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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #41
peterm1
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An option I would seriously consider is a Pentax Spotmatic camera because of the wide range of M42 lenses available for it at usually competitive prices. Its lenses tend to have "classic " rendering which is what you want. The older preset and semi auto versions of the lenses are especially good for classic rendering given their single coating technology.

My favorites are Takumar Super Multi Coated 85mm f1.9 or 85mm f1.8 (an earlier lens) Both perform exceedingly well but are among the rarer and more expensive lenses in the Takumar stable. The 105mm f2.8 is superb for portraits. Simply wonderful. It also sells quite cheaply. And both the 135mm f3.5 and the 135mm f2.5 perform extremely well. Both can be had for a song.

If you want to go beyond the Pentax line of lens (although I seldom find a reason to) the Jupiter 85mm f2 in M42 is also terrific. Being a Sonnar design it is perfect for portraits and general work as it has that lovely Sonnar rendering. Also an inexpensive lens.

Any of the Nikkors in this range will serve you well too. Do not discount the Nikkor 85mm f2 which is said to be a poorer lens than the 85mm f1.8. They are wrong. And as others have said the 105mm f2.5 is a super lens too.

Finally another marque to consider is Canon FL mount. These lenses are beautifully made and render superbly. I can personally vouch for the 85mm f1.8, the 135mm f3.5 and the 135mm f2.8. The range of lenses available is somewhat less though than with the M42 ones.

The good thing overall is that the main camera companies made many versions of lenses in this range and pretty well all of them are good to excellent as short tele lenses were core business for them back in the day. In fact I think you would have to work damn hard to find one that is poor. Of all of the above possibly the most classic rendering might be had from the Jupiter and i think this might render closest to the Elmar in terms of IQ.

Here is a candid photo made with the Takumar 105mm several years ago. I ended up with several of these as they were cheap and nice and because I wanted to compare them - early preset, semi auto diaphragm, Super Multi Coated and SMC versions. They all do very nicely with less flare from the later ones which have superior coating.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #42
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Going back and re-reading Steve M's original post, he expresses a specific appreciation of a Leica lens. That being the case, he should probably stick to Leica, following suggestions above to add a Visoflex to his current RF or going to Leica R-series lenses and SLRs. No other brand will produce the "Leica-look."

Among the Japanese brands, Minolta was heavily influenced by Leica through cooperative working arrangements with the latter, resulting in similar optical design goals. These are probably the Japanese lenses most similar in their rendition to that of Leica, but they're still not exactly the same.

Unless one has such personal preferences, I don't think one could go wrong buying a camera and lens from any of the major manufacturers (in no particular order): Leica, Minolta, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, etc.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
Is there a vintage SLR 90-135 lens out there that may image in a similar manner? Since I'm starting from scratch, I can always buy a body to fit the lens. M42 mount would be nice...
I recently picked up a low-cost 105mm f/2.8 Pentax lens for my digital camera. I was very impressed with its performance.


Pentax 105mm Portrait by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
An option I would seriously consider is a Pentax Spotmatic camera because of the wide range of M42 lenses available for it at usually competitive prices. Its lenses tend to have "classic " rendering which is what you want. The older preset and semi auto versions of the lenses are especially good for classic rendering given their single coating technology.
What is "classic rendering" and what makes it so?
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Classic rendering
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #45
Robert Lai
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Classic rendering

Here we are discussing the imaging properties of lenses as they commonly were found in the 1950 - 1970 period. Typically, they are single coated optics with some variation of the Tessar, Sonnar, or Planar lens formula. All spherical lens elements.

Wide open, they typically have a veiling flare and lower contrast, from spherical aberration. The centers are sharp, but the corners disappear into the mist. Usually by the time you stop down two stops, they are very sharp. Wide open, you may also see significant vignetting, which was often designed into a lens to make the corner deficiencies less obvious. Curvature of field may also be noted.

As you stop down, the center resolution improves, and the corner resolution improves even more.

The latest lenses use multicoated optics, and aspherical optics to "correct" these deficiencies, so that you have high contrast wide open, with sharpness extending throughout the field, even wide open.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #46
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Also - you're going to want more than five or six aperture blades.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
What is "classic rendering" and what makes it so?

