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Canon Rangefinders - Peter Dechert and Peter Kitchingman Peter Dechert is best known for his Canon Rangefinder, Canon SLR, and Olympus Pen books, the latter two long out-of-print. He was a monthly columnist for many years for SHUTTERBUG magazine, and has contributed to many others. Most recently he has written about the pre-WW2 Zeiss 35mm cameras, but his interests in camera equipment and optics are many and varied. As a pro protographer and honorary life member of ASMP, Peter is also expert in using the gear! Peter Kitchingman - author of Canon Rangefinder Lens book Peter Kitchingman's 'Canon M39 Rangefinder Lenses 1939-71' book is the definitive source on these very interesting optics. His interests also go to the entire Canon Rangefinder system and beyond.

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Old 08-16-2008   #41
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This is a thread that should not end.

I have added a Canon 85mm/1.5 to my Canon set of lenses, and I am tempted to get a Canon 100mm/2.0 if I get the cash from selling something quickly.

What have been your latest additions and subtractions?
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Old 08-23-2008   #42
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Quote:
1. Among the Canon RF lenses that you've actually used, which one or ones gave you the most satisfaction so far as results were concerned?
I own the 85/2 and the 135/3.5, both excellent lenses, but my 85 must be defective. It produces crisp contrasty images. Definitely a keeper.
Quote:
4. If you are a serious Canon collector, what lenses are you proudest to own?
I'm not a serious collector, but my 85mm is marked MIOJ, which is abig deal. (or so I'm told)
Quote:
5. And, among the ones you don't own, which ones would you like to add?
the 28/2.8, and the 85/1.5 just for fun.
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Old 08-23-2008   #43
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MIOJ is not necessarily a symbol for rarity in lenses or cameras.
It certainly makes the item old.
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Old 08-23-2008   #44
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My favorite (and most-used) lens is the Canon 50/1.5. I love the look from this lens for portraiture at wide apertures.
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Old 08-23-2008   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedmonds View Post
My favorite (and most-used) lens is the Canon 50/1.5. I love the look from this lens for portraiture at wide apertures.
Agreed. This lens is also very good stopped down. In fact, it could serve as an all-purpose 50. It renders color images very well, IMO.
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Old 08-23-2008   #46
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I have been toying with the idea of getting such a lens, but when I tried a Canon 50/1.4, I found myself not anymore wanting a Canon 50/1.5. Maybe this is also because I have a nice J-3 LTM and CM, which are 50/1.5 Sonnar lenses. I also have a Zeiss Opton 5cm/1.5 that is very sharp. Somewhere, it is better to stop adding lenses and to use what I have.
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Old 08-23-2008   #47
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Did you get the 100/2 yet ?
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Old 08-23-2008   #48
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Cant say that I tried that many Canons, but I have a love 50/1.2 and had and didnt care for - Canon 85/1.9. IMO J-9, Nikkor 85/2 are much better.
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Old 08-23-2008   #49
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Quote:
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Did you get the 100/2 yet ?
I am undecided, Roland.
Mark's super buy threw a curveball at us!
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Old 09-03-2008   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedmonds View Post
My favorite (and most-used) lens is the Canon 50/1.5. I love the look from this lens for portraiture at wide apertures.
This is my favorite Canon lens at the moment. Love the handling and the images that it produce.

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Old 09-03-2008   #51
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i like 28/3.5 as it produces the results i want.
i also have 50/1.2 but i find the results is ok but the lens size&weight are not in favour.
Now patiently waiting for 135/3.5 to arrive and I can try it!
Next lens should be 50/1.5 (got the "buy" poison from benny for this lens!)
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Old 04-11-2009   #52
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I have a couple of Canon bodies, a IV and a 7 {picked up last month in Tokyo for $90! - and the meter works). I just thought I should get the correct brand body for my Canon lenses! Ordered some more Canon 7's and a P from Japan for future delivery too. At the moment they are cheap.
Lenses currently: Serenar 35f3.5 flares and not that great!
Canon 35f1.8 bl/cr Good lens, maybe not super sharp - but works fine.
Canon 35mm f2.0 . I have always liked this lens - small and compact and really a good performer - at least in bl/w.
Canon 50f1.2 - a bit big and ponderous and prone to flare - but I like it. As per usual - it has oil on the blades and needs a cleaning (spring clean 2009 maybe).
Canon 85f1.9 crome. Oh boy is it heavy - but quite nice - similar to the Summarex/Nikon 85's f1.5. And just like those - you need a hood on it.
I will probably try to find a 50f1.4 again. Liked that lens and foolishly traded it off long time ago.
I did have the 100f2 - better than the big Bertha Summicron 90f2 from the 60's - but somehow I did not like its performance anyway and traded it away.
Oh, one day I will probably pick up one of the 25's too - I have a 25f4 in Nikon Rf mount so one in Canon screw mount would fit quite well into my 'stash".
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Old 05-05-2009   #53
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got a canon 7s for myself, but it just doesn't see much use and am considering selling it... question: i have the 50/1.2, how does one calbrate it? i've seen shots with it wide open that are tack sharp, were they calibrated?
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Old 06-09-2009   #54
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I have several old Canon lens that never had a CLA and focus was never an issue. Loss of sharpness is sometimes due to dirt/fungus, or a rangefinder that is out of alignment or (rarely), a need for the lens to be re-shimmed. If the lens is never sharp on any camera, the fault lies with the lens. If you see no problems with the glass when shining a strong light through it, maybe it does need a CLA. There are lots of people who can do that for not a lot of money. The Canon 50/1.2 is very popular lately, and they garner high price-tags. Well worth the cost of a CLA, if needed. IMHO
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Old 06-30-2009   #55
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Canon lenses

