To the end of June, eBay has really good deals on used cameras and lenses – up to 60% off. They even throw in free shipping.
As we talked about in our article “Investing Wisely in Film Gear”, we recommend getting used equipment, especially lenses. Besides saving a lot of money, the old manual lenses can be often more useful than the fully automatic modern lenses. For example, having the aperture ring right on the lens allows to easily adapt it from one camera mount to another.
To control aperture electronically, you need an active adapter, but these are sometimes unavailable or expensive. But if you have manual lenses, you can easily use them with the newest great camera.
For example, right now the new camera that many filmmakers are excited about is the Panasonic GH4. This camera uses the MFT mount, however, and so anybody who has already invested in other types of lenses (for example, the Canon EF, EF-S), has a dilemma – do they sell their old lenses and buy new ones, or do they just forget about the GH4. Of course, if they have manual lenses, they can jump right on the GH4 without a problem.
On a side note, if you don’t like manual lenses because they don’t give you auto focus, please read this post. To sum it up, as a filmmaker, you should always be focusing manually.