Simple Mods To Make Vintage Lenses Easier To Use for Cinematography

There are a wealth of great vintage lenses that are as cost-effective as they are full of character, but they can be tricky to use for cinematography. These little mods can be huge quality of life upgrades and make shooting with vintage lenses easier and more enjoyable.

Vintage lenses have always had some pull for me. When I was new to photography, they acted as a brilliant way to experiment with different focal lengths and apertures on a budget, as well as fleshing out my lens options. As the years went by, I realized that some of these lenses were excellent in their own right, and well worth their place in my bag. To this day, some of my favorite lenses I have used have been vintage.

So, what's the drawback? Well, there are numerous. Getting a great copy with no damage or fungus, particularly with truly vintage glass, can be tricky. However, the biggest barrier to overcome is that they are almost all manual focus. That will immediately steer some photographers in the other direction. While videographers are less put off by manually focusing a lens, there is a further, related problem. Focusing these vintage lenses can be difficult even if you don't mind doing it. These mods by SIMMOD can make those sorts of problems all but disappear and without breaking the bank.

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2 Comments

Sam Sims's picture

The biggest issue with vintage lenses, they have a clicked aperture ring. For video you ideally need a clickless aperture ring.

John Dewberry's picture

All of his lenses are declicked. There's lots of tutorials on how to do it