My modern native auto-focus lenses are safely tucked away in my "special case" while my vintage adapted glass is constantly fiddled with and taken out for image gathering. I manly consider using the modern marvel on my extended trips to foreign places where I concentrate on recording more than creating images. At home I always grab my vintage lenses and recently discovered two gems from the 50's: lenses from Kodak intended for Cine 16mm film cameras.
I love the look that the Ektar 25mm has given me so far and wanted to try the longer focal lengths: the 63mm, and by chance I also discovered the 102mm
The image circle on those lenses was not intended to cover a sensor as large as the Micro 4/3 and the distortions are way more noticeable on the edges then they ever were on the smaller format of the film. And that is exactly what I am looking for: distortion and quirkiness that my Olympus M.Zuiko lenses can't give me.
Kodak Cine Anastigmat 63mm f2.7 1/500sec
The edges are often darker (vignette) and the bokeh can have a hint of swirl; all traits that I desire for moody and unusual look that I want to create in my images with feel.
I have shifted from methodical and accurate recording of buildings (my previous professional work) to a more arty direction in my images. The real goal for me is to evoke or depict emotions, through images. Even with static natural subjects I seek to capture a sense of nostalgia, dream or fantasy. Blurry and funky bokeh is all part of the composition where a sharp edge-to-edge image might not convey that feeling.
Kodak Cine Anastigmat 63mm f2.7 1/800sec
And then there is the part of manual focusing a lens that is a bit hard to handle, with small focus rings and tiny grip for the aperture control. Frustrating and fist and leading to missed opportunities but great for building skills and prediction of events.
Kodak Cine Ektanon 102mm f2.7 1/500sec
I notice that I am willing to observe a scene for much longer and pre-focus on the area where the subject might appear instead of just lift my camera, point and shoot leaving the focusing to the microchip evaluation. The results are often different; images taken while manual focusing tend to show, how to say it, more passion?
Kodak Cine Ektanon 102mm f2.7 1/400sec