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Does this make any sense? Advice wanted

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by strang, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    I recently purchased the M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8. Great lens. However I've been reading a bit about adapters and legacy lenses and I believe I could have done better with the Panasonic Leica DG 25mm F1.4, and bought a fast legacy 50mm to supplement my portrait needs.

    What do you guys think? Most adapters I see are in the $170 range. But these are good quality Novoflex or Olympus adapters. I can probably find a cheaper adapter on eBay. I can definitely find a good legacy 50mm F1.2 lens on eBay around $100. That saves me some money from what I paid for the 45mm, and put whatever the difference is toward the PL25. I would be okay with manual focusing. Especially when I can setup the shot for portraits.

    Is this a better way to spend my money? An AF native 50mm equivalent and a MF legacy 100mm equivalent?
  2. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    Uh, no.

    You can get amazingly high-quality adapters for about $20.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    The fotodiox adapters are good and quite cheap.

    As for getting rid of the 45mm: that I'd advise against, though by all means pick up the PL 25mm 1.4 when you can. One of those two lenses is on my camera most of the time. I have and use legacy 50mm lenses -- a Leica Summicron f2 and an Olympus f1.8, and I'm happy to have them. But I have them for the film cameras I still shoot with. If you want one good lens for m4/3 around the 50 focal length, keep the 45mm. It's an amazingly good lens. IF you use the focal length, keep it.
  4. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    +1 The 45 is an excellent lens, definitely worth keeping.
  5. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    No, I'd keep the 45. It's very sharp, compact and you already bought it, so you'd probably lose a little money selling it.

    I'd get the Panasonic Leica 25 later after saving a little more, or see if Olympus does actually introduce the rumored 25/1.8 at Photokina in September.
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The O45 is a remarkable lens in that it is fast to AF, has terrific IQ and is quite a bargain. If you do go the adapted lens route you can get very nice quality Chinese made adapters (I like rainbowimaging adapters) for around $25. A nice 50/1.2 however is gonna run more i the neighborhood of $400-$500. You can find really nice 50/1.4s in the $100 range.

    That said, I've been through 2 Olympus 45's and while they are terrific lenses I realized that they didn't really meet my needs as I prefer a shorter working distance. The OM50/1.4 for instance can go toe-to-toe with the O45/1.8 in sharpness and bokeh and I think would be an excellent substitute for the O45 if you are willing to forgo AF and don't mind a significantly bigger lens (that O45 is small and light). If I were choosing between the PL25 and the O45 I'd choose the PL25 as I find that FL is much more useful for me. My current setup is a P14. PL25 and PL45 and I love it.
  7. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    I won't be losing any money it'll be a simple exchange. It's a $200 difference that I would need to pay.
  8. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Kevin pretty well nailed this one, IMHO. I don't think you're likely to find a 50mm f/1.2 for anything close to $100, but a 50/1.4 is a good substitute. As far as adapters go I tend to stick with the $20-ish ones from eBay. They don't have quite the build quality of the $300 Novoflexes, but it's really a fairly simple piece of equipment. I'd rather spend my camera gear budget somewhere where I'm more likely to see a difference in my images.

    In all, relying on cheaper legacy glass for the longer focal lengths and splurging on good native glass for the wide-to-normal focal lengths strikes me as a great way to stretch your budget. Obviously, you're giving up auto-focus, but there really isn't that much downside otherwise.
  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    agreed with the above that a 50/1.2 will cost you way more than 100 dollars.

    Also most 50/1.4 or faster legacy lenses tend to be soft and glowy at wide open, not really improving until f2 or 2.8, whereas the 45 is nicely sharp wide open.

    Also don't underestimate the benefit of AF... I have half a dozen legacy 50's from a nikkor 1.2 to a summicron R.... I even have access to a Noctilux.... I have hardly looked at them since i got the 45

    • Like Like x 1
  10. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    oh, my...

    and i was about to get a canon FD 50mm f1.4 (instead of the oly45) to stretch my budget a bit...:eek: 
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    You need to just think about how you might use the lens. FWIW despite having a number of fast lenses (including the PL25) I hardly ever find myself using my lenses wide open. I do if I need a low light shot but in my case its not something I do a lot of. The difference between the Canon 50/1.4+adapter and the O45 is around $250...is AF and being sharp wide open worth it for you?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    i think i'm gonna try the canon in store first before buying... i'm thinking, if i buy a nex c3 since i saw a bargain (£230 body only, brand new/ex demo) i can use the canon on both that and my e-pl2...

    i'm really planning on doing some wedding photography with multiple mirrorless bodies and if the newer :43: bodies (e-pl3, gx1) still lack that iso capability, might supplement with one nex body...
  13. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    As kevin said you really have to ask yourself why you want/need a 1.4 lens

    You have to remember that when these lenses first came out, 400 ISO was the fastest film/sensor available with a VERY grainy 1600 achievable by chemical trickery....keeping the shutter speed up was a challenge.

    Also many of the lenses were for SLR's and the wide aperture helped get a brighter image in the viewfinder for manual focusing purposes.

    The shallow DOF was a side effect that was seen as benefit and a nuisance in equal measure.

    with modern digital cameras, 1600 ISO is pretty good so the need for a wide aperture to keep up the shutter speed has been to a degree negated... add image stabilsation into the mix and even a f2 lens on a digital camera offers opportunities that old film guys would have killed for...yet they somehow managed to take many many iconic pictures with such handicaps.

    fast legacy and MF can be fun... but it can be frustrating

    Nikkor 50/1.2 and EP 1

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Boy with a Camera by kevinparis, on Flickr

    on the otherhand the 45/1.8 does make life a lot easier

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    P1010981 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    • Like Like x 2
  14. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    thanks both... i see native lens is still the best!!:2thumbs:
  15. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Native glass is great, but adapted stuff is a lot of fun to play around it. Especially on a body with in-body IS.

    If I'm honest, however, the only native glass I have that gets a fair amount of play on both my 5DII and my E-M5 is made by Zeiss - a Planar 50/1.4 and Distagon 35/2.8 (both Contax/Zeiss). The former is not super sharp wide open, but has great color rendering and micro contrast, the latter is a great landscape lens for stitching stopped down - sharp corner to corner and that zeiss micro contrast. They also handle very, very nicely. Smooth aperture rings, even smoother focus rings. Nicer than the Leica R's I have (28/2.8 and 50/2) although I suspect those just need a service and a clean. The Pentax 50's (1.7 and 2.0) I have handle nicely enough, but aren't in the same league.

    ...and yet, having said all that, native+AF is the better choice most of the time. But sometimes I just enjoy the 'slow things down' aspect of shooting adapted legacy glass.

    (and if Zeiss were to release a native manual focus 10/2.8, for example, I would be all over that in a heartbeat)
  16. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I'm totally with Kevin. Especially when it comes to portraits. The nifty fifty legacy glass is cheap and can give great looks, when you have the time and ability to really focus with great accuracy and perhaps stop down to f/2 or f/2.8. The true sweet stuff, however, for portraits of living, moving subjects, in our m4/3 format, is 45/1.8 with AF and 75/1.8 AF. At least for me, I've tried working with live subjects and manual focus, FAST, legacy glass shot wide open. Results?... you'd better be really good with your MF, the subject had better not be moving too much, and your camera stability had better be pretty good. Bottom line... it's a HECK of a lot easier to get great, shallow DOF portraits of living subjects with AF. Hence, the 45/1.8 AF and 75/1.8 AF lenses are just the ticket. Ergo... I'm selling my long, fast legacy glass. Done deal for me.
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