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Old February 3rd, 2012, 06:39 AM   #106
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

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Originally Posted by Mike Gorski View Post

If anyone has any thoughts or good experiences with any specific lens please post. Its greatly greatly appreciated! Cheers!
Like an old lens, the thread has been dusted down for the modern era.

My previous faves:

o Takumar SMC 50mm f/1.4 - de-yellowed with a 10 uv bulb in 5 hours. A flawless lens for video IMO. If you don't de-yellow, yes you get a 'nice' yellow hue, but what is often not stated, you lose a stop of light.
o Takumar SMC 85mm f/1.9 - Another magnificent lens - beautiful colours
o Pentacon 135mm f/2.8 15 blade - AKA the bokeh monster with good reason. Sharp lens. Preset aperture - no clicks! I wish all my manual lenses were de-clicked.
o Vivitar series 1 28mm f/1.9 - Not a flawless lens - fluffy wide open. Definite look. Cheap, fast, good, choose any two of the above!
o Porst 135 f/1.8 - Not a stellar lens at, all but usable wide open indoors with a bit of care. Crazy fun!
o Takumar 300mm f/4 - "The Beast" - doubles up as a weapon. Only a bit of CA spoils it.

I've obtained a couple more beauties since the bygone days when the thread started, and I was still a young man:

o Takumar SMC 100mm f/4 1:2 macro - this is one sharp lens. Extremely sharp, with hardly a flaw. Beautiful bokeh
o Vivitar 28mm f/2 - better than the f/1.9 mentioned above, and not a series one, but it's much sharper wide open without the halation in the f/1.9. This one actually is cheap, fast and good. There are tons of these - Vivitar is just a badge. Everyone should have one because they're cheap. See this great resource:

Great Vivitar 28mm Bestiary

Mine is a K12. It's on the camera a lot because it's my main normal lens (aps-c) when I need to extract the most out of the ambient light.

The great thing about all these lenses is that they have an almost intangible individual character. Some more than others. Some just behave as well as many modern lenses at their special tasks. It's a very complex subject, but they each have their own levels curve which varies accross the spectrum. Not to mention the bokeh and flare characteristics

You can analyse their performance characteristics on paper and dismiss them, but there is undeniably something pleasing to the eye in some vintage primes. Just like modern lenses, many are crap.

I love working with Canon L glass with all that contrast and tone purity - it's like having a blank canvas and you get to set the stage in an empty room so to speak. With vintage primes, the stage is set to a degree.

It reminds me a bit of the audio production world where in every 24/192 digital studio, you'll find many a plug-in to bring back the distortion characteristics of an old amp or tape deck because it just sounds good.

Ramble over.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 11:54 AM   #107
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

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I upgraded the Series 1 70-210 for the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS. I still like the colors better on the Series 1, but the Canon is a little faster and the image stabilization is amazning, but it should be since it's price is about $2200 more!
Mark,

To get the most out of your 70-200L, go into the camera menu, ensure that Peripheral Illumination Correction is Enabled, and check that the lens data is registered in the camera. That lens (and the 100L Macro) was not registered in my 5D. To register it, connect the camera to the computer with USB, start the EOS Utility, go into the application and click the check box for your lens. You can also enable it for use with the 1.4x and 2.0x extenders.

This is an important advantage that Canon lenses give when shooting DLSRs for those who shoot wide open. PIC processing happens before S-shaping and 8-bit rounding. It ensures that you get all eight bits across the frame when you go into post.

IMO, this is an unappreciated difference between Canon and vintage lenses. If you shoot at f/4 or tighter, it's no big deal. If you shoot wide open, it matters.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 05:04 AM   #108
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

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Mark,

To get the most out of your 70-200L, go into the camera menu, ensure that Peripheral Illumination Correction is Enabled, and check that the lens data is registered in the camera. That lens (and the 100L Macro) was not registered in my 5D. To register it, connect the camera to the computer with USB, start the EOS Utility, go into the application and click the check box for your lens. You can also enable it for use with the 1.4x and 2.0x extenders.

This is an important advantage that Canon lenses give when shooting DLSRs for those who shoot wide open. PIC processing happens before S-shaping and 8-bit rounding. It ensures that you get all eight bits across the frame when you go into post.

