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Adapted Lenses the way to go? / Recommendations

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by rxstuve, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. rxstuve

    rxstuve Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    I have an Olympus OMD EM5 and have nothing in the way of older glass. I understand that using an adapter and the Micro 4/3 format is providing many options for many photographers out there but with the down sides of the combination, no real electronic pass through features, manual focus or slow focus, is this really a viable option for those with out the catalog of older glass already? Would it be better to get the newer albeit more expensive glass than to buy older lenses?

    If you opinion is to use older glass i would welcome not only your opinion but some suggestions of lenses that would be good to keep an eye out for.

    Thanks in advance.

    Rick Stuve
    Semper Fi
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    There are 3 reasons to use legacy lenses, IMO:
    1) Native equivalents (in terms of focal length, speed, or rendering qualities) do not exist.
    2) You enjoy the experience of shooting manually.
    3) You can't afford native equivalents.

    Given the wide variety of native m4/3 lenses currently available and the fairly moderate prices of most, I would venture to say that most people who use legacy lenses extensively do so for reason #2.
  3. Nonnit

    Nonnit Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 19, 2012
    I was very happy with the quality of Canon FD 50mm f/1.4

    It was soft at f/1.4, good at f/1.8 and great from f/2.0

    I also have pentax 50mm f/2.0 and it is rubbish (dosen't get much better by stopping down)

    Posting 100% crop of the lenses in this order:

    Canon 50mmFD f/1.4 - Oly 45mm F/1.8 - Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (on canon 600D - this is new-ish auto focus lens) - pentax 50mm f/2.0

    All the lenses are at f/2.0
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/8106989592/" title="4 by Nontest, on Flickr">
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    "640" height="366" alt="4"></a>

    Oly 45 is best, canon FD close by, canon EF looks kind of bad but in normal view this is ok, the pentax is just terrible, stopping down to f/8 and it is still worse then the canon FD at f/1.4 .

    So, maybe the canon FD is just so damn good or it is all down to luck??

    Just keep in mind that manual focusing is slow progress and you better enjoy it!!
  4. osamasidat

    osamasidat Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 26, 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    Osama Sidat
    Are adapted lenses the way to go? My opinion, yes, maybe, but only to some degree.

    When I got the E-M5, under my adapted lenses category, I just had a Pentax SMC M42 55/1.8. I used it for a bit, kinda liked the results; until I tried an Olympus 45/1.8. Boy, was it a world of a difference! My new-found enjoyment of using manual focus on the 55 was totally overshadowed by the sharpness, contrast and quick, accurate and silent autofocus of the O45. The days of the 55/1.8 (in its current capacity - as a lens within the 40-60mm focal range) are numbered, at least for me...

    I also tried the Olympus 75/1.8 the other day. I think this lens pretty much ruined quite a few lenses for me... Since then, I've abandoned any plans of acquiring a fast, manual 85mm.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the sharpness and colors I get from my Nikon AI 135/2.8. However, I'm not sure if I will be able to say the same were I to try a similar (native) lens.

    (I started writing something, but realized I was paraphrasing the 3 points by Dara). For me, if I am getting a manual lens, it has little to do with reason #2, and everything to do with reasons #1 & #3.

  5. Nonnit

    Nonnit Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 19, 2012
    Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro

    Almost forgot this gem!!

    I don't have this lens now, I gave it to my daughter soon after I got it, so no 100% crops.

    This is a great lens!!! Just looking at some pics we took my feeling is that it is just as good as my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM - and that one is known for quality and sharpness.

    This is some old manual focusing lens I got from ebay for cheap, I have no idea about how old it is. As far as I can tell it is 1:1 macro!!

    Some pics with it, shot at f/2.8 with EPL1:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/7159704157/" title="Kristbjörg Ólöf by Nontest, on Flickr"> View attachment 237326 "778" height="1024" alt="Kristbjörg Ólöf"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/66582418@N05/7382267362/" title="Stúlkan með filmuvélina #4 by Nonnit, on Flickr">
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    "800" height="608" alt="Stúlkan með filmuvélina #4"></a>

    <<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/66582418@N05/7382236544/" title="Stúlkan með filmuvélina #1 by Nonnit, on Flickr">
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    "608" height="800" alt="Stúlkan með filmuvélina #1"></a>

    Yes, we had some fun shooting the "girl with old film camera"!!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/66582418@N05/7382260034/" title="Stúlkan með filmuvélina #2 by Nonnit, on Flickr">
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    "800" height="608" alt="Stúlkan með filmuvélina #2"></a>

    But is f/2.8 fast enough for M43 when you want bokhe? It worked fine for me in this session I think (taken outside)

