Category Archives: Interview

THE MANUAL PHOTOGRAPHERS SERIES PART 0.4: Juriaan Moonen

 

Sony a7II | Viltrox 1.8/85 | f/1.8

Hi Juriaan,can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses?
Juriaan: I’m a hydrobiologist from Ede in the Netherlands. In the beginning of 2012 my photography journey started out with a Fujifilm bridge camera. In 2013 I bought my first interchangeable lens camera, a Nikon D7000 including a 10-20 and 18-200. While using this camera I improved my skills quite a bit and I discovered my love for astro photography.
However, size and weight bothered me a lot, as did the average quality of my lenses, especially the annoying autofocus and bad manual focus implementation made me switch to an A7S in 2015. I got the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm T3.1 and the Loxia 2/50 along with it. The manual focus experience of the Loxia hooked me up on manual lenses. I found some old m42 primes, including the Pentacon 1.8/50, which I could use with an adapter. I liked working with those lenses a lot so I started to collect them at thrift shops which resulted in quite some nice lenses over the years. This way I could discover a broad range of (bokeh) rendering for little money. As I hated the from factor of the Samyang 14mm I added the little Voigtländer 15mm f/4.5 to my kit. Using manual lenses helped me to improve my photography a lot in a short period. Being unable to just point and shoot I had to overthink things much more which is the best way to learn quick. To everybody who starts with photography I can only recommend to get one or two cheap manual lenses, it will help you to understand the exposure triangle quickly,  and it slows you down which makes you think more about things like composition.

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Mr. Li Interview: Design process of the 10-18mm and the future of Laowa

As reviewers we analyze lenses and try to learn about every major and minor aspect of their performance. With experience you start to notice how lens designers trade certain qualities for others. Some manufacturers for example prioritize image quality with little regard for size and weight while others trade a little bit of optical perfection for much better portability. The Voigtlander 1.2/40 is a great example for this, and because of this it is my most used lens at the moment. Laowa’s 2/15 is another good example. We usually only see the end result but know little to nothing about the process of how a lens was developed. So we jumped at the chance of learning to know Mr. Li in person at Photokina and ask him a few questions. Read our first interview with Mr. Li to learn more about his background and the development of the 2/15.

Mr. Li (on the right)

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