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Andrew Reid

Lenses

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44 minutes ago, mercer said:

One day when I am seriousl about photography, I hope to get a real camera. I’d love a Leica or a Sigma Quattro.

The interesting thing with the Quattro is that Sigma getting involved with the L alliance is a bit of a win from both perspectives really.

For anyone who doesn't have one, there will be some even bigger bargains around on the SA mount cameras and lenses but that will also benefit existing owners too as it will also mean a lot more SA mount lenses coming up used from people swapping over to the new mount version, particularly if there is a full frame version of it.

Everyone knows about their MC-11 EF to E mount adapter but not many people are aware that they do an SA to E version of it as well which means those cheaper ART lenses in SA mount may not be the dead end people imagine them to be ;)

44 minutes ago, mercer said:

I’m keeping my eye on the Z6/Atomos development. I don’t think I’ll completely turn my back on my 5D3, but I must admit that some IBIS and Raw does sound cool. Like you, though, I’d like to see an updated Ninja Star and forego a screen.

I got the Ninja V last week with one eye on maybe getting a cheap Z6 in Japan in a few months but also as a monitor/expander for the Pocket4K and the LS300.

After using it in anger for the first time over the weekend, its pretty much a must have for whatever camera you're going to attach it to.

This image doesn't really do it justice regarding just how much brighter it is (although the fact that the camera screen looks like its off !) but, to me, its pretty essential when using the Pocket4K outdoors when the big shiny thing is not covered in cloud.

V1p2-1.thumb.jpg.78666cde51ed830eb2a961d817039151.jpg

Its heresy to say anything that could remotely be interpreted as negative about the Pocket4K of course but I'm just going to come out and say it that the non-articulating screen without an EVF combo is crap.

44 minutes ago, mercer said:

Have you tried that 7artisans on your P4K. That 12-32mm P4K shot you posted yesterday is some of my favorite stuff from that camera.

No, I haven't but I will be this week. 

That little 12-32mm is a really good bonus on the Pocket4K because of the OIS but also as its good enough in the edges to not suffer too much with the reduced crop.

Based on how it performs I'm looking at picking up the other similarly diminutive matching 35-100mm that they do which also has OIS and is also usually available cheap second hand.

44 minutes ago, mercer said:

I love the color of your Leica samples... how did you handle the middle photo... it looks wicked. 

Thanks.

Just took a lot of the red out of it to cool it down really to make it a bit more monotone.

The main thing was exposing for the window and then using a bit of dodge and burn to help the light along here and there.

The B&W version took out more of the distraction of the Photokina exhibition hall in the background !

V1p2-1-3.thumb.jpg.8b9ca73316dffa6a6ae1e59fa6f4c50f.jpg

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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

@BTM_Pix that looks great in B&W as well... I love how the darkness is trying to engulf the guy. 

Please post the examples if you test that 7artisans on your P4K.

I get the bonus of an external recorder with a screen but I don’t like the added bulk.

Regarding my 50mm tests: I’m looking for a fast lens that is undeniably sharp wide open. All of those samples were shot wide open, so it’s not the best of scenarios for the sharpest of images but for me it’s a balancing act of available light while fighting the glow of a wide open aperture. 

My other concern is having too many options. I have a shit ton of lenses... most of which I need to sell. Of all the lenses I own, I have narrowed down my keepers to 14 or 15, but I really want to cut that in half... I’m too indecisive to have that many options. I’ll constantly second guess myself and wonder if I should have used a different lens, so I may give up on my plan of owning multiple lens sets.

I’ll definitely keep the Canon EF lenses because they’re native lenses, I really like them and I’ve already started using them for my film.

However, I need to be more discriminating with my other lenses.

I think I need another round of 50mm lens tests and I think I may include the older Sigma 50mm 1.4 into the lot and take out the Canon FD... since that lens is a no brainer for what I paid for it. I’ve always wanted to try a Sigma lens and I’ve heard the EX-DG is practically as good as the Art lens and since, some of, one of my favorite ML Raw videos was shot with the Art version, it may make sense to give it a try...

