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Archive 2011 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?
  
 
uhoh7
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


Jonas B wrote:
Well, I can't explain that. The FDn 24/2 flare shot above was taken 3 years ago with a Panasonic G1. It was OK but had no bite wide open so I haven't used the lens since. I dug it out from a drawer and the coating looks fine and the lens is clear when looking through it. What wrong with the lens can cause flare? A mangled copy that has been cleaned and re-assembled improperly? I don't know, I just show you what I got from a "standard" test I always do (mainly for fun). Maybe the lens is
...Show more

you could be correct---it's supposed to be great with flare---but you know how that is---ill test mine again

it won't be the first time a legend was a legend, hehe.

my reaction is more to do with how much time and trouble i had discovering and findin the thing than rationality

here is full size some where f/2 to f4--may very well be wide open

here at near 5.6

they say the internal bushings can wear out and ruin them. shots above are handheld, so the lens can do better, but not worse



Dec 10, 2011 at 08:21 AM
douglasf13
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


Well, I've broken out the old FDn 28/2.8 and 50/1.8 from the AE-1 that I used in high school, and these things are both only 170g and around 35-40mm long (adapter is 24mm.) The 50/1.8 is your average, middle of the road, semi-fast 50, but the 28/2.8 is as sharp across the frame as any 35mm rangefinder lens that I've tried. These things are so light that it really makes them feel smaller than I expected. I could throw in the 17mm/f4 into the mix, and I'd be left with a 3 lens system that'll still be good on the NEX-7, and, despite being for SLR, doesn't feel all that large (I also have a SMC Tak 50/1.4 and Leica 50 Summicron R that I could occasionally use when I don't mind the weight.)

Hmmm, maybe I should sell all of my rangefinder lenses, throw that $4K into the bank, and look forward to the NEX-7 again....



Dec 10, 2011 at 09:39 AM
sebboh
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


douglasf13 wrote:
Well, I've broken out the old FDn 28/2.8 and 50/1.8 from the AE-1 that I used in high school, and these things are both only 170g and around 35-40mm long (adapter is 24mm.) The 50/1.8 is your average, middle of the road, semi-fast 50, but the 28/2.8 is as sharp across the frame as any 35mm rangefinder lens that I've tried. These things are so light that it really makes them feel smaller than I expected. I could throw in the 17mm/f4 into the mix, and I'd be left with a 3 lens system that'll still be good on
...Show more

but didn't you just get rid of your zm 35/2 because it was "too big"?



Dec 10, 2011 at 09:48 AM
douglasf13
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


Yep. I could be starting to change my tune, although these cheapie FD lenses are still lighter, and they're the smallest two FD lenses. For whatever reason, I'm liking the handling of these two FDs, and it all still fits in my bag, although I'm probably pushing it if I get the FD wide. Maybe I'll stick with the CV 15 for now, and shoot with this new configuration for a while.

I have to admit, I'm kinda getting a kick out of the idea of selling everything and keeping the cheapie lenses I used in high school, especially when the 28 seems so good compared to all of the rangefinder 35mm lenses that I've been messing around with. Lord knows I won't worry about damaging these lenses, at $30 a piece.



Dec 10, 2011 at 10:51 AM
Thatspeck
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


The main reason I'd been selling off my FD's and FL's was their inability to adapt to EOS (silly since I rarely use Eos bodies), but it would be nice if everything worked with everything. Well our prayers may be being answered. Fellow FMer Ed Mika has been working hard on several reversible (non permanent) mount kits for some of the more popular FD/FL lenses. He's had a simple super thin adapter that gets infinity on the super teles for a while now. Here is a pic of one he is working on for the 55 and 85 Aspherical, I'd assume these would be more difficult to adapt than the 24 and 35 due to the fixed rear element;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ontarian/6484635893/




Dec 10, 2011 at 01:34 PM
Jonas B
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


douglasf13 wrote:
Well, I've broken out the old FDn 28/2.8 and 50/1.8 from the AE-1 that I used in high school, (...)
Hmmm, maybe I should sell all of my rangefinder lenses, throw that $4K into the bank, and look forward to the NEX-7 again....


Your post made me check my drawers and I found an old FD (not FDn) 28/2.8. It's not the exact same lens as the FDn version; the FD has six blades instead of five and the 6 elements are arranged in six groups instead of in five groups. That's according to the Canon museum. My FD 28/2.8 has five aperture blades only so maybe they are wrong about the element/group number as well. The old aperture ring is metal instead of plastic and there are some other minor differences. I don't know how they compare optically.

