Would a 135mm legacy lens be useful?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Jason Stamper, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. Jason Stamper

    Jason Stamper Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 13, 2014
    So I found a local shop that has a really good deal on an Olympus Zuiko 135mm f3.5 lens. It is an old FTL so I would need to remove the aperture ring pin, but I would do that for a good piece of glass. It is in great shape, and is a wonderfully compact lens for a 135mm. I currently have the 28mm and 50mm Canon FD's that I love, the kit Lumix 14-42mm, the Lumix 45-150mm, and I am using a G5. So I really don't NEED another lens, but I have to say that since I got the Canons my native lenses have rarely been on the camera. There is just something that speaks to me about using the old glass. To me they are a more satisfying, tactile experience, and I have gotten some awesome images out of them. I actually did a test and found the Canons to be slightly sharper than my Pany lenses at equivalent focal lengths looking at the 100% crops, and that was a complete shock to me.

    My question is that even though I already have a lens that covers 135mm focal length would the Olympus 135mm be a useful lens. Without image stabilization in a lens that long will I even be able to get sharp images without a tripod (I like to travel light when possible)? The one area I see the Olympus beating out the Pany 45-150mm is on the maximum aperture (the Pany will be close to f5.6 at the 135mm focal length, where the Olympus will still have f3.5). I have this crazy notion of possibly leaving the native lenses at home and going out shooting with the 28, 50, and 135mm legacy glass, might be a nutty idea, but it appeals to me. There is just something about this old lens that is calling to me, and I am trying to resist.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    Oh and here's an image out of the 28mm Canon just for fun.
  2. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Nice pic with the 28mm.

    The older lenses are faster, but you may not find them as crisp wide open as your 45-150.

    I bought an FD f2.5 to have a faster long lens, over 2 stops faster than a 40-150 zoom at the same focal length, However, I like to pull it back a click or two on the aperture, which negates a lot of speed. It wasn't too expensive at $45. My use for it is night or indoor shooting when a long lens is needed. The FD had a lot of utility when I was using an EPL1, which starts to falter at ISO 1600, After I started using the EM5/EPL5, which cruises at 3200, that made my 40-150 zoom more useful because it was smaller,

    I also have a non-name Rexatar I bought in 1971. I use it occasionally on M43 because it's fun to use a lens that I bought decades ago, and still have it work. This probably doesn't qualify as useful though.

    As amateurs and hobbyists though, if we're having fun with old lenses and they don't cost very much, then they don't have to be justfied or have a "use".. Some photographers manage lenses like a football team with a salary cap, moving in new players, trading off the players that are not competitive. Others don't even remember what they have in that crowded shelf. I just recalled two other 135's I own.LOL.
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  3. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I completely agree with this. MF lenses do fill some "needs" for me, but they are mostly about having fun, experimenting, etc. The good news is if you are buying a nice lens for a decent price you are not even risking much of anything, as the market continues to favor the sellers in most cases. No reason not to give it a shot that I can see.
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  4. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    I really enjoy using my OM 135/3.5 on the EM5, but I'm not sure if I would be able to get good handheld shots without the IBIS. getting critical focus can be challenging without it.

    I paid $40 for mine at an antique shop in Austin. totally worth it if at least just for the fun.
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  5. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    I have a Konica 135 f3.2 that I got for $40 I think. The length isn't terribly useful for me, but I like the build and the images are good. Its hard to justify when I have the oly 75, but I'll keep it. If the price is right, why not. I seen a 2.8 on eBay, but I won't pay tthat much. I'm sitting on my hands waiting for the oly 300, and a legacy lens can tide me over while I wait.
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  6. Timmy

    Timmy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 3, 2013
    Wiltshire - UK
    If its not much money go for it! Old lenses are great fun, there's nothing like putting some old glass on.

    I have a Zeiss Jena 135 2.8 that cost almost nothing (not proper Zeiss, re-badged pentacon I think).

    In my experience is getting keepers is pretty hit & miss at that focal length, I tried some astro with it which was great - and now it's ended up with a reversed 50mm minolta on the end of it for extreme macro!
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  7. Glenn S

    Glenn S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 1, 2010
  8. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    I have a Konica-mount 135 f/2.8 that I use occasionally if I'm up for a bit of a challenge. My Oly 40-150 easily outperforms the 135 in sharpness at any aperture (not to mention very fast AF in good light) but sometimes a larger aperture is preferable even with the focusing handicap (focus peaking would help) . I can use the 135 on a G5 indoors for live events with some care at f/2.8 and ISO 3200; the 40-150 just won't let you get the shutter speed high enough at 135mm.
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  9. Jason Stamper

    Jason Stamper Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 13, 2014
    Ok, well I went for it. They only wanted $35 for it. Tonight I will CAREFULLY file off the pin so it will mount properly on my adapter. I am looking forward to seeing what it can do this weekend. Here is a photo of the lens itself and a shot straight out of the camera at f3.5 (not screwed down all the way). Look like it might be a good one. :biggrin:

    P1020090. P1020097.
  10. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I had never heard about the E.Zuiko FTL screw mount lenses until today. Per this thread, the aperture ring sometimes binds on the adapter so people use a spacer to keep it clear.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Yes, no worries.
    The F3.5 aperture is also significantly brighter than whatever the aperture on your 45-175 is at 135, and you know the rendering is different.

