legacy 35mm lens for the A7

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by BrorSvensson, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. BrorSvensson

    BrorSvensson TalkEmount Regular

    106
    Feb 6, 2015
    So i've always been a 35mm junkie, its the perfect focal length for me. Recently my nikkor 35mm f1.4 Ais got hit while filming and fell to the ground and shattered the glass so im in search for a new 35mm.
    My budget is limited to around 200-250$

    My main concerns are sharpness, it has to be faster than 2.8, pretty close focus.
    The ones i've been looking at so far are the Samyang 35mm f1.4 (very big but really fast, Flektogon 35mm f2.4 (very close focus, only 2.4) Canon fd 35mm f2 (good sharpness) and Minolta 35mm f1.8

    If anyone have any insight into these lenses i would love to hear about it, i want to get the best one for me :)
     
  2. Dan Euritt

    Dan Euritt TalkEmount Regular

    191
    Jan 11, 2014
    i went through four brand new copies of the korean 35/1.4 lenses on the a7r, all of 'em had out-of-focus areas, and at least one was badly decentered on one side... those things are pure junk, here is an f/2 example, view it at 100%: Dropbox - DSC03353at2point0.JPG

    it's really a shame, because those lenses have a very flat focus field, it's ideal for landscapes and shooting stars, there is very little field curvature.
     
  3. BrorSvensson

    BrorSvensson TalkEmount Regular

    106
    Feb 6, 2015
    I dont really see the problem in the photo, what is wrong?
     
  4. Dan Euritt

    Dan Euritt TalkEmount Regular

    191
    Jan 11, 2014
    did you inspect it at 100%?
     
  5. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    I have the samyang, it's not as sharp as the Nikkor, I have 2 of the ais. I also have 2 versions of the canon 35. The ssc and the chrome nose. Both are pretty nice. The samyang is the biggest. It's also the most easy to focus. The pen f 38mm is nice also but basically only sharp in the middle. Have not tried the Minolta 35 1.8.


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  6. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Can't say anything about the Samyang. The Flektogon is reputed to have very large sample variation so you really have to be able to try before you buy. I own the Canon FD 35/2 S.S.C. (convex) and Minolta MD 35/1.8 (Rokkor and plain MD); the Canon is by far the better lens, sharper and contrastier, also in edges and corners at corresponding apertures. Test pics of the Canon with the A7 here.
     
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  7. Ed B.

    Ed B. TalkEmount Regular

    25
    Jan 29, 2016
    Have you considered the older Nikkor 35 f2 (i.e., the Nikkor-O)? You should be able to pick them up in your price range and they have a following for how they render an image. I'm looking at mine now and it focuses to less than one foot. I don't have any examples to provide but can do so if you want.

    Good luck with your search.

    Ed B.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
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  8. RnR

    RnR TalkEmount Regular

    29
    Jul 23, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    Konica 35mm f2 - maybe. I have one, but not tried it on full frame.
     
  9. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    I can't make a recommendation on what to get, but at least one to avoid. Forget about the Pentax Super (Muilt-coated) Takumar 35 f2.
    Only center sharp, and bad fall off at the edges. Also the 49mm dia. filter versions have Thorium used in the glass. Thus they turn yellow over time and pretty badly.
     
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  10. BrorSvensson

    BrorSvensson TalkEmount Regular

    106
    Feb 6, 2015
    Thanks for the suggestions! I decided on the samyang 35mm 1.4, it seems like the best option for me. Found one for sale for 170$
     
  11. cafedelmario

    cafedelmario New to TalkEmount

    5
    Mar 27, 2016
    Both taken with the Takumar SMC 35mm f2.0 and an Sony A7II. Well it's not a high quality lens but it's surely not bad.
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    My copy was quite bad, so it colored my opinion. (pun intended) :)
    But have seen that some S-M-C Takumars yellow less severely. Possibly due to the older Supers. But mine didn't look as sharp as yours. Edges were softer than center even on APS-C. Your images look excellent and on full frame.
    Go figure! I may try a 2nd copy.
     
  13. Nexnut

    Nexnut TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dunno how they perform on full frame but on the NEX ALL my legacy 35mm lenses are less than acceptable wide open and leave something to be desired in other regards as well - Zuiko 35/2, Zuiko 35/2.8, Nikon 35/2, Nikon 35/2.8, Contax G 35/2 (sold). If it weren't for the outstanding 23mm/f1.4 Fujinon on my X-Trans bricks I would have pulled the trigger on the A7x/35mm Loxia combo long ago but I'm all ears for something comparable.
     
  14. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    So far I have the same experience with 35mm lenses, in fact almost all lenses, on the A7: stop 'm down at least 1 stop before they start to perform well and that's mostly in the center only, for adequate edge-to-edge sharpness and contrast stopping down to f/8 is almost always necessary. There are few exceptions in my line-up and they're mostly telephoto: the Minolta MD/Bellows Macro 100/4 are excellent wide-open, MD Rokkor 200/2.8 is good, but 1 stop down is also rewarding here.