Right now I have 5 Canon lenses. 19LTM, 25, 35 f1.8, 50 f1.4, and the newest to me a 50 f1.2. All are great for B&W but I only have the right filters for the 19 and 50 1.2 to use them with my M8. Since I seem to using the M8 most of the time. I'm going to use the 25, 35 & 50 f1.8 with the Kodachrome that I have stashed before the processing runs out. Wonderful old lenses that just keep going and going.
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Old 10-07-2009   #56
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My Canon 35/2.0 is my favorite B&W 35, the Canon 50/1.8 perhaps even beats out my Canon 50/1.4 - I also have the 28/3.5 that is excellent, if a bit slow. Likewise the Canon 100/3.5 - wishing they were just a tad faster...
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Old 10-31-2009   #57
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I like the later black lenses. I have the 19mm F3.5, the 35mm F2, the 50mm F1.2, and the 85mm F1.5. Like them all and have used all of them quite a bit this last year. Also have Peter's book

I would like to find a nice clean 35mm F1.5 for a reasonable price, although I will be keeping the 35mm F2.
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Old 10-31-2009   #58
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I recently bought a Canon 35mm/1.8 from a fellow RFF member. When that lens arrives I'll have all that I ever wanted. A clean, nicely working Canon P and three classic Canon lenses: 35mm/1.8, 50mm/1.4 and 100mm/3.5.
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Old 10-31-2009   #59
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My responses in October 2009 aredifferent from what they were three years ago.

1. Among the Canon RF lenses that you've actually used, which one or ones gave you the most satisfaction so far as results were concerned?

Canon FL 19mm 3.5 [same as RF version].


2. Which was least satisfactory: that is, if any were?



3. If you have a camera collection that includes one or two Canons, which lens or lenses would you most like to display with them? Why?




Canon 85mm 1.5 : very impressive looking
Canon 50mm/1.5: very classy

4. If you are a serious Canon collector, what lenses are you proudest to own?

I am still not a collector.

5. And, among the ones you don't own, which ones would you like to add?


100mm 2.0

6. Finally, I'll ask you a question that you keep asking me, in one way or another: during the 1950-1960 period, what manufacturers made the "best" lenses for 35mm photography?


Zeiss, Leica, Canon,Nikon

(My answer to that one is, in no order of ranking, Zeiss, Nikon, and Canon.)
So what do you all think?
Peter[/quote]
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Old 11-02-2009   #60
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Hmm.. the 35/2.0 I guess. But I like them all, really. I prefer them over their modern CV counterparts, actually. I should sell my CV 35s.
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Old 01-11-2016   #61
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It is time to bring this thread back to life here. There are currently at least two active threads about Canon 35/1.8 and 35/2.0 and comparsions with the V1 Summicron ....