Pretty much as Robert Lai describes. I like that classic look and in many cases prefer it to modern ultra sharp everywhere lenses. They are OK but can be a bit characterless. The older "classic" lenses provide some characteristics that can be described as faults (technically residual aberrations) they can be used much like a painter uses specific brushes / washes and techniques to get a specific effect in his pictures.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #48
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Any Pentax, with the non-Takumar, non-Bayonet 135mm f/2.5
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
Any Pentax, with the non-Takumar, non-Bayonet 135mm f/2.5
I have a 135mm f2.5 Super Multi-Coated Takumar in M42 mount. Before that, Pentax offered Takumar lenses that weren't multi-coated. I thought Pentax lenses were all Takumars until they went from m42 to K/bayonet mount. How is the lens you describe different?

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #50
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Some screw-mount SMC Takumar lenses were re-issued as lower-priced models in bayonet mount under that name, I think single-coated rather than SMC. I believe the 2.5/135 was an example. Other main-line bayonet lenses carried the SMC Pentax name.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Some screw-mount SMC Takumar lenses were re-issued as lower-priced models in bayonet mount under that name, I think single-coated rather than SMC. I believe the 2.5/135 was an example. Other main-line bayonet lenses carried the SMC Pentax name.
Thanks for the explanation, Doug.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Do not neglect the 58/1.4 Nikkor: an amazing portrait (and flower) lens. The camera doesn't really matter so much.

For a cheaper option (silly cheap), try an 85/1.9 Pentax screw lens. Again, the body doesn't matter too much.

For REALLY cheap, consider a 58/2 Biotar or for that matter, and even cheaper, a 58/2 Helios. Avoid Exakta Biotars unless you're a masochist who likes Exaktas or Exas.

For a weird alternative, try the 135/1.8 sold as both Porst and Soligor.

Then there are REALLY CHEAP, nasty, old zooms like the 90-190/5.8 [sic] Yashinon that I used to have. Depends on how much you like (inadvertent) soft focus and distortion.

Finally, again in a search for quality so bad that it's good, stick an old, cheap teleconverter behind the fastest standard lens you can easily afford.

Beware of anyone who pretends that there's only one camera/lens combination that will meet your requirements, and that it's THEIRS. That's pure nonsense.

Cheers,

R.
Absolutely so on the bolded part. Thank you sir! Although I think we all tend to think what gear we have learned to give what we want, is the best thing for everyone.

Next, to the OP; I don't own Leica cameras or lenses, so I can't comment on the performance of any of them, nor comparisons to other gear, which I wouldn't have used either. Many RFF members have though.

But why do you think you can't use a rangefinder camera for portraits, and especially for flowers. If you have a tripod, close up lens, and a ruler, you have all you need. Well, except for experimentation, charts of distances for your close up lens, and practice.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/rffg...4591.SEQ.0.jpg

The above is a hand held shot I made with a Canonet 17 and a close up filter #2. I used a metal tape measure to measure the distance from the chart that came with the filter. I exposed three shots, and posted what I though was the best of the three. I tried to ensure I had taken care of parallax concerns by sighting horizontally and vertically as best I could.

Close ups are possible with RF cameras. Close up filters will help and will work. Can any RF with a close up filter render the way you want? I don't have any idea. But your lens with a filter may. You should look for some books, or use google to search for using lenses for close ups. You will also want to know your lens' closest focus from the film plane, and what its coverage is.

Having said that, I personally prefer using an SLR for flower close up photography. I prefer using my Fujica ST 901 with my Fujinon 50mm f/35 macro lens. I can use it on tripod (recommended) or hand held if I don't have or want to use a tripod. I can and have reversed a 50mm f/1.4 (hand held over the lens mount) on both the Fujica and on a Contax mount camera. I have also used extension tubes for close ups.

I don't know if they even exist for Leica lenses. But if they do, again, you will be able to use the lens you want.

For people portraits I have learned to like 135mm lenses on 35mm cameras, mostly because that was what I could get. I also found a 100mm lens on a Super Press worked surprisingly well. But I am not you nor you me, nor are you likely to have the gear I have. Just experiment until you find what works best for you.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #54
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Hi,

For the old fashioned look, you could go after a Zeiss Sonnar in f/2 85mm as made from the 30's onwards.

The original was then re-issued by the USSR makers as the Jupiter-9 for the FED and Zorkis but may have found its way into the Zenit and Praktika M42 mounts and that means a wide range of cameras, quality and prices. Cosina were probably the last maker to offer the M42 mount.

The problem is that this old fashioned look is OK for portraits of young ladies and the not so young but you might want something a little sharper for flowers...

