The 10 Best Vintage Lenses For Mirrorless Cameras in 2023 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

If you’re a photographer who loves vintage lenses and owns a mirrorless camera, this article is a must-read for you. Nowadays, many mirrorless camera users are looking for vintage lenses for their compact and lightweight cameras, as they appreciate the manual controls and unique image quality that vintage lenses offer. In this article, we’ll introduce the top 10 best vintage lenses for mirrorless cameras and provide a comprehensive buying guide to help you choose the best one for your needs. So, whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiast, read on to explore the best vintage lenses available in the market today.

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Last update on 2023-11-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Overview of Vintage Lenses For Mirrorless Cameras

Vintage lenses have become increasingly popular for mirrorless cameras due to their unique character and affordable price. These lenses were originally designed for film cameras but can now be adapted to fit modern mirrorless cameras. They offer a softer and more organic look compared to modern lenses, with flaws such as flare, distortion, and vignetting adding to their charm. Many photographers and videographers find that vintage lenses have a more special, timeless feel to their work.

Vintage lenses come in a range of focal lengths, apertures, and mounts, with many of them being manual focus only. Adapting these lenses to mirrorless cameras requires a simple adapter, which can cost anywhere from a couple of dollars to over a hundred dollars depending on the lens and camera combination. The lower costs, combined with unique optical qualities, make vintage lenses an attractive option for those looking for something different from their images and videos. Overall, vintage lenses offer a blend of old and new technology, and their timeless qualities make them an intriguing option for photographers and filmmakers alike.

