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View Poll Results: Which Canon 35mm LTM would you recommend?
35mm 2.8 Serenar 6 28.57%
35mm 2.8 black and white body 5 23.81%
35mm 1.8 black and white body 10 47.62%
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Which Canon 35mm LTM lens?
Old 04-06-2017   #1
lrochfort
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Which Canon 35mm LTM lens?

Hello all,

I'm going to buy a Canon 35mm screw mount lens to replace my Jupiter-12, but would appreciate comparisons thoughts and pictures.

I have 3 options for similar money:

35mm 2.8 Serenar
35mm 2.8 black and white body version
35mm 1.8 black and white body version

For day-to-day family shots I use "Agfa" 200 from Poundland in the UK, but for special occasions I use Portra 400. For Black and White, it's mostly Tri-X.

Opinions on contrast and suitability for colour work, and ergonomics would be much appreciated.

P.S. I think the J-12 is fantastic, particularly for the money, but I find the ergonomics of the aperture dial a pain and I often knock it out of position.

Thanks very much.
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Old 04-06-2017   #2
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The 35/2.8 Serenar and 35/2.8 black-and-chrome share the same optics, just have different barrels. I have a 35/2.8 chrome Canon (same as the Serenar) and it’s a fine lens. Construction is top-notch, classic chrome-on-brass. The newer black-on-chrome version, being aluminum, is much lighter. This lens is OK wide-open, but sharpens up nicely as you stop down. Like most 1950’s lenses, the contrast is a bit low. I use the lens primarily for B&W work now, but have several hundred Kodachrome slides I took with this lens many years back. Even today, these slides look excellent.

No comment on the faster 35/1.8. I’ve never used one.

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Old 04-06-2017   #3
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I had the early 35/2.8 and recently sold it to fund purchase of a 35/1.8. The build of the early lens can't be beat; the later ones feel like toys by comparison. I had no complaints about the 2.8 - I agree with Mackinaw's characterization of the lens. I only sold it because I found I prefer my W.Acall 35/3.5 as a slow 35.

The 1.8 seems to me to have a similar character to the 2.8, perhaps a little sharper at middle apertures. Wide open it's low contrast and a little crazy, in a good way. I like it, but in all honesty it's not really a major leap beyond the 2.8. It's worth the extra money only if you anticipate needing the extra stop or you specifically want the look it gives wide open.

This is the 1.8 wide open and into the sun (crop sensor digital, so you don't quite get the full effect in the corners):




And this is stopped down:


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Old 04-06-2017   #4
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The older chrome/brass 35/2.8 is a very solid lens. Very small, so some may not like the ergonomics. Takes 34mm filters. Front element is not deeply recessed, so a hood is recommended.
I think the newer aluminum 35/2.8 may have updated coatings. It's a bit larger, with a knurled focus ring, so you don't have to focus using the infinity lock tab if you don't like that. The aperture linkage is fairly crappy, compared to the older model of the lens. Also, the newer lens takes 40mm filters, which is a pain unless you use a Series VI adapter. The front element is pretty well recessed, so you don't really need a hood unless you mount a filter.
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Old 04-06-2017   #5
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I would pass on these three lenses and get the Canon 35/2.
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Old 04-06-2017   #6
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What Raid says.

I have the 35mm 2.0 and recently compared it to a very fine specimen of the Jupiter-12: the Canon won hands down in sharpness and contrast.

The 35mm 2.0 isn't that much more expensive if you take your time and find a nice one. They can be had for ~USD 250 off eBay, from Japan.

Mine has developed a little play and will need a re-lube with better grease, but oddly enough the movement doesn't even impact sharpness that much.
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Old 04-06-2017   #7
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I have the black and chrome f2.8. It's pretty soft in the corners from f5.6 and wider but not a bad lens (also really cheap), although the infinity lock is frustrating...

@2.8



Closed down (f8?)

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Old 04-06-2017   #8
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Chrome 35/2.8. Forgot the film, but I recall that it was developed in Microdol-X. On my L1.



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Old 04-06-2017   #9
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Thanks for the information all, it's very useful and quite reassuring really.

It sounds like I can't go too wrong with one of these lenses.

The Chrome/brass version is tempting if only for build quality but I do wonder about ergonomics.
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Old 04-06-2017   #10
lrochfort
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
I would pass on these three lenses and get the Canon 35/2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
What Raid says.

