Thread: Inexpensive Zooms

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  1. #21  
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    I'm pretty bought in to my FD set so I've been experimenting with zooms now as well. The FD 20/24-35 F3.5 is pretty awesome, especially on smaller sensor cameras which makes the range more useful. I don't own it personally so my testing is very limited there. The FD 35-105 I actually like quite a bit, especially for how cheap they are. It's definitely not perfect objectively though. Not incredibly sharp, and flares a ton like mentioned previously in this thread. So it's not going to be great for something clean. But I find it intercuts with the rest of my FD's nicely, and I personally like the quality of the flaring. FD flares in general are attractive to me, especially the lesser coated lenses like the 135mm F2.5 to name one specifically.


    BIG issues in my mind with the 35-105:

    Front rotates while focusing
    Pretty long minimum focusing distance (5ft) - Great focal range, but this is kind of a bummer in regards to run and gun usability for me
    Doesn't hold up to high contrast edges incredibly well, noticeable CA regardless of aperture - less of an issue for real world video use as opposed to pixel peeing though
    Corner performance can be rough depending on your filter stack, crop factor, etc.


    The Good

    Parfocal if it's in good condition
    Attractive rendering IMO
    Great Range
    Macro mode - Surprisingly useful for very specific styles of shot, actually shifts the minimum focus in incredibly close


    Regarding the comment earlier about contrast being potentially too low; I can definitely see that depending on the project and shooting scenario. But on my A7s in a dark inside concert venue (even adding a Black Pro Mist) I thought the LOG was perfectly serviceable and could be stretched back out like anything else. The range the lens provided was truly great for that kind of shoot, even dropping into macro mode for some quick detail stuff.
    Nathan Nichols
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  2. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post
    Haha I had RP lens mod the 16mm and 24mm. It was a really tough job for them, and they said they'd prob never do it again as it was lots of work.

    I found a trick for the rear lens cap! Here's what you do. Get a macro extension tube (that's EF), and stick the canon rear cap to that. This will give you the extra length to clear those rear elements. Those tubes are cheap:

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._tube_set.html
    Thanks, good idea. I might just look for better set screws for my RAF adapter and leave it on the camera at this rate, though. No one seems to do affordable EF conversions on those and it sounds like there's a reason why...

    And I'm pretty much definitely going with the Zeiss zooms btw, thanks, just not sure which generation yet. Simmod or Leitax? I want the focus scale to stay accurate.

    The 80-200mm f4 is so cheap... maybe I'll go with it and the 35-70mm after all. Do you think they'd intercut with the old Zeiss Mk 1 or should I go a generation older?


    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Nichols View Post
    I'm pretty bought in to my FD set so I've been experimenting with zooms now as well. The FD 20/24-35 F3.5 is pretty awesome, especially on smaller sensor cameras which makes the range more useful. I don't own it personally so my testing is very limited there. The FD 35-105 I actually like quite a bit, especially for how cheap they are. It's definitely not perfect objectively though. Not incredibly sharp, and flares a ton like mentioned previously in this thread. So it's not going to be great for something clean. But I find it intercuts with the rest of my FD's nicely, and I personally like the quality of the flaring. FD flares in general are attractive to me, especially the lesser coated lenses like the 135mm F2.5 to name one specifically.


    BIG issues in my mind with the 35-105:

    Front rotates while focusing
    Pretty long minimum focusing distance (5ft) - Great focal range, but this is kind of a bummer in regards to run and gun usability for me
    Doesn't hold up to high contrast edges incredibly well, noticeable CA regardless of aperture - less of an issue for real world video use as opposed to pixel peeing though
    Corner performance can be rough depending on your filter stack, crop factor, etc.


    The Good

    Parfocal if it's in good condition
    Attractive rendering IMO
    Great Range
    Macro mode - Surprisingly useful for very specific styles of shot, actually shifts the minimum focus in incredibly close


    Regarding the comment earlier about contrast being potentially too low; I can definitely see that depending on the project and shooting scenario. But on my A7s in a dark inside concert venue (even adding a Black Pro Mist) I thought the LOG was perfectly serviceable and could be stretched back out like anything else. The range the lens provided was truly great for that kind of shoot, even dropping into macro mode for some quick detail stuff.
    Thanks, I'll probably keep mine since it was $60 and in pretty good shape. Not 100% sure yet. Currently I only use FDs when I rent a mirrorless FF camera, and if I'm not mistaken IBIS doesn't really work with zooms? Anyway the FDs all seem a little lower contrast but I can't tell if it's the coatings or just how easily they accumulate dust and haze. My cleanest FD (85mm f1.2 L) is also the highest contrast. The rendering is really nice with them, though. I'm going to sell my Nikkors I think.

    Credit to old Nikkors, they seem to be the most bulletproof. And a lot of them look good to me. I love the old 85mm f1.8. Or maybe they're just so many of them we haven't run out of clean samples yet. But Nikkors never seem to suffer from haze or dust and practically everything else it seems does.
    Last edited by Matt W.; 02-01-2020 at 06:42 PM.
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