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Legacy Glass Only?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by chrism_scotland, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I know that a lot of Sony NEX users (partly due to the poor native lens selection!) have bought their NEX3/5 cameras basically to use as "digital backs" to legacy glass they own and I wondered if any m4/3 users use exclusively or almost exclusively legacy glass on theirs?

    I only own the one native lens; the Olympus 17mm, its a decent enough lens, nice size, focal length although wish it was a little quicker sometimes! But it was cheap (£100 with the EP1 Kit)

    But I've started to dabble in MF lenses, a Hexanon 135mm f3.5 which has been nice to use and very cheap! As I don't use longer focal length often so a native (40-150 or 45-200 would be a waste!)

    But I've also started using a Canon FD 50 f1.8 over the weekend and really enjoyed it! Manual focusing at a shorter focal lenth was much easier than I imagined it might be and I actually enjoyed being out taking shots with the lens much more than I have with anything else over the last 12 months.

    But its got me to thinking that perhaps I could survive with only legacy glass, the only issue I could see could be wide angle as obviously wide on a 35mm isn't the same as wide on a crop sensor but I can keep saving for the Panasonic 14/20mm for that!

    But really this thread was just to see what manual lenses other are using and if you use them the majority of the time on your m4/3 body!
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I must say overall I'm still on the fence concerning legacy glass. I like the IQ the Minolta lenses give me, but OTOH the ease of AF, the lesser weight, image stabilization, EXIF data and zooming makes me favour the Panny lenses in the field when things get serious. I'd use a lot less of the legacy lenses if there was a really good zoom in the 50-150mm range; the Panny 45-200mm disappoints me every now and then.

    Another annoyance with using legacy glass is the differences in colour signature of the various brands. This is the main reason I hardly use the Zeiss 28/2.8: it's the best you can get on 28mm IQ, but it needs separate calibration to get an accurate white balance that matches those of Panny and Minolta lenses. Panny and Minolta are close enough, a +9 magenta correction is needed in ACR for Minolta w.r.t. Panny lenses.

    Doing close-up work in the studio is a completely different matter. There I use a Micro-Nikkor 55/3.5 on a Fotodiox shift adapter and a Minolta MD Macro 100/4. I haven't got the slightest inclination to use native µ4/3 lenses here, the legacy glass does a great job for this kind of work. All the pictures <a target="_blank" href="http://home.kpn.nl/dielpeet/minolta/minolta-28mm-lenses.htm">on this page</a> have been shot that way, with the G1 and Minolta MD 100/4 in particular.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I started that way and I have found that my love affair with legacy glass has cooled significantly. I bought and sold off a complete set of Konica (24/2.8, 28/3.5, 40/1.8, 50/1.4, 50/1.7, 135/3.2 and 200/3.5) Super Takumar (28/3.5, 50/1.4, 55/2, 105/2.8 and 200/4) and OM (28/2.8, 24/2.8. 50/1.8 and 135/3.2) I also have used (and enjoyed) Helios 44M, Industar 21, Jupiter 8, Canon FD 50/1.4 and 135/2.8 as well 2 Vivitar 70-210 Macro zooms. None of the lenses were bad (and I truly hated the Canon 50/1.4) and almost all of them were capable of great images.

    Since that time I have settled down, stopped being a gear monkey and settled into trying to focus on making images. Perhaps experimenting with all that legacy glass was a way of getting out of my system. The funny part is that my very first legacy lens was an OM 50/1.8 silver nose and after all that dabbling my favorite legacy glass are...you guessed it OM lenses.

    Of the legacy glass that I currently have my OM24/2.8, PEN-F 40/1.4, OM50/1.8 and OM100/2.8 are the ones I would keep. I suppose I COULD make a go of it with no AF lenses but decent WA legacy glass is spendy so the Panasonic 14 is a really nice alternative. FWIW the best lens I have is the Panasonic 20. The best legacy lens I have is the Pen-F 40/1.4 (that was a lens that I sold and regretted doing immediately afterwards... expensive little lesson that was).
  4. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I enjoy the speend and convenience of modern AF glass on my Panny, but for slowing down and enjoying the experience of shooting with legacy glass, I picked up an E-P1. The E-p1 is my vintage glass machine.
  5. jeanba3000

    jeanba3000 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 11, 2011
    Paris, France
    I have these native lenses : Pany' 14 & 20, Oly' 14-150, Arax 20 TS. I use the 20 a lot, the 14 sometimes, I used the zoom only during a travel in Vietnam in last April, and the Arax is very poor quality so I barely use it.

