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Want a 35mm lens... Advice please!

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by José De Bardi, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    Ok, so decided I have a gap in my primes (damn GAS got me!), I have 16mm and 50mm, but want 35mm... (and later will get an 80-85mm but missing 35mm more for now)

    So started at the top, the Leica 35mm Summilux-M F/1.4. Much as I would love to spend a few grand on a lens and get insane quality, and I reckon it would be a pretty awesome combo on the A6000, budget says this is a no no!


    So middle of the range, came across this, http://www.slrmagic.co.uk/slr-magic-35mm-t0-95-hyperprime-cine-ii-lens.html
    So still costs a few pennies, but nice to have E mount natively and SUPER fast! Anyone have any experience with it?
    Steve Huff basically says good, but big (but then what to you expect with f/0.95!) http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/01/09/the-slr-magic-35mm-t-0-95-hyperprime-lens-review-part-1/


    And while I was on the SLR Magic site found this, which is far closer to my budget http://www.slrmagic.co.uk/slr-magic-35mm-t1-4-cine-mark-ii-lens.html
    Any one with experience? Again, generally pretty good in Steves (friends) world http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/...s-with-an-outstanding-prestige-by-amy-medina/
    I'm thinking for this money I may as well go for the SEL35F18 and get OSS and AF...


    I think I've discounted the Sigma 30mm, its not 35mm, and not really as fast as I would like (although it does have AF and is pretty cheap, hence a lot of people have it I know).


    And at the very bottom, this crazy little thing! http://www.slrmagic.co.uk/slr-magic-35mm-f17-lens.html
    Now at this price I'm kinda thinking, how wrong can you go! Obviously IQ is not going to be amazing, but could be a fun little lens.
    Steve Huff seems to think it's worth owning http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2010/11/15/slr-magic-35-1-7-lens-review-on-the-sony-nex-5/


    Right now I'm thinking, go for the stupid cheap SLR Magic, and then decide in another few months if I should go for the SEL35F18 for the shots that don't need the creative lens effect or go for some 80-85mm prime (which I REALLY want to be AF/OSS but this is somewhat missing from the E/A-Mount APS-C range and can't find anyone like Sigma that has filled the gap! Maybe this http://www.kenrockwell.com/minolta/maxxum/85mm-f14.htm - thoughts welcome... Just bigger than required as is FF).


    I've relied pretty heavily on Steve Huff for my views, based on the fact that if you Google these lenses his reviews seem to get served up every time, and I don't think many people have gone down the SLR Magic route!
    Any other suggestions? I'm posting in this section as I'd really like native E mount (and with AF/OSS if possible), but totally open to adapted/manual options if people have some experience with unbeatable value for money on some legacy glass etc?


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Your options for a limited budget are basically the SLRmagic 35 0.95, the Mitakon 35 0.95, the SLRmagic 35 1.4, the Zeiss Touit 32 1.8 and the Sony 35 1.8 OSS. The Sigma 30 is slow and thous not very useful in some low light conditions, and the SLRmagic 35 1.7 is just a rebranded €20 CCTV lens - I own one, but it's not even sharp enough to get accurate focus peaking, i.e. it's too soft to ever be used by me.

    Next, don't listen to Steve Huff. I like him personally, but his opinions are not worth that much. Just look at his sample images, they'll tell you more than his words. As for the options I mentioned:

    The SLRmagic 35mm f/0.95 is a lens with a nice rendering, although it's not very sharp, not even in the corners. Manual focus only. If speed is more important than sharpness (i.e. if you use it mainly in low light), this might be the lens to go for. The Mitakon is a newer lens, and from what I have seen it's slightly sharper with slighty worse bokeh rendering. But best compare them for yourself if you want to get one of them. They both get sharp enough when stopping them down, but is "sharp enough" good enough for you?

    The SLRmagic 35 1.4 is okay-ish, but I'd either go for a sharper or a faster lens. It's somewhere in-between.

    The Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS is the obvious choice, of course. Pretty sharp, with OSS good in low light, small, light and not too expensive. Of course you loose the super low light ability of the 0.95 lenses. Ask yourself: How much do you shoot in super low light? If the answer is "most of the time" - then go for a faster lens. If the answer is "sometimes", go for a slower, but sharper lens.

    The last option is the Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8. It has the best built quality out of all these lenses, it's pretty small and pretty sharp. The bokeh rendering is better than in the Sony lens, the color rendering is vastly superior (although this might be subjective, but most seem to like the rendering of the Touit better), and both the overall and the micro contrast are better. You will loose OSS, though, so depending on the situation it might be slightly less suited in low light. My advice: If you want to go for a 1.8 lens and don't mind paying the price of the Zeiss, go for it - you won't regret it. If money is high on your list, of course, the Sony is a worthy replacement with 90% of the image quality.

    Also, a very nice comparison of the 35mm speed demons by 3D Kraft: http://3d-kraft.com/index.php?optio...er-samyang&catid=40:camerasandlenses&Itemid=2

    There, you can clearly see the Mitakon / SLRmagic (remember, the SLRmagic lens they test there is the €4k T/0.95 one, not the cheap one) are extremely soft in the corners, and while they are okay-ish in the center, the chromatic aberrations are pretty extreme.
     
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  3. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    I have the rokinon 35 1.4, sony 1.8, fd 35 f2, fl 35 2.5 and the CV 35 1.2

    The CV is my favorite with the rokinon a close 2nd.
     
  4. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    Thanks Poki, that's really helpful!

    As I say, I only really looked at Steve's stuff as Google kept putting his pages at the top of the results!

