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Author Topic: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?  (Read 853 times)

gwhitf

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Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« on: December 31, 2017, 02:30:23 PM »

Anyone know a great source or camera store, or collector, that sells vintage weird lenses to go onto mirrorless, like Fuji xpro2 or Sony a7r3? Thanks.
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degrub

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 06:17:33 PM »

Start with a Novoflex adapter if you can.
KEH is one source.
Look at m43.com forums for leads on lenses.
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opgr

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David Sutton

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 08:06:54 PM »

eBay remains the best for the really unusual, especially the Eastern European and Russian sellers. It takes some research to work out which lenses fit which adapters: it's easy to get tripped up by a manufacturer's model numbers changing slightly.
I have a HELIOS 44-2 58mm on an M42 mount from the Ukraine and a Contax 3.4 35-70, both with Fotodiox Fuji adapters. Very pleased with both.
David

Edit: Here's three online shops to check out, enjoy:
http://vintageclassiccamera.com/
http://www.rockycameras.com/
https://www.pacificrimcamera.com/catalog/menu.htm

Edit 2.
There are many weird and wonderful lenses out there, but you may want to check out which ones are radioactive at
http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Radioactive_lenses
Personally I wouldn't worry too much, but one the other hand, you know, wouldn't carry one in a front trouser pocket.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 08:37:37 PM by David Sutton »
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Two23

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 09:58:49 PM »

Anyone know a great source or camera store, or collector, that sells vintage weird lenses to go onto mirrorless, like Fuji xpro2 or Sony a7r3? Thanks.

I've been buying a few from other collectors around the world.  Half have come from LargeFormatPhotography forum, and the other half from ebay.  I only buy 19th C. lenses, and use them on my Nikon D800E.  I have custom F-mounts made by SK Grimes and have been happy with each one.  I currently have four such lenses:

1. 1895 Darlot achromatic doublet, rotary stops, 50mm f11.  (2-element)

2. 1880s rapid rectilinear 100mm f8.  (4-element)

3. 1870s BF French & Co. (imported Darlot) Petzval, 75mm f3.5.  (4-element)

4. 1851 CC Harrison Petzval 125mm f2.8.  (4-element)

The Harrison Petzval is the oldest lens I know of that's mounted to Nikon.  If someone comes up with something older, I still have a Ross Petzval I could put in Nikon mount.  It was made in 1845. :)  These lenses are fun to use.  I mostly use them to shoot landscapes in places first photo'd by guys in the 1860s, Civil War reenactments, threshing bees, and portraits where the customer doesn't want to pay the bucks for ancient lenses used on 4x5 or 5x7.  I haven't bought any lenses newer than the 1890s, and really want to stick to lenses made 1840-1860.


Kent in SD
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 10:03:24 PM by Two23 »
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Two23

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 10:05:00 PM »

The CC Harrison Petzval.


Kent in SD
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gwhitf

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2018, 10:10:37 AM »

Incredible sources. I will research. Thank you. I have not even bought the body yet; I actually want "bad results" from these vintage lenses. I want lens fall-off and vignetting. And bad focus. Wondering if a full frame sensor like A7R3 would make the lenses look worse. But my favorite camera to buy, if the lenses could be made bad, would be Fuji XE3 or XPro2. But those are APS smaller sensors.

I also wonder if more bad vintage lenses are available for the Sony E mount, or for the Fuji X mount.

Again, thank you for these sources.

PS. Maybe these vintage lenses would mount onto Canon DSLR? I have 5d3. I thought they only mounted to mirrorless bodies.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 10:15:10 AM by gwhitf »
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degrub

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 10:19:13 AM »

shoot  ;D, then just get any old digital body and some kit lenses and some vaseline (use a clear filter on the front element). you don't need anything famous to get what you are asking for. 

Any event, here is another source, more modern lenses perhaps
http://www.ayton.id.au/wiki/doku.php?id=photo:legacylenses

« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 11:24:57 AM by degrub »
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Telecaster

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2018, 03:50:19 PM »

If you decide on a Sony body I'd suggest an A7ii. Or wait for the A7iii, assuming there'll be one. An "r" body will just generate bigger files via your old & "bad" lenses with IMO no meaningful gains, given your intent, in any other area.

