Tell us WHY you shoot adapted!

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 42,983
Plus one for the journey

fferreres wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

fferreres wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

PhotosByHall wrote:

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 $$$$.

Losing AF isn't something I generally view as a disadvantage if in trade I get smooth and precise manual focus... but I agree about cost for old vs. new lenses.

If the optical performance of an old lens and new one is similar, I expect to pay significantly less for the used lens... and perhaps even less if the used lens is pretty old. For example, I'll never understand why people spend more on a really poor quality old ultrawide than on a brand new lens that's optically much better.

Nostalgia, collectible (the reward of having something completed), rendering which may be characterful, but also different colors and other properties.

Predictable "unusual" properties can be used to make art, but that makes the lens harder, not easier, to use well....

Often times, it's more psychologically safe and rewarding to get a good picture with a poorer lens, than a poor picture with a good lens. Imperfections make things distinct, like Marylin Monroe. Few people fail to notice her (fake) mole.

Lowered expectations make for happier people? Could be....

I've seen the exhilaration of people driving Go Cart to far exceed the thrill of professional car pilots. I've consistently seen amateur Tennis players display immense joy which is largely absent in professional players.

Many using vintage lenses are competing for the flattest sharpest photo. Their photos are more meant to mean something to them, and to stand on their own detached from the optical limitations or imperfections. A great photo with one older less perfect in some modern definition of that, is a bit like the Go Cart analogy. Sit me in a F1 car and I will be nervous and worried, make me a F1 pilot and after 50 races my joy will be largely related to my score on the race, and not the joy of high speed driving.

Even great photographers often slip in from time to time a "lower lens". I've seen posts with such comments, and they would often argue they had already done the "pro" part, but took time to unwind, be more playful, relax with some old optic and the model. It's funny because often times I like these "amateur" moments of professionals often above the "pro" photos.

I am with you there. I am not really into “image perfection”  as i believe that “photography” will never be satisfied with the endless pursuit of the utter bliss that comes from complete reality of reproduction.

I do enjoy perfect reproduction as much as anyone else and have some great lenses, but I know my own limitations as a photographer and know about the necessary three conditions of  great image and that only two being present can make an acceptable image with any others more “lucky shots”

High performance gear

Natural or learned skill

A good photographic opportunity

Based on my criteria and the presence of the latter two conditions a great image could be possible without the first. But only having the first then a great image might be more a lucky shot without the presence of the other two conditions.

I get quite a lot of amusement by testing my earned skill with a lens that may not be perfect.  Can I make an acceptable image with any lens? - probably not - but I can make the best that I can manage with this particular lens and perhaps improve my skills in the process.

This often ends up being the joy of the process with what I own rather than seeking the most perfect lens or the image that wows others.  The journey is often more interesting than the arriving.

For me, a lens with a very distinctive rendering is a dangerous tool: if one isn't careful, all people will see is the mole, and not the woman nor the scene she's part of.

Some aren't that bad, the trade off may be less cost effective. I like my 18/4 Zeiss a lot. Does images I really like.

That is a very highly-rated lens, although it isn't cheap.

Nearly all old ultrawides are relatively bad if you do side-by-side comparisons with modern optics. That said, my Mir 20 (20mm f/3.5) is actually pretty good as a FF optic... and mine only cost me $10, so it easily beats any modern lens at that price point. It's also true that many ultrawides are now zooms, and a modern ultrawide zoom against and old ultrawide prime can be a much closer race.

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Tom Caldwell

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