    The Mitakon 35 0.95 is a nice looking option, so I think it's between that and the SEL35F18. To be honest they are so different, speed vs AF/OSS I'll have to think hard about what I really want as both options are handy - I'll probably end up with both in the long run! Given the A6000 high ISO abilities, I think the SEL probably wins out initially though as my low light conditions aren't super low light (I'm getting away with the SEL1650 on the A6000 and OM 50 f1.8 on my Nex5 for now, so the SEL35F18 replacing the 1650 will be a big difference as it is!).

    The SLR Magic 0.95, I think I might get only because for the price I would use it only for 'funky' shots anyway, not looking for IQ, I just think you could do some fun stuff with it! You don't fancy selling yours for pocket money?

    Deadbear77 - I think if I'm going to go manual it will be for a super fast lens, and the CV is a bit expensive but the looks of it for the current budget.

    Thanks again guys - love this forum!
     
  5. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    If you mean the 1.7 - it's probably cheaper to buy one from ebay than to ship mine to the other side of the world. They're just 20 bucks or so with free shipping. http://www.ebay.com/itm/35mm-f1-7-C...68660586?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item2a10b0fb6a
     
  6. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    I would be careful about getting a f0.95 lens for a NEX body. They weigh more than a Canon FD 85/1.2L which is a monster already, and the problem with small heavy lenses is that they don't balance well. Big heavy tele lenses are fine because they are big and there's plenty of space to support them, but when the body is tiny it is quite tricky. Just be aware.

    I'd recommend a used CV 35/1.4 to compare with a new SEL 35/1.8 - used CVs are quite cheap. The extra half stop isn't that useful as it sounds, as it's a bit soft and the 35/1.8 shoots wide open very well by comparison. For me, I have both but I only got the CV for FF uses. On a APS-C camera the 35/1.8 is much more useful in every way.
     
  7. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Well, 650 grams (for the Mitakon 35 0.95) seems quite okay for such a fast lens. NEX cameras have nice grips, and if you support the lens with your left hand, you should be fine. But I agree that the 35 1.8 Sony lens is the most versatile one out of all of them.
     
  8. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    Austria to UK? Not so far! If you buy it from SLRMagic direct presumably it just ships with an E Mount adaptor so no downside to buying it without the adaptor in the first place?
     
  9. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    The downside is that SLRmagic charges like five times the price of buying the lens and adapter separately.
     
  10. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    I don't think I'd mount it on the Nex 5 - the A6000 has a decent grip as Poki says so reckon it'll be OK. But for now I'm gonna go with the SEL35F18 I think, fast glass can come later!
     
  11. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    Just ordered one including adaptor for £15/$25! Really can't go wrong for that! Thanks!
     
  12. DigitalD

    DigitalD TalkEmount Veteran

    352
    Mar 2, 2014
    Miami
    David K Fonseca
    I have the FD 35mm f2 and I love it. Always have. But lately I've been looking into getting something a little faster and the 2 I keep coming to is the CV 1.2 and the Rokinon 1.4.

    The rokinon seems like such a no-brainer for the cost but I'm worried about the size. It looks like a beast, plus the A to E mount adaptor is fairly deep.

    The CV seems to be hands down, one of the best MF 35mm lenses in its class. But at an average $1200 price it's a pretty steep investment. Plus the MFD is too great for me and I would have to pony up for the helicoid adaptor, and not the cheap one because I've tried it and it's no good.

    Would love your insight on these 2 lenses!
     
  13. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    The CV is very nice because it is so much smaller. The rokinon is a great lens. It's not as big as you think it is. It's very comfortable to shoot and I do prefer the focus ring over the CV. It also has less CA at F2 and larger than the CV. That's pretty much my only complaint with the CV is the green and purple fringing. Wide open to about 1.8/2

    The rokinon is very capable of stunning pics. As long as you don't mind the size it's a for sure bet that you would love it.

    I also have the 24mm1.4. It is not as sharp wide open as the 35 but by f2 it's great.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. DigitalD

    DigitalD TalkEmount Veteran

    352
    Mar 2, 2014
    Miami
    David K Fonseca
    Thanks DB. The rokinon has made it to the short list ;)
     
  15. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    939
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I've been thinking through this process myself, albeit at a lower price scale.

    For my current budget, the SEL35F18 is a tad expensive new. So I've been looking at Minolta MD mount options, as I have been pleased with the Minolta MD lenses I have so far.

    In fact, I got the MD Rokkor-X 28mm f/2.8 in part to fill this sort of gap and have a "normal" prime, thinking the 42mm equivalent focal length would be suitable (and because KEH was out of 35mm units at the time). However, while I like the lens, I'm thinking something longer is more to my taste.

    So now I'm starting to watch for Minolta MD 35s again. Though I might grab a 50mm 1.4 while I'm looking. ;)
     
  16. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I got some times ago Zeiss Contax Distagon 35mm/2.8 for 150 euro. I am busy right now so not much possibility to photograph anything meaningful but first impression is rather good.
     
  17. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    I enjoy Poki answers and pretty much I would agree with him. Stabilization of native lenses is very useful feature and not very much taken into account I think
     
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  18. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    I just bought a second hand SEL35F18. Loads out there. Maybe an option for your budget?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  19. d1rtyice

    d1rtyice TalkEmount Rookie

    15
    Apr 19, 2014
    Read in this forum that the Sigma 30 mm is good.. But u saying aint that good.. I am considering to get that for a daily prime.. After reading what your post, hmm...
     
  20. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Oh, optically, it's fantastic. But for a daily prime, I always would recommend a lens with a maximum aperture of at least f/2. You get so much more flexibility with a faster lens that it's worth the higher price in most cases.