Suggest My first piece of Legacy glass

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by UnivTex34, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. UnivTex34

    UnivTex34 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    Only been a non P&S user since May, but have quickly fallen in love with my E-PL1...
    My kit includes 20mm, 14-150mm, and kit....

    I would like to try some legacy glass next, but am so far over my head its not funny. So since near everything I have learned has come from this site, I figured y'all were just the folks to set me straight... I would like to keep it relatively cheap (as you can see by my purchases since May, I have spent way too much at this point.)

    So 1,2,3 GO!
  2. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2010
    Any 50-sh f1.4 lens - can be a great learning tool and a portrait lens, and most of them should be within $100 on ebay.
    There are Canon FD, Konica, Minolta MD, Olympus OM, Pentax, Nikon.
    I have a Konica 57/1.4, but that's because I wanted something longer than 50mm, otherwise would've probably gone with Canon FD.

    Second - a macro lens, but that's only if you really need a macro, 14-150 is actually pretty good for closeups.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    I would second what zettapixel said, though I would add do not ignore some good 50/1.7 and 50/1.8 lenses such as the Minolta Rokkor or Pentax or Canon FD. They generally can be had cheaper - under $50. And don't forget to factor in the cost of an adapter ($20-$25). Even a 50/2.0 would not be a bad place to start for under $30 to see if you like it.

    Not everybody likes legacy glass because it is a bit more work but the results can be quite satisfying.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    To start off with, and to determine whether legacy lenses are going to be your "thing", I would second the suggestion of a 50/1.8 or 50/1.7. I think I picked up a Canon new FD 50/1.8 for about $20 once including shipping from the US to Australia. Something like that plus a cheap adapter is a very cost effective entry into legacy lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. John Bourne

    John Bourne Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 30, 2011
    A large tumbler. Filled with good scotch whisky.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    Just more support for what the others have said. Since you don't know if you'll even enjoy MF on legacy lenses, don't sink too much into your first lens. And the 50mm focal length is by far the cheapest one to get into, especially if you keep away from the fast (<= f/1.4) glass.

    I just picked up a 50mm f/2 Yashica for less than one US$--and it's great. In fact, it's become my favorite legacy lens. Point is, you don't have to spend very much to get some really enjoyable lenses, so trying it out shouldn't cost very much.

    Once you're hooked, however, . . . .
    • Like Like x 1
  7. UnivTex34

    UnivTex34 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    The nifty was what I figured you all would suggest....

    anyone go a link for a dirt cheap one?
  8. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    Give it a try

    I will give you my two cents.

    The only reason I tried legacy glass was because the two zooms I had were slow and the panasonic 20mm lens was not very long. I wanted something that would reach out a little with a low f-stop.

    I have played with Minoltas, Canons, Konica-Hexanon's, Olympus OM's, and Nikon Lenses. I even bought a Pentax but I woke up and realized that I had gone nuts with the Adapters and I am now trying to get rid of many of these.

    Here is what I have learned in a nutshell (so far... and subject to change).
    1. You can get a cheap legacy lens from ebay or this site and they are fun to try. If you don't like it, you can probably sell it for what you paid for it. No real penalty to try an old lens.
    2. I found some lenses harder to focus than others. If you have trouble focusing it, perhaps try another type of lens. Somtimes, the same lens is improved if you get a later version. Buy the newest "old" lens you can find.
    3. I found some lenses can have minor problems at low f-stops like CA or lack of sharpness. If I want to shoot at f4 for f5.6, I have the micro 4/3 zoom lenses to cover that. I use the legacy glass for f2.8 and below. If the lens has problems with the aperature wide open, that defeats the purpose.
    4. The Canon FD lenses are the easiest to get. Nikon and Olympus lenses seem to cost significantly more money for the same lens. I love the Olympus lenses but they are harder to get at a good price. So far, I have not been as impressed with the Konica-Hexanon and Minolta lenses that I tried.
    5. The 50mm lens is a great one to try. These are usually the cheapest and most plentiful. Canon 50mm f1.8's are really cheap.

    Shameless plug, I have some lenses to sell you...... :)
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have tried many MANY legacy lenses with my m43 bodies and I find that I prefer the Olympus OM50/1.8 as it is relatively cheap (I recently picked up the MIJ version on eBay for about $30) and delivers outstanding results.

    That said, it really depends on what you find desirable in a lens. I like reasonably sharp and good OOF background so the OM fits the bill. If you must have ultimate sharpness then the Konica 50/1.7 is a good candidate...and so on. You get the idea. Unfortunately, when you ask an opinion you'll get 100 different answers from 100 different folks. I would suggest taking a trip over to the adapted lens sample image archive on this forum and see what you like the look of.
  10. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Since you already have lens type advice, I'll pitch in buying advice.

    Old lenses likely have dust inside. Dont freak out, but make sure it's not a lot of dust.

