I rarely discuss technical subjects on this blog, but this exception is being made because it is all about a way to re-use vintage lenses on new digital cameras. So call it Old School technology.
Here's my beloved Canon 5D that I bought a year ago along with the incredible L series 50mm 1.2 lens. This combination has served me quite well, and has resulted in some stunning images. The 50mm is the only lens I have for my 5D and while I would love to get more of these L series lenses, most of them start at $1000+ and that is just not happening in this economy.
To the rescue is a company called Fotodiox, who manufactures lens adapter rings that allow photographers to mount virtually any older analog lens on a new digital SLR. The simple conversion mounting ring below allows me to mount my collection of Olympus OM series Zuiko lenses to my EOS based Canon 5D.
Here is a 35mm Zuiko lens mounted on the Canon 5D...
...and a 135mm Zuiko I just bought on Ebay for $59...
These old Zuiko lenses are outstanding and will serve me well for years to come. There are thousands and thousands of older high quality lenses out there for very low prices in thrift stores and on the internet. Last year my buddy J Randall Updegrove found me a 28mm Zuiko lens in perfect condition at the Goodwill for $8.
I should mention that when using these older lenses on a digital SLR there is obviously a loss of auto focus function, as well as automatic metering. The way to go is Aperture Priority and a simple twist of the wrist for focusing. Once you go back to manual focusing you will love it, I promise!
Here's a great article from the New York Times about this subject...
Vintage Lenses on Digital Cameras