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Thread: Manual focus lenses

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    Manual focus lenses

    Evening!

    Following on from a few discussions on lenses and adapters etc. I need some educating, what are the must have manual focus lenses that will fit either with an adapter or native for the D800?

    I've read about the Leica R 19mm, I have the Zeiss 21 and 135, I've found a 50 f1.2 that I'm tempted by, what else can I buy that is amazing and manual focus?

    Any tips?

    Thanks

    Mat

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    what else can I buy that is amazing and manual focus?
    Some suggestions:

    1) The 105DC is an older AF lens, but it has a very nice manual focus mode. And it generates a stellar look IMHO.

    2) The Nikkor 85/1.4 AIS is in the league of the 50/1.2 -- a GREAT lens.

    3) The older 180/2.8 AIS another great MF lens in the same league as the 50/1.2 and 85/1.4 above.

    4) In wides, I like the ZF2 18 for the price, but a converted Leica 19R would be the cat's meow in this range.

    5) And for the ultrawide bargain of the century, a Samyang 14 is tough to beat!

    6) My favorite moderate wide of all time was the Leica R 35/1.4 -- that lens had mojo which is tougher to get in moderate wides. If I loved the 35 focal on 35 full-frame -- which I don't -- I'd get one of these converted.

    7) And the final wide I'd like to own, the venerable Nikkor 28mm f1.4 -- another older AF design that has nice MF feel and generates a stellar look, tons of mojo -- but beware it's actually about a 30mm net focal length (which is a plus for me) but is a larger, heavier mid-wide lens which is a minus. And then it costs a freaking fortune at around $2500 used, and was prone to front element mis-alingment if handled roughly, so buying used is iffy at best which is the huge minus.
    Jack
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Thanks Jack!

    I'll get busy with google I think! I'd love a really nice manual portrait lens, around the 85 so will have a look for a 1.4. I've not had tried a Samyang so will have a look too!

    Are any of the old Hasselblad V lenses worth looking at with a converter?

    Thanks again.

    Mat

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    105mm f/2.5 AIS is an excellent portrait lens and compact as well as cheap second hand. The 105mm f/1.8 sports some of the same characteristics, plus it's a stop faster, but it's much larger, heavier and more expensive. I still bought the f/1.8 though.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    I second Jorgen with 105. But mine is the Ai version and is stellar. Other than that I recommend the Zeiss 50 Makro - a versatile and very sharp lens. It stays on my D800 more than any other lens.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    I spent a year finding and converting a half dozen Leica R lenses for the D800E . The biggest disadvantage of the converted Leica R lenses is that you have to manually stop them down to the working aperture . The Zeiss ZF lenses have the advantage of both an auto diaphragm and couplings to the Nikon electronics . (best to go to the Leitax website for examples ).

    I put the effort in because I wanted a matched set of lenses that would render in a similar way (like a cinematographer would want). The 19/2.8 and 35/1.4 both required shaving and I had this done by DAG . I also have the 28/2.8,50/1.4 ,80/1.4 and 100/2.8 R lenses ..so that is my set . I will typically work with 2-4 lenses and two bodies at one time .

    I am blessed with excellent eyesight and I can easily focus with the faster 1.4 lenses and I ve learned techniques to check my focusing with the slower 2.8 lenses . In Florida its so bright the 2.8 lenses are quite easy to work with.

    I enjoy some of the Zeiss ZF lenses as well but they are not as consistent in the way they render ....individually they have some amazing lenses ...the 25/2 and the 135/2 APO are best in class optics.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    My favorites . Leica 19r, Zeiss 25f2, Leica 35r 1.4 but use a Sigma 35 1.4 instead much sharper wide open, 50 is not a favorite focal length but the Leica 50 R lux is stellar, 85 actually Nikon 1.4 and 1.8 are very nice, Zeiss 135 f2 nothing can touch it, Nikon 200 f2. Those are my favorite in Nikon but it's also a mix of AF in there and a mix in brands. Samyang 14mm is fun and sharp.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Be aware also that there are a few converted Zeiss CY 85mm f/1.4 converted to F-mount floating around. When they appear on the great, big auction site, they tend to sell for around $800. Mostly Japanese sellers, so I supposed there's somebody in Japan doing the conversion. I don't think it's a better lens than the zf.2, but it's more compact, has a beautiful rendering and obviously much cheaper.