    Make sure the aperture blades are oil free (oil on the blades make the aperture slow to non responsive) and confirmed they are snappy and the ap has positive stops.

    Ask and make sure the focus ring is smooth and not too tight or too loose.

    Confirm there is no fungus on the lenses and also that there are no scratched on the glass. Brassing and some paint wear is Ok as long as the lens is cheap.

    One other fun lens suggestion is the Fujian 35 1.7 lens, but google about that lens on m43 as there are a couple of adapter tricks. That's a real fun and cheap lens.

    For adapters try rainbow imaging if you are in the states - cheap, good quality, fast shipping.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  11. UnivTex34

    UnivTex34 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
  12. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:

    I was somewhat kidding because I have already sold an Olympus 50mm 1.8 as well as a Canon 50mm 1.8 (read... I don't have any real cheap lenses left).

    I do have a really nice Olympus 50mm 1.4 that I plan to sell along with a 100mm and some Canons, 85 and 200, and a Pentax 135, and a 35mm 1.9 K-H mount.

    I don't have any links at this time. I plan on putting them up when I have time. If you want a link to photos from my 50mm lens, see this recent post.

    If you want to consider the 50mm 1.4, I will send pics. I owned 3 50mm Olympus' and this was the best.

    Sorry for turning this into the marketplace.......
  13. UnivTex34

    UnivTex34 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    Ahhh, ok gotcha....

    I anyone else comes across a good deal, I would love a PM....

    Also, if any of you Texas shooters know of a place in Austin or San Antonio that carries good legacy glass, a heads up would be awesome!!
  14. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:

    For a quick look at lenses, you can look at places that sell them and have significant inventory. Places like comes to mind. Look up 35mm, then manual focus, etc. for your brand. This gives you an idea of what "used retail" prices are.

    The best bargains can be had at yard and estate sales where the old 35mm equipment is something to get rid of.

    Your local craigslist is another good spot to browse through.

    ebay is loaded with legacy glass. You will pay the ebay market value on there. The good news is that you can also sell it back if you decide its not for you. Usually you are only out for shipping.

    Good luck shopping and let me know if you decide to go for an Olympus 50mm f1.4.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The acqusition of legacy glass is an arduous and lengthy process that is the result of a life richly lived and certainly not an end unto itself. One does not acquire MFT then set about collecting legacy glass! On the contrary one has accumulated an eclectic brew of glass over the years and falls into MFT and uses the vast pile of legacy glass as a cushion for a soft landing when jumping out of film and slrdom.

    If you want to go putting the cart before the horse then go right ahead. Despite the previous recommendations I suggest something more along the lines of Nikon manual lenses like the 35mm F1.4, 135mm F2 and 50mm F1.2 because those are real manly mens legacy glass-not to be found on ebay for $50.

    I suggest an approach that uses the quest to acquire legacy glass as an excuse to go out to flea markets and garage sales (a good opportunity for some street shooting) to find some long neglected gems. $50 will go alot further in this realm than can ever be done online.

    Another approach is to endear yourself as an aspiring shutterbug to some old codger (grandparents and relations are good, too) with way too much gear by asking a whole bunch of noob questions until the codge gives you some of their glass for free - like lost dogs (or too many puppies) placed in a loving home. Legacy glass is kind of like that so don't rush it.

    Or, just take everyone elses advice. What do I know ... I feel a rant coming on so I'll just slowly back away from the keyboard.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. UnivTex34

    UnivTex34 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011

    love this post....
  17. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    Steve is a good source for legacy glass. Never be afraid to buy the BGN (bargain) grade. They are really good. Avoid UGly because that means they don't work. Be warned, however: KEH is a big candy store.
  18. UnivTex34

    UnivTex34 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    Have a few pending bids on ebay for 50 mm...

    also just got a Vivitar, Macro focusing zoom, f=70-210nn, 1:4.5, Canon FD Mount, front and rear caps here on the forum for 10 bucks....

    I figured why not....
  19. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    These are two legacy glass threads here--one that shows images taken with legacy glass, the other showing legacy glass on a m4/3 camera. Why not browse those threads for some ideas.

    Push come to shove, get a 50mm. But I would think about a brand you would like to use as adapters can start adding up if you collect a bunch of brands. I would look at the major brands as their selection will be greater and you will have more choice.
  20. dyrmaker83

    dyrmaker83 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2011
    Washington, DC
    Real Name:
    I'd suggest keeping an eye on Craigslist for manual focus cameras, not necessarily searching for the specific lens you want. I snatched up an Olympus OM-10 with MIJ 50mm f1.8 for $35. The good thing about this is that you get a film camera should you want to use film, and they usually have additional lenses too. Mine came with a Vivitar Series 1 zoom, which turns out was a premium third party lens.

    My 50mm looks brand new. I was concerned at first when I saw a foggy old Vivitar UV filter, but taking it off revealed flawless glass. I love Craigslist.