    I have as legacy lenses : a Pen F 40 I love as a portrait lens, I use it as often as I use the 20, a Contax G 35 I recently received and I like it, a Contax G 90 that should arrive tomorrow morning and I just ordered a Super Wide Heliar I will use with a Fotodiox shift adapter to make some architecture photos.

    So I'll probably be using more legacy lenses than native ones. The new Oly' 45 may counterbalance that orientation a bit.
  6. My E-P1 was always used mostly with MF lenses and that remains the case now that I have a GH1 as well. The lack of wide-angle was always a pain until I bought the Oly 17/2.8, which compliments some combination of 24/28/35/50/85mm MF lenses nicely. The 17/24/50 or 17/28/50 make a good set.
  7. mclarenf3

    mclarenf3 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 23, 2010
    I'm starting to pick up more and more legacy glass, but I don't think it'll replace the native lenses I have. There are times when I have the time and patience to get the right focus, but there are other times when I need to get the shot fast.

    If all I did was macro and/or studio work, I would imagine I'd be fine. But for candids and any type of medium to fast movement photography, I need the AF.
  8. jesselavender

    jesselavender New to Mu-43

    Jul 7, 2011
    Yeah those legacy lenses can be pretty difficult. I just got a GH2, and love some things about being able to adapt to many lenses, but the color on some of mine are slightly off.

    On another note, I jumped into the C-Mount market. I just picked up a Canon 18-108mm F/1.6 for $300 on eBay. Main reason of the cost was because the guy (Ed Lee) set the focus and re-worked the mount.

    Check out my test video:
    [ame="http://vimeo.com/26584507"]Panasonic GH2 and Canon TV Zoom (C-Mount) TEST 1 on Vimeo[/ame]
  9. theunartist

    theunartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    I "purchased" my wife a G10 last fall because she needed a new digital cam but the real reason is I am a Pentax user and wanted to try out the m4/3 setup with my Pentax lenses, killed two birds with one stone... (BTW - she loves the camera) :smile:

    I've not had any problems using any of my Pentax, Takumars and/or other k or m42 mounts I currently have. I'm saving money, as I tell my smarter half, I'm buying this lens for BOTH cameras, which is the best part of it all! As you become more accustomed to using MF lenses it becomes almost second nature. I think you learn a bit more about the limitations of both lens and camera as well as your abilities when using manual lenses. You become more aware way ahead of time what you'll need to do to capture an image... if that makes sense.

    I am a heavy user of Pentax glass, and can say that the colors and contrast rendered from my copy of the G10 are pretty close to what I get out of my dSLR's. I think focusing and metering on the G10 is easier and simpler. If the Panasonic does fall short, it is in certain lighting conditions due to its limited dynamic range but one quickly learns how to best get around this... I'm loving it at the moment, a great set of lenses for 2 completely different systems!
  10. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    That was pretty much my thinking when I bought a Gf1. I had a few Zeiss lenses from my 35mm that I felt were too good to not use. When :43: came along offering the ability to use lenses I already owned, it was just what I was looking for. Since then, I've picked up a few Canon FD lenses, but I haven't gone crazy collecting legacy lenses I'll never use.

    The 20mm is the only native lens I own. I'd say I use it about 25-30% of the time, the rest of the time I shoot with legacy lenses. They're not necessarily better, they're just what I happen to have. I'll pick up another native lens eventually, probably the 100-300mm. I like the results I see people getting with it here.
  11. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    For the most part I only use legacy lenses for my macro work (either my Tokina 90/2.5 or my collection of enlarging lenses). For the price and quality you simply can't beat those for macro. When I do use my G1/GH1 for non-macro work (which isn't a whole lot), it's with the 20/1.7.
  12. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    When I want quick and easy I use the native lenses, but I find the kit lens to be a bit slow. I prefer the fast primes in legacy lenses - they've added a new dimension for me.I'm having a lot of fun with my E-Pl1 and the OM lenses I've acquired at very reasonable prices. I suppose I use the adapted lenses more than the native.
  13. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Thanks folks, this thread has given me a lot to think about! Aside from the 17mm I currently have the only native lens I'd really like is the 20mm (and possibly 24mm) the new lenses coming out (25,12) are likely to be too expensive for me although I could maybe be tempted by the Oly 45.

