Five reasons why you need a vintage macro lens – especially if you’re new

Do you still need vintage lenses even in 2020? Well, yes, you do, despite all the modern ones out there. Vintage lenses can be awesome for video, or for portrait photography. And if you’re new to macro photography, they’re a perfect choice for you, too. In this video, Mark Holtze will give you five reasons why vintage macro lenses should be your choice if you’re just starting out.

1. Low price

Vintage lenses are generally more affordable than their modern counterparts, so it’s easier to jump into macro photography if you’re new to it. I mean, how can you know if you like somehting if you don’t try it first? If you need to buy one or more new lenses to get started, it’s definitely cheaper to choose vintage ones.

2. It’s super-easy

All you need to know before you buy the first lens is its mount and the mount of your camera. You’ll then need a matching adapter to connect them. Mount the lens onto the camera and you’re ready to shoot.

3. Better with manual focus

Vintage lenses will not have autofocus natively with your camera. That could be a problem in many scenarios, but Mark suggests that manual focus actually works better than auto for macro photography. I personally agree with him. I almost always use AF, but when I shoot up close, I find the manual focus to be a much better solution. After all, we also have different focusing aids on our modern cameras, which makes it easier to get the focus just right.

4. Tack sharp

Vintage lenses are often tack sharp even at wider apertures. For example, just look at this one. So, with vintage macro lenses, you’ll get sufficient subject isolation and background blur, yet the subject will remain sharp.

5. Multi-purpose

Remember, macro lenses don’t have to be used for macro photography only. You can also use them for more general-purpose photography, such as portraits. So even if it turns out that macro isn’t your cup of tea, you can still use your lens for other purposes.

As a bonus point, Mark reminds you that IBIS in modern cameras compensates for the lack of optical image stabilization in these vintage lenses. So, the lack of OIS isn’t as much of a big deal as it was before. So, all in all, if you’re just entering the world of macro photography, a vintage lens (or more of them) could be an ideal choice.

And if you have already shot with vintage macro lenses, feel free to share your recommendations and impressions.


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