    Right now, there's also a CY 85mm f/2.8 converted to F-mount for sale. While 2 stops slower than its bigger brother, I would rate it just as highly for sharpness and rendering.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post

    Are any of the old Hasselblad V lenses worth looking at with a converter?
    The 110 f2 FE lens is stellar. You want a newer FE version with the T* coating.
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    6) My favorite moderate wide of all time was the Leica R 35/1.4 -- that lens had mojo which is tougher to get in moderate wides. If I loved the 35 focal on 35 full-frame -- which I don't -- I'd get one of these converted.
    One of my favorites as well, but unfortunately would probably not clear the mirror on most modern DSLRs...

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Superb, thanks all! As an enthusiastic amateur I feel like building a kit of classic lenses just so I can muck about with them, this is a great resource, I'll start looking!

    Cheers

    Mat

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Jan or Roger or anybody else -- have you shot the Nikkor 35/1.4 AIS? I am wondering if it renders in the same class of the 50/1.2 and 85/1.4, both of which I find as Mandleresque as one can get outside Leica -- if so, it may be an attractive alternative to the 35 R Lux…
    Jack
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Jack

    I have not shot the 35/1.4 AIS but it has a good reputation among the Nikon users . I was thinking that we may have a shift back to the legacy lenses (similar to what has happened with the Leica M) . As the sensors get better (with greater DR) lenses that place an emphasis on resolution with lower contrast ....can produce a very special "look".

    I agree with your assessment that the 28/1.4 AF is the one to find ..good hunting .

    It took me forever to find a 35/1.4 R lens (found one in pawn shop in Detroit ) and it took DAG two attempts to shave and calibrate the lens ...but its my favorite lens on the D800E.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Jan or Roger or anybody else -- have you shot the Nikkor 35/1.4 AIS? I am wondering if it renders in the same class of the 50/1.2 and 85/1.4, both of which I find as Mandleresque as one can get outside Leica -- if so, it may be an attractive alternative to the 35 R Lux…
    Jack,

    I extensively shot with the Nikon 35mm f1.4 AIS in both the film era and earlier days of Nikon DSLR's...on a the D1, D1x on up to the D2x, but in the early days of using the D2x, I sold it. At the time I had no regrets, unlike the 28mm f1.4 I sold (a number of times). The 35mm f1.4 AIS is a very fine lens but I'm not sure it has quite the mojo of the 28mm f1.4 in terms of the look you're after (Madleresque). Sort of in-between the look of the best classics and the current modern day look.

    I'd like to see what it does on current sensors though.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Though modern don't overlook the Sigma 35 1.4 art series. I love mine. Its AF but manual focus is nice on it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Jan or Roger or anybody else -- have you shot the Nikkor 35/1.4 AIS? I am wondering if it renders in the same class of the 50/1.2 and 85/1.4, both of which I find as Mandleresque as one can get outside Leica -- if so, it may be an attractive alternative to the 35 R Lux…
    I used to have the 35/1.4 AIS and the 85/1.4 AIS in the 90s. Never really liked the 35... it always felt flat and lifeless to me, with no real character. I think the current 35/1.4G is a huge step up. I *did* like the 85/1.4 AIS, but think any of the AF 85's is superior (though marginally).

