Best 40/50mm f1.8 lens for GF1?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Aluminari, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Aluminari

    Aluminari New to Mu-43

    Jan 25, 2012
    Hi all,

    I'm really new to this forum, and photography, having just completed my first newbie SLR course and I'm chomping at the bit to get cracking. I'm particularly interested in portrait photography and I was told to get hold of a good 40/50mm f1.8 lens perhaps with an adaptor for the GF1. I don't want to spend a massive amount because of shelling out for the GF1, but I want quality.

    My eyes aren't particularly good, so I'm thinking I need autofocus, but not really knowing much I don't even know if this is possible with an adaptor and a different lens.

    Going through the forum, I see a few posts with people talking about the Konica but it would be great if people could give me a steer on what I should be looking for in a lens? I'd really appreciate it.

    I will probably use eBay to source the adaptor (if required) and lens itself. Probably looking to spend £100-150? Less if I can of course.

    Thanks so much.
  2. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    If you need autofocus, you are limited to 4/3 and m4/3 lenses. The first lens that comes to mind is the Olympus M. Zuiko 45 mm f/1.8.

    If you can live without it, there are tons of old lenses, albeit with manual focus, that can be had. One lens in that focal length that I like would be the Oly OM 50 mm f/1.4.
  3. KS11

    KS11 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2011
    Busan/Hong Kong
    i highly recommend most smc takumars from pentax. a good smc 55mm 1.8 will be a great starter portrait lens in m42 mount. tons of choices on that mount even though its quite a old one.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I would vote for the Konica Hexanon 40mm pancake, good quality and so much smaller than most other affordable options.
  5. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Another vote for the Konica 40mm. MF only, but the size works very well on the GF1.
    MF isn't too hard on these cameras, even with "older" eyes. (I speak from experience here. :smile:)  Most of the legacy lens are cheap, so you can try it out, and if it doesn't work for you just sell it, you'll be out a few dollars at most.
  6. derick

    derick Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2011
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Well, for Autofocus the obvious choice is the m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 or the Zuiko 50mm f/2 Macro. Either will cost more than your GF-1, though.

    For manual focus lenses, I like the OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 and the Konica Hexanon 40mm f/1.8. These are both compact lenses of the same depth, though the Zuiko is actually smaller in diameter even though the Hexanon is the one known as a "pancake", lol.

    The Zuiko is richer in color and contrast, but the Hexanon is sharper in resolution and fine lines.
  8. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    Right, if you're set on autofocus you need a native (or 4/3) lens = expensive.

    If you can live with manual focus, there are plenty of inexpensive options. You're probably overwhelmed with opinions if you've been reading old threads here and on other forums. I was in the same situation about a year ago when I got started with m4/3. After playing around with several legacy lenses my recommendation is to just see what you can get at a low price and try it out. I liked the Hexanon 40/1.8 and 50/1.7 but "traded up" for a Pentax Takumar 50/1.4 because I liked the bokeh better, other people rave about the OM Zuiko, the Minolta Rokkor, old Canon 50s, etc. If you browse the sample image threads here you will find great shots taken with all of them.

    In terms of what to look for - you don't want scratches on the glass, fungus in the lens, or stiff aperture and focus rings. But again, if you have any of the better legacy lenses in good conditions, you'll be able to take some great photos. You might keep an eye on the Buy/Sell forum here instead of eBay if you're worried about quality - I've wound up with a couple of inadequately-described lenses on eBay.

    edit: Forgot to add, since the GF1 doesn't come with an external viewfinder (right?) you might want to price that as an add-on as well if you go with manual focus lenses.
  9. David

    David Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 22, 2011
    I was in the same boat. I had some legacy lens. BUt found that with the out doors and
    trying to use manual focus was not quick enough. So I bought the native olympus 45mm 1.8 and it is a joy to use. You can buy this for $ 330 us on ebay. the VF2 even secondhand will cost $ 150 us or more plus the cost of the legacy lens.
  10. Hyun

    Hyun Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 20, 2012
    I just bought a Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 lens from for $47, and am awaiting its delivery by the weekend. The FD to µ43 mount adapter was $21 from Amazon. I'm looking forward to testing this combo out. I'm already using the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 G lens on the E-PM1, and that's working great, too.

    Since the FD 50mm f/1.4 lens has a minimum aperture of f/16, if you were to go this route, you'd probably want to pick up a neutral density filter for bright days outside.
  11. moccaman

    moccaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    Everyone keeps saying VF2, but panasonics viefinder is the VF1 for a GF1, so am I missing something here? Can the Oly VF2 be used on the GF1??
  12. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Atually the Panasonic EVF for the GF1 is the LVF1. :smile: The Oly EVFs are VFx. No compatibility between them.
  13. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    Honestly, if you want quality (image quality) and AF, the olympus 45mm f1.8 is the lens you should be looking at. I'd suggest that you save up another £100 and get that lens instead of investing 100 or 150 right away. It's a joy to use and the results from it are awesome. At the end of the day, when you take a photograph that makes it worth it, you'll forget how much you paid for it. I have made couple of photographs that are very dear to me and this lens paid itself off in the first week itself. Do take a look at this thread and decide for yourself:

    Now that I have this lens, my other lenses (native and adapted) are not seeing as much use. I just can't take it off my camera body :smile:.

    P.S: I have found that by setting the AF mode to face detection works very well for me when using this lens.
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