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Vintage Lenses

Discussion in 'photo' started by Lefty, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. Lefty

    Lefty Trade: Amar Sood Photo

    Thought it might be fun to have a thread on vintage lenses. A place to discuss hidden gems and well regarded classics. I think they are particularly relevant these days as modern cameras provide a great platorm for them with features such as focus peaking and sensor stabilisation.

    My starting gambit is the Nikon 105mm f/2.5 Ai-S

    I just strapped one of these to my Nikon Z7 and am a very happy boy :) Sure it hasn't got the razer sharp performance of something like my Nikon 105/2.5 Macro, but it does have a certain charm. An almost 3-dimensional rendering which is very appealing. It might be interesting to do a shoot out between the two. Watch this space.... :D

    Lefty
     
    Jonathan likes this.
  2. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    Lefty,

    I agree. The 105mm f/2.5 is a legendary and classic Nikkor. It’s sharp but not clinically so. That with its nice creamy bokeh gives a 3D look. I bought one ages ago for 75 Canuck clams.

    [​IMG]

    Another classic is the 55mm f/1.2. Wide open it’s soft with tonnes of flare, but that works well with some subjects. By f/2 it’s very sharp and by f/2.8 it’s so sharp you have to wear gloves when you handle your prints. The only downside is that the bokeh can be messy at times. Best to avoid backgrounds with specular highlights.

    [​IMG]

    My other classic is the old brick shithouse 105mm f/4 micro Nikkor. It’s ridiculously sharp. In fact, it may be sharper than current 105 macros.

    [​IMG]

    Edit: I added lens pix because, well, pix!

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
    Lefty likes this.
  3. Lefty

    Lefty Trade: Amar Sood Photo

    @Joe P - thanks for the info.

    I actually owned a 105/2.5 Ai-S a few years ago but didn't hse it much and eventually sold it. I'll be looking to put it to good use over the upcoming months for both family photography and my landscape work. I'm pleasantly surprised by its performance wide open. By modern standards it would be considered average (not soft), but it has a very natural quality to the images it makes. Its colour rendition is also excellent.

    I've not looked into the 55/1.2 before. By the sounds of it, it's similar to the 50/1.2 (a lens which I have previously owned). It was pretty soft at f1.2 but wo fearfully sharp at f2.

    It might be fun to put together a little walk around trinity of vintage lenses. 28/2, 50/1.2, 105/2.5....

    Lefty
     
  4. Pete MB&D

    Pete MB&D Pete Maddex, the one and only!

    John Barry and Lefty like this.
  5. eternumviti

    eternumviti Bloviating Brexiter

    I'm a great fan of old, uncoated lenses for all the reasons you point out.
     
  6. Yomanze

    Yomanze pfm Member

    Minolta Rokkor MD 50mm/f1.7
    Minolta Rokkor MD 28mm/f2.8

    Criminally low prices, and work great in AP or manual mode with mirrorless cameras like the Sony NEX series. 1.5x APS-C crop factor makes the 28mm a 42mm normal lens, lovely all-round performance, with the 75mm focal length of the 50mm great for portraits and subject-specific shots.

    ...oh and I currently have a Yashica Electro 35 GSN getting refurbed, which has a gorgeous fixed Yashinon DX 45mm/f1.7 lens & very quiet leaf shutter.
     
  7. Darren555

    Darren555 pfm Member

    I've got a Nikon Ai-S 55mm f/2.8 Micro which I use on my D700 & D500. Plenty sharp & a super smooth focus ring. I love a lens with that classic Nikon metering fork.
    Would I get exactly the same functionality as I get now (matrix metering in M & A) on a Z body with the FTZ adaptor as well as 3 axis IBIS & focus peeking?
     
  8. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    Lefty,

    Do you know about this picture?

    [​IMG]

    Nikon FM2, Nikkor 105mm Ai-S f/2.5, Kodachrome 64.

    Joe
     
  9. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    The oldest lens I have is a 1930s collapsible Leica Summar. There's a bit of haze inside and it's poor wide open. Also being uncoated the colour rendition is way off - only to be expected I suppose. I've tried it with a Leica M8 but never bothered with my M240.
     
  10. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

  11. Lefty

    Lefty Trade: Amar Sood Photo

    No the the metering (but it's mirrorless so you can see the exposure through the EVF), but yes to the IBIS and focus peaking. However, the rangefiner style focus direction indication and focus confirmation indication is absent - I do miss these, but the focus peaking helps to make up for it.

    Yes - what a superb image. (As are most of Steve McCurry's images to be fair!)

    Such a shame that Kodachrome is no longer with us as I never got a chance to shoot it first time around :(

    Lefty
     
    Darren555 likes this.
  12. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    Lefty,

    Kodachrome definitely had a look. Not my picture, but it's emblematic of that Kodachrome aesthetic — earthy flesh tones.

    [​IMG]

    I've not looked into it, but I'm sure there's a digital emulation.

    Joe
     
  13. Lefty

    Lefty Trade: Amar Sood Photo

    Yep - I love the Kodachrome look!

    I do actually use digital film emulation from time-to-time. Up until now my emulation software of choice had been VSCO film, but I didn't have the pack which has Kodachrome. Also, VSCO film is no longer supported and isn't compatible with Nikon's Z cameras as a result. Consequently, I've now switched to https://reallyniceimages.com/ (which does have a Kodachrome emulation)

    I've just started playing around with it, but initial results are promising.

    Lefty
     
  14. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    Lefty,

    I shot a bit of Kodachrome when I first got into photography, but most of my experience with the film has been scanning old Kodachrome slides that older family members took decades ago. I now associate an era with Kodachrome as much as I associate a look.

    Again, not my pix, but they all cry out Kodachrome.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Joe
     
  15. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member

    Kodachrome was really special - silver based colour film, as opposed to dye based like standard E6 emulsions - hence amazing archival permanence
     
  16. John Barry

    John Barry pfm Member

    Mmmmm............ classic Canon FD & Kodachrome:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tibetan & Vietnamese. FD 28mm f2.8 & FD 80-200mm f4
     
    albireo, Joe P, Lefty and 2 others like this.
  17. Lefty

    Lefty Trade: Amar Sood Photo

    Those are gorgeous Joe - I'm half tempted to buy some random Kodachrome slides from eBay and scan them myself so I can get some vicarious Kodachrome goodness :D

    I was hoping you'd be along John. Superb images as always and further evidence (should any be required) that Kodachrome needs to be brought back. (although I appreciate this is extremely unlikely)

    Lefty
     
  18. Gromit

    Gromit Plasticine Dog

    Robby, albireo, Joe P and 2 others like this.
  19. John Barry

    John Barry pfm Member

    Gromit likes this.
  20. Jonathan

    Jonathan pfm Member

    been using a 55-micro nikkor since - well the 80s i guess and it still outperforms everything else i'd ever tried on my digi-cam (currently on a sony)
     

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