    I had a lux 35 R I used with the DMR, and a cron 35 R before that (before the DMR shipped) that I used with Canon DSLRs and R8/R9. Those are both great lenses.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Maybe the AIS 35/1.4 does better on a DSLR... I only ever used it with film.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    105mm f/2.5 AIS is an excellent portrait lens and compact as well as cheap second hand. The 105mm f/1.8 sports some of the same characteristics, plus it's a stop faster, but it's much larger, heavier and more expensive. I still bought the f/1.8 though.
    105 mm f/2.5 is an old one but still has the superior performance over the years.
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    As the sensors get better (with greater DR) lenses that place an emphasis on resolution with lower contrast ....can produce a very special "look".
    Roger, I totally agree -- the older I get or more accurately the closer I've been to owning optical perfection, the less enamored I am with it over glass with a unique visual signature; sharp with smoother contrast and those lovely spherical aberrations at max aperture . And here, Mandler was the king of 35mm full frame glass design just like like Cooke was for large format.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Never really liked the 35... it always felt flat and lifeless to me, with no real character. I think the current 35/1.4G is a huge step up.
    Jan, interesting -- I had the 35/1.4G and liked it optically, but it seemed basically "flat and lifeless" to me too, and why I sold it. This confirms the older AIS lens is not going to be on my radar.

    End of day, I'm going to play around with my 17-35 zoom today locked at the 35 end and decide if I want to give a 35 prime another try. If I do, I am going to take Guy's suggestion and go for the Sigma Art lens -- it seems to have a very nice wide-open signature from the few samples I've seen.

    The 28/1.4 will remain on my lust list
    Jack
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Jack as you and most others know well, the Sigma 35mm f1.4 art lens and the Nikon 28mm f1.4 are quite different beasts. Great samples of each are worth having but I can't imagine two dissimilar lenses when it comes to a "look". As much as I like the Nikon 17-35 f2.8 zoom for it's general overall performance, even on a D800 (aside from having to stop down to get sharp corners), if it's absolute performance that's needed close to or specifically at 35mm, especially at wide apertures, Guy nailed it with the Sigma 35mm.

    For a gentle almost pastel like rendition under a variety of shooting situations, the Nikon 28mm f1.4 was one of my absolute favorites. Unfortunately fairly substantial sample variation exists with each and that's an important consideration. A mediocre sample of the 28mm was a big disappointment and often lacked what this lens was capable of, especially when shot at f1.4 and f2.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Following on from a few discussions on lenses and adapters etc. I need some educating, what are the must have manual focus lenses that will fit either with an adapter or native for the D800?

    I've read about the Leica R 19mm, I have the Zeiss 21 and 135, I've found a 50 f1.2 that I'm tempted by, what else can I buy that is amazing and manual focus?
    A couple of old favorites of mine:

    Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8, Pre-AI :: I had one of the lenses on loan from my uncle in 1969-1970 and always remembered it fondly. Bought another a couple of years ago, it's still my favorite Nikon 85mm.

    Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 AI-S (52mm filter) :: small, light ... always impressed me with its contrast and sharpness. The later 20/2.8 is supposed to be superior, but I had one and sold it to get the f/3.5. This was my ultra-wide on Nikon bodies from 1982 to 2002.

    Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 :: one of *The* Nikon classics. I've seen it through at least three if not four revisions. It's always been a superb rendering lens.

    Nikkor 180/2.8 ED AI-S :: a truly delightful fast tele. The ED version is critical, previous version was a bit soft at the edges of the frame.

    I'm also enamored of the Micro-Nikkors ... I have a pre-AI 55/3.5 and AI-S 105/2.8 both of which are simply outstanding quality. The 200/4 ED-IF is another excellent performer.

    Beyond those, if I ever bought a Nikon DSLR body, I would likely get some Leitax.com mounting flanges for my Leica R lenses (Summicron-R 50/2, Summilux-R 50/1.4, Summicron-R 90/2, Elmarit-R 135/2.8, and Elmarit-R 180/2.8). These are older series Leitz R lenses, they don't have the razor crispness of the more modern late 1980s and onwards APO models, but their rendering qualities are simply beautiful and quite distinct from the Nikkors and Zeiss alternatives. I use them today as my telephoto range on FourThirds format, or on the Leicaflex SL they were designed for.

    G

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Jack as you and most others know well, the Sigma 35mm f1.4 art lens and the Nikon 28mm f1.4 are quite different beasts. Great samples of each are worth having but I can't imagine two dissimilar lenses when it comes to a "look". As much as I like the Nikon 17-35 f2.8 zoom for it's general overall performance, even on a D800 (aside from having to stop down to get sharp corners), if it's absolute performance that's needed close to or specifically at 35mm, especially at wide apertures, Guy nailed it with the Sigma 35mm.

