Vintage Lens Experiments

I picked up a vintage Vivitar 20mm wide-angle lens a couple of months ago at an antique shop in Galena, IL and purchased an adaptor to mount it to my more modern DSLR.  I’ve been hankering after a wide-angle for a year or two now (and even more so since we started planning a trip to the Badlands and Black Hills), and figured this was an affordable way to see if I liked it enough to invest in the Canon one I’ve been looking at.

With an adaptor between the lens and the camera, there is no electronic communication between the two.  In use, I set the aperture first, using the ring on the lens, then adjusted my ISO and shutter speed to get correct exposure.  Focusing was strictly manual, and either I am terrible at this, or the adaptor is preventing the lens from being able to focus beyond several feet.  I’ll be doing more research on that.  In the meantime, I wanted to share some images I’ve loved despite the poor focus!


Conclusion: Yes, I still really want a wide-angle!  I love the way they capture an almost 180 degree view, and I’m embracing the distortion common with wide-angles when you are close to your subject.  This particular lens can focus as close as 6” so it’s great for capturing small things in a big scene.


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