    My 35mm legacy options are
    • Canon FD 35/2 S.S.C.: remarkably good contrast and sharpness wide-open but only in the center; corners improve continuously until very good by f/8. My best legacy 35mm lens.
    • Minolta MD 35/1.8: Veiling flare wide-open, resolution is there in the center. f/2.8 is fine, corners need f/11. IMHO not worth the extra money over a Minolta 35/2.8.
    • Minolta MD W.Rokkor 35/1.8: A bit better wide-open than the previous one, but still not great. Same optical design, but apparently a somewhat better copy.
    • Minolta MD W.Rokkor 35/2.8: Just a touch soft and flary wide-open, improving by f/4 in the center. All Minolta MD W.Rokkor and plain MD 35/2.8 lenses have the same optical design, there's quite some sample variability in them, this one here is my best copy.
    • Minolta CA Shift 35/2.8: big, heavy and expensive, only worth it if you use the shift option, but easily outperformed by tilting a good 35mm lens and correcting the verticals in post. Needs serious stopping down for good performance.
    • Asahi Pentax Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 35/3.5: needs f/5.6 for good center performance and f/11 or f/16 for good corners. Charming little lens but not an image-quality monster.
    • I'll leave out the Minolta zooms covering 35mm, they're worse than primes for landscape work.
    At f/8 all these lenses are at most equal to my native 35mm options with the FE 16-35/4 and 24-70/4. Test pics? Browse here.
     
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  15. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    I've also been looking for a perfect 35mm. Have the canon ssc and chrome nose versions. They are pretty good. Also have 2 copies of the Nikkor 35 1.4... Pretty ghostly at 1.4 but at f2 get pretty good center. I've been debating on the sigma art 35 1.4. I hear it's stellar.


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  16. Nexnut

    Nexnut TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Thanks a lot, Ad. I've noticed one of your posts on the 35mm S.S.C. Canon a good while ago and have taken some closer looks at your images with that lens. Wide open it seems to perform somewhat more acceptably than any of my 35mm legacy lenses. Anyway, since a fast 35mm will be my most used lens on a future A7xy I'll probably end up with another Zeissie, maybe even with one of the heavy but wonderful modern f2 Distagons - time will tell.

     
  17. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    You're not considering a Zeiss Loxia 35/2 then? Though I'm happy with the native F4 zooms I can't help but think about getting a Loxia 35/2: MF, good image quality and full support of camera functions: EXIF data, automatic switching to magnify when focussing. Kai from DigitalRev seems to really like the way it handles and functions on the camera.
     
  18. Nexnut

    Nexnut TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Considering yes, especially for the compactness ;) but from what I see the modern f2 Distagons beat it in the IQ department (my single reason to dish out the $$$) at the cost of increased bulk/weight.
    Re. automatic magnification when focusing ... I rarely use focus mag. (or AF) for anything that moves, but simply use focus peaking most of the time. Can't complain about my keeper rate but then I've taken an insane number of test shots and spent whole afternoons manually focusing (+ instant chimping) on all sorts of moving stuff, cars, motorcycles, people ... until everything happened on auto pilot and I didn't have to think about it anymore - like back in the day.
     
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  19. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    I've also had less than satisfactory results from legacy 35mm, but I'm using APS-C. Since slower apertured lenses were mentioned, thought I'd include some here even though this thread is for full-frame.

    The top three legacy lenses to yield excellent results on the Sony sensor are:

    Konica Hexanon AR 35mm f/2.8
    Mamiya/Sekor SX 35mm f/2.8
    Vivitar (Komine) MC 35mm f/2.8

    All are very good with tonal quality, color rendering, contrast and didn't look flat. Center sharp wide open and stopped down to f/8, clean to the edges. They all performed very well close focusing, but also in far field landscapes. Not a flat, defracted dimensionless image with blurry edges.

    Honorable mention is the Tokina Vivitar 35mm f/2.8 8-bladed version. Also sharp but can't match the others for color/contrast, IMO.
    I have their RMC version...but damaged and pending restoration. Can't comment on that model, but their Rainbow Multi-Coating is supposedly very good. If the optical formula is the same, it should be excellent as well.

    I wonder if it's the Sony sensor's stack thickness? 35mm is the F.L. that starts using retrofocus to fit SLRs. The retrofocus 35mm with 5 elements in 5 groups, seem to yield poor results. I believe the Pentax Super Takumar f/3.5 Ad posted, is one. It also was less than stellar for me.
     
  20. Nexnut

    Nexnut TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Keeping in mind that 35mm's have been some of the best selling lenses for any FF ILC out there for many decades it puzzles me that they've never been among the top performers of any lineup I've shot in the past. All the 35mm lenses I've shot back in the day (f2.8 Rokkor, f2 & f2.8 Zuiko, f1.4/f2/f2.8 Nikkors, f2.8 Distagon f. Rollei QBM) compared somewhat unfavorably to their 28mm siblings.
    I already got rid of the 35mm Contax G a while ago and thinking about the remaining suckers it doesn't make much sense to keep any glass that I haven't used in x years and don't think I'll use ever again.