Super compact and budget friendly kit

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

  1. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles FujiXspot Veteran

    Oct 18, 2014
    Bellingham, WA
    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.