Vintage and Manual Focus Lens Index - Wizardly Imagery

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Vintage and Manual Focus Lens Index

Since I got my first mirrorless camera in 2018, I became interested in manual focus lenses.  They are much smaller and lighter than autofocus lenses, and they are cheaper too!  I first got a Samyang 85mm f1.8.  I was impressed with the build and image quality of this lens so I bought another Samyang lens - a 12mm f2.  Again the build and image quality are excellent.  I then added a Zonlai 22mm f1.8.  Now this lens has a flaw.  Not just my copy, but all copies, unless they have now fixed it.  It is a bit soft in the bottom left hand corner and if you take a picture that will reveal this flaw it is there to see.  However in the real world this is just not an issue amd I'm very pleased with it.

As a result of this I then became interested in vintage lenses and have built up a few that you can see further down this page.  The modern ones are at the top, vintage ones at the bottom.

When I started collecting vintage lenses I made the decision to buy only prime lenses.  I find zooms make me lazy in composition.  it is all too tempting to see an image and then just use the zoom for framing rather than moving in all dimentions in order to get the best compsition and angle.  Arguably, the first decision I should make when assessing a composition is what focal length I should be using, not what focal length will frame this picture.  That changed when a neighbour cleared a house due to a berevement and gave me a small trollycase filled with film cameras and lenses.  In this case, amoungst others, was a Canon 35-70mm f4 which I kept with two other prime lenses.  A few weeks later I stumbled over a Sigma 100-200 f4.5 complete with its box, leather case and instructions on use.  It also has a macro function that works on all focal lengths.  it cost just £20 including delivery.  I could not resist it.  Looks like it has never been used.  So now my collection includes two zoom lenses.

For me the vintage manual focus lenses have put the fun back into photography.  They have slowed me down and have also led me to move more in every direction and become even more aware of framing.  I hope to carry this forwards with the two vintage zoom lenses I now own.

None of these pictures are wall-hangers, but they do show what you can get from these old lenses.

If you have an interest in vintage cameras and lenses and live in the UK, check out Luton Camera Repair Services.  More inormation in my vintage lens links page.

Top section - modern lenses, bottom section - vintage lenses.
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