The E-M10 and adapted lenses

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dixeyk, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I bought my E-M10 with the idea of never using adapted lenses on it.

    The E-M10 is a brilliant little camera. Paired with the P14 and P20 it makes for a fun, minimalist kit (size-wise). I have been thinking that adding a portrait focal length like the O45 or P42.5 would give me the classic 28, 40, 90 focal length set of the Leica CL/Minolta CLE. While I'm deciding I though that perhaps drafting one of my adapted lenses that usually live on my NEX would work. I happened to have an adapter for my SMC Pentax 50/1.4 and decided to give it a try. Let's just say that my original decision to not use adapted lenses was a good one.

    Well, it technically works in that I can make an image but I am a bit surprised at how clunky the entire process felt. It's the little things too that really make the difference. You need to turn magnify off instead of it turning off when you press the shutter, you have to turn peaking on rather than it simply being on and the peaking itself is so incredibly weak that you're better off just using magnification and calling it good. I know that many folks use adapted lenses with great success but clearly I am not one of those people. For me the NEX (or any Sony for that matter) makes the ideal digital back for adapted lenses. Maybe its my familiarity with the process on the NEX but it works really well for me and I think I'll just leave it that way. I really like the E-M10 and and having a lot of fun using it but I'll stick with native lenses.

    I'm not bashing the camera nor saying you can't use adapted lenses on it because a lot of folks do but I sure didn't like it. Since Olympus and Sony have been sharing technology and Olympus cameras use Sony sensors you'd think that focus peaking could have been of those things that made the jump.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  2. Johnny The Greek

    Johnny The Greek Mu-43 Regular

    119
    Aug 19, 2015
    Generally I agree. I like that for more traditional shooters, the option to adapt old glass is available. Sometimes the rendering is what people crave from those legacy lenses.

    But I also like the notion that I can switch back to wicked fast autofocus with my 45mm. Win-win.
     
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  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I like shooting adapted glass precisely for the kinds of looks I can get that I cannot with native lenses. That said, I'm okay with just grabbing the NEX if I want to go that route. I'm finding I really appreciate the very small kit these days. The P14, P20 and a lens like the O45 are about the size of can of beer when all stacked together. I like that a lot.
     
  4. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    638
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    I have to agree with the magnify half shutter off thing, the sony also has the magnify timer
     
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Maybe it's because the didn't have any decent lenses for a while but I gotta give Sony their due, they do a really good job being a digital back for adapted glass.
     
  6. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    638
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    On the other hand I prefer the Oly's five magnify levels over the Sony's two.
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That is cool but I find the entire process so clunky that it undercuts it's usefulness. At least with native lenses you can make them come on automatically making it a lot less cumbersome. To each there own however, just because I don't like it doesn't mean it's not the best thing since sliced bread for someone else. This is why it's nice to have options.
     
  8. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    772
    May 3, 2013
    California
    Sounds like you found it clunky because of two points: (1) Magnify doesn't disable automatically when you press the shutter button, and (2) focus peaking is weak.

    On the first point, you actually can disable magnify on half-press of the shutter button, it's how I have my camera set up. Magnify -> focus -> half-press shutter button to see the full frame -> shoot.

    On the second point, well, I don't use focus peaking because magnification is so much more precise. Peaking is good for video (and then I don't think Olympus allows peaking during video, at least not with my EP5), where you don't have the luxury of stopping to magnify, but for photography I don't think peaking is worth using.

    I love using manual lenses on my Olympus bodies, lately I've shot mostly with a trio of OM lenses.
     
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  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Good tip about the half press, I didn't know that (FWIW on the E-M10 it's done by changing LV Closeup mode to mode 1)...thanks. Focus peaking isn't just weak it's all but invisible, magnification works well for some folks but in the end there is no advantage (to me) to use the E-M10 over my Sony for adapted lenses).
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
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  10. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    256
    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Simon
    FWIW Panasonic does adapted lenses quite well. Focus peaking is comes on automatically (assuming you haven't turned it off in the menus, and you can assign on/off to a function button) and magnify is simply a matter of doing the usual touch screen zoom gesture. You can move the zoom box by touching where you want it, and increase/decrease magnification using the rear dial, and a half press on the shutter clears the magnification box.
    Might have to get some more old lenses and make use of it :)
     
  11. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    One big advantage is IBIS that you get only on big Sony bodies. I never used other peaking but, from what I've heard, the Pana version is also better. I suppose it may depends a lot on the subject too.
     
