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Smallest Adaptors, what are our choices.

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Jorge Ledesma, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2011
    Hello Forum.

    Having recently acquired a few legacy lenses primarily Hexanons and OM Zuiko 50mm I was wondering which adaptors were the smallest. I noticed the the OM adaptor is quite large when compared to the Hexanon but I'd love some insights into which adaptors are smaller and then pick my legacy lenses based on that.

    How is Canon FD, SMC Takumar, etc when compared to the Hexanon/OM ? I'm sure I left out quite a huge list but if there are others worthy, please let me know. Thanks
  2. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    The smallest I know of are Leica M or screw mount adapters. Their only about 10 or 11 mm thick. The lenses are relatively small as well, but kind of expensive.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    SLR lenses all have large adapters. I adapt all my OM lenses to Four-Thirds, and the OM-to-4/3 adapter is just a tiny ring. However, that then has to be mounted onto a Four-Thirds to Micro Four-Thirds adapter to mount it onto a :43: body.

    If you want something smaller, then you will have to go with rangefinder lenses or cine lenses. They were made for a mirrorless system, and therefore have a short flange distance like our own mirrorless system :) 43:) . Rangefinder lenses are the highest quality, whereas cine lenses offer wide apertures and wide angles for cheap but are only of video quality. HD lenses are pretty good, but CCTV lenses are quite low grade.

    My suggestion would be to get an M39 LTM (Leica Thread Mount) aka L39 or Leica M39 screw mount adapter so you can use some of the older, less expensive of the high-quality rangefinder lenses from Leica, Voigtlander, or the very economical Soviet KMZ lenses. You can also get a Contax RF adapter to mount Zeiss rangefinder lenses, or Leica M for the newer Leica bayonet mount lenses (newer in comparison to screw mount).

    If you want to dabble in cine lenses, all you really need is a C-mount adapter. But again, these lenses may have great aperture sizes and wide angles, but they are made for a low resolution (for video, not stills). A lot of them also have swirly bokeh. These are more fun lenses for a photographer, not such serious photographic tools as the rangefinder lenses.

    The other option would be Pen FT, which is not as small an adapter as rangefinder and cine lenses (both of which are very small barreled as well), but the original Pen system didn't use a standard mirrorbox. Instead it had a complex and compact mirror system which was much smaller than the standard SLR mirrorbox. They offer Zuiko quality though, which you already know is great from your OM lenses.
    • Like Like x 6
  4. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2011
    Thanks so much for your insights.
  5. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2011
    Thanks Ned, as usual a very thorough understanding of these great camera systems :43: I really appreciate it.
  6. winx14

    winx14 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 1, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    The C-mount adapter for CCTV lenses are flat (maybe even a bit recessed) if you're into swirling bokeh and slight vignetting.
  7. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    The smallest adapter lens combos would probably be the pentax 110 lens, although no aperture control as it was in body for that set up. Best image quality and small size is probably the olympus pen f adapter and lens, but the lens are mostly trading at premium amounts. 38 f.18 $140 and up, 40 f1.4 $ 250 and up, 42 f1.2 haven't seen it for under $400, also there are a 20mm, 25mm, 60mm f1.5 and a 70 f2.0 and a macro.
  8. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
  9. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2011
    Thanks everyone for all the tips.
  10. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dont forget contax rangefinder mount.
  11. ke7dbx

    ke7dbx Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    On this topic. How do the Leica lens perform. As in do they have a similar depth of field as our mirroless lenses. Why I ask this, just thinking how those lenses are of a similar sizes and proportions to what we see on the micro four thirds. Or am I going in the wrong direction with this question.
  12. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Depth of field is a function of focal length and the distance the lens is focused to. What camera or format size it's designed for will have nothing to do with it. Lenses of the same focal length and set at the same aperture will have the same depth of field on any camera.

    Something that does change is transition from sharp looking to out of focus looking and the character of the out of focus areas. The Leica lenses I've used transition gradually and have nice, smooth out of focus look behind the plane of focus. They tend to look a little busier in front of the plane of focus. The lenses I have experience with are mostly older screw mounts. 50mm/3.5 Elmar, 90mm/4 Elmar, 35mm/2.8 Summaron and an M mount 50mm/2 Summicron.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    ke7dbx, depth of field is irrespective of lens. It relates purely to aperture and focus distance. All 25mm lenses, whether they are m4/3 lenses, Nikon 35mm lenses, or Hasselblad lenses, focused to the same distance and set to the same aperture will give the same depth of field. As to how Leica lenses perform: there's a reason that their basic, no frills digital camera costs $9,000 and each lens costs $2,000 and up. More tellingly, Leicas are currently the most in-demand and hard to find equipment in smaller-format digital photography. If you can afford their equipment (or Schneider, or Zeiss), you won't be disappointed. Although, if you're asking this question, you probably aren't going to appreciate the equipment, considering the price you'll be paying.

    Jorge, while others have recommended C-mount and 110 lenses, while they can go on our cameras with adapters, there are some image issues because of reduced image circle. You are going to have greatly reduced edge/corner performance with all 110 lenses, and most every C-mount lens 25mm and lower.

    All SLR systems, because of the mirror box, are going to have rather large adapters if you want to use their lenses on our cameras. The incredibly expensive Leica lenses that I mentioned above have the absolute smallest adapter for our cameras. Other similarly small adapters (but similarly expensive lenses) are Leica screwmount and Contax G.
  14. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Leica M9 is $7000 USD and their new Summarits start at $1400. (Just sayin since I've seen the $9000 figure twice already).

    * Previous posts are correct.... DOF is function of focal length and aperture. What changes lens to lens is how it looks... or renders. You have to realize that Leica M lenses extend all the way back to the 50s and screwmount go back further. Its hard to generalize.

    * The ones I have work to my satisfaction on an E-PL1. I stay to 35mm focal lengths and longer... shorter focal lengths introduce problems at the corners. This means that the shortest effective focal length I have wit a Leica lens is 70mm... a telephoto. Wide angles I will use native M43 lenses. Most of my lenses are newer types of both aspherical and non-aspherical variety.

    * Yes they are expensive. There is a nice selection Micro 43 prime lenses out there now at a price (and size) that are a better fit for the system (AF, wider focal lengths). I wouldn't go out of my way and spend the cash for such lenses specifically to be used on M43. Its a nice to have if you already own such lenses.

    I mentioned Contax G Rangefinder lenses because they have a similar short flange distance AND are probably better priced in the used market (no current Contax Digital exists).
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