So I just discovered M mount lenses...

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by JonathanF2, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    338
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    ...and they're awesome! I picked up the Voigtlander 40mm 1.4 Nokton and 15mm 4.5 Heliar VM lenses and I'm using them on the Sony A7 II + Techart Pro adapter and it's so cool having compact lenses that auto focus! While I like SLR glass, short flange distance lenses seem to fit the whole mirrorless mentality better. I'm surprised Sony didn't try making their system more compact like this to begin with! I'm thinking of picking up another cheap Sony APS-C mirrorless body, since they have the RF form factor that works best with these type of lenses.

    Anyone else enthusiastic about M/VM mount lenses? :D
     
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  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Well, I had the Voigtländer 1.4/40 but I sold it because I didn't like the lack of sharpness at larger apertures; my preferred 40mm lens is the Olympus OM Zuiko 2/40mm. From other posts I know you have a different taste when it comes to rendering of lenses. I must say that all the stories about smearing and color casts in corners have kept me away from wide-angle M-mount lenses.
     
  3. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    338
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I actually prefer the aberrations and imprecise renderings of these lenses. I don't mind the softness wide open, I've been doing portraiture work lately and I usually only go wide open in low light and hover around f/2 when shooting people in decent light conditions. I had the Voigtlander 40mm f/2 SL-II in Nikon mount and at F2 it was a bit soft, requiring it to be stopped down. The 40mm 1.4 when stopped down to f/2, looks fantastic with no CA.

    I also have a Nikon FF kit when I need technically perfect images. The M mount lenses allow me to give my images a bit more of a painterly look. I also have some older MF Nikkors that render flare differently and my trusty Helios 44-3 that just looks cool with the swirly bokeh!
     
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  4. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    367
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    M mount is my main lens mount. The size of them fits me well. I have three M mount adapters. One is a plain one, seldom used. One is the Voigtlander Close Focus adapter which I use for all of my manual focus work. It gives me many choices for focus and close work with M mount or other mounts adapted to M. Finally, I have the TechArt Pro that makes all of my M mount lenses (or lenses adapted to M mount) autofocus.

    I am also kind of nuts about the clean rendering from the classic Heliar lens design (5 elements in 3 groups). It is not a design that works well for wide apertures. Voigtlander was able to squeeze f/2 out of a 50mm version by using some special glass. The classic 50mm f/3.5 Heliar tends to stay on my Sony A7ii most of the time.

    M mount on the Sony A7ii is a joy to use. There is a mind-boggling variety of lenses for M available for M mount. I general, I stay away from focal lengths less than 40mm unless the lens is specifically designed for digital. An advantage I hope to never need to use is that M mount will probably be adaptable to any digital full frame mirror-less camera by any company in the future.
     
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  5. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    844
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    If a Voigtlander lens came in both e-mount and m-mount, which would you choose and why?

    I have a long-time desire to try Voigtlander, but I like to shoot wide. Are the current wide Voigtlanders fixed for previous issues with color-cast and corners? I have been thinking about a Voigtlander 15mm III.
     
  6. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    338
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    The 15mm ver. III is made for digital so it shouldn't have any issues on your camera. I got the ver. II because I'm somewhat cheap and don't mind the soft corners and color cast! :D

    If you plan on just shooting with the E mount, I'd just go with that especially since it transfers EXIF information. Though if you like to use lenses across multiple formats, the M mount can be adapted to various mirrorless cameras.
     
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  7. Reciprocity Failure

    Reciprocity Failure TalkEmount Regular

    49
    Dec 25, 2015
    Bryan
    Two excellent lenses I own are the 40 and 90mm Minolta "M-Rokkor" lenses made in the early-80s for the Minolta CLE camera. They work great on the Sony! And are very small too. I also have a Konica "M-Hexanon" 50mm lens which is M-mount also.

    Also keep in mind that with an inexpensive adapter ring, you can use many (or most) M39 screw-mount lenses on your M-to-E adapter. I have several Nikon, Canon and Russian (Jupiter) lenses which I use on my M adapter on my A6000. Its fun and versatile.
     
