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07-23-2011, 11:00 AM   #1
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Need help feeding my LBA

So the LBA bug has hit me again. Much like an itch that must be scratched, I have the urge to purchase a lens and it needs to be satisfied. So I have this dilemma. I'm looking for another good 55 - 58ish lens. Here's what I've been looking at:

Mamiya Sekor 55mm 1.4
Super Takumar 55mm 1.8
Minolta MC Rokkor 58mm 1.4 (to be converted to k mount after purchase)
Topcor 58mm 1.8 (to be converted to k mount after purchase)
Topcor 58mm 1.4 (to be converted to k mount after purchase)

I currently have a Silver Helios 44 m39 13-blade and a Mamiya Sekor 58mm 1.7. I've been happy with them thus far. The Helios has really great swirly bokeh and is pretty sharp wide open, but much sharper stopped down. The Mamiya has amazing soft bokeh, but is also a somewhat soft lens. It can be sharp when stopped down enough, but then I loose the shallow depth of field I'm after.

What I'm looking for is something a little faster that is relatively sharp wide open and has bokeh somewhere in between the two I have. Right now after looking at some pictures taken with the lens online, the Topcor 58mm 1.4 is my pick. If I'm lucky, maybe I can pick it up for a reasonable price.

Any input or other suggestions would be appreciated.

07-23-2011, 11:30 AM   #2
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You already have those great fifties, so I suppose this must really an itch that needs to be scratched
07-23-2011, 11:41 AM   #3
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Damian

QuoteOriginally posted by Damian Quote
So the LBA bug has hit me again. Much like an itch that must be scratched, I have the urge to purchase a lens and it needs to be satisfied. So I have this dilemma. I'm looking for another good 55 - 58ish lens. Here's what I've been looking at:

Mamiya Sekor 55mm 1.4
Super Takumar 55mm 1.8
Minolta MC Rokkor 58mm 1.4 (to be converted to k mount after purchase)
Topcor 58mm 1.8 (to be converted to k mount after purchase)
Topcor 58mm 1.4 (to be converted to k mount after purchase)

I currently have a Silver Helios 44 m39 13-blade and a Mamiya Sekor 58mm 1.7. I've been happy with them thus far. The Helios has really great swirly bokeh and is pretty sharp wide open, but much sharper stopped down. The Mamiya has amazing soft bokeh, but is also a somewhat soft lens. It can be sharp when stopped down enough, but then I loose the shallow depth of field I'm after.

What I'm looking for is something a little faster that is relatively sharp wide open and has bokeh somewhere in between the two I have. Right now after looking at some pictures taken with the lens online, the Topcor 58mm 1.4 is my pick. If I'm lucky, maybe I can pick it up for a reasonable price.

Any input or other suggestions would be appreciated.
I don't get it.....what's the point of geting another 50-55....when you already have those two. There's only marginal difference in standard lenses....maybe if you can find it - there was quite interesting article on various 50mm lenses on luminous-landscape, if i remember well. The point was there's not bad 50mm/55mm lens....
07-23-2011, 11:45 AM   #4
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Voigtlander 50/1.8 fulfills all your criteria (sharp wide open, really sharp stopped down, gorgeous bokeh, superb build) or even the Voigtlander 58/1.4 if you want to pay a little more !

07-23-2011, 12:07 PM   #5
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if it needs to be fed....
The lens mounts will need to be converted - and here is the source..

07-23-2011, 12:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by vrrattko Quote
I don't get it.....what's the point of geting another 50-55....when you already have those two. There's only marginal difference in standard lenses....maybe if you can find it - there was quite interesting article on various 50mm lenses on luminous-landscape, if i remember well. The point was there's not bad 50mm/55mm lens....
That's why they call it Lens Buying Addiction, no actual logic required.

I suggest one of the Pentax or Takumar 55mm f1.8 lenses. If you shop around, none of them should be much more than $50. Although these are a bit slower, they have that great 270 degree focus ring sweep. You can pick your coating, from Auto-Takumar through K. I have a hard time not owning one of these. Although I have other 55mm lenses, when I think 55, I always pick up the K55/1.8 and have barely used the others. I can't point to a particular reason why.

07-23-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Voigtlander 58/1.4 if you want to pay a little more !
That's the point of the Topcor 58mm 1.4. It's been tested to be "better" then the Voigtlander. Though I do drool at the thought of owning it, I just can't quite justify the price of it when I can get a Topcor for far less and do a mount conversion. Though the mount conversion is a pain in the ass. By the way, the Voigtlander 58 is a direct copy of the Topcor 58.