But I have a feeling a lot of that video was shot with the Canon 70-200mm f/4 L lens.

Anyway, I think I have to decide between wants and needs.

I guess the smart play would be to keep the Zeiss Rollei lenses because I paid so little for them and they’re pretty good wide open with a ton of character. And that would give me a set of Canon lenses, a set of vintage Zeiss lenses and then I can keep a couple of single lenses that I really like but aren’t a part of any set. 

On a side note, have you ever tried the Nikkor ai-s 85mm 1.4? I bought a copy a couple of months ago for a song, but I haven’t had a chance to give it a good try. It’s so big and clunky that it will have to WOW me to keep it, but from I’ve heard about it... it may just do that. But since I already own two other 85mm lenses... it will have it’s work cut out for it.

Anyway, sorry to all for the extraordinarily long “life problem” I’m encountering, but with me sometimes it’s easier to talk it out to figure out my best option.

So speaking of 85mm lenses and to keep the thread on track, here’s a B&W shot of the Zeiss Rollei 85mm f/2.8 shot wide open...7EAC754A-774A-4E59-A140-3719DA5690E7.thumb.jpeg.7734567022f559881aef722dc04b39fa.jpeg

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41 minutes ago, mercer said:

@BTM_Pix that looks great in B&W as well... I love how the darkness is trying to engulf the guy. 

Well looking at his name badge he does actually work for Sigma so that works on two levels !

41 minutes ago, mercer said:

 

Please post the examples if you test that 7artisans on your P4K.

I get the bonus of an external recorder with a screen but I don’t like the added bulk.

I will do.

I'm trying to set aside some time to actually use the camera as 99.9% of my interactions with it thus far have been titting about with developing for it.

The Ninja V actually sits on it well with them being the same size so it feels more like a flip up monitor for it !

Its pretty essential for it for outdoor daylight use for me, though, yes, I would prefer an EVF.

I have the Visoflex for my Leica T and its just fantastic the way you can rotate it up for a pseudo-waist level finder use.

Why someone isn't making these with HDMI inputs for all cameras I just don't know.

T-SYSTEM-EQUIPMENT-VISOFLEX_teaser-480x320.png.995010071af37dc518f4473b0803b1e4.png

41 minutes ago, mercer said:

I think I need another round of 50mm lens tests and I think I may include the older Sigma 50mm 1.4 into the lot and take out the Canon FD... since that lens is a no brainer for what I paid for it. I’ve always wanted to try a Sigma lens and I’ve heard the EX-DG is practically as good as the Art lens and since, some of, one of my favorite ML Raw videos was shot with the Art version, it may make sense to give it a try...

But I have a feeling a lot of that video was shot with the Canon 70-200mm f/4 L lens.

On a side note, have you ever tried the Nikkor ai-s 85mm 1.4? I bought a copy a couple of months ago for a song, but I haven’t had a chance to give it a good try. It’s so big and clunky that it will have to WOW me to keep it, but from I’ve heard about it... it may just do that. But since I already own two other 85mm lenses... it will have it’s work cut out for it.

Yeah, Sigma's non-ART can still do the business, even the really cheap APS-C and MFT ones so I'd definitely check one out.

These are grabs from my (unloved) A6500 with the sub £150 60mm f2.8 DN 

A6500COMP2.thumb.jpg.576887ab083f69f3461761f320a86df0.jpg

That WW2 re-enactment video was great but, yeah, I do suspect a lot of those shots were the 70-200mm f4.

With regard to 85mm, I haven't used the Nikon one but I actually quite liked the Samyang 85mm f1.4 and I picked up the Contax Zeiss 85mm f1.4 for a silly price last year and have been meaning to do an A/B comparison if that's something that would appeal ?

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27 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

I will do.

I'm trying to set aside some time to actually use the camera as 99.9% of my interactions with it thus far have been titting about with developing for it.