A lens I'd recommend is the Leitz 50mm f/2 Summar. It's the original fast Leica 50 and by modern standards has many flaws. I prefer calling it unique and happen to love the look it gives. It's also small & light and so wouldn't unbalance a Fuji X-E3 or similar camera. I've attached a sample pic taken wide open with a Leica M8.2.

-Dave-
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gwhitf

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2018, 04:32:06 PM »

Nice feeling to that bird image. Still might not be "bad enough". Love the idea of small and light lens though, (compared to these Sigma Art lenses I've been shooting). Closest thing I can describe is the plastic lens of a Holga/Diana; unpredictable. A lens that did not cover the format.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 04:39:36 PM by gwhitf »
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Telecaster

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2018, 05:23:08 PM »

Nice feeling to that bird image. Still might not be "bad enough". Love the idea of small and light lens though, (compared to these Sigma Art lenses I've been shooting).

Hehe, you can always scuff up the lens for more "badness."  ;D  Summars use fairly soft glass and tend to have abraded front elements from overzealous cleaning. Somehow mine was cared for more gently than the norm.

-Dave-
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David Sutton

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2018, 10:26:49 PM »

You may better following the advice above and put a filter on the front of your current camera's lens and smear it with Vaseline and do the rest in post. Or experiment with taping old window glass on a filter. Or get a Holga and shoot film.
The thing about vintage lenses is that they can be either incredibly sharp with lovely contrast, or soft in a way that is very pleasing for portraits. Or the bokeh can be interesting, like that of the Helios 58mm. Or they can be easily de-clicked. You have to know what you are doing to find one that is "bad".
David
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Two23

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2018, 11:32:16 PM »

A couple of years ago I did a presentation on "crapppy" lenses for my camera club.  I researched for half a year and began buying what were said to be "bad" lenses.  What I found out is really, there aren't any bad lenses, at least not in the artistic sense.  The historical lenses I've been buying were all actually state of art when made, and are still quite good in their own way.  However, keep this in mind.  From roughly 1840 to 1905, lenses were made only for large format.  Up until the 1880s, when rapid rectilinear lenses became smaller, most lenses started with the 6 inch (150mm) focal length, and those were made for quarter plate.  There were a few smaller lenses made for even smaller amateur cameras, but those are pretty rare.  There were also some shorter focal lenses made for stereo cameras.  In the first decade of the 20th C. roll film appeared, smaller cameras were made and those have shorter lenses.  However, lenses for 35mm format still didn't exist in any numbers until the 1930s, and those were anastigmats made by premium manufacturers such as Leica and Zeiss (Contax.)  This brings us to World War 2, which turned the lens business upside down.  At the conclusion of the war the German patents (DRP) were ruled invalid, and many countries began making cameras & lenses that were previously owned by German makers.  Soviet Russia actually dismantled entire German factories and moved them (and employees) to Russia in the 1940s!  Many of those Russian lenses are.........interesting. 

I think for what you're wanting there are four categories of lenses to begin researching:

1. Historical lenses.  Small ones appear from time to time, but these can sell for surprising money.  I'm not the only one who likes to mount these on modern cameras!

2. Post War copies, such as the Russian lenses.  I strongly suggest you research the Helios 44-2 to start.  It's 58mm and in 42mm screw mount.  Easy to find on ebay.  There are other Russian lenses that would work for you as well.  Some of the Italian lenses were kind of funky too, but those get expensive.

3. Novelty lenses.  These include the Holga lens that you can buy from ebay for about twenty bucks.  However, it's practically useless and not all that fun.  Another thought is to buy a pinhole lens cap.  Now those ARE fun to use!  My favorite of the novelty lenses is the Sima 100mm.  It's a plastic tube with plastic element.  Can be found for ~$20 on ebay.  Another of the cheap Post War lenses is the Hanimar Hanimex 28mm, available in 42mm screw mount.  Finally, Nikon made a set of plastic lenses about 20 years ago.  These were sold in 1996 (Nikon Amusing Lenses) and again in 2000 (Nikon Fun Fun Lens Set).  They can be found on ebay, of course.  They are interesting.  Available are 20mm fisheye, 90mm, 120mm macro, and 400mm telephoto.  The results are similar to the Sima 100mm.

