I recently bought a manual lens on ebay. I saw some pictures taken with a manual lens on flickr and got curious. Some minutes and EUR 88,- later (USD 125,-) I was the owner of a Revuenon 55mm f1.4, an adapter for the M42 screw mount to EF and a lens hood.
The first impression was heavy. This glass is built like a tank. Metal everywhere. Great! And the aperture is 1.4 so it is fast. The DOF is shallow. So the first tests were on how the glass reacts to bad lighting and how to operate the little gem.
So the first thing I learned: Take your time.
In some light conditions it is fairly easy to focus with the view finder, but especially if you are close to the object it is better to us the liveview. The DOF is so shallow that it can be the trickiest part of the whole procedure to focus.
Once I knew the signature of my glass I took it for a walk. And I had fun!
Feet of steel will show you, that the DOF is shallow! Recognize the small strip of sharpness on the ground. Small details like this can be useful when focusing by hand.
In The truth about fishes you can see the DOF again and how the background has a nice blur. No need to say, that the light was horrible (heavy clouds) and the camera was lazy firing at 1/2000 and ISO 100.
To find out how bokehlicious the lens was I realized the Virtual surveillance. The bokeh is nice – this is obviously built for a nightwalk.
But of course it is also interesting to take normal pictures. Well they can also be realized with f1.4 as you can see in the selfie below. Such an old lens is good and cheap fun on a crop format camera (no idea how it looks on a full frame). There is a slight distortion but nothing Adobe Lightroom cannot handle.