Choosing a legacy mount

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by twic, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. twic

    twic Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 15, 2013
    London, UK
    I have an Olympus E-M5 and a couple of native lenses. I love it! But, like everyone, i hunger for more lenses. That hunger will not be satisfied by native lenses (mostly due to the impact it would have on my wallet), so i am looking at legacy glass.

    I currently have my eye on a particular lens, well, group of similar lenses, which are available on a number of different mounts: M42 screw, Praktica B, and Pentax K, and possibly others.

    Whichever i get, i am going to have to get an appropriate adaptor too.

    Now, once i have the adaptor, it will be that bit easier for me to use further legacy lenses with the same mount, because i can share the one mount between them. I'm unlikely to want to get a new mount with every lens, because i'm mostly focused on cheap but interesting lenses.

    So, in a way, in choosing this lens, i'm not just choosing a lens, i'm choosing a mount. It's like a miniature version of making the choice between Micro Four Thirds and the alternatives all over again!

    Therefore, i am wondering which mount is likely to be the best platform for future experimentation. Are there significant differences in the lens ranges available for M42, Pentax K, OM, etc? Which has the most different lenses? Which has the best lenses? Which has the cheapest lenses? Mostly, though: which one has the best availability of cheap but decent-quality lenses?

    I have no idea how to even start investigating this!
  2. dd1

    dd1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2011
    Of all the ones I have tried, the OM lenses seem to be most suitable. They are generally small and compact and of course have sharp Zuiko glass.

    The handling is also very good IMO.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    Personally I went FD because there is a heap of really fine FD optics out there and few mounts can use them. Thus they are cheap.

    I like my telephotos and the FD are fine optics in that area

    Cos I like birds

    My second choice is OM as I also have OM cameras and they fit my EOS cameras :)  For lenses in the mid range the OM lenses are very cost effective. My OM 50f1.8 is really the best lens for the money.

    Its helpful to standardise on one mount though

    • Like Like x 2
  4. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    IMHO, it's almost completely irrelevant. I generally find the Canon FD mount to be a pain in the rear, but there are so many fast long Canon FD-mount lenses out there at good prices that it overcomes that disadvantage.

    To my mind, since adapters can be gotten for $9-12 for just about any mount, you might as well just get whatever lens you fancy, and THEN get the mount that fits it and don't worry about it.

    I use OM, Konica, Minolta, Pentax M42, Pentax 110, Nikon, Canon FD, and Leica thread lenses on my M43 gear, all with their own adapters.
  5. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Doug's right. Adapters are so cheap, you can buy one for each individual lens. Just spend some time browsing the adapted lens section here or a forum like MFlenses and find something you like. I tend to go for lenses based on optical qualities I see and like in sample images I find online.
  6. dadadude

    dadadude Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2013
    San Carlos, CA
    As has been said adapters are dirt cheap. Have fun and experiment with different mounts and lenses. If you shop wisely you can flip the lenses later for a small profit. I buy lenses all the time even though I certainly don't need any more. It's hard to leave a $5 or $10 lens sitting there waiting for the next guy to snap up. After a while and I have gone through evaluating all the various versions of the same focal length I will probably off a few just to get it under control.
  7. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    adapters are cheap indeed, so really that shouldnt be a worry.

    you will find the greatest selection by far in m42 mount, from many different manufacturers, many different quality levels and prices. however, these are largeer dslr lenses and i personally found their use sometimes awkward balance wise and running counter to the big plus of m4/3: compact size.

    if you insist on slr lenses, let me suggest konica ar lenses. they are extremely high quality optics, more compact than most of their counterparts, and very much less expensive. for the prices one simply cannot do better in terms of IQ at virtually any FL.

    if you dont require slr lenses, why not explore the rangefinder lens world. get an m/m39 mount adapter and check out great quality lenses from a bunch of different companies.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    No, the FD to micro 4/3 adapters don't have glass in them. The FD to EOS, or FD to 4/3 do, but NOT FD to Micro 4/3.
  9. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    edited, thank you.
  10. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    Of all the adapters and legacy glass I've used, for form and function as well as size I don't think you can beat the OM series. Lenses are small and compact, very sharp, and mostly reasonable on pricing. Caveat to this though, is that my favourite legacy lens is still the super Takumar 50 1.4 which is m42 mount.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William B. Lewis
    I've found Pre-AI Nikkon to be a vertiable treasure trove of cheap but very high quality lenses. The AI, AIS, etc are all in high demand because they will work with Nikon digital SLR bodies. But almost none of them can use Pre-AI lenses without damaging the cameras. This is, for a Micro-4/3 user, a very GOOOOOOD thing ;)  because it keeps the price low. When I bought an F2, I went with a photomic metering head rather than an AI head for this very reason.

    FD had some exquisite lenses as well - anything marked "L" or "SSC" or with a chrome filter ring (early very high quality) should be snapped up. I think m4/3 is the ONLY thing that can mount them without glass messing them up.

    Beyond that, they're all good. Really. No company went under because the glass wasn't any good. Get what ever you want and have fun.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    The Konica adapters are smaller and lighter than the OM adapters. The OM adapters are actually fairly large, as the OM had a pretty big registration distance, relatively speaking.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. caspert79

    caspert79 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 4, 2013
    Nice lenses come in many mounts. Usually I pay around 15€ for a good adapter on Ebay, so no need to limit myself to only one mount. Good luck!
  14. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Suprised nobody has mentioned Minolta or MD mount. I have found it has a large following among mirrorless enthusiasts, large range of lenses and focal lengths, and lots of information out there.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    As has been said a number of times, adapters are so cheap that you shouldn't base purchase decisions on a choice to limit yourself to one system. But an adapter for every lens you purchase, put it on, and leave it there... you'll limit wear on the mount.

    Canon FD would be the last system they'd pry from my cold, dead hands due to the quality. I love it and it was the biggest system available during its time so there are lots of lenses out there.

    M42 offers a ton of cheap, quality Russian and Pentax glass to play with.

    Start with a fast-50 and a Helios 44-variant and see what you love. :smile:
  16. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Repeating this for the truth therein. The cheap adapters are have softish steel components.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. dadadude

    dadadude Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2013
    San Carlos, CA
    You won't get any argument from me. I love MC Rokkors.
  18. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Minolta fan here! I love them, but as mentioned by many, there are so many good lenses by just about every brand.

    <a href="" title="55/365 Minolta Love by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr"> 9369218310_9b2aab8c32_c. "800" height="600" alt="55/365 Minolta Love"></a>
    • Like Like x 1
  19. GeBathan

    GeBathan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 11, 2012
    Los Angeles CA
    What the? :rolleyes: 
    Sorry I just couldn't help it lol :D 

    Sent via Tapatalk on Android.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 2
  20. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa

    Given that I have seen and used lenses that have been mounted and unmounted hundreds of times this is a misnomer and given you already indicated the cheap adaptors are easy to replace just insignificantf. Only worried collectors obsess over such things. I can't count how many times I've switched lenses on my EOS or even my G1 which I have had since it was released. Neither the camera mount or a FD series lens is likely to show any more wear after another decade of professional use.

    Now having the adaptor on the lens all the time has merit for the very important reason that you won't discover it is at home when you get to the place you want to photograph something , so I have the FD adaptor on my 300 all the time :) 

    Hear hear ! :) 
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