Recommended lens/adapter for sweet bokeh & shallow DOF

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Zuri, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Zuri

    Zuri Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2016

    I have read about so many adapted lens that right now I'm more confused than before started looking.

    I got a GX7 (might upgrade to GX85), and I'm looking for a lens that will give me a good bokeh with shallow DOF for subject isolation.

    I saw some 50mm f1.4 lenses (Milonta, Canon, Olympus). Some use a cheap adapter and others the Lens Turbo II.

    Out of the options, what's my best option right now? I'm looking for a cheap but good solution to get the sweet bokeh and shallow dof I'm looking for.

    If I decide to get the lens turbo II, for which mount? Any system that is better and/or has more legacy lenses that are adaptable and maybe cheaper than the other?

    Would appreciate your thoughts.

    Thank you
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What Autofocus lenses do you have now?
  3. Zuri

    Zuri Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2016
    I got 25mm f1.7, 42.5 f1.7 & 14-140mm mark ii.

    Sent from my SM-G935F
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Then I would recommend the 25mm f1.7 and 42.5mm f1.7 for your "sweet bokeh". You won't find better lenses to adapt without spending a bundle.
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  5. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 25, 2014
    I think tkbslc is right in principle; but if you like to experiment, there are a few gems to be had; basically, fast 50mm lenses from a couple of makers are worth a try: I use a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF with a generic focal reducer for good results I can't get with the 45mm f/1.8 (the lens equals a 36mm f/1.0 when adapted!); it's also fun to shoot with a 38mm f/1.8 PEN-F lens, but I think the 45mm f/1.8 is actually the better choice (as your Panasonic 42.5mm will probably be). Other fast 50mm lenses of which I like the results I've seen include the Olympus Zuiko, the Pentax SMC, and, of course, if you can find them cheap enough, the Contax 50mm f/1.4 Planar (though I know of at least one person who actually prefers the f/1.7!). I do have a Minolta 50mm f/1.7 I'll check out one of these days - the adapter is already ordered (not because of the 50mm - because of the 400mm f/5.6 that was also part of the package!). In most cases, the results are interesting enough to warrant a little experimentation, but you should be aware that in most cases, the results won't be any better or more pleasing, just different and often quite worthwhile.

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    What do you plan to shoot? Flowers or humans or something else? The amount of blur depends mostly on the subject distance and from the background distance. Yes, aperture matters, but from 1.8 to 1.4 there's not much difference. To shoot flowers about any lens will give you a lot of blur, even a phone. So it's not all about the lens.

    A focal reducer won't give you more blur: what you get from the faster aperture you loose from the shorter focal length (for an identical framing of the subject).

    So if you want more than what you have now with the 42.5/1.7 you have to look for longer lenses: Tamron 90/2.8, Nikon 105/2.5, any 135/2.8, a Super Takumar 200/4, or even a 300/4 (and a distant background). You can find some of these for less then $100. Or buy an old film camera :)

    Have a look here for a general idea:

    How much blur? - A visual background blur calculator

    but keep in mind that the FoV is going to be a lot different with these lenses and may not be practical, or appropriate, for many shots.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  7. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Sony A7 and a 85mm f/1.4
  8. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    You forgot to say what type of photography you want to do.

    If portraiture is your goal, then the 42,5mm f/1.7 already give you nice DOF, bokeh and subject isolation.
    If you get Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 then you will step forward into another level of DOF and bokeh. In my opinion that's the best native lens for that (I think the Nocticron is equally excellent, but I've never tried one).

    Now, if you are looking to try different (and exotic) kinds of bokeh, then an hold manual lens can be something fun to try. Some of them are quite affordable, others not so.
    There are options for all budgets.
    You have very affordable options on old soviet lenses like Helios or Jupiter (with exotic swirl bokeh) and a bit more expensive on Pentax, Olympus or Minolta (with smooth bokeh).
    My personal choices of manual lenses are made with portraiture in mind and exotic bokeh.

    As for lens turbo or simple adapter, I only use and have experience with simple adapters.
  9. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Minolta made 58mm Rokkor lenses in f1.4 ( < $50USD), and f1.2 ($490-600 in good condition).

