102-Year-Old Lens Plus Canon 5D Mark II Equals Instant Vintage Photos

Photographer Timur Civan had a project that required vintage-looking photographs. Originally planning to shoot the project on a 4×5 large format camera, he abandoned that route after calculating the cost for equipment and processing. His lens technician friend then discovered a 1908 Wollensak 35mm F5.0 Cine-Velostigmat hand-cranked lens in a box of spare parts, and spent 6 hours helping him make the lens fit on an EF mount for Civan’s 5D Mark II.

Check out these untouched JPEG images straight from the camera:

Instant vintage photographs! Is that cool or what?

Image credits: Photographs by Timur Civan and used with permission

  • Ivan Cabrera

    Looks really cool!

  • Alexander Saleh

    Really beautiful and eerie, especially the first image.

  • Jim Glass

    Assume the vignetting is a product of the lens and not some photo editing? But, nice “vintage look” to the shots, in any event.

  • Sergey Apuhtin

    instant bright idea! where can i find more of them?

  • Ghill Tochon

    Awesome!!!….want one… :D

  • Anonymous

    That is damned cool

  • BP

    good lord, people – do you even READ the article before posting comments??

  • Atmtx

    Wow! Very neat. Love the look.

  • //d.

    really really cool. i actually get a similar effect with some of my helios 44mm lenses. not as cool though, mostly cause i am not in NYC. :P great great shots though. i love this.

  • Timur Civan

    helios 44-2 58mm is more subtle but definitely a looker….

  • blah

    you dont need all that 5D mark II circus….

  • Sbunting108

    Wow they look fantastic! :) My favourite is the top one!

  • Duncan

    Does it do video?

  • felipegomez


  • Timur Civan

    Yea it does video…. check my Vimeo Timur Civan, gonna go shoot with it tommorow, so there will be images to check out. probably Monday.

  • Duncan


  • Fart

    “Vintage” does not equal “fucked up.” If he got exactly the same effects with that setup as he does with a 4×5, he has no business using one in the first place. It’s awesome he managed to mount an old lens to a new camera and make it work, but honestly: technical proficiency with the camera, lens, and light-sensitive surface is timeless (and has been since Bayard, Daguerre, Talbot, et. all).

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  • Mark Osborne

    Nice work Timur, i have been experimenting will old M39 mount lenses with my 5D but cant seem to fix the infinity focus problem how did you combat this?

  • christian louboutin

    Nice work Timur

  • louboutin
  • Ashton

    totally cool .. i just love canon digital camera



  • Javachan

    Sorry, but I think this is an insult to the Canon 5D Mk II’s capability. The vignettes are simply because the lens is to damn small. This is a silly idea and those that appreciate such photos need not use such a dignified, expensive camera to achieve such crap shots.

  • Mark Osborne

    Some people just don’t understand the process of experimenting, and the ones who write the same old “bla bla bla” comments about the process are not photographer/artists to heart.

    Javachan go and try something new in your small life.

  • billselak

    I love these shots. They look photoshopped–yet it’s so cool that they’re not. There’s something to be said for that.

  • Philmgd

    How can anyone talk shit about this setup? Its badass.. The great part is, no photoshop is needed. And no, PHOTOSHOP DONT DO THIS VERY EASY.

  • Klessblog

    Bring back the Bolex!

  • eddie

    Cool Idea, though I likely would just have used my fed 5 and Jupiter 12 35 f2.8 without a hood (to guarantee the flare) Scanned on an imacon a good set of negs would be big enough to achieve what he wanted. BTW the large format option need not be such a crazy price – I looked at a vintage one in excellent shape for $650 with 10 graflex backs not long ago (though hellishly more complex to use than a 5d as a street tool). nice work though,
    Mark – try M42 mount, m39 are rangefinder lenses realistically only adaptable to m4/3
    most russian lenses came both m39 and m42 (easier to adapt properly if you shoot Pentax but will adapt to Canon as well (Nikon is more problematic but then again they have trouble with their own lenses…)

  • Draliv

    I do the same photos with my Lomography Diana F+ with some special lens and an old film… Don’t need all that (very old lens and a professional camera), but the results was very nice too!!!

