Technology, it’s the epitome of our generation, as cliché as that sounds. Sometimes we actually think that the best technology is necessary to get the best results; I do not believe that. As someone who loves technology, and loves the new best thing that comes out, at times it is just as easy to hate it with a burning passion. Just think about the best camera, the best lens, or the best gimbal. There are so many creators that over rely or overrate tech that is needed to create their content. Yes, technology CAN enhances our experience – cutting down time, making things more efficient, or help with quality to automate things, and as true as that can be, it also hinders us greatly.
Some of the best photographers in history have talked about how it does not matter what technology you’re using, what matters is your skills with light, composition, posing, and other aspects of photography. This logic is dead accurate! Although, many people seem to not believe it, let alone be open to trying it. Just go google it! There are endless examples of people doing a project with the best tech vs. let the most basic and coming out with results that are indistinguishable to the vast majority, even professionals can’t tell the difference.
So, the reason I’m talking about all this, is because my favorite lens to shoot on for personal projects is my old Tokina AT-X 50-250mm f4-5.6.
I got it on eBay for about $40, and have taken some utterly unbelievable photos with it. Yes, it is a fully manual lens from the 1980s not to mention it’s super slow [horrid in bad light]. Regardless of all that, it takes some of the best images ever. Actually, I should say it doesn’t take them but it helps me take them. Shooting on a manual film lens makes you consider each shot and really think about the composition, the focus, and every aspect of the image before hitting that shutter. It takes longer to get each image but it prevents you from endlessly hitting that shutter button, something all too easy to do with auto focus. I have a trigger happy finger when I use my more expensive, fast, auto focus lens. It gives me anxiety when I come home and see that I’ve taken 200-500 photos in a couple hours of shooting! More photos quickly is a good thing for sports, action, and other fields for sure, but sometimes you have to slow down.
So here are some photos that are examples of what an old school film lens can do!
Would you have ever guessed??