10 Best Vintage Lenses For Mirrorless Cameras – Reviewed

SaleRANK 1
MegaGear Pebble MG1725 Genuine Leather Camera Messenger Bag for Mirrorless,...
  • Exquisite leather craftsmanship– These handsome unisex camera messenger bags are made with premium all-natural high quality Italian leather for a rich classic...
  • Multifunctional with removable insert– MegaGear camera messenger bags are made for mirrorless instant and DSLR cameras along with 1-2 lenses or camera...
  • Advanced shockproof lining – these fashionable compact camera bags are lined with heavy duty shock resistant material to better protect your cameras from the...
  • Comfortable CROSSBODY style – ideal for traveling outdoor photo sessions and the occasional impulsive shoot this camera tote boasts a 53 1 inch removable and...
  • Stylish DESIGN – Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional photographer you will want these all-purpose vintage Camera bags at your side They come...
Cwatcun Canva Camera Bag, Shoulder Camera Case for Canon Nikon Sony SLR DSLR...
  • 【Canvas Camera Bag Compact】①Shoulder camera bag made of waterproof and durable vintage canvas. ② Size: 11"L x 6"W x 7.5"H. Comapated with 1 DSLR ,1-2...
  • 【Good Protection】①A thickened Velcro detachable padded separator keeps the camera and lens separated and protected, allowing you to combine internal space...
  • 【Convenient】①The camera case adopts clamshell-style opening, you can quickly open the DSLR camera bag to take out the camera soon. So that you won't miss...
  • 【Good Quality】①Cwatcun alloy zipper won't rusty within 3 years, and won't break within 5 years. ②Straps webbing material: comfortable, breathable, easy...
  • 【One Year Warranty】 One-year warranty: If there is any quality problem within one year, we will resend a new one for you; The 30-year factory has more than...
Leather Camera Messenger Bag for DSLR/Mirrorless Camera By BASIC GEAR - Vintage,...
  • ✅HIGH QUALITY MATERIALS: Made from Full Grain, Thick Crazy Horse Water Buffalo Leather, that is naturally distressed for a classic, rugged vintage look; which...
  • ✅CRAFTSMANSHIP: This bag has been individually hand cut and sewn the traditional way, one at a time by a single artisan, using high quality polyester threads...
  • ✅WELL ORGANIZED INTERIORS: Roomy interiors of our camera bag can easily accommodate a camera body with a lens attached and 2 additional lenses plus a set of...
  • ✅EASY TO HANDLE AND CARRY: Concealed quick release snap lock for easy access. Removable, adjustable padded shoulder strap is lined with heavy duty woven...
  • ✅SIZE: 12"L x 9.5"H x 5"D Inches. Easily accommodates up to 11 inch laptop/12 inch apple MacBook/MacBook Pro/MacBook Air/ Chrome Book, or an iPad/tablet and...
TARION RS-01 Camera Bag Photography Single Shoulder Bag Vintage Water Repellent...
  • Made of high quality water-repellent canvas in classic style, durable and fashion.
  • High capacity design, you can put in DSLR camera 1PCS, Standard Fixed-focus lens 3PCS,and other accessories. Or Mirrorless camera 1PCS with 3-6PCS lens and...
  • Bag Inside-construction adapting HOOK&LOOP design as they can divide the inside to be small spaces to carry kinds of little accessories. We can also demount the...
  • On the upper side of bag there is a grip, you can handle the bag as a fashion business bag
  • 5.In the case of stain on surface, you can using a soft plush dipping absolute alcohol to erasure it.
Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Adapter Compatible with Arri PL (Positive Lock) Mount...
  • Mounts a Vast Range of Vintage Workhorse Lenses to Leica L-Mount Mirrorless Cameras
  • Enhanced craftsmanship and high-tolerance construction for demanding professionals; Infinity Focus or Beyond Guaranteed
  • Precise fit and solid connection; lens has no play, gap or wiggling when mounted on adapter and no adjustments required
  • Precision all-metal construction with chrome plated brass mounts for secure and solid fit
  • Limited 2-Year Manufacturer Warranty
Vintage Rustic Look Leather Camera Messenger Bag by BASIC GEAR for...
  • ✅HIGH QUALITY MATERIALS: Made from Full Grain, Thick Crazy Horse Water Buffalo Leather, that is naturally distressed for a classic, rugged vintage look; which...
  • ✅CRAFTSMANSHIP: This bag has been individually hand cut and sewn the traditional way, one at a time by a single artisan, using high quality polyester threads...
  • ✅WELL ORGANIZED INTERIORS: Roomy interiors of our camera bag can easily accommodate a camera body with a lens attached and 2 additional lenses plus a set of...
  • ✅EASY TO HANDLE AND CARRY: Concealed quick release snap lock for easy access. Removable, adjustable padded shoulder strap is lined with heavy duty woven...
  • ✅SIZE:14.5"L x 10"H x 5.5"D Inches Easily accommodates up to 13 inch laptop/apple MacBook/MacBook Pro/MacBook Air or an iPad/Tablet and DSLR digital camera or...
Fotodiox Lens Adapter - Compatible with Tamron Adaptall II Lens Mounts to MFT...
  • All Metal Design
  • Smooth surface for effortless mount
  • Infinity Focus Guaranteed
  • Accurate Flange to Focus distances
  • 24 Month Warranty
Fotodiox Pro TLT ROKR - Tilt/Shift Lens Mount Adapter for Nikon Nikkor F Mount...
  • Mount Bronica Nikon Nikkor F Mount G-Type D/SLR Lenses to Fujifilm Fuji X-Series Mirrorless Camera Bodies
  • Adapter allows lens to 20mm total shift and 10 degrees of tilt and 360 degrees of rotation built in
  • Bring new life to vintage work horse professional lenses with greater versatility than before
  • Enhanced craftsmanship and high-tolerance construction for demanding professionals
  • Limited 2-Year Manufacturer Warranty
Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter - Compatible with Sony A-Mount DSLR (Minolta AF...
  • Premium Grade Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter with Built-in tripod Mount
  • Smooth surface for effortless mount
  • Infinity Focus Allowed
  • Brass Construction
  • 24 Month Manufacture Warranty
Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Adapter - Compatible with Arri LPL (Large Positive Lock)...
  • Mounts a Vast Range of Vintage Workhorse Lenses to Modern Digital Cameras
  • Versatile, Dependable, Adaptable - Add Style & Character to your Image
  • Precise Fit and Solid Connection; Lens Has No Play, Gap or Wiggling When Mounted on Adapter and No Adjustments Required
  • Precision All-Metal Construction with Chrome Plated Brass Mounts for Secure and Solid Fit
  • Limited 2-Year Manufacturer Warranty

Last update on 2023-11-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What are the Advantages of Buying Vintage Lenses For Mirrorless Cameras?

Vintage lenses offer a unique perspective to photography enthusiasts. They not only produce a distinct character and aesthetic to your images but also come with a significantly lower price tag compared to modern lenses. Hence, they are increasingly becoming a popular choice among mirrorless camera users. In this section, we will look at some key reasons why you should consider buying vintage lenses for your mirrorless camera.

Unique optical characteristics

Vintage lenses offer unique optical characteristics that cannot be replicated by modern lenses. These lenses were often made using different materials, coatings, and manufacturing processes, resulting in images that have a distinct look and feel. Some vintage lenses have a warmer color rendition and lower contrast compared to modern lenses, giving photos a more classic and timeless look. Others may produce a distinct bokeh or depth of field effect that is highly sought after in certain types of photography. Additionally, vintage lenses can be relatively inexpensive and offer a cost-effective way to experiment with different types of lenses and styles of photography.

