In surveys, photos need to have a distinct style. It’s the same with vintage lenses. You just don’t need a lot of fancy distortion to create something new in a bunch of high quality photos. But, of course, you do need a certain style of lens if you’re besides trying to sell an old lens. The first rule of thumb is to ask a lot of questions. If you don’t know your customers, get out and talk to them. Talk to other people in the industry about your business. Ask questions that will provide a foundation for patterns. If a photographer asks you if you have a certain look for your products, and you don’t know how to answer then you should consider not using that move. Planning your workflow using visuals makes this much easier especially if you’re not sure how to explain it to a client. Planning your photos with the right materials is key. So some old glass discs are great for certain things, but not for every shot. If you are only shooting 30mm you might not want to consider models, Vo Calm lenses, or some budgetary constraints. Remember, the first rule of thumb is to ask a lot of questions and be honest with your prospective clients.
Be prepared to show your sunglasses at a trade show if you’re trying to sell vintage frames with a company that’s giving the package. You don’t want to be surprised if you show your old frames and hear, “No thanks, our frame focuses on your fixed and tight period’.” Make sure you get support. Entrepreneurs are a professional breed. The good ones are not always on the front lines and they are far from the one stop shop “go to” places’ where everything and everybody comes together. This puts them at a disadvantage when they start trying to sell vintage frames. It’s up to you to make sure their customers are satisfied with their old lenses.
If you’re a small company, and need expert advice, you can go to fabrication and glass selection companies. These guys need to know exactly what you’re looking for. You can go an arm up and ask your favourite photographer for his prints before you step foot in shows and call their handyman for a plan. These guys will often do a sample image to show you what these old glasses look like. When you order a lot of the same lens, these glasses can actually look very expensive. Let’s say a glass discs suddenly becomes $150.00 a batch, why would you pay more than that for a reasonably priced set of glass prints? You will feel that you are being ripped off, even though you aren’t! If you’re a small or medium size business, that might be a good thing, even though the homeowner may want to pay the same price for glass prints, but a small business offers services close to mass production cost. However, if your business falls into this category, you’re going to need help with Project Safety Management. Often times this can be worth the money in the long run.
An engineer that has been in the industry longer than you is very valuable, even if he is more expensive. However, he might be expensive to the customer and can be a wonderful resource when he is invaluable. Good engineers are hard to find, they are rare and expensive, but they are musts if you’re going the high end route.
You can find the answer to all your questions with my tips about vintage frames. They will give you the kind of output that you’re looking for and can inspire you in the dark alleys where the most powerful lights shine. The case you’re looking for is the one that works best for where and how you’re shooting. Remember, it’s not always putting a vintage lens on the camera, it’s making a world of difference to how the photo performs. Remember, technology changes and while some new cameras are smaller they still produce great frames. Keep that in mind when choosing your next frame, but keep it simple.