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Looking for a second legacy mount for adapting – Any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Cyberratchet, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Cyberratchet

    Cyberratchet New to TalkEmount

    7
    Jun 20, 2013
    Austria
    Hi everyone!

    I’m using a NEX-6 for quite a while now and I absolutely love this camera. I only have a single native lens for it and 3 Minolta MDs at the moment. I’ll buy the SEL55210 and a native UWA lens, but the rest of the focal length will be covered by legacy lenses.
    I really enjoy using manual glass and it helps me to really focus on the picture and not falling back to my old point&shoot habit ^^. I’m currently adapting Minolta MC/MD lenses at the moment and I’ll probably pick up a few lenses more for this lens, but I thinking about getting into a second legacy mount. I’m looking for a mount with good lenses (nice performance to price ration) and FF coverage, because I would love to use the lenses on a FF-NEX in the future.
    I would love to have a 40ish, 50ish, 80ish and 135ish lens and I want to fill this hole with more MD lenses or lenses from another mount.

    Konica AR
    I just found out about the Konica AR mount. The Konica Hexanon AR 40 f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8 and 85 mm f/1.8 look like excellent lenses, but there’s one uncertainty. Does the Konica AR lenses cover full frame or only half frame? I haven’t found any information about this topic on the internet.

    Canon FD
    One of the classics to adapt on the NEX. A lot of nice glass, but good lenses can get expensive really quickly (at least in my area).

    Contax/Yashica
    The Carl Zeiss Carl Zeiss Tessar T* 45mm f/2.8 and Planar T* 85mm f1.4 look like absolutely fantastic lenses, but I’m not sure if I want to invest that much in two lenses, especially since I’m using an APS-C camera at the moment. I’ve heard that the Yashica lenses are not bat as well, does anyone has some experience with them?

    M39
    Lot of nice Russian lenses, but the QC was not really good during production. Is it worth the risk?

    Do you have a personal tip for another mount to invest? Of course, I can and probably invest in more than just one more mount, but sometimes there’s the opportunity to get a camera with a few lenses.
    Which lens mount do you prefer and which lenses do you use regularly? The only thing I want is full frame coverage.

    EDIT: It looks like Konica AR mount supports full frame. Awesome!
     
  2. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    I'm biased of course, but I would highly recommend Canon FD/FL. There is practically nothing missing in that single mount for nearly any purpose (price depending though!). The only Konica AR lens I tried was the 40/1.8 and despite its charming small size and fast speed, found it a bit soft for my tastes wide open and with a neither-here-nor-there focal length, and subsequently sold it off along with the adapter. While I did really like the smallness of the adapter, the lens range felt a bit limited.

    Nowadays if I were to choose another mount to branch into, I'd go with Contax/Yashica, Contax G, or Pentax K.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    A couple of suggestions:

    Nikon F. Very popular mount - lots of selections out there including older pre-AI lenses that are cheap, extremely rugged and often optically quite good. You can also get newer Nikkor lenses - the AF-D series has aperture rings so you have full control. (The newest G lenses did away with that but certain adapters give you a mechanical means of stopping the lens down.) New 3rd party offerings are many - there's a Voigtlander 40mm pancake for F-mount I'd love to try out and also if you're of a mind to go high-end the Zeiss primes for F-mount are very tempting. If you can't find a good solution in this mount, it probably doesn't exist!

    Also, Leica R (their discontinued 35mm SLR series). The selection isn't so vast and you're probably not going to get any of those fun bargains for under $50. I did get my 100mm f/4 macro and a 50mm f/2 each under $400, which sounds like a lot until you feel the lenses in you hands and test them out and realize your search is over. Still slightly less than many contemporary dedicated offerings and a whole lot less than comparable rangefinder lenses. It's not all gravy - most are bulky and all are very heavy. But I'm hooked.
     
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  4. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    196
    Aug 20, 2013
    You might want to keep things simple by just buying more Minolta lenses to build up a full set. That would be the easiest and most straightforward way to build up a lens collection. Of course this really depends on why you want more lenses. Is it to fill holes in focal lengths that you need to create the art and photography you are trying to shoot? Or is it because you (like most of us) suffer from LBA and just want to increase the size of your old gear collection? Nothing is wrong with either approach, but an honest assessment of this can help you decide what to do. LBA (lens buying addiction) will lead you to collect many different lenses in many different mounts. Pure photography can also lead to this, but usually only so far in that you are trying to find that perfect lens or lens set or focal length that is the exact tool you need for your art. Remember, photography should be about the photograph, not the number of lenses on the shelf. But different people take up this hobby for different reasons.

