Use Your Old Lenses on New Cameras & Camcorders

I've been collecting old film cameras and lenses for years, back before most photographers switched to digital imaging. When KODAK discontinued the manufacture of Kodachrome, and most of all, Professional Technical Pan B&W film I finally had to join the digital conformists, and reluctantly purchased a Nikon D200 outfit.

Nice thing was that I had a bunch of old classic Nikon F mount and AI-s manual lenses. This fact was part of my decision to go with Nikon. I might have bought a Canon outfit if I had invested in any of their lenses. To me the difference between Canon and Nikon is subjective. They both make great optics and cameras.

I had the Nikon D200 for a little more than a year and sold it. Not because I didn't love it, but because I found it so cumbersome to carry a full size DSLR around all the time. Enter Olympus micro 4/3. The Olympus PEN E-P3 12.3 MP with interchangeable lenses to be exact.

Sony NEX-VG10
Wow - I purchased a Nikon to 4/3 adapter and I was able to use my beautifully sharp and extremely fast 85mm f/1.4 Nikkor lens. Yes I know this is a mighty large piece of glass to hang off a small 4/3 camera! Hey, it took some great photos.

What's more, when I purchased a Sony NEX-VG10 interchangeable lens HD camcorder I was able to use all my old Nikon lenses with a Nikon to NEX lens adapter.

You can now get lens adapters to use most old lenses on all the new interchangeable lens cameras - micro 4/3, Pentax Q, Sony NEX, Nikon 1, Olympus E-P3, Panasonic GX1, Fujifilm X-Pro 1, Samsung NX200 -  and don't forget the Sony NEX-VG10, VG20 and NEX FS100 or the Panasonic AG-AF100 and the Canon EOS C300 video camcorders - the list goes on!

OK, so your catching my drift here.

BTW, I don't prescribe to the recent trend to use DSLR for video. If you've been shooting video professionally for a living for more then 20 years, like I've been, you use a DSLR for photos and a high end video camcorder for video.

You want narrow DOF? (what I consider the most important element in achieving "The Film Look") Use a fast lens on an interchangeable lens camcorder.

Sony, Panasonic, JVC and all other video camcorder manufacturers now offer interchangeable lenses on their cameras - thanks to RED and their popularity.

I just can't shoot video on a DSLR, OK yes I can - I just don't want to. Hey, I want at least two XLR audio inputs on my video camcorder, and I want the video form factor and all the other video stuff I'm used to, like bars,  zebra, ND filters, peaking...

OK so lets get back to old lenses. I will write about some of the old lenses I own, show some sample photos, talk about DOF and other subjects related to lenses and hopefully others will be able to benefit from the information.

1 comment:

Terry Bogart said...

Hi T, it is really refreshing to know there are other people that have shot on video before DSLRs' popularity which in turn creating more crap "videographers" and "filmmakers" out there. But on the other hand it was a nice wake up call to the experienced and pay attention the changes in the industry. Keep doing this blog because there is some good stuff.