Opinion: You don’t really like vintage lenses. You like the idea of them.

Fox Foto Co
8 min readAug 28

Disclaimer: This was written by a human, who doesn’t know you, who you don’t know either, and isn’t personally attacking you. Let’s try to keep the conversation civil. Cool? Cool.


Adapting vintage lenses to modern camera bodies can be a creative and exciting endeavor, but it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges that can arise.

Many blogs and Youtubers will make it seem like vintage lenses are the cure to your “bad” photos. They’ll promise your photos will look like film if you just switch to some obscure 50mm lens (or any Fuji camera for that matter). Some even more brazen trend-riders will try to sneak in an advertisement for their Lightroom presets at the same time.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my old lenses. I own about 30+ vintage lenses myself, and I regularly use all of them (except for, of course, the ones that I never use).

I think for many though, these lenses will be less of a long term love, and more of a summer fling.

To truly love someone, or something, you must accept their flaws…and in some ways, you fall in love with the flaws too. This is the part that the trendy posts and videos skip over. They only talk about the dreamy honeymoon photos with insane bokeh, they ignore the commitment vows and less than perfect quirks.

The “Value” Myth

There seems to be a half-truth that’s pushed around about the cheap prices of vintage lenses. How they “represent a tremendous value”.

That was true a few years ago, but like a counter-fulfilling prophecy, this has become less true. Many people have scooped up the cheap AND good lenses, so in many cases, you’ll find either cheap garbage OR expensive gems on marketplaces like Ebay or Facebook Marketplace.

That’s not to say you cannot still find great deals in your local shops or garage/estate sales, but the common online storefronts…