Using Vintage Glass

A few Years ago, I inherited my Grandpas old Pentax ME with some Lenses around a few Corners. I also had an Adapter to put those on my modern day Camera since I got that Device.

The only Thing I never really did was to actually use some Vintage PK Glass on my Canon M5, until today.

To be able to do that, I actually had to set up my Camera to ‘release without Lens’ as neither Lens and Adapter nor Adapter and Camera can actually talk to one another.

At the Entensumpf.

Last Year, I had lost my favourite little Canon 50mm Lens. I was not able to replace it yet, and I am usually able to go without it. It is still missed a lot though.

Luckily, I actually own two more 50mm Lenses, both Vintage. One is a Canon FD, but I do not have an Adapter for that. The other one was made by Pentax. And my Adapter works just fine.

Originally, I just wanted to try out if that very old SMC Pentax-M 50mm ƒ/1.7 could actually be a useful Replacement for now.


I have to say: Optically, that Pentax Lens is great. The Built Quality is also really good. It is, because of it’s Age, a fully Manual Lens. That would not be much of a Problem, but I am really bad at using Manual Focus.

Since I usually have my Camera set to Aperture Priority, setting my ƒ-Stops on the Lens is absolutely no Problem.

Focus Peaking and Magnification Options on my Camera are also great. I am still not a Fan of using Manual Focus though. I am absolutely no Good at it, and it also takes to much Time for my Shooting Style.

I really feel like I need a new Canon Nifty 50 one Day. Maybe I can get one for my Birthday this Year, who knows.

Using another Vintage Lens.

Today, I did not only bring my Vintage 50 though. Since I got multiple Lenses, one of them sadly damaged, I also used my actual favourite Vintage Lens. That would be my SMC Pentax 135mm ƒ/2.5. And it is super beautiful.

On my modern day APS-C Camera, that Lens is very tight though, having a Field of View of a 216mm Lens. It really is better suited to be used on that old Pentax ME.

It also has a stellar Built Quality. Even though its Filter Ring has a slight Dent and can not hold any Filters anymore. I usually do not use any Filters anyhow, so that is not a real Problem for me.

At the Teich.

Image Quality, as long as I actually hit Focus, is really good on both Lenses. They have their very own Character, but that is to be expected with such old Glass. In my Versions, there is neither Fungus nor some unsightly Discolouration.

That is still where my Problem lies though: Did I mention that I am really not good Focussing manually? It works on my Vintage Cameras, but they also make it kinda easier with their Split Prisms.

For me, the Film Look is also a big Part of that Vi Tage Feel. Maybe I should finally use that expired Ilford that I have still flying around in my Freezer.

My Camera with the Lenses.

Today, using those two Vintage Lenses was a lot of fun, even though the Vintage 50 reminded me how of how much I actually miss my Nifty 50. While the 135mm definitely was a little Tight, it also was a lot of Fun to use.

Today’s Fotos actually look great, but only because I took my Time to get them Focused as well as I could. I am really not good at using Manual Focus after all.

I guess I will continue to Experiment though. Especially with that Vintage 50.

[UPDATE]: I added a short Paragraph about Camera Set-up, because it is kinda important.

2 thoughts on “Using Vintage Glass”

  1. Good on you for trying! I like using my even older screw-thread Pentax lenses, but yes the manual aspect slows you down. In fact newer, more ‘technological’ cameras are not always the best choice for using with vintage glass. Some of them have fits if they don’t detect a lens through electrical contacts.
    BTW, you can get around the focus problems with a little inventiveness:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right. My Camera did not actually want to shoot at all the last Time I tried a ‘dumb’ Lens. I had to dig through its Menus to enable it to ‘Release without Lens’. Annoyingly, I can not find a Way to keep it from doing so without a Card. That Option would also come in Handy from Time to Time.
      I will definitely check out your Post. Maybe it can actually help me somewhat.


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