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Recommendations for cheap(ish) 50mm with good bokeh?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lens Forum' started by xXDanXx, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. beakhammer

    beakhammer Premium Member

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    Pentax SMC-M, Minolta MD Rokkor, Canon FD, Olympus M Zuiko, Fujica, are all good bets for nice Bokeh. Anything faster than F/2 is best. The f/1.7, f/1.8, and f/1.4 lenses are all good options. The f/1.7 and 1.8 lenses can usually be found for between $40 and $70 or so. Try KEH. You will pay even less at thrift shops, and maybe get a free camera with the lens.

    Helios might be OK, but might not be to your taste either. The Russians generally have different Bokeh.

    There are all sorts of affordable lenses in M-42 (Pentax Screw) mount as well, such as the Takumars mentioned above.

    I have a Minolta MC Rokkor 58mm/1.4 that is very nice (and was cheap), but I actually think the blur is nicer on some of the f/1.8 or f/1.7 lenses. The newer MD Rokkor lenses have better coatings. Whether you prefer the old-fashioned lenses with less or no coatings to the newer lenses with better coatings is a matter of personal preference. Pentax SMC-M 50mm f/1.4 is looks really nice, but I only have the SMC-M 50mm/1.7 and it is fine. I think Minolta MD Rokkor lenses are especially good on digital cameras, and they tend to be cheap. Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 lenses have a more modern look, but are also very nice, and inexpensive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  2. beakhammer

    beakhammer Premium Member

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    See my post above. The Zeiss on your list is probably great, but Zeiss also has a particular flavor of bokeh.

    Since all of this is very subjective I recommend going to Flickr and typing various lens/camera configurations into the search window there. You will pull up a zillion photos made with that lens and can make your own judgement. Flickr also has dedicated groups for photos made with specific lenses, so search in the group category as well. You can search instagram as well.
     
  3. beakhammer

    beakhammer Premium Member

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    Recommended:
    Pentax SMC-M 50mm/1.7
    Pentax SMC-M 50mm/1.4
    Canon 50mm/1.8 FD mount
    Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm/1.7
    Fujinon 55mm/1.8
    Pentax SMC 55mm/2
    Olympus M Zuiko 50mm/1.8

    I like my Nikkor 50mm/2, but Nikon is not everyone's favorite for Bokeh. Nikon often puts sharpness first in lens designs.
     
  4. Illumidata

    Illumidata Premium Member

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    @xXDanXx i think you should sell both your current lenses and go all in on a vintage 50-55 f1.2. :)
    Anything slower is just going to leave you wondering about what might have been, and you should be able to pick one up for about 30% of the cost of a new Fuji 56. Loads of cool rokkors, nikkors and canons in that range - or you could even get a new Samyang 50 1.2, which will probably outperform everything mentioned in this thread on a technical level.

    Just out of interest is your Zuiko the MC version?
     
  5. palane

    palane Premium Member

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    Any of the Smc screw/K mount taky/pentax variations are good.
    OM 50f1.8

    Now, one not mentioned that i own, is the Meyer-Optik Gorlitz(umlart over o in Gorlitz) 50f1.8...
     
  6. SopheNic

    SopheNic Well-Known Member

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    I have a Minolta MC 55 1.7 that I love. Its the lens that I learned photography with on my father's Minolta XGM from the 80s that I still use today. Nice inexpensive Fotodiox adapter works great.

    Please login or register to view links by Please login or register to view links, on Flickr

    I don't have much photos on hand at the moment that shows its bokeh. I can check Lightroom when I get home and see if there's some better examples that I haven't uploaded to flickr.
     
    Illumidata and Kirstybell like this.
  7. SopheNic

    SopheNic Well-Known Member

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    Wait, sorry. I misread your post. You already have the 55 1.7. My bad.
     
  8. Jim D

    Jim D Premium Member

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    I have a 50 1.4 super takumar 8 element , not sure if it is radioactive but it is lovely . Dreamy bokeh , sharp and extremely well built. I have not noticed my hair falling out at an accelerated rate since I received the lens (2.5yrs ago) , so perhaps this version is safe or at least the 1/2 life is in decline.
    enjoyable topic ..... thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018

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