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85mm legacy lenes
  
 
slabib
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 85mm legacy lenes


I'm a wedding photographer looking to add an 85mm legacy manual focus lens to my arsenal. I shoot on a Sony A7. I don't use any artificial light, so one of the most important things is being able to get a decent image wide open. Also looking to stay under $200. The canon 85mm FD is first on my list. Any other suggestions?

Samlabib.com



Jan 26, 2017 at 08:48 PM
Tri Tran
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 85mm legacy lenes


For that price it's hard to beat a Rokinon 85mm f1.4


Jan 26, 2017 at 08:54 PM
notherenow
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 85mm legacy lenes


I think legacy lenses at that price level it is going to come down to the one in the best condition.

I would be inclined to go to Ebay and just search "85mm lens" ending soonest and see what comes along.

I think just about any old 85 is going to have its fans.
I would look at ones that have some coating or maybe one with a huge number of blades for a point of interest.




Jan 26, 2017 at 09:11 PM
arduluth
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 85mm legacy lenes


The Minolta MD 85mm f/2 is quite good wide open. There are lenses with smoother bokeh and stronger contrast wide open, but in terms of sharpness wide open it's excellent. My copy was super smooth, focus felt great. Only negative for me were the 6 aperture blades, but that's not an issue wide open. Also one of the smaller and more compact fast 85mm lenses around, which was appealing to me. My copy was $200, I've seen them for $170-220.

The Minolta MC 85mm f/1.7 is also very nice. Less sharp and more SA wide open but with better bokeh.

That said, I don't know if a single f/1.7-f/2.8 major brand 85-90mm that isn't pretty darn good wide open. Canon FD, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, etc are all pretty good. Some of them will cost you more than the Minolta, though.

There was a discussion about this a few months back:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1420706

I remember a few similar threads as well - google:

site:Fredmiranda.com manual 85mm

Also try 90mm instead of 85mm in the search.



Jan 26, 2017 at 09:19 PM
slabib
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 85mm legacy lenes


Thanks for the insight. I have always wanted to say that I own Zeiss glass...


Jan 27, 2017 at 03:19 AM
trogdon
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 85mm legacy lenes


Without a doubt the Samyang 85mm f1.4 is the best you'll get for the price. Definitely better than any legacy glass for the price, and you get f1.4


Jan 27, 2017 at 03:57 AM
walterg
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 85mm legacy lenes


My choice would be the Minolta 85mm f2, but sense I shoot mainly Minolta I'm not very objective.
Second choice would be Nikkor H 85mm f1.8. In todays market you should be able to get a mint example under $200.
Third choice would be the Jupiter 9 85mm f2. Easily availble under $200. Trying to get a great copy, tho, can be tricky.



Jan 27, 2017 at 11:49 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 85mm legacy lenes


The Rokinon 85/1.4 is a good candidate. It has better bokeh in tough situations than many of the "good ones" mentioned later.

The SMC Pentax 85/2, Olympus 85/2 OM, and Tamron SP 90/2.5 Macro [58BB] are possible to find in decent condition for around $200, but this is a pretty restrictive limit.

The "good ones" are generally more expensive, including these:

Contax Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85/1.4 CY
Contax Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 85/2.8 CY
Leica Summicron-R 90/2 E55
Leica Elmarit R 90/2.8 E55
Pentax SMC Pentax 85/1.8
Pentax SMC Takumar 85/1.8 (with "4" on the DOF ring)
Tokina AT-X 90/2.5 Macro (a.k.a. Vivitar Series 1 90/2.5)
Voigtlander 75/2.5 Color Heliar SL

You can check used lens prices for all of the lenses mentioned above, in the Lens Price Database,

Lens$db, http://tinyurl.com/jcolwell-lensdb





Jan 27, 2017 at 01:02 PM
ken.vs.ryu
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 85mm legacy lenes


Look at 90mm summicron images.


Jan 27, 2017 at 07:12 PM
notherenow
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 85mm legacy lenes


walterg wrote:
My choice would be the Minolta 85mm f2, but sense I shoot mainly Minolta I'm not very objective.
Second choice would be Nikkor H 85mm f1.8. In todays market you should be able to get a mint example under $200.
Third choice would be the Jupiter 9 85mm f2. Easily availble under $200. Trying to get a great copy, tho, can be tricky.


Either would be ok but with Minolta, I would go with an MD version rather than MC as the MC 85 is a bit different using than most lenses.

I would prefer a manual focus Nikon 85 1.8 (any of them) over the MC I had.

I had an MC 85 and still have an old and battered Nikon 85 1.8. I got the Nikon years ago fairly cheap (was/is real ugly external condition but with good glass).

I don't use it now as I prefer other lenses (out of budget).



Jan 27, 2017 at 07:37 PM
 

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walterg
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 85mm legacy lenes




notherenow wrote:
Either would be ok but with Minolta, I would go with an MD version rather than MC as the MC 85 is a bit different using than most lenses.

I would prefer a manual focus Nikon 85 1.8 (any of them) over the MC I had.

I had an MC 85 and still have an old and battered Nikon 85 1.8. I got the Nikon years ago fairly cheap (was/is real ugly external condition but with good glass).

I don't use it now as I prefer other lenses (out of budget).


The Md 85mm f2 version I've tried to buy multiple times. Every time I get the cash I can't find a nice one, or the prices are up. Of course the prices are down and I'm broke. Oh well I will own one sooner or later.

