An Ugly 180

Everything old is new again.

In the world of photography, digital mirrorless cameras have given a lot of vintage lenses a new lease on life. That means any modern camera can use any old lens with the aid of a simple adapter. It’s a form of recycling that was once unthinkable.

One of the best pre-owned camera dealers is KEH in Atlanta. Their system of grading is very honest in a way that gives the advantage to the buyer. They’ve sold me more than a dozen old lenses that I adapted to Fuji and Sony digital cameras.

My most recent purchase from KEH is a late 1970’s Nikon lens. It’s a 180mm f/2.8 telephoto that was part of every photojournalist’s kit. This one needs no adapter because even the most modern Nikon digital SLR camera can accept old manual focus lenses.

When I saw the listing on the KEH site, I couldn’t believe my eyes because it was priced at only 44 dollars. The grading system listed it as “ugly” which is exactly what I’m looking for in a used lens. It’s experienced a lot of wear and tear but the optics are still beautiful.

I’m happy to report that I’ve already gotten my money’s worth on the first session.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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