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Archive 2011 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8
  
 
johnnydrz
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


First time post here, been a member since 2003, mostly being inspired by all the great shots I see on these boards. Still using my Konica-Minolta 7D but recently bought a NEX-5N, finding I'm carrying it around a lot more than my larger stuff. Been using the kit lens (18-55) but discovered the new ways of focusing with MF assist and focus peaking.

With my 7D, I have been using the standard zoom lenses most people get when they start: KM 28-70 f/2.8, 17-35 f/2.8-4, 70-210 f/4 beercan... never had what I would call "serious" glass... and they are not fun to use in manual mode....

But now with my 5N, I REALLY want to learn how to use manual lenses to the best of my abilities. So far I only bought a Zuiko 50mm 1.4 and the adapter. (Still waiting for them to arrive, always takes longer to ship to Canada...) But now I am looking for a 24mm and an 85/90. I like to shoot as open as possible. Forgot to mention I also have the EVF on my 5N.

I very much enjoy shooting landscape, street (mostly B&W), people, my dogs. I've done weedings for friends and family but I find I don't like people to "pose" for me. I prefer people to NOT notice me if I'm around with a camera in my hands. Also, except for landscape, I like to isolate my subjects from their surroundings thus the need for relatively fast lenses. The other thing I find when I look at the thousands of pictures I've taken, is that very few stand out as far as sharpness goes. Composition, use of available light (don't like to use a flash...) are of prime importance, but nailing focus with good sharpness is becoming more important to me, specially after seeing what prime lenses can do....

I have a limited budget but still want to get the best for my money. Which brings me to my point: I'm looking for good 24mm and 85mm lenses. I've been doing a lot of research, mostly on FM, and seen tons of very good shots taken with the Zuiko 24/2.8, Contax G 28/2.8 (probably too expensive for me), and at the other end Zuiko 85/2 and Contax G 90/2.8. Both of these go for around $300/$400 from what I have seen.

All are fairly small (from what I have seen) and provide excellent quality, for the money I have. I'm also thinking of getting a 16mm, but I haven't figured out how to go about finding a good copy. I know about the Samyang lenses, and if they were any smaller I would certainly consider but since I want to carry my camera and lenses as much as possible, I'm really trying to keep size/volume as small as possible.

So I'm trying to decide which way to go within a "restricting" budget.

Thanks in advance for your insight,

Jean




Dec 08, 2011 at 01:05 PM
thrice
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


I was about to say Leica 24/3.8 Super-Elmar and Leica 90/2 APO Summicron but then I saw the budget constraints

With that in mind, 25/4 Color Skopar and 90/2.8 Contax G.
If you have a 5N or C3, the 16mm Sony is good enough for most, maybe the 15/4.5 Voigtlander if you must be alt.



Dec 08, 2011 at 02:06 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


Another cheap, fast option on the long end would be a Nikon 85mm -- either a non-AI 85/1.8 or an AI 85/2. I prefer the former, but both are excellent. I used an 85/1.8 on film for years, then migrated toward various 85/1.4s, which I still use -- but I recently repurchased an 85/1.8 specifically to use with my NEX, and it's great. It's bulkier than the Contax, but it's a stop faster.

A couple of other things I sometimes use:

The Nikon 105/2.5 is wonderful, and inexpensive. So is the Olympus Pen-F 100/3.5, which is as small as the Contax 90/2.8 -- though it's only an f/3.5, and minimum focus distance is a little long for comfortable indoor use (around 5').

All of these are available in the <$200 range.

The Canon FD 100/2 also has a great reputation, though I don't own one.


Edited on Dec 08, 2011 at 02:27 PM · View previous versions



Dec 08, 2011 at 02:20 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


The Olympus Zuiko MC 24 2.8 is a great lens imho.


Dec 08, 2011 at 02:27 PM
Antje
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


I really like the OM Zuikos (on my Olympus E-P3), especially for their image quality and size. They're *very* small, at least compared to the Canon stuff I have. I own the 24/2.8, the 50/3.5 Macro, and the 85/2, and love them all. Excellent quality and rather affordable, too.


Dec 08, 2011 at 02:29 PM
johnnydrz
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


Thank you everyone, the Zuiko 24/2.8 seems to be a good choice. Prices on the Skopar aren't that attractive to me at this stage... I haven't considered the Nikons so far but I'll have a look. ..Still wondering about the Zuiko 85 vs Contax 90...


Dec 08, 2011 at 03:38 PM
AhamB
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


I've seen nothing but great looking images from the Minolta Rokkor MD 24/2.8.


Dec 08, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Jacob D
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


I tried an Zuiko 24/2.8 on my 5N and it looked pretty bad compared to everything else, even the kit lens (worth noting that the kit lens seems to peak around 28mm). I thought maybe it was my OM to NEX adapter, but an OM 50/1.8 on the same adapter produces good results.

