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OMD with Leica Lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by tl1234, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. tl1234

    tl1234 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 5, 2013
    Hi I'm new to the OMD and I was wondering if leica lenses work well with this camera. Does anyone have an experience with this setup?

    Thanks!
     
  2. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    In a word: yes. :)
     
  3. tl1234

    tl1234 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 5, 2013
    Hi thanks for the quick reply. Would you have tried it with the newer or the older versions? And how so they compare to the native Oly m43 lenses?
     
  4. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    I have three Leica lenses: 100 f4 macro on bellows, 400 f6.3 "trombone" and 180 f3.4 APO. Given that none of these has a direct counterpart to any Oly digital lenses, there's no comparison as such.

    That said: the 400 is outstanding, especially with a 2x Leica extender, for extreme telephotography. Tripod mount is a must. The 100 f4 is extremely sharp, but diffraction shows up around f11 or so. Depth of field is a real problem and I haven't had the time to work out a work flow with stacking. The 180 f3.4 is extremely sharp and contrasty, but then again, it was designed to be the sharpest lens possible for the US Navy to take pictures of Soviet ships at sea.

    All of mine are of the significantly older variety, nothing after 1975 or so. All rather battered as well, but optically just fine. I've contemplated getting a 50 f2 Summicron, but found the 4/3 50mm macro f2 to be equal a performer, and autofocus to boot. Hence I've stayed with that. Not that I don't lust after a 90 f2 APO, but that is simply out of my price range...
     
  5. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    I have used my OM-D with various legacy Leica M and R lenses via the Panasonic adaptors and find them totally usable, as long as you don't mind manual focus. Just set the camera to Aperture Preferred and the camera will set your speed according to the aperture you set on the lens. Or just go fully manual and set focus, speed and aperture "by eye" as you go [judging by the instant review between shots] — often my approach, depending on the subject.
    I grew up on a Leica M3, so all manual is not a hassle. I have an M mount [rangefinder] Leica Dual-range Summicron 50mm f2 [now about 50 years old and judged to be one of the best-resolving 50s of all time] that I have used for nearly 40 years now. Recently I bought a R series [reflex] Tele Elmarit 180mm f2.8 — stunningly heavy compared with modern lenses, but exquisite in its colour rendition and bokeh [this also applies to the 50mm f2]. I have two m43 native Panasonic/Leica lenses, the Macro Elmarit 45mm f2.8 and the Summilux 25mm f1.4. Although these lack the "total metal and glass, no plastic" build of the older Leica lenses, their performance is outstanding, especially the 25mm. The modern lenses have better optical coating and the advantage of auto functions for focus and aperture.
    The biggest hangup is price — even old Leica lenses can command very high prices. The Voigtlander lenses in both Leica M and m43 mounts are much cheaper but of a similarly high build quality, though also without any auto functions, and optically outstanding. The thing about both the all-manual Leica and Voigtlander lenses is they are likely to last virtually forever, if well cared for — no micro motors to burn out and no electronic contacts to malfunction.
    Hunting on the net and eBay for old Leica glass can become compulsive — but rewarding when you find a good one at a reasonable price. Enjoy the OM-D, whatever you mount on it.
     
  6. CRGLS

    CRGLS New to Mu-43

    3
    Mar 12, 2013
    There are severe issues with ray angles when using wide angle Leica M mount lenses with any MFT or APS-C mirrorless that leads to magenta corners and/or corner blur. Except Ricoh GXR A -12 M mount, which is specifically designed for Leica lenses, most mirrorless cameras have issues with Leica lenses in the focal length 35mm or below. Things improve at 50mm. The exception is Leica WATE (16-18-21), which seems to perform ok.

    Unless you already have wide angle Leica lenses, it is not worth it to purchase them for use on MFT. I have Leica 21mm SE, 28mm Cron, WATE, 35cron and 35 fle, 50 Summilux and Leica 90 Elmarit. Comparing these to PL25 and PL45 that I own, I have no desire to use Leica M on MFT. Both of these PLs are superb. Leica M lenses work best on Leica M cameras.

    The best mirrorless I found for use with Leica M lenses is Nex 5N (nex 7 gives really bad corners below 50mm with M lenses). Ricoh is very good and sharp but the Nex 5n has a much superior sensor and focus peaking makes is very easy.

    The above applies to Zeiss ZM lenses also and everything I stated is IMHO. Leica R lenses are another story.
     
  7. tl1234

    tl1234 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 5, 2013
    Thanks for all the responses!