One of the key features of digital SLR cameras is the ability to change lenses to get a wide range of shots, from ultra-zooms to super-close-ups. And now DSLR owners no longer need to spend a bundle on high-end lenses to take advantage of their camera's functionality—there's a way to use older, far less expensive manual-focus lenses instead. All that's required is a twist-on adapter ring, which you can find online for between $5 and $50. And since demand for old lenses is relatively low, if you don't already have a few in the attic, you can find great deals (some lenses cost as little as $10 on eBay). Look for vintage telephoto, macro or fisheye models as well, so you can afford to try different photography styles.
Make sure the lens you're buying is compatible with your camera, and ask in advance about scratches and whether the focus and aperture rings are in good condition. You'll have to get accustomed to adjusting aperture and focus manually, but once you do you'll find that vintage lenses are often smaller and lighter than the modern equivalents. In many cases, they even produce image quality that's as good as or better than those shiny (and pricey) new models.
Adapt a Manual Lens to Your DSLR
- Line up and insert the lens into the adapter. There is usually a dot or some kind of marking on both the lens and adapter to make it easy to see how the two fit together.
- Twist the lens while holding the adapter in place, as if you were mounting the lens on a camera body. The lens should make a click, or locking sound, when it's secured.
- The lens/adapter combination should now mount like any other lens you use on your camera. Line it up with your camera's mount (there may be markings to facilitate proper alignment), insert, and twist like you would when normally attaching a lens.
How to Find Compatible Lenses
The adapting process often means using one brand of lens with another brand of camera. For this reason, compatibility is never assured, and it's wise to do a little research before putting down any money or trying to create a Franken-optic that may not work at all (or worse, could damage your camera). Check out fredmiranda.com/forum/board/55 or forum.mflenses.com for discussions about various camera, lens and adapter combinations people have tried. Once you know what you're looking for, local photo stores and even pawnshops often have dusty shelves or boxes of underappreciated manual-focus lenses for sale. You can also try eBay, keh.com, bhphotovideo.com or fotodiox.com for lenses and adapters.
Does anyone know a Store ( in the US ) where they sell ring-adapters for canon xti ? Thanks.
I am not sure what to look for, for a Nikon D70. I did a quick search for them in Ebay and nothing came up.
Yes, but how can using old lenses change the image? If anyone knows... Thanks! Bunkertank, www.bieres-et-vin.com
I want to get an Olympus E500, with an adapter for old Canon zoom lenses. Can anyone help me?
You can reply at KaseyMaster@gmail.com
Everyone has a pet peeve photography problem. For some of us its those blurry images caused by moving the camera too soon.
A superb idea, I've been relying on image editing software to get these effects which are good, but can't replicate the effects of an old fashioned lens.
Further to my earlier post I omitted to say the imaging software I tend to use for these effects is none other than the gimp.
GNU Image Manipulation Project
It has superb filters and special effects you can use to enhance your pictures and give them a bit of old school quality, it's also free.
I've publish a web site with some instructables about how to use really old vintage lens (from folding cameras, for example) in your digital reflex.
It is in spanish and english (partially) I hope you like it.