1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Bang for Buck Legacy Lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by SNTP, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. SNTP

    SNTP Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 7, 2011
    Hey guys,
    I was thinking of buying some older legacy lenses for a couple of different uses and for fun. I was hoping you guys might give me some recomendations that give the best bang for the buck.

    Fisheye (or should i really just buy the samyang 7.5mm) for interesting action shots and architecture
    Wide-angle (7-14mm~ish): for landscape/group portraits
    85mm+ Portrait lens (hoping for an F2.8 or lower)
    50mm Macro lens (F1.2~ish?)
    35mm (F1.4~ish?)

    I already have the 20mm F1.7 and the 45mm F1.8. They're great lenses, but i would like to get some different focal lengths to hopefully broaden the look of my images. I'm hoping to spend around $100 per lens maybe $150 if the lens is really nice.
    I know the aperatures i'm asking for are pretty fast, so maybe I just need more suggestions to really know what is actually reasonable to ask for.
    Thanks in advance for all your help :) 
  2. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    There's no good options (if any at all) for adapted wide-angle lenses. Though the native offerings are quite good.

    I've heard good things about the OM 50mm macro..think it's a 3.5 though.
  3. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Oh and you should just pony up for the samyang/rokinon 7.5mm fisheye. It's not more expensive than any decent legacy lens and adapter, and it sounds like one of the best FE lenses optically.
  4. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    I'm sure you'll get some responses from people with a lot more experience than I have, but I've dabbled some with legacy lenses and have read this and other forums closely for about a year. So here's my advice:

    1) Fish-eye and WA: forget about it. There's nothing remotely affordable out there, and what exists is big, heavy, and probably not as good as native lenses.

    2) Portrait: Remember the 2x crop factor, so if you mean 85mm FF-equivalent then you're talking a 42mm FF lens. Some people rave about the 40mm f/1.8 Hexanon, and there are zillions of relatively cheap, relatively fast (<2) 50mm lenses out there that were very popular before Olympus released its new 45mm f/1.8 native lens. Still, the native lens is $360 and you can pick up a 50mm f/1.8 for < $50, so it's still a great way to have fun. If you mean 85mm FF then there are many fewer options, and I don't know anything about them.

    3) Macro lenses: Again, there are lots of 50-55mm macros out there, though I think most are f/3.5. For macro I'm not sure speed is that important. Most are fairly reasonable, and I think I once read the adage that "it's hard to make a macro lens that's NOT sharp" so I think most are pretty good. If you're really looking for an f/1.2 macro then I imagine you're going to be spending some serious money, and there might be better ways to do that in a native mount.

    4) 35mm: Here I'm out of my element, but it does appear to be an interesting focal length without any native primes. Since I don't know anything I won't write anything!
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    For anything this wide, you need to go native. You won't find a 7mm lens in 35mm film format. Even as wide as 25mm you should stick with native lenses, as the adapted ones will not be any cheaper since that was rather wide back in the day.

    Lots of options there. OM Zuiko 85mm f/2, Konica Hexanon 85mm f/1.8, Super Takumar 85mm f/1.8, Rokkor 85mm f/1.7...

    Probably the best option for Micro Four-Thirds though, if it's not out of your price range, would be the Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 for Four-Thirds mount.

    You won't find a macro lens with that wide an aperture! Nor would you want that wide in a macro. You have a choice, a 50mm f/1.2, or a 50mm Macro in the range of f/3.5 or maybe f/2 or f/2.8. For a 50mm f/1.2, the OM Zuiko and Minolta Rokkor both make good versions. Some consider the bokeh kinda funky, but that's a damn fast lens speed. For a 50mm Macro, OM Zuiko had a 50mm f/3.5 but I don't know of many others.

    Again, there's all kinds of legacy options here, but your best option that I know of (that fast, anyways!) for Micro Four-Thirds would be the Samyang/Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 for Four-Thirds mount.

    35mm was also a very popular focal length for rangefinder guys, and there is a Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux and Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 Nokton. Those won't come cheap, although they are very high quality and fit very compact on a Micro Four-Thirds body. Especially the Voigtlander.

    There is also an OM Zuiko 35mm f/2, Konica Hexanon 35mm f/2, a Minolta Rokkor 35mm f/1.8, and a Super-Tak 35mm f/2. Much cheaper, but a stop slower.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yup, it's f/3.5 It's very compact though, like the OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.8. It's only 1:2 macro though, and requires an extension tube to achieve 1:1 macro (but then, with our crop factor a 1:2 gets up close enough).
  7. ekoe

    ekoe Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 26, 2010
  8. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    • Like Like x 1
  9. SNTP

    SNTP Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 7, 2011
    Good to know

    I actually didn't really think of looking to 4/3 mount lenses! The Super Takumar looks awesome, as does the Konica one.

    Yeah i've never done macro b4, so i wasn't really sure what was appropriate. i've always seen the 50mm f1.2's but i guess those are just those fast portrature lenses.

