Topic: Vintage Lenses in Brickfilming
Something I've talked a decent amount about on the forums over the past few months is the idea of shooting with older, less conventional lens choices now that we have the ability to do so on DSLRs and mirrorless non-fixed-lens digital cameras.
Of course, the older Nikon AI, AIS, and non-AI prime lenses are popular here for their manual controls and high quality at a reasonable price. And I think these lenses do have a more old-school, natural look to them that is "vintage," compared to modern Canon primes for instance. And many of these lenses are vintage in the sense that they were made in the 1980s and earlier. However, I see the look they produce as fairly neatly resolved and conventional, which is great for many projects but does not in itself bring character to the footage.
Lately I've been interested in vintage lenses that bring a sense of style to the images they produce, such as the Helios 44-2 58mm (f/2), and the Mir 1-B 37mm (f/2.8), which are old lenses produced in the USSR and now available at decent prices on eBay; about $50 and $80 respectively and depending on the condition of the lens and the particular eBay listing.
I used them heavily for the documentary, and now I've been shooting my new film for the BiM Collection on these two lenses. It has worked pretty well, although I do have to use diopters or extension tubes in most shots in order to focus close enough. A hassle, but I'm pleased with the look I'm getting. I feel it has a distinctive texture to it (especially when depth of field is shallow) that is different from most modern lenses.
edit: got a question about the vertical streaks in this image, those are a result of the diopter I had to use to get it in focus reflecting light.
These are m42 mount lenses, so you need an adapter to use them on most cameras. (Canon cameras would use a little EOS to m42 adapter ring, very cheap)
Has anybody else tried filming with some more off-beat lens choices, such as old vintage lenses? Any favorites or recommendations? I've found Vintage Lenses for Video to be a good starting point for learning about this stuff.