How to use E-M10 with Canon FD lenses?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Steve77, May 21, 2016.

  1. Steve77

    Steve77 New to Mu-43

    May 21, 2016
    Hi all,

    I'm new to the site and would like to get back into photography. I have mostly used Canon A-1 and T-90 film SLRs in the past and I barely know how to use my Olympus E-M10.

    Over a year ago I bought a Metabones FD to M43 adapter and haven't even used it yet!! This is partly due to my lack of knowledge and partly because I lost motivation for a long while.

    I will probably be taking photos of a friend's band playing at a pub next weekend and thought it might be a good opportunity to learn how to use my Canon FD 50mm 1.8 with the E-M10. They'll only be playing 4 songs so I won't have time for experimenting - I'm hoping that with a few pointers I might be ale to take some usable photos.

    I'd appreciate any advice that you could offer, including addressing any of the following points that you care to:
    1) I've never manually focused with the Olympus. I have no idea how to magnify the image or use focus peaking.
    2) In this low light environment will focusing without an optical split-screen viewfinder be a total pain? Should I give up on the idea and just use my 14-42 kit lens instead?
    2) Do I need to set the focal length to 50mm for the IBIS? How?
    3) Should I even use IBIS? I didn't have IS in the film days and now we have good high-ISO performance which will allow faster shutter speeds.
    4) Should I plan to only use the 50mm 1.8 lens wide open for low-light onstage pics?
    5) Would my 28mm 2.8 be of any use in this situation?
    6) Any recommended settings for this type of photography - ISO etc.

  2. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Roughly in order.

    Bind focus peaking to a button, press it to activate. It will display lines on areas of high contrast, I find the yellow setting works well. I generally find magnify is too slow for low light music.

    Focusing with peaking is pretty easy and I generally find it to be on par with a split prism as the viewfinder is generally brighter. I wouldn't say one is better than the other, just different. While I use autofocus lenses I still manually focus if I have time as I prefer the predictability of it, I fall back on autofocus when needed.

    Press Ok to activate the SCP -> navigate to IS and press Ok -> Press the info button, press up and down to set focal length. Set IS to 50mm if you're using the 50, if you have a speedbooster 35 would be correct. 28 for the 28 (20mm on the speedbooster).

    The 50mm f1.8 is workable however it's pretty long, it really depends on the size of the stage. I prefer something around 20mm as I like to get up close, I have used 35mm (50 on a speedbooster) for close shots of people however for tight shots I prefer a zoom (with the larger working distance window).

    I'm not sure, again it depends on style somewhat and the distance to subject.

    Quick and lazy for me is generally using manual with the shutter speed set to 1/50th or 1/100th (depending on stage lighting) for 50hz power and 1/60th or 1/125th for 60hz power. Aperture wide open or down a stop if I'm feeling brave. Automatic ISO with the range of 200-3200.
    These settings give a reasonable shutter speed given normal lighting, DoF is normally on the narrow side (stopping down if allowed), I do watch the ISO and make sure it isn't hitting the limit (if it does, open up more or reduce shutter speed).

