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Thread: Manual 35mm lens for NEX - help me choose!

  1. #1
    kadamian
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    Manual 35mm lens for NEX - help me choose!

    Guys, help me, please.

    I am torn between these lenses:

    Voigt Nokton 35/1.4
    Leica Cron 35/2 pre-asph (the asph is too expensive and quite long)
    Zeiss Biogon C 35/2.8
    Contax G 35/2


    Dimensions are about the same, i can't figure out which one will give the best image (no pixel-peeping!).
    I plan shooting my wife in usual walkaround + travel shots in different locations. Plus some landscape shots and architectural, but 95% of shots are environmental portraits (e.g. half body w/background)

    This is my first attempt to dive in the manual focus lenses.
    I have been considering fuji X100 as well but i realised that i like the 50mm much more than 35mm.

    p.s. as an alternative there is also samsung 30/2 which, i assume, gives about the same amount of OOF (but the quality might be worse) blur as the above mentioned ones. but since samsung cameras fail at low light this is just a back-up option.

    p.s. i am leaning towards the Zeiss, actually for its build quality and optics that are equal to cron asph but 2.8 f-stop bogs me a bit - is f2 makes a LOT of difference in the amount of OOF blur? Or the difference between, say, cron or nokton f2 (which i will shoot in daylight to get nice blur) is negligible with zeiss 2.8?

    Contax is also nice but the focusing can be a problem (even via adapter)

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member hot's Avatar
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    Re: Manual 35mm lens for NEX - help me choose!

    I am waiting for Samyang 35mm / 1.4 ... I hope it's coming soon.
    Price < $400


  3. #3
    kadamian
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    Re: Manual 35mm lens for NEX - help me choose!

    I see no point in getting lenses that are several times bigger than Nex body - it just doesn't make sense.

  4. #4
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Manual 35mm lens for NEX - help me choose!

    The Contax is not very famous for its IQ, so wouldn't recommend it. The ZM 35/2.8 would be a better option IMO. It would be best to get a ZM 35/2 or even a ZS 35/2 but not sure if they would be too big.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Manual 35mm lens for NEX - help me choose!

    The ZM35c actually has a bit nicer bokeh overall than the f2 version, not to mention being a little better optically. If f2 is important for light gathering then it might be one way to go, however, the NEX is pretty good at higher ISO, and the 35c version is going to have a more pleasing oof rendering, perform better optically and is smaller/lighter/cheaper as well.

    You might even want to consider getting botha 35 f1.4 VC and the ZM35c. The VC1.4 isn't that good of lens honestly, however, its pretty affordable, rather compact and will serve you well for some low light shooting with its f1.4.

    Makes a nice combo with a ZM35c for both day and night shooting and a well corrected optically excellent lens for landscape and a lens with, "character" for subjects like people etc


    For not much more than the VC1.4, you should consider a VC1.2 as well. Its big, for a RF lens, at weights about 1lb, but its optically outstanding, even wide open. It just blows the f1.4 away.

    Its got a beautiful rendering, very sharp, very flare resistant and its also the fastest 35mm lens you can buy. Again its a little big (not more than many SLR lenses though) on the NEX, but it provides a great fast 50mm equiv

  6. #6
    Senior Member hot's Avatar
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    Re: Manual 35mm lens for NEX - help me choose!

    Quote Originally Posted by kadamian View Post
    I see no point in getting lenses that are several times bigger than Nex body - it just doesn't make sense.
    Okay, that's YOUR opinion - my goal is QUALITY / GOOD PHOTOS with low price. I don't need a lens for $ 999.90.

    I have 3 Samyangs, one better than the other and they fit ALL MY CAMERAS.




    For small lenses you can buy Fujian 25mm/1.4 or Fujian 35mm/1.7 - price $23 / $28


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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Manual 35mm lens for NEX - help me choose!

    Well, I own the Contax G 35, Nokton 35/1.4 and C-Biogon 35/2.8, and here is my brief synopsis:

    Nokton 35 1.4:
    Good for lowlight, but has bad purple fringing, distortion, field curvature and isn't razor sharp. Also, I don't love the handling on NEX with the focus tab. This lens is about vibe, not technical achievements. It is also nice and small.

    Contax G 35:
    This happens to be nearly identical in design and MTF to the Summicron 35 pre-asph. Ok sharpness, but not quite up to other G lenses. Very good mfd, but gritty focus ring on adapter. Nice lens overall, IMO.

    C-Biogon 35/2.8:
    I haven't had this lens long, but, man, I may call it just about perfect, if you can deal with the speed and .7m mfd. It is razor sharp across the frame at all apertures on NEX, and the bokeh, distortion, flare resistance and contrast are all outstanding. This may end up being my most favorite lens of all time, but I need more time with it. After doing a lot of reading, I chose it over the Biogon f2, and I'm glad I did!

    Right now, I use the C-Biogon as much as possible, and I use the Nokton 1.4 when I absolutely need the lowlight performance. Granted, the Nokton is also a little easier on shots of people.

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    Re: Manual 35mm lens for NEX - help me choose!

    I find focusing the 35-R v2 at f2 on the NEX-5 a smooth affair. With OK eyesight and minimal practice, you'll probably find that nailing focus or quite close to it in an instant or two (without zooming the screen) is quite manageable.

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