The fastest adapted Lens you use on your 4/3 camera.

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by rdm, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. rdm

    rdm

    I was curious about all the different lenses available out there for the 4/3 cameras. Especially when i came across a company's site for a new 50mm lens made for the m4/3 system With a maximum aperture of, f/0.95 that sells for $750. It got me wondering what are some of the lenses people use already. How much do they go for and how well do they preform, or in some cases, why they got that particular lens.
    Now i know some people like a very fast lens for low light photography and some use it for portraiture work, because of either the shallow depth of field or the Bokeh it produces. But some very fast lenses also are not preforming their best at wide open aperture, needing to be stopped down a stop or to to be at their sharpest. I love using fast lenses mostly for shallow depth of field and low light photography, I'm not really concerned with bokeh ever. This got me wondering what are the best lenses out there in the second hand market for uses on the 4/3 cameras. I only have used and bought Minolta Manual lenses and can only speak to their performance. I do know about many other brands and have used some of them but i figure there must be lots more out there i haven't seen or don't know about, however i don't know whats good since i never used much other than Minolta glass. SO I figured i would pose this question to all the people out there that use the various fast lenses adapted to your 4/3 camera.
    What are some fast lenses you use, what type of shots did you acquire it to do and how do they preform?
     
  2. I'm pretty sure there is a Leica M adapter for micro 4/3 which would let you use the Leica Noctilux f/0.95 and f/1 -- very good but very expensive. And then there is the Nokton f/1.1 from Voigtlander which is expensive but not ridiculous like the Noctilux.
    Other than that, there are lots of adapters for micro 4/3 and 4/3 which allow you to use lots of 50/1.4 and f/1.2 lenses and of course I think there is a f/1.7 for micro 4/3 native.
     
  3. The lens you saw is a rebranded CCTV lens, not a lens specifically made for m4/3 cameras. There are cinema lenses as fast as this lens that appear to produce slightly better results in terms of sharpness, contrast, and bokeh, though you'd have to go hunting for them. There are some relevant threads on this from C-mount enthusiasts
    Personally, I find I'm pretty satisfied with some of the old "standard" 35mm lenses. For portraits, I use either a MF Nikon 50 f/1.8 or a Helios 58mm f/2.0 44M-4. Occasionally I also use a Nikon Series E 100 f/2.8 lens, which turns into a fast, medium tele much lighter than the 45-200 and also much faster. Very occasionally I also use my old 40 f/1.9 Schneider Xenon lens, adapted from a now-defunct Robot Star camera. It's very compact, though heavy, and produces sharp but low-contrast images.
    I'd be really pleased if Panasonic or Olympus or Sigma or somebody made a reasonably priced 50 f/1.4 for m4/3, as I'd rather have autofocus for the kinds of portraits and low-light shooting I tend to do, so I'm waiting for that to arrive before I try more legacy glass.
    The older Pentax, Olympus, and Canon lenses are also reputed to be quite fine.
     
  4. I'm pretty sure an old OM 55mm f/1.2 would cost you as much as that Noct + cost of the adapters.
     
  5. I have no experience with m4/3, but frequently use older 50/55mm lenses with adapters on my E-510 and E-1. For low light, I have used the Pentax Super Multi Coated 50/1.4 Takumar. For other needs, I use the Leica-R 50/2.0 Summicron, and the 28/2.8 and 60/2.8 Elmarit-R lenses.
    None of these lenses are really pricey, and the 50/1.4 Takumar can be found fairly cheaply. I will attach an example of work with this lens.
    00WDRE-235957784.jpg
     
  6. rdm

    rdm

    O... ity seems i might not have been too clear, or that only jim really understood. I already knew all the other information that others stated .. So Because i know all about adapters and yes i am sure i could Google them and find what would work with what lens on what camera. But not asking that really.
    Let me try again. Please tell me, like Jim, what fast lenses you have used and what you like about the lens.. and any other details , and yea you can also post an example like Jim did , that would be appreciated.
    Jim i live that pic , i amazed at how well the 50/1.4 Takumar preforms. That is very sharp. Was that shot wide open? I think i have seen that lens selling for around 70 dollars which does not seem bad if this is how it preforms.
    I think i will get an E-600, for months i was debating between that and the E-PL1.
     