    Make sure the aperture moves (and store it with it closed), or budget another $100 for repair.

    An 85mm would be nice, but large and expensive... might as well get the compact Oly 75mm.

    135/2.5 and 2.8 are cheap from Pentax, Minolta, etc.

    Avoid the autofocus Minolta's from the plastic Maxxum and newer cameras as they're not adaptable to mu43.

  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've used quite a few manual lenses. Problem is that old f1.4 and f1.2 lenses are pretty soft until f2. And then you lost any advantage over the 42.5 or 45mm at f1.7/1.8.

    And they end up huge and heavy with the adapter, and focus accuracy sucks unless you use magnify all the time and shooting becomes a chore. If you have one of the native lenses, my best is that you get a 50mm 1.4, use it for a week and never touch it again.
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  11. kurtwist

    kurtwist Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Southern Calif.
    Manual focus is not a chore - but it does require some practice and effort. I check with magnify and find I am spot on.
    Often faster than AF.
    Most legacy f1.4s and 1.2s are not soft wide open when properly focused and in good condition.- Corners may be the exception, but how often do you shoot landscapes at f1.4?
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  12. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    There's always an expensive option as well, the Canon EF 50mm f1.4. The lens itself is very cheap (I got it for AU$220 new, around $170 USD?), the adapter/speedbooster are around $400-650.

    It's autofocus so you can't really complain about manual focus accuracy. Speed is pretty reasonable, however I only use E-M1s so it might be related. Has all the charm of a film lens designed in the 70s because that's exactly what it is.
  13. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Hi, will EF lenses MF on a dumb adapter?
  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes, but no aperture control.
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  15. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That is not my experience.
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  16. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Thanks; Will the iris be wide open, or closed, or at whatever position it was at when last mounted on an electronic mount?
  17. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Normally wide open however if you remove the lens from the camera while holding the depth of field preview button it will be at whatever the aperture is set at.
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  18. Zuri

    Zuri Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2016
    I know that manual focus is not for moving objects but for portraits and when non moving subjects it should be OK. I've already tried use manual focus on my 42.5mm and 14-140 and I can manage it in certain situations.

    The only reason I would invest 400-600$ on an adapter is if I had a lot of EF lenses for example. I cannot justify it for one lens.

    So for legacy f1.2/1.4, olympus and Minolta is the recommended ones?
  19. blumoon722

    blumoon722 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 7, 2015
    Sarasota, Florida
    Are you saying that all lenses should be stored with apertures closed?
    Can you please explain? I never heard that before.
  20. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I have a Nikon Ai-S 50/1.4 and wide open is terrible, usable, but definitely soft and contrast is bad. Same for a Nikon E-Series 50/1.8, Nikon 135/2.8 Ai-S. When I look at the images scaled down on the monitor are fine, but at 100% something is wrong.

    I've read that an adapted fast "full frame" lenses throw inside the "sensor chamber" much more light then required and this extra light bounces around washing out the image. It make sense in my opinion, but I have no idea if this is true and how strong the effect is (and I suppose it is lens and adapter dependent).

    F/1.2 lenses are ridiculously expensive ($500) so I'd just get a used Oly 75 then. Maybe you can get a 50/1.4 for a little less ($200?) but from 50/1.4 to 42.5/1.8 the difference is small.

    I'd rather look for a new Mitakon 42.5/1.2 lens then:

    The ZY Optics “Mitakon” 24mm f/1.7 and 42.5mm f/1.2 (Micro Four Thirds mount) Complete Review - MirrorLessons - The Best Mirrorless Camera Reviews

    (exactly the same blur of the 50/1.4, sells for 260 euros here).

    Or just get a Rokinon/Samyang 85/1.4 (similar price as above) and a very good modern lens.

    You can look for an F.Zuiko 70mm f/2 but all the ones I've seen were quite expensive ($200+). Same for the Zuiko 85/2.

    The Jupiter-9 85mm f2 is probably the cheapest alternative, with a beautiful 14 blades diaphragm iirc.