Readers' Showcase: Scott Matthews
Dusk on the Upper West Side, 2016. Photo by Scott Matthews
What do you like about using adapted lenses and manually focusing?
There is actually quite a lot I like about my decision to use adapted manual lenses.
First, I find manual focus makes it more natural for me to remain in charge of what I'm actually focusing on -- rather than letting the camera do it, and then having to decide, "no, camera, you chose wrong, and now I must override your decision." I suppose it's similar to how the people talk about prime lenses make you think more. Manual focus just makes it easier (for me) to think more. There are certain kinds of shots I'm more likely to miss, and other types of shots I'm more likely to catch -- as I see it, the tradeoff results in photos that have a bit more of my spirit in them.
I also like the 'immediate, physically coupled' feeling of a metal and glass lens that was designed to be focused manually. (By comparison, focus-by-wire -- common on E-mount -- always felt kind of detached and delayed to me). I also like the compact size of the rangefinder lenses. With the combination of a mirrorless back and an adapted rangefinder lens, people don't feel intimidated in the way they might with a honking big camera and lens pointing at them.
I also like the long-term trajectory of my "lens-centered" rather than "camera-system-centered" orientation. By that I mean: if other manufacturers wind up offering bodies, I'm perfectly open to using my adapted lenses on other systems. All I would need is a new adapter. And if I ever do switch to a different system, I can keep on working with the same lenses I've grown accustomed to.
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