  7. I use a Contax 50/1.4, because its really good, even wide open, and has good bokeh. Also because I already had it for my Canon DSLR - it also costs substantially less than the equivalent Canon ef lens.
    Although ebay prices seem to be nudging up in that direction now.
     
  8. You stated that you are familiar with Minolta glass, so this many not be of great help to you, but it may be.
    I have had my E-600 for a few weeks now, and will be getting my MD to 4/3 adapter this week. So this weekend or next I'm going to go out and shoot some comparisons between the Olympus 14-42 and 40-150 kit lenses versus my Minolta MD glass (I'll shoot with my 24 2.8, 35 1.8, 50 1.4 and 50 3.5 macro, 85 2, 135 2.8, and probably some with my Tokina ATX 100-300 4, though that's obviously a longer lens than the Olympus so only comparable at the short end). I'll make a review page for this on my website and put up a link to it here. It's not going to be the most rigorous test in the world, but it should give you some idea how the Minolta lenses (in your case, the 50 1.4 in particular) do.
     
  9. My Micro-FourThirds specific lens kit includes the following, at present:
    • Cosmicar/Pentax 12.5mm f/1.4
    • Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7
    • Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8
    • Olympus Pen F G.Zuiko 70mm f/2
    All perform quite nicely.
    The 20 and 40 mm lenses are what I use most .. wide normal and short tele, my favorite focal lengths ... The 70 mm works beautifully for longer shots. The 12.5 mm covers the central square of the frame with just a little bit of vignetting, which I enhance into a bordering vignette effect.
     
  10. dan - I did not record the aperture used for that shot, but seem to recall it was around f/2.8. I normally focus wide open, then stop down to get a little more DOF, but also checking to keep the shutter speed at 1/30 or higher.
    Jim N.
     
  11. rdm

    rdm

    Dan Moore, that sounds fantastic. I am eagerly awaiting your results. I wish you loved near me so i could let you try out my 28mm f/2 and my 28mm f/2.5 lenses. I would love to know the results of those lenses. I also have a 25mm f/1.8 like you, and was thinking of purchasing a 50 f/3.5 macro soon, so your experiment has got me excited. Thank you for letting me know about this, i am eagerly awaiting the results.
    Godfrey that Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8 sounds like the perfect portrait lens. I was looking at the prices of those but they seem to have doubled the past year. I have seen many examples of shots taken with that lens, including a couple of yours. It looks to be a great performer. I wonder if my Minolta 35mm f/1.8 would preform as well. I can't imagine for 5mm that i would need to buy that 40mm if my 35mm is as sharp and does as well.
     
  12. I'll keep you posted, dan Mar. I got the adapter today, so I went on kitty safari around the house. The following were taken with my 50 1.4. This was taken (if I remember right) wide open, 1/30 second (aperture priority), ISO 800. It's back-lit a bit, but that's okay for the purposes of the picture.
    [​IMG]
    Here's a detail:
    [​IMG]
    It'll take some getting used to the focusing, but it seems doable. Certainly if you have a bit of time to use live view and zoom in to refine the focus, this seems like it will do quite well. Focus bracketing is a good idea, and that's how I got the focusing right here.
    I did take a couple of quick shots with the 35mm 1.8 and it seemed good. I think it would be an excellent portrait lens. I don't have anything to post but I will down the road.
     
  13. rdm

    rdm

    That picture is great, i cant believe the detail you captured. And yes i loved the back lite in that shot. SO i take it your using an adapter without a focus confirmation chip. Post something if you try out your 35mm 1.8. By the way , is that the MD or MC version of the 35mm?
     
  14. I do have the adapter with the focus confirmation, and that helps, but it's not perfect. With a moving animal you can't exactly fiddle with the light to get focus. So I think it will help for some uses and not for others.
    I will make sure to post things with the 35mm.
    All of my Minolta lenses are MD. I had more of a mix of things but decided to narrow my collection to the MD versions. My Minolta camera is an X-700, so that seemed to make sense. Plus, the MD Rokkor or Rokkor-X versions seem to be more sought after, so I often can get the plain MD version for a bit less, sometimes for basically the exact same thing (but sometimes not).
     