  • Alius Designs

    Amazing! Wow!

  • Felipe Pires


    Hotel Pennsylvania! I’ll be there next week!

  • Gwendolyn Tundermann

    Absolutely gorgeous! I am in love!!

  • Nessacostevesrj

    very good!!!

  • Johntographer

    This is so cool. Where can one find these old lenses to give this a try?

  • Zepaulocardeal

    And there’s a lot of old lenses in retail stores in Sao Paulo… I’ll try to do that in my Nikon.

  • Infrared Nature Photography

    This is so coool! Much better than the Hipstamatic!

  • mmcc

    There are off the shelf C-Mount adapters that you can stick on a Micro Four Thirds camera to use a bunch of old lenses. A lot of the lenses (especially the cheaper ones) give this sort of effect, with vignetting and loss of sharpness near the edges.

  • Justine

    Good on Timur for experimenting. Photography is about capturing experiences and emotions and a sign of a good photographer is about taking photographs that provoke this.

    Being proficient at photoshop and the like does not make you a good photographer

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  • Sean_sdd

    Nice pics.. I like the second one a lot.. I have my trusty Diana do appease to the vintage in me whenever I want a mid format look to my pics….

  • spencer

    Those are so sweet. Wish I had thought of that direction with my D90.

  • Atlanta Terry


    The problem you are having is the M39 mount lenses were designed for shallow Leica-type camera bodies. Today’s film and digital SLR cameras are thicker to allow for the reflex mirror.

    What you need to find is an old roll film camera of the era. That way the lens is designed to be at a certain distance from the film.

    The other thing you are going to run into with these old lenses for film “box” cameras is they will act like a telephoto due to cropping of your sensor or film.

    So what you want to find is an old lens designed for a small old film format such as 127 or 135 or 828. That way the original film format is roughly the size of your digital sensor.

    When you find an old lens in the store just open the shutter and set it to the maximum f-stop. Point the lens at a light source or out a window. Stick your hand or white sheet of paper behind the lens to see how far away from the sensor the lens needs to be. A quick and dirty test but effective.

    If you want to achieve the same look as the 102 year old lens shown here just go to your local hobby store, office supply or Dollar Store and buy a cheap magnifying glass. Test the infinity distance as I described. When you find one that does not need too long an extension, buy it. After all, the lenses from 100 years ago found on cheap box cameras were nothing much more than a one element lens.

    Back in the early 70s I was experimenting with magnifying lenses stuck on the end of my Nikon bellows. One of the best and “coolest” lenses I tried was an inexpensive jeweler’s loupe – the kind that clipped over glasses. It did not need a long bellows and *certainly* was soft once one got away from the center.

    So as you see, this is nothing new since I was doing it 40-odd years ago. Just with Ektachrome transparency film, not digital.

    Terry Thomas…
    the photographer
    Atlanta, Georgia USA

  • Ashley Karyl

    That is a very curious concept and and I like the idea of using an old lens like this for the look it produces. ratherThis is more interesting than slavishly trying to make everything as sharp as possible all the time and sounds like a healthy antedate to the pixel peepers!

  • Adrian

    That is very cool!

  • Adrian

    That is very cool!

  • Anything Different is Good

    Hey, uh JAVACHAN – you are a dick. If you don’t ‘care’ for the shots, then keep your piss poor attitude and opinion to yourself…

    go away you schmuck. He was sharing something cool, by showing that you can TRY shit out just to get something DIFFERENT. Not something you see every day..

    And, because some people dig things that aren’t ‘RUN OF THE MILL’..

    You are a fucking idot.

    So, what if the lens is ‘so damn small’ – is that offensive to you because it dwarfs your man-hood?

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you, my friend are blind as a fucking bat.


  • Rick

    How’s the autofocus? :-)