Old & New: Vintage Lenses with the Sony Alpha Series
November 14, 2017 / by Daniel Gold
Before you get started
- Some versions and copies of lenses can yield slightly different results.
- If you can, check the lens for any dust, mold or scratches before you buy.
- Double-check the lens mount and make sure you have the correct adapter for your camera.
- If you can, try and mount the lens to your camera before you buy. Test the sharpness at low apertures.
- Take advantage of focus peaking and focusing manually.
Getting set up
3 Reasons to get your first vintage lens
- Photography in 2017 has so many ways for you to get the newest, fastest, sharpest and most expensive lens to put in front of your camera. Taking a step back and practicing the fundamentals is a great way to jumpstart your creativity and to learn more about the photography basics.
- A vintage manual focus lens will allow you to spend more time with your composition and your exposure. Instead of snapping a quick shot and moving on to the next, you spend time with each shot and really make it count. It’s almost like shooting with a limited number of photos (like you do in film photography).
- You’ll be able to find most vintage lenses for about $50. You can build up a small lens family for the cost of one modern day lens.
- Freelensing can give you some interesting effects.
- You can take advantage of the manual focus and aperture and reverse mount these lenses for macro capabilities.
- Holy macro if you add extension tubes.
- Stock up with lens caps and covers. Most of these lenses don’t come with any protection.
- If you’re looking for a place to find more lenses, consider KEH, as well as the B&H used department, Craigslist and within your local photography community.
Dan Gold Travel Photographer and Web Developer Dan has spent almost 15 years behind a camera. He has shot a number of different styles from sports, portraits, nature, street and most recently travel. In his bag, you’ll find a Sony A7 II with a Zeiss 55mm 1.8. When he’s not behind a camera, he’s either coding websites, running marathons or on a random adventure somewhere. Follow along: @danielcgold | halfhalftravel.com