    Continuing your Minolta collection is a good way to focus on your photography. Minolta's foundries produced some of the best glass and lenses ever made in the 35mm world. They are comparable with any old lenses on the market, up to and including Leica. Leica actually went to Minolta for a partnership and had them produce some lenses for them. They also collaborated on the CL series of rangefinders. For a very, very long time the Minolta CLE was the most advanced M mount rangefinder you could buy, including all the models from Leica themselves. Here is a nice little write up a historical perspective on Minolta lenses vs many other manufactures of the time. Its a really good read.

    https://sites.google.com/site/seevve/historical-perspective-on-minolta-lens-design-philosophy

    Minolta has just about any type of lens you could ever want. Wides, tele photos, tilt/shift lenses, great primes, great zooms and some really novel designs that you wont see from anyone else. Like the Minolta MC Zoom 40-80mm f/2.8, a crank operated zoom that acts like a prime lens at every focal length due to the way the internals are designed.

    As for the others you mentioned there are pluses and minuses with any old lens group. You just need to figure out what works best for you. Here is my opinion on the ones you listed.

    Konica AR- Has the shortest flange to focal distance of any old SLR design (I think) which makes the adapter needed the smallest available for SLR lenses (Rangefinders adapters are shorter of course). I thought about getting into Konica lenses a while back and I remember my research turned up some wonderful photography shot by them. Great colors and nice sharpness. What stopped me was that I really didnt need yet another lens line to start collecting (!) after I already had so many capable lenses. Also, since I have used so much old glass I have become very peculiar as to the quality and feel of the lens I am using. I noticed that while some of the older Konica designs followed the classic all metal philosophy many of the later ones went to a much cheaper plastic design. Keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with high quality polycarbonate. Canon FD lenses are good example of this. The later ones are all plastic but they are solidly built and a joy to use. But the later Konica lenses (which most likely have the best coatings) always felt cheap to me, at least the few I have held in my hand. That is purely a personal opinion based on my limited experience with the brand.

    Canon FD- Excellent lenses. Hard to go wrong with something that has Canon written on it. The older lenses are all metal and as I said the later ones made of plastic are just as good. Probably better actually. Metal will dent if dropped but plastic will flex. Canon really did a great job on the later New FD lenses. Optically they are more then capable. My main gripe with the FD line is the breech mount. It can be a bit more fiddly when changing lenses in the field using the breech mount. This is solved by the later New FD lenses but one problem still remains. Every FD adapter I have seen requires a prong inside that couples with a prong on the back of the lens to activate the aperture. Not a big deal, but I dont like the idea of a cheap piece of metal that is constantly having stress put on it that can break off and fall down to scratch the sensor. Most of these adapters are cheap pot metal that comes from china. Do you really want to trust that little 10 cent piece of metal right there in front of your sensor all the time? This could of course be solved by buying a high quality adapter from someone like Novoflex, but thats a lot of money for something that still may break down the road.

    Contax/Yashica- Let me preface this with the fact that I am very partial to C/Y mount lenses. For many reasons. They are simply well built lenses with excellent glass and coatings. And that is really all you need for photography. The whole Contax/Yashica idea was ingenious and somewhat unique in 35mm history. A German company working hand in hand with a Japanese company playing on the strengths of both to leverage a wonderful line up of cameras and lenses that were interchangeable and could fit any budget. Zeiss brought their years of lens designs and engineering and patents to work with Yashicas knowledge of electronics and mass production. Not to mention that Yashica by this time had purchased Tomioka, a renowned and well know third party producer of lenses that has reached somewhat mythic proportions today. But the fact of the matter is that Tomioka did make excellent lenses with very nice properties. There has always been something special about the way a Tomioka lens renders the out of focus effects for me. Its a personal thing, others may feel different. But for me having a Zeiss design made by Tomioka in their foundry is a match made in heaven. Tomioka Zeiss glass is some of the best in the world in my opinion. Oddly enough, I dont actually have any Zeiss lenses in C/Y mount. I use Yashica ML glass instead. Mainly because it fits my budget better but also because the are incredible lenses in their own right. Its a shame that such fine lenses as the Yashica ML line will always be in the shadow of their Zeiss brethren. Always seen as a 'budget' option to the 'real' glass of the Contax/Yashica line. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yashica ML lenses will go toe to toe with Zeiss lenses. Its basically Tomika putting their own designs up against Zeiss and then manufacturing both of them on the same assembly lines. You cant go wrong with either one. Here are a couple of things about ML superiority. The Yashica ML 50/1.7 is all metal while the Zeiss Planar 50/1.7 has some plastic on the outside. Not many people know that. I tested three different Planar 1.7's against my ML 50/1.7 and all the Planars exhibited CA in a certain shot where my ML didnt. My ML 50/1.7 is the best lens I own. Another neat fact, the ML 50/1.4 has 8 aperture blades. The Planar 50/1.4 only has 6. Yashica holding something back for themselves? Who knows. But dont ever underestimate ML lenses.

