The 35mm lenses you use really make a difference. Note that 35mm refers originally to the film type the lenses were made for and not the focal range. The focal range(also in mm) really determines the type of shot you will get wide to narrow. Before I get into the difference between lens types there are a few things you should note:
- All lens manufacturers/brands provide different lens types
- The wider you can open your aperture the more light you can utilize for an adapter
- For an adapter you want a manual lens or at the least a lens that can be switched to manual
- Each lens type produces different results and in most cases you would want to switch between lenses depending on your desired shot.
With that stated let us go over the 3 different types of lenses I use in my arsenal and why you would choose a specific type...
(for this example I am using Nikon compatible lenses, however any brand will most likely have lens types in each range)
I would consider a lens in the range of 0mm - 40mm to be a wide lens. This type of lens with an adapter produces some very interesting results. It works out well for wide shots such as establishing shots. Keep in mind the wider you go the more distortion, however this can also be a nice surreal effect.
Wide Angle Footage using a 35mm Adapter
above: Nikon 50mm manual lens
This will be your most utilized lens. It offers a nice mid-range and is suitable for a variety of shots. I like to use this lens particularly in mediums shots of people conversing with one another.
50mm Lens Footage using a 35mm Adapter
above: Nikon 70mm-200mm manual lens
I would put a lens in the range of 70mm+ as a zoom lens. These lenses can range from wide all the way to zoom, but I would not advise using this as your main lens as the light loss tends to be more severs and they are long and heavy...so when using a lens like this make sure you have some kind of support to take the stress off of your camera. With that said this lens comes in handy for extreme close-ups. It also comes in handy when you cannot get close to enough to your subject to achieve your desired shot.
Zoom lens Footage using a 35mm adapter
Here is nice footage using various lens types discussed.
So that is my lens arsenal. I find it useful to have these lens types on hand, but if you are just starting out I would suggest a 50mm lens to begin. The key is practice and know your lenses, then you will find yourself swapping lenses more instinctually and you will see the how dynamic your footage can become.
By the way ebay is a great source for manual lenses. Just search for your manual lenses and you will see.You will most likely get the best deal there.