4. Cine lenses.  These were made from 1900--1940, uncoated, and include many Petzvals. I don't have any experience with them personally, but they are for the smaller 35mm format.  I don't think they have a way to focus, so you'd need a helicoid or something to achieve focus.  SK Grimes can make them.

Anyway, to conclude, no lenses are truly bad if used in a way that creates your artistic vision.  My favorites of the genre are a pinhole body cap, the Sima 100mm, and Helios 44-2.


Kent in SD

 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 11:50:33 PM by Two23 »
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gwhitf

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2018, 10:37:04 AM »

You have to know what you are doing to find one that is "bad".
David

Well, that rules me out.
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KLaban

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2018, 12:41:17 PM »

As much as I enjoy shooting with 'character' lenses if I really want to control the crap then I'll do it in post.

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scooby70

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2018, 08:07:25 AM »

I've been using old manual lenses on my MFT and now Sony A7 for years but I went for decent enough mass market lenses and have Minolta Rokkor, Olympus Zuiko and Canon FD with a few Vivitar, Tokina etc in the mix too.

One thing I can maybe relate to a bit is the "bad" picture aspect.

A while ago I had a go at producing "bad" pictures and what inspired me was the photographs I saw at museums which were technically poor photographs but they had their charms. Some were out of focus, others were enlarged far beyond what would have been sensible, some were high contrast, some low, grainy, scratched and otherwise mangled etc. you get the idea.

The way I approached this was to use an old Rokkor 50mm f1.7 on a Panasonic MFT, crop the shot very heavily and then process it in CS3 for the result I wanted which in my case was to try and make a shot taken with a new camera look like the decades old mangled shots in museums.

I was going to say that using some old lenses on Canon DSLR's is difficult because of the registration distance differences, for example an Olympus Zuiko lens will mount straight onto a Canon DSLR with a cheap dumb adapter and work fine but a Canon FD or Minolta Rokkor will not and will require an adapter with a lens in it to enable you to achieve focus at any distance to infinity but these adapters often degrade the image quality... I was going to say that but as the best image quality you can get isn't your goal you will not care if the adapter degrades image quality :D

Good luck with this, it should be an interesting project :D

One of mine...

« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 08:17:39 AM by scooby70 »
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Two23

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2018, 08:15:41 AM »

The only lens I tried that I ended up not liking was the $20 Holga.  It didn't even strike me as artistic.


Kent in SD

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gwhitf

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2018, 10:06:22 AM »

I received this Fuji XE3. I bought the 23 1.4 instead of the 2, trying to get more "bad". But then I noticed in the Menu a whole slew of Toy Camera and other software effects. If Fuji (or any company) can write software to mimic these Dianas/Holgas etc, why couldn't they write software to mimic any of the old vintage lenses? Why actually buy them? Just use software to overlay onto your current lens.
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opgr

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2018, 11:08:18 AM »

I received this Fuji XE3. I bought the 23 1.4 instead of the 2, trying to get more "bad". But then I noticed in the Menu a whole slew of Toy Camera and other software effects. If Fuji (or any company) can write software to mimic these Dianas/Holgas etc, why couldn't they write software to mimic any of the old vintage lenses? Why actually buy them? Just use software to overlay onto your current lens.

Because "Bokeh swirl" for example can't be mimicked in software. That which causes bokeh-swirl also determines the drawing of the lens in sharp parts of the image. Lensflare between lenses (not the circular lensflare version, but the haze) can't be simulated either and provides definite character similar to softfocus effects or gel. I'm sure there are several other effects that are impossible or very hard to mimic in software.

Of course, it does require a discerning eye to actually appreciate those effects, and one may wonder how many discerning eyes this world really counts. I'm sure that number is strongly diminishing... :-(
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Regards,
Oscar

KLaban

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Re: Best source/info on mounting vintage lenses on Mirrorless?
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2018, 12:41:31 PM »

I received this Fuji XE3. I bought the 23 1.4 instead of the 2, trying to get more "bad". But then I noticed in the Menu a whole slew of Toy Camera and other software effects. If Fuji (or any company) can write software to mimic these Dianas/Holgas etc, why couldn't they write software to mimic any of the old vintage lenses? Why actually buy them? Just use software to overlay onto your current lens.

Or produce your own 'overlays' for individual images which I'm sure you're already doing.

There again who the hell am I to be offering advice to you?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 02:49:30 PM by KLaban »
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