Filming on the Cheap (My Ode to Pre-owned)

by wondrousdavid

When I started this blog I promised myself I would not review lenses or technology.  While i’m as impressed as an F-stop as everyone, I find that most film  blogs talk far to much about the technology and not enough about what you can do with it.  An extra F-stop is all well and good but how is it going to drive forward a narrative? And then theres the money involved… Would I be any less of an enthusiastic amateur photographer if a shoot with a 50mm 1.2 (cost £1,169 on amazon) than a 50 1.8? (£80 on amazon). Of course my pictures my look sharper, but will the compensation be improved? No, I (personally) would feel like a fraud- and if I did bought the 1.2, a very poor one.

However, just because of this does not mean I’m not interested in lenses. I’m fascinated by them. For my 21st I was delighted to be given my first digital camera, the EOS 600D. Before this I was taking pictures on my Canon A1 (before that my Canon T70 which I got when I was ten and I was snapping on it until it broke close to my 19th birthday). When I first got my digital camera I instantly got myself a cheap second hand converter and started to attach my FD lenses on them and one of the first tests was this:

Not a great video sure, but you can pick up the 28mm FD 2.0 for like £15 rather than £369 on amazon for the EF model.

My wonderful girlfriend (who’s blog I re-blogged below)  edited together a rather surreal fireworks video I shot around two years ago. Yes the video has a lot of flashes and it can’t quite pick up all the data on screen but what amazed me was how crisp and noise-free the video is when it was shot with just the natural light of the fireworks and bonfire. The lens was the Helios 44-2 2.0 and cost mer £10 (with the m42 adapter added on).

I was very lucky to go to arts school right next to an old camera store that sold lenses dirt cheap. I would suggest all of you play around with adapters (spend a bit of money on branded one such as Fotodiox, cheap unbranded ones can get stuck on your camera- trust me here, I’m speaking from tearful experience) and find Yourself a Philips to shop in. You can have great fun with a budget and spend your money on more important things, the glass is only as good as the quality in front of it.

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