Using a Century-Old Lens to Shoot Video on a Mirrorless Digital Camera

Old lenses tend to look "bad" in the best possible way

One of the awesome things about many mirrorless cameras is how easy it can be to adapt old lenses to work with them. In this video from Mathieu Stern, the lens from a 105-year-old folding camera is adapted to a mirrorless camera in order to make a video.

If you’re familiar with the properties of old lenses, you probably won’t be too surprised by the look of the final footage. Ultimately, it’s not very contrasty, which is likely due to the lack of coatings that combat things like lens flare. It’s not quite as noticeable when the footage is in black-and-white, but when it’s in color, it becomes very apparent. The colors lose a bit of vibrance and pop.

Despite the lack of coatings, it still seems fairly sharp. Lenses like this need to be attached to bellows in order to focus because they’re taken from cameras that focus that way, so adapting this lens takes a bit more work than other vintage glass.

If you’re interested in trying out some vintage lenses yourself, you can check out our guide to using adapters. Fair warning, though, that you may have to go into eBay rehab after getting addicted to it.

One of the awesome things about many mirrorless cameras is how easy it can be to adapt old lenses to work with them. In this video from Mathieu Stern, the lens from a 105-year-old folding camera is adapted to a mirrorless camera in order to make a video.

If you’re familiar with the properties of old lenses, you probably won’t be too surprised by the look of the final footage. Ultimately, it’s not very contrasty, which is likely due to the lack of coatings that combat things like lens flare. It’s not quite as noticeable when the footage is in black-and-white, but when it’s in color, it becomes very apparent. The colors lose a bit of vibrance and pop.

Despite the lack of coatings, it still seems fairly sharp. Lenses like this need to be attached to bellows in order to focus because they’re taken from cameras that focus that way, so adapting this lens takes a bit more work than other vintage glass.

If you’re interested in trying out some vintage lenses yourself, you can check out our guide to using adapters. Fair warning, though, that you may have to go into eBay rehab after getting addicted to it.

Also, bonus points to this video for the awesome Pixies cover in the soundtrack.

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