Thread: Best Inexpensive Lenses

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  1. #1 Best Inexpensive Lenses 
    Junior Member TrevorBarnes's Avatar
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    So I am wondering if anyone has any good lens recommendations for the red one mx? I really just want a couple of primes. I have an ef mount, a nikon, and pl mount for my red one. I have only used ef lenses in the past but I don't shoot on Canon anymore and don't have any good glass. I am open to anything but am looking for something inexpensive as I don't want to spend to much on a camera that is 10 plus years old. Maybe even some vintage lenses?
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    Cooke Minis

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    Senior Member Jacek Zakowicz's Avatar
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    lomo standard speeds for vintage, period, special look
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  4. #4  
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    I use a lot of nikon glass from 24mm all the way to 600mm (I used nikon professionally for photography)

    You can get a lot of older glass for nikon that produces amazing video for very little money and some of the even older stuff (AI) looks stunning and coats between 20-80 off eBay.

    I also have a PL mount for my RED One MX and will at some point but a nice PL lens prime when I'm ready for the upgrade. But my nikon kit works wonders!
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  5. #5  
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    Helios 58mm
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    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Lenses these days, 2021 (happy new year!), range in prices from $15 used to $$$,$$$ new. Inexpensive is relative really to that, but generally when I think of highly affordable it's in the realm of $15-$1200 a lens.

    Helios of course has been mentioned, but you can adapt a bunch of good glass to EF like Nikons-F, Leica-R, Mamiya 645, Pentax 645, Olympus OM, M42 lenses, etc.

    Best in that group is going to largely depend on your taste. Some have more character, some lean on the cleaner side of things. Nobody is going to scoff at a good set of Leica-R primes. Summicrons f/2 primes are gold in my book, though many like the more expensive Summilux f/1.4 primes. Both are great.

    Vintage Nikon glass I feel is pretty impressive and still pretty cheap.

    But yes, the cheapest is the Russian stuff like the Helios, Mir, Tair, etc. I bought a bunch of Helios for $15 each long ago and they are my "I'm gonna ruin this lens to make something with weird lens flares" lenses.

    On the cinema side, there's many options likely exceeding inexpensive. You'll be stepping up from a few lenses for $1000-ish to a few lenses for several thousand.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member William Long's Avatar
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    Contax Zeiss
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    Lenses these days, 2021 (happy new year!), range in prices from $15 used to $$$,$$$ new. Inexpensive is relative really to that, but generally when I think of highly affordable it's in the realm of $15-$1200 a lens.

    Helios of course has been mentioned, but you can adapt a bunch of good glass to EF like Nikons-F, Leica-R, Mamiya 645, Pentax 645, Olympus OM, M42 lenses, etc.

    Best in that group is going to largely depend on your taste. Some have more character, some lean on the cleaner side of things. Nobody is going to scoff at a good set of Leica-R primes. Summicrons f/2 primes are gold in my book, though many like the more expensive Summilux f/1.4 primes. Both are great.

    Vintage Nikon glass I feel is pretty impressive and still pretty cheap.

    But yes, the cheapest is the Russian stuff like the Helios, Mir, Tair, etc. I bought a bunch of Helios for $15 each long ago and they are my "I'm gonna ruin this lens to make something with weird lens flares" lenses.

    On the cinema side, there's many options likely exceeding inexpensive. You'll be stepping up from a few lenses for $1000-ish to a few lenses for several thousand.
    What are your thoughts on the Takumar Phil ?
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  9. #9  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Super Taks got some nice flavor to them. And yep to the above Contax Zeiss glass. Those are about as popular as Leica-R in some circles.

    In the lower price brackets which mostly equates to vintage glass that can be adapted then Cine-Modded for motion picture use it's all about the charm of the character and if you aim right you'll have a decent focus pull without image shift, but most of these lenses really weren't designed for motion. Expect slop and play when racking focus for sure more often than not.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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    2X RED Monstro 8K VV Bodies, 1X RED Komodo, and a lot of things to use with them.

    Data Sheets and Notes:
    Red Weapon/DSMC2
    Red Dragon
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Scot Yount's Avatar
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    I have never used this guy who specializes in Nikon, but know people who do and are happy with their lenses. I have a bunch of vintage Nikkor glass and you can pick that stuff up on eBay for next to nothing. A great value.

    http://www.rplens.com
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