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Old October 20th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #1
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Favorite Prime Lens: What's yours?

I have 3 lenses:
70-200mm 4L Canon
100mm 2.8L II Canon
24mm 1.8 Sigma

I love my 100mm but would love something a little wider. However, a photographer at one of the chapels I work at swears that the only lens you want to put down good money on is the 85mm 1.2...it looks like a beast of a lens. I wonder if I should trade in my 100mm for some cash and put some money down for an 85mm. Anyone else??
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Old October 20th, 2010, 08:49 AM   #2
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85mm f/1.2 II is my favorite lens. It's tack sharp at every aperture with great contrast and color rendition. But it's not a lens for everyone. I know quite a few people who bought this lens expecting it to deliver and who were extremely disappointed by it. This is probably one of the hardest lens to master (it was for me) because of its large aperture. But once you get to know it, you will not be disappointed. Some will complain that it's slow and it probably is, if you focus from MFD to infinity, but in real life that rarely happens. Because of its abilities I even close my eyes on excessive CA when shooting at large apertures. Nothing that could not be cured in post. So if budget allows and you are ready to spend some time learning then go for it.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 09:16 AM   #3
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Any of those friends looking to get rid of their 85mm??
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Old October 20th, 2010, 09:26 AM   #4
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Nikon 50mm F1.4 AIS. Great lens. Cheap Lens. Better built that Canons that cost many times its cost. IMHO, 85mm is too long to handhold very effectively and I am bored shooting on a tripod all of the time.

Dan
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Old October 20th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #5
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my favorite lens that I use is the 50 1.2L,
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Old October 20th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #6
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I probably use my ancient pre-AI Nikkor f2 35mm more than any other lens. I also like my Zeiss ZE 1.4 50mm but don't use it nearly as much as the 35. For wide angle I use another pre-AI Nikkor, the 24mm f2.8.

The one Canon lens I have is the f4 70-200. I got it mostly for shooting interviews, where I need to change focal length quickly between questions, but I've come to like that lens a lot. It has a great look, sharp throughout, and is light enough so I don't have to mount it by a yoke. I have the old Nikkor 105mm which was considered one of the best when it was new (like the 35, it has metal focus ring, no plastic), but I think the 70-200 actually looks as good in that range.

One thing I've done is get stepup rings for all my lenses. Every lens has a stepup ring to 77mm, and I got metal screw on 77mm lens caps for all of them. All my filters are 77mm.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 11:11 AM   #7
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Walk Around: 1980's vintage Takumar 28-80 zoom, F 3.5. In a shooting situation that might require multiple lens changes if fixed, and assuming decent lighting, this lens will do fine for those focal lengths.

Normal: 50mm F 1.4 SMC Pentax lens, vintage again about 1980s. Also have a vintage Nikon F 1.4 50mm

Portrait: 100 Series E Nikon F 2.8

Wide: 24mm Nikon

In between: 35mm F2.0 Nikon
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Old October 20th, 2010, 12:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason McDonald View Post
Any of those friends looking to get rid of their 85mm??
LOL, no nobody else is selling it right now.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 12:28 PM   #9
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Just to quirk it up even further: My favorite lens is a vintage anamorphic Isco with a Zeiss f/1.4 backing. It's an expensive, fragile, and very difficult lens to shoot with, but its bouquet and (of course) the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, definitely make it worthwhile.

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Old October 20th, 2010, 03:01 PM   #10
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My favorite is the EF 24mm f/1.4 L II.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 02:08 AM   #11
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Lomo superspeed 28mm f1.2
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Old October 21st, 2010, 06:45 AM   #12
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+1 for the SMC pentax normal lenses. I have the takumar SMC 1.4 and love the bokeh. It is has totally usable sharpness at 1.4 unlike a bunch of other normals that I've tried wide-open.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 11:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Peer Landa View Post
Just to quirk it up even further: My favorite lens is a vintage anamorphic Isco with a Zeiss f/1.4 backing. It's an expensive, fragile, and very difficult lens to shoot with, but its bouquet and (of course) the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, definitely make it worthwhile.

-- peer

That's really pretty damn cool. I've been keeping my eyes on Ebay for something like this but haven't found anything quite cheap enough to roll the dice on. Can you share any experiences/footage shot with it?


And to the others who have mentioned the takumar lenses... I've used a friend of mine's a couple times. It's spectacular glass and very affordable. I don't use them just because there aren't many to choose from and I need a pretty wide spread of matching lenses, hence all Nikon for me (besides my Lomo superspeed set), but yeah, great glass, sharper than my Nikon 1.4 at wide open!
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Old October 21st, 2010, 01:52 PM   #14
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Peer:

Perhaps you explain this mania about shooting with old anamorphic lenses and DSLRs? I don't get it. Sure, if your work will ever be projected theatrically, it could be an interesting choice but how may DSLR users work is ever projected theatrically?

When seen as web video, DVD or Blu-ray, 2.39:1 seems to be an odd choice, you are seeing just a thin ribbon of image in a vast field of black, although I guess for web video, you could output a native, decently sized anamorphic web video that could look nice on a large computer screen? Enlighten me, is it just pure uber geek fascination about using something different or is there a really practical reason to shoot such a wide aspect ratio today? I feel as if I am missing out on something that all of you anamorphic guys must know about that I don't. Anamorphic lens flares? That can be done digitally in post so easily too.

Dan Brockett
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Old October 21st, 2010, 03:55 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Peer: Perhaps you explain this mania about shooting with old anamorphic lenses and DSLRs? I don't get it.
Dan, before I attempt writing a tome about my take on cinematograph in film making, can you please tell me which of the following aspect ratios you prefer:
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