What are the great lens values out there right now?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Nubster, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    474
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    Even though I don't have the body yet (I'm working on that now, NEX6), I'd like to start grabbing a few decent lenses to go along with the few Nikons I already have. I'd like to know what some of the really nice, but not crazy priced stuff might be floating around. Something like the Minolta 50 F1.4 MC ROKKOR that can be had for well less than $100...things along those lines. I don't mind the MF since I'll have to do that anyways with my Nikon stuff. I've been looking at lots of images taken with these cameras then researching the lenses used and many of them are way too much $$$ for my poor civil servant paycheck to handle. But something like the Minolta is perfect. I'd like to grab a few primes to use as a walk around kit. Then maybe I'll get some E-mount stuff at some point so I can use AF if needed.
     
  2. LuvMusic

    LuvMusic TalkEmount Regular

    42
    Dec 11, 2012
    Chicago area
  3. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Do some research on what's hot in the Asahi Pentax Takumar series of prime lenses (but they seem to be getting expensive each year)... they seem to have a cult following.

    The old Tamron (adaptall) primes are very good too, the 90mm macro, the 28mm and 24mm wide angles in particular have great IQ IMHO.

    Minolta and Konica lenses are related (sister companies in the old days) and also have a very good reputation, but Konicas are fewer and harder to find.

    Playing Russian roulette is also a lot of fun (pun intended :) ), have a look at Helios and Industar lenses from Russia, many of these are Leica clones which came as a result of reparations after WWII. But it's a hit and miss affair, the quality control back in the days of the Iron Curtain wasn't consistent... but these are pretty cheap.

    There's tons of better lenses than these out there, but then you'll be running into serious money...
     
  4. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    474
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    Yeah, saw those. I do want to pick up those Sigmas when they are back in stock to round out the wide end of things and have some AF options, maybe the Minolta for the 50mm (see what works better, my Nikon 50mm or the Minolta)...then see what I might like above that. I do have a Tamron 90mm so that's covered. I don't find my self shooting very often beyond that...if I need to I have a Nikon 70-300 I can use. I do tend to like the older lenses though, they seem to have something special that newer lenses often lack.

    And thanks for the other options. I'll look in to some of those. That's the big thing, other than Nikon, which I've been shooting for a number of years, I never really ventured outside of that realm so I really am unfamiliar. Now that there's lots of cool options, It gets a little confusing trying to figure out what all is out there that can be adapted to use on the NEX cameras.
     
  5. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    Macro lenses, particularly the old 50-60mm ones, seem to be a particularly good value. They may not do low light and super shallow focus as well as the trendier fast primes, but they are splendid for close-up shots. They are usually rock-solid optical performers.
     
  6. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    474
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    Yeah, I find that to be true of my Tamron 90mm Macro.
     
  7. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    I guess it depends on what particular focal length you are looking for and your budget. The recent resurgence of legacy glass can be attributed to the popularity of adapting these lenses to mirrorless cameras. Minolta Rokkors now retail between $30 - $100 (sometimes even more) when it used to sell for anything between $5 - $20 3-4 years ago.

    The popularity for the 50mm focal has not really reached the peak of what it used to be as the crop factor on mirrorless units has effectively made this focal into a 75mm which some people find a tiny bit tight for everyday shooting, but good for portraiture (the oof rendition on these lenses make adds to the popularity of using it as a portraiture lens).

    The 35mm is now the new 50mm (factoring the 1.5 crop) unfortunately these focal length has always been popular and hence has always commanded a higher premium.

    I agree with Dioptrick, you may want to have a look at some Pentax Takumars, and Tamrons. Old Russian lenses can be a bit of a hit and miss .

    Just looking strictly at focal length and budget I would say that for a budget of:

    $5 - $100 - Konica, Minolta, Asahi Pentax, Takumar, Tamron (50mm focal)
    $100 - $250 - Most of the same brands but with focal lengths below 50mm / Nikon and Canon legacy lenses
    $150 - $2000 - Voigtlander lenses

    It really comes down to what focal length are you looking for as prices do depend on the brand and focal length you are after.

    Alternatively you can always have a look at Sony's native E - mount lenses, I heard the 50mm 1.8 is actually decent, but at $280- $300 I'm not sure everyone will be happy with that price tag.
     
  8. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Great summary Phoenix.
     
  9. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    474
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    Yes, great information. As far as the Sony 50mm 1.8...guess it would be nice to have the AF, but at that price I'll definitely pass.
     
  10. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    I've taken the liberty of having a quick look at eBay for some lenses to point you in the right direction, as expected 50mm lenses ranges from $20 - $500 USD depending on the speed. I found the following which I thought were good value for money taking the following criteria into account: asking price, focal length / speed, and the condition of the lens (no haze, fungus, and minimal wear)

    Minolta Rokkor-X 28mm 2.8 (42mm equivalent, somewhat in between a 35 & 50 good for street shots)

    Canon FD - Same speed, focal and condition. A bit dearer though, but it gives you the buy now option instead if bidding.

    Rokkor-X 45mm F2 - It's a bit on the long side of a standard lens but still shorter than a 75mm

    **Disclaimer** I am not in any way shape or form urging you to buy or bid on these items, I am just trying to point you in the right direction of what prices to expect, what I classify as a good deal, and general market value of some lenses.
     
  11. mobias

    mobias TalkEmount Regular

    57
    Nov 4, 2012
    I don't have one myself (yet) but you see some truly amazing results with the old Russian Jupiter lenses. There's a lot of them out there though and I'm not sure whats good and whats not. I aim to get one at some point.

    Jupiter (lenses) - Camerapedia
     
  12. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Pentax M:s are pretty nice, Tokina&Tamron did make some nice lenses, Minolta is pretty good, some Canon:s are very cheap (I will get Canon 70-210 4.0 some time), Vivitar had some very nice lenses (and quite a few bad ones) and etc.. I can only recommend to experiment. Some good places to start are 28mm 2.8, 50mm 1.7-1.8 and 135mm 2.8. These are cheap and easy to get. Short zooms weren't generally very good but there are some 70/80mm - 200/210mm telephoto zooms that are quite nice (I like Tokina 80-200/4 quite lot, see my image in the legacy lens images thread). I like Tamron 105mm/2.5 and so on.

    Here are quite nice sites for lens reviews:
    Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
    Pentax Lenses by Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, and more - Reviews and Specification Database - Pentax Lens Review Database
     
  13. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    474
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad

    That's awesome of you. I've been reading up on some of the Minolta lenses. I'm thinking that they might be the way to go for me. Many seem to have really good price to performance ratio without breaking the bank. Once I build up a decent collection then I can maybe start saving for a couple nicer lenses...if I even feel the need. I was looking hard at the 28mm f/2.8. Can't decide on that or the 24mm. Price is a lot more on the 24mm, but I think that maybe a 24mm with a 35mm and a 50mm will have me set. Throw in the 90mm Tamron and I'm good to go. I'll also have the Tokina 12-24 if I need to go really wide, and my Nikkor 70-300 if I need the reach.

    Thanks to mobias and xXx1 as well. More food for thought. I do really like my Tamron and Tokina lenses I have now even though they are new AF lenses. They are great on my Nikon DSLR. I'll have to check into their older stuff too.

    I'm really liking this idea of merging the old with the new. Getting a new technologically advanced camera body and throwing some old manual lenses on it that might be older than I am...kind of a crazy idea but it's awesome they way the to just work together.