I had a Canon 100/2 briefly, but I sold it. I have too many other excellent tele lenses, such as the Summilux 75/1.4 and the Nikkor 85mm and 105mm ...
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Old 01-11-2016   #62
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I have three Canon lenses that can deliver wonderful results. The 28mm f3.5, tiny with a good finder, 35mm f1.5 and a 100mm f3.5. All are wonderful and that from a person who doesn't really like Canon. I've used Nikon and Leica for too many years. Canon has had about five different lens mounts in my life time but they do make good lenses and can often be found at a good price. Joe
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Old 01-11-2016   #63
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I still have these Canon lenses;
19mm 3.5 (without RF focusing)
35mm 1.5 -- 1.8 -- 2.0 -- 2.8
50mm 1.2 -- 1.4 -- 1.5 -- 1.8
100mm 3.5
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Old 01-11-2016   #64
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since I have been active in the mentioned recent threads about the 35mm Canon LTM lenses..:
I have the 1.8/35, 2/35, 1.4/50, 1.5/50, 1.8/50 Serenar and black, 1.8/85, 1.9/85, 2/100, 3.5/100 silver and black versions and the 3.5/135

Collecting these Canon RF lenses has been a different experience than collecting Takumars which almost sure will come in good working order. Specially when buying a black 1.8/50 and 3.5/100 chances are that the lens will have a milky inner element that more or less strongly impacts IQ negatively and which often can't be repaired. I bought 3 of these lenses to have one that is just almost clean. Those that can be cleaned usually will need opening and cleaning again and again. But they need a shorter adapter for my mirrorless cams and generally are smaller and ..also handle quite well and that has made me collect and lately choose them over my Takumars. I also prefer the aperture ring at the front of the lens. ( early Takumars have that too )

Most lenses I have used too little yet to say much definite, here my trial:
The 1.4/50 has impressed me above all with colours, also good sharpness and contrast
The 1.8/85 and 2/100 are very good, impressive performers, sharp from wide open, contrasty. But I rarely use teles and if so prefer smaller and lighter ones. The 3.5/100 definitely would qualify, but because for long I have not had a good copy I rather have been using the very good M-Rokkor 4/90 and Pen-F 3.5/100. And then there is the issue that I usually focus wide open and that changing aperture on these Canon tele lenses offsets the focus. I don't like that, actually fixed my lenses so that they wouldn't do that, but it makes operation a bit 'less certain'. The 3.5/135 also is real fabulous though!
The Serenar 1.9/85 is very sharp from wide open too and has, let's say, very unusual bokeh. More often this may disturb but I like lenses with individual drawing and that can be used to it's advantage too. I am looking forward to that!
My Serenar 1.8/50 is clean and may outperform my black copies, but it's very heavy and therefore I rather have used the black which is ok, but more grabbed a lovely Topcor-S f2/5cm, a wonderful lens.
Best I know the 2 35mm and I had shared my view in the thread comparing the two. They are quite distinct, the f1.8 is unique and interesting, the f2 more conventional but in numbers sure outscoring the 1.8 and more universally useable.
The f1.5/50 is one of the lenses I have been looking forward most. It has not grabbed me as much as wished and I have not been using it all that much yet, well, I have too many lenses..but already it has given me a few images that I like and I shall use it more
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Old 01-11-2016   #65
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I've got several but my favorite is the 50/1.4 which lives on my M3.
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Old 01-11-2016   #66
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My experience with Canon LTM lenses so far:

25/3.5 -- Love it, keeping it.
28/3.5 -- Very good lens; had black version, sold it, now have chrome version, probably keep it.
28/2.8 -- Very good lens, better ergonomics than the 28/3.5 chrome, but too many 28s right now, will sell.
35/2.8 -- Very good lens; had it in chrome, sold it; had it in black, sold it; now in chrome again.
35/1.5 -- Wonderful lens; sold it to raise funds for M9, missing it
50/3.5 -- Decent performer, crappy ergonomics; sold it.
50/2 -- Very good performer, sold it to reduce lens bloat, regret it.
50/1.8 -- Excellent lens, but not better than the other 50mm f/2-ish lenses I've had; sold it.
50/1.5 -- Excellent Sonnar-type lens, but I prefer my Nikkor-S.C 50/1.4; sold it.
50/1.2 -- Cool, quirky lens that I've made some good picture with; keeping it for now.
85/1.8 -- Awesome performer, but big and heavy; sold it.
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Old 01-11-2016   #67
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My roster of Canon RF lenses currently stands as follows:

35/2.0
50/1.8
50/1.5
100/3.5

All of these lenses are "keepers," even though I haven't used the 50/1.8 much recently and have more 50s than I really need. My sample was cleaned by Sherry Krauter several years ago and is very sharp. The 50/1.5 is the only Sonnar design lens I own and it's been a good performer; I need to use it more and probably will do so in 2016.

I've had the 35/2.8 and 35/1.8 but sold them. They're wonderful lenses in their own way, but I use the 35 focal length almost exclusively for street photography and didn't need quite so many 35s. I've been very happy with the 35/2.0.
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Old 01-11-2016   #68
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I have five Canon RF lenses:

50mm f/1.2 - The lens that lead me to the Canon Camp. My 2nd copy.
50mm f/1.8 black - just great! Also my 2nd copy
135mm f/3.5 black that I bought from RFF member StuartR back in 2005.

