Old Lenses - Thinking Aloud

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Toni
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No so. Around that time the well known and respected Vivitar branded 70/210 F4 constant aperture was on sale. I have one and it is quite a good lens on my Minoltas. as were the 70/210 lenses by Minolta, Canon and the SP version of the Tamron that was probably the best of the bunch. All were either F4 or F3.5 constant aperture.

The Vivitar was not made by them there were several versions made by Komine, Cosina, and Tokina. You can tell who made the lens by looking at and comparing the serial number. Mine is a Cosina made optic. Some were better than others, By repute the Cosina versions were the best of the bunch. I don't remember the website that has the details but start by googling the name of the lens and expand on that.
Interesting. Perhaps they did it because it was cheaper to make?
 
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John King
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Interesting. Perhaps they did it because it was cheaper to make?
Do you mean the others made them for Vivitar? Again not so, Vivitar was a brand marketing name. they never made lenses, they were made by others.

They marketed a number of other zoom lenses under the Series 1 Vivitar label and I also have one of those, a 28/90 F2.8/4. Who the maker was in this case I have no idea, but I do know it is a damn fine lens, although a little prone to flare. It is easily as sharp as the prime lenses of the day when stopped down to F4.5 and higher. The also made a 28/105 Ser 1 which was actually quite poor.

I have just done a search using:- Vivitar 70/210 series 1 lens who made them. I brings up a lot of information, Even Ken Rockwell has a bit to say about them.
 
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Do you mean the others made them for Vivitar? Again not so, Vivitar was a brand marketing name. they never made lenses, they were made by others.

They marketed a number of other zoom lenses under the Series 1 Vivitar label and I also have one of those, a 28/90 F2.8/4. Who the maker was in this case I have no idea, but I do know it is a damn fine lens, although a little prone to flare. It is easily as sharp as the prime lenses of the day when stopped down to F4.5 and higher. The also made a 28/105 Ser 1 which was actually quite poor.

I have just done a search using:- Vivitar 70/210 series 1 lens who made them. I brings up a lot of information, Even Ken Rockwell has a bit to say about them.
You misunderstand me - I'm suggesting a 75-150 lens was made for a reason the maker found compelling at the time. Either they were unable to make a top quality 3X zoom, even if Vivitar branded zooms were OK, or there was a larger margin in that lens, or they could just be made smaller to fit their system better. If there are other people making decentish 70-210 zooms, probably at lower cost than a name brand, then the name brand would need a very good reason to be selling a more limited product. I can't believe they just made that range just *because* it was quirky.

I remember the series 1 lenses, and they had a good rep at the time - probably a better lens than the 70-210 f4 Nikon put out (I've had one, it's not great).
 
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It tickles me that Pentax did seem to do such odd focal lengths among their zooms. I mean, whoever heard of a 75 - 150? :D You've got to love them really.

I'll be in touch. ;)
I have a Kiron 75-150 F4. lovely little lens and weighs about half as much as my Minolta 70-210 and Canon 80-200 L
 
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Plain Nev
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You misunderstand me - I'm suggesting a 75-150 lens was made for a reason the maker found compelling at the time. Either they were unable to make a top quality 3X zoom, even if Vivitar branded zooms were OK, or there was a larger margin in that lens, or they could just be made smaller to fit their system better. If there are other people making decentish 70-210 zooms, probably at lower cost than a name brand, then the name brand would need a very good reason to be selling a more limited product. I can't believe they just made that range just *because* it was quirky.

I remember the series 1 lenses, and they had a good rep at the time - probably a better lens than the 70-210 f4 Nikon put out (I've had one, it's not great).
It would have been a marketing decision for sure. It only seems strange now perhaps by virtue of the sheer volume of production compared to today.
 
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My favoured brand of legacy lenses is Tamron AD2, especially the SP premium series. For those who don't already know, the same lens could be fully coupled to almost any film SLR and later versions even offered shutter priority auto exposure with the appropriate bodies. It seems almost odd that the same technique isn't possible with AF digitals where the interface is purely electronic.

