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Any point in getting a 50mm legacy lens?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Eggradio, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Eggradio

    Eggradio Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2011
    Now that the Oly 45mm has established itself as one of the two or three best lenses available for MU43, is there any reason to get a Nikkor, Canon, or Oly 50?

    I am considering a Nikkor 50mm AI 1.8. Just because it seems like a nice lens... But I am definitely going to get the Oly 45. I have a feeling the Nikkor would be redundant next to the 45.

    I figure the Nikkor will be about $120 (I want to get the best example possible). Plus a Voightlander Nikon F mount adapter (something like $179). That adds up to about the price of the Oly.

    Of course with that mount adapter I can use other F mount lenses... Still, is there much need for legacy lenses that are not called Leica?

    Right now I am thinking that the Oly 12, the Panny 20, and the Oly 45 will give an extremely versatile kit that can fit in a tiny bag... And you know one of these companies will make a fast, compact telephoto prime at some point. Those three lenses together are probably smaller than a single Nikkor zoom... This is one of the reasons I love MU43. Am I just going against that whole reasoning if I go with legacy lenses?

    I have a feeling the future of MU43 lenses is going to get better and better.
  2. FastCorner

    FastCorner Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2011
    Unless you need MF for video/etc, or you need f/1.4 or f/0.95, I don't see a reason to get a legacy 50mm over the 45mm.

    I gifted my Olympus 50mm f/1.4 once I received my 45mm and haven't regretted it at all (for what I do).
  3. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Only if you want to save some money and enjoy manual focus and aperture.

    You can get adapters in the $20 to $30 range which work fine. A Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 seems pricey at 120 big ones. (I bought a 55mm Micro Nikkor f/3.5 w/M2 ring and an adapter for around $100.

  4. punkman

    punkman Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2011
    I had a Pentax 50mm f1.4 laying around, so I bought a $30 adapter to try it on the PEN camera. It's very nice, although a bit soft wide open. Also has good focal length for portraits.

    But if I was going to buy one, I'd much rather get the Olympus 45mm. It's fast and sharp and all kinds of nice.

    If you are going to adapt a 50mm, seems only worth it with an f0.95, f1 or something like that. You might find some decently-priced Cine lenses at f0.95. There's also the SLR Magic and Voigtlander fast lenses, but those are a bit expensive for my budget.
  5. Eggradio

    Eggradio Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2011
    I have heard that some mount adapters can be a bit wonky. I figure if I am going to go I might as well go all the way and get a voightlander. Of course, I doubt I am going to go...

    I tried out the Oly 45 at JandR the other day and that is one HELLUVA lens! Super sharp, super quiet AF and super small/light. I can't really think of a better lens to have in that focal length if one is MU43 shooter.

    Anyway, thanks for the confirmation of my theory.
  6. Basset

    Basset Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 9, 2011
    I am in the same boat. I have a bunch of great Takumar lenses, so I just picked up an adapter. I have a 55 f 1.8 that I will try out this weekend.

    I am still trying to hold out to see if there the Oly 45 comes out in black, since my E-PL3 body is black.
  7. LVL8hacker

    LVL8hacker Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    Pinehurst, North Carolina
    Larry Anderson
    To tell you the truth lately I only use my legacy lenses. My favorite is the Canon 50mm 1.2. Using my old lenses with my E-p3 has given me a new eye for pictures, almost like a second wind. I feel I take more time when taking pictures and the pictures I do take feel to be much more worth it....did that make any sense? :) 
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Eggradio

    Eggradio Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2011
    Yes. I know what you mean. Your comments are the certainly one of the things that legacy lenses have going for them. I had an old Nikon F and I like the manual focus and manual aperture. I wonder if the Oly 45 is simply better glass, though (in my price range)... A leica noctilux 50 f.95 would be great but it's $11K! The canon 50 f1.2L is $1500!

    Maybe someday I will get into it. Right now I need to get the hang of the native lenses, I think.
  9. zacster

    zacster Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 4, 2011
    What it came down to for me was the cost. For under $100 I can get all kinds of lenses, some under $50, some even less. Add a cheap adapter for $20, or if you buy just one kind of lens you only need one adapter, and you're done. I don't really have to worry about what it cost me if I don't use it or like it. Plus you can always resell used lenses, there isn't that new car issue of it dropping 20% when you drive it off the lot.

    Buying a 45 prime seems like a bad deal by comparison. It'll cost more and it won't necessarily be any better. Of course you'll have auto everything. If I were spending money on native lenses I'd go wider as you can't get these in adapted lenses as readily.

