View Full Version : Affordable 2/50
I recently got a cheap working Hexar RF body.
I am looking for an affordable standard lens for it.
I tend to shoot at f/5.6-11, and I prefer to carry just one lens and one camera at a time, so a 2/50 seems to be a logical choice for me. I shoot mostly b/w film, but good coating would be an advantage anyway, so a MC lens will be preferred.
I don't like Russian lenses (no offense intended).
I'd rather choose a "native" M-mount variant, but an attractive "adapted" alternative may be considered as well.
Say, I could shell out some $350 for a lens that matches the above description. Which one would you guys recommend, and why?
Thanks in advance!
You could get a Canon 50/1.8 LTM for about $150 and spend the rest on film. This lens is compact, sharp, well constructed, flare-resistant (for a vintage lens), the later versions have nice coatings, just wonderful. And it's easy to find -- check KEH or Adorama. (If you want to spend $275 or so, you can get a Canon 50/1.4, which is also a great lens, though not nearly as compact as the 50/1.8.)
You could probably get a decent Summicron 50/2 collapsible for $350 if you look around. I've never had one, but by all accounts it's a great lens, and I have the Rigid version which is awesome.
If you like a Sonnar-type lens, you could get a Nikkor 50/2 in LTM in your price range. That's also a wonderful lens, very sharp in the center even wide open, good contrast/bite. Great for portraits. (If you hunt and wait, you could conceivably find a Nikkor 50/1.4 for $350, but they're usually a bit pricier than that. Or a Canon 50/1.5, but those are really hard to come by and usually more than $350 for a clean one.)
If you're willing to give up a bit of speed, the Voigtlander 50/2.5 LTM is an extremely compact lens, sharp stopped down a bit, very solidly built, for under $300. For similar money, you could also get a vintage Elmar 50/2.8 collapsible in M mount, which is a truly great, classic lens with great sharpness and a distinctive look to it imaging.
Of course there are many other good 50mm lenses around, but I think these would be the top contenders in your price range.
For $350 you're not likely to find an M mount 50 other than old Leitz products. Plenty of screw mount options. If using just one lens, new probably makes more sense than old. The lens that comes to mind is the CV Nokton 50/1.5.
For a little more (around the US$450 mark) you could get an M-Hexanon 50mm/f2 that's a very good lens and literally made for the camera. If that's $100 too far, I'd second the recommendation of the Canon 50mm/f1.8 and LTM adaptor. That Canon is a nice little lens.
One more vote for the Canon (or Serenar) 50/1.8! The CV Nokton 50/1.5 is an excellent lens as well, but much bigger and heavier.
Get a Nokton 50/1.5 with a LTM>>M adapter. Once you've spent a couple of seconds screwing on the adapter you can forget that the lens was ever a screw mount.
If buying an older Canon/Nikon lens you're at the mercy of whatever it has been through in the past 40-50 years.
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