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E-PL1 and legacy lenses?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Starred, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Starred

    Starred Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 7, 2010
    I am looking for a good portrait lens and everyone is telling me I need a legacy lens, e.g. a Canon FD 1.4 or FD 1.2(L).

    What do I need to know when I want to shoot portraits with such a lens? What are the main differences compared to shooting with a native M43 lens?
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Not sure you NEED it...

    You can pick up a MF legacy lens that would make a nice fast portrait lens for fairly cheap. Because of the 2x multiplier a lens such as the 40/1.8 Konica Hexanon (about $50) ends up being an 80/1.8 on the EPL-1. That's a typical sized used in portraits on a film camera (although people will have differing opinions on this). There are a lot of good fast 50mm primes (Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Konica etc.) that would work.

    To use any of them you will need to pick up an m43 converter to adapt the thread on the brand lens you buy to the EPL-1. In use, it's pretty straight forward, set the camera to A (aperture priority), set the aperture manually on the lens and off you go.

    What a native lens gets you is AF and depending on how comfortable you are with manually focussing a legacy lens that may be a huge issue. I myself found that I could hit focus properly using just the LCD (I use graduated lenses) so I purchased a VF2 EVF for my EPL-1 and it has made all the difference in the world. For me MF was only feasible with a VF2 but your mileage may vary.
  3. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2010
    Not sure which lenses you have and need, but there are many options among legacy lenses and not that many among :43: lenses. Adapted 4/3rd is an option. Another plus for legacy lenses is they're cheaper than comparable AF lenses.
    The main difference is, of course, absence of auto-focus and face-detection. I know many people are ok with that for portraits, but I have no idea how they do it. I guess for group shots or formal portraits it should be ok, but for casual shots I would prefer AF.
    Also, you need to control aperture manually and enter proper focal length for IS to work properly. These shouldn't be a big deal.
    And, of course, aperture priority or manual mode should be used since aperture control is manual.
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