One reason mirrorless digital cameras are so popular is that with an appropriate adapter you can use just about all of the great vintage glass that’s lurking in the back of your photo cabinet. And, if like me, you own a Pentax DSLR, you can mount just about any lens Pentax ever made, with no adapter required.
There are other reasons to appreciate legacy lenses. Some offer superb image quality, many feature rugged metal construction (unlike the plastic lenses of today), they all feature aperture rings, and the list goes on and on.
In the quick video below, professional photographer Mark Holtze explains why he’s so fond of shooting with vintage glass. He discusses some of his favorite choices, and provides a link to where you can find affordable adapters of various mounts in the description beneath the video.
As you might suspect, one of the top reasons for using legacy lenses has to do with cost. They tend to be significantly less expensive than current lenses, and many offer comparable (or even better) optical quality than modern glass—unless you empty your wallet to purchase the best money can buy.
Holtze says, “The second thing I love about shooting with vintage lenses is how much I’ve learned while using them.” Because manual focusing is typically required, you’ll have to work a bit to attain critical sharpness, and by doing that you’ll discover a lot about what than means.
He also appreciates being forced to slow down a bit, which enhances one’s understanding of composition, exposure, and other important variables.
Check out the video for more details on these and other reasons Holtze advocates using legacy glass. Then take a look on eBay, and see what gems are available at your local thrift shop.
After watching the video, head over to Holtze’s YouTube channel for more interesting tips. And be sure to check out another lens-related tutorial we posted, discussing whether 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm is the best focal length for portrait photography.