1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

what lens to get?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by gnod, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2012
    hi everyone!

    i am looking to begin venturing into using adapted lens.
    i have no idea what/which lens are good but i'm going to try to shoot mostly street style photography.

    i know i'll need to manually focus it so my first question is:
    1) do i need to get a evf? if so, would the ricoh VF2 work with my ep3?

    2) what's a good overall fast lens that i can use on my e-p3? i have an old nikkor lens i used on my fm10.

    3) the "look" that i'm going for is the image quality you often get from shooting film cameras. I'm exploring and learning b/w options in e-p3 and will probably shoot exclusively b/w for now, but when i get the adapted lens ill go into color to mimic the film photos. what lens can give me that kind of look?
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You should definitely get an EVF if you do one of two things 1) shoot outdoors a lot in bright sunlight or 2) shoot with manual focus a lot, particularly shooting action where you don't have time to rely on the Magnifier (if you have enough time on your hands then you can always get away without the EVF).

    You said this is for adapted lenses with manual focus, so my answer would be that you definitely should get an EVF. The EVF makes Manual Focusing much easier, to the extent that you can focus normally like with an OVF on a DSLR, without relying on aids like the Magnifier button or MF Assist (for 4/3 and m4/3 lenses). Of course, the Magnifier button is still there to use and still works through the EVF, so it gives you the best of both worlds. I largely use Manual Focus glass, and when I need to shoot fast I use just the EVF with no magnifier. When I'm shooting static photos where I can take my time, then I can shoot with either EVF or LCD using the Magnifier, whichever is more convenient at the time.

    I doubt your Ricoh VF-2 will work on the PEN, but you can always try. The only cross-compatible EVF I know of is the Olympus VF-2 for the Olympus PEN and OM-D lines, and the Leica X2 for the Leica X2. The Leica EVF2 is a Leica-branded (largely branded, lol) version of the Olympus VF-2. You can use the VF-2 on the Leica to save money, or you can use the Leica EVF2 on your Olympus if you want to pay extra so your Olympus has Leica written on it, lol.

    The Panasonic EVFs may look like they use the same accessory port, but they are not cross compatible. In fact, the LVF-1 is only compatible with the GF series and the LVF-2 is only compatible with the GX series... so they're not even cross compatible within the same brand.

    I have no idea if the Olympus VF-3 works on the Leica X2. The VF-3 requires a firmware update on some older PEN cameras, so it's entirely possible that it's not Leica compatible... but somebody will have to try it out to know for sure.

    What kind of old Nikkor lens? Good chance that's your answer. ;)  There are so many great legacy lenses out there that it'd be impossible to narrow down the list without more specific restrictions. If you already have one mount of lenses (Nikon F), then that's the best place to start...

    If you use the same old lenses on your E-P3, then you will get the same old look. Most of the character and "feel" of a camera system resides in the glass. Switching from film to digital makes a difference but only a small one. If you keep using the same lenses then you will still get the same similar character out of them.

    If you're really looking for those real old-tyme colors, then one type of lens I've found which produces a look that no others can re-create are the old Former Soviet Union Jupiter lenses. They are uncoated glass and built to the same design of the Carl Zeiss Sonnar lenses made in Germany (in fact, some old copies closer to wartime even use Zeiss optics and parts confiscated from disassembled Zeiss factories). That means that they still produce sharp images through timeless optical design, but the glass will exhibit the character of an old lens before modern coatings.

    E-PL2    ---    123mm    f/5.6    1/160s    ISO 200

    If you don't want to go that far back but want to retain more warmer, richer colors as opposed to the cooler modern colors we see often these days, then I would suggest OM Zuiko glass. They always have a consistently warm, rich flavor along with good contrast.


    I tend to find the Jupiter lenses produce a more "pinkish" cast while the OM Zuiko lenses produce a more "yellowish" warm cast. The strength of different respective colors can vary a lot from lens to lens, so it's good to have enough lens brands to choose from to get the look you want. This tends to be more of a brand thing than an age thing... for instance, my Konica Hexanon lenses are just as old but produce a much cooler color tone which looks very modern.

    Of course, post-processing can also do a lot as well... but I would never suggest that unless you're trying to accomplish something you simply can't do with the optics you have. I guess you can call me a purist (not to be confused for a puritan). ;) 
  3. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    Mileage there varies with the user. My E-P1 will never have an EVF, but in bright sunshine with manual focus I rarely have trouble. Something about the Moiré effects on the screen let me get a good feel for what's in focus, especially when wide open. I focus wide, then stop down (and all my manual lenses are pretty fast).

    It's a little bit like the microprism focus area that my SLR had, except backwards - the scattered effect happens when in focus, rather than when not. I'm having a hard time explaining this, but it came naturally after a little time with the camera.

    In direct sunlight, seeing the screen at all can be a problem, but I can usually make it out well enough to frame, and I acn cast a shadow with my thumb over the part where I'm looking for focus.

    This was taken in harsh sunshine, and focused manually.
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/O2W_qr0mETJThQHbGT1ZsvSbXJ2TncoHExUAUx4nwzI?feat=embedwebsite">[​IMG]
  4. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2012
    it's responses like these that make me really love this site!
    my old nikkor was the standard f4-f5.6 35-80mm zoom lens for my FM10.
    I'll probably need to invest in a decent fast lens.

    ned do you have any uploaded examples with some of those lens?

  5. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    gnod, you can find sample shots from many older lenses right here in the forums in the Adapted Lens Sample Archive. Aside from the lenses Ned mentioned, any of the higher-grade fast lenses from the past several decades could work for you - there are now inexpensive adapters for most legacy lenses. The Konica Hexanons always get mentioned because they have the smallest adapter, but really the differences are not that huge. Olympus, Pentax, Minolta, Canon, Nikon, etc. You can probably turn up several at thrift stores or here on the site.

    You mentioned wanting to mostly shoot street, which probably means something on the wider end. Unfortunately with the 2x crop factor even a legacy 35mm lens "looks" like a 70mm short telephoto on m4/3. That said, I have a lot of fun with a legacy nifty 50 for street portraits and detail shots.
  6. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2012
    nifty 50 meaning canon's 1.4? how much do those go for?!
  7. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Olympus made a 50mm f1.4 and a 50mm f1.8. The other companies mentioned also made fast 50's. You can focus easily in bright sun by adding a Delkin pop-up shield to the LCD screen. It's cheaper than an evf and removable - plus it has a screen protector built in. I use one on my E-P1 and it works beautifully.
    Vintage glass can be purchased on EBay for anywhere from 20 - 120.00. (You can also spend a lot more, but don't need to.). :biggrin:
  8. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Canon FD 50/1.4 on eBay currently $100-150 US.
  9. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    Actually I shoot with a Pentax Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 50/1.4 myself, but you can scout out reports and sample shots from lots of 50/1.7s and 1.4s and see which ones have the rendering that you're looking for. I can tell you that I love my Tak!
  10. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2012
    sweet! now going hunting for old lens :D 

    thanks everyone!

    and thanks for the tip on the screen. not sure if it's best but like you said, it's better than shelling out another $150+ for the evf :D 
  11. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2012
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.