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Thread: Question about manual 50mm lenses

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    Question about manual 50mm lenses

    Hey, if the D600 comes out later this year in a form similar to the rumors, I am planning to give it a try. (I have been using an M8 for five years and would keep it.) For a D600, I would want to start with a manual focus 50mm lens that is relatively light in weight. I like the idea of having a light FF DSLR and a light 50mm lens for it. I have interest in the following three lenses (with weights in parentheses), which appear to be good, relatively light, and pretty affordable:

    1) Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS (360g)
    2) Zeiss Planar T 50mm f/1.4 ZF (330g)
    3) Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL II (200g)

    I am hoping to get input from folks with experience with any of these lenses.

    Thanks ...

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    Re: Question about manual 50mm lenses

    Convert a Leica 50 R Cron. Leitax adaptor. Magic.

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    Re: Question about manual 50mm lenses

    Thanks for your input. Using Leica R lenses would be an appealing idea for me, but my understanding is that, even with a Leitax adaptor, you would then need to do stop down metering. I'd prefer to keep things simple (though I know how great Leica glass is).

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    Re: Question about manual 50mm lenses

    ramosa,

    If real light weight is your first priority, then I'd suggest the following lenses:

    low weight

    1) Nikkor 45mm f2.8P (pancake), 120g, the smallest you can get, all metal, good build quality, good corner to corner sharpness from f4-5.6 on, smooth focusing, nice rendering, good contrast

    2) Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G, 185g, standard size, plastic, AF, good overall performance, even from f1.8 on, typical Nikon rendering

    3) Ultron 40mm f2, 200g (pancake), 200g, all metal, good build quality, smooth focusing, neutral to cool rendering, lots of barrel distortion at close distances

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    medium weight

    4) Voigtlaender Nokton 58mm f1.4 (320g), I cannot comment on this

    5) Zeiss ZF 50mm f1.4 Planar (330g), good overall sharpness from f4 on, good build quality, smooth focusing, typical Zeiss rendering with good micro contrast, bokeh fringing wide open

    6) Nikkor MF 50mm f1.2 Ai-S (360g), good detail in center wide open, hazy wide open, CA till f4, contrast increases tremendously from f2 on and so do details, good corner to corner sharpness from f5.6, nice rendering, good build quality, smooth focusing, best haptic among all contenders

    Good luck with your choice.

    Cheers,
    Udo

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    Re: Question about manual 50mm lenses

    Udo,

    Great thanks. Your list and critique of these lenses is greatly appreciated! This is the range of weights I am interested in. The Nikkor 1.2 seems most appealing at this point.

    R

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    Re: Question about manual 50mm lenses

    If lightweight is important and sharpness you could also check out the AI-S 55/3.5Micro. It is the sharpest 50 (well actually 55) I own (I own almost any 50 you can think of that fits Nikon F) but it also focusses really wel manually. It kind of snaps into focus very visibly.

    Next to that it is obviously one of those forgotten gems. You can pick it up cheaply in manyu cases.

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    Re: Question about manual 50mm lenses

    Thanks Dustbak. Nikon has such a good group of manual focus lenses (unlike Canon, it seems). I find myself still wrestling with the Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AIS and the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 Planar--while also pondering various "partners" at 35mm. At 35mm, I would love the Zeiss Distagon 2.0--IF it weren't so big. That leaves me with the Nikkor AIS lenses (at 1.4, 2.0, or 2.8), as well as the new Voigtlander 28mm 2.8 Color Skopar SLII ASPH. The final lens is tiny, at 180 grams.

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