Many of us look back with fondness on our first cameras and the days of film photography. Although some photographers still use film, most of us have made the move to digital. Now, however, with the use of adapters, it’s possible to use your vintage glass on your digital body. If you never owned a film camera and so have no old lenses sitting in a cupboard gathering dust you can pick up some quality glass on eBay or even at your local camera shop.
Some of the old lenses we excellent lenses in their day but can now be picked up for a fraction of their original price. Adapters can cost anything from £10 to £300, depending on features. Most only allow manual focusing and don’t communicate the aperture to the camera’s electronics.
Recently I have been trying out several vintage lenses on my Sony a6000 body and have had a lot of fun experimenting.
So far I have bought several lenses including:
- Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar F2.8 50mm (two examples in M42 fitting)
- Vivitar 70-210mm F4.5 zoom (in PK fitting)
- Vivitar Series 1 VMC Macro 28-90mm F2.8-3.5 (OM fitting)
- Carl Zeiss Sonnar F2.8 90mm (Contax G fitting)
- Carl Zeiss Biogon T* F2.8 28mm (Contax G fitting)
- Tokina 28-70mm F3.5 (Minolta fitting)
- Rollienar-MC F2.8 135mm (Rollei QBM fitting)
- Rolleinar-MC F3.5 200mm (Rollei QBM fitting)
- Praktica Pentacon MC F1.8 50mm ( 3 examples, two M42 and one Praktica Bayonet fitting)
- Nikkor AF 35-70mm F2.2-4.5 (Nikon F Mount)
- Sunagor Auto F4 200mm (M42 fitting)
- Minolta MD F1.7 50mm (Minolta fitting)
- Sun Auto F4.5 85-210mm (M42 fitting)
- Vivitar F2.8 28mm (Praktica Bayonet fitting)
- Prakticar MC Auto F4.0-5.6 70-210mm (Praktica Bayonet fitting)
- Super-Paragon FMC Auto F3.8 80-200mm (M42 fitting)
- Fujita F4.5 135mm (Exakta fitting)
Most cost less than £50 (some much less), though I did pay more for some real high-quality lenses from Carl Zeiss (Numbers 4 & 5 in the list above). However, even with these, I saved hundreds of pounds compared to buying the modern equivalents for the Sony e-mount.
Here are some example images:
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