So either something was up with the lens, or it's one of the lenses that the 5N "doesn't like".

I'm still curious about the Zuiko 24/2.8, but I also agree that the Rokkor 24/2.8 would be worth trying.

Whatever you get in the 24-35mm range I would put up against the 18-55 kit lens at the same FL and see what you think. You might be able to save some cash on a lens in that range and dedicate it towards a better 85/90, or whatever else.



Dec 08, 2011 at 04:44 PM
ocean2059
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


I have also tried the Zuiko 24/2.8 and I was a bit disappointed. I can whole heartily the Contax G 90.


Dec 08, 2011 at 04:49 PM
Jacob D
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


Here's a comparison of the kit lens and OM 24 (Flickr has added some sharpening and degraded these a little). Not much difference. At the edges the Sony is a little better than the Zuiko.


100% center







Dec 08, 2011 at 05:16 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



AhamB
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


ocean2059 wrote:
I can whole heartily the Contax G 90.


You accidentally the verb.



Dec 08, 2011 at 06:45 PM
ocean2059
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


AhamB wrote:
You accidentally the verb.

I can whole heartily recommend the Contax G 90.



Dec 08, 2011 at 08:23 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


Sorry to be a grammarian, but how about "wholeheartedly", or "heartily"?

;-)



Dec 08, 2011 at 08:27 PM
Peire
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


Cheap,small and v.good WAs : Zuiko 24/2.8,Sigma super wide 24/2.8

Cheap,small and v.good short teles: Zuiko 100/2.8,Nikon Series E 100/2.8.



Dec 08, 2011 at 08:31 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


The thing that gives the Zuiko 24/2.8 (Zuiko WA's in general) its well regarded reputation is its ability to hold its sharpness across all zones across the frame and even into the corners by design. If you compare center sharpness to other quality glass, you can see the difference between central sharpness/corner sharpness in each. So, on a crop camera you can consider some glass that has weaker corners, but better central sharpness.

Also, Oly's have a lower contrast and some people mistake that for less sharp. PP for Oly's does require a bit of a different recipe than for my Nikon's or C/Y's but they come alive nicely once you realize they just need a little bigger push. On your crop, you've got plenty of options for glass that isn't as highly regarded in the corners.



Dec 08, 2011 at 08:39 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


I was just thinking of you Rusty when I read the thread title. I remember you liking and recommending the Tamron SP 90/2.5 Macro. I got one because of that (some time ago) and like it quite a lot. It's an excellent budget performer! And by "budget" I mean pretty much anything under the $400 mark or so - even tho the Tamron is considerable less (usually! ).


If you don't mind a little longer the Nikkor 105/2.8 Macro is superb. From a few inches away to about 50 meters out it's pretty hard to beat for the price! And if you shoot more long shots than macros the 105/2.5 fits the bill in the same way. It's quite generous with the "3d look" rendering!






Edited on Dec 09, 2011 at 12:11 AM · View previous versions



Dec 09, 2011 at 12:06 AM
plasticmotif
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


OM 24/2.8

Some of the Nikon 20s and 24s are worth looking at.

and Rokinon 85 is cheap and fantastic.

So is the 85/2 OM.



Dec 09, 2011 at 12:11 AM
sebboh
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


i very much like my rokkor 24/2.8 and the 49mm filter thread version of it i have is quite compact. i believe the olympus probably has better corners but worse central and closeup performance.

i also have the olympus 85/2, which is wonderfully sized (barely larger than your OM 50/1.4), but have never fully taken to it's look though it is sharp enough. i expect the contax g is sharper with more contrast, but the focusing will be more difficult through the adapter.

if you want subject isolation, the samyang 85/1.4 is the way to go, but it is huge and unwieldy on the NEX. i only really use mine on my dslr.

another option to consider would be the old nikkor 85/2 for rangefinders. they came in both ltm and nikon s-mounts. the s-mount ones should be cheaper. they were famous once and have a distinctive sonnar look. another cheaper rangefinder option would be the jupiter-9. it's also a sonnar and is basically a cheaply made copy of the old zeiss 85/2 sonnar.

the tamron 90/2.5 macro is fantastic and cheap, but also really heavy.

the nikkor 105/2.5 is one of my favorites and is pretty compact and lightweight, but still twice as long as the olympus 85/2.

for raw optical performance the contax, tamron, and nikkor 105mm are probably the best options.



Dec 09, 2011 at 04:04 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


Hey Bif ... where ya been.

+1 @ the 90/2.5 and the 105/2.5 & the 3D thing ... "OH NO, let's not go there again !!!"

BTW, I'm still waiting on your top 5 RAW converter opinion.



Dec 09, 2011 at 05:36 AM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Quest for the (relative) best... 24mm, 85/2 or 90/2.8


... Yeah, I should really reply to that. It's been pretty busy around here tho and to do so (intelligently) I have to look up go back over some mental and written notes.




Dec 09, 2011 at 07:55 PM





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