Fun Atlanta Photography with a CCTV Lens

The City of Atlanta midtown as seen through the screen at Park TavernScooters and Midtown Atlanta from Park Tavern - taken through the screened-in porch

Photos of the City of Atlanta

I said I'd post last week about working with the new CCTV lens I got for my Sony a6000. Things got busy, and I didn't post. 

This week I'll talk a little about shooting with a CCTV lens. It's a fun little lens that I got for my Sony through my friend, Lauren's, affiliate link. It was only $27.99, making it by far the cheapest lens I've ever bought. 

I didn't know they made lenses that cheap!

What's the catch?'s a manual lens.

What's that mean? It doesn't communicate with my camera.

So there's no autofocus, and it's hard knowing what aperture you're shooting with unless you're wide open or stopped down all the way. I can, however, see what shutter speed and ISO I'm using. 

Manual lenses aren't a problem for me. My first SLRs were both manuals. The only way to focus either camera was by grabbing the focusing ring on the front of the lens and turning it until everything came into focus. 

There was also a little circle inside the viewfinder that had two halves. When the two halves of the circle lined up, then your shot was in focus - usually. It was a lot harder in those days shooting sports or other action scenes. 

I remember getting a motor drive on my camera. It allowed me to shoot without stopping to advance the film - imagine that! It was a killer on the wallet as I zoomed through film. 

I digress...

The little lens is I bought is a 35mm, 1.7 CCTV movie lens with an adaptor. It's amazing how well it shoots for that price. But it definitely has its issues. 


Sunset from Piedmont Park in front of Park Tavern

I did edit in a slight vignette into both of the above photos. But, as you can see, there are definite soft spots around the edges. The left side especially looks out of focus. 

But I like the look. Shooting through the screen for the top photo gave it an additional scratchy, vintage look. 

Here's one of the first photos I took with this lens:

A test shot with the CCTV lens

CCTV 35mm, 1.7 lens. Shot with the aperture wide open

Now that's some amazing bokeh for a $30-dollar lens! You can see the cinematic swirling around the edges.

I had the aperture wide open at 1.7 for this shot. It's tough to get good focus with any lens with the aperture open that wide. I thought this came out pretty well in focus. 

And yes, I did enjoy that drink!

If you're interested in getting one for yourself, I recommend watching Lauren's video. She also has some affiliate links to a bunch of lenses. 

One of the things I love about photography is the endless ways I can experiment. It's a little overwhelming sometimes. But I really enjoy trying out a new lens and going for a different sort of look. 

If you see me out around Atlanta with a tiny camera and even smaller lens, you'll know I'm out shooting with the CCTV lens. And for that price, I'll probably be investing in a couple more soon!

Ciao! And see you between the raindrops!