Inexpensive adapted wide angle options (or lack of)

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by adelorenzo, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 9, 2011
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    Something I've been noticing as I foray into adapted lenses: Wide angle stuff seems to be more rare and quite expensive, at least based on my non-scientific hunting on eBay.

    Lot of nice options in the 25-50mm range. For example I have a Pentax 25mm 1.4 TV lens c-mount and a Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 that both cost less than $100. Compare that to the native options in that area (Panasonic-Leica 25mm, Olympus 45mm for example) and there are good deals to be had.

    Going much wider than that prices climb higher. It seems like anything 20mm or less that is adaptable for M 4/3 sells for a minimum of $200 and usually much higher.

    Once you hit the $300 range you can get a M 4/3 lens like the 14mm kit lens or the Samyang Fisheye. Adapted lenses don't have the same price advantage.

    Also supply is more limited: in a line of lenses like Super Takumar you might see one 18mm or 20mm wide angle listed versus dozens of 28, 35, 50 and 55s. (Nevermind the tele lenses... 135mm lenses go for peanuts. Like 10 bucks)

    Crop factor plays a part, of course. To get wide angle on the M 4/3 you need to go really wide.

    I have a couple of NIB c-mount 12.5mm en route to play with that I got dirt cheap but don't expect I will get full coverage.

    Thoughts and suggestions welcome.
  2. zacster

    zacster Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 4, 2011
    As I recall, the telephoto lenses of the 70s were plentiful as you've noted, but I don't ever remember there being many lenses much smaller than 28mm that were reasonably priced back then. Everybody wants to catch the action when you can't get close, but except in small rooms you can always step back. This may be a gross generalization, but telephoto was always a bigger category than wide angle. It wasn't until the later 35-85 or whatever lenses started coming out that consumer grade SLRs even had wide angle. Enthusiasts/Pros always could get what they wanted of course, but that's a much smaller market.

    What you are seeing is basically how I remember it, and that's the pool of available lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. petronius

    petronius Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2011
  4. dpj

    dpj Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    Due to the lack of wides, i'm glad i held on to my Sigma 10-20 from my Canon days. I know it's fixed apperture but it is still great for video and if i did want to close it down i just use a Variable ND Filter.
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    One of the advantages of the short flange distance in our small cameras is that wider angle lenses can be made without the need for retro-focus. That means smaller, more compact wider angle lenses and of course lesser manufacturing requirements. It's no wonder that we are seeing more wide angle native lenses than adapted ones (since more of us are adapting SLR lenses rather than cine and rangefinder). Add to that the fact that what used to be an ultra-wide is now a standard wide.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Telephoto lenses are much easier to make than wide angle lenses. Everyone and their mother were able to afford lenses like a 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, etc. A 24mm was a little more expensive to come by, and by the time you got into ultrawide territory like 20mm and lower, you're looking at a specialized lens that cost a lot more. Given our system's inherent crop factor, you aren't easily going to find any well-functioning wide angle lenses for cheap. With those C-mount lenses, I doubt you're going to be happy with their performance. Or even if you like the center of the image, if you're cropping away a ton of the photo each time, you're effectively using a smaller sensor in the camera, which is just hurting performance even more.

    If you want a good wide angle lens, your best bet is probably the newer stuff. The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is expensive, but very very very well performing. Just get the nikon mount one and get a nikon adapter with an aperture adjustment.

    Read this about how lenses are made: - Lens Genealogy – Part 2
  7. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    Although native, do not overlook the Oly 17mm. It's not the fastest, but it helps find the story in an image. Because of the Panasonic 14mm and 20mm, this one gets overlooked - and so is less expensive used. Most used ones go for $150-160 on eBay. For many things, I like it better than the Panasonic 20mm.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 9, 2011
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    Thanks everyone. Seems that these ultra-wides can be rare birds. Part of the charm of adapted lenses is just experimenting and seeing what you get, so I'm going to keep poking around.

    I do have the 14mm kit lens, which I have to confess I struggle with. I haven't been able to find my groove with it yet. I plan to add the Samyang fisheye as well.

    Petronius, I like that Agfa lens. You have an amazing collection of adapted lenses!
    • Like Like x 1
  9. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    DO we have more choices now?
    or is there still a Lack of, regarding said topic?
  10. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    There are more native wide angles now, but you're not going to get more cheap legacy glass being made!
  11. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    The Tokina 17mm 3.5 can sometimes be picked up reasonably cheaply in a variety of mounts - not up to native lenses, but not bad. Anything wider than 28 was pricey on 35mm for the average amateur - 24's weren't too bad but they had a premium.
  12. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Yea, but I was just goosing this because there are more choices now. Besides more wide lenses that are being offered in µ4/3 mount , the legacy lenses ARE getting wider... well sort of .. Via the new Speed Booster and clones.. I am just wondering if the OP and former respondents from long ago in this thread have taken advantage of the new toys that have come out since this discussion happened in 2011. And if so what solutions did they end up getting?
  13. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I have a Vivitar branded 19mm 3.8 in MD mount. I just received the adapter, so haven't had any time to play with it yet. I don't have high hopes for what will come out of it, but it does give me my widest adapted lens. We'll see.

    There is a small Flickr photo pool for the lens.
  14. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    • Like Like x 1
  15. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Film was FF sized. In the 60-70s, 28mm was considered very wide and something even as wide as 20mm was very extreme. There just weren't many made and they were expensive designs and slow aperture.

    Even a modern superwide of 16mm on FF, wouldn't be very wide on 2x crop. So it's just the nature of the crop factor coupled with the fact that lenses didn't used to be as wide.

    With options like the 9mm and 15mm BCL, cheap kit zooms and the 14mm f2.5, I'm not sure why anyone would bother, anyway

    The good thing is that there are lots of affordable and fast options in the 35-135mm range that can be adapted, and there aren't too many cheap native options. Maybe A $200 85mm film lens can replace a $800 75mm f1.8 for some.
  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I think that illustrates the point I tried to make above. That would have been a VERY wide film lens. But it's practically a normal prime on 4/3. And f3.8 is Maybe 1/3 stop faster than a kit zoom at 19mm Even if you added a speed booster to it, you'd be at 13.5mm f2.7 with some optical compromises. Might as well just grab a 14mm f2.5.

    It looks like you are getting decent results from it, though.
  17. maritan

    maritan Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2014
    I'm close to buying a Tokina 11-16 f2.8 II in a Nikon DX mount and a Speedbooster for my E-M1. The lens gets universal praise and isn't crazy expensive. My wife shoots with a Nikon D5100 and she can use the lens too. Combined, I'll still be under what a Voigtlander 10.5mm f0.95 would cost and both my wife and I can use that lens. Decisions, decisions.
  18. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Yeah, I think I have been successful with it enough to keep it. I'm not sure I would go searching for it to buy, plus an adapter. Mine was given to me from family. That makes it much cheaper than any native lens.

    I've posted these in other places:


    [​IMG]Medical Arts building, Knoxville, Tennessee
    This second one really came out well.
  19. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What about a samyang 10mm f2.8 prime? That would be great on a speed booster - 7mm f2.0!
    • Informative Informative x 1