The 35mm 2.0 isn't that much more expensive if you take your time and find a nice one. They can be had for ~USD 250 off eBay, from Japan.
The f2 seems to be quite a bit more expensive, in fact it's in used M-mount Biogon C territory where I am, could you please tell me why you rate it more than the others?
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Old 04-06-2017   #11
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I had a J12 (prolly bad copy), 2 Canon 35/1.8 and one Canon 35/2
The only one of the bunch I'd buy again is the f/2 canon!
Save some more money and buy that!

another alternative might be the skopar f/2.5 but that might be not of your taste (being too modern).

I bought the f/2 for 300€ btw. keep looking!
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Old 04-06-2017   #12
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I have the 35/2.8 early Serenar style with 34mm filter thread sizing. Compact until you add a hood. The very outer edges of the far corners on this lens are just wildly awful, which makes it look older.

I also have the 35/1.8 but my copy has a fair bit of front element "cleaning" marks so it's a bit lower in contrast than what even a good copy would have. It was $60 shipped or thereabouts and I had a great time with it in Spanish full sun while playing tourist in 2015, no complaints.

Find one in good condition, or put your hands on one before as the earlier style 34mm filter thread versions are not exactly the easiest to use like the later 35/2.8 or the 35/1.8 versions are.

From what little experience I have had with a friend's 35/2, it is thoroughly more modern optic, so depends what you want the photos to look like.
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Old 04-07-2017   #13
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I had the early f/2.8 and it was a very nicely built lens as others have mentioned. I never found it difficult to use (I actually like focus knobs). Contrast wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. However, I was patient and eventually got a good deal on an f/2 (~$200) and sold the 2.8 with no regrets. If you feel you might find yourself in the same position, just be patient and wait for an f/2 to come along - it will, eventually. Otherwise, get whichever of the others you can afford. You may not be overly impressed, but you probably won't be disappointed.
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Old 04-07-2017   #14
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It is well worth trying to find a 35mm f2.0.
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Old 04-07-2017   #15
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One from many years ago. Chrome 35/2.8 on my Canon III-A. Kodachrome 64. Cropped. San Juan mountains in Colorado.



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Old 04-07-2017   #16
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Another vote for the f 2.0. The only problems I've had are from the design - it's nearly impossible to use a UV filter or a hood. Sharp, nice contrast for black and white film, and good ergonomics. Mine came with a Canon IVSB2, so I don't know how much it would have cost by itself.
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Old 04-07-2017   #17
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I've a Canon 35/2.0 LTM and it's a very good lens; Great image quality at a fraction of the cost. Only couple of things--minimum focus is ~1m IIRC, no focusing tab, and lens mounts at 1 or 2 o'clock instead of 12 noon position with 2-3 LTM adapters I tried. I bought mine off retailer with good fleabay presence. BTW, I'd be careful with Ebay Japan sellers--
at least twice I've received lenses with fungus and/or etched glass described as clean and excellent or similar; I sent them back (emails back and forth, a month+ of time, aggravation, etc.), the other just wasn't worth the effort given the cost (but still not cool). So bad that I won't buy from Japan unless it is a well-known seller, but even then, it is just not worth it to save a few dollars.
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Old 04-07-2017   #18
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Here is a link to images with the Canon 35/2 that I have taken tecently.

https://www.smugmug.com/homepage/stats/

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Old 04-07-2017   #19
lrochfort
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Thanks very much for the responses everyone.

From looking at your images and reading your comments I think any of these lenses would do me very well.

I have a deadline for an upcoming holiday, so I'll have a browse this weekend and see what I can find.
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Old 04-07-2017   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrochfort View Post
The f2 seems to be quite a bit more expensive, in fact it's in used M-mount Biogon C territory where I am, could you please tell me why you rate it more than the others?
Look at item nr. 282350437548 on eBay (now sold), which was a very decently priced good lens. It might take time but they are to be had for prices like that.

The 35/2.0 has better corner-to-corner sharpness than the other 35mm Canons and will give a Summicron a run for its money in the center when stopped down to f4.0 or smaller. Look at the image Raid posted, it is sharp all over but contrast is still pleasantly low, although it was shot in contrasty light.

Remember, contrast can be added in post-processing, but sharpness cannot be added if it's not already there in the resolution of the lens. With the 35/2.0, you basically get two lenses at once, a vintage look with low contrast and with added contrast the lens is as good as any modern (read: expensive) lens.

