Learn how to mix and match vintage lenses (of almost any brand) with modern mirrorless cameras (of almost any brand). Add flavor to your photography with "flawed" used lenses. An old lens and a simple lens adapter is all you need to start having tons of fun.
Related Products at Adorama:
Lens to Camera adapters (full list):
Adorama Used Camera, Lenses, and more...
Leica M10 Mirrorless Digital Rangefinder Camera, Black
Leica Visoflex Viewfinder
Fujifilm XT-2 Mirrorless Camera
Kipon Nikon G Lens to Leica M Camera Lens Adapter
Photos by Mark Wallace
Additional Images courtesy of RJ Protacio
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I use a Minolta 1.8 50mm MD lens on my Sony A6000 and it's superd. I also use a Clubman 2.8 28mm lens and that to gives me fantastic images. I even use them at my weddings as an extra camera to catch certain parts of the day. Great video, thanks.
Just got my Meyer-Optik Orester 100mm and adapter today for my Sony FF. I was surprised how big (and heavy) the adapter was. Minimum focus distance is 45". Is there a way to get closer focus distance? I was hoping to do close-up work. Maybe a different adapter?
those aren't REALLY vintage lenses per say. the preview shows the OLD OLD silver steel encased lenses that are often taken from 8mm movie cameras and sometimes require custom made adapters. that's what i was clicking to see. hit me up when you do a piece on those lenses.
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Normally, I agree with Mark but he has got it completely wrong here. Vintage lenses work with DSLR cameras. I am not sure why he would say they dont. I an starting to doubt if he knows as much as he does about cameras.
I'd say the biggest reason people use old lenses with new mirrorless cameras that you didn't mention is the savings. With the purchase of a cheap $15 adapter, you can fit your new camera with a vintage lens and save hundreds. I just bought an adapter for my FD Canon glass (28/2.8, 50/1.4/50/3.5 macro, and 70-210/4) and all I spent on lenses was the cost of an adapter. That's 4 prime lenses I've added to my Fuji kit for the price of a t-shirt. That is the BIGGEST advantage. secondly, you keep saying these old lenses are inferior and that's not always the case. The optics in some older lenses are, a lot of the time, better than todays, especially with bokeh. Bokeh has a lot to do with not only focal length but the number and shape of the aperture blades. my 9 blade rounded aperture in my Canon FD 50/1.4 gives me better bokeh than any EF lens in my kit because there are less blades in them and they are not as round. Lastly, you are wrong about the inability to use old lenses on DSLRs. You absolutely can with an adapter. Granted the DSLR adapters have a correcting lens in them to compensate for flange distance and usually introduce a lot of softness when shooting wide open but it is definitely possible to shoot older lenses with DSLRs
Rangefinders are mirrorless film cameras and can accept many other brands of lenses because of their short front plate to film distance. So this concept has been around for a while but not many people took advantage of it when it was still in the realm of film cameras. The Leica IIIa works great with the Nikkor 35mm F 1.4 for example with the right adapter. Enlarger lenses are also fun to use on cameras but you need the right adapter and a helical focusing unit. I am glad to see the old glass get a new life.
Hello, Mark! Thank you for the great video. How do you manage these old lenses in Lightroom? I guess you set your Leica lens identification to "off" and then you somehow change the exif information? Do you do lens profiles to correct for chromatic aberration and distortions? Again, thanks a lot!!
Sir , I've seen few videos on YouTube which talks about how Leica or rangefinder lenses have trouble with defocus at infinity for Fuji's adapter for M mount or M39 or so. Can you help by making a video to clarify which lenses focuses perfectly on which 3rd party adapter on Fuji X mount. I know it's too much ask , I can't afford for sure ! :) I use a Canon 6D with Helios 44 58mm f2 (first version of 58mm lenses), focussing is just fine & I like it :) Nice Video :) Good Luck Sir :)
Great video Mark! I have about 14 Rokkor lenses. The cost of all of those lenses was cheaper than 2 of my modern Leica lenses. I like the way many old lenses render images. Another side benefit is that you can have just about every focal length covered in you kit for not a lot of money. I have also found some specialty lenses that I purchased at the same price as a rental of a similar modern lens.
