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Which 1.4?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by teefin1, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    I know the Minolta Rokkor 50mm 1.4 is highly thought of round here, but a couple of others have come up, around the same price (£70), at the same time. A konica Hex 57mm 14 and a Canon FD 50mm 1.4. Is any one lens a stand out performer over the others, or are they much of a muchness?
     
  2. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    I have the minolta and the cannon. They are pretty equal to my eye.
     
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    You want my honest opinion? Too bad, you get it anyway. :cool:

    I don't think it matters much. They all produce about the same results for 95% of the people using them. Conversely, 95% of the people using them that have strong opinion about one (or more of them) couldn't pick their favorite out of a pile of pics taken by someone else using different lenses. Put another way, shots from different lenses printed out @ 16x24" and viewed at proper viewing distance would be very hard to tell apart.

    Now I'm not saying that in a derogatory way. There's more to how you think a lens performs than what it can actually produce. Much of it is how a lens looks/feels/handles as well as the type of image it produces.

    Personally, I never bonded with my SEL16. The lens just did nothing for me. Most of the pics I shot with it were fine, but as a piece of gear I'd use it just wasn't happening so I sold it and bought a CV15.

    This has lead to me picking up a CV21 and a CV35 as well. I'll probably eventually get the whole line up of CV screw mount lenses because I like the way they look and feel on the camera, their incredibly small size and the way the render pics works for me. Are they perfect? No way. I have to do an incredible amount of post processing with the wide angle ones that I wouldn't need to do with SLR lenses. I've decided I can live with that to get the size/handling that the CV lenses can provide.

    Stepping off my soapbox I'll leave it to others more knowledgeable than I about 50ish/1.4 lenses to make recommendations, especially since I don't even own one. ;)
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I have had a number of 1.4's and to be honest they are all pretty good. I think it really depends on what you like. There are the Konica 50/1.4 and 57/1.4, Minolta 50/1.4, 58/1.4, Canon FD 50/1.4 and FL 50/1.4. Olympus 50/1.4, Super Takumar 50/1.4...you get the idea. Each has slightly different characteristics but I don't think any one is superior but you will have preferences based on whether or what characteristics you prefer. For instance the Konicas are known for sharpness, the Suer Takumars for their bokeh etc. Sometimes it will come down to which one you like the feel of of build quality of. If I were just starting to look I'd say that the Minoltas and Canons are the best value, the Minoltas because they aren't as well known and the Canons because they made a zillion of them.

    I agree with Deadbear77, I have (or have had) a bunch of 1.4's and they have all been very close.
     
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Actually that's a great point. One of the reasons I find I like the Minoltas is that I like they way they feel in the hand and operate, they all deliver very similar results (color wise) between my various lenses and having one mount and all the lenses give me similar performance is pretty nice. As a line they seem more alike than any lenses I have every used and I find that appealing.
     
  6. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    While I agree with everything that's been said, I'd had a thing or two. Yes indeed, how a lens looks, feels and operates is equally important as its sheer IQ. I'm not quite in accordance with the fact you can't tell different lenses' outputs apart. Since they're no exif being recorded I've become used to wondering which lens produces what, and save for a few times can know it from the rendering itself. I totally agree that those subtles differences would most probably elude anyone else than me, their owner !
    Sample variation is a BIG issue, not spoken of enough. The Hexanons 50/1.7 is vastly reputed for its sharpness, and my copy was soft to the point of uselessness, go figure...

    I'd personally vouch for one lens' IQ, and that's the Canon in either FD or FL mount. There's a catch though (reason why I don't shoot either in this aperture, I got ones I like better) : they're extremely unsexy lenses (not the FL, it has a nice metal body). So I love the IQ of mine, but never reach out for them. On the other hand I have a cheapo Rokkor 1.7 of the latest and most plastic build, with fungus inside (!) and I tend to grab this one naturally
    So the (terrible) answer to your question is : you have to try them for yourself !
    That has me keeping on chasing the White Whale, but it's fun to do so, so it's a pretty harmless hobby after all ;)
     
  7. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    Oh, one more thing, the minolta steps 1.4 / 2.0

    Cannon
    1.4 1.8

    So if you want more 1/2 steps go with cannon.

    Like the minolta
    1.7 steps to 2.8 that I have.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I'm embarrassed to admit that I almost never shoot my 1/4's wide open. Since the NEX handles high ISO so well I rarely feel like i need to so i spend my time somewhere between f4 and f5.6.
     
  9. lowincash

    lowincash TalkEmount Regular

    131
    Dec 21, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Kin
    I have a minolta rokkor 50mm f1.4 and 58mm f1.4, I like the 50mm more. At 1.4 the 58mm gets really soft, gives that dreamy look. The 50mm is more sharper wide open and really sharp at f4-5.6. I haven't tried lenses from other makes since the 58mm was the first MF lens I got, I ended up just getting mostly minolta lenses so I didn't have to get different adapters lol

    I do however have a canon fd zoom lens, the aperture cannot be changed, it's just wide open all the time. I'm wondering if the other canon fd lenses do the same?
     
  10. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    720
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
    I don't think you can change the aperture of canon fd lenses with just the lens. When I put on the adapter the right way, I can see aperture changing.
     
  11. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    This.

    Which is why our choices will be different... which is a good thing because there's so many to choose from. The nasty thing :( (or fun thing :) ) is, we have to acquire one in order to 'feel' it... to make that bond.