    For a gentle almost pastel like rendition under a variety of shooting situations, the Nikon 28mm f1.4 was one of my absolute favorites. Unfortunately fairly substantial sample variation exists with each and that's an important consideration. A mediocre sample of the 28mm was a big disappointment and often lacked what this lens was capable of, especially when shot at f1.4 and f2.

    Dave (D&A)
    To clarify: I am more than happy with my 17-35 at 35 as a GP shooting lens. What the Sigma would be is a look lens, probably always shot wide open. Granted, it is also very sharp and contrasty stopped down, but in the few image samples I've seen, it renders very painterly wide open.
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Got a second here

    Sigma 35mm 1.4. Here is my feeling your almost crazy not to buy this lens for 900 bucks. Its better than anything I seen in 35mm land that bolts on a Nikon, remember I sold my Zeiss 35 F2 for this. There simply is nothing sharper at 1.4 and it does have a nice look to it. This is not even my better copy of this lens , I sold this one for another and far better.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    That 35 does look good, I've got an RX1 that I use for 35mm duties, I think it's hard to beat to be honest.

    Thanks to you all for the suggestions, I now have some ebay action going on!

    Cheers

    Mat

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    To clarify: I am more than happy with my 17-35 at 35 as a GP shooting lens. What the Sigma would be is a look lens, probably always shot wide open. Granted, it is also very sharp and contrasty stopped down, but in the few image samples I've seen, it renders very painterly wide open.
    Jack, I realize you like your 17-35mm f2.8. I remember when we were discussing the merits of this lens on the D800 (and I posted my mini synopsis). My comments were only to reflect on use of the Sigma 35mm f1.4 vs. the Nikon 28mm f1.4. Wide open I would agree the Sigma with it's normally contrasty and vivid look is tempered somewhat at f1.4 and does make for a modern yet lovely imagery.

    The 28mm in comparison is definitely somewhat less sharp wide open and it's bokeh is somewhat behind the Sigma in my opinion, depending on subject shooting distance but it pastel like rendition exists well beyond f1.4. Both lenses do have a very different look but each has so many positive merits.

    Dave (D&A)


    P.S.---> I should have also said Guy couldn't be more right. For $900.00 the Sigma is a venerable bargain and a fantastic lens at any price point.
    Last edited by D&A; 13th November 2013 at 10:46.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Agree Dave but also I could turn this down the other way with negative clarity and pull back some vibrancy off it and you could have a different look as well. I can always soften for look. Why I like this lens
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Guy, I was just going to suggest posting the above image with about 16 points negative clarity and dropping saturation to about minus 8, and then zeroing out capture sharpening (all in C1 of course)
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Okay I got a minute Im on it
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Okay here are my settings. The image without red dots is normal processing pretty much. The Red dots image is going the other way towards the negative and softening up the look. I did not touch the sharpness levels which would be even more effective.






    Okay first one is normal



    Going softer

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Nice little change , obviously you could take this further without getting into any issues.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Both still look pretty crisp -- at least at web size. I'd back sharpening all the way off to zero and open the shadows a little by sliding the mid level slider over left to about 0.06 or 0.08, and finally I'd just clip the highlights a skosh to add some glow.
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Yea for even more drastic you could lower the contrast and that would give a more veiled look. It depends on what your after. No lens in 35mm is this good wide open. Our 35mm Leica R lenses would never ever be this good wide open , way too many lens aberrations. So if you want to match the leica you have to get drastic calming this thing down because the Leica R never would come close to this wide open. Stopped down to like 2.8 the Leica would match the Sigma wide open as far as contrast and sharpness. We need to remember the R Lux lenses it was lens aberrations wide open that created that ghostly look. Reality is it was technically bad. But we liked how it looked
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Here lowering the contrast it gets more veiling looking.

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Okay off to Tempe Camera. Anyone got handcuffs , I'm feeling a itch
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Okay off to Tempe Camera. Anyone got handcuffs , I'm feeling a itch
    Hmmm, Guy, what's on the menu at Tempe today .

