3 Epic Vintage Lenses for Under $25 Each

3 Epic Vintage Lenses for Under $25 Each

Vintage Helios Lens

Written by Alex Orchilles (@alexthecinematographer)

As you know, lens selection can make or break your photos and videos. There are many different lens options and each one has a different purpose and use. Lenses are known to be quite expensive so I will be showing you a budget friendly solution for some pretty epic glass.

You can find many different prime lenses on Ebay from the 1950s up to the 90s. The prices of these lenses can vary from $20 to $80. You can find great, sharp, and fast lenses but the only downside is they will most likely not have autofocus. Once you find the lens you want, make sure to get a lens adapter to make it fit on your camera body and you’ll be good to go!

The first lens I will talk to you about is the Helios 44-2 58mm f2. This lens was made in Russia in the 1960s and was a copy of the Carl Zeiss Biotar 58mm. This 8-bladed aperture lens captures swirly bokeh to the sides of the image that makes your images look somewhat dreamy. This is one of my favorite lenses. I always make sure to have my Helios with me for portrait shoots and to capture B-Roll on my production sets.

The second lens is a Vivitar 135mm f2.8. This lens is from the late 70’s and is also a low light beast for portraits and close up shots. It has also has an 8-bladed aperture which gives the bokeh a soft, creamy, buttery, & delicious look.

The third lens that I really love is the Nikon Nikkor 55mm f3.5 Macro lens. This lens is amazing for shooting extreme close ups. It is very sharp and has a large depth of field even when the subject is inches away from the lens. It is awesome for food or product photography when you need to get up close and personal.


See These Lenses in Action!



Thank you to our Focal Community member Alex Orchilles (@AlexTheCinematographer). Feel free to check out his material!

If you enjoyed this, check out Focal Collective’s other content on the Focal Points section of our blog. Feel free to look through our Artist Interview Series as well!

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