If not the Canon 35/2.0, I'd suggest a Komura 35/2.8 over a Canon 35mm lens.
They come in various brand names: http://www.johanniels.com/index.php/...enses-overview
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Old 04-07-2017   #21
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The Kobalux 28/2.8 is also a wonderful lens. Match it with Reala 100 film, and magic happens.
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Old 04-07-2017   #22
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So much depends on luck and the condition of the lens that, unless you are able to test the lenses yourself before purchase, you must rely on the laws of probability, plus the help of feedback.
My chrome/black 35/2.8 was a lucky purchase, coming with a VT and a chrome 135/3.5 plus a set of 7 40mm filters.
On my M6 the 35/2.8 lens is better in contrast and sharpness (at equivalent stops above f4) to my Voigtlander "M" 35/1.4 and close to the ver. 2 Summicron 35/2.0.
I hope this helps.
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Old 04-08-2017   #23
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I have used many 35mm lens in past lens comparisons during which RFF members sent me their lenses to compare. Currently, I own quite a few 35mm lenses that I enjoy using.

Summicron 35/2 V1
Summilux pre-asph 35/1.4
Canon 35/2.8, 35/2, 35/1.8, 35/1.5
Kobalux 28/3.5
Nikon 35/1.8 ltm

35mm lenses are "easy to design", and you should expect excellent performance.
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Old 04-20-2017   #24
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Hello

This is from my newly purchased Canon 35mm 2.8 on my Canon P
The film is expired Solaris 400 shot at 200IS0 and lab processed normally and lab scanned

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Old 04-20-2017   #25
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Quote:
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Hello

This is from my newly purchased Canon 35mm 2.8 on my Canon P
The film is expired Solaris 400 shot at 200IS0 and lab processed normally and lab scanned

I'm yet to try mine with colour but this looks excellent
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Old 04-26-2017   #26
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I found that fitting a 40.5mm filter improved the ergonomics of my j-12 and reduced my propensity to mis-aperture if that helps...
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Old 04-26-2017   #27
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I only have the 35mm 2.8 Serenar and have not used any others.
Here are two of my own photos taken with the Canon P and 8 year old Fuji Sensia 100.
I'm pleased with the lens and won't part with it for the sharpness and muted tones in colour.


Snack Time


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35/2.8
Old 04-27-2017   #28
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35/2.8

I do not have vast experience with these, but here's a shot from the early chrome 35/2.8. Mine came in a leather case with the finder, and it's mint.

https://flic.kr/p/U4D73j

There are some other examples in my photostream. Scans are from a cheap 5MP scanner and I will have added some contrast in Paint Shop Pro, however. I love this lens - small and solidly built.

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Old 04-27-2017   #29
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I've had them all, and I like the Canon 35/1.8 best. It has a nice look, not too old fashioned, not to antiseptic and new.



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Old 04-27-2017   #30
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I have the 35mm serenar 2.8 , good stoped down but amazing on a tube for close up work. Examples below.

http://photography.rogerlund.net/Gal...erenar-35mm-28
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Old 04-27-2017   #31
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Example with a tube

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Canon EOS-M, Fuji X-E2, Helois 44-0 Vintage, Helois 44-4, Canon FD 50mm 1.8, Jupiter 8 50mm F2, Jupiter 3 50mm F1.5, Canon Serenar 50mm 1.9, Canon 50mm 1.8 LTM, Canon Serenar 85mm F2, Leica 50mm f2 summar, E.Ludwig 50mm F2.9, Rekagon will.wetzlar 50mm 2.8,, a.schacht ulm travenar 135mm F3.5, CZJ 29mm 2.8 Hoya 28mm 2.8, CZ Tessar 50mm 2.8, MIR 37mm. 2.8, Porst Color Reflex MC 50mm 1.7, Vivitar 28mm 2.8 mc cf
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Old 04-27-2017   #32
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I am happy with my Serenar 3.5 silver body. Not really much of a low light shooter so 3.5 is fast enough for me.

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Old 04-27-2017   #33
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I would steer away from the f 3.5 35mm Serenar lens (at least my vintage). I have one and it has a haze problem. Some of our geniuses say that it is the glass that causes this. Or is it oil? I like the lens; it is small, and very well built. But I have to clean it a least every six months. I can now do this in about ten minutes. BUT it is a pain.

By the way, optically it is a not great but a very good lens:

EliteChrome Puerto Vallarta by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 5 Days Ago   #34
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Which lens did you get?
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