How To Get Strikingly Sharp High Quality Lenses For A Fraction Of The Cost

You know how your Grandpa always said things were made to last back when he was young?

That’s exactly the case with old film lenses. They are sturdy – heck, you could almost use some of them as a hammer, and the sharpness seems out of this world. There is a way you can use this magnificent old glass on your DSLR. Just get some film lenses (try thrift shops or eBay) and an adapter, and you’re good to go. However, you should always be extra careful when attempting modifications to your gear.

Recently I learned about a method for retrofitting older film lenses to function with our modern cameras. The possible bad news is that these are mostly manual focus prime lenses so your autofocus and metering won’t work. The great news is that the majority of these lenses are built like photographic tanks and possess extremely capable optics. These lenses are also readily available and affordable on most any budget. For virtually every lens and camera combination there is an adapter that will enable you to use any lens with any camera – regardless of manufacturer.

The entire process is very simple; the adapter simply snaps onto the lens. Then it’s business as usual attaching the adapted lens to the camera. Just line up the indicator dot with the mounting dot on your camera body.


The adapters are also removable if you choose to do so later by depressing a small spring catch (most brands have these).

As I said earlier, these are completely manual lenses. Meaning that you adjust your aperture by hand as well as focusing the lens. Personally, I enjoy the deliberateness this action forces. You have to think about your composition so much more, and you get to experience the effects of aperture adjustment literally first hand.

Read the full article with example images over at Digital Photography School.

Source: Digital Photography School

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