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMur12 View Post
Going back and re-reading Steve M's original post, he expresses a specific appreciation of a Leica lens. That being the case, he should probably stick to Leica, following suggestions above to add a Visoflex to his current RF or going to Leica R-series lenses and SLRs. No other brand will produce the "Leica-look."

Among the Japanese brands, Minolta was heavily influenced by Leica through cooperative working arrangements with the latter, resulting in similar optical design goals. These are probably the Japanese lenses most similar in their rendition to that of Leica, but they're still not exactly the same.

Unless one has such personal preferences, I don't think one could go wrong buying a camera and lens from any of the major manufacturers (in no particular order): Leica, Minolta, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, etc.
I agree with everything what Murray wrote, except «Olympus», see below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
If you are looking for just one camera and lens, an Olympus OM body and Zuiko 90mm f2 macro will handle both portraits and flowers nicely. Lower cost alternative lenses are the Tamron SP 90mm f2.8 macro and the Vivitar Series 1 90mm f2.5 macro.
I'm quite certain that someone who has decidedly a preference for the Leica-look will be unhappy with Olympus lenses. As far as I've learned, the Zuiko lenses deliver (too) much contrast, and have on the other hand less resolution than the Leica lens user will demand.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #56
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Minolta SRT101 with an F2 Minolta MD mount lens. Usually exposed on Delta 100.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radi(c)al_cam View Post
I'm quite certain that someone who has decidedly a preference for the Leica-look will be unhappy with Olympus lenses. As far as I've learned, the Zuiko lenses deliver (too) much contrast, and have on the other hand less resolution than the Leica lens user will demand.
They are talking about an Elmar 90. There are plenty of sharper lenses out there.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #58
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Asahi Pentax M42 (and later ES) screwmount lenses bore the Takumar name.
After Pentax switched to the bayonet mount some budget K and KA lenses bore the Takumar name.
These later models were typically not Super-Multi-Coated, or SMC.
The premium manual focus K-mount lenses were always SMC Pentax.

Hope this clears up the confusion...

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #59
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:P Mamiya RB67 w/ 90/3.8C ...

hehe.





Or maybe an Olympus Pen-FT with a 38/1.8?



Or maybe a Hasselblad 500CM with an 80/2.8?



Or a Canon EOS-1 w/ a 50/1.8?

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Some screw-mount SMC Takumar lenses were re-issued as lower-priced models in bayonet mount under that name, I think single-coated rather than SMC. I believe the 2.5/135 was an example. Other main-line bayonet lenses carried the SMC Pentax name.
Yeah, I was referring to K-mount cameras/lenses, sorry! There are cheaper variations of the K-mount 135/2.5 marked "Takumar" or "Takumar Bayonet," which I think actually have a different optical formula from this one, which is very good:

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #61
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The closest SLR solution would be an early leicaflex or Minolta System. An Minolta SRT-101 with "silverring" MC 100 2.5 or MC 85 1.7 and some extension tubes should be the cheaper and sufficient solution.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #62
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Going back to the issue of classic lens rendition, what most of us like about it is that the imaging characteristics of the lens are adjustable with the aperture. With my Nikkor 50mm 1.4 LTM rangefinder lens, there is a significant difference in appearance between f/1.4 and f/2.

With the modern high contrast lenses, all that you gain by adjusting the aperture is more depth of field.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #63
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A very good lens that you may consider is the Tamron 90/2.5 macro lens. It would be suitable for portraits and for flower photography. It will fit many different SLR systems, and you need to buy the appropriate mount (cheap).

There are many options listed in the thread, and suggesting yet another system will not be very helpful to anyone. I used in the past a Canon T90 with Canon FD 85/1.2L as my chosen set for portraits. There were dozens of other options open to me then. The T90 had advanced options for flash photography that are useful for portraits photography. The 85/1.2L lens is very special. A masterpiece of optics.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
There are many options listed in the thread, and suggesting yet another system will not be very helpful to anyone. I used in the past a Canon T90 with Canon FD 85/1.2L as my chosen set for portraits. There were dozens of other options open to me then. The T90 had advanced options for flash photography that are useful for portraits photography. The 85/1.2L lens is very special. A masterpiece of optics.
You say suggesting another system won't be helpful, and then suggest another system. Hilarious.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #65
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Not really. I simply stated what I was using in the past.
The Tamron fits most SLR systems, so it fits the system that the OP will choose.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
F2 or F3 with a magnifying finder with a older 55/3.5 nikkor.

