Closeup of the Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7. Image produced and owned by the 4toconvert.

Beauty of a £5 vintage lens: Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7

I recently completed a video test of the Auto Chinon 55mm 1.7 vintage lens mounted on the Canon 700D using an M42 to EOS adaptor and uploaded it onto Youtube. You can watch it below.

This lens is pretty awesome. Its low light capabilities are astounding. The colour reproduction and contrast too are great.

It is a pleasure to use: the ability to change my aperture on the lens is a facility I don’t have on my kit lens, and it makes it a lot easier and quicker to adjust my aperture using the aperture ring.

The focus ring on the lens makes it ideal for recording video. It is smooth and well dampened. The long throw of the focus ring makes it ideal for video use. In comparison, the Canon 18-55mm lens manual focus ring is not as smooth.

Closeup of the Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7 vintage lens. Image produced and owned by the 4toconvert.

It is too loose for my liking. It feels broken. There is no comparison with the focus ring of the Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7 vintage lens.

The disadvantage is that I don’t have the electronics and image stabilisation. It is going to take some used to working without image stabilisation to pan and tilt smoothly without jerky movements in the video.

However, it is still a joy to work with. I am enjoying this lens and this is now the lens I use most of the time. It is my go to lens. Consequently, I don’t use the kit lens and haven’t since I purchased the 700D.

I am enjoying the opportunity to make videos again. It’s been a while since I last made some proper videos. The last time I did, I was using Betacam cameras and the Sony PD150. That is quite a long time ago.

On my 700d, the Auto Chinon lens is more of a telephoto lens because of the crop factor. It is the equivalent of an 85mm lens not the normal 55mm you would get on a full frame camera or a 35mm camera.

Closeup of the Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7. Image produced and owned by the 4toconvert.

That is not a problem though. I can work around it. It is just going to take some practice and use to get well acquainted with it and do justice to its awesome capabilities.

If you use DSLR cameras to make videos, this lens is a good alternative to keep in mind. I would recommend it to anyone without hesitation.

The Auto Chinon lens allows you to capture film quality. The quality is way better than what you will get from most consumer camcorders.The ability to manually focus is a big advantage over most camcorders.

It probably explains the shift towards vintage lenses by budding filmmakers and other professionals using DSLR to make films and documentaries.

The beauty of this lens is the price tag. I got it for £5. you might have to pay a bit more on eBay. The price range of the lenses range from £0 to about £40 depending on where you find it.

It costs about twenty times less than brand new 50mm lens from the major brands and about 10 times less than the price of these same lenses secondhand.

If you are lucky and you stumble across these lenses in the attic, or from an elderly relative with film cameras then count yourself lucky.

Otherwise, keep an eye open for them at car boot sales, charity shops, thrift shops and the likes. This lens is a winner once you are well acquainted with it. It brings back the joy of film making. Don’t forget that this is not only a good video lens but it is equally versatile as a portrait lens or for use on the street for street photography. Check out my article Take A Punt to see more. Below are images taken with the Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7 lens.

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The beauty of this £5 pound lens is its versatility as a portrait and video lens. You can’t beat its price. Look forward to more videos and reviews coming your way from the 4toconvert.



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