kit is now
    12mm/2 Samyang
    19mm/2.8 Sigma
    24mm/2.8 Ensinor or Cosinon W
    35mm/2.8 Contax,30mm/2.8 Sigma
    50mm Yashica ML 1.4, ML 2.0, Vivitar 55mm/2.8 Macro 60mm/2.8 Sigma
    85mm/2.8 Contax Sonnar 85mm/1.4 Samyang
    135mm/3.5 Jupiter 37A
    180mm/2.8 Nikon ED
    300mm/4.5 Nikon ED

    Plus few legacy zooms

    I use seldom around 30mm lenses and it depends about use. Faster one would be nice during parties etc. but Sigma 30mm is great walk around lens.

    So 24mm goes pretty well with 35mm. Unfortunately legacy 24mm lenses tend to be pricey and I would prefer something faster than 2.8.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  7. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    I like that; the part about moderating:yahoo:. Lets see how I can resist the itch to buy.

    At any one time my Camera bag contains NOT more than 3 lenses. Generally they are SEL PZ 1650 (for the 16-19mm and also when I want to hand-over the Cam to someone), OM 28 F/2.8 (or FD 50 F/1.4 on 10% times) and the SEL 55210 (or FD 35-105 F/3.5). Remaining space is taken by the Macro Extn tubes and the ND/CPL filters. Anything more than that adds up to the weight resulting in the bag left back in the car.

    The Sigma 19mm was the original front runner and lost due to its bulk vis-a-vis SEL 1650mm. The Sigma 30mm was not considered seriously (till today that is) due to the OM 28mm. LBA is good for economy as it helps circulate money. What do you say ?
  8. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I think 28mm and 30mm are about same and again 35mm is too close for me if I have a 28mm. It depends do you need AF or not. With 16-50mm&28mm&50mm you have that area covered quite well.

    How about fun lenses?
    Helios 44
    Industar 61 LD
    Jupiter 8
    Vega 11 (enlarger lens, needs helicoid)

    Or longer lenses at around 300mm. Or a good quality 135mm (Jena 135mm/3.5 is getting rare and prices are pretty high)
    • Like Like x 1
  9. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    Like someone else mentioned, the 35mm would be regarding full frame format. If you want the FOV, you will need to get a 24mm lens which are usually more expensive. A 35mm lens on APS-C is about 52mm.

    I'd say if you have a kit lens, set it at 24mm , then 35mm and see which you prefer shooting. There is a pretty big difference. 24mm on APS-C (35 equiv) is considered to be wide angle territory.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    Me smiling; smiling a lot. Step-by-step, you are destroying my earlier resolution of putting full stop to legacy glass LBA. It has already become shaky. Me and my resolution. By the way, I am happy with my Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 Lens. So no going for the same focal length. Talking about fun lenses, I was seriously considering the CCTV 35mm F/1.7 Fun Lens (el cheapo USD 25) and subsequently walked into that review on FD 35mm F/2.8.

    Unable to make up my mind on the Helios-44 for the past 18 months or so due to the size of adapter-lens combo. Once a copy was available in Bay's Indian site for roughly about USD20 and I let it pass. Regarding jupitar-8, I was totally confused about the M39-NEX adapter, IIRC. Even now confused. I like its smallish size. Please suggest me the correct adapter, and I am getting the Jupitar8 (Resolution smashed totally within few posts. Hello World, "Vin Diesel Mark 1" is responsible for this).

    The highlight of legacy glasses is, for around USD 80, one can get a lens; this is the Toy for us grown people to play for a couple of months. It transforms the new owner to HIS/HER age when the Glass was originally made :cloud-9-039: . I am trademarking this statement.


    THAT is a great idea. Will do that. When the Sigma 19mm received such good reviews, I decided NOT to look into legacy 21mm & 24mm lenses. Your suggestion could rekindle my interest in the 19mm (even though it is at equivalent 28mm). Thanks.

    Goody goody. More time to spend on lens research.

    OT: In India, the NEX line is yet to kick start; APS-C market is ruled by Nikon and FF by Canon. So many people have ridiculed me for going with the NEX (I don't give a s#$% anyway). As a result, even Sony showrooms do NOT have the lenses. 18 months' back, stores had NEX-5N and my NEX-5R was not available in entire Bangalore (when I bought it online). I rely heavily on internet reviews, "on-line stores" AND guidance from fellow forum members to buy my gear. So please bear with me.
  11. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    You need the standard M39 to E mount adapter to use M39 lenses on Nex. There are also thin M39 adapters that are intended for helicoid use (these are used if you want to use a enlarger lens without helicoid in a camera). Both Jupiter 8 & Industar 61 LD are cheap, Helios 44 is more expensive, at least 44-7 is.

