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Vintage spherical lenses that cover full frame


Tim Flower
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Hi everyone,

I'm after some vintage (or vintage style) spherical lenses that cover full frame. Does anyone know what ones might work? I've found a few modern "vintage style" lenses that would do the trick e.g: the Genesis G35s and the Celeres. Are there any actual vintage spherical lenses that will cover a full frame sensor? 

Also - does anyone know if the Hawk Vantage One T1 lenses cover full frame? They don't mention in on their website.

Thanks all!

Tim.

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Arri DNA, Blackwing 7, rehoused Canon FD, K35 (except the 18mm), rehoused Nikon, a lot of the soviet lenses (Helios 44-2, Mir-1) are being rehoused, various other still lenses. I have been shooting a bit with Rollei single coated lenses and they're a bit slow (f2.8 for some focal lengths) but wide open they look very very similar to older standard speeds. Richard Gale is a fan of them, too, he manufactures a few sets of pseudo-vintage lenses himself.

From what I understand, the Genesis G35 and Celere lenses are largely identical to Rokinon/Xeen, which is another option.

I don't think the T1s cover.

Sharegrid did a cool video series on this recently.

The Leica R seems like the nicest if you can afford it and don't mind some slower options. 

Edited by M Joel W
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http://www.tinyurl.com/cinelenses is one of the most extensive compilations of available cinema lens makes, models, and technical data, though it may be impossible to keep up with every rehousing variation. 

The Vantage T1 lenses don't cover full frame, but you should note that Vantage has a new, similar lineup of full frame lenses called One4:
https://www.vantagefilm.com/file/edee/2020/07/vantageone4-20200710-010154.pdf

Might I ask what particular optical qualities you're searching for?  "Vintage" just means old, and just because a lens is old doesn't mean that it's optical quality is poor.  If you want lenses that are closer to peering through a cola bottle, there are modern lenses that might fit your criteria, too.

Edited by Daniel Klockenkemper
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On 8/9/2020 at 4:34 PM, Daniel Klockenkemper said:

http://www.tinyurl.com/cinelenses is one of the most extensive compilations of available cinema lens makes, models, and technical data, though it may be impossible to keep up with every rehousing variation. 

The Vantage T1 lenses don't cover full frame, but you should note that Vantage has a new, similar lineup of full frame lenses called One4:
https://www.vantagefilm.com/file/edee/2020/07/vantageone4-20200710-010154.pdf

Might I ask what particular optical qualities you're searching for?  "Vintage" just means old, and just because a lens is old doesn't mean that it's optical quality is poor.  If you want lenses that are closer to peering through a cola bottle, there are modern lenses that might fit your criteria, too.

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the reply, these resources are great. In terms of the optical qualities I'm after, I'm looking for the type of qualities that something like a Superspeed might give in terms of flare and softness. There seem to be some great new lenses coming out now that offer these characteristics, so I don't necessarily need one that was manufactured decades ago. However, just out of interest, I'd love to know what lenses were manufactured prior to digital large format cameras that would cover a full frame.

Cheers,

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On 8/9/2020 at 2:13 PM, M Joel W said:

Arri DNA, Blackwing 7, rehoused Canon FD, K35 (except the 18mm), rehoused Nikon, a lot of the soviet lenses (Helios 44-2, Mir-1) are being rehoused, various other still lenses. I have been shooting a bit with Rollei single coated lenses and they're a bit slow (f2.8 for some focal lengths) but wide open they look very very similar to older standard speeds. Richard Gale is a fan of them, too, he manufactures a few sets of pseudo-vintage lenses himself.

From what I understand, the Genesis G35 and Celere lenses are largely identical to Rokinon/Xeen, which is another option.

I don't think the T1s cover.

Sharegrid did a cool video series on this recently.

The Leica R seems like the nicest if you can afford it and don't mind some slower options. 

Thanks Joel, very useful info!

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Full frame is roughly the same size as 135 film, so virtually any still lenses will work if you have a camera with the appropriate mount. Unless you want cinema mechanics, in which case you might want something rehoused or bespoke. 

Here's a great recent comparison:

https://www.sharegrid.com/learn/lens-sets

Contax is also really popular. The 35mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.4 Contax might share similar designs with Super Speeds, and the earlier serial numbers almost certainly share the same coatings. I have a few older Contax lenses and they're nice.

On the high end, there's Arri DNA, which is similar to Blackwing7. But to me it feels a bit like spending 100X on a posh version of something like this:

https://ironglassadapters.com/lens/

What camera are you using? Are you looking to buy or to rent? EF mount okay or strictly PL? Do you need cinema mechanics? K35s seem to be the popular thing lately and are about as fast as and contemporaneous with Super Speeds but the cost is obscene. If you want to buy something, you could do worse than Contax. Same coatings as Super Speeds, I suspect, and there are most useful focal lengths available either in f1.4 or f2. 

Edited by M Joel W
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12 hours ago, Tim Flower said:

I'm looking for the type of qualities that something like a Superspeed might give in terms of flare and softness.

I've never thought of Super speeds being soft, unless you mean the low contrast look that you get when they're wide open.

You don't say whether you want to rent or buy, or what mount you need, so starting at the expensive end, in PL, the Zeiss Supreme Radiance lenses are specifically designed to mimic some of qualities of the Super speeds, having T* coatings and blue flares.

If you're looking for something cheaper, and non PL, then the Zeiss Contax stills lenses are a good bet, as Joel says. They share a lot of the same design as the Supers, and are also T* coated.

Other than that, just about any 35mm stills lens can be converted to either EF or Sony E mount, and increasingly, LPL mount.

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46 minutes ago, David Mullen ASC said:

Super Speeds are very sharp until you get below f/2.0-2.8 split, then they start to fall off a cliff...

I don't know, David, I shoot with Super Speeds a lot, and while they're definitely not as sharp at f2 as they are at f4 (like most lenses), I wouldn't call them soft by any means. They do, however, start to lose contrast very quickly if you open up past f2, and the blacks get very milky. It's really only that stop between f1.3 and f2 that is noticeable.

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5 hours ago, Stuart Brereton said:

I've never thought of Super speeds being soft, unless you mean the low contrast look that you get when they're wide open.

You don't say whether you want to rent or buy, or what mount you need, so starting at the expensive end, in PL, the Zeiss Supreme Radiance lenses are specifically designed to mimic some of qualities of the Super speeds, having T* coatings and blue flares.

If you're looking for something cheaper, and non PL, then the Zeiss Contax stills lenses are a good bet, as Joel says. They share a lot of the same design as the Supers, and are also T* coated.

Other than that, just about any 35mm stills lens can be converted to either EF or Sony E mount, and increasingly, LPL mount.

Wide open Super Speeds start to get quite soft in my opinion. 

Some good stills lens options, I've got a big set of old Nikons (non-AI, AI & AIS) which have a great look but not great in terms of consistency across the set. 

 

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The Rokinon XEEN lenses have some quite "vintage" optical characteristics (particularly wide-open), and they're super cheap and cover full-frame. They have two different styles of mechanical housings for them now, a carbon fibre and a metal version (which are very CP.2-esque).

Canon's new version of their CN-E primes, the "Sumires" also have a lovely vintage feel wide-open. That said, you can only really use them wide-open for that look, because as soon as you start stopping down they clean up remarkably, and look like normal Canon CN-E/L-series glass.

 

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