Just bought:

85mm f/2 Serenar - my second copy - 1st one dropped in Salzberg 1983
28mm f/3.5 Serenar - both at DAG for CLA

Looking for:

50mm f/1.5 Serenar
35mm f/1.8 Canon

I sold my first copies of the Canon 50mm f/1.2 and 50mm f/1.8 black. Regretted selling them and bought replacements.
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Old 01-11-2016   #69
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OK, I'll play too. The current roster is:

35/2.8 Serenar - Very nice, tiny, but I have had trouble connecting with it. Getting less use lately since I got a W.Acall 35/3.5, the results from which I immediately preferred.

50/1.5 - My first Canon lens. Glorious. I haven't been shooting with it as much as I should because I've been using Barnack bodies a lot lately, and I prefer a collapsible 50 on those for balance and size (the Canon has suffered for use most since I got my Summitar).

50/1.9 - You don't hear much about this lens, and it's certainly got its flaws, but I really like it. It's got multiple personalities: wide open it gets swirly and glows, around f/4 it's got great center sharpness with nice softness everywhere else, and from f/8 it's sharp and contrasty across the frame. Plus it collapses. I like using it wide open with HP5+ or Tri-X pushed to 1600 for night shooting. Currently living on my IIIg.

100/3.5 - I waited a long time to find a good one at a good price, but I'm glad I finally found one. In terms of character, it's a perfect complement to the W.Acall and the Summitar mentioned above, so it's been the only Canon part of the latest iteration of the travel kit.

I'd like to get a 28/3.5 to replace my Snapshot Skopar 25/4, which I find a bit too contrasty and too close to my CV 21/4. Other than that, I think I'm pretty well set.
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Old 01-11-2016   #70
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I have the 35/2.8 and 50/1.4. I am always using the 50/1.4, absolutely love it. The 35 gets maybe 3rd the use out of it as the 50 but that's just because I shoot that focal length more. It is a great little lens though.
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Old 01-11-2016   #71
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Guess I'll play too.

I have just started playing with a Canon 7 but have used all of these lenses on the Sony A7II.

35mm f2.8_Doesn't seem to get much internet love but I like it.
50mm f1.4_My current favorite LTM lens. This lens has killed any interest I had in the 1.2/50.
50mm f1.5_A nice fast Sonnar, good enough that I am not seeking a J-3.
50mm f1.8_An excellent all around lens but overshadowed by the 1.4.
Serenar 50mm f1.9_Fun to play with but not in the league of the other 50s.
100mm f3.5_I was stunned when I first shot this lens. Excellent performance for a tiny 100mm. The prices asked for it don't reflect its quality.

Looking to acquire this year:

28mm f2.8
25mm f3.5
35mm f1.8
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Old 01-13-2016   #72
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35mm f2 loved that lens only reason I sold it was wanted s summicron, 50mm 1.2 good fun for the price just bought another one of these and really easy to clean inside!
I've never really been keen on the look of the canon lenses it's a shame they don't all look like the 35mm f2 as that even today looks quite modern.
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Old 01-15-2016   #73
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I've mostly shot Canon for LTM. I have:

-35/3.5 - I like the small size and chrome quality, a pancake lens really. Seems fairly good, but flares in the wrong light.
-35/2 - Ergonomics are what make me like this one, over the optics. Very easy to read engraved numbers and dots and lines. But the image colors are cool, and my Pen-F 38mm is sharper
-35/1.8 - My old reliable. Nice color, great sharpness, medium contrast. It never fails to impress me.

-50/1.8 - I keep it just so I have one. Good, sharp, boring.
-50/1.5 - Great sonar, it's very heavy and feels like a gold nugget in your pocket. I like the colors of the J-3 better, and the close focus of the Nikkor 1.4. But keep it.
-50/1.2 - I have two copies, never really grew on me. I'd probably sell these, if I were downsizing

85/1.8 - a very sharp, very heavy tank. I like it, occasionally.
135/3.5 - the sharpest lens in the inventory. Very good contrast and colors. But quite long, and I only use it for birding and sports, or such.
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Old 01-15-2016   #74
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My current list, still working on shooting these enough to know how to whittle it down to 3-4 keepers.

