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Do you prefer legacy glass to the made for mu-43 lenses?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by johnny9fingers, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Mu-43 Veteran

    I see an extrodinary amount of discussion regarding the use of manual focus legacy lenses and not too much on the made for mu-43rds glass. It looks like a majority of you prefer to use the legacy lenses even with the extra work involved to get the shot. Is it because the way the older lenses render a photo? Is it the feel of the dampened focusing? Is it easier to set a hyperfocal distance and shoot away knowing whats in focus? Please tell me, I need to know.
    Thanks,,,, John
  2. hodad66

    hodad66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 27, 2010
    Indialantic, Florida
    For me the stock lenses work just fine. Under certain circumstances
    they would be my choice, as in speed of response. My interest in the
    legacy glass is based in the enjoyment of the bokeh and the tactile
    feel of a good focus mechanism. It's also just fun to see what comes
    from a new lens combination.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Good question. I prefer the dedicated lenses. I like AF. Anything to speed the response time under varying conditions works for me.
    Manual lenses are fun but when I WORK...
    The 20 or 17 does the job.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    I'm an autofocus kind of guy these days - have done too much MF in the past.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Call me old fashioned but for a lot of landscape work I like to be able to set a lens using the DOF scale to obtain the hyperfocal setting, although in :43: that does involve a bit of mental work to remember that f4 on the scale for example is actually f8 and so on. Also there is something about the feel of a well made manual focus lens. Having said that there is also a place for AF and I use both types as and when.

    G-1 and GF-1, 20 mm and 45 mm Panasonic lenses and 55 mm micro Nikkor f2.8
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Rich M

    Rich M Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    Like hodad and Streetshooter, I like the dedicated lenses. But then why do I have over two dozen pieces of legacy glass?

    I don't know what the draw is.....whether its the silky feel of focus on a good lens....the search for the best bokeh......connection to the past....I don't know.

    I guess if I want the shot and I can't mess around....dedicated lenses. If I have the time and want to be surprised at the end of the day....legacy glass.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. dcbeattie

    dcbeattie Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 18, 2010
    Pullman, WA
    I like odd lenses.. I use non canon mount lens on my canon eos gear. Now I have an E-p2 and ordered an eos adapter, a m42, and a c-mount adapter for an old Angenieux 8-64mm movie lens. I have never been impressed by auto focus anyway. About 1/2 the time it focuses on the wrong thing and I have to manually focus anyway or push the button 3 times to get it to focus on what I want. :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Mu-43 Veteran

    I've looked at photos taken with older glass and like them. They often have a softness or glow and still have a lot of detail without extream sharpness. I suppose we can tweak our mu-43 cameras to mimic this. I do like my 17mm Oly lens, it's quick, sharp, and the 35mm length I'm used to working with. It's nice a lot of the fine old glass can be purchased at a reasonable cost allowing a lot of experimentation. I think I will the ability to enjoy using the best of both worlds these cameras allow......
  9. AlanT

    AlanT Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    Perth, Scotland
    The focus rings on legacy lenses are very nice but I'll take autofocus over manual any day. The only reason I use a legacy lens is because it gave me a cheap macro option :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  10. ph.

    ph. Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 14, 2010
    some old lenses gather more light, some are longer

    i only have the olympus kitzoom.

    It is fine for stuffing in a pocket, reasonably sharp and its angles of view fit my most common shots. BUT some of my older lenses provide much larger apertures, others are longer, so i use 3 or 4 adapters for different purposes. And the faster glass gives shots i never could have got with normal full-frame.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    With my 4/3s gear, it's AF lenses all the way. With m4/3s, I much prefer MF, as I'm not in such a rush to get the shots and I just love how the older lenses handle and feel, and balance with the Pen. For example, I recently picked up a Minolta 135mm F2.8 and I thought that it might be rather large for the Pen, but when it arrived, I found that it fits the Pen perfectly. It feels better than my Tele-Elmar 135mm f4.

    Also, I find that I really like the fact that I don't have to focus/recompose like I do with the AF lenses, I just compose and then focus on exactly what I want. You can of course do this with the AF lenses, but it's just not the same, or as easy. Also, the current crop of AF lenses just seem too flimsy for me. Optically they are good, but they just lack that feeling of solidity and durability, and I suspect that it's not just a feeling.

    I guess I've just become fully retro with the introduction of the Olympus line of m4/3s cameras. :biggrin:


    • Like Like x 1
  12. Alan Wolf

    Alan Wolf Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 20, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    it depends...

    On what I’m taking pictures of. If it’s a casual walk, or even a purposeful walk to see what looks interesting (and I suppose there must be a difference there), I like manual focus, and the lenses that feel so nice to do it with. I like the slow down in shooting, and the fact that with only two exceptions what legacy I have are not zooms, (and both exceptions are a bit unwieldy on my GF1 anyway) so that I also have to work a bit more to get the framing how I want it.

    I’d like to think I like MF more for portraits also, but I’m not sure at this point, as I have enough examples with eyelashes in focus instead of corneas (although I don’t know if at normal portrait distances there are any native lenses that have such narrow DOF). And forget MF for any moving targets. Maybe with a better viewfinder it’ll work, after all, that’s how I shot almost everything until two or three years ago.

    I find the native lenses I have (20, 14-140, and 7-14) to all be REALLY good at what they do, in each case comparable to almost any lenses of similar focal range that I have used.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Pen

    Pen New to Mu-43

    Mar 18, 2010
    San Francisco
    Old Glass is fine with me

    I like the old glass, as do some here.

