Best legacy lenses for trip with the e-m5

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Vicphoto, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Vicphoto

    Vicphoto Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 18, 2013
    Hi everyone, first thread. I hope it's in the right section.

    I recently switched to the Micro 4/3 format by buying an OM-D e-m5. I'm very happy with this camera, but haven't really had time to learn it yet. I bought it with the kit lens, which I also find to be very good.

    In a month I'm leaving on a two-month trip to Russia, Mongolia, China and Japan (Transsiberian) and of course I'll be looking out for old lenses on the way to adapt to my e-m5. Do you have any suggestions what to look for? Or do you know of any good used camera stores/flea markets in Moscow where I could find a good deal on a legacy lens, or any old Soviet lenses? It would also be fun to pick up an old rangefinder on the way. Same thing goes for the other countries I'm visiting.

    In the meantime though I just bought a Jupiter-8 on ebay, with an M39 screw mount. I also previously own a Jupiter-8M (contax bayonet/RF mount) which is attached to my Kiev 4AM 35 mm camera (untested, however). At the same time I'm ordering three adapters for my e-m5: M39 screw mount (for the lens I ordered), Contax RF (for the lens I already own) as well as an OM to m43 adapter (for those awesome Zuiko legacy lenses). Anything else I need for the trip (aside from a superexpensive spare battery)?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions! :smile:
  2. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    What will you be using them for? You probably know this already but m43 format means those old lenses are now double the focal length.
    I have the Om 50/1.8 and a few others in same range . They are pretty nice and work well but they are more of a portrait lens on m43.

    I recently decided not to take any manual focus legAcy lenses on a trip . I wasnt planning to takr any portraits and auto focus was just more handy in a rush. Your needs may vary obviously.
  3. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Join this group on Facebook and then ask about where (reputable) to buy!

    I would convert that M39 to M42 and use the Novoflex M42 adapter due to the incompatibility of the register distance... or else the J8 might not work very good.

    If you must use the M39 adapter, you need a 16mm extension tube:

    4 Extension Tubes Step Up Rings Set for Macro M39 Leica Fed Mount Camera 930 | eBay

    A good source of info: Manual Focus Lenses

    Hope that helps!
  4. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    They don't have to be expensive. I'm not recommending these, but it is merely an example of what is available. Often I find other chargers are smaller, faster, and better.

    Look around plus search this site. I know I've seen a specific brand some have recommended.The greater the number of Amp (mAh) the longer the battery will last longer. A 1450mAh battery will power longer than the a real Olympus BLN-1 1220mAh battery

    You will also want multiple memory cards and a personal HD to back them on to.

  5. 少林chris

    少林chris Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 28, 2013
    Los Angeles / Copenhagen
    About China

    If you're in Shanghai make sure to check out the Huan Long Mall (address: 环龙照材城三楼 梅园路360号 (火车站对面)), it's without a doubt one of the best camera markets in China, especially if you're looking for legacy glass. Their selection of second hand lenses are incredible and on good days you'll be able to find some great range finders for a bargain. Last time I went in I bought a mint condition 28-85 1.4 tokina OM for pocket change.

    If you're coming from the states you probably won't find the items super cheap (considering ebay prices), but keep in mind all prices are negotiable and usual raised by 10-30%.

    I recommend going with someone who speaks at least basic chinese because no one speaks english there. Otherwise bring pen/paper and wonder around, if you find something you like, write down a number and let the body language do the talking. It worked for me in the beginning.

    Good luck.
  6. Vicphoto

    Vicphoto Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 18, 2013

    I know it'll only really work well as a portrait lens, but it's still fun to play around with. Of course the lens I'll use the most will be the kit lens, which is quite good. Can't really afford to get a new 50 mm (at least one which is good) just for this trip. I could look for a legacy lens which is 28 mm or below, but they seem to be prohibitively expensive...

    I've decided to get an original battery because I don't want to carry two chargers around, and the warranty is still valid. I've got one 16GB and one 32GB cards, going to order two more 32GB. That should cut it, combined with cloud storage (like Dropbox, Google drive) for backup if needed.

