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mercer

Plastic Fantastic

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This thread is for all of those cheapie, plastic lenses that shouldn't be as good as they are. 

There are a few well known lenses that carry the moniker proudly like the Canon 50mm 1.8 and 40mm 2.8, or the Nikkor 50mm 1.8 D.

But there are some lesser known lenses like the Tokina 19-35mm that have a cult following and are often referred to as a "Plastic Fantastic."

The first lens I will mention is the Canon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5. For the price, it shouldn't be as good as it is.

Here's a sample frame from the 5D Mark iii with ML Raw...9F20502E-726F-4AF2-BDEF-B1E32E0E3732.thumb.jpeg.57b297ec9db49299c6f85d1de476a9e1.jpeg

I have a few more on my computer I'll add later today.

Do you guys have any favorite Plastic Fantastic lenses? Please share and upload some sample videos or video frames.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I do not have it anymore but the Canon 40 2.8 is one of the best value for money lenses going in any system for me (I think only the Sony FE 95 1.8 is better value and i do not have THAT any more either).      The 40 2.8 works great adapted to M43 as a portrait lens, is nice on APSC and I like it as a slightly wide normal on FF.      It even works ok on Canon DSLRs (not that i used it on mine much).

 

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15 hours ago, mercer said:

This thread is for all of those cheapie, plastic lenses that shouldn't be as good as they are. 

There are a few well known lenses that carry the moniker proudly like the Canon 50mm 1.8 and 40mm 2.8, or the Nikkor 50mm 1.8 D.

I was looking for some 50mm stuff in my test library and found this.

Looks like I did the promo shot for the testing but for the life of me I can't find the test images themselves so I'm presuming I never actually did it !

I could do though if anyone is interested.

L1040223.thumb.jpg.d2a3185fe89443cbcd11f8191d2cf8e3.jpg

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Another one of my favorite Plastic Fantastic lenses is the Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8. When the Series E lenses were released, Nikon was chastised for their poor build quality. But in comparison to today's lenses, they're built like tanks.

About 6 months into filming my movie, life took a turn and I went through a rough patch that's really just beginning to smooth out. Unfortunately, that rough patch forced me to sell all of the lenses I was using to shoot my film. I dug deep into the gear closet and pulled out the Nikon 50mm 1.8 Series E. This is the result of that test...

4639D351-D0F0-44B1-AD88-FCE9E738541F.thumb.jpeg.bee038785aafcf3b15f7d97fb7a59719.jpeg

In some weird way, the rough patch I went through was a blessing, it forced me to look at my film in a different way and eventually led me to probably my favorite of Plastic Fantastic lenses... the Canon 28mm 1.8.

I've posted plenty of shots from that lens, so I won't bore anybody with them, but that is one lens I will never sell. By lens metrics, it's not even that great of a lens, but its rendering oozes character and mood. In my opinion, it's probably my favorite lens of any lens I've ever used. 

Canon has a few Plastic Fantastic lenses. I would love it if Canon came out with a budget friendly cine lens lineup using these lenses' formulas in proper cinema housings.

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3 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

I was looking for some 50mm stuff in my test library and found this.

Looks like I did the promo shot for the testing but for the life of me I can't find the test images themselves so I'm presuming I never actually did it !

I could do though if anyone is interested.

L1040223.thumb.jpg.d2a3185fe89443cbcd11f8191d2cf8e3.jpg

They're not necessarily Plastic Fantastics, but I think every single one of those lenses represent the point of this thread... inexpensive glass that pull a lot more than their weight. So, yes please do the test if you have the time. I personally love the Zeiss Jena Tessar... if I could only find a copy that isn't mechanically unsound... so I'd be interested to see how it fares up against the Planar.

Speaking of the Zeiss Jena 50mm 2.8, I wonder why nobody has made a modern Tessar?

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On 1/29/2020 at 8:56 PM, mercer said:

But there are some lesser known lenses like the Tokina 19-35mm that have a cult following and are often referred to as a "Plastic Fantastic."

I believe I've had a chance to own one of many rebranded versions of this Tokina - Vivitar 19-35 mm f/3.5 - 4.5 Series 1.
And I must admit it's one of the lenses I regret selling.

Build quality was horrible, handling was cumbersome.

But, man, the images coming out of it were gorgeous (at least to my eyes, hahaha).

Here are some photos I took with it and a7 III:

malDSC01974.thumb.JPG.b7b8d4a35300f19043e429f27bbd1a73.JPG

malDSC02067.thumb.JPG.12b6c7b56bc251961af9b22c610bf78c.JPG

malDSC02154.thumb.JPG.3b66e524a812ad649b2328719c604ffb.JPG

malDSC02168.thumb.JPG.508bcbe3488bb292ba0442fd3f0a2566.JPG

(FYI, the B&W photo depicts Gdańsk Town Hall, whereas the last two show Malbork Castle).

 

As a matter of fact, right now I'm eyeing another copy of it and most likely I'll end up buying it.

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Just be careful with the various 19-35 plastic lenses.     There are a couple of them under lots of names I think.       I had one branded Soligor in Pentax mount and while it was sort of ok optically on 6mp DSLRs and maybe my 12mp KX when i had it.....It was labelled AF but was MF only (just dummy electronic contacts) and had VERY lose play mounted on any camera.     Tamron 17-35 2.8-4 was light years better (and I understand there is an even better newer one now).      These days, I love my old ancient (and certainly NOT plastic) Canon 20-35 2.8 L on the rare times I want a short, wide zoom)

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Searching for Tamron 17-35/2.8-4 proved unsuccessful, so I settled for some middle ground and got myself a Sigma 17-35/2.8-4 for 90$.

Feels like at least ten times more solid than the old Vivitar, though it's still plastic and quite lightweight. 

IMG_20200218_144204-01.thumb.jpeg.acb35ce79076dd392ff96bd85ddb299a.jpeg

 

Gonna put it to use in the next couple of days, wish me luck! 

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So, here are some keepers from my trip to Edinburgh and Gdańsk.

_DSF2339.thumb.jpg.702ad04a153d4f7c475e554ed3d350a6.jpg

_DSF2286.thumb.jpg.8cd1df815c8b1a4ef207abb979868d87.jpg

_DSF2333.thumb.jpg.6dbc68822bb0407a53e50593174352aa.jpg

_DSF2148.thumb.jpg.3c4724fc204799a30e474a5f8397f6d4.jpg

_DSF2355.thumb.jpg.db18efb24ae4cac25f393e5a2a9db7d9.jpg

_DSF2256.thumb.jpg.4e2d02d2f39e282c9d1c0e6cdb7e65b5.jpg

All in all, I think it's a pretty good lens.
Even though my copy seems a little bit decentered (left side of the image is visibly worse than right), it doesn't disturb me that much.

It allows me to get a whole different perspective and I like it.

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1 minute ago, mercer said:

@heart0less Not bad at all. I like how you let your shadows fall off into black in your B&W shots. 

I think so, too.

And thanks!
I suppose the credit should go to Fuji and their beautiful Acros film simulation, but I tweaked it a little with some curves in post.
( :

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