using old lenses

Old lenses exert an enduring fascination over many photographers, and are the 'secret weapons' behind a number of successful styles. On the other hand, they were no more created equal than modern lenses are. Most are better for some things than for others, and of course a lot depends on what sort of condition they are in.

Also, definitions of 'old lenses' vary widely. To some, it means lenses in brass barrels: to others, anything older than the latest-and-best. Thus, Roger's pre-aspheric 35/1.4 Summilux is an 'old lens' to some, even though he bought it new in about 1984.

In this module, we use a fairly relaxed definition of 'old lenses' (including, for example, the Summilux in question) and discuss what they are particularly good for; where they are likely to be indistinguishable from newer lenses; and when and how they are likely to be significantly inferior to modern lenses.

It's a substantial module, with 28 pictures, divided half-and-half between colour and black and white -- though four of the colour pictures are just equipment shots.

Go to using old lenses:

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© 2006 Roger W. Hicks