Thoughts on Adapted Prime Lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Boatman, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. Recently I was shooting some portraits and I needed a fast, roughly 50mm lens. I used my Takumar 50/f1/4. However, this lens is just a touch too long for shooting more than one person in a small room. I own a Hexanon 40/f1.8, which would have been a better length, but I didn't have it with me, and I don't really care for the color tones of that lens.
    I think I would like to add another 40mm lens to my kit to replace the Hexanon. The Minolta 45/f2.0 and the Olympus 38/f1.8 both seem like good candidates. Can anyone compare the two and comment on which would be the better lens? Assume that I'm going to typically use it stopped down one or two stops. How would their sharpness and clarity compare?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  2. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2016
    Not really an answer to your question, but here's my experience with adapting the slightly-sub-50mm FL to m4/3. I recently had a Summicron 40mm f/2 whose design was co-produced by Minolta. It has a cult following in the Leica M-mount world for its excellence and collectibility. I thought that the Summicron adapted to m4/3 was extremely good, rendering nice color, to my eye, but let it go because its used market value was sufficient to fund two native m4/3 lenses that I wanted. Although I am not a Minolta user, much has been written in favor of Minolta lenses manufactured during the years immediately following their partnership with Leica. I expect that Minolta rangefinder glass in the 40-45mm FLs manufactured in the mid- to late-70s would be quite good.
  3. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2014
    The PEN-F 38/1.8 and Minolta 40mm/2.0 have some cult following. Afaik the 45/2.0 doesn't. I haven't tried either Minolta, but the PEN-F is something special. Wide open, it's nice for portraits with IMO beautiful colors and bokeh (sometimes a little swirly). Stopped down past f2.8, it's very sharp. I think you should look at some sample pics to see whether you like its distinctive look.
  4. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Try a Konica 35mm f2.8 - mine is pretty decent. 70mm effective is still pretty long for a few folk. A 28mm lens might give you some more room to move. A Komine made Vivitar 28mm f2 should be pretty decent.
  5. I have the 12-35 Panasonic lens, which would cover the 28 and 35mm lengths - and give me auto focus. I prefer manual focus for portrait work though the eye focus feature of the G7 is very impressive. I suppose I'll have to watch for deals on both the Minolta and Olympus lenses, buy both and ditch whichever one I like less. Either that or learn to like the Hexanon 40/f1.8 more!
  6. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    A 58mm on a focal reducer would be about 41mm.

  7. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    If you like 'em small seek out a Pentax XS 40/2.8, it's essentially their Limited prime but was built for the K-01 mirrorless. At about 3/4" thick it's still tiny even after K-m43 treatment, and can be found for $100ish at times. Excellent lens.
  8. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa

    good lens ... but I get confused when I then read...

    Which is sort of what I thought of when I read portrait ... so if I read this right, you needed a focal length (which I think is a good portrait focal length) that somehow then wasn't what you needed? So did you mean "I thought I'd need 50mm but I was wrong and its too long, so what do you suggest?"

    Well, if that's a correct reading of your question, I don't think that there will be big differences between a 50mm and a 40 (for you needing to include more people in the portrait in a small room) so perhaps I'd look at something like 35 or 30?

    Its sounding to me like you need something more like "normal" than tele and so I'd say if you didn't want to pop for a new adapter just get one of the Takumar 35mm lenses ... should do well.

    Also, I'd not wipe the Sigma 30mm f2.8 off the table, as its well enough priced (competitive with anything I've seen mentioned above) and good optically that you'd probably find it fits your needs.
  10. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    Not exactly what you are asking, but what about hte upcoming Sigma 30mm 1.4?
  11. Just did some wrangling with the same thinking..and looked at the same lens pathway. I'll second the Oly Pen F 40/f1.4 as a possible... they're available on eBay. The other possibles are 35mm in various f stop flavors..the likely pick being the Canon FDn f2.0. It avoids the thorium glass issue and seems to be pretty sharp from what I read. After really thinking about what my needs were and what else I would be doing with it, I ended up pulling the trigger yesterday on the Oly 45 f1.8. But that doesn't seem to be an option for you, given your signature. I get the whole manual focus/legacy glass thing..been there and tried it and I would go back to it. Still have the Oly OM macro..and that's an excellent place for manual focus/legacy glass. But for faster medium/short tele with narrow DOF, I started rethinking that strategy. Probably quicker to nail proper focus with the 45..especially in a non formal portrait mode where things don't always sit still for or two seconds turning on peaking or magnifier and adjusting could mean missing the shot. Autofocus just seemed like the smarter thing to do..although I would do both if money would allow.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2016
  12. emergo

    emergo Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    my question is, why an adapted lens in this case? Oly's 45, and Panny's 42.5 are both excellent, so why not go native and benefit from the features of the modern lenses?
  13. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    If you like the way the 50/1.4 looks, might I suggest adding an inexpensive focal-reducer adapter? You can get a Mitakon Lens Turbo, RJ Focal Reducer, or no-name eBay option for around $100. Depending on the lenses you have, the most "universal" option is a Canon EOS-M4/3 focal reducer, and an M42-EOS adapter stack.

    I use my Takumar 50/1.4 on a no-name Canon FD focal reducer sometimes, giving me a 36mm/f1.0. Honestly, I don't feel like it's particularly usable at f1.0, but at f1.4 it's at least as sharp as the basic lens at f1.4.

    Here are some examples from that combo:





    Almost certain that those last two are at f1.0.

    Just a suggestion, might be a good way to get more bang for your buck!
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