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  8. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    338
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I was talking to this doctor/camera enthusiast who was raving about the Minolta 40mm. Had I not purchased the 40mm Nokton, I probably would of tried the Minolta.

    Do you have recommendations on some good M39 lenses worth trying out?
     
  9. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    367
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    I have asked myself this question. The 10,12,and 15mm Voigtlanders come in both E and M and are designed for digital. I have cowardly sidestepped the question by deciding not to get ultra wide angle lenses.

    For longer focal lengths, I am torn between the convenience of electrical transfer of lens data to the camera vs potential incompatibility with some future better camera and mount. I think staying with M is a completely justifiable strategy.

    By the way, since adapters and M mount are the heart of this thread, and since 40mm keeps coming up, let me call attention to a rather unique lens. I have and am delighted with the Voigtlander 40mm Classic Heliar. This lens is an M mount that will not focus on any M camera. It has no focus helical. It is designed to require the Voigtlander Close Focus adapter. It also works beautifully with the Techart Pro. So if you already have one of these adapters and you are interested in 40mm, this lens is reasonably priced for its quality (about $400). Its maximum aperture is f/2.8. It is very small and is even collapsible.
     
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  10. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    759
    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Paul
    If you see the size of the Sony 35 f2.8 that's a very compact lens
    I have the have the E mount 10mm and it is excellent, the E mount versions cost about £80 more than the M mount with adaptor but I think its worth it in the long run as you get all the Exif data and can see the aperture and focus settings in the EVF / Screen.
    I've also had the 12 and 15mm M mount lenses, both Mk2 which I used with an adaptor. They were both excellent, I sold the 15 to get the 12 and the 12 to get the 10.
    I like using primes now and have a hole in my lineup so contemplating getting the E mount 15mm to fill it.

    They are excellent lenses, compact and well built with excellent IQ.
     
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  11. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    844
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    Thanks Paul. I have watched your wide image threads and they have solidified my thinking these would be a good choice for wide angles. Still not sure on E vs M but EXIF data would be very nice to have.
     
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  12. Reciprocity Failure

    Reciprocity Failure TalkEmount Regular

    49
    Dec 25, 2015
    Bryan
    Hmmm....

    I suppose the usual Nikon and Canon lenses are probably mostly good. However, I would suspect there can be a lot of sample variation after usually 50-60 or more years. I have Canon and Nikon 50mm lenses in LTM and both are excellent, however my 28mm lenses from both brands are less sharp. Particularly the Canon; its very soft in the corners. I would like to get a 35 from one or the other to try.

    I've not tried any Leica lenses. I've looked at a few, and considered buying them, but often they have haze and scratches on the glass. Soft lens coating, I'm told. For a fraction of the cost, the Japanese lenses are are usually in better condition. Your experiences may vary.

    The Russian lenses can be a tremendous bargain. I have a Jupiter-8 50mm and a Jupiter-9 85mm and they are as sharp and contrasty as anything else. But here again, they were made over many decades (until the 90s I am told) and there are a lot of versions. If buying one for an actual film camera, one has to be aware of rangefinder calibration, but focusing on the digital, its not an issue at all. Sometimes the old Russians have stiff focusing rings due to old dried-out grease and can benefit from a good CLA overhaul. Same is true for the Leicas. The Japanese used grease made from whale blubber I think, and it usually stays good.

    The other Russian lens I have is an Industar-50 50mm but its M42 mount not M39. It too is very sharp but it produces funky colors... I think its really low in contrast. One thing in common with all of the Russian lenses I have is their apertures don't have click stops. The aperture ring moves steplessly from one end to the other. This can be annoying when shooting in Manual exposure; just when you have your camera set properly you bump the aperture ring a couple of stops and don't notice... It just takes a little care and practice to get it right.

    I think the only real dog of a lens I have is an early-50s-vintage Minolta "Super-Rokkor" 45mm/f2.8 screw mount lens. Its really low in contrast. Not that that's bad; it produces an interesting kind of retro appearance sometimes.

    Using these old lenses is the main reason I bought my A6000. The kit lenses are boring! Give me an old 1950s rangefinder lens any time. They're fun!
     
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