Best budget 35mm lens in 2018?
Old 01-14-2018   #1
chrischunli
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Best budget 35mm lens in 2018?

Hey all! I just picked up an M6 for a pretty good price (first M rangefinder for me!), and am currently looking to pair it with a 35mm lens. Been doing a bunch of research on different lenses, from the Zeiss Biogons to Summarons, but it seems like a lot of the secondhand prices have gone up since the original post dates of those lenses. That said, what do you guys think would be the best bang for buck 35mm nowadays? Appreciate any thoughts!
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Old 01-14-2018   #2
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A 3.5cm f/1.8 Nikkor. Either Nikon or Barnack mount. You can get an Amedeo adapter if you find the less expensive version in Nikon S mount. It's not a budget lens but it draws in such a special way there is nothing like it made by anyone else.The UC Hexanon comes close. Yes, lenses will outresolve it, have better bokeh in some opinions, the charts and science say things that detract but it is pure magic.

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Old 01-14-2018   #3
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3.5cm f/1.8 in S mount + Amedeo adapter doesn't mount - you need the "offset" adapter which then decouples the RF, at which point why bother with a fast 35mm?? Leica mount version is fantastically expensive.

However the Nikkor 3.5cm f/2.5 is still very good, does work with said adapter, and much, much cheaper.

Voigtlander would be another option of course.
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Old 01-14-2018   #4
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For a modern look, the Voitlander Color-Skopar 2.5/35 closely followed (in budget rankings) by the Zeiss 2.8/35 C-Biogon.

For a classic look, try the Canon ltm 2/35 or 2.8/35 (don't forget the adapter).

Unfortunately 35s are a bit more expensive than the 50mm equivalents.
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Old 01-14-2018   #5
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In the absence of any other requirement than "budget 35", could I suggest the Voigtlander 35/1.4 MC.

Mine fits well, looks good, and is an excellent lens for the money.

I prefer it to my V3 Summicron 35/2.

Last edited by iphoenix : 01-14-2018 at 21:16. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 01-14-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran View Post
3.5cm f/1.8 in S mount + Amedeo adapter doesn't mount - you need the "offset" adapter which then decouples the RF, at which point why bother with a fast 35mm?? Leica mount version is fantastically expensive.

However the Nikkor 3.5cm f/2.5 is still very good, does work with said adapter, and much, much cheaper.
Mine used to fit just fine. I used it on my M9 until I got rid of that camera then used it on an SP. Sample variation, perhaps.

Back to the original post though, I think the very best truly budget 35mm lens would be an older Jupiter-12, preferably one that has been gone over a bit, lens elements/groups properly centered, helical cleaned and relubed. A top shelf J-12 can't run over $200 and the older ones are fantastic. Even the later lenses, direct from eastern Europe, can make fantastic images. With a little work, it is not hard to take a $12 lens and make it shoot like a $500 lens. That faithful Biogon copy can be made very, very good.

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Old 01-14-2018   #7
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Then you had a one-in-a-million, or were jamming up your RF. It's well documented. jonmanjiro even had one S-mount model extensively modified to work on Leica.

So regardless of price, the 3.5cm f/1.8 in S-mount is NOT a good choice if the OP wants it to likely work.

I've had a couple J-12 lenses and they both sucked. Really bad corners, weird ghosting/flare, etc.
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Old 01-14-2018   #8
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I'd suggest a Canon 35mm 2.8. Good ones sell for $150-250 or so. Its hard to beat at that price point provided it doesn't have haze (which can often be cleaned without too much work as the lens construction is pretty simple).

If your budget is higher, I'd look at the VC 35/1.4 (if you like a classic look and don't mind a bit of distortion) or the ZM Biogon if you want a more modern look and very little distortion.
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Old 01-14-2018   #9
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Best budget 35mm? Second-hand Fuji X100T.

Jupiter-12 can be good if you're lucky (I rather like my example) but the body design is perfect for taking photos of one's fingertips; and setting aperture in normal conditions is a right royal pain in the arse, and in low light is pure guesswork.
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Old 01-15-2018   #10
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I'll echo others here in suggesting the 35/2.5 Voigtlander Color-Skopar PII. It's a fantastic modern lens and a great value. You might also look at the 40/1.4 Nokton if you want something a little faster.
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Old 01-15-2018   #11
Peter Wijninga
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I have always been very happy with my 1.2/35 Voigtlander.