Here are a few of mine with my D600: (clockwise) 24mm, 17mm, 90mm Macro (on camera) and 300mm...

Tamron Lenses with Nikon D600 GX7 P1140566.jpg
 
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Plain Nev
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Ah, the Adaptall mount. I've got one on my Tamron 80 - 210. Good idea really. I suppose you could technically manufacture the one lens and just add an appropriate adapter.
 
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I suppose you could technically manufacture the one lens and just add an appropriate adapter.
That's exactly what Tamron did. If you mean that it could be done for AF lenses, then I think the problems are legal and commercial, rather than technical.
.
 
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Plain Nev
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I think so. You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between this and a modern lens, I think. It does seem to warm up the colour a little. I actually shot those in Fuji's Classic Chrome, which is said to be cooler. There doesn't seem to be much evidence of it though.
 
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Plain Nev
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I took a few with Provia, and that looked like a well saturated Velvia. So Classic Chrome is the new Provia. :D

On another note. I'm wondering what you tell your lens mount if you are using a zoom? Prime's are fine. You just select your focal length and you are good to go.
 
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I took a few with Provia, and that looked like a well saturated Velvia. So Classic Chrome is the new Provia. :D

On another note. I'm wondering what you tell your lens mount if you are using a zoom? Prime's are fine. You just select your focal length and you are good to go.
Having read differing opinions - none of which I’ve ever spent time trying to prove/disprove - I‘ve opted to set lens FL for IS purposes, to the lowest FL offered by the lens. So when using my Minolta 70-210, I tell the Sony that I’ve got a 70mm lens on board.
The only exception I can recall is taking this lens motor racing & shooting from a favourite spot - setting it at 120mm because I just knew I didn’t want to go wider at that position. The problem with this, though, is that you move on round the circuit and then forget you set Ito to 120mm!
Other users say they set the IS at the mid point of the zoom.
Unless for focus critical work - which mine never is - I’ll be stickIng with my option.
The only thing I wouldn’t be doing is to tell the IS that the lens is 210mm and then shoot away at 70mm!!
 
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One thing I found, though in a rather extreme situation, was setting the IS for 500mm and then mounting a 28mm lens made the image jump around all over the place.
 
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Plain Nev
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Neville
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IBIS isn't a problem on my XT3, but yes, I have heard a zoom can muck it up if you have the wrong focal length. It's desperately trying to compensate.

It is me, by the way. I've changed my name to protect the innocent. :D
 
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Plain Nev
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Old Helios lenses are great, they give beautiful bokeh. Adapter needed of course.
They have a bit of a cult following. One of those you think you ought to get, just to try really.
 
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Plain Nev
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One thing I found, though in a rather extreme situation, was setting the IS for 500mm and then mounting a 28mm lens made the image jump around all over the place.
I've been thinking about this, and it seems to me that it's only an issue with stabilisation. Now I am thinking aloud, but could it be that selecting the correct lens mounting is purely so that your camera can assign the correct Exif (?) data to your picture?
 
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I've been thinking about this, and it seems to me that it's only an issue with stabilisation. Now I am thinking aloud, but could it be that selecting the correct lens mounting is purely so that your camera can assign the correct Exif (?) data to your picture?
Yes, stabilisation has to match the focal length, and that's completely independant of lens make or mount. If you want the camera to write info into the exif data then you'll need to tell it what you want it to write. Personally I don't care about exif for a purely mechanical lens.
 
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Lee
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I've used many different 50mm lenses and I never noticed any optical difference between them. :wideyed:
You aren't looking close enough ;) lol

But without two lenses used at the same time, same place, same focus distance etc it's hard to prove/disprove I guess. I've certainly used different lenses which give a different 'look'
 
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Yes, stabilisation has to match the focal length, and that's completely independent of lens make or mount. If you want the camera to write info into the exif data then you'll need to tell it what you want it to write. Personally I don't care about exif for a purely mechanical lens.
I'm inclined to agree. My train of thought is that there should be no issue with using a zoom in that case. Well, I will do anyway. I just wanted to make sure I have it straight first. :p
 