QuoteOriginally posted by vrrattko Quote
I don't get it.....what's the point of geting another 50-55....when you already have those two.
I guess you don't have or never have had LBA. Which isn't a bad thing really.

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
That's why they call it Lens Buying Addiction, no actual logic required.
Exactly.
So you recommend the Tak. I've read a lot of good things about it. How's the bokeh? I've read mixed reviews about that aspect of the lens.
Just out of curiosity, what do you think about your Mamiya-Sekor and/or Rikenon 55 1.4? I've seen some pictures taken with one of them and liked what I saw.

Thanks everyone for your input thus far.
07-23-2011, 01:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Voigtlander 50/1.8 fulfills all your criteria
Just looked up this lens you suggested and it looks very nice. Love the bokeh! Do you own this lens personally? How does it compare to the Pentax 50 1.4 or 50 1.7?

07-23-2011, 01:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian Quote
Just looked up this lens you suggested and it looks very nice. Love the bokeh! Do you own this lens personally? How does it compare to the Pentax 50 1.4 or 50 1.7?
yep ...right there in my sig. I have the Tak 50/1.4 and had the F 50/1.4 (now sold) and although I love the Tak it's the VLI50 that's permanently in the bag & goes everywhere with me (though the 43 Ltd is often brought out if I doubt my MF skills for the task at hand)

Sharpness (esp. when wide open), bokeh and particularly manually focusing, because of the superb VL MF ring, are all superior IMHO.
07-23-2011, 01:45 PM   #10
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Does it come in Pentax mount or will I have to convert it from Rollei?
07-23-2011, 01:53 PM   #11
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I have Mamiya-Sekor and Super-Takumar 55/1.8's, they're both great (and they were CHEAP! for me).

The Topcons, if they have the Exakta-Topcon bayonet mount with 44.7mm register, won't be hard to reversibly convert to PK with register of 45.46mm. You merely need to 1) remove (and save!) the index screw, 2) glue an M39-M42 adapter ring around the bayonet, and 3) grind about 0.6mm from the flanged side of a cheap Bowers-type M42-PK adapter. All my Exaktas reach infinity focus on my K20D.

The Minolta is another story, with a register of 43.7mm. I have yet to convert one; I need a cheap MD lens to practice on before I chop my MC Tele Rokkor-PF 100/2.5. No WAY do I want to mung that one! (Especially since I haven't paid my mother-in-law for it yet.) Have you converted any Minoltas before? If not, tread carefully, eh?

When I reach for a 55, I have great choices besides the Mamiya and Takumar: Sears-Tomioka/1.4, Argus-Chinon/1.7, Petri/1.8, Rikenon/1.8, Porst-Cosina/2.8. The Petri CC 55/1.8 may be the sharpest; the Tomioka 55/1.4 is my favorite, for bokeh & character etc. I lust for a Cosina 55/1.2, but I'll need to get real real lucky...

Last edited by RioRico; 07-23-2011 at 03:48 PM.
07-23-2011, 03:22 PM   #12
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+1 for the Voigtlander 58mm Nokton f1.4 (K-mount).
A terrific lens.

Note that Voigtlander has discontinued its K-mount production. Some new VL 58mm lenses can still be purchased but not for long IMHO. The VLs are becoming hot properties...
07-23-2011, 04:14 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I have Mamiya-Sekor and Super-Takumar 55/1.8's, they're both great (and they were CHEAP! for me).

The Topcons, if they have the Exakta-Topcon bayonet mount with 44.7mm register, won't be hard to reversibly convert to PK with register of 45.46mm. You merely need to 1) remove (and save!) the index screw, 2) glue an M39-M42 adapter ring around the bayonet, and 3) grind about 0.6mm from the flanged side of a cheap Bowers-type M42-PK adapter. All my Exaktas reach infinity focus on my K20D.

The Minolta is another story, with a register of 43.7mm. I have yet to convert one; I need a cheap MD lens to practice on before I chop my MC Tele Rokkor-PF 100/2.5. No WAY do I want to mung that one! (Especially since I haven't paid my mother-in-law for it yet.) Have you converted any Minoltas before? If not, tread carefully, eh?

