Manual lenses, anyone?

@heckflosse Interesting. I don’t end up using the 24 very often to be honest. I also own a Nikkor 35mm f2.8 and I absolutely fell in love with the focal length feel. It just gives a lovely and ideal perspective with little distortion, unless one gets ridiculously close. Oh and to mention you can get really close with it too and it still focuses. I totally recommend it!

What you said about the 50 sounds amazing! I have the Nikon 50 f1.8, and it’s alright. Unfortunately nothing more than just alright. It’s neat for portraits because if the lack of distortion, and the bokeh at 1.8 if you can deal with the softness, but I end up backing up a few extra feet and going for the contrastier filmy feel of the Nikon 105 f2 micro. Knowing that the afghan girl (picture below) photo was taken with it makes me feel like I’m more likely to produce something useful with it (and every now and then it happens).

I also had the Nikon 50 f1.8 until I gave it to @Morgan_Hardwood. It’s a nice lens, but the Ais 50mm/1.2 really is much better from f2.0 upwards. It’s my most beloved lens on my D700.


Just sayin’.

(I also have a Hasselblad 80/2.8 C and 50/4 CF non-FLE, the latter of which is taking the photo.)


I have several old manual lenses: OM Zuiko 50/3.5 Macro, 135/2.8, 50/1.8; CZJ Pancolar 50/1.8, Nikkor Ai 200/4, Helios 44-2 58/2 (silver, with cyrillic letters). I also had (among other manual lenses) a CZJ Flektogon 35/2.4 and a Nikkor Ai-s 24/2.8 (they were excellent lenses, but I sold them since the focal length does not make sense on my new camera).
Today, I use the 50/3.5 Macro the most often, and the 135/2.8 - excellent lenses on MFT.
You can see many photos with these lenses on my Flickr photo stream:
Though recently, I mainly used the ultrawide lens. I do not always edit the exif with exiftool in order to insert the manual lenses name - so you need to guess the lens.
So I have plenty of experience with manual lenses. I can highly recommend them, especially the Zuikos and the Nikkors and the CZJs.

I too use have a good number of manual lenses, but since i’ve bought a Fuji with a cheap double kit (16-50mm 3.5-5.6 and 50-230mm 4.5-6.7) more for fun or depth of field control than for sharpness.

With focus peaking it’s also with easy to focus them.

I have submitted lensfun data for almost all of them.

I used to own two Samyangs, too: the 16mm f/2 and the 35mm f/1.4. Had to sell the former when I moved to FF, but it was rarely used even before. The latter is my favorite lens which I take with me on every holiday. Most of my best shots were taken with it (also the panorama I shared in my first post ever here). A manual lens slows you down, this is why the shots are often better. I have no problems nailing down the focus with the 10x magnifier in LV (given enough time :wink:).

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Be careful with the 35/1.4.

I had it at one time and it broke from dropping one foot onto my bed; the internals were not strong enough to support that large a mass of glass inside.

Thanks, @CarVac. I know, the build quality isn’t stellar. As I’m finicky with my gear it has survived so far. :smile:

I have a samyang 35 so thanks for the tip @CarVac.
I also have a 58mm (I think) f2 Helios from an old Russian “Zenit” SLR. Some of these are known for their bokeh which forms a swirl at the right apertures. Here are a few pics -

It would be nice if cameras allowed you to dial in the focal length and aperture into the EXIF when it was a manual lens.

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Nikon (semi-)pro cams allow that. You can even store some presets und use a function key to quickly switch between them.

Also the Fuji’s have this. But only for focal length, not for aperture values.

One idea I have seen somewhere was to keep notes of the aperture (and other data you want to save) together with the time and put them later in EXIF. Of course an app will be perfect for this, but I do not know of any yet that can do all of this.

The pro Canikons have voice notes. I haven’t actually tried this though with my 1Ds3.

I just always remember what lenses go with which photo just by look and from memory, even down to which aperture I used. And then I manually tag the lens on Flickr.

@RawConvert gosh I love the bokeh on that! could you provide the full size ones for usage as wallpaper :stuck_out_tongue: ?

They only listen to the pros, not the rest of us. :joy_cat:

Won’t you get sick of the baked beans? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: Maple syrup is my favourite flavour.

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@afre I meant the blue and the green bokeh pictures :stuck_out_tongue: and I absolutely love maple syrup. luckily it’s relatively cheap (compared to other places) here in Canada :slight_smile:

hi @stefan.chirila, here they are plus one more - (18.2 MB)

I tried to do 16bit tiffs but it’s rather big, so it’s jpegs. Enjoy!

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P.S. The green was a bush, the blue was stone chippings, the beans from a supermarket.

@RawConvert hanks a lot :slight_smile: I sometimes enjoy setting my background to some blurry mess of a solid colour. I’m not even sure myself why, but it helps clear the clutter in my mind

Olympus has had this since the 4/3rds E-System.

On the OM-D E-M1 Mark II (at least), you can program in an arbitrary name, focal length, and maximum aperture, for up to ten lenses. Then you can select any of them from a simple list.

I just wish there were more than ten slots. When you add a speed booster and a tele-extender, the combinatorial gets out-of-hand quickly. :slight_smile:

I still shoot film from time to time, so I still own and use old Auto-Nikkor (Pre-AI) lenses in 35/2, 50/1.4 and 105/2.5. The 105 is a great lens, but I don’t use any of them on my digital body anymore