This may be a dumb question, but.....

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Agent K, May 2, 2012.

  1. I am relatively new to the MFT world having only used native lenses, I have a question about using antique lenses.

    Is is possible to use an antique large format lens, if adaptable somehow, on an MFT camera. Has anyone tried it? Or is it not even worth trying.

    Thank you in advance for my ignorance, I'm attempting to cure it. :rolleyes:
  2. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    Most manual focus lenses from the past work using an adapter and shooting in aperture priority.
    To find the correct adapter you must know which mount your lenses use. If it's possible, someone out there already made an adapter and they are usually quite cheap.
    It's one of the joys of mu43. I use my old Konica AR lenses and a few others this way.
  3. Thanks, already have a couple adapters on order. I have been sifting through the adapted lens forum for a while. I have seen all kinds of adapters and adapted lenses on here, but nothing in the way of large format lenses (old bellows, and wet plate, if my terminology is correct). I know you get into some huge diameters to try and adapt so is it worth trying out though.
  4. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    You can use any lens that you can find a way to attach to the camera.

    I've tried a number of lenses by jury rigging them to the front of a bellows unit. The problem with large format lenses is they are usually pretty long and slow. And if "antique", low resolution. The shortest large format lens I've tried is a 127mm from a Super Graphic. The results weren't worth it. There are much better lenses out there. If I want a "character" lens, there are other, easier ways to get there.

  5. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    It's possible. Can you change the aperture on the lens itself?

    You can get cheap c mount adapters, and use glue or something to mount your lens to that.

    Is it worth it?

    no, the resolution on those large format cameras are very low and you are only going to use a tiny part of the image circle, and large format lenses have a long focal length and tiny apertures.
  6. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I dunno the answer, I see two initial problems.

    1) Most large format antique lenses focus via an expanding/compressing bellows behind the lens, not internally like modern lenses by twisting a ring on the lens. So even if you could fit the lens to an existing adapter, you will only have one fixed focal plane. In order to focus you will have to physically move the lens/camera to a predetermined distance from your subject. To shoot another subject you will again have to physically move the lens/camera to the same predetermined distance as your previous shot(s).

    If you can adapt a bellows between the lens and camera, now you can focus on different subjects without moving. These bellows are available for 35mm macro photography (which will need another adapter).

    2) If I recall correctly, all antique large format lenses were attached to a lens board via a screw mount. If you can find a screw mount adapter which fits ... you're in business. There are many adapters available, one may fit.

    If you are seriously determined to use antique large format lenses ... it is probably easily doable with the right adapter(s) and a decent machine shop ... or a roll or two of duct tape.

  7. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    Real Name:
    William Barnett-Lewis
    Well, LF lenses are a bit of a different critter. You'd have to manufacture your own adaptor from probably cardboard or balsa wood, it'd be fairly long (my wide angle on 4x5 is a 5" lens ;) many of the rest get to be far longer in focal length) and then you'd still be getting only the center of the lens. Next, you'd either have to set a fixed focus - presumably infinity - or figure out how to make the lens move back and forth. I doubt there is anyone who has made a bellows for :43: Thinking a bit about it, you might be able to use a macro bellows for something like Canon FD and an adaptor to get a focusing mechanism. The last bit is that every lens is going to be unique so you'd have to create adaptors for each of them.

    Can it be done? Of course, but it'll be a handful to accomplish is all. Personally, I'll keep using my LF glass with sheet film :D
  8. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    Many large format lens are older, uncoated and designed to cover a much larger image circle, meaning they are way bigger than any 35mm lens. I have a 360/5.6 for my speed graphics that weigh more than my 300/4. You'll find contrast, chromatic aberrations to be an issue.

    In short, it's doable, but more trouble than its worth.
  9. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    All of the above can be solved with a couple of cans of Pringles, flat black paint and duct tape.

    1. Buy Pringles
    2. Eat Pringles
    3. Spray paint inside of Pringles
    4. Cut Pringles tubes into different sizes.
    5. Find the hyper focal point of the different Pringles tubes
    6. See subject you want to photograph.
    7. Take out applicable Pringle tube, I suggest different flavors for different subjects.
    8. Duct tape lens to Pringles to camera
    9. Take picture.
  10. Wow! A little more complex than I realized. I think I will hold off on that and stick with getting used to some that are a little easier to start off with.

    Thank you all for the input and preventing a what seems to be what would have been a very large headache. lol
  11. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    An old adapted bellows with a T-mount adapter and a hacked lens board is easier.

  12. Pringles!?! :2thumbs: Well, no one said anything about pringles before! at least I wouldn't go hungry while spending the $$ on this project when I try it! :rofl:
  13. Pringles!?! :biggrin: Well, no one said anything about pringles before! at least I wouldn't go hungry while spending the $$ on this project when I try it! :rofl:
  14. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    Not worth it, in my humble opinion. I shot a lot of large format, and loved a couple of Scheider lenses for my 4x5, but the bother of adapting them to m4/3 wouldn't be justified by the results. They're designed to throw a huge image circle to the film -- the bigger the better if you are wanting to use full camera adjustments on a -- 4x5 say (I cannot imagine you trying to fit an 8x10 lens onto an E-P3.) There are lots of reasons not to try this, all mentioned by other posts; I cannot think of a single reason for going forward unless it is for bragging rights to say you'd done it.
  15. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I guess you don't like Pringles ...