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01-23-2020, 09:01 PM   #1
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Talk To Me About Vintage Lenses

I see that there is a K1 thread with vintage lenses. How exactly is a vintage lens different from a modern lens? Besides the fact that the vintage lens is no longer made. I plan on buying a K1 myself in the near future and was wondering if a vintage lens gives a certain look.

01-23-2020, 09:08 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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Yes, many of them do give a certain look. Older coatings and simpler optical formulae introduce "flaws" which modern pixel peepers can't stand, but many photographers who prefer to look at the resulting image as a whole value greatly.

They are also often considerably cheaper. And they look nice. And feel nice. And they're usually much smaller.
01-23-2020, 10:37 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
And they're usually much smaller.
...and probably (but not always) manual focus. Not a problem for me, however - it's part of the fun.

Last edited by paulh; 01-23-2020 at 11:30 PM.
01-23-2020, 11:24 PM - 4 Likes   #4
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All you need do is be aware of the outstanding photographs produced by earlier lenses. The great majority of pictures do not require all the sharpness advocated by the technically obsessed. In many cases quite the contrary. People have been known to smear vaseline or use a veil to soften a picture. When one takes a portrait that is intended to be flattering, the old lenses have a charming rendition in most cases, and the clinical cruelty of razor sharp lenses will not be as pleasing to subjects.
There is a place for super detail of course, but the old manual glass will usually suffice even here.

01-24-2020, 12:58 AM - 5 Likes   #5
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Oooooh vintage glass is AWFUL please just buy the latest whizzy lens. Its much better to leave the vintage glass to us film shooters and it looks better on a vintage camera too.

There you fellow film shooters, doing my bit to keep the prices reasonable for us film fans
01-24-2020, 01:23 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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There is also the enormous satisfaction in knowing that the lens you just used is possibly older than most people you know, cost a tiny fraction of the current asking price for a lot of modern plastic-bodied auto-focus whizz-bangs and will retain that price, if not increase in value, by the time you've finished with it


There's something just a little more "personal" when I settle down, frame my shot by actually repositioning the camera rather than using the zoom, physically choose my point of focus and depth of field etc. before pressing the button when the light's "just right". I "made" that picture, as they used to say, and no-one to blame but myself if it didn't work


YMMV
01-24-2020, 02:31 AM   #7
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I like the character of some of the old lenses and also like the fact it makes me slow down to think about the shot a lot more.
01-24-2020, 03:10 AM   #8
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I love vintage lenses <3

01-24-2020, 03:32 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
...and probably (but not always) manual focus. Not a problem for me, however - it's part of the fun.
To me at least, the term "vintage" predates the autofocus era. And probably even A series.
01-24-2020, 05:44 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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ok

Confession Time

I can save $ by using a good " vintage " lens [ lens developed during the " film " era ]

leaving me more money to spend

it has allowed the wife to let me get too many lenses because

" It's a great bargain and only costs ___ "

BTW, they work with modern Pentax DSLRs too

my very modest collection of vintage lenses -

Kino Precision Japan Kiron 28mm F2 MC P/KA

SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited ( MIJ )

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4

SMC Pentax 55mm F 1.8

SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited ( MIJ )

SMC Pentax-A 135mm F2.8

Last edited by aslyfox; 01-24-2020 at 07:49 AM.
01-24-2020, 05:47 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pan Kleks Quote
. . . Besides the fact that the vintage lens is no longer made. . . . .
QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
To me at least, the term "vintage" predates the autofocus era. And probably even A series.
I would respectively extend the definition of " vintage lens " to include those developed during the film era

even though the lenses may still be in production now - the FA limiteds for example
01-24-2020, 06:07 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I would also add that it has been a relatively inexpensive way for me to try out different focal lengths and lenses that are expensive in their autofocus variants, such as my 200mm f2.5.

Plus, as a previous poster mentioned, the rendering on some of the older lenses can look very appealing. Most of my favorite pictures of my kids were shot with my SMC Takumar 50 1.4 (picked up for $25 at a thrift store).
01-24-2020, 06:52 AM - 4 Likes   #13
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I have a selection of Tamron Adaptall-2 lenses (primes and zooms), which with adapters will happily fit my 'modern' Pentax gear (K20D), my MZ5n collection, my Nikkormat and my friend's Canon FD. Suppose they could be classed as not only vintage but versatile too.
01-24-2020, 06:54 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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How odd. This shows up in my inbox this morning. I haven't read/watched the content yet, but here it is anyhow.
5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Vintage Lenses
01-24-2020, 07:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
ok

Confession Time

I can save $ by using a good " vintage " lens [ lens developed during the " film " era ]

leaving me more money to spend

it has allowed the wife to let me get too many lenses because

" It's a great bargain and only costs ___ "

BTW, they work with modern Pentax DSLRs too

my very modest collection -

Kino Precision Japan Kiron 28mm F2 MC P/KA

SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited ( MIJ )

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4

SMC Pentax 55mm F 1.8

SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited ( MIJ )

SMC Pentax-A 135mm F2.8
Nice collection!
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