The old FD 28/2.8... I placed the 5N on a tripod and shot a bookcase about 1m away. Then I backed of a little and mounted the CV 35/1.2 and took the same three images (at f/2.8, f/4 and f/5.6). When checking the images in the EVF the CV does better, also in the corner, at f/2.8. The f/4 and f/5.6 images looked more or less the same.

Then I aimed at a bottle with a chaotic and harshly lit bench in the kitchen in the background. No contest, the CV 35/1.2 trashed the FD comparing the bokeh in this situation (bright rings, comet like shaped OOF highlights towards the borders, harsher).

No surprises there. All the well known laws about diminishing returns, build quality related to price, old coating versus new coating and so on are true. I don't think I would chose this road as for every decent image I may take I would also start to wonder what it could have been like with a better lens.

Getting the money back for expensive RF lenses may be a kick but deliberately lower ones standards is not, at least not to me. I have to say this is a strange idea unless you really need the money.



Dec 10, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Jonas B
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


uhoh7 wrote:
it won't be the first time a legend was a legend, hehe.

my reaction is more to do with how much time and trouble i had discovering and findin the thing than rationality

here is full size some where f/2 to f4--may very well be wide open

here at near 5.6

they say the internal bushings can wear out and ruin them. shots above are handheld, so the lens can do better, but not worse


I can't recall my copy being that good as seen in your first sample. Maybe the legend lives? I would have to check closer to say anything for certain. For now I'll just put the lens back in the drawer and forget about it.

Cheers,



Dec 10, 2011 at 07:16 PM
douglasf13
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


Jonas B wrote:
Your post made me check my drawers and I found an old FD (not FDn) 28/2.8. It's not the exact same lens as the FDn version; the FD has six blades instead of five and the 6 elements are arranged in six groups instead of in five groups. That's according to the Canon museum. My FD 28/2.8 has five aperture blades only so maybe they are wrong about the element/group number as well. The old aperture ring is metal instead of plastic and there are some other minor differences. I don't know how they compare optically.

The old FD 28/2.8...
...Show more

Yeah, that version of the 28 has the older coatings, but I'm not sure if it has the same double convex element arrangement (the FDn version is 110g lighter and 9mm shorter.) Either way, I probably won't use the 28/2.8 too much.

Now that I'm questioning my need for tiniest, since these FDn lenses are lightweight and relatively small for SLR lenses and still fit in my bag similarly to my rangefinder lenses, I just ordered a FDn 17/4, 28/2, 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 for relative pennies. I'm going to make some comparisons in size/handling and decide which way to go. Of course, using FDn lenses also makes some of my questions about the NEX-7 corner performance go away, so that's an added bonus.

Luka's post the other day really got me thinking about expectations and money spent on an aps-c sensor, and, not only am I a little tired trying to navigate a path to my perfect rangefinder setup on a NEX camera, but I'm questioning how much better the performance is compared to these relatively "generic" Canon lenses, when you take into account corner issues with the Sony sensor (especially with the 28mm focal length, which I really want.) Plus, I'm kind of liking the idea of getting back to basics and not obsessing over the shape of a highlight or something, and it isn't as if these Canon lenses are all terrible.

I don't need the money, and this is a cheap experiment, so we'll see...



p.s. I ordered a Canon 50/1.4 just to have uniformity and use the same adapter, but I have other SLR 50 lenses that I can use, too, now that I'm warming up to a size increase. The SMC Tak 50/1.4 and Summicron R 50 are still among the best 50s I've used for any system, and I can use them when I don't mind the extra weight.



Dec 10, 2011 at 08:30 PM
Jacob D
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


Douglas, do you have a good source that gives the weights of the various FDn lenses? I looked around a bit and mostly just came up with info for the standard FD's.


Thanks,
Jacob.



Dec 10, 2011 at 09:45 PM
Jonas B
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


The FDn 50/1.4 is a lens doing very well in many flat target tests. My copy is as sharp as the 50Lux ASPH from f/2.4. It should serve you well. I don't have the 85/1.8 longer but recall it as an overall good performer (long time memory isn't totally reliable though). I have never used the 28/2 and the 17mm I've even never seen in real life.

It will be interesting to learn about your experience.

