Photographer Mathieu Stern has built an admirable collection of rare, weird, super-cheap and DIY lenses so far. With his latest finding, he kinda brought all of this together. He laid his hands on a Cinestar 75mm f/1.9, a cinema projector lens. After making his own adapter, he used it on a Sony a7 III and tested it in a video. If you are a swirly bokeh fan, you’re gonna love it.
The ubiquitous 50mm lens has been a staple of photography for many years. And a lot of those older 50mm lenses really aren’t all that terrible – if you’re shooting video or can deal with manual focusing. In this video, Andrew from Danae & Andrew looks at 10 of the most popular vintage 50mm lenses to see how they compare.
While quite a few vintage lenses are starting to fetch some decent money, there are a lot of bargains still to be had, particularly at the 50mm focal length. All ten of the lenses shown in the video cost less than $100. And it might surprise you to find out that some of them actually have a pretty fast f/1.4 aperture.
In 1912, Eastman Kodak first introduced Vest Pocket Kodak, a tiny camera that was barely larger than today’s smartphones. It was a camera of choice for the soldiers in the First World War. Recently, Mathieu Stern got his hands onto a 100-year-old lens from one of these cameras. He carefully placed it onto a Sony A7III and gave the lens a new life by shooting a video with it. Take a look at the result in the video below.
So I made a big purchasing decision a few months ago by investing in the new Fujifilm GFX 50R camera. It is a larger-than-full frame, ‘medium format’ sensor camera. The 50Rwas by far the most affordable medium format option in its class at the cost of $4500 USD($5700 CAD). Despite the amazing image quality of the Fujifilm G series lenses, they can be prohibitively expensive and lack the wide apertures that full frame shooters are accustomed to. What excited me most about this camera was its ability to adapt other lens systems with F/1.4 lenses to create images with a very shallow depth of field. In an ideal world, I would be able to treat this camera like a medium format digital back.
Vintage lenses have their quirks, but they also have a certain charm. Many of them are well-built and tack sharp, yet very affordable. Photographer Mathieu Stern is a great fan of vintage glass, so he decided to do a little test. He compared a vintage manual 50mm f/1.2 lens he paid $80 with a modern AF 50mm f/1.2 lens that costs almost $1,500. Are they comparable at all? Let’s take a look.
Thanks to lens mount adapters, you can play with vintage lenses on modern cameras and get some of their bokeh goodness in digital photos. Iranian photographer Alireza Rostami made a simple modification to one of these vintage lenses. By flipping a single optical element, he has created “magic bokeh” which adds a dreamy, unique feeling to images. In this video, he shares a process and a couple of sample photos he took after modifying the lens.
If you’re looking for a high-quality, sharp lens with fantastic bokeh, vintage lenses can be a great option. They can give you images of great quality, yet you can buy many of them at very affordable prices. In this video, Mathieu Stern compares three vintage lenses for shooting portraits: Konica 40mm f/1.8, Porst 50mm f/1.4, and Jupiter 9 85mm f/2. He paid the cheapest among them around $6, so let’s see how they perform.
I have been a commercial and wedding photographer for over 13 years. And from the beginning, I have been using Canon DSLR cameras and a variety of auto-focus lenses for the Canon EF system.
Switching to another camera system/brand did cross my mind because I made a substantial investment into lenses for the Canon system. Meanwhile I have gathered over 15 EF and EF-S lenses.
But in 2016 I decided to try a mirrorless camera and bought a SONY A7 r-II.
Because lens adapters exist that allow me to use my existing Canon glass on a Sony mirrorless camera I did neither plan nor anticipate that I will buy lenses especially for the SONY system. At least that was the plan.
But little did I know…
In Mathieu Stern’s videos, we’ve seen some fantastic vintage lenses paired with modern cameras. In his latest video, he pulls off another unordinary combination of camera and lens. He mounts a lens that’s older than the Eiffel Tower on a $15,000 RED Dragon camera and shoots video in daylight and in low light. The results are wonderful, and you can check them out in the video.
Most of us have heard (or owned) lenses from Helios 44 series. But photographer and filmmaker Mathieu Stern has found an ultra-rare Soviet lens with extraordinary bokeh. He got himself a Helios-65 50mm f/2, a lens so rare that there’s no adapter on the market for it. So, he 3D-printed his own adapter and put this vintage lens to a test.