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I've used many different 50mm lenses and I never noticed any optical difference between them. :wideyed:
Not a 'personal' remark, but maybe you've always used middle-of-the-road ordinary 50mm lenses that always perform OK with no particular qualities to them? I've had 4 different 50s (if I include the Zeiss 55) on my A7, and all of them give a different appearance to pictures:
Minolta A mount AF 50 f1.7 is a boring middle of the road 50 that's just sharp enough, tolerable bokeh, functional and similar to any other nifty fifty.
Sony/Minolta A mount AF 50 f1.4 has coma by the bucketful wide open, and gives a beautifully smooth, almost glowing rendering with soft corners and smooth bokeh when wide open.
Samyang 50 f1.4 FE had wafer-thin DoF at f1.4, fantastic subject separation and a very neutral rendering - I'd love another.
Zeiss 55 f1.8 FE is sharp enough to cut, even at f1.8, and at f2.8 is incredibly detailed right out to the corners, very neutral, very contrasty.

Example of the Sony 50 f1.4 - the glow is all the lens.
Yamaha SR500 2 by Toni Ertl, on Flickr

Exampl of the Samyang 50 f1.4 FE
Dance on the wind by Toni Ertl, on Flickr

Example of the 55 f1.8
Moonlight shadow 2 by Toni Ertl, on Flickr
 
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Mike
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I've been thinking about this, and it seems to me that it's only an issue with stabilisation. Now I am thinking aloud, but could it be that selecting the correct lens mounting is purely so that your camera can assign the correct Exif (?) data to your picture?
Lens mounting is largely irrelevant with EXIF. Some adapters have chips that can be programmed to show EXIF data for the lens, but if the adapter is programmed to show the lens as a 50mm f/4 & you mount a 200mm f/2.8 on it the EXIF will still say 50mm f/4. Unless you dedicate an adapter to each lens this is fairly useless. there are a few smart adapters that will pass on EXIF details from newer lenses, but most legacy lenses have nothing to pass on.

Any camera I have that has IBIS allows the focal length to be entered manually. This can be a bit of a pain, & can make a right mess of things if you fail to change (back) it appropriately. Yes I've set IBIS for 500mm for use with a mirror lens & then tried using the camera with a 50mm :oops: :$ Fortunately in this case it was immediately obvious, but it's not so easy to spot changing between more normal focal lengths.

Far more important than the EXIF values reported for the lens, are the dimensions of the adapter. I have a few that are for macro only as they are too long for the lens to focus & got one for an ultra wide angle lens only to find I had to move the focus ring to the minimum mark & close down the aperture to get infinity close to focus. This adapter turned out to be ~0.5mm shorter than the theoretical length to convert between the two mounts & the very short focal length made this into a major issue.
 
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maybe you've always used middle-of-the-road ordinary 50mm lenses that always perform OK with no particular qualities to them?
Some of the 50mm lenses I've used: Canon F1.8 and f1.4; Leica Summicron and Elmar; Meyer Optik Oreston; Minolta f1.8; Nikon f2, f1.8 and f1.4; Olympus f1.8; Pentax f2, f1.8 and f1.4; Zeiss Sonnar (post war) and the Soviet Jupiter 12 derivative of the Sonnar.

At the end of the day, any minor differences will be submerged in the real world differences of camera shake, focus errors, processing and printing of film or different sensor programming and response. Here are film shots taken with different 50mm lenses. No prizes for guessing the identity of the lens used for the first one...

Self Portrait with Nikon F.jpg

Praktica Nova 1977_04_18.jpg

Pentacon FM 67-9011.JPG

Nikon F 1969_Arbitrary_1_14.jpg
 
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I'm using an e series nikkor 50mm currently adapted to my fuji and its pretty awful. Lots of flare, ghosting, lack of contrast and a general soft feeling which lacks any detail resolution. I've certainly used 50's which are a lot better. Maybe spotting a bad one is easier than differences between mid range ones.
 
