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Use Adapted Lens Over Native Often?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by BobBill, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    I am Nikkor shooter and wonder how many might use adapted lens more than their native offering? And why, considering?
  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I have a history with the 4/3 and then micro4/3 mount going back close to 10 years.

    In the early days, when the native lens range was limited, I did buy and use a lot of manual adapted lenses, Nikkors, Takumars, Contax, Zuiko and my partners Leica lenses

    8719263519_f5371e9c1a_b. P5080012 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    8720385680_689798be04_b. P5080009 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    8719263657_c6a7d76a49_b. P5080017 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    Collecting and working with theses was a fun exercise, and I got many shots I was pleased with.

    Legacy lenses

    I still have all the lenses, and very occasionally pull them out to play around, but find that today, with the increased numbers and quality of native lenses available that are tailored to the platform, that the whole manual focus, stop down, working with bulky lenses and adaptors becomes a bit tiring rather quickly.

    Your mileage may vary

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    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    Makes sense to me. Ever try with Sony E-mount Nex series? Just curious!

    I have 4/3 and the A6300 and each has its +s and -s but seems 6300 is easier with adapters etc...still, love my only EP3.

    Hard to tell end-results apart...

    I'm like most, what is convenient works.
  4. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    I transitioned from Nikon to Micro Four Thirds and bought a Speedbooster as the first thing. Now I'm transitioning to EF so I can get autofocus on my adapted lenses. I'm an APS-C shooter that went to "APS-C" "again" via a focal reducer.

    I get the (crazy) optical quality and light gathering capability that I can't get from Micro Four Thirds in the sense that I have "exotic" glass like a 13-25 f/1.2 (Sigma 18-35 1.8A) out of it. The weight isn't a problem for me but I have also have a 14-42 retracting pancake and a 40-150 f/4-5.6 anyways.
  5. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I think I tend to use both adapted and native glass about the same. It really depends on what I feel like doing, or trying to create. I know certain lenses will get me certain results, be they legacy or native. I just choose the one I want for the situation.
  6. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    This is a bit of my opinion, but this is the strength of Micro Four Thirds. Want a fully gripped E-M1II with a Speedbooster and a Sigma 50-100 f/1.8? You can have that. What about mounting that on a tiny GM5? You can have that too. Or a small M43 prime like the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. Or the 12-32 if you don't really care for the aperture.

    ...Or bring both bodies, in one bag. Or two bags. Pick and choose.
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  7. The Grumpy Snapper

    The Grumpy Snapper Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2017
    Having a collection of manual focus primes going back to the mid '70s when I got my OM1 I use adapted glass more than I use my native glass these days. For my personal work I put together a small set of 3 (or sometimes 4) manual focus primes like I shot with as a photography student all those years ago.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    My experience agrees with that of Kevin. Different story, same plot.
    My film cameras were OM-system.
    My first digital camera was an Olympus.
    My second digital camera was a Nikon. Once the D70 arrived, I was off and running and eventually developed a rather satisfactory inventory of Nikkors. I even had a few non-AI hand-me-downs from family.
    Once I dipped my toes back in Olympus m43 two of my very first purchases were adapters for OM and F mount legacy lenses. I found that the only lenses that make any real sense are those designed for manual focus, which kinda sorta includes some AF-D Nikkors, depending on your comfort level with the loose-for-AF focus mechanism. AF-S and G lenses are not much fun on an adapter. Zooms are a PITA - pick a focal length and stay there.
    I found the OM lenses more appealing since they were generally smaller, lighter and focussed closer than their Nikkor counterparts.
    If your purpose is to slow down and shoot as if you were shooting film, then OMs, Nikkors and the like are fine.
    But, if you are engaged in time-sensitive photography, the camera is engineered for native lenses. My MF lenses only come out once in a while.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Why is easy: there's no m43 native tele-macro. There was a fair amount of encouragement over time for them to make a longer one than the 60 and the response was... we got two new ones, only both half as long.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    yeah a longer macro does seem to be a missing element... especially as you see how into macro the OM system was back in the day

    Zuiko for Macro-photography - PART ONE

    maybe in those days the camera division and the medical imaging division were a in a closer realtionship

    that site is a great resource for legacy lenses from Olympus and Nikon, maybe others

  11. ralf-11

    ralf-11 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 16, 2017

    That is the only lens I can think of that is not represented in the m43 system that I would want. OTOH, the 45 Leica macro is very slow to focus. There are no current Nikon 200 mm micro or 70-1980 zoom macro lenses but you can buy a used one with some searching & waiting.

    The DC lenses seem obsoleted by selective focus in body.

    There are no tilt/shift ones in m43 IIRC.

    I'm very happy with the Leica bokeh-cream 12-60 zoom...

