Do you still need vintage lenses even in 2020? Well, yes, you do, despite all the modern ones out there. Vintage lenses can be awesome for video, or for portrait photography. And if you’re new to macro photography, they’re a perfect choice for you, too. In this video, Mark Holtze will give you five reasons why vintage macro lenses should be your choice if you’re just starting out.
Photography gear is getting more and more advanced, and it seems that new lenses are being announced every few weeks. But even with all these fancy new lenses, there are still reasons to use vintage ones.
Mark Holtze says that there are as many as 100 reasons to use vintage lenses in 2020, but “nobody is sitting through 90 minutes of this,” he adds jokingly. So, he limited himself to a 7-minute video and five big reasons to shoot with vintage glass even in 2020. And I’d say these will apply in the future, too.
While walking around a flea market, Markus found a huge 500mm Petzval lens, produced around 1860. It was in a pretty bad condition, but Markus had an idea. He bought this rare gem, restored it, and took some fantastic portraits with it.
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.