Affordable prices compared to modern lenses

Vintage lenses for mirrorless cameras can offer a great value for photographers looking to expand their lens collection without breaking the bank. Unlike modern lenses, vintage lenses can be found at a fraction of the price while still offering excellent image quality and unique characteristics that can enhance the creative potential of your photography.

Many vintage lenses were produced in an era when manual focus was the norm, which means they lack many of the modern features found in newer lenses such as autofocus and image stabilization. However, this can be seen as an advantage for photographers looking to fine-tune their skills and take a more deliberate approach to their photography. Investing in vintage lenses can be a smart move for those looking to save money, experiment with their photography, and add some character and uniqueness to their images.

Adaptability to various camera systems

Vintage lenses can be adapted to various camera systems due to their mechanical manual focus design and interchangeable mounts. This means that photographers can use lenses from different brands with their mirrorless camera bodies, allowing for greater flexibility and creativity in their shooting.

For example, a photographer could use an old Canon FD lens on a modern Sony mirrorless camera with a simple adapter, giving them access to a unique lens with desirable optical characteristics that may not be available with modern lenses. This adaptability gives photographers more options and the ability to experiment with different lenses without having to buy a new lens for every camera system they own.

Increased creativity and experimentation possibilities

Vintage lenses provide a unique look and feel to photographs that cannot be replicated with modern lenses. They often have characteristics such as vignetting, flares, and softness that can add a certain mood or style to an image. By using these lenses, photographers can experiment with new and creative ways to express their vision.

Additionally, vintage lenses can offer a more hands-on approach to photography. Manual focus and aperture control require more effort and focus from the photographer, leading to a more intentional and thoughtful approach to the shot. This can result in a more personalized and artistic final product. Overall, vintage lenses offer an opportunity for photographers to expand their artistic abilities and push the boundaries of their creativity.

Things to Consider when Choosing the Best Vintage Lenses For Mirrorless Cameras

To ensure the best results while using vintage lenses with mirrorless cameras, it is vital to consider certain important factors. These elements can greatly impact the quality of your images and the overall performance of your camera-lens combination.

Compatibility with the camera mount

Compatibility with the camera mount is essential when buying vintage lenses for mirrorless cameras because not all vintage lenses are compatible with the latest camera mounts. For instance, old lenses were designed to be used with film cameras, and their mounts are not compatible with modern digital cameras. Using such lenses with digital cameras may not work properly, or it may even cause damage to the camera’s mount.

To ensure compatibility, it is essential to research and understand the mount type of your camera before purchasing vintage lenses. Different camera mounts are designed for different camera brands, and even within the same brand, different cameras may have different mounts. Therefore, it is crucial to determine the camera mount type to make sure that the vintage lens you plan to purchase is compatible with your camera. This will also help to avoid any disappointment or damage to your camera.

Condition of the lens

The condition of the lens is an important factor to consider when buying vintage lenses for mirrorless cameras. A high-quality lens with minimal wear and tear will have sharper images and better color accuracy, making it more useful for professional photography. Additionally, a lens with no scratches or fungus growth will have better optical performance and last longer.

Vintage lenses can have a unique character and look, but it’s important to ensure that they are in good condition before purchasing them. This will help you get the most out of your investment and prevent any potential disappointment due to poor image quality or issues with the lens. Always inspect vintage lenses carefully and test them out before making a purchase.

Focal length and aperture

Focal length and aperture are two crucial factors that you should consider before buying vintage lenses for mirrorless cameras. Focal length refers to the distance between the lens and sensor, and it affects the magnification and angle of view. A short focal length lens provides a wider angle of view, while a longer focal length lens offers a narrower angle of view. You should choose a focal length that suits your photography style and shooting needs.

Aperture refers to the size of the lens opening that controls the amount of light that enters the camera. The larger the aperture, the more light enters the lens, and the shallower the depth of field. A shallow depth of field produces a blurred background, while a deeper depth of field produces a sharp background. You should choose an aperture that matches your desired shooting style and lighting conditions. Vintage lenses can offer unique focal lengths and apertures that add character to your images, so consider these factors before making a purchase.

Image quality and sharpness

Image quality and sharpness are two essential factors to consider when purchasing a vintage lens for mirrorless cameras. Generally, vintage lenses were designed for use with film cameras, and it’s crucial to ensure that the lens is compatible with a digital camera before purchasing. With mirrorless cameras’ high-tech sensors, you wouldn’t want to waste the camera’s advanced capability by using a lens that can’t match its performance. Image quality and sharpness are critical for producing quality photographs, and with vintage lenses, there may be issues with distortion, chromatic aberration, and sharpness that modern lenses don’t have. Therefore, it’s vital to take time and research the lens’s image quality before purchasing to avoid buying a lens that won’t perform well on your camera.

