How to Use Film Camera Lenses on Digital Cameras

Many film photographers have older lenses that are left over from their film days. One of the most asked questions is how to use film camera lenses with their new digital cameras. It is very simple and will not cost you much to be able to use your film camera lenses on your new digital camera, provided your digital camera is an SLR camera that has interchangeable lenses. Many older film camera lenses are compatible with their digital SLR camera counterparts with an easy-to-use adapter that fits between the older lens and the digital camera body.

Things You'll Need

  • Lens adapter
  • Digital SLR camera
  • Film camera lens


    • 1

      Buy a lens adapter from a reputable camera store. Make sure the adapter is made to fit between your older film camera lens and your digital camera body. There are many different kinds of adapters out there, and you need to have one that is appropriately chipped to fit your camera.

    • 2

      Screw the adapter onto your camera body. It will go on the same way the lenses go on your camera body. Align the appropriate marks on the camera body with the marks on the lens adapter and turn until it locks in place.

    • 3

      Screw your film camera lens onto the adapter the way you would normally attach it to a camera body. Align the appropriate marks on the adapter with the marks on the camera lens. Certain lens adapters have an optical glass that acts as a multiplier to your lens. This basically adds additional zoom to your lens.

    • 4

      Turn on your camera and start taking pictures. Most adapters only allow for manual focus, because older film lenses are usually manual focus. Take a few practice pictures to make sure you are familiar with all the controls and how the film camera lens works on your digital camera.

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