    Some macro:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71317677@N02/7159704565/" title="Kristbjörg Ólöf by Nontest, on Flickr"> View attachment 237329 "778" height="1024" alt="Kristbjörg Ólöf"></a>
    • Like Like x 2
  6. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    For me the best thing about adapted lenses is finding relatively cheap, fast lenses. Fast means it is easier to do manual focusing wide open. I would consider the following routes:
    • Buy Pana or Oly model of the Leica M [or R] mount to m43 —*costly but worth it as you may be swapping lenses on and off a lot if you end up with more than one. I have just one Leica lens currently, so the adaptor lives on it. Recommended Leica: Dual-range Summicron 50mm [10mm eq] f2 [must get one with "goggles" to allow lens to operate in close-focus mode — down to 18"], legendary for bokeh, colour and resolution; 50mm Summilux f1.4; 90mm Summicron f2, which has a great built-in, never to be lost, telescoping metal lens hood. These three are fairly thick on the ground and go back long enough to give you plenty of price variation. With a Leica thread-to-bayonet adaptor, you can use even older Leica and Canon rangefinder lenses from the late '50s onwards. I did a bit of that but sold four rf lenses because of colour fringing and flare issues — coating back then left something to be desired. I kept the DRS 50mm f2 because of its quality. Leica R lenses seem to be fairly plentiful and cheaper than Ms on eBay.
    • Buy a quality [Oly] 4/3 to m4/3 adaptor and get into a host of really fine Olympus lenses going quite far back. The OM-D is my first Oly body, so I can't make personal recommendations here. I know they made some great macro lenses, and since fine macro focusing is often best done manually, this is a great area to explore.
    You can get by with a couple of adaptors, and a range of veteran glass. It's fun and a great learning experience. All the best with your adventures.
  7. Nonnit

    Nonnit Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 19, 2012
    Large opening for focusing!

    Indeed, iGonzoid brought up a valid point, Large apertures makes manual focusing easier in low light.

    About adapters, I have used fotodiox from ebay/amazon and it is cheap and it works, you won't get correct infinity focus tough.

    I have M43/EOS adapter and have tried 100-300mm canon lens on the M43, I have been unhappy with the results so far - on the longer end manual focusing is impossible because of camera shake - it is fine as tripod lens!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. goodsonr

    goodsonr Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 7, 2011
    For me reason #3 - can't afford the equivalent - is king, or at least, I can't justify it for the number of times I would use it.

    I bought a legacy 85f2 but I'd really rather have Olympus 75mm.

    I enjoy the shooting with a legacy lens and have gotten better at hitting focus. But after playing with it for awhile - compared to the Olympus 45mm I have .. the sharpness and contrast are not in the same league (and I assume the Olympus 75mm is just as good or better)
  9. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I think where adapted MF makes really good sense is for macro. You can get an old 55mm macro (pick your brand) and get a a cheap macro setup with adapter.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 24, 2011
    I really just love the *experience* of using my old MF lenses. Taking something old that is cast aside as worthless and making it useful again is so...redemptive.

    My favorite is C/Y mount Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 (bonus: can also be mounted on my EOS body). I also love my Konica Hexanons (all AR mount). The 135 is especially nice.

    A great bonus is that all these old lenses now get Image Stabilization with my OM-D!
  11. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    One reason I do it, which I have not seen mentioned here, is a better understanding of focusing and overall a better understanding of the entire aspect. If I can always manual focus a lens, then any lens is open to me. Also all three listed above ($80 got me 6 lenses overall, all MD mount).
  12. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    The Pentax M 50mm f1.7 is a much better lens
  13. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    Hexanons are cheap and there is some top notch lenses in the line up. They also have the smallest adapter, the Hex 40mm f1.8 is about the smallest you'll find at a bargain price and is a great lens and fits in well with M43 bodies. Trouble is I have an issue focusing, down to my inexperience more than anything else.
  14. Nonnit

    Nonnit Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 19, 2012
    I got this lens also from ebay (the 1.7), I gave it to my daughter soon after I got it, I will test it next time I get my hands on it (hopefully next weekend)
  15. Papadoc

    Papadoc Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 12, 2012
    I'm wishing now that I'd kept my Contax G1 with the 28/2.8, 90/2.8 and especially the 45/2.0, which would make a great portrait lens. Those lenses were top-notch. But the whole system got traded into B&H when I bought my first digital SLR system. A quick check on Ebay shows they still sell for over $400 apiece. Oh well....
  16. tdobson

    tdobson Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2012
    I picked up a 52/2.0 Jupiter-8 in LTM mount and I'll tell you, for the 30 bucks or whatever that I spent, it's great. The action is a little clunky, but it is VERY compact and looks awesome on the EPM1 - the size is really well suited to that camera.

    Sure I'd love a native 12/2, 20/1.7, 45/1.8 and 75/1.8, but I just don't have that kind of money.

    In short, if you want to get decent result and have fun, sure - MF is the way to go.

    The longer story is that the adapters (other than LTM) that I have used tend to be half to two-thirds as long as the lenses themselves. With MF Rokkors and M42 mount lenses you end up with a fair bit of lens hanging off the front of your little Mu43 camera.
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