Saturday, May 07, 2016

Cheap lens

Inflation sucks caca shake through a broken sieve, but working against it is the fact that many digital and industrial products are getting so cheap you just can't believe it if you're "of a certain age".

For instance this 50mm 1.8 lens for Nikon, selling new, autofocus and all, for eighty-two dollars.
Granted we don't know yet exactly how good it is, but I'm pretty sure that 1: it's not as good as a $600 lens. 2: It is probably actually pretty good. It's been many years since I've heard of any new lenses which were bad, and those were even just some samples being duds. I would be quite surprised if this lens is not at least as good optically as the kit lenses coming with typical cameras. Not a zoom granted, but then it's faster and may have nice bokeh, background blur for portraits and such.


emptyspaces said...

When I really started getting into photography, the lens that turned me was the Canon 50/1.8, which I bought for $89 US. I remember being so surprised how much more interesting my photos became after shooting with the kit lens. I'd take a chance on the Yongnuo lens in a heartbeat if I were a beginning Nikon shooter.

Sometimes super cheap lenses really punch above their weight. Recently I bought a C-mount lens and adapter for M43 on Amazon...all manual, of course, but it was under $30 US so I figured what the hell. It is prone to flare and needs software correction for chromatic aberration (easy in Lightroom), but man, if you nail focus and aren't pointed too close to the sun it really kicks ass.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I had to look up C-mount myself, so here's a reader service, they are video/film lenses:

You're right. I bought to over-50-year-old Olympus Pen lenses (half a century!) for my new digital Olympus Pen-F. And while they have some flare at full opening and don't have autofocus, they are really excellent, and cost less than a hunnert apiece. They are small and beautiful too.

Cool you use Micro Four Thirds, what's your main gear there?

emptyspaces said...

Olympus E-M10 body with the accessory grip (not for extra battery, just provides more grip). Panasonic 14/2.5, Panasonic 25/1.4, Oly 40-150 4.5-5.6, Oly body cap lens 15/8, Oly 45/1.8, Vivitar 55/2.8 M42 macro via adapter, Fotasy 35/1.7 C-mount via adapter. Meike MK320 flash. The macro is killer for about a hundred bucks. The 14/2.5 is a nice walkabout lens and is not expensive. The Panasonic 25/1.4 is the best of the lot.

Here in the US we have a store called KEH that deals in used equipment. They rate very conservatively and offer exchanges or money back if you're not happy. I bought most of the lenses from them & saved a bundle.

I can fit the body plus 3-4 lenses in a tiny Thinktank bag, I just love how small all this stuff is.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Well said.

KEH sounds great. Savings and safe it seems. And even in private deals I've not regretted buying used lenses much, they are usually in fine condition.

Well, I did regret one, an old Nikon 24mm, but that was the lens, not the seller. It was so soft near the edges that it was distracting even at normal screen view. I bought another, and it was the same. Can't believe Nikon would put out such a lens. Ah well, it was hard to find good wideangle lenses from the film days.

Bru said...

There is a Micro 4/3 fisheye that sells for under $100.00. It's my most fun lens, and gets a lot of use.”-fish-eye-lens.83973/

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, Bru.