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I've seen the peaking on the Panasonic bodies and it's a bit better than Olympus but IMHO not anywhere as effective as the peaking on the Sony. In terms of visibility I found it to be on par with Fuji's. Of course everyone is different and it might work wonderfully for some folks. As far as IBIS is concerned, it's nice to have but I have shot for years without it.
     
  13. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I use @MarkRyan@MarkRyan 's technique setting magnify to disappear at half-shutter. I think it works well.

    @dixeyk@dixeyk Maybe you would have been happier with the E-M10 ii. It has several colors available for peaking.
     
  14. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    772
    May 3, 2013
    California
    Funny, for me IBIS is so fundamental to the focusing process (otherwise 10x magnification becomes very shaky) that I wouldn't want to shoot manual focus lenses without it. Different strokes.
     
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yep, the half shutter works great. I set it up last night. No need for the E-M10 mark II...I don't particularly care about adapted lenses on m43. I never intended to use them with the Olympus anyway. I just tried it on a whim. Using them on the Sony works fine and it's a solution I already own.
     
  16. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I did mention it in your thread about purchasing the E-M10 in the first place, but Olympus simply does not do manual focus aids very well. By contrast, and this is obviously my opinion, but my Panasonic GX7 does a substantially better job than the A7 I used, let alone Olympus. Poor manual focus aids were the dealbreaker for both cameras for me. When the E-M10 first came out I was sure I was going to buy it...

    If you don't like the peaking on a Panasonic model, remember that with just two presses using the touch-screen tab menu you can instantly adjust the intensity of the peaking, which can adjust the effect considerably. And peaking is effective with the magnified view as well.

    With the A7, even with the native 28-70mm lens, the focus peaking would either give tons of false positives when set to "High" while being somewhat usable on "Low," but still not being precise enough to nail. Without a touchscreen, magnifying the area you want requires a button press, scrolling a box around the screen, and then another button press. And then if peaking was on "Low" (because that's how you got it in the ball-park unmagnified) the highlights do not activate when magnified. You need "High" for this. Requiring you to go into a menu and adjust it. In practice, manually focussing on this camera was slower than on my GX1 that only used touch-screen magnification, let alone the GX7 that refined the process to an art. I imagine the GX8 is even better with its ultra-high quality EVF.

    Maybe the NEX models that you have used are significantly better than the higher-end Sonys? I don't have experience with those cameras.
     
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  17. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I agree that the peaking implementation on the Panasonic GX7 is significantly better than any Olympus camera I've used. Thanks for the info on the Sony system. Based on your description I wouldn't be nearly as happy with it as I am with MF on the GX7.
     
  18. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    638
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    Thanks @MarkRyan@MarkRyan and @dixeyk@dixeyk for giving me the information on how this is done. One of those Olympus menu things I guess. On my em5ii it's under menu D -> "LV Close Up Mode" -> mode1

    This makes a HUGE difference
     
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  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I had no expectation that the E-M10 would be a camera I used adapted lenses with so I'm not disappointed really. I was more surprised than anything as I thought it would be at least as good as the Fuji X-E1 in that regard (which is pretty terrible but at least you can use it in a pinch). It's not, the Fuji implementation is tons better IMHO. I know you favor the approach on Panasonic cameras and if I wanted to shoot adapted on m43 I would have considered one, but there are more reasons than peaking as to why I choose not to shoot adapted on m43. The reason I bought into m43 again was to have a small kit (camera and lenses). If I wanted a larger kit that could do both I would have likely bought a Fuji instead.

    I think like anything the Sony peaking is something that either works for you or does not. I find that I get a high rate of keepers with it and it is faster and simpler to use than any solution I have tried. FWIW the peaking on my 5n does highlight when magnified albeit at a reduced level (and I find medium setting to be the most accurate). I am sure part of it is also I have had around 5 years using peaking on my 5n so I know it really well. It has become second nature for me using that system for adapted lenses.

    As I stated above, I like the E-M10 and think it is a great little camera. If does what I wanted it to do and and am very happy with my choice. The P14 and P20 fit exactly into what I was looking for and while I wont be shooting adapted lenses on it anytime soon that's not really significant to me in any way other than I thought it might be a bit better than it is. In the end this little experiment just proved to me that I have one last lens to buy to finish off the kit (an O45, P42.5 or PL45).
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I agree...thanks @MarkRyan@MarkRyan for the tip, even though I am not using adapted lenses it still is a lot nicer when I choose to tweak focus on my native lenses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016