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Many people collect old lenses as a hobby, or simply have older lenses they're interested in using on modern cameras.

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31
votes
7answers
1k views

Do good lenses really last a lifetime?

I’ve heard people say “a good lens will last a lifetime” many times. Is this actually true of modern lenses? More specifically, will a good lens be usable for a lifetime? With an inexpensive adapter, ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Can I use old Pentax lenses on newer Pentax DSLRs?

Can I use old Pentax lenses from the film days on the newer Pentax DSLRs? Are there any caveats or exceptions? Are adapters or modifications needed?
14
votes
1answer
832 views

How do I to clean prime lenses' internals? Or should I even try?

I have some very old primes (grandfather's 1950s Exakta Varex lenses, ranging from 28mm to 85mm) that I've been really enjoying on my Sony NEX with an adapter. It's partially sentimental, but I've ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What kind of dose can you expect from a radioactive lens?

I read that lens makers used to use radioactive glass to increase the refractive index property of their lenses. How radioactive are they? Here are some example dosages; where would looking through ...
12
votes
4answers
636 views

Is there a noticable difference in sharpness between a 1.8 lens and a 2.8 of similar design?

I recently bought a second-hand Carl Zeiss Jena PANCOLAR MC 1.8/50mm Lens off eBay (still waiting for it to arrive though) and am going to mount it to my Canon 7D via a M42 adaptor. I primarily shoot ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How will old M42 lenses work on a Nikon camera?

I wanted to get some cheap old lenses to use on my Nikon DX DSLR (D3100). However, Nikon has one of the greatest flange distances of all manufacturers, which means that most lenses I can buy (M42 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What are M42 prime lenses?

How can I use these prime lenses for Canon T2I? Are these cheap and good? I have no clue what M42 lenses are. Please post appropriate links for the lenses and adapter that I can use for my canon t2i.
11
votes
2answers
768 views

Is it possible for a hobbyist to create a lens element?

Is it possible for a hobbyist to create/mold/grind/polish a lens element? There seems to be lots of astronomy hobbyists polishing mirrors and occasionally a large lens element. Is there an equivalent ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it practical and worthwhile to fit old SLR lenses to mirrorless digital cameras?

I see that there seem to be a lot of lens adapters available on eBay to allow fitting old SLR lenses onto new digital cameras such as the micro 4/3 and the sony NEX cameras. Is it actually worth the ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the best methods for cleaning really dirty lens elements?

I bought old M42 Pentacon 50mm f1.8 lens from a car boot sale. It works but is pretty dirty and it has also dirt inside (no mould/fungus though). Opening the lens is not a problem but I would like to ...
8
votes
5answers
657 views

Does crop factor still apply to a vintage film SLR lens?

My friend has a Tamron 24mm lens on his Nikon D5000 and he says that because of its age and the fact it is manual focus, it is still actually a 24mm on his crop sensored camera. Is this right? If so, ...
8
votes
3answers
379 views

What is the significance of the word “Color” in the names of some older lenses?

This seems closely related to How does a lens affect the saturation of a picture?. Some older lenses I've seen contain the word "Color" in the name, such as Color-Yashinon and Color-Skopar (the ...
8
votes
4answers
804 views

Why buy an intentionally soft lens?

While reading some reviews of older lenses, I keep reading "It's soft wide open, but that's not always a problem with portraits." Over my rather short time in photography thus far, I've come to ...
8
votes
1answer
695 views

What's the small white plastic dome on old Pentax lenses?

My old Pentax lenses have a small white dome between the aperture ring and the focus ring. See the photo below: The clear white dome calls to mind the larger white plastic domes used in light ...
7
votes
4answers
451 views

Were lenses for film designed to focus different colors at different depths, and what does that mean for digital?

I was reading the book Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: The Ultimate Workshop by Martin Evening & Jeff Schewe (Focal Press. 2011) and read this paragraph about film lenses and DSLRs: … ...
7
votes
3answers
532 views

What lenses can I mount on Canon that will give me a different, exotic look for portrait photography?

I was usually working with Canon lenses (the 85mm f/1.2, 8-15mm, 16-35mm), but recently, I've got myself the Zeiss 100mm f/2, and it blew me away. I never thought it possible, but it, while making ...
7
votes
1answer
448 views

How do I make the lens less sticky?