When I reach for a 55, I have great choices besides the Mamiya and Takumar: Sears-Tomioka/1.4, Argus-Chinon/1.7, Petri/1.8, Rikenon/1.8, Porst-Cosina/2.8. The Petri CC 55/1.8 may be the sharpest; the Tomioka 55/1.4 is my favorite, for bokeh & character etc. I lust for a Cosina 55/1.2, but I'll need to get real real lucky...
Forgive me if I start speaking gibberish or loose my train of thought. I just came up from my workshop. Been refinishing an antique high chair for my baby girl to use. I forgot how.... um.... powerful NGR dye and lacquer fumes can be. Wow, the world is slightly tilted..... and a lovely shade of purple to boot. Guess I should have bought those new filters for my respirator instead of looking at lenses all morning............. Damned LBA!

Thanks for the advice on the Exacta-Topcon. I've looked into the conversion of them to k mount and it seems fairly straight forward. Famous last words.....
I haven't converted any Rokkors, but I've looked into how to do it and I'm fairly confidant I can pull it off. Again, famous last words.....

I read somewhere that the Mamiya Sekor and Rikenon 55 1.4 is the same lens as the Tomioka 55 1.4. Do you know if that's true?
Right now I'm still hoping that I can find a Topcor 58 1.4 for a reasonable price. People seem to want an arm and a leg for them these days. I guess people have caught on to how good they are.

I too lust after the Cosina 55/1.2, as well as the Rokkor 58/1.2 and several other 1.2 lenses. Unfortunately, they all seem to be in fairly high demand and the prices reflect this.

You wouldn't by chance have ever used a Rokkor 55 1.4? Just wondering if you had an opinion about it.
07-23-2011, 05:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian Quote
Forgive me if I start speaking gibberish...
Such is not uncommon here.

QuoteQuote:
Thanks for the advice on the Exacta-Topcon. I've looked into the conversion of them to k mount and it seems fairly straight forward. Famous last words.....
The method I mentioned is reversible, so resale value isn't killed. And you only need to grind one or two cheap M42-PK adapters. How-to: Tape rough sandpaper to a very flat tile. Put the adapter flange-size down. Use a big eraser or piece of soft wood as a hand-grip when pushing down. Grind way. Check for infinity focus every now and then.

QuoteQuote:
I haven't converted any Rokkors, but I've looked into how to do it and I'm fairly confidant I can pull it off. Again, famous last words.....
I tried converting an MD-base Kiron lens but failed because I couldn't figure how to keep the aperture stopped-down. A real Rokkor base might be replaceable with a PK base, but I want to practice on something cheap first.

QuoteQuote:
I read somewhere that the Mamiya Sekor and Rikenon 55 1.4 is the same lens as the Tomioka 55 1.4. Do you know if that's true?
I think I have read (over at mflenses.com) that the Mamiya and Ricoh were made by Tomioka, but I don't know if that is a fact. Mamiya and Yashica DX and some other 55/1.8's are reputedly Tomioka also. But I don't know that much about who made what. Tracking lineages is like walking a maze in darkness.

QuoteQuote:
Right now I'm still hoping that I can find a Topcor 58 1.4 for a reasonable price. People seem to want an arm and a leg for them these days. I guess people have caught on to how good they are.
VERY highly regarded, NOT cheap -- but hay, I could get lucky some day. Like the days I got the Tamron BBAS 28/2.5 for US$4 and the Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 macro for $3 and the Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4 for $2 and the TDC 127/3.5 for $1

QuoteQuote:
I too lust after the Cosina 55/1.2, as well as the Rokkor 58/1.2 and several other 1.2 lenses. Unfortunately, they all seem to be in fairly high demand and the prices reflect this.
All f/1.2's are in demand and costly. Except my B&H Filmovara 15-25/1.2 which was ONE BUCK! But I still have to splice that onto a P&S.

QuoteQuote:
You wouldn't by chance have ever used a Rokkor 55 1.4? Just wondering if you had an opinion about it.
Nope.

Last edited by RioRico; 07-23-2011 at 05:42 PM.
07-23-2011, 09:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I tried converting an MD-base Kiron lens but failed because I couldn't figure how to keep the aperture stopped-down. A real Rokkor base might be replaceable with a PK base, but I want to practice on something cheap first.
I think I remember reading that you have to make, purchase or re-purpose a spring and attach it some how to the stop down lever inside the mount. It's probably a little different on each lens though. I may also be remember a completely different set of instruction for a completely different lens brand. I'll have to try to fins it again I guess.
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