    Legacy 24mm lenses aren't cheap (or are usually quite bad). I may be looking for Olympus 24mm in the autumn. Unfortunately there are not any cheap native choices for Nex at that focal length but Sigma may be putting one out. That is one reason not getting the Olympus 24mm/2.8.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    I found three different varieties on the Bay; one says M39-NEX, the 2nd says L39-NEX. These two claim to be suitable for Leica L39 M39 Mount lenses. There's a 3rd variety which doesn't mention L39 anywhere. All three look to be of the same thickness. I've given 4 links below:

    Though the body says M39, these M39 Adapters mention L39 in title http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-M39-L...971?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19c2654863


    This M39 adapter seller doesn't mentioned L39 anywhere

    Adapter body says L39 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-L39-M...181?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27e6b434a5

    Which is the correct one ? Due to this confusion only I stayed away so far (also felt very shy to ask this question in the forum). Thanks in anticipation.
  13. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
  14. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Ease up on the drinking....you should not drink, and shoot. :D

    Excellent advice has been given above, especially from Lisandra.
    This hobby is meant to be fun, and if acquiring old manual focus lenses is part of it, then if it's not causing any harm, so be it.
    Modern native lenses are not relatively cheap, and if you're not sure of a focal length, then a legacy lens is probably the best way to test it out. Even there, price and performance of older lens go up exponentially. Diligent shopping and patience will yield bargain buys.
    Find a keeper, joy. Discovered a dud, pass it on. period.

    NEX is a great platform. Don't bother listening to the established snobs. Nothing new here. You are above the curve and can now take advantage of being first to get those lenses that work best on the NEX before they finally jump on the bandwagon.

    The NEX offers numerous shooting options.
    It enables those with a collection of older lenses to reuse them.
    Cash strapped photographers can begin with cheaply available manual-focus lenses to get their focal lengths.

    I approached it with building a set of modern native lenses of best bang for the buck. Bottom line, no matter how great the old lenses are, progress marches onward. To get the most out of the platform and feature set, it must be paired with lenses designed for it. Fortunately, there are wonderful lenses that don't cost a lot. ie. Sigma Arts, SEL5018, SEL55210, 16 and 20mm pancakes + add-ons, 1855 kit lens.
    One also gets the basis of what results are possible to compare with adapted lenses.
    Upon realizing the adapted lens option, I began a fun quest sampling old lenses. Let's face it, it can be dirt cheap.

    With all this activity, keep shooting lots of photos. This is the only way to know what best suits your needs and style. The kit zooms aren't bad lenses. Albeit not fast. But by perusing the EXIF data, you'll see what focal lengths you compose with most often.

    Vijay posted an interesting list of focal lengths that he arrived at as his favorites. Coincidentally, my most chosen lengths are quite close to his.
    (Will be hunting for a 12mm solution soon!) Perhaps it's the APS-C 1.5 crop factor.

    From my style of shooting, the 19mm Sigma was used more for landscapes than the 30. It was a bit too long. Soon I came to the conclusion I like an inbetween length...24mm. Hard to come by a good old 24mm as any length below 35mm for 35mm format becomes a design challenge.
    Had to pay a decent price for good performance here. And settled on the regarded Tamron 24mm f2.5 01BB.
    Seems now there is rumor of a modern 24mm release in the works. If so, an E-mount 24mm f2.8 or faster would be worthwhile.

    If your Zuiko 28mm f2.8 is satisfactory (it's a great lens!), then I don't see any reason to buy a Sigma 30mm Art. Only reason is to gain AF.
    I like the 30mm Art for walk about street photography for its sharpness and AF. It excels at it. (EDIT: Ignore, somehow I got thinking the Sigma 30 was being considered when it was a Canon FDn 35mm. )
    (EDIT2: Ignore the Ignore...I did read you mention the Sigma 30 later!)

    Longer focal length isn't like buyer a bigger TV or HDD, it doesn't gain you MORE photo performance, just magnification. You don't retain abilities of a shorter focal length lens for instance. So, a 50 won't suffice if you need a 30, let's say.
    And having a focal length covered, ie. by a zoom or slower prime, won't achieve results of a dedicated prime of a given speed.

