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Can anyone recommend a small (thin) lens...

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Wab, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    I've added an Olympic E-PL1 to my ever growing collection of 'camera stuff' and I used it for some candids today; which is what I bought it for. I used a Canon 28mm lens, and zone focussing, which worked great, so I really don't want to spend on a 20mm Lumix lens, when I don't think I need autofocus.

    But I did find the Canon 28mm a bit bulky.

    So can anyone recommend something slim with a slim fit adapter?

    I've seen the Holga f/8s, and they would've suited me today (all I used was f/8), but if I can get something better at a reasonable price, I'd be up for that.

    Thanks.
     
  2. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Oly 17/2.8 is probably best combo of size/IQ/price. Maybe $125 used.
     
  3. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    Thank you for your suggestion, but it's still a bit more than I'd like to pay! And I think a bit of an overkill for what I want it for. I don't need autofocus either; zone focussing worked great for me.

    Have I read that rangefinder lenses are thin? Do they have different apertures?
     
  4. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Some RF lenses are compact and the adapters are thinner than those for 35mm SLR mounts. The problem is that 20-35mm lenses designed for 35mm FF in RF mounts usually perform rather poorly on digital. Also, most of the interchangeable lens RFs are/were high end models (e.g. Leica, ...) and their lenses are somewhat pricey, even old used lenses. There are a few gems that were made for the various FSU (Former Soviet Union) cameras that work well and are cheap. The Jupiter-8 50mm f/2.0 is one. It is generally in LTM (Leica Thread Mount, commonly but incorrectly called "M39")
     
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  5. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    Thanks, Dwig, based on the information you've supplied it looks like I'll be getting the lens demiro suggested.

    Thanks both.
     
  6. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    There are the 2 Olympus body cap lenses (15 mm wide angle and 9 mm fish eye) which are really thin, manual focus, and have focussing marks for infinity, a close distance, and hyperfocal distance BUT they're fixed aperture at f/8 and not particularly sharp. Lots of people have fun with them and enjoy using them but they aren't the kind of lens you can use all the time.

    There are some options besides the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 pancake, the Panasonic 14mm and 20mm pancakes. They're also faster than the 17mm f/2.8. They have auto focus (the 20mm is slower at auto focus than the others) and can be manually focussed but I don't think any of those 3 pancake lenses have depth of field scales for zone focussing and I don't know of any third party native pancake lenses with depth of field scales for zone focussing.

    You may find a thin lens for another format which suits your needs but using that lens on an M43 body is going to require an adapter which is effectively going to increase the thickness of the lens. The problem is that lenses are designed to focus on the film plane or sensor when the lens array is a fixed distance from that film plane/sensor. You can adapt a lens for one camera format to another camera format provided the lens is designed to focus at a greater distance from the sensor than lenses for the camera you're going to use are designed for. That gives you the ability to put an adapter between the lens you're adapting and the camera body you're adapting it to. If the lens is designed to focus at a shorter distance from the sensor than the lenses your camera uses are designed for, that would mean that you would need to actually mount the lens you're adapting so that it extends further inside the camera body than the mount on the camera body will permit. Simply adapt it to the camera mount so that the distance between the lens and sensor is greater than intended and you will find that you can't focus to infinity.

    And what all of that means is that the distance between the front of your adapted lens body and the sensor plane of the camera you're adapting it to are going to be the same as they are on the camera the lens was intended for. A lot of rangefinder bodies are no thinner, and probably a little bit thicker, than most M43 bodies and those rangefinder lenses are also probably going to be longer than the bodies of the 3 native pancake lenses. If you're trying to achieve the thinnest lens and body combination that you can, then your only option is to use native lenses and that's going to mean one of the 3 pancake lenses (the Olympus 17 mm or the Panasonic 14 and 20 mm pancake lenses) or one of the 2 Olympus body cap lenses.
     
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  7. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Just get the 17mm f2.8. It's really quite good. I got rid of mine but I'm actually really missing it.
     
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  8. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Simon
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  9. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I am with listers. I just got an Industar 69 - it is absurdly tiny, and the modifications necessary are really very simple if you're a little handy. Very cheap, and is decently sharp if zone focussing at f/8 is your end goal.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    Thanks turbofrog, after some thought, it's the option I've gone for. To be honest, my Canon 28mm f2.8 has been great for the little bit of street candids I've done.