    The one and only downside to the ML line (for me anyway) is that they generally did not have super fast options in anything other then their 50mm lenses. Most others focal lengths only went to 2.8. But this is where the genius of the Contax/Yashica partnership shows its strengths. Zeiss lenses picked up at this point and provided very high quality, fast lenses in other focal lengths. Also, there is no 85mm lens in the Yashica ML line up. But Zeiss offers two different 85mm's. So by getting into the Contax/Yashica lens line up you are opening up your photography to some of the best lenses ever made, hands down. There were also plenty of interesting third party lenses made in C/Y mount and you can use all of the old Tamron adaptall lenses (many of which are legendary) with the appropriate C/Y adaptall amount.

    I use my C/Y lenses on my NEX 7 with a Metabones speedbooster. All the lenses become full frame again with no crop and are also one stop faster. Example can be found at this link. Not all of them were shot with ML's, but most were. Each photo is labeled with lens info.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8539414@N07/sets/72157633126249795/

    M39- Very short registration distance, so adapters are very small. Many cheap Russian lenses available that are direct copies of many old Zeiss lenses. Quality control was horrible, and many lenses haven't aged well. Stiff focusing, oily aperture blades, etc. Plan on buying multiple copies of a single lens until you find a keeper. But when you find one it will be worth it. Oh, some NEX cameras have issues with wide angle rangefinder lenses, so keep that in mind.

    Well this turned into an extensive Sunday morning write up. Hope it helps. :)
     
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  5. Cyberratchet

    Cyberratchet New to TalkEmount

    7
    Jun 20, 2013
    Austria
    Thanks everyone for their suggestions.

    I’ll continue to invest in the Minolta MC/MD Mount, because I really enjoy the build- and image quality and the handling of the lenses itself. Certain lenses have certain character, some people say than can see if a shot has been taken with a Leica or Zeiss lens. I’m not there yet, but I see what they mean. I don’t need to “catch 'em all”, I just want to get one or maybe two (if the differentiate enough in their character) for the common focal length. I’m planning to get Sony’s SEL55210, because I want to be able to shoot every lens without tripod in most situations.

    That’s exactly why I’m not really in love with the idea. I would happier if aperture and focus control would be both in the lens.


    What a shame. It looks like the Konica AR 40 was a good lens. I would love to have something between 35 and 50mm.

    Oh I thought every Nikon F lens needs an adapter with aperture ring.
    The Leica R lenses look awesome, but a bit heavy as you’ve already said. I have a trigger on “Leica R” on a local second-hand portal, so I’m waiting for a good deal to buy one of those. The 50mm f/2 is often for sell for about 200-250€, I should keep an eye on this lens. Do you know if there’s a good short telephoto lens (85-90)?

    First thing I have to say is that your picture are absolutely brilliant. I’m new into photography, but I hope I’ll get your sense for good picture sometimes ;). The C/Y mount looks like a very nice mount and it seems that the demand for C/Y legacy lenses is not as high as with other mounts like Canon FD or Minolta MC/MD. Maybe I’m able to pick the non-zeiss lenses for up for a good price.
    The C/Y mount looks like a very nice mount and it seems that the demand for C/Y legacy lenses is not as high as with other mounts like Canon FD or Minolta MC/MD. Maybe I’m able to pick the non-zeiss lenses for up for a good price. The ML 50 1.7 seems like a beautiful and relatively cheap lens. The ML 55m Macro could be quite interesting too, but I think a macro lens can wait until spring (not too much interesting opportunities for macro in the winter I guess). I haven’t looked through all of your photos yet, but can you recommend other lenses for the C/Y mount?
    C/Y mount looks the most promising at the moment (although I wouldn’t reject a good Leica R deal ^^) and I could invest in the nice C/Y 85mm 1.4 if I should upgrade to a FF Nex in the future.

    I’m not into Russian roulette to be honest. I know that you can get a beautiful lens like the Jupiter 3, but I would like to buy a single lens to get a good copy and not two or three.

    Absolutely. Thanks for the detailed reply.
     
  6. CGrimm

    CGrimm New to TalkEmount

    5
    Sep 2, 2013
    With my breech mount Canon FD lenses it is possible to lock the aperture lever before mounting the lens. Once mounted, the lens aperture blades can be closed/opened without aid of the prong, so it could be removed from the adapter if you really fear for the safety of your sensor. This does not appear to be possible on my bayonet FD mount lenses.