    I bought my daughter a 50 1.4 Pentax M last week. If it cost more than the $88 I paid she wouldn't have it. By the time I'm done she'll have a whole range of primes.
    • Like Like x 3
  10. derick

    derick Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2011
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Yup, it does. I went through the same thing when I first bought my E-P1 in 2010, but I've since switched over to 90+% native lens use. I think that at the time it was a worthwhile exercise because it does slow you down it allows you to think about your processes more.
  12. LVL8hacker

    LVL8hacker Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    Pinehurst, North Carolina
    Larry Anderson
    I wish my FD 50mm 1.2 was the L but its not. I picked it up from an estate sale for $20, best $20 I have ever spent. I have 50mm's in Minolta, Pentax, and Canon..no Nikon yet but im always looking. Here is a shot with the Canon 50mm 1.2 I took the other day of my Nephew and his girlfriend.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Well, the 45/1.8 costs about $400 and my very sweet OM50/1.4 cost me under $75. It's fun to use, produces great results and I used the extra $325 for something fun. Seems like a decent trade-off...

    View attachment 188207

    • Like Like x 2
  14. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    I recently bought a OM 50mm f1.8 which I now have slight regrets about, great lens and at just £35 what the heck.

    I am awaiting delivery of a OM 24mm f2.8 which will give me a 'normal' lens of 48mm.
  15. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    My, this adapt-a-lens cult is driving up the prices. Pentax and Olympus 50s sold for about a tenner only a couple of years ago. For 35 quid you could get a 50/1.7 with a working ME body as a rear cap.
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You're asking if you have an m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 if getting a legacy 50mm would be redundant. In a simple answer, yes. Maybe one day when you have an established lens collection and want to play around more, get a different feel to your usage and photos, then it might be worth getting. Until then, there's not likely anything it'll do "better" than the m.Zuiko. The faster 50's will need to be stopped down to compare in sharpness, so I would consider the f/1.8 aperture of the m.Zuiko to be as good as the f/1.4 aperture of the common fast-50, and even then it's probably only going to compare in the center. The m.Zuiko is likely to still give superior corner sharpness. However, every lens has its own unique characteristic, so if that's what you're after then why not try them out? My oldest lens is a fast-50 from 1953, and there's no replacement for that lens because it gives off a unique character that no other lens I have can reproduce. Some others here have mentioned bokeh quality, yet another unique characteristic of an individual lens.

    The tougher question to answer would be if you were to ask the other way around... if you have a store of legacy fast-50s, is there any reason to get the m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8? For Autofocus, maybe? Perhaps even a little better corner sharpness? A more compact form (when comparing with SLR fast-50s, but not rangefinder)? That would be largely up to your comfort zone with manual lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    What was your slight regret? :confused: 
  18. FastCorner

    FastCorner Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2011
    QFT. I would say that on my old OM 50mm f/1.4, I had to to stop down to about f/2 or f/2.8 in order to get the same level of sharpness (and reduce ghosting) as the 45mm at f/1.8. This made the decision easy for me.
  19. KS11

    KS11 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2011
    Busan/Hong Kong
    i been raving about my first lens purchase for my mft cameras for a while. my first lens i got (other than the kit lens) was the old m42 smc pentax 55mm 1.8...that opened up the camera world for me.

    now that i have the mzuiko 45mm, i will still keep the 55mm around because it represents to me the moment photography became something more than point-and-shoot.

    also for some reason, b&w pictures are just that much nicer with the pentax lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. G1 User

    G1 User Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 20, 2010
    There are other considerations IMO. other than FL and f/stop

    Many older lenses are the same formulas as the Rangefinder lenses they came from. And, because of this, will have less contrast, a different kind of sharpness and detail rendering along with the Bokoh that looks like Film on digital cameras. I have a Canon FL 50mm f/1.4 that that is a perfect B&W lens for my G3 (I still shoot in color in RAW). And the rendering is something a modern lens can't reproduce because the Formulas are more are more geared toward higher contrast and less abrasions. That is way older lenses really add to a B&W photo.

    My Canon FL 50mm f/1.4 is based on a Planar design for the Canon 50mm f/1.4 for the Canon 35mm rangefinders of the 50's and 60's. It is slightly modified to allow a langer registration of the Canonflex and Canon SLR's. I have the 1st version. A 6 element Planar design. The Version II was changed to a 7 element Sonnar design with an extra purple coating (Pre-SSC labled)

    So here are a few samples of the Canon FL 50mm f/1.4 on a G3

    View attachment 188259


    View attachment 188260

    Just saying.... How the lens DRAWS is also important... the lens is our Paint Brush for Light. and different lenses have different renderings.
    • Like Like x 3
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