ccr-logo-leaf

When it comes to the 35mm format in photography, one lens comes standard on almost every camera, the 50mm. We were inspired to cover our favourite 50mm lenses after reading through an article published by The Atlantic, which got passed around the gang and various Facebook Groups. The simple matter is that the 50mm is considered normal, what our human eyes see every day. So for our 50th show, we cover those beautiful 50mm lenses that we all know and love!

Canon Lens FD 50mm 1:1.4 S.S.C
When it comes to Canon 50mm lenses one of the most sought after is the 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C. the creme-de-la-creme of Canon manual focus glass. The 50/1.4 came in three different versions, the original chrome nose and black nose are breach locks, with the third and final version being a standard lock. The SSC indicates the top-of-the-line Super Spectral Coating to aid in the reduction of reflections. The lens has pretty much stayed the same from its start in 1973, with only the number of aperture blades changing.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 50 - The Nifty Fifty
The three different versions of the 50mm SSC and a Canon EF

Lens Specs:
Make: Canon
Model: Canon Lens FD 50mm 1:1.4 S.S.C
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture Range: f/1.4 – f/16 – (Chrome: 6 Blades, Black: 7 Blades, Last: 8 Blades)
Optics: 7 Elements in 6 Groups

Snow Covered Yorkville Park_
Canon F-1 (New) – Canon Lens FD 50mm 1:1.4 S.S.C
North South Alley Way West of Yonge
Canon F-1 (New) – Canon Lens FD 50mm 1:1.4 S.S.C
Crossing Bay St. at the Eaton Centre
Canon F-1 (New) – Canon Lens FD 50mm 1:1.4 S.S.C
Closed Ramp at Nathan Philips Square
Canon F-1 (New) – Canon Lens FD 50mm 1:1.4 S.S.C

Leitz Summicron 50mm 1:2 (Type 5)
When it comes to quality in lenses nothing says it like Leitz. While James is more a fan of his 35mm, he picked up the Summicron 50mm Type 5 specifically for his digital Leica. However, the lens works perfectly on his M6 as well. However, if digital isn’t a factor James says, than any of the early models will work just as well. The lens saw the first manufacture in 1953 and has continued production to this day with changes between Type 1 and Type 2, Type 3 and Type 4. And finally, Type 5 and the current Type 6. The original Type 1 is also collapsible. Images are sharp, and the quality is like no other.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 50 - The Nifty Fifty
The Summicron mounted on James’ Leica M.

Lens Specs:
Make: Leitz
Model: Leitz Summicron 50mm 1:2 (Type 5)
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture Range: f/2 – f/16 – 8 Blades
Optics: 6 Elements in 4 Groups

M6-014
Leica M6 – Leitz Summicron 50mm 1:2 – Adox Silvermax 100 – Silvermax Developer (1+29) 11:00 @ 20C
M6-021
Leica M6 – Leitz Summicron 50mm 1:2 – Adox Silvermax 100 – Silvermax Developer (1+29) 11:00 @ 20C
M6-017
Leica M6 – Leitz Summicron 50mm 1:2 – Adox Silvermax 100 – Silvermax Developer (1+29) 11:00 @ 20C
M6-032
Leica M6 – Leitz Summicron 50mm 1:2 – Adox Silvermax 100 – Silvermax Developer (1+29) 11:00 @ 20C

Zeiss-Opton Sonnar f=50mm 1:1,5 T
The history of the Zeiss-Opton Sonnar is the story of optics as a whole. The Sonnar design dates back to the early 20th-Century when the Nettel Company desired to produce a faster version of the Zeiss Tessar lens. Naming it Sonnar, the lens was a 50mm f/4.5. Nettel would eventually merge with Contessa, which would be purchased by Zeiss in 1926 along with the Sonnar. The lens design would get a change in 1929 increasing the maximum aperture to f/2, that aperture would change again in 1932 to f/1.5. Zeiss would apply their T coating in 1935. Of course, during the war, it would be the Russians who got their hands on the Zeiss factory and took several lens designs back to Ukraine. And while the Zeiss factory would be split in two, in the west setting up in the Contessa plant, in the East it would run in Jena (the historic home of Zeiss). This western lens would bear the name Zeiss-Opton and the eastern lenses Zeiss-Jena. For Alex, the lens rarely leaves his Contax IIIa and with the unique aperture produces fantastic out-of-focus elements. Sadly because it is a Contax RF-Mount, it’s hard to get an adapter to use the lens on his a6000 digital.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 50 - The Nifty Fifty
Alex’s 50/1,5 pretty much lives on his Contax IIIa

