Tell us WHY you shoot adapted!

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,026
Re: I've eased back on it a bit

PhotosByHall wrote:

I started shooting adapted for the 'looks' and 'character' it could give. More interested in unusual lenses than in stellar image quality - I have Canon L glass for that.

Me also, but I also have indulged in some great M4/3 mount glass. I have resisted buying oem glass in three other new mount systems that I have tried out.  One of the main reason for using adapted lenses is being able to try alternative mount camera bodies without needing to buy into (lock into?) their mount system glass.

I've eased back a touch on it for quite a few reasons

I don't have time or the bag space to carry everything and adapted lenses fuels GAS - it can easily become about collecting more than shooting.

I became a collector years ago but for buying most of what I have bought (99%?) has been imported to Australia.  What with the loss of value of our AUD$ in exchange versus the US$ - the propensity of many vendor countries to price in US$ terms, the high freight prices ex-USA in particular (at least freight ex-Japan is super quick) and not the least the decision by eBay to charge our 10% GST on every overseas purchase under AUD$1,000 has killed my interest. Considering that vendors directly selling less than AUD$75,000 per annum into Australia are legally exempt GST and that private sales of secondhand gear by unregistered persons are also exempt here.  EBay and other purchase facilitator’s have a requirement to do this and the 10% gets charged on any freight cost as well.  No more cheap second-hand buys ….  US$10 lens, US$40 plus for freight = $50 + 10% GST = US$55 exchange after being robbed might be AUD$1.00 = US$0.70  Therefore US$10 becomes AUD$79.  See below at what price  a brand new made for mount purpose Chinese lens can be had compared to a bedrock bargain knocked around average made quality lens and it is hardly surprising that the fun has gone out of the pursuit of collecting.

You can't sell anything that isn't a star performer, so I find i have to choose carefully or I am stuck with anything I buy and star performers tend to be expensive.

There is not much of a domestic market here for sellers for anything camera connected.  In fact it is now cheaper to buy the odd “interesting” lens locally.  In fact a bought an as-new Canon EF 35/1.4 L MkII lens for a good discount last year.

But most of the old well known brands of the 50’s and 60’s are are rare as hens teeth here - Australia was not a wealthy country after WWII.

Finally it's no longer a cheap way to access great glass - every man and his dog is in on this now - some manual lenses cost more than their modern AF counterparts. If I am losing AF, I need to save $$$$.

Great glass always seems to have been expensive unless you had a penchant for the “lost”cold war manufacturers that rarely made it outside “the curtain”. I took a few chances there thinking that I could buy some of them before the blinkers came off and they became popular.  Thinking that whilst the US  was awash with Minoltas I could get my hands on some (say) Meyer Optik before they became recognised as collectible.

But a lot of these lenses can be expensive simply because they were rare and not necessarily because they were good.  The command based economy did not work like the free market where the best made lenses were expensive and rare because of it. The command economy did make some quite technically acceptable lenses cheaply in huge numbers and therefore can still be performance bargains simply because there. Were so many made.  Think the Helios 44 variations of the Biotar, or the Jupiter-8.  The only real issue was that the build materials might be of lesser quality despite the optical design and glass being quite ok.

Cheap MF lenses now seem to be the prerogative of certain new Chinese firms who seem to make mostly for aps-c and 4/3.   For the FF sensor they are arguably just as expensive as any other brand.  I have acquired a few nice, brand new, well made, compact, effective, M4/3 mount MF lenses for around AUD$100 freight and GST paid - but of course they are not adapted lenses even though some of them are aps-c image circle remounted for M4/3.

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Tom Caldwell

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