    One thing I will offer is that it can be hard for bands to get *any* pictures, often all they have of past events is potato quality cell phone ones. There's no real harm in trying (as long as you're not in the way :) ) and I'm sure they will be grateful.
  3. The 50 1.8 could be a real advantage in that situation, but it will be acting as a short telephoto so be careful in picking your shooting spot..or if you get stuck just sitting somewhere. Too close and it might not work out well. But the speed advantage will be helpful. You really should practice using the magnify function though..trying all this in a dark setting for the first time will be frustrating. Assign a button to turn this on and off...I use Fn2 on my M10. This is kinda important because with the f stops you'll use, you'll really really want to nail the focus well. Learn where the IBIS control is on your Super Control Panel...highlight it with the navigation control, enter, and hit the INFO button near the thumb grip. That will allow you to adjust the IBIS to match the focal length of your manual focus lenses. When switching to the kit lens, just pop it on and off as will remain at that setting when you put the 50 back on. Shoot using Aperture Preferred mode and you'll probably want at least ISO 3200. Try to stay under 6400. So that lens will help, but try it before getting in the middle of shooting.
  4. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Use IBS.Set lens for 50mm as camera will not detect this. You will be in telephoto mode in low light and this will help. Set ISO about 1000. A tripod might be helpful and you don't need a giant one.( this is a secret benefit of M-43 that no one ever mentions) Or use tripod to reach over obstructions and shoot with cable release. Good luck
  5. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I like S mode with shutter speed of 1/250 or more with auto ISO enabled. Let the limit go to 1600 or 3200. Shooting in RAW + JPG, the noise cleans up well in PP. I like spot mode for exposure with stage lights. Check the first shots and adjust EV if spot lights wash out the musicians. If there is enough light to shoot in A mode and keep shutter fast enough to forestall motion and subject blur, that's another choice. Realize that motion blur might not show on a camera review screen.

    Focal length should be set when IS is turned on. even of the shutter speed is high. Whatever is stored is used when a manual lens is mounted. If you have a stored focal length that is incompatible with the actual lens, the live view might be unstable. From the SCP, go to the IS panel and press "INFO" to enable the focal length option to be set. The 50mm is set at 50. The 28 is set at 28. With an automatic lens, whatever is stored don't matter as camera uses the lens value.

    Before you go, practice manual focus at home. I like magnify mode.

    One last comment. With the adapter shown in your picture, make sure the ring is set at "ON". That emables the lens aperture on your FD lens. Set to "OFF", the lens will always be wide open. I've made more mistakes with FD lenses, leaving that adapter ring set incorrectly.
  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Welcome to the forum.

    Assign Peaking to one Fn button. By default magnify is already available from the Multi-function button on Fn2: just keep it pressed and turn the wheel to select it, then just press it. Then try which one works best for you (I prefer magnify).
    Try different magnifications with magnify (front wheel), no need to go to 14x. On E-M10 sadly the peaking is only black or white (menu' D) so try both and see what you prefer.
    Set the IBIS correctly even if you will be using a fast enough shutter speed to freeze action. Or, if this bothers you, just turn it off or set it to the lower focal length you are going to use (20mm?) and forget about it, just do not leave it on with a high focal length.

    Buy a dumb FD to m43 adapter too so you can use the 50/1.8 as two lenses: 50/1.8 and 36/1.2. If you have a longer FD tele lens I would bring that too. The 28 may work for group shots, with or without booster. DoF is going to be small, I would use burst mode (slow speed maybe?).

    If there are other bands before them, or even the days before, use them to experiment, and then send them the pictures :)

    Shoot RAW as WB may be a mess. Also exposure can be tricky with black background and spot lights: do not trust the camera too much, use what you prefer (spot metering, AEL, etc.) and shadows&highlights mode can help here.

    Don't be shy, get close, at least for one song, after they got a little time to warm up and get comfortable.
  7. Steve77

    Steve77 New to Mu-43

    May 21, 2016
    Lots of good info there, thanks everyone. One thing I should have clarified is that my Metabones adapter pictured above is not the Speedbooster version, it's just a plain adapter with no optics.

    As pointed out by Eteless, there is a fair chance that 50mm could be too long depending on how the venue is set up. I won't know till I get there.
    I'm curious about the recommendation "shutter speed set to 1/50th or 1/100th (depending on stage lighting) for 50hz power and 1/60th or 1/125th for 60hz power". I haven't heard of matching the shutter speed to the mains frequency before, what's the advantage?

    As for white balance, I thought incandescent should work pretty well for stage lights?
  8. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    It reduces the chance of banding/flicker, especially apparent with LED lighting (incandescent glows during the off cycle, LED pulses on and off). It can also reduce the colour tint shift between sequential frames (makes post easier if you're matching colour between frames).
    It's a minor gain, however if the lighting allows it there's no downside and only the upside.