I normally shoot with the Minolta MD Tele Rokkor X 100mm f2.5. Really nice lens. Not quite as sharp as the MD 85mm f2 and bokeh closer to the 85mm f1.7.
You can with a little luck buy one at half the price of the Minolta 85mm f2.



Jan 27, 2017 at 11:24 PM
walterg
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 85mm legacy lenes


I must post a warning about buying the Minolta 100 2.5. It can suffer from haze in the rear elements. I have not had one apart, but I've been told it's not an easy repair.

So make sure you buy a good copy. I took an extreme gamble and bought my copy with haze. It was only $40, so it was worth it to me. The lens otherwise in exc+ condtion. I was lucky and don't see much loss of resolution or contrast.



Jan 27, 2017 at 11:38 PM
MAubrey
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 85mm legacy lenes


jcolwell wrote:
The SMC Pentax 85/2, Olympus 85/2 OM, and Tamron SP 90/2.5 Macro [58BB] are possible to find in decent condition for around $200, but this is a pretty restrictive limit.

And with the OM 85 f/2, it's important to make sure you get a multicoated copy, which makes it more restrictive.



Jan 27, 2017 at 11:43 PM
Mathieu18
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 85mm legacy lenes


I'd vote for the FD SSC myself at under 200. It's as good as the CV 75. I'll be testing against the CY 85/1.4 soon as well.


Jan 28, 2017 at 03:30 AM
LightShow
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 85mm legacy lenes


The $200 limit is somewhat restrictive for lenses around 85mm, they tend to be of a higher quality than the other focal lengths.
The Leica R 90/2 & SMC K 85/1.8, are two I'd recommend.



Jan 28, 2017 at 08:38 AM
slabib
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 85mm legacy lenes


Thanks for all the input. Aside from Mathieu, looks like everybody is suggesting glass other than the FD. From those who have experience with this lens, what would I be giving up optically if I went with the FD as compared to other more expensive lenses?


Jan 28, 2017 at 02:45 PM
henryk805
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 85mm legacy lenes


For under 200, contax zeiss g90 is hard to beat. It is a stop slower at 2.8,but tiny, sharp and has zeiss colors and microcontrast. The downside is that manual focusing is not ideal and AF adapter is noisy.


Jan 28, 2017 at 06:39 PM
notherenow
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 85mm legacy lenes


slabib wrote:
Thanks for all the input. Aside from Mathieu, looks like everybody is suggesting glass other than the FD. From those who have experience with this lens, what would I be giving up optically if I went with the FD as compared to other more expensive lenses?


If you find FD lenses at a good price and in good condition they are every bit as good.



I sold my A7 (still have an A7s) but I have had four 85mm lenses that I used on the A7.

Canon 85 1.2 FD L, Sony 85 2.8 SAM with LA-EA4, Nikon 85 1.8 AI and Minolta MC 85 1.7.

The 85 1.2 L is out of your budget.
The Sony AF SAM lens with LA-EA4 will also be out of your budget (lens wouldn't be but add an LA-EA4 and it is) but might be worth looking into. A nice lightweight lens that has ok AF though a bit limited due to the LA-EA4.
The Nikon I would take over the Minolta any day but more because of the lever on the MC lens (stops down as normal but to open up again, you have to use a small lever. Not a big deal but it is something).

If choosing between a FD 85 1.8 and a Nikon 85 1.8/f2 (or any make) given a similar vintage, I would look to a site like Flickr for samples and see if you prefer one over the other and if not, then go with whichever you can find in budget and condition to suit you.

Some FD lenses can have problems with dissolving bearings (my 85 1.2 L does, my 24 1.4 FD L doesn't).

If you can find a new manual focus 85mm lens (I think there will be a few on Ebay in your budget), I would consider those too over many legacy lenses.

Would your clients care if you put a ratty looking lens on your camera at a wedding VS a nice looking good condition lens?

Good luck.

EDIT, another FD 85mm lens you MIGHT be able to find that might be worth a try is the FD 85 2.8 soft focus. Maybe a bit over your budget and fairly rare but would hold its value if you didn't like it and sold it. I have never tried (or seen) one but would love to see how it goes on an A7/A7s.



Jan 28, 2017 at 08:34 PM
sebboh
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 85mm legacy lenes


at large aperture none of the legacy glass in your price range will match the rokinon/samyang 85/1.4 for sharpness and smooth bokeh. a few of them will be sharper stopped down at infinity though. the main advantage of the f/2 and f/1.8 lenses versus the rokinon would be smaller size.

regarding the FD, i don't like it's build compared to the rokkors and pentax options, and it is a bit weaker towards the edges compared to the most of the 85/2s, but it's a great option for size and price.




Jan 28, 2017 at 09:11 PM
LightShow
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 85mm legacy lenes


It's a fine lens, just not as good as the better lenses, mine has some strong CA in high contrast situations, other than that, it's small, it's very close in size to my SSC 24/2.8 and 50/1.4, they actually make a nice compact trio, much smaller than my Rokkor 28/2.5, 58/1.2, 85/1,7 set.







I'm actually trying to determine if Canon made an FD 85/1.8 before the SSC, I'm finding it hard to find any pictures or proof of one, I want to put together a 24/2.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8 set of silver nose lenses, I'm thinking there is no silver nose, but there may be a black nose non-SSC version.



Jan 28, 2017 at 09:53 PM
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