 The Ninja V actually sits on it well with them being the same size so it feels more like a flip up monitor for it !

Its pretty essential for it for outdoor daylight use for me, though, yes, I would prefer an EVF.

 I have the Visoflex for my Leica T and its just fantastic the way you can rotate it up for a pseudo-waist level finder use.

 Why someone isn't making these with HDMI inputs for all cameras I just don't know.

I’m fairly certain I will end up buying, or at least renting, a P4K at some point but I don’t need one yet and I want to wait and see what happens with a few other developments.

I spent hours upon hours searching for an HDMI variant of those small EVFs when I had the Micro. If something like that was available, I probably would have kept it. I assume there’s more to it than rewriting it with an HDMI wire and plug though?

29 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

Sigma's non-ART can still do the business, even the really cheap APS-C and MFT ones so I'd definitely check one out.

 These are grabs from my (unloved) A6500 with the sub £150 60mm f2.8 DN 

Yeah, I think I may look for one. I was thinking that 50mm and the older DG 24-70mm 2.8 could be a nice two lens set. I don’t have any zoom lenses anymore. 

Great captures of... your wife? Without knowing the woman, you’ve really captured her kind eyes.

35 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

That WW2 re-enactment video was great but, yeah, I do suspect a lot of those shots were the 70-200mm f4.

I assume so as well, maybe that lens should be thrown into my 10, or less, lens collection... it could be beneficial while shooting in public.

37 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

With regard to 85mm, I haven't used the Nikon one but I actually quite liked the Samyang 85mm f1.4 and I picked up the Contax Zeiss 85mm f1.4 for a silly price last year and have been meaning to do an A/B comparison if that's something that would appeal ?

Without a doubt, please do. I bought my first 85mm a couple of months ago and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite focal lengths. It seems to take the positive attributes of both a 50mm and a 135mm and meld then together.

I’ve seen some great prices on that Zeiss 85mm lately as well, but I’ve decided that the Contax variant would be a rabbit hole for me that would force me to spend more and more and more. How big is that 85mm?

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

I spent hours upon hours searching for an HDMI variant of those small EVFs when I had the Micro. If something like that was available, I probably would have kept it. I assume there’s more to it than rewriting it with an HDMI wire and plug though?

It needs an interface but its nothing too dramatic.

There are kits for making your own VR headsets that could form the basis of a Hi-Res version of the DIY EVF I made with the Raspberry Pi monitor and the loupe.

This one has 1080p AMOLED screens (though you'd only need one of them) and the whole kit is under £150.

I will definitely look at making one as the DIY EVF I made is actually pretty serviceable but just a bit low res.

But much, much better than trying to use a rear LCD in the sunshine here.

525106636_ScreenShot2019-03-11at23_18_07.png.b4a0487369047b392f7ec953bc0739fe.png

 

1 hour ago, mercer said:

Great captures of... your wife? Without knowing the woman, you’ve really captured her kind eyes.

Yes it is.

And the kindness was particularly apt in this case as she had bought me that particular lens about 30 minutes earlier !

2 hours ago, mercer said:

Without a doubt, please do. I bought my first 85mm a couple of months ago and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite focal lengths. It seems to take the positive attributes of both a 50mm and a 135mm and meld then together.

I’ve seen some great prices on that Zeiss 85mm lately as well, but I’ve decided that the Contax variant would be a rabbit hole for me that would force me to spend more and more and more. How big is that 85mm?

I'll sort out a side by side tomorrow, they are roughly the same size.

I expect the Contax Zeiss to smoke it but you never can tell !

I've barely used it since I got it unfortunately.  I think these were probably taken the day after I got away with daylight robbery buying it in Tokyo but its not had many outings since so it could do with an airing.

5b061347a3661_Osaka1.thumb.jpg.3239355c54b08d110b8fa6e2c385ff76.jpg

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17 hours ago, mercer said:

I’m going to keep the FD because it was so cheap and it blends in nicely with my 28mm and 85mm EF lenses. It actually fits the gap so nicely, I’m starting to question keeping the 35mm f/2.

