Top 3 Manual lenses recommendations for Sony a7? (portret/B&W)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by goranilic, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. goranilic

    goranilic TalkEmount Rookie

    Mar 14, 2016

    Recently purchased A7 and this opened whole new experience for me due to a large variety of options for using adapters.

    Would like to hear from TEM members what would be your recommendation according to your experience with MF lenses on A7. I am specifically interested in portret lenses shooting indoor, also some low light BW. Focal lenght from 50mm to 135mm... primes only.

    Very eager to hear what are your top 3 options...


    P.S. hope this is not a duplicate thread?!

    DYNOBOB TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 9, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    IMO the Samyang 135/f2 is a staple lens for the A7. Unbelievable quality of results for the price.

  3. goranilic

    goranilic TalkEmount Rookie

    Mar 14, 2016
    This one looks very good.
    Thank you Bob, but what I actual meant are so called "vintage" lenses... nothing over $300... sorry:blush:
  4. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    My favorite in terms of cost and performance are the Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AI-S, 50mm f/1.8 AI-S and Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AI-S.
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  5. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Yeah, for me also, adapted mf legacy lenses from the film era translate in affordable options - I would never see my self spending more than 100€ for one :)

    As much as I would love to own an 58mm or 50mm MD f/1.1,2 lens, I would never spend that much on a mf lens. As a quick and afforable option if you haven't tried it, is the MD 50mm f/1.4, great for portraits and low light imho.
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  6. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    My favorites for around ~$300

    50mm range:
    Contax G 45mm f/2 (Zeiss Planar T*)
    Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4
    Minolta MC 58mm f/1.2
    (most fast 50's are adequate, these ones are excellent)

    85mm - 100mm range:
    Canon FD 85mm f/1.8
    Contax G 90mm f/2.8
    Canon FD 100mm f/2

    Canon FD 135mm f/2
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
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  7. goranilic

    goranilic TalkEmount Rookie

    Mar 14, 2016
    Hey Mike,
    What adapter do you use for Contax G lenses?
  8. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    My top 3 prime lenses in the 50-135mm range are:
    1. MD Rokkor 85mm F2 - need patience to find less than $300
    2. MD Rokkor 50mm F1.4 - the MC version is also good, but heavier
    3. Pentax SMC 55mm F1.8 - cheap and tiny but I love it
    I personally really like Minolta SR mount, and M42 for great value for money. I have never tried Canon FD but they seem to be good choices.

    Olympus OM, Nikon and Contax / Yashica mount lenses tend to be more expensive for their equivalents. Obviously anything M mount is crazy money, but they do tend to be a lot smaller especially if you include the adapter.
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  9. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Well, I myself use the $250 Techart AF adapter. This is the guy who has the best info about the MF adapters that I've seen:
    Showcase - Contax g 90mm f2.8 (post #70 on page 4)
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  10. Kendall

    Kendall TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 29, 2016
    I second the Contax G 45 and 90mm lenses. They are wonderful and small. I use the Techart AF adapter and also a cheap $25 manual adapter from Fotodoix that has been good. I did recently sell my 45mm though because I bought the Sony Zeiss 55mm.
  11. pbizarro

    pbizarro Guest

    My favourite portrait lens for the Alpha 7 system is the Zeiss Batis 85. You can shot it using manual focus if you prefer.
  12. goranilic

    goranilic TalkEmount Rookie

    Mar 14, 2016
    Thank you "pbizzaro", but I was looking for so called "legacy lenses" :thumbsup:
  13. drmarkf

    drmarkf TalkEmount Rookie

    Feb 2, 2016
    Mark Farrington
    Thirded by me. I chose the manual Fotodiox 'pro' version of the adapter, which seems to be smoother and a better fit than the Metabones I had when I used these lenses on micro 4/3. The manual adapter makes them look a bit odd, it must be said, but the results are excellent and these lenses are surely under-valued currently.

    You'd be very lucky to get a Rokkor 58mm f1.2 for that much, and if you did it would unfortunately probably be knackered. It is also a specialised lens that is really only worth bothering with at f1.2 (where it is low-contrast and dreamy) and around f2.8 where it is much snappier. Mine's the early version with the chunky metal focus ring, which I find a particular pleasure to use.
  14. aliengrove

    aliengrove TalkEmount Rookie

    Apr 20, 2016
    Jon Bowles
    The Pentax smc-A 50mm f1.4 works really well on the A7s and A7rii. I picked mine up for £30 but it would probably cost you a bit more. At the same time (for the same price)I picked up a Sigma Super-wide II 24mm f2.8. 8, not a portrait lens but a very good performer, so much so that I doubt I will be looking for another 24mm lens.
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  15. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Wow, 30£ sounds like a bargain for that 24mm Sigma!!!
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  16. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    Minolta MC Rokkor-(X )PG 50mm 1:1.4 for low-light work, excellent at f/2. As a medium telephoto I have used the Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 a lot, it's now put out of a job by the native FE 70-200/4.
  17. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    I concur on the MC Rokkor PG 50/1.4, though really, almost any old legacy 50mm is going to be pretty good.
    At 35mm, a good Minolta MD 35/2.8 can be tiny, cheap and surprisingly sharp.
    My MD 85/2 is another standout, and perhaps the last survivor of the native FE lens takeover. I may continue using that lens on outings for its smaller size with close to modern quality rendering.