Using New Camera Lenses with Old School Film Emulsions

One of the cooler things about owning a camera with a legacy lens system is that you can use their lenses with old school film cameras loaded with fresh film. That typically goes for lots of new lens options on the market. To be clear, this means that Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Leica M, and Sony/Minolta A mount lenses can all work seamlessly on your film cameras and your digital cameras without the need for an adapter. In fact, for a really long time I’ve used the Canon EOS Elan 7 as a backup camera body of sorts.

So what happens when you use new lenses with film? Those of you who grew up with film may say nothing special. But for those of us who started in digital, we say differently.

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Questions to Ask Before Upgrading Your Gear

Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Nikon D810 Product Images-5

Rumors about replacements for the Canon 7D, the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and others are popping about like hot oil from a skillet. With Photokina a few months away, there is a lot of interest in the new cameras and lenses that will be announced. This leaves many a shutterbug handling their credit cards in eager anticipation.

And while many photographers will upgrade simply because the can, the rest of us need to be a little more thoughtful about it. Though some of these cameras may boast an exciting new assortment of features, it may or may not be what we need. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you buy.

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Zeiss Announces New Lenses and Challenges The Laws of Resolution


Zeiss is launching a whole new family of lenses designed for ultra high resolution full-frame slrs (think D800 specs) and they are starting with a Distagon 55mm f/1.4. Now, if you know anything about Zeiss, you’ll immediately find it odd that a normal lens would have the Distagon formula, however, here’s their explanation as delivered by Dr. Michael Pollmann, Consumer Lenses Product and Program Manager:

Due to the high performance required, we were looking for a fresh approach.  It is true that the Distagon type is predominantly found in wide-angle lenses. This is because wide-angle lenses also require additional design effort in terms of number and arrangement of lenses. Since we were aiming for the best possible imaging performance for the new family of lenses, we decided to manufacture the 1.4/55 as a Distagon. Due to the number and arrangement of lenses, this lens unit is slightly larger in size and weight but uncompromising in its performance.

I’m sure it’s going to be every bit as good as their excellent line of ZE and ZF.2 lenses, and I’m quite anxious to see a final production model.We can expect to see this first lens available around Autumn of 2013 and it will be priced in the neighborhood of EUR 3000 (or about $3900 US). They have not yet specified which other focal lengths will be coming, other than that they have three Primes in production, and more in the planning stages. These lenses will also be in a separate category from the existing ZE / ZF.2 lenses and will not be replacing that line.

If you would like to read more about their plans for this new line, check out the Carl Zeiss Lens Blog here.