Wide Angle Primes for E420

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by gregruskin, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. Am very tempted by the E420 due to size and weight considerations. Combined with
    the pancake 25mm lens, the system is quite small. From a cursory look, it seems
    that there are no 4/3 wide angle primes around - one is stuck with zooms ( eg,
    11-22, 12-60) which are bulkier and heavier, somewhat defeating the purpose of
    the small body. While the E420 weighs in at 13+ oz, the pro zooms are in the
    range of 16 oz. A Pentax 200D, while significantly heavier (23+oz) can be
    matched with pancake lenses in the 4-5 oz range. Are any third party small prime
    lenses adaptable for the Olympus bodies?? Or rumours about future production??
    With more pancakes, the system would be perfect as a travel/hiking setup.
    Certainly lighter than my Mamiya 6!.
  2. All manual lenses except Olympus Pen F and Leica M can be mounted on any Four Thirds body. For the Olympus bodies a Dandelion chip is required too if one wants focus confirmation, and it can come already integrated into Fotodiox adapters.
    Leica and Olympus sell adaptors to the R and OM systems, Fotodiox for most others, there are several independent vendors at eBay. The Hexanons donメt take adapters but must be custom adapted.
  3. There's a 9-18 f4-5.6 Zuiko set to be on sale this fall that is going to be very light at 280 grams...only 90 grams heavier than the very light 14-42 kit zoom, and my guess also would be, a good performer, That's a 35mm equivalent of 18-36mm....quite wide and much more versatile than fumbling around with 2-3 heavier primes.
  4. I would have to guess that olympus will do more small lenses eventually. Pentax has 3,
    although 21mm is the widest. I am not a lens design expert at all, but i would hazard a
    guess that a 14mm pancake may or may not be possible optically. i think the 9-18 will be
    a great versatile and small enough lens for most folks. It's too bad the 15mm voigtlander
    can't fit on the 4/3 mount, that would solve a lot of issues. I have used it before several
    years ago and it is a super lens.
  5. The 9-18 (when it comes out) is your best bet. You can try Peleng fisheye, just for practice, but I am not sure it is less bulky and heavy than any other.


    - Sergey
  6. A light 9-18 sounds encouraging - though one wonders about quality vs. a prime. A 14mm prime or thereabouts would be perfect - perhaps design considerations would require it to be as bulky as a zoom. This recalls the design advantages the older rangefinders had over their 35 mm equivalents in lens design (a less bulky rear?): I'm thinking of the awesome and very compact lenses designed for the Contax G series, which trounced SLR equivalent lenses in part due to ability for a very close distance to the film plain.
  7. Olympus has now a oretty good range of primes from 25 mm onwards. I am sure they will come up with a wider lens within a year or so. I hope it will be a small lens. Otherwise a wide zoom would do just as well.
  8. You are not going to find many compact wide angle lenses for the 4/3s system simply because of the issue of sensor size vs. body depth. Even though the 4/3's body is the thinnest of dSLR's out there, the sensor to body depth ratio is the worst. The depth of the body is near 37mm which means that it is actually a great deal thicker than a 25mm normal focal length lens. Compare this to a full-frame 35mm OM camera which has a 46mm body depth and 50mm normal lens. It would be possible for Olympus to make very compact wide angle lenses, but they would be so slow in aperture that they would be undesirable to most buyers... probably around f/8. Although for landscapes, slow lenses are great.
  9. They don't exist, in general. If you assume that a wide angle starts at 28mm (35mm equiv), then you'd need a 17.5mm lens. You can buy a Tamron 17/3.5 for around $100-150, but that's definitely NOT a small lens, with it's huge 82mm filter size (IIRR). None of the OM lenses really qualify and the 18/3.5, while a great lens, is expensive and hard to find.

    You'd be better off waiting for the 9-18.

  10. jtk


    Optics has laws. You'll never see a compact wide for 420. Look how gigantic Ricoh's 21mm equiv is for GRDII's tiny chip. The tiny Pentax 21/2.8 is fabulous, but it's 30mm in film-speak.
  11. "Look how gigantic Ricoh's 21mm equiv is for GRDII's tiny chip."

    That is an accessory lens put in front of an existing wideangle. Look at the size of the 2.4/28mm equivalent built into the GRD. That is not so big. We don't really need a 21mm equivalent for the Olympus. A 28 or even 35 equivalent would be nice. I still think they will come up with one. If you can do a very small 25, surely you can do a 20, and maybe even 18 that is not VERY BIG. Bigger and slower, yes, but not very big and impossible. 14 might be pushing it too far.
  12. Agree. 28 or 35 make great walk around primes (and fine for landscapes too) - a pancake 28 would make the E420 like the GRII with much better image quality.
  13. is there an adapter to mount the current pentax pancakes on the e-420 body?
  14. [​IMG]
    Panasonic L1 + Pentax DA21/3.2 Limited

    Panasonic L1 + Nikkor 20/3.5 AI + B+W lens hood

    I posted this in another thread, but see that it is viable here too.

    A 20mm lens presents a very nice wide field of view for 4/3 format, it is as if you fitted a 35mm lens on a 35mm film camera, enlarged the photo to fit it to an 11x14 print, cropping the ends to use the full vertical frame.

    I've used two lenses in this focal length: Pentax DA21 Limited and Nikkor 20/3.5 AI.

    The Pentax DA21 is very small and light, but unfortunately it does not have an aperture ring so you have to jury rig it to allow a reasonable aperture setting (jam the iris actuating mechanism to approximate f/5.6-f/7.1 and consider it a fixed aperture lens). The focusing is also tricky since the DA21's focusing ring runs from infinity to 1 m in only a few degrees rotation. All in all, if you want to use a Pentax lens, I'd recommend the K-mount series or M42 thread mount manual focus prime models over the DA series lenses.

    The Nikkor 20 is a more successful adaptation as it has an aperture ring and the manual focusing ring is more manageable in use. It's a bit larger and heavier than the Pentax but not huge. I also tried a Nikkor 20/2.8AFD but found the f/3.5 AI performed better, both optically and mechanically.

    I use fotodiox.com adapters to mount these lenses. They work well. Manually focusing a 20mm lens critically is always a bit challenging. The L1 body includes a focus confirmation signal, and that helps!, where with Olympus bodies you would need to use one of the dandelion kits to get focus confirmation. Live View is a tremendous aid for manual focusing, however: with the L1 (and presumably the E- 420) just click on Live View and focus magnification, set the focus, turn it off, frame and shoot. (Manual focusing with the E-1 and E-3 bodies is much easier ... better viewfinder optics).

    I use the Olympus ZD 11-22 or Leica 14-50 lenses more than the adapted prime now, but it's nice to have a more compact option when you want to carry a lightweight kit.

  15. jtk


    The Pentax 21/3.2 is tiny, the Nikon is gigantic.

    On Pentax 2x3, 21 is 30.

    Pentax on a Pentax gives you a superb 14.6mp sensor and a world-beating prism finder (K20D) not to mention exceptional autofocus and image stabilization. The big Pentax is heavy, like the Panasonic...but there's always the very light K200D. Unfortunately neither Pentax nor Panasonic nor Oly are really compact cameras...

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