Category Archives: Manual Photographers

The Manual Photographers Series Part 8: Bob Israel

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.

Voigtlander Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III @ f/8, 1/15 sec, ISO 100

Continue reading The Manual Photographers Series Part 8: Bob Israel

The manual photographers series part 3: Oliver Fecher (aidualk)

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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.

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Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland – Sony A900, Sony-Zeiss 24mm, f8

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.

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Nightsky over Watzmann – Sony A7R, Samyang 14mm, f4

Continue reading The manual photographers series part 3: Oliver Fecher (aidualk)

The Manual Photographers Series Part 0.3: Jannik Peters

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 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.

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Sony A7 | Canon nFD 2.8/24mm | Na Pali Coast, Kauai
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Sony A7 | Samyang 2.8/14mm | San Francisco

Continue reading The Manual Photographers Series Part 0.3: Jannik Peters

The Manual Photographers Series Part 0.2: BastianK

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Hi Bastian,
can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses?

Bastian: I am a bridge engineer from Germany and my lovestory with manual lenses began with the 50mm 0.95 Mitakon and the 12mm 5.6 Voigtlander used with the Sony A7. I couldn’t believe it being possible to get consistently sharp results with a lens like the 50mm 0.95 after I have so badly failed using an Ai-s Nikkor 50mm 1.2 on my D800 (which was even equipped with an EG-s focusing screen).  The 12mm 5.6 on the other hand was a total relief in terms of size and weight and so I was hooked. Right now I have sold almost all of my Nikon gear. If you are curious you can read the whole story here: my transition from Nikon to Sony.
It is also a matter of fact that by the time I was using manual lenses I realised I don’t need AF for most of what I am doing and so today I am confident enough to even shoot weddings without AF lenses.

bastian kratzke sony a7rii a7s photography aspects important introduction manual lenses
Sony A7s | Nikon AF-S 20mm 1.8G | f/11.0 | higher resolution
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Sony A7s | Leica Summicron-M 90mm 2.0 pre Asph | f/11.0 | higher resolution
bastian kratzke sony a7rii a7s photography aspects important introduction manual lenses
Sony A7s | Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/10.0 | higher resolution

Continue reading The Manual Photographers Series Part 0.2: BastianK