    Hopefully it also has a sliding metal hood built-in.

    It isn't a replacement for the AF lens but it's a good buy...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Dewi

    Dewi Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2014
    Lancashire, England
    I bought a Carl Zeiss 135mm prime tele a few weeks ago, it's quite a long F/L on a m4/3 so I debated it's usefulness, especially as I have long tele lenses for my Canon DSLR, but I shoot motorsport so for that alone they're justified. I'd never use the m4/3 for fast sports though so why buy the 135mm for the m4/3? Well, I'm off touring Europe on a roadtrip in mid June and the first few days will be spent on the northern coast of France before heading south to the Dordogne and then into Spain. One of our ports of call in Northern France is to be Mont St Michel where we'll be spending a night, and there's a shot I want to try of the mount using a telephoto, and as the Canon isn't coming with us this year (space is an issue in a very small sportscar) I had to buy the Carl Zeiss.

    I suppose I'll find other uses for it but that's my prime reason at the moment for getting it. If it doesn't turn out to be useful, I'll either re-sell it or get an adapter to try it on the Canon. That's the nice thing about legacy glass, buy it try and and if it's not what you want either sell it on or use it on another format, you'll rarely lose money on them.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    Why? I keep hearing people say this and I'm bamboozled. OK if you have Parkinson's disease sure, but a bit of technique is good for you. This was stitched from 2 images each made with the FD200 f4 , but each part is beautifully sharp


    Hand held of course
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  14. Jason Stamper

    Jason Stamper Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 13, 2014
    Hooray! I tried unscrewing the pin with vise grips as one person suggested somewhere out on the web. Well it did not unscrew, but it did shear off perfectly flush with the aperture ring!:rolleyes:  Never thought that would happen. Well in any event it now mounts correctly on my m42 adapter, aperture ring turns smoothly, and it focuses just slightly past infinity as many will with these cheaper adapters. Needless to say I am happy. So here is a really quick handheld photo of the cherry blossoms out behind our building. The sun was really bright and the AWB did not render well, so I popped it with auto-color in photoshop. Otherwise this is straight out of the camera. I will watch that next time and make a WB adjustment as necessary. This lens feels really well built, and I love the built in lens hood!

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  15. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
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  16. Eugg

    Eugg Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 9, 2014
    I had a Panasonic 45 -150 and sold it.
    Purchased OM 135 3.5, this is my second favorite lens now.
    Also have OM 28mm which I use most, and OM 50mm 1.8, which I don't know where to use, for me this lens is a unnecessary now




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  17. Eugg

    Eugg Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 9, 2014
    BTW this is a my standard shooting set for now :smile:
    I sold all autofocus lenses and keep only MF lenses.
    Maybe I will be boring soon using only MFL, but now I enjoy using it
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  18. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    I love my Zuiko 135 f3.5. It's the bayonet mount, but if the optical design is the same, it's a helluva sharp lens. Even with the Olympus 2XA teleconverter, it can be used hand held.
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  19. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    I know the feeling. I bought the 45-200 when it came out and (already having the FD200 f4) sold it because it was optically inferior to the FD and darker too. Not only was it f5.6 at the longer end (where I found I used it most) but transmitted less light too. It also vignetted badly.


    Of course the lens corrections are applied on the Panasonic automagically for you but for instance if you process in RAW without seeing them you can see how much correction gets added.

    The FD lens (uncorrected)

    and the Panasonic uncorrected.

    markedly more corrections for vignetting in that zoom and a totally different colour balance too (note, processed from RAW and both processed with identical colour assumptions in DCRAW)

    The only place the Panasonic had an advantage was in video where the OIS helped make hand holding video easier and the results nicer. For stills work the 2 stop advantage (one stop 5.6 -> 4 and one more stop from transmission) made the OIS relatively moot.

    Liked the pictures, especially that last one....

    as to the usefulness of the 50mm .. all depends on what you shoot, looking at your images I don't see you needing it much either :) 
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  20. PMCC

    PMCC Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 18, 2013
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