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John King
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I have been using Tamron lenses for perhaps 35 years now. There has not been a bad one although some were better than others. There was a short zoom, I think it was something like 24/40SP which I had an adapter to use it on a Leica R4 and this lens was astounding. All the tele lenses from the 90mm macro through the 135, 200 and 300 were very very good. The 28/ F2.5 was also as good as any other contemporary wide angle, but the 1st version of the 24mm was not good, but rectified when the 2nd version was sold.

I still have a few even today a 90mm macro with the 1-1 tube and a 2x SP converter and what camera bag is complete without one of the 80/200 zooms, all fitted with an adpter for my Minolta XM and XE1.

Another of the zooms, the 28/80 was also very good but subject to an awful lot of barrel distortion when at the tele setting changing to pincushion at the other end. So long as your subject didn't have any straight lines it was very good. If there ws one common fault with the longer lenses was the weight! The 200 F3.3 especially, should have come with a body building course!
 
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Lots of flare, ghosting, lack of contrast and a general soft feeling which lacks any detail resolution.
It seems that you've got a bad specimen there. The one I used for a year or so showed none of those flaws.
 
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It seems that you've got a bad specimen there. The one I used for a year or so showed none of those flaws.
I may well have a bad one, it looks like it has a bit of fungus in it too, so I'm only using it until I purchase something else at that focal length.
 
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IIRC the e series were budget lenses with inferior coatings, although I'd thought the 50 was meant to be the best of the series.
 
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Some of the 50mm lenses I've used: Canon F1.8 and f1.4; Leica Summicron and Elmar; Meyer Optik Oreston; Minolta f1.8; Nikon f2, f1.8 and f1.4; Olympus f1.8; Pentax f2, f1.8 and f1.4; Zeiss Sonnar (post war) and the Soviet Jupiter 12 derivative of the Sonnar.

At the end of the day, any minor differences will be submerged in the real world differences of camera shake, focus errors, processing and printing of film or different sensor programming and response. Here are film shots taken with different 50mm lenses. No prizes for guessing the identity of the lens used for the first one...
And I quite agree - even any quite major differences would be hard to see in those pictures apart from the one taken with a Practica in '77, but I couldn't have told you which lens you used because in every case technique and process overwhelmingly influenced those pictures compared with lens type.
 
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Plain Nev
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From what I’ve read - a well regarded lens.
It really is a beauty. I think they were fitted as standard to just about every Pentax at the time. You can pick them up quite reasonably today. Although it's roughly equivalent to 75mm on a crop sensor and you have to stand back a bit. :D
 
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Not a 'personal' remark, but maybe you've always used middle-of-the-road ordinary 50mm lenses that always perform OK with no particular qualities to them? I've had 4 different 50s (if I include the Zeiss 55) on my A7, and all of them give a different appearance to pictures:
Minolta A mount AF 50 f1.7 is a boring middle of the road 50 that's just sharp enough, tolerable bokeh, functional and similar to any other nifty fifty.
Sony/Minolta A mount AF 50 f1.4 has coma by the bucketful wide open, and gives a beautifully smooth, almost glowing rendering with soft corners and smooth bokeh when wide open.
Samyang 50 f1.4 FE had wafer-thin DoF at f1.4, fantastic subject separation and a very neutral rendering - I'd love another.
Zeiss 55 f1.8 FE is sharp enough to cut, even at f1.8, and at f2.8 is incredibly detailed right out to the corners, very neutral, very contrasty.

Example of the Sony 50 f1.4 - the glow is all the lens.
Yamaha SR500 2 by Toni Ertl, on Flickr

Exampl of the Samyang 50 f1.4 FE
Dance on the wind by Toni Ertl, on Flickr

Example of the 55 f1.8
Moonlight shadow 2 by Toni Ertl, on Flickr
Beautiful photos!
 
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Plain Nev
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Neville
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Took delivery of a couple of old Fuji lenses today. A 35mm and a 42 - 75 with M42 thread. I know very little about old Fuji lenses except that they look to be excellent quality and command a good price on eBay. Although, I didn't pay anything like those prices fortunately.
 
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