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02-19-2012, 03:45 PM   #1
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Recomendations for an economical fast legacy prime lens for video

Hello,

I'm new to the world of dslr video, but am looking to add a few economical fast primes to use for video. What are some gems out there I should look for? Anything from 18mm to 85mm would be great - I'll be using this on an APSC sized camera (currently a K-5, but that will probably change...)

02-19-2012, 04:03 PM   #2
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A buddy of mine does all his work on a 5d mark ii and an old 50mm f1.4 smc takumar. If you want fast and cheap, 50s are your best bet. For something a tad longer, you can pick up a modern samyang/vivitar/rokinon 85mm f1.4 for an alright price. On the wide end, you can find one of the older vivitar 24/28mm f2 or tamron adaptall 24/28mm lenses for decent prices
02-19-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
A buddy of mine does all his work on a 5d mark ii and an old 50mm f1.4 smc takumar. If you want fast and cheap, 50s are your best bet. For something a tad longer, you can pick up a modern samyang/vivitar/rokinon 85mm f1.4 for an alright price. On the wide end, you can find one of the older vivitar 24/28mm f2 or tamron adaptall 24/28mm lenses for decent prices

Thanks, I'll look into those. Very much appreciated!
02-19-2012, 04:18 PM   #4
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If you don't want the adapter:
SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.4 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

If you want to spend even less but still use auto aperture:
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database


Adam
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02-19-2012, 04:40 PM   #5
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For video, absolute sharpness or aberations are not that important. You are looking for a lens that delivers good contrast, nice bokeh and good color rendition. It is not manual but for example FA*24 is such lens. You will probably find other.

But being a Pentaxian interested in video I think you should take a look at the K-01 before shopping for more glass...
02-19-2012, 04:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
A buddy of mine does all his work on a 5d mark ii and an old 50mm f1.4 smc takumar. If you want fast and cheap, 50s are your best bet. For something a tad longer, you can pick up a modern samyang/vivitar/rokinon 85mm f1.4 for an alright price. On the wide end, you can find one of the older vivitar 24/28mm f2 or tamron adaptall 24/28mm lenses for decent prices
the Super Tak 50/1.4 is soft wide open but sharpens wonderfully stopped down. Dont overlook the M50/1.7 - it may be sharper @ F1.7 than the Super Tak.
02-19-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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For video, I would look for M or earlier manual focus lenses which don't wobble when focusing. Some A lenses and almost all Pentax AF lenses have wobbly focus mechanism which will render the video useless for smooth transition.
02-19-2012, 05:32 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Thanks for the additional suggestions, much appreciated. I definitely like having auto aperture. Will likely start with a 50 since they are generally pretty cost effective...

02-19-2012, 05:35 PM   #9
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If you really, REALLY are on a budget, there are some offbrand manual 50mm f/1.7's that are hard to beat for the price. I have an old Sears 50mm/1.7 that probably is the best prime lens I own, hands down. I'd love to grab a 1.4 some day just to compare them. I paid all of 16 bucks for the thing.
02-19-2012, 05:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
For video, I would look for M or earlier manual focus lenses which don't wobble when focusing. Some A lenses and almost all Pentax AF lenses have wobbly focus mechanism which will render the video useless for smooth transition.
Yeah, I noticed that with video on an Olympus Pen I tried a while ago. I wonder if it's partly related to the in lens stabilzation. Anyway, I've seen some awesome video posted using old manual glass. I thought I read somewhere about people suggesting lenses that (forget the exact terminology) either have constant focus while changing aperture, or constant aperture while changing focus. I'll have to dig through some old posts on another forum I frequent, but there were some very good Pentax lenses of this nature recommended...

Anyway, thanks for the recommendations all!
02-19-2012, 05:44 PM   #11
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what you probably mean are lenses that have a constant aperture while changing focal length. One such lens is the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, which is what another buddy of mine shoots with, mounted on a d7000.
02-19-2012, 06:56 PM   #12
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Maybe a weird suggestion, but...

Helios 44 58mm f/2

You can go for a very unique look, high-contrast, sharp on the center and exotic bokeh.
02-19-2012, 07:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
If you really, REALLY are on a budget, there are some offbrand manual 50mm f/1.7's that are hard to beat for the price. I have an old Sears 50mm/1.7 that probably is the best prime lens I own, hands down. I'd love to grab a 1.4 some day just to compare them. I paid all of 16 bucks for the thing.
I would agree here, though the Sears is only sort of an off-brand, at least for their stuff sold in the 60s through the early 1980s. During that time it was pretty well known that Sears brand SLRs and M42 lenses were re-branded Ricoh product. Of course, I guess Ricoh is sort of an off-brand too! The Rikenon lenses were made by Tomioka and most were pretty good. My Auto-Rikenon 50/1.7 (same as the Auto-Sears 50/1.7 of the same vintage) is one of my favorite lenses.

To the OP, I would suggest any of the M42 normal lenses that were originally sold with cameras from the 60s and 70s. Specifically:
  • Rikenon
  • Sears
  • Yashinon (Yashica)
  • Mamiya/Sekor
  • Chinon
These have uniformly excellent build, are somewhat larger than a Super-Takumar of the same focal length, and feature performance that is just a small notch lower than the Asahi lenses. With the exception of the Mamiya/Sekor, all of the above are reputed to have been made by Tomioka and all are very similar in build and optics. Mamiya experts claim that the Mamiya made their won lenses.


Steve

(...recently got a Auto-Rikenon 55/1.4 as well...very nice...big, but nice...)
02-19-2012, 07:32 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcarvalhoalves Quote
Maybe a weird suggestion, but...

Helios 44 58mm f/2

You can go for a very unique look, high-contrast, sharp on the center and exotic bokeh.
No...good suggestion. On APS-C, sharpness is fairly uniform across the field and remains so at all apertures! I have the Helios-44M and have done some of my best work with that lens.


Steve
02-19-2012, 10:13 PM   #15
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Wow, such a wealth of great information here! Thanks, it is much appreciated. I can't wait to pick up and try some of these excellent suggestions. As soon as I pull the trigger and have a chance to try some of them out, I'll report back.
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