Since I purchased Sony a6000 for taking photography and working as photographer, I researched about lens that was affordable to take portrait photos. In Thailand, many photographers preferred to purchase DSLR camera for working seriously, such as wedding ceremony, hall event, celebrity event, commencement day*.
Note : In Thailand, commencement day is really very important. So many photographers still works with graduated students.
First reason to use fast aperture lens is “I need portrait photos that are blurred out from the background.” I saw many photos that photographers took and shared in Facebook photography groups, they inspired me a lot. I needed this.
But that was so hard due to prime lens for photography and Sony camera was so expensive. I needed purchasing 9,990 THB to get official prime lens. I thought I should get some cheap lens to use studying or commercial using. I hoped it was able.
I sought cheap lens for blurring background for long time. Finally, I got manual focus lens named Geekster 35mm f1.6. It wasn’t pro grade lens, but it could use for blurring background. So these are reason why I use manual focus lens.
Sony prime lens 50 f1.8 price 9,900 THB, but 7Artisans 55mm f1.4 price 3,900 THB.
Manual focus lenses have many grade. That 3,900 THB lens is beginner grade, but I can use with commercial using very well.
Some lens price is expensive, but be characteristic
I already say about some manual focus lenses aren’t cheap, but they had their character to use, such as Lensbaby Velvet 56mm f1.6 or Daguerreotype Achromat lens. Lens price is more than 15,000 THB. That are more expensive than some autofocus lens, but it can be sold!
So why? Why some photographers buy expensive manual focus lens?
Because they need lens’s character. Some lens can render with fog atmosphere. Some lens can customize bokeh. Some lens can give unique round bokeh that other lens cannot do that.
My camera support manual focus lens too much.
Good news about mirrorless camera owners. Many mirrorless cameras support manual focus lens with great functions in camera, such as “Focus peaking”, “focus magnifier”. And some mirrorless cameras have electronic viewfinder that can see focus peaking. Focus peaking duty is similar as split screen on old SLR viewfinder, but that’s better because you can do focus peaking and focus magnifier together. You can zoom on electronic viewfinder to check focus length and take photos easily.
It’s simple and great design.
Lens appearance is so gorgeous.
Modern lens design is came from simple cylinder and some lens use plastic materials. But many manual focus lens uses metal material for increasing durability. Using manual focus lens can feel as real camera from past. And some manual focus lens appearance is unique. If you’re collector, you may love it.
Such as Petzval. Some people say it’s ugly, but it think it’s beautiful.
Not too sharp, but it’s moderate soft sharpness.
I like sharpness from manual focus lens. It’s imperfect as same as modern lens with high technology manufacturing, but it can tell story very well.
Today, sharpness can be adjusted on photo editor applications, such as Adobe Lightroom, VSCO or anything else. These applications allow photographers to adjust sharpness as they can. So don’t worry to sharpness quality from some manual focus lenses.