    A big thing for me is the feel of the focusing barrel, not just the smoothness but the helix ratio as well (how much turning from mfd to infinity). What agonizes me the most is that the fugly lenses seem to be the better performers, because I'm also somehow affected by the aesthetic appearance of the gear I use.
     
  12. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    A little off-topic but could pertinent to choices made:

    When you guys handle the lenses, do you find that size and weight change when you might use a lens after it's on the body, like pulling it out for street shooting (even the looks for that matter) or that it changes the angles that you shoot at?
     
  13. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    You might have to rephrase your question again, Colin... I can't quite follow it... :confused:
     
  14. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Yeah

    What I mean is that the does the size and weight of a lens change how you hold the camera and then have some effect on how you choose to capture an image. I noticed when trying out a friend's heavier DSLR and shooting the same thing with my NEX that it was only after I was checking out the photos on the computer that I had a slightly different angle on the shots. Using the LCD display, it seemed to effect the angle of my arms holding the camera. Not a lot mind you as I was trying to take the same shot of a static object with the same composition, but enough to notice a difference. Now I don't have various primes at the same focal length so I was trying the kit lens and 55-210 at the same focal length and found the same thing, but this is not vary scientific at all. It could be for various reasons of course, but I was wondering if the anyone felt that lens size and weight and not just focal length made a difference in what shots people take say when shooting a Canon 50 1.4 and a Rokker 50 1.4

    I also find that the size of the lens changed how often I was likely to use the camera in street-shooting situations. Using a small lens on I'm much more likely to take a shot in public. I already stand out as a foreigner in a sea of Chinese people so although this is a mental thing, I also wondered if it effected other shooters. This may be totally about where I live though as there's not really any places in China that are not crowded. I live in the 19th largest city in China and there's about 8 million people not including migrant workers and on an average day, I don't see another non-Chinese person.
     
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Hmmm...I find that I prefer certain size lenses because of how they balance on the NEX. As much as I like the optical qualities of the Pen-F lenses I find that I grab for my fast SLR lenses like the Rokkor 50 because I much prefer the handling of the NEX body with the longer lens. I use the lens as a sort of grip and it definitely has an impact on how I hold it and how I choose to shoot with it. Is that what you mean?
     
  16. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I mean. What choice differences do you make when using the Pen or Rokker of similar focal lengths.

    Hmmm, perhaps this should be a different thread. I don't mean to take this one over.
     
  17. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Unlike Dixeyk (who I snatched it from !), I do like the PEN 38 on my NEX 6 for all-around shooting (it's my "to go" kit if I have no portrait session in mind, knowing it can turn into a portrait lens in a pinch if needed).
    If not these days I like to mount the MD 50/1.7 for its small size packing a lot of optical goodness (along with a bit of light fungus, lol).
    The massive FL 55/1.2 does change the way I handle the combo. It's always left hand around/below the lens for me anyway, but sure I guess the FL (BIG) vs the PEN (tiny) would probably change not so much my handling, but others' perception of my camera.
     
  18. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    The subliminal influence?

    Subconscious stimulus can affect the way I shoot for sure. The feel (size, weight, appearance) of a lens can definitely change my mood and the way I approach a subject or challenge.

    I've always somehow regarded my 5N as a "digital rangefinder" (whatever that is) and so the closer it looks, feels, and behaves like one, the more I'm inspired to use it. I just adore using 'vintage' lenses (1950-60s era) and most of these have aperture rings at the front. This is a feature that I find more natural to use with the small and thin NEX body, and the Olympus Zuikos have this front aperture ring. The earlier Canon FL lenses are also like this, but they're more bulky and older than the Zuikos. I've also recently discovered that I don't like using pancakes.

    Relating all this back to the topic, I think the Zuikos are damn sexy on the NEX because they are quite small in comparison to most SLR legacies. So my preference for a 'modern' 50mm/1.4 is the Olympus (I have already acquired a 28mm/2.8 - lovely little thing). But it's taking me a while to win a Zuiko 50mm/1.4 on eBay because of where I live... the shipping cost can sometimes be the same as the price of the lens itself! So I'm still hunting for a bargain (won't be a bargain by the time it gets here).

    I've done the SLR and DSLR thing... been there and done that. The reason why the NEX interests me is because it's giving me something different. When I've got vintage glass on my 5N (smallish lens with aperture ring at the front) I know I'm in fresh and unfamiliar territory. I actually don't care if the lens is harder to use or if the lens isn't the best optically. This is obviously not everyone's cuppa tea, but it's what "floats my boat" - for now anyway. :)
     
  19. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Dioptrick I had both 1.8 and 1.4 OM lenses and they are great, I also have a wonderful 100/2.8 and a cracking good 135/3.5. I sold the nifties despite all their qualities because once you dial in the taller adapter, the small size of the lenses is defeated.
    IQ was flawless and they're very nice to operate. I sold the 1.4 first and held on the 1.8 and bit more, but it then went to Selten's loving care thru the board.
    I do recommend them warmly.
     
  20. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    This.

    For me it's modern rangefinder lenses though. Totally agree with the aperture ring in front & I love the little focus knob/tab on these lenses. I never liked actual rangefinder cameras, but the lenses combined with a NEX body works for me.

    I must admit that the Canon 50/1.2 rangefinder lens on ebay right now for a stupid low price is calling my name… I really don't need a fast 50 before I get a 28, but still. :)