35/1.8
35/2.8 chrome 34mm version
50/1.8 x3 (1 with mid element haze - black, one with front element horribly scratched - chrome, one quite nice glass - black)
50/1.5 chrome
50/1.4
50/1.2
85/1.8 black
85/1.9 TV mount
85/2.0 chrome
100/3.5 34mm version
135/3.5 black

Recently sold: 50/1.2 with a touch of haze to the glass near the diaphragm, 135/3.5 with front element haze.
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Old 01-26-2016   #75
aoresteen
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I have five Canon RF lenses:

50mm f/1.2 - The lens that lead me to the Canon Camp. My 2nd copy.
50mm f/1.8 black - just great! Also my 2nd copy
135mm f/3.5 black that I bought from RFF member StuartR back in 2005.

Just bought:

85mm f/2 Serenar - my second copy - 1st one dropped in Salzberg 1983
28mm f/3.5 Serenar - both at DAG for CLA

Looking for:

50mm f/1.5 Serenar
35mm f/1.8 Canon

I sold my first copies of the Canon 50mm f/1.2 and 50mm f/1.8 black. Regretted selling them and bought replacements.
Bought a Canon 50mm f/2.8. Saw an auction for a jammed up 50mm f/1.9 Serenar collapsible that needs repair, put in a bid and won for $49 + $14 shipping.

I'm going to have Youxin Ye take a crack at them and see how he does a CLA on Canon LTM lenses.
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Old 01-26-2016   #76
Dante_Stella
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1. Among the Canon RF lenses that you've actually used, which one or ones gave you the most satisfaction so far as results were concerned?
- 50/1.2
- 100/3.5
- 35/2 on a good day

2. Which was least satisfactory: that is, if any were?
- 35/1.8

3. If you have a camera collection that includes one or two Canons, which lens or lenses would you most like to display with them? Why?

N/A

4. If you are a serious Canon collector, what lenses are you proudest to own?

N/A

5. And, among the ones you don't own, which ones would you like to add?

25mm

6. Finally, I'll ask you a question that you keep asking me, in one way or another: during the 1950-1960 period, what manufacturers made the "best" lenses for 35mm photography?

I don't think it was Canon at any focal length. Zeiss Opton made the best 50s; the Nikon 105/2.5 was the best RF telephoto (on every count - it's just beautiful). At 21, it was a Schneider show. 35 belonged to the 1.8 Nikkor.

Dante
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Old 02-01-2016   #77
kermaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
5. And, among the ones you don't own, which ones would you like to add?

25mm

6. Finally, I'll ask you a question that you keep asking me, in one way or another: during the 1950-1960 period, what manufacturers made the "best" lenses for 35mm photography?

I don't think it was Canon at any focal length. Zeiss Opton made the best 50s; the Nikon 105/2.5 was the best RF telephoto (on every count - it's just beautiful). At 21, it was a Schneider show. 35 belonged to the 1.8 Nikkor.

Dante
Wouldn't you say that the Canon 25/3.5 might have been the best in that focal length at the time?

Also, what 85/90 from that time period would beat the performance of the Canon 85/1.8?

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Old 02-01-2016   #78
goamules
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"6. Finally, I'll ask you a question that you keep asking me, in one way or another: during the 1950-1960 period, what manufacturers made the "best" lenses for 35mm photography?"

I think this question is too subjective (and assuming he means RF photography, not SLR or LF).
- For example, of the myriad of Sonnars in LTM, many like the Canon 50/1.5 or the Nikkor 50/1.4 best.

- In double gauss types, I've never found anything wrong with the Canon 50/1.8.

- In 35mm focal lengths, of those in LTM or M mount, I like the Canon 35/1.8 best, but others like the cooler colors and slighly better edges of the 35/2.0.

- For a super-speed lens, the Canon 1.2 was sure sold for a long time.

- The Canon 135/3.5 lens is the sharpest and best colors in that telephoto length that I've ever found. A lot of people really like the Canon 100mm too.

If Canon didn't make any "best" lenses, they sure made a lot of awfully good lenses, that none of the other 6 or 8 manufacturers could make. But I'm talking in Leica mount, not Alpa, Exacta, Nikon, or other systems.
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Old 03-25-2016   #79
css9450
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I have just one, the chrome 28/f3.5. But in anticipation of getting a LTM camera to parallel my Nikon RF system, I'm actively looking for either a Canon chrome 50/f1.8 or a Nikkor 50/f2. Seems either one should be plentiful but I've yet to pull the trigger on one.

I also have a Nikkor 28 in LTM, so whichever 50 I find first I'll keep the matching 28 for, and probably sell the other. Makes sense eh?
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