Out to Lunch, on Flickr. An Lac, Saigon. August 2010. Epson R-D1s - Voigtlander 1.2/35.
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Old 01-15-2018   #12
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Skopar 35 2.5 PII.
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Old 01-15-2018   #13
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Another Jupiter-12 fan here. A pity it won't mount on my only M-mount camera due to the metering arm.

The purists may cringe, but on several occasions I have used M42 lenses on my Leica, with an adapter. They're not rangefinder-coupled, of course, so you have to use scale focus. But its the only way I have (at present) to shoot my superb Takumar 35 on film.
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Old 01-15-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
I have always been very happy with my 1.2/35 Voigtlander.
I like your 'budget'.
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Old 01-15-2018   #15
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I bought my 1.2/35 Voigtlander -Version I, around 2010. At that time, it was not a very expensive lens.
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Old 01-15-2018   #16
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Nikonos II/III/IV/V has 35mm F2.5 Nikor, same glass as Nikon RF.

Sells for peanuts and it is waterproof to 200 feet. Just saying.
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Old 01-15-2018   #17
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I'll second the Voigtlander 35/f1.4, a wonderfully compact lens with a classic look.

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Old 01-15-2018   #18
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Much depends on just how you define "budget lens".

I've been happy with my Jupiter-12, I have a very nice 12x16 inch print on my wall made with it. I've used it on my film M, a borrowed M8, and a LTM Canon.
My copy is an older one, 1953 vintage, FWIW.

@Nokton48, are there adaptors available for the Nikonos lenses? I agree, the Nikonos 35 is very nice, but I have a Nikonos body to mount mine on. Had never really considered adapting it to a land camera.
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Old 01-15-2018   #19
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I had a Jupiter 12 for a while and loved it. The ergonomics are a bit weird but bearable. I paid $75 for it. If you want something newer I'd always recommend the Voigtlander 35/2.5. That's a killer lens for a brand new price of $400.
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Old 01-15-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelated View Post
@Nokton48, are there adaptors available for the Nikonos lenses? I agree, the Nikonos 35 is very nice, but I have a Nikonos body to mount mine on. Had never really considered adapting it to a land camera.

Not that I am aware of. I prefer the Nikonos II and I have had several of them. Bombproof camera. Nikon RF glass is a bonus.
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Old 01-15-2018   #21
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You can get a Nikonos to M4/3 adaptor, and Nauticam make a Nikonos mount for their A7 waterproof housing.
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Old 01-15-2018   #22
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Zeiss Biogon 35/2.8. Pretty much a perfect 35mm.
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Old 01-15-2018   #23
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Wow. Wonders never cease. I can put a Nikonos 35mm f2.5 Nikkor (same as 35mm f2.5 Nikon rangefinder lens) on my Sony Nex 3's.

Nikonos Nex Adapter by Nokton48, on Flickr

There is a Nikonos II, III, V, and two 35 f2.5 Nikonos Nikkors all for $90 right now on Ebay.

Is that cheap enough?
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Old 01-15-2018   #24
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Wow, thank you all for the responses! As you can tell, I'm new to this forum and the level of engagement here is refreshing

I'll take all these suggestions and do some more research...
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Old 01-15-2018   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldwino View Post
Zeiss Biogon 35/2.8. Pretty much a perfect 35mm.
A little OT, but why does it have a chrome filter/hood ring?
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Old 01-15-2018   #26
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I have two J 12 lens's and while I like them optically, they interfere with the metering on my M6. They have a very big rear element that partly blocks the metering on the M6. My favorite 35mm lens for my Leica IIIc is a Nikkor 35mm f2.5, Just a wonderful lens but a bit hard to find at a good price. Joe
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Old 01-15-2018   #27
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the Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 in an M mount is a fine contrasty lens in the $350 ish range on Ebay.
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Old 01-15-2018   #28
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The Voigt. 40mm f1.4 is one of my favourite lenses and I'm sure the Voigt. 35mm F1.4 version will offer similar results if you fancy a fast lens. Otherwise the Skopar gets great reviews but I haven't used one personally so cannot comment from having had any experience with the lens.

FWIW my own advice in the first instance would be to buy an older Leitz 35mm f2.8 (or even the f3.5) Summaron-M but only if you don't need a low-light-level, fast, lens.
The Summaron-M should be pretty much the same price as a new Voigt. but the optical performance in terms of abberations etc. is on a much higher plane.

IMO, of course.

