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Old February 25th, 2011, 11:07 AM   #1
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suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

I'm shopping for a relatively inexpensive prime around 100mm and 2.8. I love the look of the SMC 1.4 50mm Pentax, so something similar but longer. Any suggestions?
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Old February 27th, 2011, 02:18 AM   #2
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

Brian, this lens may not fill the bill for you, or it might. It is one of my favorite lenses, and have no idea if it would work with the GH1 or GH2, but I intend to find out. At under $400, the Canon 85mm 1.8 is possibly one of the best lenses for the money you can buy, if not the best. The Sigma 30mm 1.4 is another.

If you read the reviews at the Amazon site linked below the hundreds of glowing reviews for this lens will testify to the fact the lens is in the class of Canon's L glass.

I used this lens extensively before selling it along with my DSLR camera gear last year, as I had no idea I might need it again. The images I shot with it were truly beautiful, with a bokeh that was magical.

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-85mm-Medium-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B00007GQLU
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; February 27th, 2011 at 02:19 AM. Reason: As usual, for spelling
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Old February 27th, 2011, 02:45 AM   #3
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

Here's are photos shot with the Sigma for Canon 30mm 1.4. The 85mm has a similarly gorgeous look with even greater bokeh, but I don't have any shots left from that lens. They are of comparable quality, with the Canon being better.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 12:13 PM   #4
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

What camera were those stills taken with Jeff?
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Old February 27th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

Jim, camera was a canon 40d
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:51 AM   #6
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

If you want the same thing then Pentax 85/1.9 Super Takumar, the trick is to search ebay for spotmatic camera which sometimes comes with the lens, but does not come up on the lens search results so you usually get the lens for the much lower price of what people are paying for the obsolete camera. For a 100, I would personally get the Contax Zeiss c/y Planar.
mamiya 80 2.8 w/ Mirex adapter also have 1.9
Rokinon 85mm 1.4 ($250)
Summicron-R 90
Helios 40-2
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Old February 28th, 2011, 11:53 AM   #7
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
I'm shopping for a relatively inexpensive prime around 100mm and 2.8. I love the look of the SMC 1.4 50mm Pentax, so something similar but longer. Any suggestions?
Have you tried to put a 2x on the 50/1.4? It's the cheapest option, and for video, should be fine.

I have the Sigma 30/1.4, Canon EF 85/1.8 as well, but neither falls under the inexpensive category compared with a SMC 50/1.4.

There's a few manual focus 90/2.8 macros out there, and the Russian 85/2 Jupiter-9 "grenade" (you don't want to be holding one of those unmounted in an airport - it's the same size and shape as a grenade), that might be found in the $100- range.

You also have the choice of rangefinder 85-100mm lenses, but they tend to be a bit expensive, but I have a Leica 90/4, Canon 85/1.8, Kiev/Contax Jupiter 9 that were all in the $100- range.

BTW, on a GH1 or GF1, the 100mm range is quite long. Are you sure you actually need one?
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Old February 28th, 2011, 01:56 PM   #8
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

You are going to have to have the right X Mount ---> Micro 4/3 adapter, but here are lenses I would look for:

Nikon 105mm f/2.5
Olympus 100mm f/2.8
Canon FD 100mm f/2.0

...Nikon is what I bought because it`s easy to find, including Zeiss lenses with Nikon mount.

You also might consider an 85mm f/2.0 or f/1.8 lens which is pretty much the same.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #9
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

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Originally Posted by Kin Lau View Post
Have you tried to put a 2x on the 50/1.4? It's the cheapest option, and for video, should be fine.
I haven't, but sounds like the easiest solution. Will I lose a stop of light?
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Old March 1st, 2011, 10:46 AM   #10
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

The 100mm FD f2.o looks interesting. I bought a 70-210mm FD for $29.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 05:20 PM   #11
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
I haven't, but sounds like the easiest solution. Will I lose a stop of light?
A 2x TC will lose 2 stops of light, a 1.4x TC will lose one stop of light.

Otherwise, a 70-210/3.5 is a good cheap alternative.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 10:27 AM   #12
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

I bought Canon FD 85 f1/8, along with a Canon FD 135 f2.5 and Nikon F 105 f/2.5 on ebay. While the Nikon is a "competent" lens and does as expected, the Canon is clearly a sharper and overall better lens regardless of lighting conditions. If I had not tested them side by side, I would not have thought so, but it's remarkable the difference in clarity and sharpness in comparing all three lenses.
There's nothing wrong with either lens, all are pretty good, just my considered opinion is the 85mm is some sort of sweet spot. You may want to put this one on your short list, even though it's 15mm short of your desired focal length.


PS I have the Canon 1.4 TC and never use it. I find it softens focus too much for my taste. I feel I am better off cropping instead.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #13
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

James, the Canon is a favorite of mine, and some will say one of the best values there are.

On the other hand, the differences between the lenses you bought cannot (IMO) mean the lenses are not comparable, but certainly appreciate the information, good stuff. That Canon 85mm f/1.8 is considered by many to be comparable to L quality glass, it is quite a lens for the money. The slower Canon and Nikon are so much slower the comparison is almost unfair to them.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 06:07 PM   #14
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Re: suggestion for 100mm vintage prime

Jeff
To get a f1.7 50 mm lens I use my Lumix 20mm in the ETC mode without light loss. The ETC gives x2.6 of the lens. I find the image to be very sharp.
The 35mm equivalent of 90 to 100mm.

Last edited by Jim Forrest; March 10th, 2011 at 07:32 PM.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 01:36 AM   #15
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ETC mode

Jim, I don't have my camera right now to try it out. Say I'm shooting in regular mode, a wedding ceremony. I want to use etc mode halfway through, for example, or whenever. I stop recording, switch to ETC mode, and shoot. What dimension is the video clip? Same as previous footage? And your saying there's no loss of light?

I keep hearing this talked about, initially I didn't consider it, but I wil certainly give it a shot, thanks.

My interest in the 50mm is not just the 50mm, but the 1.4. I hear varying reports on loss of light with adapters.
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