    I mean ignore the subject and composition, but to my untrained eye, it looks sharp enough to me (f/8, 1.250, auto ISO):
    P1018441 by Whey-Aye-Banzai, on Flickr

    But I also like to take a camera out with me when I go running. The Industar would be a great lens to add to a small m43 and it would fit nicely in a bum bag (fanny pack if you're from the US).

    I've taken the Canon 28mm out running with me (attached to a E-PL1) and it's just a bit too big to easily take out of the bum bag and put it away.

    So I think the Industar will be my 'running lens'. I've ordered one from the Ukraine!

    Thank you and everyone else for your help.
     
  11. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi

    my advice is (after my own personal procrastination on this) is to get the Pana 20, even if you don't want AF it will activate the magnification when you touch the focus ring and you just will not be disappointed with the IQ

    You may discover when looking at your images that accuracy of focus is actually important ... even with 'zone' focusing unless your DoF is wide (and thus aperture small and shutter speed low). This is an indoor shot with the 20mm f1.7
    on my GH1

    P1110019.

    the face recognition is not to be under-estimated in usefulness.

    Other than that, Pentax 110 24mm is really small

    gf-24.

    pikeletLens.

    the 110 lenses have no aperture setting (it was in the body) so you're f2.8 or nothing.

    but really, get the 20mm (or the 14 if you wanted wider) and if you are unimpressed you'll aways be able to off load it
     
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  12. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    If I hadn't have spent so much over the past couple of months on Lightroom, Photoshop, bags, cameras (three of them) and several lenses, I would.:crying:

    I have bills and a family to consider, so I think I'll have to do that grown-up thing I hate doing, and be patient and get it another time.

    I really appreciate all the help I've been given here.

    Thanks.
     
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  13. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    If you tend to shoot at f8 the body cap lenses should be ideal for you. They're really small, cheap, and can give great images. I'm sure you'll find the pancake lenses good too I love my 17/2.8 which I got used for £100.
    Another option that would meet your size & price requirements would be c-mount lenses. They are much more quirky, prone to distortions at the edges but can be fun (& are reasonably fast). IIRC either the 25mm 1.4 or 35mm 1.7 lenses can be brought packaged with the adapter for under £20.

    I wouldn't consider any of my Pentax mount 28mm lenses to be bulky but with the adapter I suppose they start to get a little cumbersome. However EOS versions of the 28 have always looked huge in comparison.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  14. EdH

    EdH Mu-43 Top Veteran

    629
    Jul 14, 2014
    Devon, UK
    Ed
    The Olympus Pen F adapter is very slim. I've got the 38mm f1.8 which is is tiny, but the 25mm f4 is slightly slimmer. I got mine for about £40. Here's a pic showing it next to the Panasonic 14mm f2.5:

    P14 and O20.

    The slimmest of the Pen F lenses is the 38mm f2.8 pancake. It's stupidly slim, but it can be quite expensive and difficult to find.

    I don't have one, but found this photo on Flickr comparing it to the 38mm f1.8: https://flic.kr/p/aMSNPH
     
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  15. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    ... although such comparisons should show the Pen F lens on a Pen>m43 adapter to make is a real world comparison.
     
  16. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Here it is on a NEX, so a similar register difference to M4/3.

    6336986902_306b2ce4fb_z.

    It's clearly not a pancake, but it's a little bit smaller than the Sigma 30mm/f2.8, as a point of reference, despite being 1 1/3 stops faster and a longer FL.

    Honestly, there isn't really any other lens in any other system that can do what the Panasonic 20mm/1.7 does. The only true competitor for size, speed, and image quality is the Samsung 30mm/f2.
     
  17. EdH

    EdH Mu-43 Top Veteran

    629
    Jul 14, 2014
    Devon, UK
    Ed
    Yes, I realised that after I'd taken the photo. With the adapter it's about the same depth as the Oly 17mm f1.8. Still, it's much smaller than most SLR lenses and performs very well.

    Photo shows the Oly 25mm, but the 38mm is only a few millimetres deeper:
    O25 and O17.
     
  18. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I'm surprised people are recommending the 17 2.8 over the much better (and smaller) 14. They are about the same price used, and optically, the 14 blows it away (check Steve Huffs head to head comparison).
     
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  19. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    A black card with a smaller hole in the adapter can give you f8, no trouble.
    I have one of these lenses but prefer my Olympus 17mmF2.8 for street scenes.
     
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  20. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle