Tiny 100 Year-old Lens Makes Beautiful Images on a Canon DSLR

A couple of weeks ago, DP Timur Civan posted some stills on Cinema5D taken with an ancient 1908 Wollensak 35mm F5.0 Cine-Velostigmat hand cranked cinema camera lens. This diminutive lens produced some wonderfully atmospheric images (sans color correction, even). As someone who shot The West Side through the oldest Nikon lenses I could find, in order to give it the appearance of another time and another place (and by "oldest" I mean "cheapest"), I really appreciated these images. Now Timur has shot a video using the antique lens on his 5D Mark II, and it's one of the most analog-looking videos I've ever seen from a DSLR:

More images from Timur's lens over at Planet5D.

I used some of my parents' old Olympus OM lenses on this video, they're the shots that look hazy. Have you guys shot anything on your DSLR using older or less-than-pristine glass? Have any images or videos you'd like to share?

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Liked your African First video. Right sound with mellow colores.

October 5, 2010 at 7:51AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


this video looks fantastic. great stuff.

October 5, 2010 at 9:23AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM



Shot with an old Pentax k1000 lens, my favorite lens to shoot with.. I should have better sample footage soon

October 5, 2010 at 10:58AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Alexander Miller

hi, nice picture! But i have one question: what do you mean by "the most analog-looking video"?? How do you determine the diference between analog an digital in video, and why is that a good thing??

October 5, 2010 at 12:59PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Wonderful stuff, beautiful assembled too! I used to have a Kinoptic 8mm that was shocking;ly sharp, though with no lens coating...now is the time to resurrect it, clearly. Oh, sort-of-clearly, anyway! : )

October 7, 2010 at 8:52PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Beautiful imagery, please tell me about how you mount these old lenses to these new cameras

April 14, 2011 at 2:29PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Nice cow footage

March 25, 2012 at 11:31AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I did a video test on my Nikon D800 using a current 70-200mm f/2.8 set to 105mm vs. my circa 1974 105mm f/2.5 -- Nikon's classic portrait lens. Most people preferred the 105's image. The coatings are different for one, giving a different subtle color cast.

I also bought a couple of Fotodiox adapter rings to experiment with large format lenses on the D800 -- one for Hasselblad 6x6, one for Bronica 645. The Bronica lens is difficult to use because when off the Bronica body, you must depress and hold the aperture lever to control the f/stop. I suppose I could glue the lever down.

The 150mm Hasselblad works much easier as you press one button and the shutter opens and the f/stop closes down, allowing the aperture ring to work. Now it acts like a normal lens. I used the 150mm because I asked one of our best still guys which Hasselblad lens was the best and he said the 150mm was the sharpest he'd ever used. Of course, nobody is using any of the Hasselblads anymore and they are all very old, locked away in dusty closets, so I tried it.

Initial look was very nice. I'm using the center portion of the lens designed to cover a much larger sensor so theoretically it's optically great -- no vignetting. I miss the niceties of the modern integrated camera, however: the autofocus to get me close and camera mounted aperture control. Older Hasselblad lenses are notoriously difficult to focus and adjust aperture because their focus/aperture rings are thin and stiff. But a $75 Fotodiox Pro adapter is a cheap investment to be able use world class yesteryear glass if the lenses are just laying about, unused.

October 6, 2013 at 7:30AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM