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Legacy glass or not

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dixeyk, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I am a BIG fan of legacy glass. I think its fun and there is some really nice glass out there that can be had for a song (maybe a looong song). today I went out to shoot a few morning sun steam rising off the fence pictures and I took my OM50/1.4. It was fine and then I came back out with my Panasonic 20.

    It was waaaaay more fun shooting with the Panasonic 20. The AF was convenient, I could MF when I needed to and I felt that things were flowing much better with the native lens. Same is true for the Panasonic 14. I am still a fan of legacy glass but I have to say that I think its time in my cabinet may be coming to a close (or perhaps severely limited). As I get older manually focusing a lens (even with a VF2 on my PEN) is not that fun. I seem to recall it was more fun on my G2 and I suppose the larger body (and better handling) made that a simpler proposition than my current E-PM1. I like the smaller size and convenience of the E-PM1 but I have to say that I much prefer shooting native lenses on it.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. bobbywise

    bobbywise Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Nantes, France
    I'm very new to photography, and am an absolute beginner.
    I got into M43 back in August 2011, when I wanted something smaller than my Canon 550D.

    I remember in one of my original posts when asking about lenses, I said I wasn't interested in legacy glass.

    After a while, I got curious and bought some from fellow M43 users here.

    Sure the native lenses have AF and in many cases probably produce better images. However, for me there is just 'something' about using legacy lenses that makes photography more enjoyable.

    I can't pin down exactly what it is, but I think it has something to do with the following:
    - they are well built and look very nice
    - they feel so smooth when turning the focus ring
    - they feel great when moving the aperture ring
    - in many cases they are old, and older than me (I'm 40 this March) and still do a great job, and have their own 'character'
    - forcing me to manually focus is helping me learn more about photography (sure, I also like to rely on AF, but using manual focus makes me feel in more control -- even if my results aren't perfect :biggrin: )

    I really can't pin it down, but the points above are my general feelings to using legacy glass.

    I'm personally building up a collection of legacy glass and will hopefully use it in years to come on the future compact bodies that come out in the future.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    Well, despite feeling like native glass is a better match to my E-PM1, I understand what you are saying. I have a Super Takumar 50/1.4 that has the most amazing build quality (as does my Konica 35/2.8) and I won't let them go but I keep them more because I admire them as the marvelous mechanisms they are as opposed to their value to me as a lens.
  4. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I shoot legacy glass almost 90% of the time, although I have to say it's not for everyone. I enjoy the more tactile experience with shooting legacy lenses, but it takes a lot of practice to get focusing down. I think everyone should have at least one legacy lens in their collection though, just for fun and the experience.
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I agree with that, everyone should at least give it a try.
  6. chalkdust

    chalkdust Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 29, 2009
    McKinney, Texas
    I seem to go through "seasons." For months I will use native lenses and AF and get great results. Sometimes those will be shots that I think would have been very difficult to achieve with manual focus. Other times I will go months shooting legacy lenses and use manual focus. Sometimes those will be shots that I think would have "fooled" the AF and would have been difficult to get without MF. I am glad I have the choice and enjoy both styles of photography.
  7. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I definitely prefer native lenses, with AF, for most things. But there are still gaps in the lens line up for m43, and if a legacy lens fills a need there they're great. There's no 100mm f2 in m43. I don't need that lens much, but since I already own one, buying an inexpensive adapter made sense.

    I have a 50mm 1.4, too. It's a great portrait lens. But if I find myself using it very much, I'll probably buy a 45 1.8 simply because of the AF.

    I doubt I would go out and buy a legacy lens to use with m43, unless it really filled a need I couldn't do without.
  8. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    I have to agree. I like the idea of using legacy glass, and enjoy mounting legacy lenses on an adapter, then on the camera. But when I actually go out and shoot something I use the native lenses every time. Legacy glass is just too much hassle.

    I have some reasonably good family portraits that I shot indoors with a canon 50mm f/1.4 used wide open. I will probably do that again as a 'studio' setting lends itself to getting everything just right, but outdoors it will be native glass every time. I have an Olympus 45mm f/1.8 on my list of lenses to buy, but until then the long end of my 14-45 and the short end of my 45-200 will be just fine.

    Age may be playing a part - I'm in my late 50s and my eyesight is not as good as it used to be. :wink:
  9. WJW59

    WJW59 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2011
    Amazing what time and changing perspective does to us........

    I have held on to a number of legacy lenses and I'll have to admit I have to be in a certain mood, or need a specific function, to use it on my E-PL2 rather than native lenses. Most of it is screw mount so I'm far more likely to use my Pentax or E-620 because they just balance better with the old heavy glass.
  10. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I don't even bother attaching my native lenses. They stay in the box. I only shoot MF. It's like driving an automatic or a stick. I drive stick.
  11. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    100% Native for Micro Four Thirds here. :smile:
    If I shoot with legacy glass, then the legacy glass is on a "legacy" film body :wink:
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I drive stick as well but I find legacy glass increasingly more difficult to use. I like it, but getting things in focus can be a challenge for my half century old eyes. That said, I do have some legacy glass I won't part with. Whether it is because it gives me something I cannot get with native glass or out of nostalgia I can't say.
  13. taurus9

    taurus9 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2012
    BC, Canada
    Love legacy glass. Started off innocently enough with a $40 55mm 1.8 Pentax MF lens and then one thing led to another and now using Leica R and Contax Zeiss glass. The images that come from these lenses are outstanding IF they are in focus :) 

    So, decided to pony up some Mu-43 AF lenses and use technology called AF :) 

    I will be keeping some of my legacy lenses but will cull the herd somewhat to fit a small collection of autofocus lenses.
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    There are still a lot of things I need legacy glass for. In particular,the 100-300mm range in relatively fast, compact lenses. I do have a full range of lenses available in what I consider "native", which includes both Four-Thirds and Micro Four-Thirds. The Four-Thirds glass gives me my high-powered fast telephotos, but they are rather large in comparison to legacy primes in the telephoto range. I use legacy primes in the 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, 135mm, and 200mm focal lengths. Yes, I know there's a native 45mm, but with SO many wonderful fast-fifties around it's hard to pick just that one when I have half a dozen others I like, lol. xD

    For wider than 50mm, I prefer native as the options are better there... and for the most part faster, too.

    It won't be until the Micro Four-Thirds lens collection is complete that I will start investing in Micro Four-Thirds lenses and replace all my others, both legacy and Four-Thirds. Until then, there are lenses which I need and will continue to use. If they aren't available in native mount then I will continue to use other options, plain and simple.
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