Author Topic: Short MF telephoto for portrait on DX?  (Read 2064 times)

Olivier

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Short MF telephoto for portrait on DX?
« on: June 11, 2015, 20:19:52 »
I am looking for a short portrait lens for my newly acquired Fuji X-T1. I guess the dedicated 56mm f/1.2 is close to ideal but I don't want to invest so much now.
On FX (D700) I find the 50 to 150 mm range OK for what I like to do and have mostly used my AF-D 50mm f/1.4 and AIS 105mm f/2.5.
adapted on the Fuji, the 50mm is a bit disappointing from f/1.4 to 2 (soft and lacking contrast although f/2 is somewhat better), it gets really better at F/2.8 but I long for someting faster, in the 50-60 focal range. Any brand will do, as long as it is more than OK around f/1.8 and easy to MF.
Any idea?
I read good things about the Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD and the Minolta 50 1.4 MC but am actually unsure there will be a serious difference vs my current 50 AFD. They would probably be easier to MF although even the AFD is surprisingly easy on the X-T1.
What about the nikkor 50 1.8 AIS?
 
I forgot to mention, I am looking for a cheap lens...

The 105mm is now a bit long but still, it performs so well even fully open on the X-T1!
I am seriously considering a Lens Turbo 2 just for this lens. Central sharpness should still be good and that's all I need.
 

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Short MF telephoto for portrait on DX?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 20:28:48 »
The Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 AIS is an overall excellent performer and pretty good even at the wider stops. Even cheaper of course is a Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 SE. If you are able to source one locally, should cost you < $ 20. Most of these lenses were used by non-professionals and thus haven't seen extensive use so will continue to work for additional decades into the future.

Erik Lund

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Re: Short MF telephoto for portrait on DX?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 20:50:19 »
The Little Leica C 40mm f/2 is gem of a lens, rather cheap for Leica and fits like a Leica M lens.
Erik Lund

Olivier

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Re: Short MF telephoto for portrait on DX?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 21:36:34 »
Thanks both. I will look for those.
But even the Series E goes for at least 50€ in France (and that's OK of curse, well into my budget)!

Thomas Stellwag

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Re: Short MF telephoto for portrait on DX?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 19:41:45 »
if you own a M42 adaptor and want to stick with 55-60mm: the Helios 44, it is 2.0  58mm russian copy of the Zeiss Biotar and is in the € 20 range with a little swirly bokeh wide open and Zeiss type of colour rendering, which is nice for portraits
another lens with imo very smooth rendering is the Zeiss/Rollei 1.8  50mm Ultron, the one with QMB mount you should get below € 100, M 42 around 130.-
only the Zeiss version with the concave front element is a real collectors item with a much higher price

the proposed Leica 2.0  40mm is a lens, that is very easy to focus (at least on my NEX, so it shouldn´t be different on your Fuji)
Thomas Stellwag

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Re: Short MF telephoto for portrait on DX?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 14:58:45 »
When I saw "DX" I assumed it is Nikon/F mount related.

Well for APS-C mirrorless, there are numerous choices.

The cheap ones are from old SLRs.  Their performance is far inferior to my liking and most sit large boxes.  Price and availability are clearly in their favor.

If you are not in a rush and are willing to look around patiently, you would find lenses that have real bite unlike the SLR variety.

Consider these:

Olympus Pen F lenses

C mount lenses (particularly Fujinon 50/75 and some no name 75mm TV lenses)

Salvaged lenses from yesteryears compact cams like Yashica, etc.

The list is literally endless.

The Speed Booster (not the knock offs) does add some juice to old Nikkors, Olympus, Canon, Minolta, Yashica, Leica R, Konica, etc SLR lenses but it can only do so much.
Vivek Iyer

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Short MF telephoto for portrait on DX?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 15:56:30 »
The Nikkor AF-S 1.8/50G is a real bargain.
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Thomas Stellwag

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Re: Short MF telephoto for portrait on DX?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 18:10:06 »
here is a pic with some lenses for size comparison, all in length with NEX adapter, so your Fuji adaptor shouldn´t be much different
if you want to go light, volume also matters, maybe this helps in your search

the lenses here are left to right
Helios 2.0 50mm , old preset version - the never ones without preset are 3-4mm shorter
Rollei (Zeiss) Color Ultron  1.8 50mm
Nikkor 1.8  50mm AIS (the one with 0.45cm short distance)
Konica Hexanon  1.8  40mm  - i forgot in my previous post to mention it, a very cheap way to get a compact lens
Leica   Summicron  C  2.0  40mm, here with a step up ring to use std filters and sunshades

if you go into the price range of the Leica, there is another candidate, the Tessar 2.8 45mm  pancake, similiar size mounted as the Konica, but i just do not find it in my glass heap

the Helios does not absolutely need a shun shade, it is built with a "long  tunnel". The others need sunshades what adds to the shown size

...edit:  sometimes for portraits you do not have the 1m distance you normally need for RF lenses, so be aware, that f.e. in a restaurant the finest Leica style lens will cause you to leave your position, where you easily can stay with a lens going down to 0.5 - 0.7m

Thomas Stellwag

Olivier

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Re: Short MF telephoto for portrait on DX?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2015, 20:21:38 »
Thanks everyone, this is very helpful. It will keep me busy researching all these lenses.
The Helios 44 was already on my radar, I just don't know how serious it is as a lens... Anyway the investment is very modest and The swirly bokey is fun. Fun is good!
Vivek: do the Pen F lenses cover the APS-C format?

In the meantime, I have purchased and received a Lens turbo 2 and have started experimenting with the AIS 105 f/2.5. So far so good, or at least good enough for my use (portraits).