    In regards to M39 lenses of Soviet origins, you will also come across lenses that have the same registration distance as M42 lenses, but use the M39 threading and are sold as M39 lenses so there's even more to worry about than just a bad copy. Also, M39 was Leica's mount before switching to the M mount so there are plenty of good quality lenses from them, as well as from Canon, Nikon, Minolta and etc. before they got away from rangefinders, and Voigtlander (Cosina) still has a couple new lenses available in this mount.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. macro

    macro TalkEmount Regular

    152
    Feb 3, 2012
    New Zealand
    Danny Young
    Matt at DPR has a nice site on Nikon lenses and he knows how to shoot as well. Great tests he has done and well worth a look ..........

    http://matthewdurrphotography.com/

    Click at the top on "lens reviews"

    I use only Canon FD, but you won't like mine

    All the best.

    Danny.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. bopfan

    bopfan TalkEmount Regular

    85
    Jul 21, 2013
    Worthington, Ohio
    Denny
    I have several Konica lenses. Including the 40mm. I kind of like the focal length....a 60mm taking into account the 1.5 factor.

    Overall I am very pleased with the Konica Hexanon lenses I have acquired.

    I found this to be a very helpful site for info on the Konica line up: http://www.buhla.de/Foto/Konica/eHexanonHaupt.html

    I also have several Minolta lenses that I use. Tried several Canon lenses but eventually sold them off to buy the Konica stuff.

    I initially thought that I would go for some OM lenses as I shot a lot of Olympus 35mm stuff back in the day. Nice smallish lenses, very well made and the Zuiko optics are first-rate. Problem was that the darned adapters apparently had to be large to accommodate the lens mount. Kind of mitigated the small lens factor. And that's one of the things I like about the Konica's - the NEX adapter is small

    I am currently on the lookout for some reasonably priced Topcon lenses.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Great post, very informative. I have a rather basic, but related question- how do I determine if there is an increase to focal length due to the adaptor? I've read that "good" adaptor seat the lens as it was intended, but don't know if that article was applicable to sleep-to-mirror less. I use a Fotasy MD to Nex and plan to get the Metabones adaptor when I can.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    257
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    Konica lenses are generally pretty good when you factor in the price. Some people love the 50mm 1.7 and you can find some cheap 1.4s too.

    I had the 40mm 1.8 AR. It's the smallest full frame SLR lens combo you can mount when you factor in adapter size. It's a bit smaller than the 18-55 kit lens so it's not tiny by any means. I ended up replacing it with the Olympus Pen F 40mm 1.4 because I was looking for the smallest kit. 40mm Pen is a better lens for sure but the Konica is not bad. You have to watch high contrast subjects with it if you shoot wide open as it tends to give you alot of purple around the transitions. In low light, 1.8 is fine and you won't notice it as much. Otherwise, I'd shoot it at 2.8 or higher unless you want the dreamy effect.

    Here are some links to reviews/comparisons:

    http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52154571

    http://erphotoreview.com/wordpress/?p=1902

    The one thing I would say about Konica AR lenses in general is that they are usually a bit more rare. Locally I tend to see Minolta lenses the most come up for sale. Some of the better rare lenses can be quite expensive as well but that's the same with all legacy mounts. I currently have adapters for Minolta MD, Konica AR, and Pen F but have been thinking of getting a Canon FL 55mm 1.2
     
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  11. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    No adapter without lens will change focal length and I don't know any E-mount adapters with lens.

    Worst point of cheap adapters is that they are generally slightly shorter than they should be (focus past infinity). Usually lens mount is ok but camera mount is cast and may be of inferior quality. I have had no problems with Chinese cheap ones (except my Samyang 14mm focuses past infinity and 2 md adapters that need some filing to allow insertion of lenses). With M42 mount lenses you need adapter with shoulder that pushes the aperture control pin if you don't have auto/manual switch on the lens.
     
  12. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Thanks. I was typing in the car - now I see all the typos! Although I don't understand the answer exactly, it sounds to me that my Fotasy adaptor is "without lens" so its depth between the lens and the Nex doesn't matter.
    I'm using MC Minoltas so don't need any electronic features in an adaptor. My Fotasy adaptor seems fine but the f-stop and angle increase from the Metabones sounds great.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. Cyberratchet

    Cyberratchet New to TalkEmount

    7
    Jun 20, 2013
    Austria
    I just love this forum, very nice community and informative tips :).

    It’s probably a lot smarter if I didn’t limit myself to a single mount. C/Y does have a lot nice lenses, the same is true for the Konica AR mount and Nikon F. I really like the 40ish FL of the Konica lens, I tried it on my Minolta 35-70 MD yesterday (which I absolutely adore btw). An interesting mount, with a very small selection, is the Contax G mount. The 28mm 2.8 seems like a good lens (but I probably wouldn’t pay the common 300€ish price), but the 90mm 2.8 and especially the 45mm 2.0 does seem absolutely brilliant for the price.
    I’ll start working besides my studies at the university, I probably buy some lenses with my first paycheck :D.