I have recently obtained a camera that has a lens that was apparently left in the sun/heat, and now the plastic on the lens is sticky. I was wondering if there was a way to make it not sticky without ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Nikon focus confirmation with manual lenses

I've recently purchased a Nikon D600 and would like to use my old Minolta Rokkor 50mm f/1.4 on it. However I am quite confused as to the functions of a "chipped adapter". While I know that with Canon ...
6
votes
1answer
305 views

How to Restore Old Lenses?

I often visit an antique shop that sells gadgets like old cameras, equipment and lenses. I'm particularly interested on buying an old macro lenses from Sigma, Ricoh, and Nikkor. I would expect the ...
5
votes
3answers
419 views

What are the metal items on top of an older Nikon lens?

Does anybody knows what the two metal items on top of the lens are used for?
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Could an old Nikkor-P lens damage a DSLR?

Someone was interested in buying my D3000 body (I had upgraded and want to keep the lenses). He had a very old Nikkor-P lens, which seemed to fit onto my camera alright. But the LCD screen said "lens ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How well do 1980s AI Nikkor Lenses work on a Canon 60D with an adaptor?

My dad has some old Nikkor AI Lenses from the 80's that are in great shape and are great all around lenses. I used to use them his Nikkormat growing up but now I want to use them on a digital format. ...
5
votes
2answers
907 views

Are there risks in using an adapter ring?

I have found a couple of old Zenit lenses in a drawer. I have found online, for a very cheap amount (about 10 eur) an adapter ring (from M42 to EOS mount). The lenses have not been particularly well ...
5
votes
1answer
313 views

How can I use Pentax lenses on a Lumix FZ18?

I have 3 very nice old Telephoto lenses for an old Pentax K1000 that doesn't work good anymore, color is shot. So my wife has a new Panasonic Lumix FZ18 camera and we thought we would try to get the ...
4
votes
4answers
368 views

Are there recent entry-level/prosumer DSLR cameras that can use/are compatible with high quality older manual lenses?

A reason to use older lenses is to save money on bigger zoom or other normally expensive auto-focus lenses. Is this still something people do?
4
votes
4answers
583 views

What creative things can I do with incompatible lenses?

I found an old 28-85mm and a 70-210mm lens my father used on his 35mm Minolta but they are incompatible with my D7000. Keeping in mind I'd rather not take off the current lens to avoid any dust going ...
4
votes
7answers
358 views

What research should I do before starting to photograph more?

I have a low end Canon digital camera, and I found my dad's old Sears KS-2 with the standard 50mm lens. I don't know that much about manual photography. I feel like I should do some research and learn ...
4
votes
4answers
252 views

Why doesn't auto exposure work with older lenses?

I have an old Nikon 50mm F 1.8 lens that I use on my Canon Digital Rebel XT. Whenever I use it, I have to shoot manually. I understand that the body can't change the aperture, but why can't it expose ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

How do non-MFT lenses work on a Panasonic GF3?

I'm thinking of buying a GF3. But the lenses are pricy, so I have to pick my kit wisely. I saw that there are adapters for it, but I'm new to lenses. Are there any problems with attaching non-MFT ...
4
votes
1answer
400 views

Can I use a Nikon 50mm f/2 pre-AI on my Nikon D5100?

Can I use a Nikon 50mm f/2 pre-AI on my Nikon D5100? Will it cause any damage to my camera?
4
votes
2answers
718 views

Force AF assist light on body / flash to come on with Nikon DSLRs?

I have a Nikon D-40 and D-90 with a wide assortment of prime lenses. I like fast primes for low light photography. Some of my lenses are sufficiently old that they do not auto focus at all. Others ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

Are older macro lenses soft at long focus distances?

I have an old (20+ years old) Nikon mount Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro lens with a 2X Tamron teleconverter that I use on my Canon body. When taking macro (1:1) or general close-up shots, the lens is very ...
4
votes
1answer
334 views

Servicing a Voigtlander Bessa from 1929 - how to open the lens assembly?

I recently acquired a Voigtlander Bessa from 1929. It works but there's a dead insect into the lens assembly (between the glasses) and some fungus/dust. I'm trying to open it to remove the insect and ...
4
votes
2answers
741 views

What lenses can I use to build a DIY tilt/shift lens for a Nikon DX body?

I've found an awesome description for how to build your own tilt/shift lens (http://www.creativepro.com/article/build-a-tilt-shift-camera-lens-peanuts) that mentions using, for example, a lens for the ...
3
votes
3answers
147 views

Is there any difference between using a full manual lens for Nikon F-mount or using lens for another mount (say m42) with an F-mount adapter?

