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Leica M to m4/3 Adaptors. Worth it?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by d2mini, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. d2mini

    d2mini Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 21, 2012
    Fulshear, TX
    dennis
    First of all, I'd be interested in knowing what are the recommended, high quality adaptors available. I see a voigtlander on amazon for $179. I've also seen some cheap ones on ebay that have reports of being too tight or eventually wearing out. Would be interested in hearing your experiences.

    Second, is all the fuss even worth it? I have a couple leica lenses, and both a voigtlander and zeiss with m mounts leftover from when I sold my M9 for the OM-D. I love the color that comes out of my 90mm leica and the 35 is a great lens as well. But in real life use, is it worth the hassles to use on the OM-D? Is focusing an issue at all? Any other quirks I need to know about?

    That's a lot of money tied up in lenses so I'm wondering if it's worth keeping any of them.

    TIA!
     
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  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Is it worth it? Well that's a question only you can answer.

    You can buy a lot of nice native AF lenses for the value of a typical Leica lens... depending on which one it is. Some people (me included at times) like adapted manual lenses.... but one of the advantages of the OMD is its fast single focus.
     
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  3. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    You can check out the faux 'focus peaking' on the OM-D EM-5 in this thread:

    https://www.mu-43.com/f92/focus-peaking-olympus-om-d-e-m5-35442/

    I've got it set on my EM-5 for use with a Nikon 50mm 1.8 and it works surprisingly well.

    I use an inexpensive adapter purchased from Amazon that was a tad, not quite a smidgeon :wink:, loose. I used Luckypenguin's procedure to tighten the adapter and it now fits perfectly. I did dedicate the adapter to the lens - any future manual lenses will receive their own adapter in turn. I've not seen any 'real world' (as opposed to apocryphal) stories of the adapters wearing out on the EM-5, but it's early days in the life of the camera model line.

    https://www.mu-43.com/f40/problems-loose-lens-adapters-8779/

    I have no experience with expensive adapters.

    I can't comment on whether you should keep your Leica glass for use on the OMD. However you might consider purchasing one of the less expensive adapters and giving the lenses a try on the EM-5. It's not much of a risk, and you can either return it or sell it if the adapter isn't your cup of tea.

    I enjoy using the Nikon 50mm - it's a decent enough lens and the lens mounted aperture control reminds me of my early days with 35mm film cameras.

    HTH

    Regards,

    Jim
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. d2mini

    d2mini Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 21, 2012
    Fulshear, TX
    dennis
    I can't because I don't own the adapter, hence my question. :wink:
    I'm interested in the experience of others who have gone down this road.

    Yes, i agree about the AF and it's one of the reasons I sold the M9. I don't mind autofocusing but sometimes AF has a clear advantage. In my case, I wouldn't go out and buy an M lens just to shoot on the OMD, but since I already have them...
     
  5. d2mini

    d2mini Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 21, 2012
    Fulshear, TX
    dennis
    Good point.
     
  6. Jodie_harsh

    Jodie_harsh Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Oct 13, 2012
    London
    Give it ago but it may be worthwhile selling the lenses and picking up native voigtlander or one of the Noktor lenses.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It has nothing to do with not having an adapter.... the question was whether or not manually focusing on a system capable of autofocus is right for you. Do you see anything in your manual lenses that is so compelling that you are willing to manually focus them?

    Then why are you even considering manual focusing even now?



    You will get lots of answers here.... but no one can tell you your preferences.



    I can say for sure, that for 90% of the people here it is not for them. For that 10% that do, do so because they like a particular optic. >>> It has nothing to do with AF versus MF << I personally don't mind manually focusing on adapted M lenses (cheap and expensive adapters) but on the flip side, (unlike you) I would not consider selling my M9 which remains my primary camera. In other words, AF was never a compelling reason.
     
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You already own these fine lenses, and you're asking us if it's worth keeping them and using them on an OM-D? Yes it is. Just do it. :)

    The only time you should have to question if Leica lenses are worth it is if you don't own any and are questioning whether or not you should invest in them. Adapters are really not that expensive. Good glass is.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Ned, just because a particular lens bears the name Leica doesn't necessarily automatically make it "worth it". Again.. another personal preference....
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yup, I know what you're saying but my point was more in the way of "You've already invested your money into these lenses", rather than "They're Leica so they have to be good". In fact, bearing the Leica name is what softens that idea rather than strengthens it, because unlike most glass Leica glass will hold its value in the used market a lot better. So if I were to say, "Forget the adapter and just sell the lenses", the fact that they say Leica on them would be a backing reason for doing that. With other brands you would lose too much going that route while a cheap adapter will bring those lenses back to life with little loss.

    Either way, it's all personal opinion anyways. When I buy a good hunk of glass it's because I really like that glass. It would take more than just a change in body format to make me sell that glass.
     
  11. d2mini

    d2mini Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 21, 2012
    Fulshear, TX
    dennis
    It's not a question about manual focus in general. It's a question about manual focus on the OMD. I understand the need to try things for yourself, but a little research before hand might save me some time. As I already stated, I don't mind manual focus. But sometimes AF is good to have. The OMD may or may not give me both options. So i'm just looking for people's experiences. This is not worth arguing over. ;)
    Plus I'm interested in which adaptors are recommended, per my initial post.

    The reason I finally sold the M9 is because since I bought it, technology has moved along far enough that it wasn't worth holding on to any longer. I can now have a totally portable, fully manual, high IQ camera for MUCH less cash. The M9 was my walkaround/travel/fun camera. My nikons are my money makers. After years of using and enjoying the M9 I can say that the camera itself was not worth nearly that much money. Maybe half of what it costs. The glass is great though.
     