    But, I sure wouldn't mind seeing a Nikkor 105 micro adapted onto a GX85...
  12. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I don't have any native glass... :redface:
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  13. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Like @kevinparis@kevinparis I started with Olympus 4/3rds cameras and back then we had a very limited number of primes to try. Plenty of great zooms. Also Oly never made anything faster than f/2 in the 4/3rds lenses so if you wanted anything faster your choices were Panasonic, Sigma, or legacy lenses via adapter. I never warmed to any of the nifty-50s I tried but I was always a fan of my Oly Zuiko 135/2.8 lens. I found it easy to work with and gave pleasing shots that were a bit different. My other non Oly lens was a Sigma 30/1.4 lens which is a great lens when you nailed the focus but that one was a bit of a little bitch to work with and it wasn't always a simple point, AF, shoot situation, You had to make sure you had it or refocus or fine tune in manually. But as I said, if you didn't mind having to really pay attention it made wonderful photos.

    But once micro came around the number and range of fantastic primes is now an embarrassment of riches, I still try to play with some of my old legacy primes I use via adapter but not with so many native micro lenses already covering those focus lengths and those fast apertures, it can be a bit difficult to force yourself to pick a manual legacy lens from your drawer when sitting right next to it is a virtually identical "digital" lens that will AF and give better image quality to boot. For example, I just recently got a hold of a free Canon 50/1.8 FDn lens that I am playing with a bit to see what it can do. But when the Oly 45/1.8 it setting on my shelf right next to it... :confused-53:
  14. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    I have a case full of native glass that sadly sees very little action these days since I have discovered some real gems in vintage glass.
    My goal has ceased to chase optical perfection now that I don't work professionally anymore in a field where sharpness is paramount (architecture) but I prefer lenses that can help me create a more interesting vision than let's say the average iPhone can

    Once I know how a lens will render a particular situation or subject I then specifically select that one and purposely go and photograph with that.
    If I go to a location of unknown beauty or opportunities (like travel) I still pack my adapted glass and just one native compact wide since I don't have a manual focus that is wide enough.
    If I was to mainly concentrate on fast moving subjects or shooting impulsively then maybe my auto-focus lenses would serve me better
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    I did the opposite: I have enough 50mm lenses that I use rather frequently and the O45/1.8 was sitting there neglected. :( 
    So I decided I will take her out for a walk and try to photograph close-up subjects with it but I failed, miserably o_O 
    The focus-by-wire is erratic and jumps too quickly/easily for me, not to mention that lack of visual feedback on bokeh/OOF in the background as I stop down the lens to create the look I desire.
    For me the O45/1.8 comes to play only when there are fast moving subjects, where composition takes second place and "getting the image" is more important.
    That does not happen often enough for me...
  16. 3dpan

    3dpan Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 11, 2017
    Far North, New Zealand
    If you get tired of that C/Y Zeiss 85/1.4 anytime, let me know. I'll give it a good home, and even use it occasionally.

    :)  , :) 
  17. RogerM

    RogerM Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 10, 2016
    En Zed
    My only current native lens is my P20 on my GF1.
    I use the GF1 a lot when walking about; when going out to 'do' photography the old D300 Nikon and a couple of lenses gets hauled out...but I spend a ton of time using a big range of adapted lenses on the GH1 in and around the garden. Mostly plants, flowers, insects, birds. I don't mind the PP, a stop down and they're pretty sharp with pleasant character; I've tried native lenses but for these subjects manual focus and stop down works for me. It seems easier to compose the out of focus elements too.
  18. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Hahaha....Must dig it out again... It is big and very heavy, and not helped in my case by a mount that doesn't click with great certainty to the adaptors!

    It is a wonderful lens ( a birthday gift from my partner), though I feel, while it works very well on full frame, that some of the magic is lost on the smaller sensor.


  19. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 15, 2016
    12-40 f2.8 is my workhorse, which is used for 90% of the work.
    As soon as work is over pentax 50mm f1.4+ speed booster or c\y zeiss 28mm f2.8+t/s adapter seldom leaves the body.
    Still searching for good rectliniar 12-15mm f2.8 aps-c or ff prime. Everything i've tested either doesn't come close to mft lenses, or is out of my price range.

    Anyway- those lenses offer me artsy fartsy alternatives to clean and sterile pro lens.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    My native lens selection has built up to the point where it's usually all I have in my MFT bag. I do still use adapted lenses for more specialist applications, but that now a relative small proportion of the shots taken with my MFT kit.
    Probably the most often used adapted lens would be a 600mm mirror via a focal reducer. No chance of anything affordable coming out in that sort of length & a native mount. macro set-ups are probably the next most frequently used adapted kit.

    My daughter only has adapted lenses for her camera - not something that's likely to change soon - but she doesn't have any demanding roles for it either. :) 
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