I've noticed that having lenses at a 2x spacing seems to do the job for me, although I am cropping in post.  

It seems like there are two series in this pattern - the 16, 28, 50, 100, and the 18, 35, 70 progressions, and those that start with a lens from one of these tend to stick within it more than not, unless you end up with every lens and have them closer together.

8 hours ago, mercer said:

Regarding my 50mm tests: I’m looking for a fast lens that is undeniably sharp wide open. All of those samples were shot wide open, so it’s not the best of scenarios for the sharpest of images but for me it’s a balancing act of available light while fighting the glow of a wide open aperture. 

My experience so far has suggested that looking for a lens that is sharp at a given aperture is more realistic.  I've found there are two kind of lenses - those that get sharp when stopped down about two-stops and those that are sharp wide open.  The sharp-wide-open group are typically the same as the first but are about two stops slower when wide-open.  There are exceptions of course, but when choosing between a lens that is 1.4 and fully sharp at 2.8 vs a 2.8 lens that's sharp wide-open I just see the 1.4 as being more useful, and comparing lenses of different aperture values when wide-open is kind of missing the point.

The MFT lens comparison by Shane Hurlbutt with the Voigtlander vs Panasonic vs Olympus suffers from this problem.  They compared the lenses at 2.8 and wide open, and that made it look like the F0.95 Voigtlander wasn't as good as the F1.7 Panasonic because the Voigt was softer at 0.95 than the Panny was at 1.7, but had he tested them at F1.7 the Voigt would have been almost at peak sharpness and would have slaughtered the Panny which was still two stops away from its sweet spot.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

I've noticed that having lenses at a 2x spacing seems to do the job for me, although I am cropping in post.  

It seems like there are two series in this pattern - the 16, 28, 50, 100, and the 18, 35, 70 progressions, and those that start with a lens from one of these tend to stick within it more than not, unless you end up with every lens and have them closer together.

My experience so far has suggested that looking for a lens that is sharp at a given aperture is more realistic.  I've found there are two kind of lenses - those that get sharp when stopped down about two-stops and those that are sharp wide open.  The sharp-wide-open group are typically the same as the first but are about two stops slower when wide-open.  There are exceptions of course, but when choosing between a lens that is 1.4 and fully sharp at 2.8 vs a 2.8 lens that's sharp wide-open I just see the 1.4 as being more useful, and comparing lenses of different aperture values when wide-open is kind of missing the point.

The MFT lens comparison by Shane Hurlbutt with the Voigtlander vs Panasonic vs Olympus suffers from this problem.  They compared the lenses at 2.8 and wide open, and that made it look like the F0.95 Voigtlander wasn't as good as the F1.7 Panasonic because the Voigt was softer at 0.95 than the Panny was at 1.7, but had he tested them at F1.7 the Voigt would have been almost at peak sharpness and would have slaughtered the Panny which was still two stops away from its sweet spot.

Without a doubt, all lenses will be sharper when stopped down, so in most instances a 1.4 will out sharpen an f/2 lens when at f/2.

My Variable ND Filter only darkens for 5 stops. In broad daylight, I’ll have to stop down my lens a touch to avoid over exposure. The problem is in lowlight. All of those shots are at dusk and were shot between 800 and 1600 ISO. With ML Raw, I prefer to keep my ISO at 800 or below but will push it to 1600. So, with the Canon FD and Zeiss ZF.2, the half a stop of their 1.4 aperture over the Zeiss Rollei’s 1.8 aperture can make all of the difference.

With that being said, the Zeiss Rollei shot was my favorite of the lot. It wasn’t the sharpest but I think it had the best mix of qualities that I personally like. 

Now I need to get them out in better light so I can draw my final conclusion. 

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To add to your earlier point, I’ve found the jump from 24mm to 50mm to feel quite normal and then a jump to 85mm completed a set for me. I can’t see too many instances where I would need anything longer. But I also like the simplicity of a two lens set with a fast 35mm and 85mm.