IMO, this is an unappreciated difference between Canon and vintage lenses. If you shoot at f/4 or tighter, it's no big deal. If you shoot wide open, it matters.
It's a good point Jon, and I'm glad you raised it, but it might be worth adding that this is less of an issue on APS-C bodies because the sensor occupies a smaller proportion of the image circle of these lenses designed for the 35mm frame.

I don't see much vignetting on the 550d when shooting wide open with the Takumar 50mm f/1.4 for example. It's there, but it would be worse on the 5d and other full frame bodies.

It's true if you fix what vignetting is there in post, you don't get the same dynamic range in the corners as you would doing it in camera with PIC.

In practice, I don't find this to be an issue for my stuff, and I tend to only use the vintage primes for wide open shooting. I would argue that the kind of people this will matter to aren't going to be using vintage primes on an APS-C body anyway.

If you're going to stop down, it would be more convenient to stick to the f/2.8 zooms. But Canon don't support lens data for any 3rd party lens, so your point should really be applied to any lens for which PIC data cannot be registered.

It is my hope that there is progress with this in ML one day. So far they have been unable to fake lens data, but if they ever manage it, maybe we can open up support for user-defined PIC curves. It also seems this is the key for faking EXIF - would be very usefulf for the manual crowd, as we don't get to see what aperture was used in the EXIF.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 12:02 PM   #109
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

True, it's much worse on FF bodies.

For instance, the Zeiss 35/2 and 28/2 lose over three stops in the corners on the 5D. They still lose about a stop and a half on crop cams. Effectively, that takes you from 8 bits to 6.5 bits in the corners on ASP-C. It's not quite that straightforward though, as the s-curve makes this non-linear.

Where I notice it the most is when there is a flat wall in the background. For DSLRs you tend to see circle contours in this situation - especially if there was some post work done.

My son and I did some tests and found that even when stopped down on Canon lenses, enabling PIC gave a flatter result than when PIC was off.

One place where you might want to turn off PIC would be when you're shooting a portrait-style shot where you want to focus on the subject, and you have practical lights in one or more corners. In that case, it keeps the subject bright and acts like a grad ND.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 03:54 AM   #110
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

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True, it's much worse on FF bodies.

For instance, the Zeiss 35/2 and 28/2 lose over three stops in the corners on the 5D. They still lose about a stop and a half on crop cams. Effectively, that takes you from 8 bits to 6.5 bits in the corners on ASP-C. It's not quite that straightforward though, as the s-curve makes this non-linear.
A stop and a half sounded like a lot to me. That's quite a lot of vignetting, and my eyes tell me I'm not seeing that, but of course I could be wrong.

I did a quick and dirty test on the Takumar 50mm pointed to a flat white wall as follows:

1. Set up live view in manual mode so that the ML % spot meter shows 50% with the lens wide open
2. Click down one stop, center spot goes to 35%
3. Click back to wide open, move the spot meter to the bottom left, spot meter goes to 41%

Without spending the time converting the linear percentage to actual f-stops, unless there is a glaring flaw in my test, it seems clear I'm seeing a fair bit less than one stop, rather than the one and a half you get with your Zeiss lenses. I did the test on the Vivitar 28mm f/2 and the Porst 135mm f/1.8 and got similar results. (Edit: perhaps worth adding that I repeated the test stopped down to f/5.6 and saw that vignetting was down to 1 or 2%)

But the visible effect I would describe is that you really have to look for the vignetting, because the visible darkening, which is very slight, only encroaches about 5% in from the corners, whereas on a full frame body, you would see visible darkening more like 25% in from the corners.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 12:51 PM   #111
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

Here are the ZE 35/2 and ZE 28/2 (rollover) wide open. The white rectangle shows APS-C.

Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 Distagon T* ZE Lens Vignetting Test Results
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Old February 5th, 2012, 03:01 PM   #112
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Here are the ZE 35/2 and ZE 28/2 (rollover) wide open. The white rectangle shows APS-C.

Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 Distagon T* ZE Lens Vignetting Test Results
Thanks for that confirmation, not that it was needed, because I know you don't make things up Jon. I hope my post didn't sound like it questioned your findings on your Zeiss lenses, as I was only referring to what I see with mine.

