Published By: Ishani Karmakar

Want to simulate a film look? Here are 4 vintage lenses you can use!

Mirrorless cameras have made it possible to recreate a film look on a digital sensor!

Since the digital sensor is unable to replicate the lush and stunning highlights that a typical film stock can, feature film productions now tend to go for a more 'film-like' look. However, there is a significant problem with this since film photography is extremely difficult and expensive. One of the main factors that led to the adoption of digital in the making of feature films was its simplicity and affordability. However, this convenience comes at a cost: a reduction in image quality. Even small content creators are now trying to mimic film's appearance with a digital camera, but it is difficult to do so since the image quality of digital is significantly inferior to that of film.

Helios 44-2 58 mm

This lens is one of the best vintage lenses available today. Made during the Soviet era for the common consumer market, it is built like a tank, and the most important part about this lens is the swirly bokeh effect it creates. It is unique, and it doesn’t have the clinical sharpness that a digital image has. To achieve that, you must shoot at an aperture of f/2 or f/2.8, this will depend on the model you find available. Another benefit of shooting on the Helios is that you get great colour reproduction on a budget.

Yashica 50 mm

One of the biggest names in the SLR world, Yashica, has been a flag bearer of brilliance in photography for decades. A trusted Japanese name, Yashica has the best 50 mm among vintage lenses. At an aperture of f/1.9, the lens is a perfect normal-view lens. The image quality that you can get on the Yashica lens is significantly better than other automatic lenses on the market, and the manual aperture ring is also very handy for shooting videos.

Vivitar 24-70

The only zoom lens on this list, the Vivitar, gives one a range of focal lengths and is a beautiful and versatile telephoto lens. If you are trying to simulate a film look, it is a must-have on your kit. It is available at various apertures, starting from f/3.5 to f/2.8. The varying focal lengths give this lens flexibility, and the lens produces a beautiful shallow field of view when shooting wide open.

W-Nikor 35mm

Another block lens, the Nikkor 35mm, has an aperture of f/1.8, and the slightly wide angle gives it a unique look when paired with a digital sensor. The highlight retention on the glass is unparalleled. It also comes with other features such as excellent colour reproduction, and the skin tones on this lens will look very pleasing. An added bonus is that the focus of this lens is also slightly softer.