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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #1
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Lenses for 35mm DOF Adapters

Hi Everyone,
I am about to purchase a RR Micro M2 Encore and I was putting together some SLR lenses that I want to purchase. I am totally new to the photography world and do not know much. Most of my work will be documentary work. I just wanted some comments and suggestions on the following package of lenses I am about to purchase. As far as my knowledge about lenses for 35mm dof adapters, the "faster" the better and it should be manual focus.

Based on that, the following are some lenses I am considering. 28mm wide angle for landscapes, 85mm for interviews and the 50mm for interviews and basically the workhorse lens out of the three.

Thanks, all advice is welcome.

1. Nikon Wide Angle 28mm f/2.8 AIS Manual Focus Lens
Nikon Wide Angle 28mm f/2.8 AIS Manual Focus Lens 1420 - B&H

2. Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Lens
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Lens 1931 - B&H Photo Video

3. Nikon Normal 50mm f/1.4 AIS Manual Focus Lens
Nikon Normal 50mm f/1.4 AIS Manual Focus Lens 1433 - B&H Photo
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Old July 18th, 2010, 04:58 AM   #2
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The 85mm f1.8 is a sweet lens. It is a motor servo lens therefore the movement of the focus ring is a small movement so you may find yourself hunting across a focus point when you pull focus. An older manual focus f1.8 lens might be more comfortable to use but may not be as sharp. I have an older manual focus 85mm f1.4 lens and the 85mm f1.8 lens is slightly sharper at f1.8.

If you dont have lens gears and a follow-focus, despite the short and very light frictionless travel of the focus ring on this motorised lens, with practice you can achieve accurate rehearsed snap focus pulls with this lens.

Slow smooth focus pulls are not so easy as the movement has no in-built drag resistance. Dragging a fingertip over the edge of the focus ring onto the lens barrel as it turns helps control the movement.

A practical method is to rest the palm/wrist of your right hand on top or against the front of the adaptor and rest two or three fingertips on top of the focus ring and rock your hand sideways to move fingers in a group together, using the heel of your hand as a pivot point. Something like moving a steering wheel from the top.

This is a weird technique but it works as most people have ability for fine control and good memory for wrist movements in their writing hand.

The 50mm f1.4 is also a nice lens and usually is steady and controllable in its focus movement. It may flare on the widest f-stop.

The f2.8 28mm may be okay but I think you may find slight darkening on the corners in some lighting conditions and aperture settings. You will likely use this lens at f2 - f2.8 much of the time and wide-open it will not be in its sweet spot. I would recommend you consider the Nikon 28mm f2.

There is a Nikon 28mm f1.4 which is exceptionally good but these are rare and very expensive.

Sigma make a 28mm f1.8 but some models of this lens have loose lens groups inside which walk the image when you pull focus. Some are noticably soft when wide-open. With the Nikons you are fairly safe.

A handy lens to have when you can afford it is a 14mm f2.8. Nikon is best. Sigma used to make one but it is now out of production. Wide-open it is not as sharp as the Nikon.

All of these 14mm lenses have a front element which is unprotected. It can bump on things and become marked if you are not careful. The Sigma has a two-piece cap, a disk cap to partially uncover the lens for focus trims and rehearsals and a cyindrical cap which bares the whole front of the lens. If you forget to take off the cylindrical cap, you will get corner vignettes which you may not observe in your camera eyepiece or LCD display.

Wait for others to comment as there are better advisors than me on this site.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 18th, 2010 at 05:09 AM. Reason: error
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Old November 10th, 2010, 12:16 AM   #3
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Nikon 24-70 f2.8

Gidday Bob

I've been shooting with the Letus on my EX1 for a while now, using various Nikon lenses but really a Sigma 28-70 f2.8 is so useful for a lot of the work, especially interviews where I like to get different frame sizes to help with editing. This lens is okay but far from very sharp esp when wide open. Generally I try never to shoot at 2.8 since the picture gets very soft. But often my work is a run-and-gun affair.

So I'm thinking of stumping $2k for the latest Nikon 24-70 f2.8 (full frame of course) Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED :: Digidirect Australia
which I've done small tests on. It does seem a lot sharper and has a welcome Nano crystal antiflare coating but on the downside it's heavier and, worse, it has no aperture ring. I have got around this before by way of ready made tiny blocks I fit against the lens mount's aperture lever and I guess I'd have to do this again.

Do you have any advice here? It's a great zoom lens that I hope I can carry on to future cameras (just looked at the Sony F3K and hope a Nikon adaptor can be put on this). Any alternatives to this?

Thx, Michael
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Old November 11th, 2010, 09:58 PM   #4
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First of all. Thanks to Chris Hurd for the advice which got me back into action again in posting replies.


I can't help you much on the aperture problem. An engineering fix could be done for it but at one-off custom prices. It would probably be as simple as an internal shoulder and clawed/slotted ring with a threaded thumbscrew so it can be locked off.

Given that the world has been overtaken by Canon 7Ds, I don't anticipate there will be any more R&D on any of the 35mm adaptors.

My personal preference might be if using this zoom lens, to examine the Singh-Ray variable ND filter. My understanding is that it is comprised of two polariser filters which are arranged to work in oppoistion to each other to increasingly block light.

Harmonised for maximum light passthrough, I imagine they would likely also work as a single polariser.

Both likely have to be adjusted as a pair for each shot for max brightness, then one would be rotated in offset relative to the other to begin the blocking of excess light. Maybe both have to be contra-rotated from the brightest position.

I have not used one so my comment is entirely speculative.

If it does work without changing the colours, my personal preference for the lens aperture would be to fix it at about f4, where the lens may be at its sweetest. Again I am guessing as I don't own the lens.

Last edited by Bob Hart; November 11th, 2010 at 10:00 PM. Reason: error
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