Using 4/3 lenses on a Micro 4/3 camera

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by DownUnderDog, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. DownUnderDog

    DownUnderDog Mu-43 Regular

    I bought a Sigma 135-400mm lens with a 4/3 mount, and an MMF2 adaptor thinking that I would be able to still use auto focus when using this lens on my G1 or GF-1. This does not happen, I can only use the lens on manual focus. Is this correct? I want to use the lens for bird photography, so I need speed and both hands operating the lens. Not being able to use auto focus is a disappointment. Has anyone else used this set-up or any other 4/3 lenses on their M4/3 bodies? I'd appreciate your help.
  2. kenc

    kenc Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 18, 2011
    I am using an olympus 4/3 macro lens with the MMF-2 adapter on an E-PL2. Autofocus works quite well.
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Your problem should have nothing to do with Four-Thirds and Micro Four-Thirds compatibility, but rather a Panasonic-specific limitation.

    The reason you can't use AF is not because you're using a Four-Thirds lens, but is probably because you're using an older Panasonic body. Panasonic has traditionally had a habit of completely disabling anything that doesn't work 100% to their liking, unlike Olympus who will warn us that performance will not be optimum but will still let us make the choice ourselves to use it. In fact, Panasonic even locks C-AF out of some of their own NATIVE Micro Four-Thirds lenses on a Micro Four-Thirds body! On the other hand, all Olympus bodies will attempt S-AF on all Four-Thirds AF lenses and will also attempt AF in all lens+converter combinations which are listed as "incompatible" on their website. Incompatible to Olympus just means "not optimal", but Panasonic takes it literally.

    Newer Panasonic bodies started to slowly add more compatibility with Four-Thirds lenses, and firmware updates also added some as well. Unfortunately, your G1 and GF-1 are very old and have a very limited compatibility list. A new Panasonic body will be compatible with almost every AF lens.

    You're not missing too much though... AF from Four-Thirds lenses which are not CDAF optimized is pretty slow and is better reserved for backup when you can't manually focus for whatever reason, or have time to be lazy. Most of the times you should be able to lock into focus manually faster than AF.

    Just to be sure though... do you have the latest firmware installed in your cameras? If not, then do the updates as they will add to your compatibility list. I don't know which specific bodies/firmware will work with which specific lenses.
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  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    The first generation of Panasonic bodies - the G1, GH1 and GF1 - do not support AF with 4/3 lenses that are not CDAF-enabled. All other Panasonic m4/3 bodies, and all Olympus m4/3 bodies do support AF with such lenses, although AF tends to be much slower for non-CDAF lenses like the 135-400.

  5. moccaman

    moccaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    D.U.D, if you cannot get an update to work you may still be able to get a brand new G2 body from dig cam warehouse, they were clearing them at $269.00. If you have someone in the city area see if the High st store has any left, otherwise they will ship for 19 bucks. Great body for the money and its OZ pana stock with full warranty.
  6. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    DUD looks like the earlier responders have identified the root of the issue. As an Oly user, I can confirm that the AF on my Oly 4/3 70-300 works on my E-PL1 and E-P1 with no issues, using the Panny MA-1 4/3 to :43: adapter.
  7. DownUnderDog

    DownUnderDog Mu-43 Regular

    Great info, thanks

    Thanks for all who posted here. This info helps a lot. I will look into all aspects of this lens/camera combination. Even to consider buying an Olympus 4/3 body to carry this lens. Ned, your post was especially helpful! I'm so proud to be a member of this forum.