Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by Stephen Rundle, Jul 11, 2020.
..... Was all the rage when the first Sony mirrorless cameras came out but there were no lenses for them. Gone quiet now that modern lenses are available. I bought a MD to Fuji X adaptor because I have some MD primes and yes it works but the modern lenses, especially with AF, are so much easier to use and come with a higher rate of focus success. One of those things folk try, play with for a bit, then put back in the drawer. If you want an authentic experience use an old camera.
Has always been the rage with Pentax, they rave over the amount of 'legacy' glass that is available.
I tried a couple of old Pentax lenses which gave good results on film, too much CA for digital, imo.
I think the benefits would be more appreciated on a camera with in body IS rather than Nikons like mine
I am a fan of old lenses. Before I went digital I was a Minolta user. I have quite a few old Minolta lenses that are definitely good enough for my 24mpix Sony Alphas, but my go-to tele-zoom is an old Sigma 75-200mm f:2.8-3.5 push-pull that I bought new/old stock from Ffordes a couple of years ago. It holds f:2.8 to 140mm, which is the maximum I usual go anyway before fitting a 70-300mm. The Sony IBIS works well with it.
Although this model lens was introduced in 1986 with AF, the design dates from 1979! Mind you, that focal length is one of the best understood types for a long time, second only to the standard 50mm!
I just put my MD 28 mm on my XE-2. Viewfinder works fine at F22 - although you can see a change in response as you click through from F2.8 it only gets a bit noisy as the lens is stopped down. Probably why Canon support using a 2x extender on their new 600 and 800 F11 primes for the R5.
I resemble that remark. You're no doubt right that lenses made before digital generally had more optical faults than their modern successors, but those faults were acceptable in their day and there's no reason they can't be acceptable now.
When I bought my (second hand) Pentax K-1 a couple of years ago, it was specifically to use with my collection of 1970s/80s K- and M-series Pentax primes that I had been using with film SLRs. I wanted to use them as I had always known them, not on some crop-sensor (if I'd gone for a crop-sensor, I would probably have switched to Canon anyway). So for the first six months I had the K-1, it was permanently in Manual mode. I had no auto lenses for it. Even now, it probably has one of those lenses on it about half the time. And using them on the digi-SLR reinvigorated my interest in the film cameras.
"Interesting" factoid: several people have asked me if images taken with old lenses on the digi were shot on film. They weren't, of course, but that experience has led me to wonder if what people refer to as the "look" of film is partly due to the lenses used in the film era rather than the qualities of film itself.
I'm a fan of old lenses too - used on old film cameras.
'Ease of Use' has always been a selling point, along with 'new' and 'improved'.
These things are only worth paying for if they are important to you, and the manufacturers try very hard to convince you that they are.
As a professional photographer, "ease of use" absolutely is important to me. Time is money, and all that. Anything that improves my chances of getting the right result is good.
For my personal stuff, I've long used old lenses - well over 20 years - on my autofocus cameras, as well on, well, old cameras. There the fun is pretty much as important as the results.
Some of us were doing this before mirrorless or even consumer digital cameras existed, though there's much more flexibility now.
If you count putting M42 lenses on PK bodies, I was adapting lenses as far back as 1985, but using more awkward combinations took a bit longer.
I adapted a 1930's Kodak Astigmat (via bellows) back in 2011 & almost certainly tried similar combinations with film in the 80's-90's.
The 'authentic experience' of an old camera doesn't have that much going for it IMO. With digital I can try the nearly impossible & get rapid feedback - allowing me to stop once I've been lucky enough to get something usable, or revise my efforts without waiting to finish the film & process it....
The experience of old lenses is however something that continues to charm, and even just playing with random bits of shaped glass can be fun for a while.
A quick check of my lens data base show I have over 120 lenses (across at least ten mounts) that are more likely to be used adapted than on their native format. Even given my hoard of old pentax SLR lenses the adapted glass outnumbers any native stuff.
I think there are still 4 mounts I used with native glass, and they probably get used more than the adapted stuff, but I rarely go out with a camera without at least one adapted lens.
I'd say IS isn't your main issue. Very few SLR lenses adapt to Nikon for anything other than macro, the F mount has too long a registration.
I can lend you my Argus C3 - the authentic experience of this baby has *nothing* going for it! Ask @Footloose! I get it out every now and then (and the Argus C3) just to remind me how dreadful it really is!
Argus C3 Matchmatic by gray1720, on Flickr
As a "professional" too I agree but as a hobby it is "fun"
I agree, Steve, and, in fact, I think I started a thread (somewhere in AP) entitled "I like Purple Fringing"
the images were great
I've just realised how old that pic must be - I've had a glass eye blu-tacked into the flash for about ten years now!
Kind of you to offer but I've got a few to try out if the film bug bites again (and a distinct lack of storage space - as the family keep reminding me.
I guess one of my folders, or the 5x4 monorail are the most likely to see action, but I do enough chemistry at work!
I love old lenses, and have recently taken an interest in film again. So I went out and bought an old Leica iiif which came with a lovely near mint Summitar 5cm f2 (predecessor to the first Summicron). Turned out the Leica had faulty shutter curtains so had to go back along with the lens and was a little bit gutted. More so when I got an adapter to fit ltm lenses to my Fuji X-pro2. Here's a pic I took with the Summitar on the Fuji at f2.
That's a mid 1940's lens with the 10 blades. The last ones had 6 and the early ones were uncoated, This version is the best of the lot to me. Now try and get swirly bokeh like that on a modern lens.
if you want to go a bit older...
Again on the Fuji X-pro2 with the Acros + yellow filter film simulation and set to square in camera (I used to love shooting 6x6 so sometimes limit myself to it).
This was taken with the lens that came with my replacement Leica iiig and I think was bundled with it to make a usable set. I also bough the lens that was supposed to come with it (both from Ffordes) which was an Elmar 5cm f2,8 from around 1956.) I think someone must've decided to sell their leica gear and sell the Elmar separately to make more.
Anyway, I digress.. The lens that shot this was a 1936 uncoated Summar 5cm f2. It was hazy inside and had some dust. The front element is chalk glass and has fine abrasion marks. I stripped it and cleaned it internally then made a hood for it so my lights didn't cause flair etc. This pic was shot wide open at f2 and its closest range of 1m with no post processing. I was pretty much astounded. it's a softer, lower contrast lens than the Elmar (have a pic from that as well of the same subject, which is slightly more contrasty) so should be good for portraits. The Summitar 5cm f2 superseded the Summar.
Which is why the good Flying Spaghetti Monster gave us Tamron AD2 lenses to play with!
...and they also fit Canon FD or Eos...
Separate names with a comma.