    @bopfan: You’re using Konica AR lenses as you already said. Some Konicas Auto-Reflex cameras are/were able to do full- or half-frame exposures. Is every Konica AR lens full frame compatible and if not, how can I identify this?

    @HabsFan: Thanks for the comparison. Yes you’re right I also see the Minolta lenses the most for sale. But always the same ones (long telezooms, 28 2.8 or 50 1.7 or higher) … .

    Does anyone use legacy UWA lenses? I’m not a huge fan of the SEL16 with the appropriate adapter, I like its versatile (cheap fisheye add-on), the SEL1018 is fantastic but quite expensive. And like I said, I would love to have as much full frame legacy lenses as possible, so I can switch a system if I want (most likely an A7 or a successor). Or is it wiser to get the SEL16 with the adapter and a native UWA-lens for the FF NEX later on? Every wide lens (at least M-mount) seems to vignette quite a bit on Sonys new cameras.
     
  14. Utik

    Utik TalkEmount Regular

    170
    Feb 7, 2013
    Rimini, Italy
    C'mon... noboy mentioned the K-mount adapter? SERIOUSLY?
    The largest collection of lenses on earth is k-mount, with countless brands, and you can have the cheapest for a few buks, for me is a no brainer.
     
  15. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Look up ^^
     
  16. Utik

    Utik TalkEmount Regular

    170
    Feb 7, 2013
    Rimini, Italy
    I don't see it :|
     
  17. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    257
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
     
  18. bopfan

    bopfan TalkEmount Regular

    85
    Jul 21, 2013
    Worthington, Ohio
    Denny
    The Olympus Pen half frame lenses are very nice indeed. Unfortunately it seems like the prices have sky rocketed. They never were cheap as the 1/3 frame 35mm Pen F had/has a lot of fans. But now the lenses are even more popular for use on the NEX, Fuji, Samsung, Olympus digital et al.

    I have a somewhat rare (not sure exactly how things that are mass-produced can be rare) half-frame 35mm Konica Hexanon zoom lens. It's a 47mm to 100mm f3.5. Apparently it was designed for a limited production 35mm film camera from Konica. Had a slide control that allowed the camera to shoot 1/2 frames. Slide the control the other direction and it shoots full frame. Never seen the camera; have only read about it. But since it was designed for the half frame camera it functions pretty much like a 47 to 100 rather than a 70 to 150.

    Back in the mid 70's I was on the hunt for an inexpensive (read affordable when I was in my 20's) 1/2 frame Olympus SLR. I thought it would be totally awesome to load it with Ilford HP5 72 exposure B&W film. 144 exposures on one roll! The film however was a real b*tch to process. It was very very thin and hard to load onto the special plastic reels that Ilford provided. I also had issues with the film in the Omega 67 enlarger..it tended to buckle. I had a 4x5 with a cold light and it held up better with that one. Now 72 or 144 exposures seems like nothing compared to what one can put on a 32GB SD card.
     
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    At one time or another I used used Konica, Canon FD, Pentax K and screw mount and Olympus (OM and Pen-F) on my NEX.

    I would suggest looking at m42 screw mount. There are a large number of excellent m42 lenses available including Pentax Super Takumars (amazing build and feel) and one of my favorite Russian lenses the Helios 44. I would also look at the Olympus Pen-F 38/1.8. It's not as cheap as the Konica 40 but it's reasonably sharp wide open and IMHO a better lens all around. It's also quite small with a tiny adapter (like the m39). Olympus OM lenses are also quite good if you get the right one and they tend to be a bit more compact than their counterparts from Minolta, Konica, Nikon, Canon etc.

    Also, don't forget to explore the Minolta lenses more deeply. The 35-70/3.5 macro is a terrific lens that also was sold as a Leica (as were the MC 24/2.8 and MD 70-210). Rokkors are cheap, easy to find and as good as any out there.
     
  20. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I am into Minolta lenses myself, but for a 2nd mount I'd go with either OM or FD. I had a short exposure to OM 50/3.5 Macro and it was an excellent lens, great optics and built like a tank, I wish I had kept it.