Vintage glasses in a digital era
It’s not a mystery that in the last ten years there has been a renewed interest in analog photography and there are many online communities in which we exchange advice, opinions, and thoughts on cameras and lenses.
Consequently, many filmmakers have also started to use vintage lenses for their works, even in the professional field, attracted by the possibility of having good quality lenses at an affordable price, in most cases.
In particular, Canon FD cameras have achieved a fair amount of popularity among filmmakers for their quality/price ratio, but other brands also enjoy an excellent reputation: Asahi Pentax Takumar, Nikon Ai-S, Contax Zeiss, Minolta Rokkor, Yashica ML and Russian-made such as Helios and Mir just to name a few.
The Leica R deserves a separate discussion, more expensive than the average but with an optical quality that has little to envy to high-end cine lenses.
Over the years some YouTube channels have established themselves which, in some cases, have become reference points for vintage glasses.
Canadian from Vancouver, he has built a solid reputation over the years by regularly publishing fairly detailed tests and reviews enriched with historical annotations. Due to his well-known predilection for the Pentax Takumar lenses in its various editions, he has also tested some Canon FDs and has recently been deepening the discussion on Soviet optics.
Wedding photographer with a true passion for film photography, Tony Wodarck delivers to us high-quality content, like the series ‘How To Shot films’, that guides the user in every aspect of film photography.
Sweet Lou Photography https://www.youtube.com/c/SweetLouPhotography/videos
With his ironic, but at the same time competent approach, Sweet Lou Photography offers to us a series of interesting content, ranging from reviews to tips to tutorials. Surely worth watching if you are into film photography.
Vintage Lenses For Videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHmdZuWVKuse_B5YLZzs2Kw
Old glasses veterans, Vintage Lenses for Videos related website has been a sort of ‘bible’ for filmmakers fascinated by retro lenses and the Youtube channel is no exception with tons of reviews and field tests featuring different lenses from Zeiss to Minolta, to Angeniux and some Russian-made glasses
Of Two Lands
Well known for their beautifully crafted travel videos and documentaries, the Australian-based filmmaking duo often uses vintage lenses for their shootings and in particular, they like to shoot on Contax Zeiss lenses.
André Wallstrom is a Swedish documentary filmmaker who often equips his Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K with vintage lenses such as Pentax Takumar or Helios and this gives his style a very unique feel.
Analog Insights https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEsIPHfiX6UpomrXTrdq67Q
Maximilian Heinrich’s channel is a gold mine in terms of reviews and field tests. Here you will find content on Hasselblad, Minolta, Leica, Mamiya (and more) lenses and cameras of an accuracy rarely found on the web.
Personally, I found the series ‘The Story Behind The Shoot’ particularly interesting, of which I share an episode below.