"Normal" focal length legacy lens?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Joshua Cairns, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Joshua Cairns

    Joshua Cairns TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 12, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Well, I'm hooked. I've been playing around with the Rokkor X 50 1.7 and I'm obsessed with MF on the NEX body.

    I have found though, of course, that the 50 tends to be a little long for quite a few scenarios. I'm aware 50mm and up are easiest to come by, but does anyone have some suggestions for perhaps sub-40mm legacy glass (preferably fast)? Preferably on the cheaper side of things.

  2. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Konica Hexanon 40mm f1.8 is well recommended.
  3. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 20, 2012
    Not sure if they are fast enough for you but my Canon FD 28mm f2.8 and Vivitar Close Focus 28mm f2.8 are both excellent lenses and cheap and easy to find (mine were under £20 each on ebay - I think that's about $30 in US).
  4. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    There are some nice lenses out there. I like the Vivitar 28/2 close focus (about $100) Hexanon and Rokkor 24/2.8 (about $200), of course the Hexanon 40/1.8 is sharp and relatively cheap (around $50) and then you have something like the Olympus Pen-F 38/1.8 and 40/1.4 (around $200 and $300 respectively). Canon FD. FL and Rokkor lenses are IMHO the biggest bargains out there.

    If I had to pick the best bang for the buck...the Hexanon 40/1.8 and the Vivitar 28/2 Close Focus (partly because close focus is important to me).
  5. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Maybe it's my copy, but I'm not very impressed by the Hexanon 40mm f/1.8. Not a very strong Hexanon I'd say. Because it's a pancake, people tend to like it, but the equivalent focal length is 60mm and seems neither "normal" nor wide/tele. The closes focusing distance is just .45m.

    The Vivitar 28mm f/2.8 Close Focus are much more common than the f/2.0. Good choice if f/2.8 is not too slow for you.

    One small point, the Canon FD 28mm/2 and 35mm/2 both have 8 aperture blades, makes the bokeh a bit smoother when stopping down.
  6. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Same here, I had an Hex 40/1.8 and wasn't too impressed with it. It's a cute little lens that needs to be stopped down to 2.8 to shine (I tend to shoot my primes at F2, tops) and severely lacks contrast.

    HOWEVER, the PEN 38/1.8 is absolutely fantastic ! I bought mine from Dixeyk, and if you nudge it just a bit he might sell you his PEN 40/1.4, which I bet is every bit as nice as the 38. My 38 might be the sharpest legacy I own, it is *totally* usable wide open (I'd say on par or better than my FD or Rollei 1.8 nifties).
  7. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Fast and cheap usually don't go hand in hand when it comes to lenses. :)

    My preferred all-around fixed focal length for the NEX is a 24mm prime (which gives me the equivalent of a 35mm SLR lens, moderate wide angle)... but these are pricier and less abundant, whereas 28mm primes (equates to a 'standard-ish' 42mm SLR lens) are more common and easier to come by. Both focal lengths normally come in f/2.8 which are plenty fast enough for most situations.
  8. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    is right now I have three 28mm lenses, two of them are Vivitar one M42 f2.8 and another MC ,f2.5 , also another Olympus 28mm f3.5, I'm thinking to keep just one, but don't know yet wich one? .
  9. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 22, 2012
    I'm still waiting for my OM mount for my Vivitar 28/2, but I greatly enjoy the Canon FDn 28/2 and was very impressed with both the FD 35/2 and FDn 35/2. Aside from Vivitars, you do pay a premium for 35mm and below faster than f2.8.

    24mm seems to be where manufacturers run into trouble. I've heard the FD 24/2 and alternatives are quite weak, and certainly my 24/2.8 was softer than the 28/2 at f2.8, but only at a pixel peeping level. The Canon FD 24/1.4L aside from being insanely expensive, I hear is quite soft at f1.4 and not sure how much better it performs than the 24/2s.

    I just got my adapter for my Konica 40/1.8 and it's so far so good - very nice and compact and cheap. I'm not sure whether I'll keep it though, I just had an itch to try it. One day I'd like to try out the Konica AR 28mm f1.8 but there's only one on Ebay that's been there for some time, and way way too expensive.
  10. RalllyFan

    RalllyFan TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 2, 2012
    I love my Voigtlander 35mm 2.5. It's a tad expensive compared to similar Canons/Nikons/Minoltas...etc., but it just gives me the feeling I want in my pictures. And it's tiny and light.

    I'm also a fan of my Nikon 28mm 2.8 AIS, not quite the same feeling as the Voigtlander, but still lovely. I'd recommend trying a few different lenses, see what makes you feel right about your pictures. They're easy enough to buy and sell these days!
  11. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    The 40/1.8 isn't sharp until stopped down to 2.8 but from there it isn't a bad lens at all considering how cheap they are. The Pen 38 is a lot better but then again it should be. it's 4X as expensive. I hear the Rokkor 45/2 is also nice (and cheap). The Hexanon 38/2.8 is also very sharp but it's big and heavy and not the easiest lens to find. There just isn't a lot that's under 40mm, cheap AND fast. You'll have better luck with under 40 and cheap. There are a lot of really nice 35/2.8's 28/2.8's and such. Personally I really like 24/2.8's (although the tend to run around $200) and 28's as I like the 42mm EFL.

    Decided not to sell the Pen 40 just yet.
  12. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    My old AF-Nikkor 35/2 was my most used lens from the film days, then it took to the NEX quite nicely. (Was even my go-to for product shots until I inherited some macros.) It's small & light with generous close-focus capability. Has character wide-open and sharpness stopped-down.

    35mm is often a little boxed-in for my taste on APS-C, though ("normal" never was quite my thing...) - 28mm feels better - love to find a nice faster one but your odds certainly are better if you'll settle for 2.8.

    I know you said "legacy" but the Sigma 30mm may also be worth some thought. Fulfills both the compactness and detail rendering capabilities of a NEX body quite nicely and I really do like that viewing angle.
  13. Joshua Cairns

    Joshua Cairns TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 12, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Decision/research time.

    Yeah, I've considered the sigma quite a lot. The only problem is I am getting very into videography, so having image stabilization is key. Therefore, when it comes down to lens without image stabilization, I feel myself being pulled toward grabbing cheaper MF lenses to play with, rather than a good-performing AF lens with a higher price tag. Explaining my point of view may have not made much sense (as reading my response right now seems to portray a bit of rambling confusion), but hopefully someone out there can relate. Hahaha. If not, knock some sense into me!