Super compact and budget friendly kit

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by kevistopheles, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles FujiXspot Veteran

    419
    Oct 18, 2014
    Bellingham, WA
    Kevin
    As much as I like adapted lenses they love a good deal to be desired when compared to native glass when it comes to size. When I was shooting m43 cameras I always liked the fact that the Panasonic 14 and 20 were so nice and compact yet delivered great results. In fact I preferred the Panasonic 20 to the PL25/1.4 because of it.

    Now that I'm shooting adapted lenses exclusively I have been looking for a. Ice compact set of lenses. I tend to move around on foot a lot and I really prefer carrying less gear (of course that one of the most appealing thirst about mirror less to begin with). What I find out experimenting with a number of compact/budget lenses is that compact and budget does not have to mean lower quality. Part of what distinguishes any of these lenses is that I was able to get the relatively cheaply. This is because they are overshadowed by more highly sought after lenses (usually faster) but I have found that often these less glamourous lenses punch way above their weight class.

    Here are the finalists thus far...

    1. Olympus OM 28/3.5 - it's sharp, insanely small and cheap as chips. I found a gorgeous mint copy for all of $19. It was close between the Super Takumar 28/3.5 but the smaller OM adapter won the day.

    2. The Super Takumar 35/3.5 is an absolutely terrific lens. It's sharp and very tiny even with the rather large m42 to Fuji adapter attached. I would argue that the petite Super Tak 35 is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used. This lens is plentiful and if you look you can find bargains. I got one in nice shape (although it needs a bit of a cleaning) for under $30.

    3. Konica Hexanon 40/1.8 - it's a lens that is not particularly sharp wide open but stop it down a bit and it really shines. I also think that it's much maligned bokeh is far better than it gets credit for. This was the most expensive lens in my test kit at $60.

    3b. An alternative to the Konica is the Olympus Pen-F 38/1.8. It's sharper wide open but stopped down there isn't a lot of difference in IQ. THE Olympus does close focus to about a foot but it's also nearly 3x price of the Konica.

    4. Olympus OM 50/1.8 (made in Japan version) - this lens is sharp, even wide open and IMHO it is capable of images on par with the much more sought after OM 50/1.4. I rarely shoot anything wide open so the 50/1.8 is a very attractive option because it can be had at bargain prices. Mine is the latest MC version and in great condition and it set me back all of $30.

    Honorable mention goes to the Soviet era Industar 50 (50/3.5) that is barely larger than a lens cap.