Swap out the finder for a plain prism and mount an early 105/2.5 or my favorite an 85/1.8 and you are all set.

B2 (;->
I bought a decent F2 with prism just to get the prism for the F2 I already have. Around $200 Ebay Japan. If you will not changes lenses much, Nikormat FT. It has F2 professional guts but without some the pro features like interchangeable heads, screens, motor drives.

I dislike consumer cameras .

Consider a visoflex for the head of 90 4/0. You will need the focus mount also, tubes or bellows.

Then get 100 micro like 100 f4
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radi(c)al_cam View Post
I'm quite certain that someone who has decidedly a preference for the Leica-look will be unhappy with Olympus lenses. As far as I've learned, the Zuiko lenses deliver (too) much contrast, and have on the other hand less resolution than the Leica lens user will demand.
The Olympus Zuiko 90mm f2 and Leica Summicron 90 f2 look to be comparable in contrast and resolution in these test from Modern Photography:

Leitz 90mm f/2 Summicron-R (1978 era 3-cam)
Leicaflex with mirror and diaphragm prefire
Vignetting = B @ f/2, A- @ f/2.8, A thereafter
Distortion = slight pincushion
Aperture Center Corner
f/2* C+ C
f/2 B B
f/2.8 B+ B
f/4 B+ A-
f/5.6 A A
f/8 A- A-
f/11 A A
f/16 A B
Notes: * = Tested with a B+W 010 filter. Moderately high contrast images at f/2; high contrast images at f/2.8 and f/16; very high contrast at f/4 and f/11; extremely high contrast images at f/5.6 and f/8. Lens condition 9+ (KEH=Ex+). Paired SQF grade and contrast comparison to the 90mm f/2 Zuiko Macro test done on a OM-2000, with SQF differences
significant at the 1/3 grade level.

90mm f/2.0 Zuiko Macro (multi-coated)
OM-2000 with mirror and aperture prefire
Vignetting = C+ @ f/2, B at f/2.8, B @ f/4, A- thereafter
Distortion = none
Aperture Center Corner
f/2 B+ A-
f/2.8 A- B+
f/4 B+ B
f/5.6 A- B+
f/8 A- A-
f/11 A- B+
f/16 A- B-
f/22 A- B-
Notes: Moderately high contrast images at f/22; high contrast images at f/2, f/2.8 and f/16; very high contrast images at f/4, f/5.6 and f/11; extremely high contrast images at f/8. Paired SQF grade and contrast comparisons to the Leitz 90mm f/2 Summicron-R test done on a Leicaflex, with SQF differences significant at the 1/3 grade level. Condition: 9+ (KEH=Ex+).
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
A very good lens that you may consider is the Tamron 90/2.5 macro lens. It would be suitable for portraits and for flower photography. It will fit many different SLR systems, and you need to buy the appropriate mount (cheap).

There are many options listed in the thread, and suggesting yet another system will not be very helpful to anyone. I used in the past a Canon T90 with Canon FD 85/1.2L as my chosen set for portraits. There were dozens of other options open to me then. The T90 had advanced options for flash photography that are useful for portraits photography. The 85/1.2L lens is very special. A masterpiece of optics.
I use the Tamron SP 90/2.8 myself, (Rev B I think) adaptall 1:1 Macro. Very nice.

Though I have it adapted for digital primarily, but I have a Pentax-KA mount for it if I want to slap it onto my Pentax MZ-6.

(These are digital samples, using an Adaptall-to-Micro-4/3 adapter, so 180mm FoV on 2.0x crop factor)







And this was off A Tamron SP Adaptall-II 70-210/3.5-4 on a Canon FTb with Fuji Neopan 400 (Ilfosol-S 1+9) I much prefer the Tamron 90/2.8 1:1



The 90/2.8 looks like this if you're trying to visually compare the different adaptall 1:1 lens

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
The Olympus Zuiko 90mm f2 and Leica Summicron 90 f2 look to be comparable in contrast and resolution in these test from Modern Photography:

Leitz 90mm f/2 Summicron-R (1978 era 3-cam)
Leicaflex with mirror and diaphragm prefire
[…]

Thank you, faberryman, very interesting!

Nevertheless, it doesn't invalidate what I've said — inasmuch as I was talking about the «Leica-look» of the ~1950s to early/mid 1960s, and that is the «Leica-look» the OP is decidedly looking for, not some «1978 era look».
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