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Friday, 1 January 2010

Greetings and happy new year!


This is my first post as you can probably see for yourself!

My main reason for setting this blog up is to document my experiences buying and using manual focus lenses on my DSLR's which at the moment consist of a Canon EOS 350D and an Olympus E-410. I also of course buy and use more modern autofocus lenses as well as filters and various other accessories which I will also write about.

I hope this blog will prove helpful to potential owners of these lenses and will be of interest to photographers and collectors in general.

The reason I got into the practice of using manual lenses was simply a matter of curiosity coupled with the amazingly cheap prices some lenses can be had for on sites such as eBay as well as in second hand shops and car boot sales etc. As times goes on the more respected and famous lenses continue to fetch more money but there is still ample opportunity to pick up bargains and "hidden gems". Many lens brands around in the 60's/70's/80's were simply importers who had lenses produced for them by established Japanese manufactures so it is commonplace to find lenses made by companies such as Tamron, Tokina, Cosina, Komine, Kiron and Olympus(!) wearing cheap and nasty sounding badges, Vivitar is a great example of this although prices are soaring! Soligor is another good example, many lenses wearing this badge are made by Tokina and Tamron! I would be lying if I said I didn't occasionally pay a fair sum for an old lens but for the most part the joy for me comes from taking a gamble on an unknown lens that costs a few quid, testing it against lenses I already own and deciding if I should keep it or sell it on again. If I make a small profit that's great but even If I only break even it means I have a financially neutral hobby that is always interesting and sometimes very rewarding.

I'm a great believer in finding things out for myself, even though that sometimes equates to learning the hard way! I am always buying very cheap filters and other accessories, some turn out to be exactly what you expect them to be but others show up the more established brands as overpriced and prove that sometimes people dismiss things too easily based on name and reputation. A good example is the Expo Disc white balancer which costs an eye watering £80 in 82mm size yet a coffee filter will do an equally good job and if you want something slightly more dedicated you can buy items that perform just as well on eBay from as little as £3 including international shipping! I'm by no means an expert photographer and I am certainly no Wordsworth either but hopefully over time this blog will prove to be at least interesting! The rate at which I update will depend on how busy I am and how inspired I feel at any given time!


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