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Old 01-15-2018   #29
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Summaron 35mm 2.8 are offered at $750-$1000 U.S. which is really in another budget bracket. I've used the CS 35 2.5 & it is a very good lens.
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Old 01-15-2018   #30
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canon 35mm f2
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Old 01-15-2018   #31
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Quote:
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canon 35mm f2
Yeah, grab that one in the classifieds.

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Old 01-15-2018   #32
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Quote:
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The Summaron-M should be pretty much the same price as a new Voigt. but the optical performance in terms of abberations etc. is on a much higher plane.
Really? How so?
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Old 01-15-2018   #33
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Quote:
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A little OT, but why does it have a chrome filter/hood ring?
Because it's more durable and less likely to show wear from fitting the bayonet hood.
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Old 01-15-2018   #34
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The Canon ltm 35/2 has almost the same optical scheme as the Voigtlander 35/2.5.
As long as budget 35mm lenses go you can't go wrong with either of them but with the Voigtlander you have the advantage of closer minimal focusing distance and no need for ltm to M adapter. Performance-wise they're very close. Some vignetting, contrast is medium-high, a little barrel distortion, sharpness is very good from 2.8 on, and good in the center of the frame at f/2 for the canon.
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Old 01-15-2018   #35
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Depends; what is your budget?
Lenses that I can recommend to you based on my own use of such lenses:

Zeiss Biogon 35/2 (modern look, flare resistant, brilliant colors)
Canon 35/2 ltm (still modern look; sharp; cheap)
Summicron 35/2 Version 1 (a classic; high resolution)
Canon 35/1.5 ltm (rare; performs very well)
Nikon 35/1.8 (special look to images from it; overpriced in ltm; small)

I do not own any CV 35mm lens, but I read about positive feedback on such lenses.
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Old 01-15-2018   #36
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Budget (less than a grand, around $500): the CV Nokton 35mm f1.4 is the best.

For a bit less you have the much praised Color Skopar, also CV, also 35mm focal length.

Then, for a variety of prices, the Canon line. Some go for very reasonable amounts (35mm f2.8), while others take a bit of a jump (although never like a CV or a Leica), as it's the case of the Canon 35mm f1.5 and the f2. Sure, the Jupiters are incredibly inexpensive... but do you want to gamble with it?

Other than that... there's not really a lot in the "budget" territory when it comes to 35mm glass. As it was said above, these lenses tend to go for much more than its 50mm brethren.

Enjoy shopping!
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Old 01-16-2018   #37
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This might be worth waiting for.

https://www.35mmc.com/18/11/2017/7ar...sample-photos/

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Old 01-16-2018   #38
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Quote:
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Really? How so?
In comparison to the 35mm Summaron (which is as near-as-damn-it rectilinear) the 35mm Nokton has very pronounced barrel distortion. The 40mm Nokton, OTOH, isn't nearly as badly affected in this way as is the 35mm. but is still not as good as the Summaron.
The edge fall-off in terms of sharpness follows the same pattern as above with the Summaron being comfortably ahead of the 40 Nokton with the 35 Nokton trailing both.

Of course depending on what type of photography the lens will be used for might make all these comparisons academic. For a predominantly street-shooter none of this might matter. For someone who shoots a lot of architecture (such as myself) the 35 Nokton might not be a wise choice.

The Voiglander lenses are beautifully made and as I said earlier the 40mm I have is one of my absolute favourite lenses for my M's but I didn't buy the matching 35mm because it simply wouldn't be able to produce the results I'd hope for.

As always YMMV.

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Old 01-16-2018   #39
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This might be worth waiting for.

https://www.35mmc.com/18/11/2017/7ar...sample-photos/

Michael
Oh yes! I am highly interested in that one as well.
They have just marketed a 35mm lens for system cameras. I hope that this won't delay the 2.0/35 M.
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Old 01-16-2018   #40
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For ebay price of new Nokton 40 or new Skopar 35, you could only get used 35 3.5 Summaron. Even if purchased locally. At least where I purchased it locally once.
Summaron 35 2.8 is much more expensive lens now.
Where is no difference for distortions between Skopar 35 and Summaron. At least, they seems to be better then Summarit-M 35 2.5 is
I had Summaron-M 35 3.5 twice. I'm totally agree what ex-Midland technician and Leica seller, repair person told me once about those lenses. "They are cheap and many of them were made".
I was never overwhelmed not with Skopar nor with f3.5 Summaron. But both are still good lenses if on "budget" and don't want Jupiter-12 quirks in handling and mega flares.
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