I've now checked the images of the shelf. The CV35/1.2 is better at the corners and borders at all compared aperture values. I hope your 28/2 is a newer and better animal than my 28/2.8.

Jacob, the Canon museum, the lens section, can tell you about the weight of the FD and the FDn lenses. Here.



Dec 10, 2011 at 10:05 PM
 

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douglasf13
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


Thanks for the info, Jonas. I've read from others that the 28/2 is sharper than the 28/2.8, but we'll see. Overall, I'm trying to enter an anti-gear mode a little bit, so I may not do much in the way of formal tests. I can tell pretty quickly if the lenses are at least good enough. Interestingly, I decided to cancel my NEX-7 preorder, too. There are some ergonomic things about the 5N, like the tilt EVF, that I don't think I can give up, and I want to get off of this gear train for a while.

If I can't shoot gallery quality material with the 5N and FDn lenses, then it isn't the gear that is the problem.

Anyways, sorry to get so off topic, everyone!



Dec 11, 2011 at 12:08 AM
Jonas B
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


douglasf13 wrote:
(...) and I want to get off of this gear train for a while.
If I can't shoot gallery quality material with the 5N and FDn lenses, then it isn't the gear that is the problem.

Anyways, sorry to get so off topic, everyone!


Getting off the gear train can only be good! I really should do that as well. And you are right, getting the good images has little to do with the lens. I "need" three lenses only and two of them doesn't really need to be top notch. My most used lens has always been a 50mm (equivalent) and I don't want it to be slower than f/2, or a sub par design.



Dec 11, 2011 at 01:41 AM
douglasf13
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


My main lens is a fast-ish standard, too. I've been enjoying the 42mm equiv., since it is similar to my Hasselblad's 80mm field of view. I'll probably still keep one small, standard rangefinder lens, and we'll see how long I last.

p.s. as per Sebboh's pics, I've decided to get the FL 55/1.2, rather than the 50/1.4. I've gotta have at least a little bit of fun.



Dec 11, 2011 at 01:47 AM
sebboh
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


douglasf13 wrote:
If I can't shoot gallery quality material with the 5N and FDn lenses, then it isn't the gear that is the problem.


+1

getting high end iq out of the NEX isn't a problem, getting it with compact lenses certainly seems to be for the wider focal range. if your ok with the size i think it's pretty easy to get a full range with slr lenses at reasonable prices. my problem is i really don't like to carry any lenses larger than the tak 50/1.4 for my NEX. much as i love my rokkor 28/2, 58/1.2, FL 55/1.2, and nikkor 105/2.5, i really don't shoot with them much unless i'm going on dedicated photo expeditions.



Dec 11, 2011 at 06:26 AM
douglasf13
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


Yeah, same here. The FDn 28/2 is about the same size as my SMC Tak 50/1.4, if you include the adapters, so I think it'll be right at my limit for single lens carry. If I bring my little bag, I have just enough room to add the 17/4 and 55/1.2, so it shouldn't really change my carry habits much. Of course, I'd rather have the M Summicron 28/2, but it's a $3800 difference.


Dec 11, 2011 at 06:57 AM
uhoh7
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


douglasf13 wrote:
Yeah, same here. The FDn 28/2 is about the same size as my SMC Tak 50/1.4, if you include the adapters, so I think it'll be right at my limit for single lens carry. If I bring my little bag, I have just enough room to add the 17/4 and 55/1.2, so it shouldn't really change my carry habits much. Of course, I'd rather have the M Summicron 28/2, but it's a $3800 difference.


3800? again, for the record and not to try to talk anyone into anything they go LNIB every few weeks for 3300, I paid 3-- mine has a wear mark on the word leica on the front ring--otherwise perfect. With patience 2800 would be no problem and I'd bet money you could find one for 2500 within 6 months if you really tried.

But I think your idea is perfectly fine and I'm looking forward to your results.

One thing you will find with the FDs: the mount is no fun. You will want at least 2 adapters, because there is no such thing as a fast change. The worst is the FD, the FL and nFD are better, but still no fun.

You really have to watch it, or you will be on the wrong side of the lever--or shooting wide open all the time. First, you gotta press it straight in exactly in the right place, then you make a huge turn with heavy resistance. Then you turn the lock ring to get the aperture working.

Once you have the lens on you soon see how we have been spoiled by the hawks adapter, because infinity is well short of the throw on most adapters.

