About Lenses

Vintage large format lenses are marvellous objects and people collect them just for their beauty and historical provenance.  Much better, though, to put them to the use for which they were intended!  They range in price from a few notes to many thousands, depending on the brand, condition, rarity, size and history.  Everything is out there, if you know where to look.  

In most cases, however, they come without shutters, usually without caps, often without mounting rings, hardly ever with a lens board that will fit your camera.  You might come across an interesting looking lens on a popular auction site, but will it cover the format you want it for?  Will its condition affect image quality?  How will you mount it to the camera?  How can you use it without a shutter?  How will it perform?

Pete has a keen eye for usable vintage lenses, particularly for the larger formats (lenses for formats up to 5×4″ are plentiful and relatively inexpensive).  For the ultimate in sharpness, contrast and field flatness a ‘modern’ lens (post 1950) will deliver, but those are not the things that make beautiful images. Any vintage lens in usable condition will be capable of making beautiful images.  They were designed for professional use in an extremely competitive market, so even very old lenses can perform surprisingly well.  After that it’s down to you.

Pete can source lenses to suit all budgets.  Click below to learn about some examples from his collection.