E-Pxx cameras and legacy glass... how easy?`

DHart

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I know the in camera IS on the Pens is good for use with legacy lenses, but I am curious to know just how easy it is to use these lenses on Oly m4/3 cameras. Obviously, using magnified manual focus is something one might want to use almost every time one focuses for an image.

How quick and easy is it to access magnified manual focus on the Oly cameras?

Is it quick and easy to do over and over and over again, as one would need to do with manually focusing a legacy lens on a variety of different shots?
 

dixeyk

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IMHO you need to have a VF-2 viewfinder to use legacy lenses most effectively. You can focus using the back LCD but that's not the most natural way to hold a camera, and in the case of the eEPL-1 the screen resolution leave a lot to be desired (where the VF-2 is spectacular).

On the EPL-1 there is a little magnify button on the upper right so it's easy to slide my thumb over to it. You can also set the amount of magnification for that button. Is it easy?...you get used to it pretty quickly. I've noticed that you don't need to use magnified view all the time. When you're in focus the image on the LCD or the VF-2 (not magnified) gets a distinct shimmering look when you nail the focus. It's easy to spot once you know what to look for.
 

ean10775

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I agree with dixieyk, the VF-2 is distinctly better for legacy lenses on the E-PL1 than the LCD - the E-PL2 might be better since the resolution of the LCD is a doubled, but I haven't used one to see. As far as usability goes, getting into the magnified view is much easier on the E-PLX series of PENs than the E-PX series because of the dedicated button.

Prior to getting the E-PL1 I used my legacy lenses on my Canon 350D and then my 5DMkII, but I much prefer using them on the PEN with the VF-2 - being able to see exposure changes in live view makes the stop down metering workflow much easier in my opinion when compared to using an optical viewfinder.
 

wonglp

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agreed with both dixieyk & ean10775 that VF2 should be coupled with legacy lenses.
EPL1 & 2 has dedicated zoom button, on the EPL2 it's located more inwards & awkward. EP1/2 no dedicated zoom, and takes a couple more steps & hassle. & EP1 does not accept VF2.
Just to add couple more adv with VF2 are
- better posture just like shooting with dslr, further reduce shake
- great for daylight, even for EPL2 better res & larger screen i struggle MF in bright sun
- Can flip it 90deg and shoot it from chest- good for streets?, or good for low ground horizontal shots.
My 2 cents

LP
 

thearne3

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Agree with the above...

Plus: If you shoot RAW, you can set Contrast +2. This increases the noticeable 'shimmer' at the focus point when viewed through the VF-2. Doing this reduces the need for using the Zoom at all in many situations. If not shooting RAW, the Contrast will affect your jpeg!
 

taikuodo

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I use an E-P1 and legacy lens - it isn't the easiest thing but it can be done and I can get sharp pictures.

Depends on your style, it definitely sucks for things that move but for a $200 body and free legacy lenses I already had, that can't be beat.
 
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The biggest pain with the E-P1 is that you can only access the focus-assist magnification in the display mode that lets you move the AF box around the screen. This means that your directional arrows lose their useful functionality (ISO, et al) and do nothing except move that stupid box around (which obviously serves no purpose with a MF lens).
 

QualityBuiltIn

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On the E-P1 I set to Aperture Priority, hit 'info' a couple of times to bring up the 'stupid green box' then focus using the magnified image.

Honestly I find it great fun to use my old Canon FD lenses but it's certainly not quick. Superb results can be had on still-life but I wouldn't have a hope capturing kids, dogs or anything else fast moving.

But again, brilliant fun for not very much money - adapters are sub £20, lenses from next to nothing in charity shops and on eBay.
 

stratokaster

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In my opinion, even small legacy lenses can feel a little front-heavy on Olympus Pen bodies...

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Also VF-2 is a must for manual focusing.
 

DHart

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Great info. Thank you all. I'm a deeply invested GF-1/GH2 shooter and I love the brand and gear. I do have a growing collection of legacy glass, however, and have been thinking of adding a Olympus m4/3 body to use mostly as a dedicated body for the legacy glass, due to the IBIS. It's good to know that the E-PLx bodies have a button to magnify focus with legacy glass, that's what I wanted to know.

I do wonder how it will be to incorporate the different Olympus UI and body with my Panny gear. I'm sure plenty of people have bodies from both makers and use each as warranted by the application at hand. I think I'd enjoy having an E-PL2 along with my Panny gear. Is it easy to buy just the body only or will I have to by a kit?
 

Brianetta

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My 50mm f/1.7 has a shallow enough DOF that I can nail focus without the zooming assist feature. Opening and closing the diaphragm is really quick on a manual lens, so opening up to focus, then stopping down to expose, is easy.
 
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