  12. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    262
    Mar 2, 2010
    Definitely worth a try. I originally bought into µ4/3 so as to be able to use all my Rokkor lenses. Most of them I've since sold, but the results I get with the 50mm f3.5 macro and Jupiter-9 85mm f2 still regularly please me (and others!). There doesn't seem to be a hard-and-fast rule for which legacy lenses work best when adapted - you may find that your "best" Leica glass disappoints on the OM-D, or that a lens you'd classed as second-best works miracles.
    I would recommend Novoflex adapters - although I'm sure Voigtlander are vg as well, and probably the Panasonic likewise.
     
  13. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    So which Leica glass are we talking about here?

    The typical Leica glass designed on a full frame M are the 28, 35, 50, 90 (on some occasions 75 and 24) which correspond to the popular framelines on a 0.72 viewfinder.... part of the issue with adapting these lenses on an OMD is the 2x crop. The lenses will not be the same as you remember them on the M9. Lenses wider than the 35mm focal length don't work very well at the corners. All of your optics will work more as a mild telephoto.

    Not all Leica lenses are suited nor worth it... Let's take the large 80's canadian built 90mm f/2 Summicron. Its large. It has a very long throw. Personally, I don't think its rendering is all that great. The 135mm f/2.8 Elmarit is the same issue. Both feel unwieldy even on a gripped OMD. On the other hand, I really like the 50mm f/1 noctilux which is fairly soft on the OMD but I find it pleasing. The 50mm Summilux is also nice but I actually like the 50mm f/2.5 summarit on the OMD better. There are some vintage lenses in use by members here that manage to retain their character in rendering even on the OMD 2x crop. So again... no one can honestly answer this question because its all personal preference.

    As for adapters, I use a mix between cheap and expensive adapters. Honestly, I don't find the expensive adapters bring much value to the table. The biggest difference between a cheap and a well made/designed adapter (not all expensive ones qualify) are the tolerances as well as whether or not they use bent metal or leaf springs. The cheap ones will need to be adjusted periodically. It takes less than 5 minutes with a small flat head screwdriver to bend the metal points into position.

    As for use, I carry M9/M8 with selection of focal lengths along with the OMD primarily for longer focal lengths which are not available on the rangefinder. Generally they don't mix unless necessary. One pain point is if you are constantly changing lenses, you have to always change the focal length setting to take advantage of IS. My recommendation is simply exit the M system and the reinvest into some good native micro 4/3 glass. Use the system as intended. Unless there is that optic that has a characteristic rendering that you do not see duplicated elsewhere. From a pure real world in-use experience, many will not find it worth it.

    Its easy to say go for it once you mention Leica branding but only a few here really have any experience with a wide variety of Leica glass to make a fair assessment.

    PS> My cheap adapters (Pentax K, Leica M, M42 screwmount) are from the ebay seller "rainbowimaging". Typical cheap stuff but I've never had a problem with them.
     
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  14. d2mini

    d2mini Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 21, 2012
    Fulshear, TX
    dennis
    I have the 35 cron which would end up being a decent portrait length of 70mm. The 90 which would be a nice telly and long portrait length with good bokeh. I have a 50 zeiss which would probably be the first to go no matter what I decide to do about adaptors. And I have a 15 voigt super wide heliar. Curious as to how that one would work on the OMD.
    Good to know the cheap adaptors can be adjusted. More reason to just give it a go.
     
  15. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Yes. It's worth it. Just be sure to invest in a good adapter (e.g. Voigtlander or Panasonic's M to μ43), rather than a cheapo one. The cheap ones save you money, but the effort they put into maintaining Infinitive focus is lazy.

    They sacrifice your minimum focusing distance for guaranteeing infinity focus. And when RF lenses only focuses down to .7m or 1m to begin with, it's quite a big loss. My cheap M adapter makes me loose 20cm on the minimum distance.
     
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The EVF is very high quality and gives a nice crisp image for manually focusing. I shoot sports using MF lenses using both the VF-2 and VF-3 viewfinders, neither of which are as nice as the E-M5's EVF, and can quickly focus action shots with no type of focusing aid (I can't do this with the LCD). When you have time to use it, the Magnifier tool will ensure dead-on fine focus with either EVF or LCD, and the Keyline Art Mode can be used for focus peaking (do a search on this website). You have a lot more manual focus options with the OM-D than you did with purely optical cameras.

    In fact, the Micro Four-Thirds system is WHY I went back to Manual Focus as my primary technique.
     
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  17. d2mini

    d2mini Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 21, 2012
    Fulshear, TX
    dennis
    I assume the you lose all metering with the adapters?
    How does the viewfinder or rear lcd react? Usually it displays the image over/underexposed per the in-camera metering.
     
  18. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Metering in manual and aperture priority is operational. Light is measured on sensor. Histogram is still accurate.

    Shutter priority does not work because it cannot set the aperture on the lens.
     
  19. d2mini

    d2mini Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 21, 2012
    Fulshear, TX
    dennis
    Cool, thanks! Only worried about manual mode. Good to see the metering still works.
     
  20. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    definitely worth it... at least worth a try for the price of a cheap adapter...infinite focus is only really an issue if you are doing landscapes... and thats not a typical leica way of working.

    My partner owns the leica lenses... and has M8 and M9... but i do get to play... most of these are e-p1... though there are a couple of OMD and GH2

    Leica on Micro 4/3 - a set on Flickr

    favourite lens is the 75 summilux


    K
     
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