Wich Adapter for going the cheap way?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Scallywag, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Scallywag

    Scallywag New to Mu-43

    Sep 10, 2016
    Hi everybody.

    I got a MFT-Camera with two Lenses (Panasonic 25 1.8 and Olympus 45 1.8) and i am very happy in most of my shooting situations. But I remember the good old times and want to have some fun with old lenses on my cam.

    I'm interested in focal lenghts beyond 45mm and would like to buy just one adaptor for a couple of manual lenses. But i want to go the cheap way, cause i will buy this lovely Oly 40-150 2.8 in the near future.

    I would like to have:

    -a longer portrait lens between 60-85mm (120-170mm eqv.)
    (maybe a new Sigma 60mm 2.8 is a good and cheap choice but it is very close to my Oly 45mm)

    -a tele macro lens 100-150mm

    -a 200mm lens (f2.8 or 4.0)

    Can you tell me which brand offers good and cheap options in this focal lenghts for me?
    Maybe Oly OM or Minolta? What about old Nikon? I really dont like Canon, but should i look at old FD lenses?

    Thanks for your help. :)

  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    The old Carl-Zeiss-Jena have an array of good lenses in the 125mm-to-200mm range,
    but for proven quality on m4/3rds bodies I would seek Konica, they seem to suit.
    The Konica have the added advantage of almost fitting the original 4/3rds DSLR bodies, so if you already own a m4/3rds-to-4/3rds adapter they just need some bits of padding. They are opticalls superb.
  3. greenjp

    greenjp Mu-43 Regular

    May 15, 2014
    Price range?

    I picked up a great condition Konica 135mm f3.2 from ebay and an adapter from Amazon earlier this year for about $35 total. A fun lens that gives a much different image than the native m43 consumer zooms.

  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Pentax SMC-M lenses are among the lightest weight and most compact tele primes on the market. A 200/f4 weighs just 405g and is only 111mm long. Also extremely affordable. Should be able to get such a lens for $50-70 in very good condition.

    Tele-macro is much more expensive. If you can stand a little bit shorter FL, I can personally vouch for the Sigma 90mm/f2.8 MF macro. Very compact and lightweight for its class, very sharp, and very affordable. I paid $100 for mine, New Old Stock.
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  5. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Hi & welcome,
    Minolta Rokkor & Konica and Pentax are usually cheaper than Olympus, Nikon, and Canon.

    I personally feel the Minolta Rokkor lenses I own have less aberrations than the m42 Pentax lenses I owned.
    I recently got a Lens Turbo II in SR/MD mount too.

    Rokkor bargains in the lengths your looking for:

    200/4 (I haven't tried this one, not sure on sharpness)
    Macro 105?

    No old lens is going to compare in sharpness and aberrations to a modern design.

    Most of these lenses were revised several times over the years. Sometimes the changes were only cosmetic, and sometimes they were optical improvements (e.g. multi-coated), and sometimes (esp. In the 1980s) there were some optical sacrifices in order to reduce weight.
    Also, for focal reducers, only some lenses and versions will be physically compatible.

    Example: the older Pentax 200/4 models were very large and heavy, and the later ones are completely different.

    Many of the Pentax Auto lenses have a stop-down switch which is convenient for focusing wide open and then stopping back down to shoot. I haven't seen that on most other brands.

    Long macro primes are usually expensive. The Tokina 90mm is probably the most famous... around $300-400USD IIRC
    Sigma and Vivitar Series One are supposed to be good at a lower price.
    There's also a Minolta in 105mm, iirc.
    Many of these will be 1:2 magnification, and will need a matched adapter for 1:1.

    Sigma made a 105mm and a 150mm in 4/3 mount... Both are f/2.8 and 1:1 macro. They won't be cheap or easy to find, but they'll auto-focus on an E-M1.

    For 85mm, a new Samyang/Rokinon is $299USD in mu-43 or Nikon or EF mount, and is very sharp and fast.
    A Rokkor f/1.8 or 2.0 will usual cost about as much, as will most other legacy 85s.

