7. Don’t start with a Leica lens.
Sure you’ll be tempted because of the trend on Instagram and other photography websites but not everybody needs a Leica and it’s too expensive anyway. If you’re filthy rich or your parents can’t seem to stop throwing money at you, sure why not 🙂
If you inherited a Leica lens, you are still considered to be in the filthy rich category in which case, by all means, start with a Leica, you rich boy or girl !
8. Get a wide lens first
If you can find them a 24mm, 28mm or 35mm would be the best choices for adapted vintage lens. Why you ask? Because of their equivalent focal length when adapted on your camera.
To see more details on equivalent focal lent of an adapted lens check my previous article at paragraph 7.
If you have a full frame camera, the above statement will not apply to you, the focal length you see on the lens will be the same when mounted on a full frame camera.
9. Shoot wide open
The more you close down the aperture of a lens the more the all become the same in image quality (around F8 you get best sharpness in most cases), color rendition, saturation an contrast.
But when you’re using a vintage lens you want to see and admire all of its imperfections like a natural vignette or a special kind of flaring, a certain type of bokeh, it’s softness or sharpness, it’s contrast or lack thereof.
Sure you can shoot at any aperture you want depending on lighting conditions, the type of photography you like and how much detail you want but if you want the full experience, get to know your lens by shooting at it’s widest aperture setting like F2, F1.8, 1.4 or if you’re luck even F0.95, that is where the heart and soul of your lens is.
10. Just have fun with it
Using vintage lenses on modern cameras is all about the experience, the quirkiness, the aperture clicks, the smooth focus, the missed focus the not so sharp picture, the cool color rendition, the old film aesthetics.
It’s a fun activity for the sake of trying something different not a quest for perfection and pixel peeping. The ritual and the process itself have the potential of sparking your creativity because you’ll have to look for new angles, you’ll have to focus manually which gives you time to better compose your images.
Give it a try sometime, you might enjoy it more than you think, I know I did.
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