    Could you explain a bit further why it would be better to use an M39/M42 and M42/M43 adapter combo? How would I notice the difference? Most pictures I've seen of the Jupiter 8 lens mounted on the OM-D are with just an M39/M43 adapter, such as this one:[email protected]/7890769834/

    I live in Europe, and unfortunately it is very hard and/or expensive to get good adapters here, or camera gear in general when I compare to the selection of stuff on ebay in the states. I could order from the states but postage is costly and it takes too much time.

    Thank you all for the great answers. My question about which adapters to get before going had more to do with being able to test any lenses I find in camera stores/markets on my camera. Perhaps it would be better to get a good legacy prime lens before going? On a budget, what would be the sharpest lens (+ adapter) I should go for if I plan to use it for street photography? om 28 3.5?

    I'm not going to Shanghai I'm afraid, I'll only spend a few days in Beijing before continuing to Tokyo.

    I should add that I'd like to find something I can use as a macro lens (where the crop factor is actually handy), so an old lens with good sharpness and a small minimum focus distance. Might be hard to find, though. I'll have a look on the site digitalandfilm posted.
  7. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    The M39 LTM --> m4/3 adapter was mean't for rangefinders, however the Russian lenses in M39 LTM were *also* used for SLR's- which have a different register distance. If you use the M39 LTM you will need a 16mm spacer (from that kit I posted) OR you can add the M39 --> M42 and use a regular
    M42 --> m4/3 mount, like the Novoflex or Photodiox.

  8. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    ****I stand corrected, the J8 WILL work with m4/3- just not DSLR's****

    I did some checking..

    "Standard focusing range can be reached on micro-4/3 cameras like Panasonic G1, GH1, GF1 and Olympus E-P1, E-P2 or E-PL1. Also Samsung NX10 could accept it."
  9. Vicphoto

    Vicphoto Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 18, 2013
    So what you're saying is that an M39/M43 adapter would work fine without an extension tube? And that I wouldn't have to build a M39/M42/M43 combo adapter?

    I plan to order the adapters from ebay today so they arrive at the same time as the lens. The particular lens I ordered was this one:

    LEICA M39 9 BLADES JUPITER 8 RED П (P) f=50mm 1:2.0 SILVER LENS 5931947 VGC | eBay

    Which according to at Soviet and Russian Cameras - Jupiter-8 (Zorki) seems to be a PT3060.

    I know it was a little pricey, but still not much more than the others. I hope it works as it should, but the seller has good rep, so I think it will.

    I'll post pics when I get it and make it work with my OM-D
  10. Declan97

    Declan97 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 3, 2012
    Padang, Indonesia
    i always wonder and dreaming using Leica D Summilux 25/1.4 & Tamron SP 90/2.5 adaptall with EM-5
  11. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011

    Yes- you will be good to go!
  12. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    The SP90 AD2 works well - it snaps in and out of focus so quickly MF is not a problem even without focus peaking!!
  13. Vicphoto

    Vicphoto Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 18, 2013
    So which adapters do you recommend that I bring with me, in case I happen upon some old lenses I want to try before I buy them? M42 and Contax/Kiev bayonet mount comes to mind. My M39 screw mount adapter is on its way.
  14. Bacek

    Bacek Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2012
    Do you really need legacy for the trip? They are usually large (except c-mount) and heavy so it's not best choice for the trip. Also depends what you are planing it use for.
    My assumption is that on trip you will mostly shoot landscapes and architecture so wider is better and my bet is max 25mm. It's hard to find such focal length legacy lens that will work good with digital camera. So my advice is use something from 12-20mm range from native Oly/Panasonic/Sigma. If cost is the issue you can choose 19mm Sigma but my bet would be something wider.

    For next trip I'm planing to buy/take u4/3 Samyang 7.5mm fisheye. It's cheap and great IQ. It's manual but for that focal you can set it properly and forget about focusing. Sure I will need to process pictures and defisheye some of them but from my experience 14mm is too narrow in many cases and I cannot afford (or at least justify) Panasonic 7-14mm or even Olympus 9-18mm.
  15. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    There are some good Industar lenses (M39 mount). Check out the Industar 61 55mm f2.8. It's got a cool tapered shape similar to the Oly 45/1.8 and is apparently pretty sharp. If cheap buy two because there is supposed to be some product variation, however, and micro bubbles in the lens are normal and were even addresses as normal by the manufacturer which I believe was "FED."