    Yeah i'd love to own a Leica someday, but those are quite out of my budget. These 4/3 lenses do seem ideal though! I was totally ignoring that in my search for legacy lenses!! hahaha i'm such a dolt! This is why i come here to get suggestions! :2thumbs:
  10. SNTP

    SNTP Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 7, 2011
  11. zpuskas

    zpuskas Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2011
    Santa Barbara, CA
    I picked up a 50mm Micro-Nikkor Auot f3.5 (non-Ai) for about $65.00 and it's a wonderful lens.
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Oh yeah, and you should also look at the two Zuiko macro lenses for the Four-Thirds system. They are some of the sharpest lenses you'll ever encounter, especially the 50mm f/2. The 50mm is a high grade lens though and may be out of your budget. The 35mm f/3.5 macro on the other hand is very affordable, is still very sharp, very compact, and can achieve twice the macro magnification at true 1:1! Its biggest drawback though, is it focuses so close at such a wide angle that you have no working distance whatsoever. I generally prefer my macro lenses in the 100mm range, lol.
  13. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    I have my Konica Hexanon 50mm f1.8 on sale with adapter. will throw in the 40mm f1.7 for free, too. PM me!
  14. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    SNTP, if you don't mind, I'd like to use your thread for a question that might interest you as well (as you're looking for a 85mm+ Portrait lens)...

    I'm thinking of buying a similar lens (80-100mm, perhaps a Hexanon 85mm f/1.8) but I'd like to know GOOD options without the heavy price tag. I have a Hexanon 135mm f/3.5 but I'd like a lens a bit shorter and faster. I noticed there were lenses like Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 (that looks good on paper) but I'm guessing will cost way too much. Any suggestions from anyone?

    PS. I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy the Oly 45mm in the near future but I feel there's too much space between a 45mm and 135mm...
  15. SNTP

    SNTP Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 7, 2011
    Will do jambaj0e!!

    Don't mind at all Pake! I am in the same boat!
  16. SNTP

    SNTP Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 7, 2011
    Somewhat off/on topic. I recently visited with my Aunts and uncle this weekend, and they were talking about the war (Vietnam War) and how they actually loved to take pictures. Most of their film was lost but they kept the cameras! Long story short, I now have 2 Pentax SLR cameras! One is a Pentax Spotmatic SPII, and the other is a Pentax K1000. They also came with 4 lenses!
    Super Takumar 50mm F1.4
    Takumar 50mm F2 (doesn't seem to be M42 screw mount... it was on the K1000)
    Super Takumar 200mm F4
    Tamron 28mm f2.5

    My question to you guys, is: the 50mm f1.4 seems a little cloudy on the inside of the lens. I haven't bought the M42 ->M43 adapter just yet, but i wanted to know if it was worth having it cleaned/oiled at my local camera shop. It seems like they would just have to unscrew it and clean it a bit and then put it back together. and being a small prime like a 50 it should be relatively cheap. I also had heard that there are different types of adapters you can buy for the M42 screwmount (with and without flange) I've heard the ones w/o flange will allow you to focus to infinity while the flanged one does not... any thoughts/ideas?
  17. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Many old lenses just need a CLA (Clean, Lubricate, Adjust). Go for it!
  18. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I have used 2 different M42 adapters from China with my SMC Takumar 50/1.4, both with flanges, and both allowed "beyond-infinity" focus. I added some aluminum foil shims to bring it back to infinity.

    On the first one the flange diameter was just a tiny bit too small, so that when the lens was extended to infinity the aperture tab made a small amount of contact, and it was difficult to rotate the aperture ring. Away from infinity it was fine. Got it from RainbowImaging.

    So I ordered another adapter off of eBay that appeared to be flangeless in the picture, when it arrived I saw the flange part was just painted black. However this one is a little wider and I don't have trouble with the aperture. Came in a box with the brand name Pixco I think. I'll add some pictures of the two tonight.
  19. SNTP

    SNTP Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 7, 2011
    I've never done this before, as all my current lenses are m43 and new. Does this process usually take a long time?

    And thanks Fin, Pictures of the adapter would be awesome! I'm actually so excited to try these out!
  20. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    Regarding M42 adapters with/without flanges...

    My two Takumar lenses have an "M/A" switch. In "M" mode, the lens blades change as the aperture ring is rotated. In "A" mode, they stay wide open and will close to the selected value when the Pentax camera presses a pin on the rear of the lens during exposure. Some lenses do not have the M/A switch and remain open until the pin is pressed.

    The purpose of the flange on an M43 adapter is to press that pin so that your lens aperture is always activated by default. This is good for lens without the MA switch.

    If your lens has a switch, you don't necessarily need the flange. Just set it to "M" mode. However, there must be some users who prefer a flangeless adapter/ Perhaps they like having the lens be wide open by default and invoke the MA switch to check exposure and DOF preview.

    Anyway, if you buy the M2 adapter from ebay vendor "Big-IS", you get one that includes interchangeable flanged and a flangeless lens receptacles. They're held in by set screws, and you get the allen wrench too. I found it well made and a nice value.
    • Like Like x 2
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.