Hi Juriaan,can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses? Juriaan: I’m a hydrobiologist from Hattem 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.
B: Hi Hispan, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to use manual lenses?
H: Originally I studied history at the university (my PhD is still in progress) but I’ve always been interested in theoretical physics and cosmology, which is a quite wide range of interest. Photography came to my life later, in 2011 to be exact, and I was using only modern lenses in the first 3 years. The beginning of my “vintage adventure” dates back to 2014, after I got my first “fast” Canon 1.4/50 USM lens, and I wasn’t really satisfied with the image quality.
P: Hi Bob, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to use manual lenses?
B: I’m originally from New York City but oddly enough, I’ve never really photographed there. I live in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN and work downtown. Hence, you can usually find me photographing both natural and urban landscapes. I’ve been photographing since the mid-80s but it was a fledgling interest initially. While I have a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, the darkroom was never all that interesting to me. My obsessions with photography took off when digital cameras took off as well. Maybe it was the instant feedback but the digital darkroom resonated with me. I started with a Nikon 880 but quickly transitioned to Canon with the Canon 10D. Then came the 20D, 30D and 5D. About this time, I really started getting into Canon L glass. In 2003, I joined FredMiranda.com. I learned more about photography by reading and looking at images on that site, than any other. It was there I was introduced to the Alternative Forum.
P: Hi Helena, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to use manual lenses?
H: My name is Helena Normark and I was born in northern Sweden. When finished with school I moved to Stockholm to work. After a few years I met my current partner and when he got a job in Trondheim, Norway 2004 we decided to move here, which we have never regretted. Beautiful country with friendly people.
I work from home as an artist/illustrator, drawing clipart among other things. This means that I am fortunate to be able to go out whenever the light is good and my favorite weather is so called “bad weather”. Nothing livens me up more than being out with the camera in a thunderstorm or snowstorm. 🙂
When turning seven I got my first camera, but photography as a hobby didn’t take off until 2008 when I got the Canon 5D and 35L, and eventually various other AF lenses. I enjoyed the Canon gear, but finding the alternative board at FredMiranda.com in 2012 opened my eyes to the wealth of old MF lenses, so when I stumbled upon a Sony A7 for a really good price I decided to switch systems.
First I got a few Contax Zeiss lenses which were great and I still have most of them, but they aren’t very fast or flare resistant, which is important for my style, so I ended up buying a few Voigtlanders and like them a lot.
Fall and winter (especially winter) are my favorite seasons. One of the reasons is that I like a calmness in my photos and find it easier when there is snow. Also, there are fewer people about and usually I prefer to be alone when I am out with the camera. I am part of a local photo group though and at least once a month we meet up and take a little trip or walk and it is always very nice and also inspiring to see what others come up with from the same subjects/scenery. Highly recommended!
B: Hi Simeon, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to use manual lenses?
S: Hi! I will start with what I do for a living: I am a graphic designer and photographer based in Bulgaria. I started editing photos long before I had my first experience with a camera (and that was as part of my job as a designer). But it was only a matter of time for me to get excited about taking the pictures myself. I started with what gear was available in the companies where I was an employee, but back in those days the Canon G5 was like space technology in my eyes. Because of the huge depth of field of these compact cameras I was mainly focused on landscapes and macro. When I got bored of landscapes and macro I started to look around for something with a larger sensor.
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