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.
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.
Hi Oliver, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses?”
I am an industrial economist and live near Frankfurt, Germany. Photography has been my hobby for more than 25 years. When I started I was never satisfied with the image quality of analog 35mm film, so I turned to larger formats very soon. Most of my landscape pictures were taken with medium and large format cameras. Of course all lenses were manual focus, so I was accustomed to manual focus from beginning . 😉
With the Sony A900, I switched to digital cameras in 2008 and I was very satisfied with the possibilities of this new medium. At that time, the Sony-Zeiss 24mm SSM lens was my favorite and remained so for many years.
The next steps were the A7R in 2013 and, since last year, the A7RII. I switch slowly and flexibly (thanks to the LE-EA Adapter) from A- to E-Mount, also by reason of the fantastic Zeiss primes for E-Mount, lenses which I wanted to have for a very long time 😉 I use AF Lenses too, but for landscape pictures, I use them mostly by manual focus to get the best control of the depth of field. The Sony cameras are perfect for manual focus.
Hi Jannik, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses?
Jannik: I am an automotive engineer from Wolfsburg, Germany. I started out with an Sony Alpha 200 in 2008 but I discovered photography as my passion when the first Sony A7 came out. I preordered it and was fascinated by the ability to revive all the legacy lenses, that were “dead” for a long time. My first manual lens was a Canon nFD 1.4/50 which was an eye opener for me. At this time, I only owned the Sony FE 3.5-5.6/28-70 kit lens and I was never really satisfied by it. The sharpness and the creative potential of the fast aperture combined with the bargain price (50€) were amazing. I added lots of Canon FD lenses soon and started to discover other systems like Olympus OM and especially Contax/Yashica as well. With some experience, I found the different rendering styles of specific lenses and I am happy that I can choose between several lenses depending on the look that I want to create.