Furthermore, the vintage lens’s construction also influences image quality and sharpness. Typically, vintage lenses were made with manual focus, which can result in slow autofocus speed, and you’ll need to use focus peaking and magnification to achieve a sharp focus. When purchasing a vintage lens, check the quality of the lens coatings because older lenses often used inferior coatings that resulted in flares and reflections. Also, take note of the lens’s condition, as wear and tear could affect its image quality. Overall, a vintage lens’s image quality and sharpness capabilities determine whether it’s a worthy investment and ideal for your photography style.

Availability of accessories and support

When investing in vintage lenses for mirrorless cameras, it is crucial to consider the availability of accessories and support. Unlike modern lenses, vintage lenses often require specific accessories, such as lens adapters, to be used with modern camera bodies. Additionally, vintage lenses may not be as readily available for purchase, making it difficult to find replacement parts or additional accessories in the future. Investing in a vintage lens without considering its availability of support and accessories may result in the lens becoming obsolete or unusable in the future.

Furthermore, support is important in case of any technical or mechanical issues that may occur with a vintage lens. Manufacturers of modern lenses often offer warranty and repair services, but this may not be the case for vintage lenses. One should consider if they can find a repair technician who has experience with the specific lens model or if replacement parts are still being produced. Such factors should be considered before investing in a vintage lens to ensure that the lens can be used effectively and have longevity.


What is the difference between vintage lenses and modern lenses for mirrorless cameras?

Vintage lenses are lenses that were produced many years ago. These lenses usually have manual focus and aperture controls and are often made of metal and glass. They have a distinct look and feel that many photographers love. Vintage lenses are often lower in cost than modern lenses and can offer unique characteristics like softer edges, flares, and bokeh.

Modern lenses for mirrorless cameras are designed specifically for digital cameras. They are typically lighter, smaller, and more technologically advanced than vintage lenses. Modern lenses often have autofocus and aperture control built into the lens itself. These lenses are often more expensive than vintage lenses but offer sharper images, faster focusing, and a wider range of features. Modern lenses are also designed to be more versatile, with many lenses being designed for specific purposes like portraiture, landscape, or sports photography.

Are vintage lenses compatible with all mirrorless cameras?

Vintage lenses are compatible with mirrorless cameras that use interchangeable lens mounts. However, it depends on the lens mount of the vintage lens and the mirrorless camera. For example, if the vintage lens has a M42 mount, then it can only be used on a mirrorless camera that has an M42 adapter. Similarly, if the mirrorless camera has a Sony E-mount, then it can only use vintage lenses with a Sony E-mount adapter.

Furthermore, older vintage lenses may not communicate electronically with the camera, which means that the camera will not be able to adjust aperture, autofocus, or apply lens corrections automatically. In this case, the photographer will have to set these manually. Overall, vintage lenses can be a great addition to a mirrorless camera setup, as they often offer unique characteristics and image quality that modern lenses do not have.

How do I choose the right vintage lens for my mirrorless camera?

When choosing a vintage lens for your mirrorless camera, consider the lens mount compatibility. You need to look for a vintage lens that fits the mount of your mirrorless camera, which could be a bayonet or screw mount. Also, make sure to check if your mirrorless camera allows for the use of adapted lenses, which can vary depending on the brand and model.

Another important factor to consider is the focal length of the vintage lens. Different focal lengths will give you different field-of-view and perspective, so choose the one that best suits your needs. Additionally, consider the optical quality of the vintage lens, including sharpness, color rendering, and bokeh. Research online reviews and forums for recommendations on specific vintage lenses that perform well on your mirrorless camera.

Can I use vintage lenses for video recording on my mirrorless camera?

Yes, you can use vintage lenses for video recording on your mirrorless camera. Many mirrorless cameras have an adapter that allows you to mount old lenses onto them. These vintage lenses can create unique looks and can be a cost-effective way to experiment with different focal lengths and apertures. However, it is important to note that some vintage lenses may not have electronic contacts, so you may need to manually adjust the aperture and focus.

Final Verdict

In today’s digital age, many photographers are seeking the unique character and quality that can only come from vintage lenses. If you’re someone who appreciates a touch of nostalgia in your photography, then the top 10 best vintage lenses for mirrorless cameras we’ve reviewed and showcased in our buying guide are definitely worth considering. These lenses will not only enhance the look of your photos but also provide an exceptional performance that’ll make your investment worthwhile. So, if you want to capture stunning images with vintage charm, make sure to explore these best vintage lenses for mirrorless cameras.

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