Legacy Lens Systems

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by chrism_scotland, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Looking for a little advice and I guess this is probably going to be quite subjective but mainly to add a few lenses to my EP1 kit with a smaller outlay I'm looking to delve deeper into the world of legacy glass.

    I've started with my Hexanon 135mm but I'd also like to add a fast 50 (or thereabouts) and a macro lens.

    I was hoping to do this using the Hexanon mount I've bought to save buying another but struggling to get hold of decent Hexanon lenses in the UK!

    Now I've bee reading up a little and its said that the best legacy glass to look for (price wise) is those for "dead" systems such as Canon FD and Olympus OM.

    I'm really wondering which of the two mounts has the best selection of glass, I guess that both are going to be very easy to get hold of as they seem to have been well sold when they were new but I'd rather if possible try and stick to one "system" of legacy glass if I can to cut down on buying adaptors.
  2. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2010
    Tulsa, moving to Houston
    Real Name:
    The OM system is good optically and can also be used on a Canon EOS cameras should you decide to go that route eventually. Canon FD lenses are generally larger than their OM counterparts and can't be used on any dSLR. I have an OM 50mmf1.4 if you're interested it's here, https://www.mu-43.com/f17/huge-olympus-ep2-micro-4-3-kit-13682/
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Since Konica is no more I would say that the Konica is also a "dead" system. Try looking at the forums GetDPI.com, Fredmiranda.com and of course here. The Konica 50/1.7 and 50/1.4 are both very good. Another "dead" system would be the m42 Penatx Super Takumar lenses. A good place to find them is the Pentax Forums.

    Now, I have tried OM, Super Takumar and Canon FD and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I settled on the OM lenses because I like nice bokeh (and they tend to have terrific bokeh) are reasonably sharp and tend to be more compact than other lens systems (my OM100/2.8 is barely longer than the 50/1.8). That said, I know folks that swear by Konica or Minolta or what-have-you and they each have great reasons for preferring them. If I may suggest...do a bit of looking through the adapted lens sample image archive here on this site and look at the images. See what appeals to you. That may at least give you an idea of what the different lenses are capable of.
  4. RedNumber5

    RedNumber5 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    Antioch, CA
  5. docfox

    docfox Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 26, 2011
    Hatfield, PA
    sitting pretty for mu43.

    Legacy glass is a great way to gain system flexibility at minimum cost. I'm a long-term fan, owner and user of OM-Zuiko lenses. (You might want to review an earlier thread: https://www.mu-43.com/f40/hackers-love-zuikos-optical-truth-13496/.) I enjoy practicing catography with my 4/3 and :43: cameras. My small torti, "Lana" is a frequent model. She is captured above by a 50mm f/1.8 Zuiko and below by an 85mm f/2 Zuiko surrounded by an ancient Vivitar 5000 ring flash.


    I really hate the prior reference to OM lenses as members of a "dead" system. These fine lenses and the cameras and accessories that supported them were part of something absolutly superior spawned by the fine mind of a true genius. Mr. Miatani's oferings are part of something that will long outlive the narrow thinking of most readers of this forum.
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    Clearly many of us use these lenses. The lenses are terrific and can be had quite cheaply as a bonus. In all fairness though the OM system (as well as Konica Hexanon, Super Takumar etc.) is in fact a dead system in that it is no longer being actively developed or supported. That in no way detracts from the quality of it but it is unfortunately true. I don't think that represents any sort of narrow thinking. Now if someone were refusing to try these fine optics out because they were no longer being developed (arguing that it meant they were inferior)...THAT would be narrow thinking.

    FWIW, I find the member os of this forum to be pretty open minded. Part of the promise of m43 is the ease of adapting older legacy glass. That's why many of us are here.
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Minolta stuff is very VERY nice. I agree...it can be found at real bargain prices these days.
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    OMs are beautifully built lenses but you will generally tend to pay more for them than other equivalent SLR lenses. In the wide to standard focal length range they may be physically smaller than a Canon "new" FD lens but not necessarily lighter (The bayonet style Canon new FD lenses were a lot smaller and lighter than the early FDs). Also note that the OM mount had a large flange distance so when you include the length of the adapter they lose some of their size advantage.

    As to which system is better than the other, it is , as you say, subjective.

    I have no experience with Konica, Pentax et al, as my collection of OMs and FDs already covers more than what I need.
  9. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    I should be receiving my first legacy lens for my E-PL1 tomorrow, a MD Rokkor 45mm f2. I'm pretty psyched, ready to try it out.
  10. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hard to go wrong with any of the lenses you or others mentioned here.

    For low cost legacy glass I like the Rokkors. But I have enjoyed every old hunk of quality glass I've stuck o my ยต43 bodies.