  15. rdm

    rdm

    WOW Dan sounds like my collection .. scary .. I do not have my MC lenses any more ether except for my 50mm 1.4 and 58mm 1.4 lenses. They also still work in Program mode on my x700 as well.
     
  16. Hmmm.... Dan Moore... dan Mar... maybe we are the same person, and this is an episode of the Twilight Zone!
    Do do do do. Do do do do...
     
  17. Dan I use my Canon FD lenses on my G1. I really love the 85 F1.2 on the G1 and even at F1.2 it is very sharp (you don't see it's slightly soft edges). Handheld use is quite difficult as focusing an effective 170 F1.2 is very difficult if you are just standing and not braced on a solid object. You have to zoom the viewfinder twice and work very hard to keep steady. I am travelling away from home so i cannot post any M4/3 images at the moment but I like fast lenses best. My favourite FD lenses on the G1 include the 85 F1.2, 50 F1.4 and 135 F2. I have also had good results with the 24 F2, 35 F2, 80-200 F4L zoom and even the 300 F2.8. I have also found my 15mm F2.8 fisheye to be an interesting lens - fisheye effects with an effective 30mm lens are quite unusual. Surprisingly I have found my 35 F2.8 tilt shift lense rather disappointing.
     
  18. rdm

    rdm

    Oh hey , Dan Moore , i forgot to ask you, so you have to Input the focal length of the lens for IS i hear, does it record that data in the EXIF of the image? or is only ISO and shutter speed recorded.
     
  19. A few thoughts now that I've had the weekend to use the adapter:
    1) My tests didn't go super well. The biggest thing is that the aperture pin on many of the MD lenses rubs against the plastic inside the E-600, so most of them need to have that filed down just a little bit in order to be stopped down. Because of this, with only a couple of exceptions, I could only test them wide-open. I also messed up the focus on a few of the shots with the Olympus lenses (I forgot I had it on manual focus). So hopefully in the next week I'll got those tests done and be able to post the results to my web site.
    2) That said, I do have a few first impressions that I hope to verify later. The MD lenses performed really well. I suspect many of them will produce slightly better results than the 14-42 and 40-150. But that's in a controlled environment. In the real world I think the Olympus kit lenses will almost always outperform the Minoltas, with a few exceptions which I will touch on below. In the long run, I want to get a Olympus 12-60, and I'd be shocked if that doesn't outperform the Minoltas.
    3) The Minolta 50mm Macro ROCKS. I can't compare it to the Olympus 50mm f2 macro, but it did really well, and I can't stop it down right now. I think stopped down a click or two, it will be really sharp. It's certainly good value for the money.
    4) I took my Tokina 100-300 f4 to the zoo today, and am very impressed. Focusing was easy, the photos are sharp, and in this case too I can't stop it down yet. Once I take care of that and am able to stop down a stop or two, I think it's going to be outstanding. It will save me the $400 on the Olympus 70-300.
    5) I need to do the depth-of-field comparisons, but naturally the faster lenses should do well there.
    6) As notes elsewhere, the fast lenses with their large rear elements don't meter correctly wide open. Actual exposure needs to be a stop or two faster.
    7) The focus-confirmation chip is borderline useless. Either you are shooting something that moves, like an animal, and you just don't have the time to fiddle with the little focus confirmation light, or you are doing something like a macro shot of a flower and have plenty of time to adjust the focus. Others opinions may vary, but I'd save the $50 or whatever and just get the mechanical coupler. Also, the focus assist pin on the MD lenses hits the focus confirmation chip, which is a problem with some lenses.
    8) Focal length is not saved in the EXIF data.
     
  20. I've used the Canon 85 1.8 and 70-200 2.8 with great results. Sucks being stuck to one aperture with the Canon EOS lenses on the camera but if you plan ahead it produces great results.
     
  21. rdm

    rdm

    I am still so surprised that with all that room available from a DSLR to m4/3 that no one can make an adapter with electrical connections and maybe a button on the side that you change the aperture, or would have built in circuitry that would let it be set in camera or let it choose one.
     

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