Lenses with character - your types

Robertom

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
25
Hello,

I am looking for lenses with character.
Generating photos in an interesting way for the recipient.
Each system has such lenses.
Please, indicate your suggestions.

My types after reviewing several galleries:
1. PL42.5
2. PL15
3. O12-100
4. O25 pro
 

Stanga

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
963
The PL 15mm f1.7 is definitely an excellent choice. It's sharpness produces a wider dynamic range in colour and light level that is worth the price of the lens, and some.
 

Egregius V

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Jun 14, 2015
Messages
580
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Massachusetts, USA
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Rev. Gregory Vozzo
For me, character means more than just the best image quality. Here are some of the lenses I own that stand out for some reason:

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye: inexpensive, sharp, all-manual, well-made and fun.
Olympus 14-150 f/4-5.6 II: despite its flaws, very good central sharpness and amazing contrast.
Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4: sharp and contrasty, renders with a cool color temperature. Images really pop.
Olympus 9-18 f/4-5.6: Flat rendering (lacking contrast) - usually not preferred but can be interesting.
Olympus 7-14 f/2.8 PRO: Perfectly balanced rendering, IMO. Natural with great sharpness and contrast.
Panasonic 100-300mm f/4-5.6 II: IQ is very good, strong vignetting can be employed artistically.
 

agentlossing

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Jun 26, 2013
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Andrew Lossing
The Panasonic 20mm f1.7 and the Olympus 25mm f1.8 are the two that I own with real character. The Olympus has smooth focus falloff and lovely saturation. The Panny has a crispness and contrast pop that's very cool.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
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Brisbane, Australia
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Damiano Visocnik
Not sure what is your definition of "character" but to me it means a lens that draws light in an unusual way.
Most modern lenses are hyper-corrected and have pretty much eliminated what photographers often call character.
To get character I reach for vintage lenses with fewer glass elements, designed for formats that are different than our 4/3 sensors.
If I really want interesting rendering then I use Cine lenses for 16mm film, of even projection lenses.

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on tropical ice by gnarlydog, on Flickr

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Rainbow in a bubble by gnarlydog, on Flickr

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fire red on Helios 44-7 by gnarlydog, on Flickr
 
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rloewy

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
May 5, 2014
Messages
5,239
Real Name
Ron
Tons of fantastic native lens - but for character it's usually the adapted old ones. Two real favorites of mine are the cine Kodak 63mm 2.7 and the Rokkor 50mm 1.7 - The Helios 58mm 2 is also very good.

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Joined
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348
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Eugene, Oregon
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Paul
Olympus 4/3 SHG all the way. I consider myself fortunate to have two: the 150f2 and the 35-100f2. Yes, they're a good deal larger than what would normally fit into our M4/3 ethos, but wow- they just sing.
 

Mitchell j Wnorowski

New to Mu-43
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
Messages
6
Hello,

I am looking for lenses with character.
Generating photos in an interesting way for the recipient.
Each system has such lenses.
Please, indicate your suggestions.

My types after reviewing several galleries:
1. PL42.5
2. PL15
3. O12-100
4. O25 pro
Any Olympus OM mount prime !
 

ralf-11

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
1,264
as per above, an old lens with some kind of distortion

Nikon made 2 or more super creamy magical bokeh MF lenses, a 35mm and a 50mm - I kept them both when I sold nearly everything else

Oly has a set of Pro primes with feathered bokeh - one is perfect for portraits (unless you are too old to take pics of young women)
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2017
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1,354
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Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
Real Name
Jan Steinman
Any Olympus OM mount prime !
Especially the 350/2.8 — wish I could afford the even-better 250/2.
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Jan68

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
103
Location
Ontario
Just bought the 7Artisans 25mm 1.8 for my EM5 II. This lens changed the way I take photos and use the camera. Instead of pointing and shooting multiple times in the direction of possible objects, I start thinking again about what I am doing. I compose photos in the viewfinder, think about aperture and ISO settings, focus manual (ok, I cheat with focus peaking), and take a photo exactly the same way I have learned it in the 80's with my Canon AE1. The best $100 I have spent in a long time, and ready to purchase more manual lenses...
 

junkyardsparkle

haunted scrap heap
Joined
Nov 17, 2016
Messages
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Like, The Valley
pointing and shooting multiple times in the direction of possible objects
I tried that for a while... but after some sober consideration, I came to the conclusion that I actually do a little bit better with my eyes open. :D

I'll toss in one more vote for the old Kodak Cine glass... tons o' fun for close-up subjects...

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nstelemark

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
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May 28, 2013
Messages
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Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
Real Name
Larry
Panny 20f1.7 for sure, also the 25f1.4. Olympus 14-35f2, and 150f2. I was struggling to put a modern Olympus lens into this group, but the 8f1.8 certainly qualifies - great optics, interesting rendering.

I am not sure I would list something like the 12-100f4 in this list. Technically accurate, precise, perhaps clinical but "character" I would not apply to this lens.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2013
Messages
345
Location
Kansas
Real Name
Mel
I have three lenses with that something extra called character or lovability. My three are the 12-40mm 2.8 Oly Pro which is smooth, water-resistant, and very sharp. It almost makes a Macro lens unnecessary. Almost! The next one is the beloved sports lens, 40-150mm 2.8 Pro from Oly. It also focuses close which again almost makes a macro unnecessary. But that brings up my last most favored lens with character and it is the Panasonic Leica 45mm 2.8 Macro Elmarit. Very sharp, high quality, is a true macro and I love it a lot. My only problem with the Panasonic Macro and my other Panasonic 25mm 1.7 is that the mounting on the EM1 and Em 5ii is very tight, almost makes me want to check to see if metal is being shaved off but it has not, just tight.

The Nikon lenses I have with "character" are the 70-200mm 2.8 Nikkor, a much used and loved Sigma 180mm 3.5 Macro and a lens with very good character is the Sigma 12-24mm lens.
 

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