    Jack and Guy, I realize the adjustment to that Sigma 35mm image was simple a quick and fast exercise on what could be done. If you don't mind me saying, even keeping in mind its simply a web sized image, I'm not sure what the additional adjustments image wise did to give this lens (or image) a "look". Yes it toned down the contrast and clarity but emulating some of the qualities we derive in lenses that have aberrations and a quality that is readily recognizable, can more often not be created simply with post processing....at least not always.


    Take the Mandler designed Leica 50mm Lux pre asph and try creating it's look with the 50mm Lux asph. It's sort of like trying to create an artificial "glow" simply through software.

    Even the look of the 75mm Lux at f2 can't be easily duplicated with the Leica 75mm cron shot wide open. I once tried that and maybe my skills were at fault.

    The Nikon 28mm f1.4 has a good amount of clarity and no veiling in my opinion...maybe not the clarity of the Sigma but it's images can sparkle in a gentle soft of way and the saturation achieved with the 28mm astonished me at times without going over the top, but it was never veiled (such as the bit of veiling seen in your adjusted image with the Sigma.

    Again just some personal observations and as we all know, this is all very subjective...there's no right or wrong.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 13th November 2013 at 15:43.

  36. #36
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Dave, I agree that it's really difficult -- actually I will say it's impossible -- to replicate in post the special look that spherical aberrations add to old, fast glass images. But that's precisely why I like the 50/1.2 and the 105DC

    As re this Sigma 35, it's quite possibly too darn good wide open to deliver what I'm looking for, and I may in fact be stuck going after a 35 Lux R and converting it…
    Jack
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    I agree guys today these lenses are to well corrected. You can get close but not totally there. The 35 lux needs a lot if shaving for the D800 like my 19 r your back to stop down operation. Seems as we go forward in technology we take a couple steps back to get what you want. This is exactly the reason I'm looking at the Sony A7r as in reality it's a digital back that can fit a load of special glass that's tough to bolt on our Nikons. I have this crazy idea of converting my Nikon kit into strictly PR and AF needs and build a Sony kit for real work with Leica R and M glass. Sounds crazy I know but the Sony has real options like this.

    I'm not jumping on anything like that till I see who jumps next like Sony did. I'll wait till Q1 and see what's out there. I finally see some options out there.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Oh and I was good at Tempe camera. Just rented a lens.

    Funny story I saw Joe the owner for many years and we where talking about how long I been a customer. I guessed 20 reality 30 years. Joe said to me Guy your about the only guy left after all these years, everyone else out of business. Pretty interesting and sad at the same time.

    Also Nikon pulled there whole repair from him after a million years doing there repairs and took it in house. For him that was hell as he was about one if the biggest Nikon repair shops in the states. Sucks
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  39. #39
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Dave, I agree that it's really difficult -- actually I will say it's impossible -- to replicate in post the special look that spherical aberrations add to old, fast glass images. But that's precisely why I like the 50/1.2 and the 105DC

    As re this Sigma 35, it's quite possibly too darn good wide open to deliver what I'm looking for, and I may in fact be stuck going after a 35 Lux R and converting it…
    Me too Jack! Love both the current MF 50mm f1.2 AIS and both DC lenses, the 105mm and 135mm. One thing I can't strongly recommend enough, is if you happen upon a good buy in the Nikon 28mm f1.4, try it out with th provision it's returnable. The aspherical element was hand ground/polished and no two are alike. In fact some copies are rather mundane in performance.

    As an aside, my previous post was fraught with all sorts of grammatical mistakes and inverted words that significantly altered what I was trying to express. I quickly made some corrections so it now makes a modicum of sense.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Oh and I was good at Tempe camera. Just rented a lens.

    Funny story I saw Joe the owner for many years and we where talking about how long I been a customer. I guessed 20 reality 30 years. Joe said to me Guy your about the only guy left after all these years, everyone else out of business. Pretty interesting and sad at the same time.

    Also Nikon pulled there whole repair from him after a million years doing there repairs and took it in house. For him that was hell as he was about one if the biggest Nikon repair shops in the states. Sucks
    Yes, quite sad to see what has happened to many of the independent camera dealers. It was hard enough for them to compete with B&H, Adorama etc., but now have to suffer the indignity of big box stores like Best Buy. Many of the advantages they held as a local trusted readily available source of equipment has been washed away by the corporate bottom line of the big camera companies.