    White balance wise I would use automatic, it's not going to be accurate however it will be close enough (especially if shooting RAW, you can always nudge it in post).
  9. I wouldn't worry so much about the flicker situation. You'll only negate it if you use the exact frequency of the flickering and that's not exactly a fixed value for all LED lighting. This may not even be a situation..if the club is using quartz or if they possibly mix quartz with LED. You won't really know till you get there. Either way, shoot RAW or RAW+jpeg and use Auto WB. Color temp is not a problem with either lighting. Your biggest problem will be getting a good spot to shoot from. If you can get a good, unobstructed view from about 10' from the stage, you'll be in good shape. Ultimately, you'll be in the location that will let you cover individual players with the 50mm and group shots with the kit lens on a wider setting. I would recommend trying Burst mode set at 3.5 on Low or 5 on High. This will increase your keeper rate and you'll get frames that you would otherwise miss. Whatever you do, try to set up beforehand and get familiar with the settings and how to change them. Fumbling in the dark sucks..and you end up missing the action. Make sure your Super Control Panel is on and get familiar with's a good friend when the lights go out. That sounds like something from Lord Of The Rings but it's true.
  10. Steve77

    Steve77 New to Mu-43

    May 21, 2016
    Update - the other day I fitted the FD 50mm and things seemed to be ok until I realised the lens was stuck on the adapter! It would turn most of the way but not far enough to release, seemed to be something to do with the aperture ring. I don't know what I did wrong, and I'm not sure exactly how I successfully released it in the end - it was very frustrating and I just tried everything until it somehow came free.
    Is there some trick to it - eg do you have to turn the FD to the auto setting before and after mounting/dismounting? Or some other method? It was stressful enough at home, I don't want it to happen at the pub in near-darkness!

    Also i hadn't thought much about exposure modes till I started using it this week. Back when I was using film with an off-brand non-automatic aperture lens I could just open the aperture ring right up, press the aperture preview button on the Canon T90, put it in aperture priority mode and those settings would give me the fastest shutter possible for the given amount of light. I can't see a way of doing that on the EM10 with an adapted lens because the camera doesn't have the aperture preview function. I could be totally wrong though, I really don't know how to work these fancy modern cameras.

    Someone above recommended A for shooting in a pub, and there were also recommendations of manual and S. I'm a bit confused about what to do. I'm kind of tempted to go manual but I'm not sure.
    Any further tips about exposure modes for FD adapted shooting (especially low light) would be most welcome. Thanks again all, you've been very helpful. I've at least taken some test pics now after leaving the adapter unused for over a year!

    Edit: If I use S, that's basically manual anyway right? Because the camera can't tell the FD lens which aperture to use.
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  11. Absolutely use Aperture Preferred while using your manual focus 50. Don't worry about're seeing on the screen, or viewfinder, what's going on in real time. I would recommend staying with the A mode until you feel more comfortable with using that lens..and then try manual. Aperture Preferred will give you fairly reliable results with the uncoupled lenses. Just keep an eye on your shutter speeds. As for the lens getting stuck, it sounds like you have one of the FD lenses that has a locking ring that is spring loaded. For a short while, Canon tried to appease those that moaned and groaned about the breechlock mount. They took a half step toward this by having the ring spring loaded, so that when the putting the lens in place on the camera, once it was seated, the ring would release and turn slightly..enough so that the lens wouldn't fall off if you didn't have a good grip on it. Trouble was that the ring release could be triggered without the lens being seated properly, resulting in a jammed lens. Make sure the locking ring is fully open, so that the mark is lined up with the registration mark for the aperture setting. This will lock it till the release gets bumped. That was the long answer. Short version: Just leave the adapter in place on the lens and change it as a unit...unless you have other Canon lenses. I try to do this for all my legacy lenses.
  12. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    I know I am going to provide a contrasting opinion here, but I prefer to use Shutter priority in concerts, especially in smaller, probably darker venues. In my opinion a good exposure is worthless in concert photography if the subject is blurry. I would try to keep the shutter around 250/s if possible, but definitely above 100/s. This depends slightly on how much the musicians move, but anything below 100/s really only works for pianists, because they sit still a lot more. I find aperture priority redundant in most cases you can rarely stop down because of the amount of available light and the camera always chooses to bump up the aperture before ISO. Manual with AUTO ISO is also a really good way to shoot, but unfortunately not available on my GX7, don't know if it is on the EM10.

