Featured It's official - I'm bored of modern lenses

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jonathan F/2, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. I just did a shoot this week and I tried out the Nikon 35mm 1.8 ED and 85mm 1.8 G lenses on my D750 bodies. Both look great, with sharp images and smooth OOF backgrounds, but I was thoroughly bored looking at the images. On the other hand, I shot with my A7 II with the Voigtlander 40mm 1.4 Classic on my Techart Pro AF adapter and I love the images! Not perfect but very sharp in the center with CA wide open, soft edges, sporadic bokeh, but the pictures just feel more "organic" to me and handling-wise the rig is tiny!

    Are there any lenses in the Nikon AF line up that can give me that same excitement for portrait work? I'd also consider MF lenses, since I can adapt those with AF on the Sony! Wide, tele I don't care! There's a camera show today and I want to find something to get my photo mojo going!
  2. What you need is a Noct....... :)
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  3. Why did you mention that! Haha, now you got me thinking! :p
  4. davidzvi


    Apr 30, 2005
    There's one over on Adorama, make sure to use the referral link from here when you buy it. :)
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  5. For that price I can buy five Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 Nokton lenses!
  6. davidzvi


    Apr 30, 2005
    But none would be "The Noct". ;)
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  7. Voigtlander 40mm 1.4 MC:
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    Helios 44-3 58mm f/2:
    Photo Shoot with model Dani Jae / March 26, 2017
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    I'm addicted to the way old lenses render for portraits! They're also way cheaper than any of the new, technically perfect lenses. My Helios only cost me like 50 bucks! Old is new again!
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  8. 58mm is a nice FL for me too. I consider it a wide portrait lens, like 35mm is a long wide lens!
  9. davidzvi


    Apr 30, 2005
    I keep telling my self that all the time, sometimes I even listen.
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  10. Ha!
    The Noct is/will stay a good investment. Have to agree with Rockwell on the extra air Nikon put on the circumference of the 58 1.4 just for show. They could have fit an f1.2 in that barrel.
  11. Have you tried the Nikon 58mm, f1.4? I love this lens. It's got some magic built in there.







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  12. Hi Mitchell, how are the corners on the 58mm 1.4 G? The Helios 44-3 forces me to keep everything in the center where it's sharp, but corners are definitely soft.
  13. gryphon1911


    Mar 20, 2017
    Central Ohio
    I feel and understand where you are coming from.

    I've been having a lot of fun running with my newly found love of manual focus lenses.

    I've picked up a few Nikon F-mount lenses 105/2.5, 55/3.5 micro-nikkor, mitakon 85/2 and for m43, I've gotten a Mitakon Speedmaster 25/0.95.

    As you've found, there is something about the rendering of the lenses that appeals to me quite a bit more.

    I use the terms that the modern lenses look very clinical. Not that I don't like it, but they lack soul. That is just me though.
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  14. Well, I'm no pixel peeper, so I can't really comment specifically about corner sharpness. I have not specifically noted any bothersome softness in the corners.
    I did just micro-adjust my 58mm using Reikan FoCal software. As I suspected, my copy is significantly sharper at f1.8 than at f1.4. I certainly can get decent shots at f1.4, but I now tend to shoot mostly at f1.8 given the chart below for my lens.
  15. Max Power

    Max Power

    Jan 11, 2009
    St Paul, MN
    There seems to be a trend with hobbyists embracing the old school way of capturing what is around them. From rangefinder clone cameras, to a manual focus lens revival (aided by new ML bodies and adapters) to even people that are converting everything to black and white. I mean, imagine, it took us so long to make brilliant color so easy, with full control in our hands, and people are running to black and white. I think there are a lot of reasons for this, general boredom with how good gear is now, to a yearning for when more input from the photographer was imperative, to just more thoughtful composing. Regardless, it's a thing.

    I too am interested in some of the old MF gems, but they cost money, and I have every focal length that I use covered.
  16. pforsell


    Jan 15, 2008
    How about AI 55/1.2, AI 85/1.8 or AI or AIS 105/2.5 ? Please note that AI and AIS are not the same. Many a great AI lens was turned into a cost cutting rubbish when they got "upgraded" to AIS.
  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Administrator

    Feb 25, 2017
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'm bored of modern lenses which are sharp everywhere and have perfectly circular bokeh, but a lot of them still have some swirliness and/or cat's eye, which is to my liking. The 58/1.4 looks like a real "character lens" based on the excellent samples from @Mitchell@Mitchell .
  18. You say MANY lenses were turned to rubbish when the mount, aperture were changed to AI-S. Which ones? In going quickly through the specifications of lenses I don't see many which had a change of optical formula which would indicate a change in image quality.

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  19. I obviously have some sort of sickness because I own three other 50mm lenses (f1.8, f1.4 and f1.2). While the f1.2 has nice bokeh, I'm getting too old to consistently manual focus with razor thin focal plane. The 58mm has now become my most used lens. I'm thinking of getting the new 105mm, f1.8 which has similar characteristics.
  20. Awesome! Those shots have it!