    Think how many were loyal to the companies they served and now are out of business or hanging on by a thread. Same thing for many excellent professional photographer who no longer are in the trade. Very sad indeed.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Well dammit, and it's all Dave's and Roger's fault! I found a copy of the 28/1.4 so had it overnighted for a trial run this weekend. Fingers crossed it'll be a sweet keeper
    Jack
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  42. #42
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Well dammit, and it's all Dave's and Roger's fault! I found a copy of the 28/1.4 so had it overnighted for a trial run this weekend. Fingers crossed it'll be a sweet keeper
    Great news looking forward to your thoughts on it .

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Well dammit, and it's all Dave's and Roger's fault! I found a copy of the 28/1.4 so had it overnighted for a trial run this weekend. Fingers crossed it'll be a sweet keeper
    Jack, really looking forward to your assessment and hope it's everything you hoped it would be.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    28 arrived. Initial reaction is it's a good copy, but want to do more testing. AF is notably old school screw-drive slow, but it has the MF disconnect on the lens and MF action is typical Nikon MF nice. Not a ton of magic, but some; a very nice bokeh and a notable painterly quality wide open, but still good saturation and contrast. It appears even the early hand-ground aspheres made for commendable performance in wide lenses. Surprising how well it sharpens up by f4 too -- it's a very good lens even by todays standard on the D800E. First notable nit is it is not very sharp at long distances wide open and this isn't a focus plane issue, just plain doesn't perform well wide open beyond about 50 feet. However, it's very sharp at the typical closer distances I'd use it for wide open. Again, it sharpens up notably by f4 at distance, even corner to corner on the D800E, to where it outperforms my stalwart 17-35/2.8. Initially it also appears remarkably flat field for a wide -- impressive actually.

    This copy came from KEH rated EX and is very clean generally, but has an un-mentioned 4mm scratch in the front element. I documented it and asked for some refund for it, will wait and see what they say after reviewing the pictures I sent them. I did shoot it into the Sun and it is remarkably low flare -- again impressive -- and no obvious sign of the scratch which of course is good news.
    Jack
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  45. #45
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Bummer about the scratch bud. That is unusually for KEH but they are great at returns as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member JoelM's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    No one mentioning any zooms? Again, the Nikkor 25-50/4 constantly surprises me with great contrast and rendering.

    Joel

  47. #47
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Jack, nice initial impressions, Yes, the painterly quality wide open is what attracts me to this lens and I should have mentioned that most copies seem to bias performance at closer range when shot wide open till approx f3.4. Copies vary though in this regard. It's not that the lens is magical on all fronts but wait till you do some atmospheric shots at dusk and low light nighttime shooting. The lens often shines under these situations. The more varied situations you shoot it in, the more most appreciate how this lens renders.

    Addition: I should also mention that wide open at mid distance is where I saw very wide variation in performance between different samples of this lens.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    the Coastal Optics 60mm F4 manual focus lens is the best lens I have used on the D800. If speed is not an issue, it does just about everything else perfectly, does macro, and is quite small. Two negatives are price and speed.

    Also, it is a multi-spectral lens so just solid in IR if you're into IR at all.

  49. #49
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Here is a quick sample from the 28/1.4 -- not a stellar image, but I think it shows the promise of this lens and this particular copy. Processed pretty much as shot with a slight bump to saturation and balancing levels. First the whole shot for reference and bokeh. Note the flower is pretty small, about 1.5 inches long overall, and I'm focused about 14 inches from it:



    Here is a 1000px center crop on the main flower -- hopefully showing some of the painterly quality I was looking for:



    Now here is a surprise -- this 1000px crop from the lower left corner showing resolution of what just by luck fell on the focus plane at the corner:

    Jack
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  50. #50
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    Re: Manual focus lenses

    Nice Jack, in the crop it has all the detail but in a really delicate way, the bokeh is absolutely superb. Looking forward to seeing more.

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