    I think for now I'm going to continue to pickup some legacy glass to cover off what I'd like to use (135 for rare telephoto, possibly a 50 f1.4, 24mm f2.8 (in the post) then I can see how much I'm going to enjoy MF rather than auto focus.

    I just can't justify the cost of the 20mm (£300) to myself just now when I feel that the 17mm I have is not all that different, I've never really been one to upgrade a len based on speed its always been to a focal length and with the 17mm I have that! I'm also used to slightly "odd" lens speeds having used a lot of the Pentax Ltd Primes (DA40 f2.8, DA21 f3.2) so f2.8 isn't really too bad!
  14. Pat Donnelly

    Pat Donnelly New to Mu-43

    Apr 17, 2010
    There are hidden places on the web where users of manual focus glass go to indulge their filthy habits together. Some go to get help and give up this addiction, but others have been known to lurk on innocent camera forum sites and seduce AF users into the dark side.

    Beware, many never return to cheaply made AF plastic crap. It is a real mortaller to run your fingers over metal that slides and slithers into metal while remorselessly turning glass to expose correct focus time and time again. These people need serious help!
    • Like Like x 6
  15. ke7dbx

    ke7dbx Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    I use. My E-PL1 with mostly legacy glass. I almost never use the kit lens anymore. It is a great source for options on a budget. I for instance got a 500mm lens for cheap on Shopgoodwill.com. I even surprise people with my setup. Even taking action Picts with my old om 50mm lens.
  16. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Well since picking up a couple of Canon FD lenses; the 24mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.8 I haven't had anything else on my EP1, its really taught me to take my time a bit more and I'm enjoying my photography much more!
    I'm considering adding a used G1 for those times an EVF would be handy and contemplating selling my 17mm pancake, although I'd probably need to pickup one of the 14-45, 14mm or 20mm to give me both a native lens and something a bit wider as any legacy lens wider than 24ish mm seems to be either very expensive or not regarded as that great.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. wonglp

    wonglp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 28, 2011
    80% of the time, a manual focus lens is on my EPL1. Partially due to lack of cheap fast primes in the focal length of 30-50mm, other reason is due to slow AF. But with the new Pens fast AF, and the supposedly 45/1.8, that might change the deal for me.
  18. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    I started buying manual lenses for two reasons: (1) they fill holes in my lineup because the corresponding native lens is either not available or too expensive, and (2) I love the feel of old manual lenses.

    (1) is going away with time as either the corresponding lenses comes out (e.g., the Oly 45mm f/1.8 could replace my Minolta 50mm f/1.4 in most cases) or I save up for the ones that were out. It is not completely gone, though. For example, the Blue Angels were practicing over my neighborhood the other day and my best lens choice turned out to be my Minolta 135mm f/2.8. I got some good shots with it that I'm not sure I would have gotten with the Panny 45-200mm or 100-300mm. I really would have liked to try an MD 200mm f/2.8, but alas, I have not.

    (2) hasn't gone away and likely won't (the Oly 12mm is the closest so far), but practically speaking, it takes a back seat to other considerations in many cases. I have a relatively small LowePro bag with my GF1, 14-45mm, 45mm, 14mm, 20mm, grip, and EVF. Even the legacy lenses that are small enough to swap out tend to be significantly heavier.

    In summary, I love legacy lenses, but as the system grows, I find myself going more native.
  19. ke7dbx

    ke7dbx Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    This also why I use legacy. You know how cool it is to use a 500mm lens on a Pen and have that lens cost under a 100 dollars? I know a lot of people are impressed seeing it. It's also nice to be able to be more tactile with my photos. Instead of having it all automated.

  20. Plattso

    Plattso New to Mu-43

    Jul 17, 2011
    Glass and plastic

    Yeah. Interesting stuff. This makes a couple sequential days of working on the bees and little insects around the nearby flowers where I live. Both days basically the same technique. Set the lens on its nearest focus, aperture widest, and move my face in and out to zero in on the insects. First day, GH2 with Leica-R adapter and 135 Elmarit-R. Next day, GH2 and Pana 100-300.
    I played a little with the autofocus second day. You know what? I really like the feel of that big-ace hunk of glass, the legacy lens. Way less plastic-y, and faster f-wise. If you can snatch that ltty-bitty focal depth, the Elmarit makes way nicer bokeh. When using the 100-300, I was going like "what the..f5.6!
    Give me a break" 'Course that's between a zoom and a prime, I guess, but still.
    Anyway. Give me that hefty chunk of quality glass any day.
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