You can change an M-Mount in 1/10th the time as you can any FD. You actually have to closely inspect to see if you have it right fairly often.

But for you douglas--I know you will practice and get it down. Much easier, since you have all that extra dough is to have at least 3 adapters. Then you can swap faster than an M

Believe it or not, the leica 28 is also my ticket off the gear train. I don't even want to think. I've been on the budget route--now I have 5 28s besides the leica. They should all go. That brings my out of pocket down to under 2 for the lecia. I'm gonna sell many more, besides.

But I want to have my camera on me skiing or on my bike, or out to dinner. SLR is not practical in my experience for out of pocket shooting.

For me the leica is more than worth it---I will have that lens when the nex is a memory. It shoots great on apsc-c, it will shoot even better on FF. That day will come

But we each have our priorities--I may never have a 7 body, for example. That's what makes it fun: the mix.

BTW you prolly know, but the another superb nFD is the 20/2.8. And the 200/2.8 IF--last version is excellent. there is an ulra light 100 which is super sharp. I have a 35/2 radioactive FD which is really shapr, but over 400 grams. I'd would keep my eye out for an 85/1.2

As to the FL 55/ 1.2 I would consider the nFD 50/1.2 L which is not too heavy and one of the best 1.2s---maybe THE best ever made--highly undervalued at around 5-600. Ashperical.


Edited on Dec 11, 2011 at 07:56 AM · View previous versions



Dec 11, 2011 at 07:42 AM
Jonas B
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p.5 #17 · p.5 #17 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


douglasf13 wrote:
My main lens is a fast-ish standard, too. I've been enjoying the 42mm equiv., since it is similar to my Hasselblad's 80mm field of view.


Ah, oh, so that's where your sizophobia comes from.


p.s. as per Sebboh's pics, I've decided to get the FL 55/1.2, rather than the 50/1.4. I've gotta have at least a little bit of fun.



Unergonomic thing that. But fun, indeed.



Dec 11, 2011 at 07:52 AM
sebboh
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p.5 #18 · p.5 #18 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


douglasf13 wrote:
p.s. as per Sebboh's pics, I've decided to get the FL 55/1.2, rather than the 50/1.4. I've gotta have at least a little bit of fun.


thanks for reminding me, my rokkor has been living on my "dslr" for a while, i should switch it out to give the canon some love.



Dec 12, 2011 at 11:00 PM
douglasf13
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p.5 #19 · p.5 #19 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


Thanks for the info, Charlie. I actually ordered all FDn lenses, save for the FL 55/1.2 (also ordered FD 55/1.2 and FDn 50 1.4 to compare,) because I like their light weight...never thought I'd prefer a plastic lens. I have a feeling I'll save the money and weight and just keep the 50/1.4, but we'll see.

I don't know that it's because I only have FDn lenses, and I haven't tried FL or FD, but I find changing the lenses as easy as any other bayonet mount. Maybe I just got lucky and got a good adapter? My experience so far has been that changing FDn lenses is equivalent in time to changing M lenses. Plus, I kinda like the aperture lever. It lets me change quickly between wide open and f5.6.

I have to eat crow with the whole size thing. For over a year I've been thinking that SLR sized lenses are ridiculous for NEX, but, after looking at my 5N + EVF + half case, I'm realizing that it isn't going in a pocket, anyways, so I can add a little length, if the weight doesn't go up much. These cheapie FDn lenses are light enough to allow me to transition (I still don't think I'd want to shoot heavier SLR lenses, which is why I'll probably return the 55/1.2s) into something a little longer, and I can still squeeze them into my small bag.

The funny thing is that, handling wise, these longer lenses feel better to focus in the hand compared to my really small lenses...especially compared to lenses with focus tabs, IMO. Hand holding feels more stable, too (I generally shoot with the camera around waist or chest level and tilt the LCD or EVF.)

I still may keep one small 35 rangefinder prime, for those times I strip off the half case and EVF and want really small, but I don't think it'll come up often.

I kind of feel like I'm going back to a Camry after driving a Mercedes around for a while, but I kind of like it. It might get my mind off the gear more.




Dec 12, 2011 at 11:22 PM
Jacob D
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p.5 #20 · p.5 #20 · Does the 5N 'exaggerate' field curvature?


I'm very interested in seeing how the 28/2 performs on the NEX, will be looking forward to hearing what you think of your FDn setup


Dec 13, 2011 at 12:50 AM
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