But in all honesty, I know myself, and I would bet money that, short of using a zoom lens, I will rarely, if ever, change a lens/focal length during a scene.

So it’s a matter of having a couple different lenses, with different qualities, at similar, or the same, focal lengths. And this is where my choices become difficult... well really... there are just too many nice lenses out there. 

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@mercer I agree that having some extra low-light can make a difference.  My Voigt 17.5mm is pretty rubbish at 0.95 (equivalent to 35mm F1.9) but I use it there a lot in low-light despite the softness and colour shifts.

I really like the idea of having a 'hero' lens and then only having other lenses when that lens doesn't do it.  At normal shooting distances you can often hit those 'middle' focal lengths by just taking a step or two forward or back, so I've spaced my set at 8mm, 17.5mm and 40mm - (16mm / 35mm / 80mm equivalents).  I view the 8mm and 40mm lenses as specialty lenses that I only put on when the situation doesn't fit the main lens, so in a sense I just have one lens and a couple of specialty lenses for frequent specialist situations.

I did an exercise a long time ago for my stills photography where I listed the different shooting scenarios I needed equipment for, then worked out what equipment was best for those situations.  For example I discovered that if I'm shooting at night then I don't need a long lens, so although I do need a longer lens during the day, it doesn't have to be amazingly fast.  Other things came out of that too, so I managed to save some money and equipment weight by thinking it through like that.
I know you're more interested in narrative, so you may have a wider range of situations or aesthetics, but by combining it with those aesthetics you might find some combinations aren't required.  For example, someone might only shoot a doco with vintage lenses and that might not require a very wide angle lens, and projects that did might all call for the modern look and now you don't need a vintage wide angle.

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16 hours ago, mercer said:

Without a doubt, please do. I bought my first 85mm a couple of months ago and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite focal lengths. It seems to take the positive attributes of both a 50mm and a 135mm and meld then together.

I’ve seen some great prices on that Zeiss 85mm lately as well, but I’ve decided that the Contax variant would be a rabbit hole for me that would force me to spend more and more and more. How big is that 85mm?

Game on.

85mm-1.thumb.jpg.503c55ec6f041dd903f4a47731e96b6c.jpg

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@kye I’ve done/been doing something similar by listing every lens I own and narrowing down my favorites. I then narrowed down the ones I definitely know I want to keep. Now I am in the testing phase by seeing which lenses are just undeniably better than their counterparts. From their I will take my slate of short films I have planned for the next year and decide which lens/lenses/lens sets will fit the tone/theme/story of each short. From their I hope to narrow down my collection from 15-20 to 5-10... it will be closer to 10... let’s be honest here.

10 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Game on.

85mm-1.thumb.jpg.503c55ec6f041dd903f4a47731e96b6c.jpg

You do product photography too... what was that shot on?

Also, is that Rokinon 85mm, the same lens as the Cine version?

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8 hours ago, mercer said:

You do product photography too... what was that shot on?

The Sigma SD Quattro and its kit lens, the 30mm f1.4

8 hours ago, mercer said:

Also, is that Rokinon 85mm, the same lens as the Cine version?

I'm not up to speed with the different versions in terms of whether they have changed anything over the years but this is the original F mount version.

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11 hours ago, mercer said:

@kye I’ve done/been doing something similar by listing every lens I own and narrowing down my favorites. I then narrowed down the ones I definitely know I want to keep. Now I am in the testing phase by seeing which lenses are just undeniably better than their counterparts. From their I will take my slate of short films I have planned for the next year and decide which lens/lenses/lens sets will fit the tone/theme/story of each short. From their I hope to narrow down my collection from 15-20 to 5-10... it will be closer to 10... let’s be honest here.