    Also, I would not be afraid to underexpose if that is what is necessary to get sharp shots. I have pulled shots up by two stops before, and I still barely had enough shutter speed to freeze motion (it was absolutely dreadful lighting in a church concert, any club should have more light available). However, if you have to go that far you might need to convert to B&W as this seems to make noise more appealing or at least less distracting in my eyes.

    As far as focal length is concerned this really depends on your style of photography as well as the venue. I personally take a lot of what you could call "concert portraits", that are sometimes just headshots. This works really well for Jazz where a lot of the instruments like Saxophone or Trumpet are in the performers faces. In other music it often only works for the singers. A 50mm is perfect for these kinds of shots, and if you are slightly further from the stage should also work for Gitarrists. These shots are really good for showing individual expression, so getting the right moment is crucial.

    Getting a good shot of the whole stage with all performers will require a wider angle lens, possibly the wide end of your kit or if you're lucky the 28mm. The more performers you have in one picture the harder it becomes to get a good moment where all elements combine.

    I can't help you with the camera-specific stuff as I own neither an Olympus camera nor any adapted glass, but I hope this helped for the general Shutter vs Aperture Priority mode.
  13. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I do not know about the Metabone but other adapters I used have a small level/button/ring that you need to push and keep pushed to disengage the lens. From the point of view of the lens the adapter is like the camera body and you need to push something to unlock it.

    I think that metabones adapters always use the aperture set on the lens. There is no "jump to wide open" shortcut, for that just turn the ring all way in.

    The EVF on the camera always tries to give you an exposure preview that match what you will get later no matter what you do (except for extreme under/over exposure situations). So when you turn the aperture ring you should see about nothing happening (except for DoF differences) because the camera changes the other parameters to keep the exposure constant.

    About modes: you can use about any one and obviously get the same results:

    A mode: you choose the aperture with the lens ring and the camera can choose speed and ISO (with Auto-ISO)
    S mode: you choose the aperture with the lens ring, set speed on the camera and the camera chooses ISO. In practice it works much like Manual mode because the camera simple cannot change the aperture of an FD lens.
    M mode: same as S but with fixed ISO (by default)

    I would go in A mode unless you see that the camera is giving you a shutter speed too low to freeze action where I would switch to S to fix this. Manual may also make sense to set a specific exposure and keeping it because the metering in low light and spot lights can get confused when you change framing.

    With a fixed lights M may be better, with rapidly changing lights I would go with A or S mode (and with these modes you can also use Exposure compensation to fine tune things). depends. In a pub I would expect fixed simple lights.

    Also consider that in low light you will keep the lens wide open all the time, or just a little less to get more DoF, but you do not have much freedom here.
  14. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    My guess is that you mounted it incorrectly as that's the outcome if the levers are in the wrong position.

    1. Install adapter ring onto camera: align the red dot on the adapter and red dot on the camera, twist to close.

    2. Stop the lens down to its smallest aperture - NOT the "A" setting.

    3. On the adapter, there is a ring that controls the position of a pin that allows for aperture control. Facing the front of the camera, turn the ring to its most counterclockwise position (usually "open").

    4. Seat the lens on the adapter (align the red dots) and twist the lens (or silver ring) clockwise until it clicks (or stops snug) shut. Now turn the adapter ring to its most clockwise position ("lock").

    5. Now you should be able to rotate the aperture ring on the lens and see the aperture adjust. The ring on the adapter can also be manually rotated for clickless aperture adjustment, but fortunately it clicks to a shut position so you won't do it accidentally while shooting.
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