Incidentally, since they don't have the Takumar 50mm f/1.4 I thought it would be interesting to compare two of the 50mm f/1.4 lenses they do have, which seem to confirm that the findings of my rudimentary test are at least plausible, as the optical design is similar between these two and the Takumar:

Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T* ZE Lens Vignetting Test Results

As you can see, less than one stop in the corners, which is what I tend to imagine I see on most of my primes. So it's clear there is not one story on vintage primes.

The other interesting thing your post confirms for me is how bad the problem is on FF compared to APS-C.

One more thing, to highlight what I was saying before, this PIC discussion really isn't about Canon vs vintage, it's about Canon vs everything. For example, the Tokina 11-16mm vs the Canon EF 10-22mm comparison shows that they both have vignetting (although the Tokina is much better even though it's a faster lens), but as you point out, only the Canon can benefit from PIC:

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX Lens Vignetting Test Results

As far as I'm aware the Tokina is one of the most popular lenses for video on APS-C Canon DSLRs
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Old February 6th, 2012, 12:25 AM   #113
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

You're exactly right. This affects all non-Canon lenses. As you've experienced, a good full-frame 50mm on an APS-C cam won't have much vignetting, but APS-C lenses might.

On photos, I typically, use Canon's DPP software to process RAW images, but digging into the PIC thing, I realized that it might be better to go straight to Photoshop to convert images from non-Canon lenses. Photoshop has lens correction data for many non-Canon lenses, including not just vignetting correction, but barrel/pincushion distortion correction too.

Too bad Adobe's lens corrections aren't inside our cameras when shooting video. :)
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Old February 8th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #114
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

i'm having a bit of a problem with my t2i and my vintage lenses. Right now I have an Auto Chinon 35mm attached and when I film something, it looks good on the view finder but when I get it back to my computer the shot looks over exposed..

I am not sure what is causing this.. Probably the operator..ha.
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Old February 8th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #115
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Mark,

To get the most out of your 70-200L, go into the camera menu, ensure that Peripheral Illumination Correction is Enabled, and check that the lens data is registered in the camera...
Hi Jon,

Thanks for the tip. The Peripheral Illumination Correction is enabled. The 70-200L looks great, but there is just something about that old Series 1 lens that looks incredible. If the Series 1 just had the great IS of the Canon L it would be the best of both worlds. ;-)
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Old February 8th, 2012, 12:15 PM   #116
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

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Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post
i'm having a bit of a problem with my t2i and my vintage lenses. Right now I have an Auto Chinon 35mm attached and when I film something, it looks good on the view finder but when I get it back to my computer the shot looks over exposed..

I am not sure what is causing this.. Probably the operator..ha.
Hi Terry,

It took me a while to get adjusted to the LCD of the T2i, or for that matter the 60D. I usually over exposed at first. When shooting with video cameras I always used manual exposure and relied on the Zebras to get good exposure. With DSLRs I found that using the built in exposure meter helped. It's not perfect, but it gets you in the ball park.

Have you tried using the exposure meter? It's been a while since I have shot with the T2i, but if I remember correctly, the exposure meter was pretty accurate with vintage lenses. On my 60D it is not accurate. I under expose the meter in the -2.5 to -3 range to get good exposure with vintage lenses.

Another thing I noticed was that shooting outside makes getting proper exposure a challenge. I added a hood to the 60D which greatly helps with exposure outdoors.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 07:51 AM   #117
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

Hey Mark,

I adjusted the exposure back to -2.5 and it did the job!

Thank you sir!
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Old February 12th, 2012, 12:27 AM   #118
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

Hi Terry,

I'm glad that worked for you. You are welcome.
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Old February 15th, 2012, 06:47 PM   #119
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

Thanks for all the input. Still going through it and doing research. Just wanted to post to say thanks!
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Old March 9th, 2012, 12:08 PM   #120
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Re: Top 4 vintage lenses

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Hi Steve,




Unfortunately the manual focus Canon lenses can't be adapted to auto-focus bodies. Its really a shame that all those great FD lenses aren't being used on modern digital SLR's like the Pentax, Olympus and Nikons from the same era are.
HI Joel, I have 3 canon fd lenses all from ebay the 3 cost less than 100,and all are pinsharp,must be my best buy yet. I have a link.The test shots on vimeo don't show as sharp as on my tv.

.
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