    Also look at the more expensive but Industar 61. This is a 28/2.8 and is not a sharp lens but even with the adapter (you see how small the M39 adapter is) it's smaller that m4/3s pancakes.

    I only mention these because these are the two I want. If you find them cheap bring back some in mint condition and sell them to me!

    Where are you going in Russia? I want to move there for 6 months and learn the language and meet the people. St. Petersburg seems perfect.
  16. Vicphoto

    Vicphoto Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 18, 2013
    I'm going on the Transmongolian so I hope to find some fun, rare stuff on the way. That's why I'm going to keep an eye out for lenses. Starting with Moscow, ending in Ulan Ude (continuing into Mongolia and China).

    I'm not bringing any legacy lenses on the trip. I might bring the jupiter-8 with adapter if it's good quality, and if I find a use for it. I'm mainly going to use my Oly 12-50 that came with the camera. Very good lens, in my opinion, at least for a kit lens. But it would be great to find a legacy prime or two on the way, so I'm planning to bring a bunch of adapters so I can try the lenses out. I was just asking here mostly so I would know what to look for, but I understand now that there's no point in looking for stuff before leaving. Except for adapters, which don't weigh that much anyway. I want to try stuff on my camera before I buy it, since I want the lenses for my personal collection.

    Too bad the Contax/Kiev bayonet adapter is so pricey.
  17. Bacek

    Bacek Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2012
    If so then I guess most common mount in Russia will be M42. You can look for Helios-44-2 58. It's Russian copy of Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58/2. In Poland can be bought for 10-20 USD with Zenit camera body so in Russia it should cost pack of cigarettes.
    Some love them some hate them. It has two aperture rings which is good for mirrorless because you can preselect desired aperture but set focus when it's wide open.
  18. Vicphoto

    Vicphoto Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 18, 2013
    Thanks for the tip! Will definitely invest in a few different adapters before leaving. It's ok to get cheap adapters for now, I'm mostly just going to use them to test the lenses before buying them. Do you know how easy/safe it is to send stuff back to Western Europe by post from Russia? I'm guessing I can get priority postage fairly cheaply. I'd hate to carry lots of cameras and lenses around all the way to Southeast asia :)

    On the subject of legacy lenses: what would you recommend for a prime lens for street photography? If aiming for around 50 mm and with the crop factor on M43, I would have to find something in the 20-30 mm range. I know it's difficult to find a good legacy lens at a reasonable price in that range. Modern alternatives are the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 or 20mm/1.7, but they're very very expensive and nothing I want to bring with me when backpacking (OM-D is expensive enough already). I really don't mind manual focusing, and it's possible to get decent pictures with infinity focus, right?

    I've been looking at the Sigma 28mm F2.8 Mini Wide II. Would it work with an MD to M43 adapter or is it just too big for my camera? Seems sharp enough, and you can get one for around €50-60, which is fine for my wallet.
  19. dadadude

    dadadude Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2013
    San Carlos, CA
    I'd do a bit of shooting with a legacy lens before I went. Personally I would take a 28mm or 35mm fixed and a medium zoom each with their own adapter and call it a day. Travel is always better IMO when you travel light.
  20. Bacek

    Bacek Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2012
    I have never been in Russia but I guess it will not be cheap. As soon as your parcel will leave Russia it will be handled my Western companies.

    Problem with digital cameras and old wide lenses is that they where built for photographic film and photographic film is rather thin and doesn't care as much about light angle on it. But digital sensor is thicker and with all that micro lenses, Bayers and other. Ideal angle for it is right angle. An this way new "digital" lenses are built.

    For me ideal focal for street is 14-20mm. If you worry about the lens and you don't want to take/bay ex. Pana 14 or 20 (don't know Olympus ex. prices) or even Sigma 19mm you can invest in 2nd hand Pana/Oly kit zoom 14-42mm (if you will hunt little bit you will get it below 100 euro). My bet is that on wide end it will be better than legacy wide lenses.

    But any way I'm using legacy for portrait work (Minolta MD 50/1.4) and planing something longer. Don't have personal experience with wide legacy.