I'm looking for a very cheap (~$50), fast (large aperture), full manual (non-CPU) lens for my Nikon D7000. After searching on eBay, I found that the same lenses (e.g. Vivitar 135mm f/2.8) are cheaper ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Very old Ricoh camera and lenses to work with newer Canon EOS camera

I've been given an old bag of Ricoh camera and lenses and I find that it would be such a waste not to be able to use in some way all this again for something. Can you give me some suggestions as to ...
3
votes
4answers
803 views

Can different metering modes affect sharpness for a m42 prime lens?

Recently, I got some old m42 prime lens from Ebay and started playing with them with my Canon T3i/600d. However, it's difficult to get sharp pictures with these manual focus lens as there is no AF ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

What are the downsides of converting FD(n) lenses to EF mount?

Are there any downsides of converting an old FD(n) lens to the EF by means of actually replacing the mount with a EdMika or similar? The lens will become a manual focus and manual aperture control ...
3
votes
1answer
779 views

Is it worth to buy old Sigma lens instead of Nikkor?

I'm amateur and I want to try something new. I have Nikon D3100 with Nikkor AF-S DX VR 55-200/4,0-5,6 G ED and I'm shooting everything - animals, landscape, people, sport, ... (like real amateur :D ). ...
3
votes
4answers
440 views

How to fix a Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E lens not being properly recognized on a D300?

I have a Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E mounted on my D300. When I set the aperture on 2.8 on the lens, it is seen as 1.8 on the D300. At its maximum, when set at f/22 on the lens, it is seen at f/16 on ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can the lenses of a Canon EOS film camera be used on a digital one?

I have lenses from a Canon EOS rebel Xs film camera: 28-80mm f/4-5.6 II (diameter 58mm) and a Sigma 100-300mm f/4.5-6.7. I am thinking to buy a Canon Digital 40D and use these lenses. Will those ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I use an old Olympus-mount lens on a Canon DSLR?

What is the mount adapter I need to mount a Vivitar 28mm 1:2 No.22 (made by Kino, aka Kiron) lens on my Canon 600D? Is it the T/T2 lens mount? I used to mount this lens on my dad's Olympus OM-10. ...
3
votes
1answer
395 views

Are Konica and Minolta lenses interchangeable?

I have an old Konica FS-1 35mm SLR camera with quite a nice F1.8 lens on, but I'd like to use a different body (without a battery pounding auto wind on mechanism!). There seem to be plenty of Minolta ...
3
votes
2answers
421 views

Is it possible to mount Pentax lenses on Sony NEX with an adapter?

I wonder whether it would be possible to mount Pentax lenses on a Sony NEX, using an adapter. Are such adapters already available? Would it be possible to have automatic focus?
3
votes
1answer
167 views

What are the difference in multi coatings of old lens like m42 lens and modern lens like canon EF-S?

I have some old m42 prime lens like Pentacon Multi-Coated f/2.8 135mm, and modern lens Canon EF-S 18-55 mm and Sigma 70-300 mm. How much is the difference in the multi-coatings of old and modern ...
2
votes
1answer
350 views

Can I fit a Minolta 35mm lens to a Micro 4third mount?

I have old 35mm lenses for my old Minolta camera. I'm going back to photography and getting an Olympus PEN E-PL1 (micro four thirds mount). Can I use my old lenses on such a box or do they become ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

How can I use the built-in flash with a legacy prime on a Nikon D3100?

I purchased an older 50mm prime lens to use on my Nikon D3100. I know it will not meter or focus (and I can handle manual focus and exposure etc.) but I cannot get it to fire the on-camera flash. Any ...
2
votes
2answers
427 views

Can a Canon T3 DSLR be used with my TAMRON AF TELE-MACRO 90-300mm lens?

Can a Canon T3 DSLR be used with my Tamron AF tele-macro 90-300mm lens? I am trying to find a lower cost new camera (less than $500) to use with this lens that I previously used with a film camera. ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

How would Yashica M lenses compare with modern Canon lenses in terms of image quality?

I’ve come across an interesting offer where I can get the following for just $90 bucks: 1.Yashica ML 28mm f2.8 2.Yashica 50mm f1.9 3.Yashica 135mm f2.8 4.Yashica to Canon EOS Adapter Now let’s ...
2
votes
0answers
157 views

Is there an adapter for Canon AE-1 lenses on Canon 550D? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it worth it to buy an FD-EOS adapter, or is it better to exchange a misbought lens? Is there a way to use my old Canon AE-1 lenses on my new EOS-550D?