1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

How do you use Canon legacy lenses with the E-M10?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by GBarrington, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I got my FD/FL adapter in the post last night, so I went out this morning to do some tests with it and my FL 28 mm f/3.5 lens. The results were horrible, awful; and I don't recall back in the film days, that this lens as all that bad. I'm pretty sure that much of this was a focus issue, and I use manual focus pretty successfully with both the kit lens and my 14-55 Mk I DSLR lens. But they both communicate quite a bit with the body. The bare bones FL lenses simply don't communicate.

    So how do YOU use the Canon adapters with an E-M10? Do you focus with the that open ring set to Open? Do you focus with the ring set to closed? I found focus peaking to be a bit unreliable with this lens.

    Is there a flow of work you guys use with legacy lenses?
  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Looks like there are only a few images from this lens in the sample-image thread for this lens, they look ok -


    I don't have any Canon glass but do use adapted Olympus & Nikon glass without issue. Depending on the situation I'll either go by the rear display for gauging focus or use the focus-assist zoom (mostly for adapted macro shooting).

    In general, my adapted lenses seem slightly soft if I pixel peep (apart from the macros) but they're generally AOK for my needs.

    Can you post some samples ?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California

    1. it's recommended to first focus with the aperture wide-open, and then stop down if desired

    2. use the focus peaking and/or digital zoom preview when focusing

    3. if the body has IBIS, set the focal length of the lens in the IS settings.

    • Like Like x 2
  4. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Thanks Barry, I didn't know about point #3 I will have to look up how to do that on the E-M10
  5. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Any examples you can post?
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    I think the combination of poor prints, far less magnification applied to those prints and the inability to really see what was on the negs/chromes contributes to a miasmatic memory of the actual results we got.

    I agree with Barry, just as in the daze of 35mm you would (whether you knew it or not) focus wide open and end up takingstopped down as the mmechanics of the camera handled that for you. So focus open then stop down if desired.

    All my Canon FD lenses work better one stop down from fully open. I decide if I want that or not.

    To me there is little point in using legacy lenses if you stop down much. My Panasonic 14-45 is sharper at 28mm than my FD is when both used at the same aperture, its just that it can't do f2.8 There is no 50mm in native and my new FD 50 f1.4 cost heaps less than the closest native lens. Having said that I ditched my newFD 50f1.8 as my Olympus 50f1.8 was streets ahead


    And my 28 is soft too (unlike the Olympus OM 28) I only use FD now in 200mm and 300mm

    I spent a bit of time playing with lenses to see what I liked.


    I now have settled on a group that I like and ditched the rest

    Perhaps OM lenses may suit your taste more. I removed the pin on my adapter ( which engages the iris all the time) and use the DoF preview button that all OM lenses have to stop down as I take. I typically pause a moment to allow the metering to catch up if using Av or P

    • Like Like x 1
  7. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Communication with the body has nothing to do with manual focusing.

    The ring on the adapter? It needs to be set to "open" in order to mount the lens properly, but thereafter needs to be closed (more commonly called "lock" on the majority of adapters). Failure to do so prevents the aperture from working. I've seen people use that ring to control the aperture, but you never know what F-stop you're at - it's very sloppy. The FL lenses have great aperture rings and that should be what you're using for aperture control.

    Using the camera's magnified manual focus assist and viewfinder are essential. I attach the focus assist function to the Fn2 button. My flow:

    • Open the lens up to its widest aperture
    • Engage the focus assist with Fn2
    • Focus on your subject using the viewfinder
    • Stop the lens down to the desired aperture
    • Click! :biggrin:

    As was also said, making sure that the IBIS is set to the correct length is also vital. If the IBIS isn't set with the right focal length, it can ruin all of your shots by overcompensating for movement.
  8. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Yes, what edmsnap said, really! I have a Canon 85/1.8 FD, and I think it gives me very pleasing results. Shot at 1.8 or stopped down a little bit, the sharpness does stand pixel peeping. OK, it's not a Olympus 75/1.8, but then it only cost me 70 quid off *bay. I used it yesterday, and will post a link when I can find one.

  9. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Forgot to say, the most obvious problem this lens has is it's quite prone to CA, but that's usually easy to fix in LR.

  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa

    99% yes, except if focusing activates the EVF zoom. There are some 4/3 lenses which won't AF but will activate EVF zoom ... by communicating with the body.
  11. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I've got two FD adapters and the makers reversed the Open and Closed markings, although the ring works the same way. So we cannot rely on nomenclature when discussing these adapters. I set the ring so the lens aperture ring is functional. Then I focus wide open and have found there's little difference when stopping down on my FD 50 or FD 85.

    Don't have focus peaking. Have used key line art filter on EM5 and EPL5, and that takes practice. I like 10X magnify mode. Never fails.

    Some copies of some well regarded lenses can be overly soft (or maybe just bad) and look like a focus issue. The only 28mm I own that gives decent results on my M43 is a Tamron. I have two Vivitars that are pretty poor. The technical guys tell us the the 4mm thick stack of filters over the M43 sensor really degrade MTF results on wider angle legacy lenses too. Most 50's and longer see far less loss.

    For me, the longer FD lenses focus very easily and definitely carried the day until I got M43 equivalents. That would be the FD 50 1.8, FD 85 1.8, and FD 135 2.5.

    Press "INFO" when you are in the IBIS menu Then you can change the FL number.
  12. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Yes, +1 for the FD 85mm1.8 :) 
  13. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I'm starting to get better photos now. The tip to set the focal length for the IBIS was the main key to using the FL lenses.

    Most of the Canon FL lenses have an A/M dial (for Auto and Manual) that basically allows for stop down aperture settings. Having one on the lens itself, and one on the adapter is confusing and only one is needed. I've taken to using the one on the lens, it's a bit easier to get to, and easier to adjust. I've found that with the EVF, focusing is still pretty easy with the lens stopped down, so I might not use these lenses "open" at all.

    My problem is that I'm not recording aperture in the EXIF data (I THINK it was around f/8), and I'm not comfortable that the shutter speed recorded is accurate. it reads 1/100th second at 640 iso But while it was overcast, there was plenty of light, and considering how much the wind was moving things about, I'm not certain that a 1/100th sec shutter speed would capture things with so little subject movement (unless I got super lucky.) I shot raw, processed in ACDSee Pro 8

    Attached is a photo taken with the 200 mm Canon FL f/4.5 lens. The quality is quite good I think considering the wind was SO strong (and COLD!) on the lake. I gave up after about an hour and didn't get to the 28 mm lens or the 50 mm lens. I only got some with the 200 and the 100. I'll have to find something away from the water for the shorter Canon lenses, this is Central Illinois, after all!

    My new Fotodiox grip worked great on my E-M10, These lenses were designed to be considered small when mounted on a Canon FT-QL and they ARE small for their time (and this time too), though they are big-ish on an E-M10. The 200 mm is long and skinny, it would have been difficult to hold steady without the grip.

    View attachment 392402
  14. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Hi, the shutter speed in the EXIF should be correct.

    One reason for focusing wide open is that it's more accurate due to shorter DoF.

  15. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Yes, I can see from my photo that my focus was still a bit off. But I think I rushed things a bit due to the wind and cold. The surprising thing about non 4/3s legacy lenses is that using them is a process. The photographer needs a 'workflow' firmly embedded in his/her mind to get successful with them.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.