    Avoid Minolta A-mount unless you find one with manual focus and can find an adapter with aperture control.

    Make sure aperture and focus work smoothly before buying anything without a warranty.
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  6. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    If you really like to tinker, look for a Yashica Dental-Eye camera in 100mm f/4.
    They're cheap and supposedly sharp for macro but you'll have to make a lever (or electric controller) to control the aperture.
    And they won't focus further away than a few feet.
    They even have a built in ring flash (more tinkering).
  7. EdH

    EdH Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 14, 2014
    Devon, UK
    Real Name:
    The Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90mm f2.5 might fill both your portrait and macro requirements. It isn't particularly expensive and can be easily adapted to most mounts.

    It's a highly-regarded lens that'll do 1:2 Macro or 1:1 with the Tamron 018F extension tube and it makes a great portrait lens too. It'll probably come with a common mount but as it uses Tamron's Adaptall-2 universal mounting system it can be easily converted, or you can get an Adaptall 2 to M4/3 adapter.

    They can be found from about £30 on ebay if you're lucky, but are more commonly seen at about £90.
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  8. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    There's an incredible variety of choices out there. Why do you not like Canon? (Just wondering, since they actually have some good offerings and tend to be widely available).

    I've adapted hundreds of lenses...here's my short take on it:

    - A lot of lenses have beautiful bokeh and very cool characters. They are a lot of fun to use. But...very few can match even pedestrian lenses today. My Olympus 40-150R is sharper and has better contrast and colours than anything I've tried in the 50-135/70-210/80-200 range...heck, it outperforms most of the primes in that focal length as far as sharpness, colours, and contrast go.

    - 200 2.8 lenses are rare and expensive, and generally don't do macro. Since you're on a budget, I don't think this really is an option for you.

    - Some "no name" brands are actually rebranded name brands for certain chain stores/markets. Ie: I have a Magnicon 28-200mm lens. Sounds like typical 70s/80s junk, right? That's what I thought...turns out it was made by Tokina for the Canadian camera store Black's, and is a surprisingly strong performer!

    - Depending on how hardcore you want to go with macro, your best bet would be to find the best 70-210/80-200 lens that also does macro. That would fill a all of your needs: portrait, macro, etc. My Canon FD 70-210mm f4 Macro is right up there with my Pentax 200 f4 for image quality, gives me the flexibility of a zoom lens, and offers a respectable macro (do your research, though, because they used to put "macro" designations on just about any zoom lens back then...some were respectable, others were just a marketing trick).

    - Back then, dedicated macro lenses tended to be slow by today's standards, and weren't technically macro. Today, f2.8 is the norm (the Tamron 60 1:1 macro is an f2 lens!), back in the 60s/70s/80s, the norm was f3.5 or f4. Macro lenses in general command more money than non-macros and this is especially true if you want a fast (f2.8) macro. Also do your research, as most "macro" lenses of the day were actually 1:2, not 1:1. (So, while they're marketed as "macro", the Canon FD 50mm f3.5, the Canon FD 100mm f4, Pentax 50mm f3.5, Pentax 100mm f4, all only offer 1:2 magnification and relatively slow apertures...this is VERY common in the old manual lens world).

    - 50/55 and 135/200 are probably the best lenses with respect to performance-per-dollar. For zooms, the 70-210/80-200 f4 zooms tend to be cheap and widely available...their IQ varies greatly, but if you find a good one, you can have a great lens that does it all for a fairly low investment.

    - And here's the rain on your parade...as someone who has bought/sold hundreds of manual lenses...remember this: The older the lens is, the higher the possibility of delamination, fungus, oil on blades, etc. If you don't know what you're looking for, ask someone who does, or do some research...while they lens may appear great upon a cursory inspection and may give you decent results; sharpness, contrast, flare resistance, saturation, etc, are all affected by delamination and fungus, which sometimes can be extremely hard to see.

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