Quality of Pen f Lenses?

carpandean

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Looking on Ebay, there seem to be a lot of original Pen f lenses for sale for not too much and plenty of Pen f to :43: adapters. Being relatively narrow, they also fit the GF1/E-P1/E-P2/E-PL1 size camera bodies well.

Since I can't afford a ton of Leica (or even Voigtlander) glass right now, I'm wondering about the quality of these old half-frame lenses. Are they at least pretty good?
 

dixeyk

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I have a PEN F 40/1.4 and it is true that it fits better with the small bodies. I have a mint 40/1.4 and it has very nice image quality. It is very sharp form 2.8 on and it has very nice bokeh. I also find that it produces very pleasing color. I like the fact that it close focuses to around a foot (much closer than a Summicron C 40/2 or M-Rokkor 40/2). That said, I don't know that I would put it in the same league as those lenses quality wise...but then again its a lot cheaper.

It depends what you are looking for. Mine is pretty new so I haven't had a chance to really give it a fair shake but I think there are a lot of legacy lenses that are as good or better image wise that you can get for less. If you want something that has a small adapter and fits the small bodied m43 cameras though...its a really good option. Of the PEN F lenses the 38/1.8 is supposed to be the biggest bargain. I've used one briefly and it is VERY nice.

Alternately, a Jupiter 8 with a LTM to m43 adapter is also quite compact and a whole LOT cheaper than any PEN lenses.
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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I used Jupiter 8, and it was very soft. Just until f4 it became useful. Maybe I had bad copy.
Check out this thread https://www.mu-43.com/f40/cosina-50mm-much-sharper-than-my-jupiter-8-50mm-2536/
Before:
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...
Whip off the backside, clean the rear lens group, smack it back together, bingo. Mine suddenly became twice as nice, half as nasty.
After;
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As the Russkis say;"Bit of fileing..."
 

Vidar

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Looking on Ebay, there seem to be a lot of original Pen f lenses for sale for not too much

I also have looked on e-bay for Pen F lenses, but they seem VERY expencive, for me it looks like a better deal to go for a new Voigtander with warranty instead of a beautiful, but overpriced 40 (?) year old F lens...
 

dixeyk

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I also have looked on e-bay for Pen F lenses, but they seem VERY expensive
I have to say I too think they are a bit spendy considering what else is available. My 40/1.4 is a very nice lens but my Konica 40/1.8 is almost identical in image quality and it cost me all of $30. My Konica 50/1.4 is as fast and I would argue is a bit sharper and has better bokeh and it was also $30. The area where the PEN lens do excel is color. Of course that is pretty much the same with every Olympus lens I have ever used.

I still think they are very nice lenses but you have to decide if the small premium (as opposed to a large Leica type premium) you pay for them is worth it. If what is most important is compact lens then they are a great option. If image quality is more important then I think there are a number of other lenses to consider that are as good or better for less money. For the money I think FSU lenses are the best deal going. They come with risks but as my dad used to say "they punch way above their weight class".
 

carpandean

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Thanks everyone for the info!

I also have looked on e-bay for Pen F lenses, but they seem VERY expencive, for me it looks like a better deal to go for a new Voigtander with warranty instead of a beautiful, but overpriced 40 (?) year old F lens...
Some of them were, while others were not. Very hit and miss. It wasn't even condition, either. Some with full pictures of everything clean were on the low end. I posted this after seeing those, then saw more of the high premium ones later.
 

penfan2010

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Using Pen F lenses for micro four thirds

The main reason I jumped into the micro 4/3 system was to use all my legacy film lenses, including a Zuiko 38mm F1.8 for the Pen-F. The image quality is amazing as long as the lens is in good shape and does not have a lot of scratches or fungus (I've been following a number of the Pen-F zooms for sale on Ebay--watch out for the cheap ones, the details say that the lenses have a lot of fungus).

Here are some images from my gallery using the Pen-F 38mm:
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View image in gallery

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View image in gallery

Also, a Texas-based photographer named Kirk Tuck has some good write-ups about the Pen-F lenses-link to one below:

The Visual Science Lab / Kirk Tuck: No more philosophy today. Let's look at a cool, old lens.
 

dixeyk

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That's the thing though, while they are really nice lenses...but I'm not sure how much of a bargain they are. I had a 38/18 for a bit and it was very nice sharp lens but it too wasn't that much better than my Konica 40/1.8 (also $30). If you have one it makes sense to use it. I don't know that I would suggest going out to buy one.

A $30 Konica 50/1.4
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My Olympus 40/1.4 can produce an image close to this but it cost 5X more.



The main reason I jumped into the micro 4/3 system was to use all my legacy film lenses, including a Zuiko 38mm F1.8 for the Pen-F. The image quality is amazing as long as the lens is in good shape and does not have a lot of scratches or fungus (I've been following a number of the Pen-F zooms for sale on Ebay--watch out for the cheap ones, the details say that the lenses have a lot of fungus).

Here are some images from my gallery using the Pen-F 38mm:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

View image in gallery

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

View image in gallery

Also, a Texas-based photographer named Kirk Tuck has some good write-ups about the Pen-F lenses-link to one below:

The Visual Science Lab / Kirk Tuck: No more philosophy today. Let's look at a cool, old lens.
 
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