    The ability to set a hyperfocal distance, suites me well. :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  14. back alley

    back alley Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    i have 2 rd1 bodies that i use manual focus lenses on.

    i bought into the m4/3 system so could use af when i wanted af and that's what i do.
    i have a g1 on which the 14-140 lives and just got a gf1 for my 20/1.7.
    i might try the zoom on the gf1 if i ever decide to hit the video record button.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    I'm faster and more accurate with mf
    • Like Like x 1
  16. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    there are no truly fast primes usable on micro 4\3 that are not manual legacy glass or adapted modern manual glass. such as leica zeiss or voigtlander , or many fine slr lenses

    the silver spraypainted oly 17mm 2.8 is just ok and as a 34mm equiv not a very exciting speed when you think about it,

    the much hearalded 20 1.7 , which many agree is a fine piece of glass is , when you think about it ,just fast in a normal way, and for years different makers have been respecting their customers with a decent prime "normal" that ran with the 45-55mm fov equiv, with speeds ranging from 1.7 to f 2 , these were not exotic or special,in fact they were the least expensive option when buying a "real camera" for many decades

    now with micro 4\3 a moderate fast normal with tiny optical elements in a oversized [ for the optical elements used ]grey plastic shell... no true aperture ring , no stabilization.....
    Oh. and it almost 3 times the price of the many fast normals you can STILL buy in the slr world with optics to cover 4 times the area of the micro 4\3sensor to boot.

    dare i try to manual focus these plastic hockey pucks with what feels like the build quality of a child's toy and im greeted with focus by wire , endless spinning, no tactile feedback or quick awareness of min or infinity focus , just endless spinning that feels like a mayonaise jar lid pressed against a disk of felt, wait !... not really, at least the mayo jar lid is made of metal .

    i really love my ep1 , its a small joy in my life, and my gf1 means almost as much to me

    but when i need the speed and convience of autofocus [and i mean speed in the most generous sense of the word] im left a little cold by the mismatched quality of build of the camera and lens together , but when i mount my voightlander 50 mm 1.5 silver nokton on my ep-1 , the world seems right again ,firstly it is beautiful machine ,a speed that is commendable, genuinely fast, almost a 1.4 , the lens is machined from quality metal with a solidity and feel that matches the ep-1 well.

    and the focus helicoid feels as if someone actually cared when they designed and built the lens , and understood that, at least some consumers want well crafted objecst and tools in the hand

    using legacy or quality modern mf primes glass- vs- the af lenses for micro 4\3, feels like night and day. even softer old russian lenses are commendably small and solid and charm me and please me on my micro 4\3 cameras ,in a way no af lens built by panny or oly ever has
    • Like Like x 3
  17. graustark

    graustark Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2010
    Houston, Texas, USA
    I much prefer my legacy lenses. I'm used to using film cameras, and to me using the E-P2 combines the best of that world with the conveniences of digital. Most of my legacy lenses are not in pristine condition ... and I like them that way. A little bit of haze or fungus can add character to an image. The legacy lenses tend to have more interesting bokeh, too. I've had people mistake images taken with these lenses on the E-P2 for film images, which is a very fine thing as far as I'm concerned. :biggrin:

    I knew I'd enjoy using my old film camera lenses, but I am surprised that I almost never use my one native lens (the Olympus kit zoom). I just don't like the results from it as much as my other lenses. That said, I intend to eventually acquire a few more native lenses, probably from Panasonic's lineup.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Ditto, pretty much. I think a key driver for me lies in the core reason for purchasing a GF1 - I wanted something small, light, discreet and with a fast response time and image quality as close as possible to DSLR class. The core idea was to complement my large Canon SLR.

    I have the 20 and 14-45 and the EVF. While I still have doubts about the 14-45, I have found that the camera is almost perfect for my needs as is. I fully understand the image quality impact of some legacy lenses, but for me that just runs against why I wanted this camera.

    Interestingly, as an aside, I find that with my M4/3, while I take composition as seriously as with my Canon, I feel that I am exploring a bit more. Having, perhaps, a bit for fun and being a little less serious.

    Does a large DSLR and accompanying sizzling lens, with amazing image quality, bring with it a degree of seriousness? :rolleyes: 
    • Like Like x 1
  19. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Mu-43 Veteran

    Like many of you I got the E-P2 (or any mu-43rds for that matter) because it offered a small camera with a decent sized sensor. Thus pretty good IQ in your pocket. And there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to lenses that can be used on these cameras. It can be a lot of fun to take an old screw mount lens, the glass slightly yellowed, some of the coating flaking off, and marveling and the pictures you take with it. Some of you have touched on the fun of using these cameras... So, rather than worry I'll use the native lenses that suit me (i wish they came out a bit quicker) and have fun with the incredilble variety of legacy lenses available....
    Thanks for all your comments.....
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Charles2

    Charles2 Mu-43 Regular

    May 17, 2010
    First reason for joining mu-43 is to learn more about the pleasures of legacy lenses on my E-P1.

    I just got a Marexar f2.8 28mm. Your remark applies. It might even be understated. Is it correct to say:
    A good but not great modern lens typically has sharp resolution but looks artificial (something about the color transitions)? And conversely, a good but not great older lens has fine colors, is somewhat fuzzy, but does not have that too-crisp artificial look.

    If that is correct, questions about why:
    Do computer-designed lenses today have shortcomings that the older lenses do not have? Are most lenses today designed for resolution on Bayer sensors, giving up on smoothness and texture?
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