Vintage Lenses on Digital Cameras – NYTimes.com

For the vast majority of D.S.L.R. users, the switch that turns off the camera’s autofocus system is nothing more than a curiosity, some kind of vestigial remnant from a mechanical evolution. But a renewed interest in the deliberate twisting of a lens to focus has generated a healthy market for decades’ worth of optics that have been gathering dust in closets and taking up space as dead inventory on camera store shelves.

Full Article Vintage Lenses on Digital Cameras – NYTimes.com By Russ Juskalian

For some time now photographers have been looking to make use of the equipment that was for decades the best on the market.  Once digital imaging began to surpass film refined camera bodies and lenses were put on the shelf for decoration or sold for next to nothing.  Several manufacturers such as Nikon made sure photographers who had invested in their lenses would still be able to utilize them on the newer digital SLRS which have the Nikon F-mount.  However, this would lead to a drawback in some of the technology of the photographers investment in his digital SLR.  These lenses were not designed to work with today’s metering technology and certainly many do not include the auto focus capabilities.

Companies like Voigtlander have manufactured manual focus lenses that features high-quality traditional construction with classic styling, while using modern optical lens technology. These lenses (SL II series) feature a CPU built into the lens. Having this allows the lens to fully support automated metering and balanced fill flash on all SLR cameras, even DSLRs (in manual focus mode). In addition, this also means that the aperture is now controlled by the camera’s command dial.

AS construction on the next generation of digital SLR’s continue, don’t be surprised to find the manufacturers such as Canon and Nikon to follow the innovations of Voigtlander and the ideals of Shawn McCully, and work on merging the old with the new.

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