Lens Specs:
Make: Carl Zeiss
Model: Zeiss-Option Sonnar f=50mm 1:1,5 T
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture Range: f/1.5 – f/16 – 10 Blades
Optics: 7 Elements in 3 Groups

Tucker
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss-Opton 1:1,5 f=50mm – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-200 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 15:00 @ 20C
TFSM - Winter '17
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C
CCR - Review 35 - Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa
Zeiss-Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss-Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-32 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:45 @ 20C

ЮПИТЕР-8 2/50 (Jupiter-8 2/50)
As mentioned earlier, the Sonnar design ended up becoming a mainstay of the Kiev Factory, and it didn’t get lost in space. The older (1929) version of the Sonnar became the Jupiter-8, and for John, it is his lens of choice his Soviet Rangefinders. The Jupiter-8 would be produced in both the Contax RF mount (pre-war) and M39 screw mount. Alex has the later model Jupiter-8m in Contax RF mount which is a great addition to his Sonnar.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 50 - The Nifty Fifty
Alex’s later model Jupiter-8m, very similar to the older model J-8s

Lens Specs:
Make: Arsenal
Model: ЮПИТЕР-8 2/50 (Jupiter-8 2/50)
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture Range: f/1.5 – f/22 – 9 Blades
Optics: 6 Elements in 3 Groups

The View from the Banff Springs Hotel
Зоркий-4 – ЮПИТЕР-8 2/50 – Svema Foto 200 @ ASA-200 – Ilfotec DD-X (1+4) 8:30 @ 20C
University of Toronto
Voigtländer Bessa R – ЮПИТЕР-8 2/50 – Kodak Tri-X @ ASA-400 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 15:00 @ 20C
Broken Hydrant, North Toronto
Zeiss-Ikon Contax IIIa – ЮПИТЕР-8m 50/2 – Fuji C200

Nikon Series E 50mm 1:1.8
If someone turns up their nose at a Series E Nikon, ignore them, because the Series E 50/1.8 is no slouch, not to mention it’s one of the few pancake lenses from Nikon. It works great on the FM and FE cameras, also the other compact SLRs from Nikon. And while later models went a little more plastic, the early versions have enough metal construction to do the job. Plus the lens is an AI-S lens!

CCR - Review 15 - Nikon FG
A Series E 50/1.8 mounted on a Nikon FG

Lens Specs:
Make: Nikon
Model: Nikon Series E 50mm 1:1.8
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture Range: f/1.8 – f/22 – 7 Blades
Optics: 6 Elements in 5 Groups

CCR - Review 15 - Nikon FG
Nikon FG – Nikon Series E 50mm 1:1.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Ilfosol 3 (1+14) 4:30 @ 20C
Toronto - New Years Eve
Nikon FM2 – Nikon Series E 50mm 1:1.8 (Green-1) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Milton Cruise Night
Nikon FM2 – Nikon Series E 50mm 1:1.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400

Silence in the Library
Like any group of photographers, we here at Classic Camera Revival probably have enough books individually to open a small public library of our photo book collection. But to keep things simple, everyone has come up with their favourites from their own collections. Each book would make a perfect addition to any Photographer’s permanent library as there’s a mix of guides like the Time-Life Photography Collection, to a mix of both how-to and pure art from 50 Portraits. Not to mention classics like Magnum Contact Sheets.

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix check out Burlington Camera (Burlington, ON), Downtown Camera (Toronto, ON), Film Plus (Toronto, ON), Belle Arte Camera (Hamilton, ON), Pond’s FotoSource (Guleph, ON), Foto Art Camera (Owen Sound, ON). Out West there’s The Camera Store (Calgary, AB) and Beau Photo Supply (Vancouver, BC). Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), buyfilm.ca (Ontario), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.