Using vintage lenses on a mirrorless camera system

So I’ve been using my Sony a6000 for about 18 months now. And honestly, I’d never go back to a “standard” DSLR. There are many reasons why, but for not lets focus on the ease at which I can use old/adapted lenses with incredible ease.

I have a few old Nikon lenses from before I moved to Sony mirrorless but I didn’t want to get rid of the lenses I’d acquired over the past 10 years or so. As well as this I also got my hands on a Helios 44-2 lens from eBay for about £25 delivered.

The Helios 44-2 lens (58mm M42 mount)


Now along with the lens (an M42 mount) I had to get an adapter to make it compatible with the Sony e-mount system. Again, eBay was my friend. £5 later I can now connect the lens to my camera.

What makes these CSC systems so amazing (and I particularly like the Sony) is that you can set the mode to aperture-priority and then the camera will compensate shutter speed for good exposure. Now that on it’s own is nothing new. My D7000 would do that.

But here’s where it gets good. Combining the same features of the DSLR with the focus peaking features of the Sony means I can easily manually focus and snap away very quickly and confident that 99% of my photos will be sharp.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with focus peaking, it effectively highlights the parts of the photo that are going to be in focus (yellow in the example above). Along with zebra (blown out parts of the photo) this can really help make manual focus lenses usable in most situations.

Below are some unedited sample images showing the beautiful bokeh these cheap, usable lenses can produce. I love them!

F2, Bright sun, ISO 100

F2, ISO100, Bright sun

  1. […] So I recently wrote an article about how to use vintage lenses on a mirrorless camera system. You can find that here.  […]



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