    As Lisandra pointed out, The Sony zoom and 50 1.8 aren't comparable even though 55mm is basically in the same class.
    The 50 is much sharper, much faster for low light. The zoom's 55mm results in bright sunlight will likely be indistinguishable from the 50's. Under certain conditions the zoom will be quicker to focus than the 50. Perhaps the lens' only weakness.

    Speed of the glass is a major cost. The 1.8 will gain you low light performance over 2.8, etc. Besides OSS, there's a reason for the $$ of that 35mm f1.8.
    As I see it, zooms are for convenience, and many old zooms don't have the performance of old primes or modern zooms. Since you own a modern E-mount zoom, I'd skip zooms unless you want something faster like f2.8-4 across the range. Besides, IMHO it's far more enjoyable to carry several small lenses than haul a big zoom around.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
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  15. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    Thanks to all the members for your varying inputs. After absorbing all your inputs, and some more, this is my latest line of thinking.

    On SEL35F18: The suggestion from Lisandra is definitely a choice to droll at, what with the 1.8 aperture and the OSS. For me there's an element of risk in getting stuck with the very knowledgeable Indian Customs. Duty should be 25%, but for an FD 100mm F/2.8 lens, I had earlier been slapped with 300% duty, and I let go off it. Can't take that chance with a USD 400 item.

    Finding the preferred Focal Length: As member HabsFan suggested, spent some time with the kit zoom, and found that I'm happy at APS-C focal lengths 16-24mm. These correspond to FF focal lengths of 24 to 36mm. With its coverage, obviously the 16mm (FF = 24mm) is more pleasing. The native 16mm, 19mm & 20mm primes and legacy 24/28/35mm primes would all fit within this range. Between all these lenses, the Sigma19 wins the round, when "Price, IQ and FL" are factored in. Though the Sigma 30mm is better than the 19mm, WNG (Wide-angle Native-lens Guide ;)) had pointed out that the 30mm felt a bit longish (for its FF=45mm length). So I could go the Sigma 19 way, gain AF and 28.5mm FoV, instead of my current 42mm FoV from the Zuiko (or Canon FD) 28mm. The legacy lens is in fact loosing light due to the crop factor. So, is it the Sigma 19mm ?

    Focal Reducer: If I sacrificed the AF of Sigma and get a Focal Reducer with 0.72 crop, I would have two very much usable primes, one with 30mm FoV and another with 54mm FoV, out of my current Canon FD 28mm F/3.5 and 50mm F/1.4 lenses. That brings the C/FD 50mm closer to the SEL35F18 (which is basically working as a 52.5mm F/1.8 in FF terms). My Canon FD 135mm could also be used without Tripod. Who knows, I could start using my C FD 35-105mm F/3.5 more hand-held.

    Question Time: Do you experts think my thought process IS correct and logical? Have I goofed up somewhere ?? Is it time to change the LBA to GAS ???

    PS: After a super heavy lunch today, while driving back to work, I started thinking in this angle so as to be awake.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  16. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I will order a EF Lens Turbo II in a few weeks. I have adapters from various mounts to EF and EF to Nex adapter already. I don't know if that combo (28mm legacy+Lens Turbo) will stop my use of Sigma 19mm but it will be in my travel bag.
  17. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 12, 2014
    N├Žstved, Denmark
    One correction here. Your legacy lenses are not loosing light due to the crop factor. They are not loosing light at all. Its the depth of field thats different due to the fact that even if the field of view of e.g. a 20mm lens is corresponding 30mm (FF) the lens itself is still a 20mm with the DOF of such so the DOF of the 19mm f/2,8 sigma and any 19(20)mm f/2,8 legacy lens will look the same.
    Best regards
  18. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    @xXx1 : From your post at #16, I figure I had not goofed up (in my post at #15). BTW, did you mean "Zhongyi Mitakon Lens Turbo II" Focal Reducer ? I have sort of narrowed down to that. Will go thro' what users have to say about that.


    Oops, I expressed wrong. What I wanted to convey was that the APS-C sensor does not use a big portion of light collected by any legacy lens. I meant THAT loss of light. Thanks for pointing it. And please feel free to give advice and recommendations. I've got a big wide open sack ready to collect and process ALL comments.
  19. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Yep, no money for the real thing so the Zhongyi is it for me. I actually need it in 4 weeks so I should order one today (trip to Budapest) but I think that I have no time to evaluate it. Beware, there are two models of the Lens Turbo.
  20. Lisandra

    Lisandra TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    To be honest if i had a buch of fd lenses id get the lens turbo 2 and be happy. Shoting that 50mm at f1.0 will be life changing.