    PS. With the Rokkors try to stay with the MD series, fewer issues with old lens coatings.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. theunartist

    theunartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    I use Pentax dslr's because I wanted to try out Pentax lenses. As you probably know, all Pentax dslr's are backward compatible with every Pentax SLR lens ever manufactured or for that matter, every K-mount and m42 lens manufactured for a Pentax... and there are a lot out there.

    The only reason I have an m4/3 camera is its ability to use these same Pentax lenses with the addition of a simple mount adapter. Pentax manual lenses, A's, M's, K's and Takumars will render super clear, contrasty well saturated images out of camera. With available focal lengths from super wide to 300mm telephotos and these are just the primes.

    it was no a no brainer for me, for every legacy lens I purchase, I'm feeding two systems :smile:
  12. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    I meant to start a thread about this - what are the various 'flange-distances' for adaptors ?

    Does anyone have enough to do a side-by-side comparison ?

    I love the OM lenses but the adapters are long.

    Pen F lenses and Leica Rangefinder lenses seem to be tied for 'thinnest' adapter distance at the cost of pricier glass. But you get a more compact camera-system.

    Pentax and Nikon adapters also seem long and the Nikon lenses (particularly the legacy ones) are pretty chunky.

    I've started eying up the Canon FD lenses myself as I hear the adaptors are relatively thin compared to other SLR mounts.

    How do other brands compare ?
  13. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2010
    Tulsa, moving to Houston
    Real Name:
  14. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
  15. KS11

    KS11 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2011
    Busan/Hong Kong
    while that is true about the fd adaptor, the lens themselves are large and quickly eat up any size advantage the adaptor holds over other systems (ie: m42 and om) but on the other hand i only had these three systems to try out on my mu43 system so i can comment on these three specifically.

    a fd 28mm lens with adaptor is the same height (but chubbie in width) than a 50mm zuiko lens with adaptor and 55mm pentax m42 lens with adaptor.
  16. grimloki

    grimloki New to Mu-43

    Jun 18, 2011
    I think Minolta is the best way to go presently. Their MC and MD mount lenses are excellent, their quality is comparable with Canon and Nikon of the same era... They are excellent, sharp, and there was something in excess of 130 lens models in the MD mount alone. Prices are climbing a bit recently.

    As far as adapter size goes, m39 to m43 is tiny. M39 lenses generally carry a premium, but there are some really excellent lenses in M39 mount that can be had for a song.

    Particularly Russian lenses. Quality is a crapshoot... but the good ones are excellent... Optically as good as the Leica and Zeiss equivalents, but with multicoating in some cases.

    The Russians got Leica and Zeiss technology, equipment, designs, lens coatings, etc after WWII as war reparations as well as whatever was in East Berlin at the time. They get a bad rap because they were cheaply made, massed produced, and they are now as much as 60 years old. Sample variation is huge in such circumstances.

    The $20 Industar 69 28mm F2.8 is a great choice. It's miniscule, even with the adapter. I really love mine. It's endearingly flawed, and really fun!

    If course, you can get a Minolta 28mm F2.8 for close to the same. No question the Minoltas are better lenses.
  17. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    To illustrate the point about taking the length of the adapter into consideration when comparing lenses, the following are three equivalent Olympus OM and Canon new FD lenses. The Canons are all slightly larger in diameter but are no heavier than the Olympus OMs. As mentioned previously the new FD bayonet mount lenses were significantly smaller and lighter than their breech-lock predecessors.

    The lenses were all set to infinity to compare them at their shortest lengths. The rear lens caps are identical Olympus caps and do not influence the comparison.


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    <a href="http://s883.photobucket.com/albums/ac33/ttlonline/m43/?action=view&amp;current=P1020873.jpg" target="_blank">[​IMG]"640" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>


    <a href="http://s883.photobucket.com/albums/ac33/ttlonline/m43/?action=view&amp;current=P1020876.jpg" target="_blank">[​IMG]"640" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
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  18. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    Actually, there are adapters available to use FD lenses on Canon EOS bodies that use EF lenses.

    Both Canon and Olympus lenses have good reputations. I had Zuiko lenses for my OM2n years ago and they were great. With :43:, I've kept my legacy collection to the Zeiss lenses I already owned, and three Canon FD lenses. There was no performance related reason for choosing Canon over Olympus, the prices were just too good to pass up.
  19. aw614

    aw614 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 19, 2011
    I found using the Konica 50mm F/1.8 much more size and weight friendly over the Minolta Rokkor PG 50mm F/1.4 due to the shorter flange distance and smaller lens, the Konica is a bit longer than the MKI Olympus kit lens when closed with adapter on
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    By Height

    Height lineup

    • Like Like x 2