SOME, not all. Canon lenses can not be used on Nikon DSLRs though Nikon glass can be adapted to Canon. Probably MOST older lenses will not work, especially trying to use different brands on Nikon. Also, older Canon R, FL, and FD lenses do not work on newer Canon EOS bodies. Most, but not all older Nikon lenses can be used on modern Nikon digital bodies....
I have Olympus em10ii. I also have an old Olympus om2 with a heap of lenses. What converter would I need.
My om2 isn’t where I’m living at the moment so I can’t try them out without converter? So would they need converter ?
Hi Stuart. Yes, you need a converter. I had a similar situation (previous use of OM2 and now using OM D EM1) and bought a converter from Olympus. It's expensive for what it is and in my opinion works well with shorter focal length lenses but the chromatic aberration on my longer lenses makes them virtually unusable. Hope this helps.
I have quite a few old Olympus lenses that I use on an Olympus om-d e-m1 Mark 1. Some of them work quite beautifully (the 100mm F2.8 for example). Others not so much. It seems though that none of them work particularly well wide open and must be stopped down, perhaps to 5.6 anyway, to be really in focus and sharp. I don't know whether other people have had similar experiences.
I sometimes use my Oly OM 50 f1.4 on my EM1i/EM5ii. Its very soft - almost unusably so at f1.4, but this gives a particular dreamy feel to the picture, so I use it just when I want this effect, and mostly at f2.8 or smaller. I had the 100mm f2.8 too (gave it to my daughter's fiancee) which was sharp and contrasty, but my eyes arent what they were 30 years ago, so I prefer AF for telephoto shots now.
Mark - Enjoyed your video immensely. I am doing the same thing now, using my brand new Hasselblad X1D mirrorless body and coupling vintage Zeiss lenses to it via a Kipon adapter. Other X1D owners are coupling Leica M lenses, Current Canon TS lenses, etc. Great fun!!
However, there is ONE point that you did not mention that should be known - and that's the fact that when you buy these vintage lenses, you must be certain that they are functional - at least to the point where they can be manually focused, and that the aperture can be adjusted. Furthermore, it is quite possible that if anything goes wrong with your lens, you may no longer be able to get it repaired.
it's incredible that we can create! Each creation shows a creative individuality and what you would like to say in your creative work. Everyone can say his word in his work! And it's important and it's very important to create what's yours!
You don't have to. Camera do it as if it is modern lens. Camera "decides" whether an image is exposed correctly by evaluating that it "sees" so the settings you set don't matter. Metering modes work fine, in addition histogram is available in real-time thanks to EVF. So you shouldn't have any problems with shooting with vintage lens on modern mirrorless cameras except manual focus and aperture control. For instance, my sony camera allows me to use complete manual lens of Samyang with no electronics built-in and it works fine
You don't. You set the camera on aperture priority, you set the shutter speed to the shutter speed you like, and you set the ISO to auto. The camera will steer exposure by adjusting the ISO on its own. With these settings, ISO becomes the only variable the camera can play with, because you forced the shutter speed, and the camera has no way of forcing a manual aperture to anything else than what you set it to via the aperture ring on the lens.
No more harmful than exposing the delicate surface of fine lenses to city air. years of such exposure has caused no problem with my Sony A7R. Of course bugs and other particulate matter should be kept off of the sensor. But its surface is no more prone to abrasion or damage than a lens......
If you are talking about the Leica the sensor isn't exposed. The shutter is closed on those cameras when you are not taking a picture. They only open when you take a picture, are in live view, or use and external EVF.
I've been using a whole assortment of manual lens for years on my a7, all the way from 16mm fisheye to 500mm mirrored tele. Have macros & a bellows as well. Great for copying old negatives. Biggest thing I notice is these lenses are heavy, solid aluminum, no plastic.
This is the contrast of tiny details in the image. Strange as it sounds, some lenses deliver reasonable contrast over the entire frame, but look dull when you crop greatly or zoom into smaller areas of the image.
it's called character.. you don't love somebody who is perfect, nobody is. It's the flaws that make us who we are..human and not clones of some 'perfect' specimen. Same with art. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder
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