10 is good.  Probably what matters more than how many lenses are in your cupboard is how many lenses you're lugging around when on set.  The less decisions on set the better, and the less time spent swapping between 40mm, 50mm, and 58mm lenses completely unnecessarily.  And having 10 lenses that are very different is fine too - when I go to film my kids sports game I don't wonder if I should take the 8mm lens, I just take the sports ones and maybe a standard.  Even if you had overlapping modern and vintage lenses the choice for a project wouldn't involve in you taking both sets.

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4 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

The Sigma SD Quattro and its kit lens, the 30mm f1.4

I'm not up to speed with the different versions in terms of whether they have changed anything over the years but this is the original F mount version.

Well now you’re just teasing me with a Leica camera in frame... shot with a Sigma Quattro... you do know I am not talented enough but am stupid enough to buy more gear, right? Seriously, don’t feed an addict. Have some compassion. Haha.

Yeah I don’t know either about the Rokinon, but I’m sure the 1.4 variants are cheaper than their T-Stop counterparts. 

With that being said, I can’t wait to see a comparison... I have a feeling there probably isn’t that much of a difference in IQ.

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16 minutes ago, mercer said:

Well now you’re just teasing me with a Leica camera in frame... shot with a Sigma Quattro... you do know I am not talented enough but am stupid enough to buy more gear, right? Seriously, don’t feed an addict. Have some compassion. Haha.

Yeah I don’t know either about the Rokinon, but I’m sure the 1.4 variants are cheaper than their T-Stop counterparts. 

With that being said, I can’t wait to see a comparison... I have a feeling there probably isn’t that much of a difference in IQ.

The Leica is there as that's what I'll be shooting it on but yeah, I shot it on the Quattro just to tease you a bit !

Hint for L mount alliance sceptics about adapting lenses will note that I'll be putting a Nikon F and a Contax C/Y lens on with cheap adapters without any issues...

I got a bit too tied up in other stuff yesterday (not least the latest episode of the Brexit omnishambles !) but I'll do some this afternoon.

I don't want to pre-empt the results but, yeah, my early messing about points in the direction of the differences not being outrageous.

Considering the Samyangs change hands on eBay for a quarter of the price of the Contax Zeiss then that might be good news for you.

As you can then put the savings towards a Leica. 

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1 hour ago, kye said:

10 is good.  Probably what matters more than how many lenses are in your cupboard is how many lenses you're lugging around when on set.  The less decisions on set the better, and the less time spent swapping between 40mm, 50mm, and 58mm lenses completely unnecessarily.

Couldn’t agree more. I think I’ve mentioned this before, probably multiple times, but I am the type of shooter that could film an entire movie with a single lens. But then I always worry I should have at least a second longer lens option. Which is another reason why I like fast 50mm lenses for that middle ground.

1 hour ago, kye said:

Even if you had overlapping modern and vintage lenses the choice for a project wouldn't involve in you taking both sets.

You raise a great point about having different sets, especially if I stick with my gut reaction of having a modern and vintage lens set. I guess as of now, my modern set is my Canon lenses and my vintage is my Zeiss QBM. It’s those damn Zeiss ZF Classics are throwing a wrench into my plans.

Another option that was kinda my original plan when I bought my 5D3 was to build a set around one fast prime and then get a zoom to cover the rest of the focal lengths. For instance, I had the Canon 24-70mm f/4 and the 35mm f/2 as my fast prime. Due to some unforeseen life circumstances I had to abandon that idea. But maybe that’s worth revisiting.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I blame you because all of your lens tests got me thinking. 

So, thanks!

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27 minutes ago, mercer said:

build a set around one fast prime and then get a zoom to cover the rest of the focal lengths.

Thats what I do with the 28-70 2.6 and the helios 58mm on a speed booster XL, although I do find myself wanting something wider sometimes 

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48 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

Considering the Samyangs change hands on eBay for a quarter of the price of the Contax Zeiss then that might be good news for you.

Indeed : ) Not even need to go to eBay. You can buy them anywhere online. From a seller I found who had the original Pocket for EUR250 to sell on OLX I bought two of them (12mm f2.0 and 85mm T1.5) last month for EUR220 the bundle, go figure! : -)

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