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Sam M
28th February 2008, 12:08 AM
I know there's a number of posts about the OM 4/3 adaptors, but I wondered what results people are getting with old 35mm lenses? Focusing I guess is a major issue? (No camera iris or focus control.)

I've read that you should not shoot wide open or closed, but otherwise I would imagine the resolution should be pretty good.

Looking to buy an adaptor from 'Enjoyyourcamera.com', 30 EUR, unless anyone's had bad experiences with it...

Sam M

j.baker
28th February 2008, 12:20 AM
I have two 3rd party 4/3rd to OM adapters.

One is on a Clubman 28mm F2.8 Macro 1:5 lens and the other is on a Tokina SD 28-70mm F3.5-4.5 lens.

The adapters work very well.

In Swindon there is a small camera shop (Gilberts I think). They sell new and old lenses. I picked up both for about 25.

The stock 14-42mm lens is much better than old OM lenses, but the macro lens is rather good. In my gallery there is a picture of apple. This was taken using the Tokina.

If you have the lenses, why not play.

Sam M
28th February 2008, 02:50 AM
Is the DSLR kit lens really better than good (ie. Olympus) 35mm primes?

Sam

snaarman
28th February 2008, 07:51 AM
Hi there.
I use the 2 kit lenses and the 11-22 with my E400. I have also tried 3 different Hexanons, a Nikon lens, a Vivitar, a Takumar plus some other cheapies (Pentacon etc)

I have to report that the modern Zuiko zooms are indeed better wide open than most of the above lenses. I think this also applies to OM legacy lenses.

However there is little to chose between new and old if you stop down to f5.6 f8 and beyond.

You may well need a split image screen (Katzeye for example) in order to focus accurately.

The advantages of legacy lenses? They feel well made compared with modern plastic lenses and you can get a good low light lens (f1.8 f2 etc) for peanuts. An E400 with a compact Tamron has a nice retro look and feel, a bit like a digital OM perhaps...

I have a web page with basic test chart shots from many of my legacy lenses which might be of interest..

http://www.snaar.co.uk/lenses/index.html

Hope this helps :-)

Pete H

j.baker
28th February 2008, 08:34 AM
If your camera supports live view, you can zoom in using the dial. This is really useful when using old lenses.

BTW, I was reading an older E3 review recently and the review mentioned about using the dial to adjust the live view from 7-10x. I just tried this on my E-510 V1.3m firmware and it works.

I have tried two of the cheaper split focus screen on my E510, and they are not bad for the pice, but I have switched back. The Oly focus screen is clearer, and is generally better. I have not used the Katzeye screen due to cost.

I also found that the camera AF and live view focus was different to the split screen. It was small but noticable.

The split screen also made any astrophotography very hard.

Anyway, back to the thread.

The adapters work well, with limitations. The newer Oly glass/plastic lenses are very good (IMHO)

Xpres
28th February 2008, 10:54 AM
I use a lot of 'legacy' lenses with my Olys and agree with the last two posters.
Apart from a bit of fun there are some great and outstanding quality lenses out there to be had for very little money. Fast glass is relatively cheap (although there are issues using them wide open - search and see and look at Saar for a start) and pretty well anything can be made to fit a 4/3 camera. Of course if you want very wide angle then your better of with the new lenses, or perhaps a 5x4 :).

David M
28th February 2008, 11:14 AM
Is the DSLR kit lens really better than good (ie. Olympus) 35mm primes?

Sam

That would depend on the prime. My copy of the OM Zuiko 350mm made my copy of the old 50-200 DZ look very mediocre. I sold the 50-200 and replaced it with the new SWD version but it's to early to tell if it will match the 350mm.

My copies of the OMZ 50mm f3.5 macro and the Tamron 90mm macro are also very good.

As an example of the 350mm the line of text below Dead Slow No Wake on the sign reads By Order Of Southampton Harbour Authority;

http://www.dmeredith.com/photo07/pages/7290033.htm

theMusicMan
28th February 2008, 11:33 AM
WOW - 350mm f2.8 - what a lens!! There's even one going now on eBay for a whopping £3,750.

Here's the link (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Olympus-Zuiko-350mm-f2-8-Lens-in-original-box-MINT_W0QQitemZ170110859301QQihZ007QQcategoryZ3344Q QrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQ_trksidZp1638.m118.l1247QQ cmdZViewItem)

E-P1 fan
28th February 2008, 12:19 PM
Hi there.
I use the 2 kit lenses and the 11-22 with my E400. I have also tried 3 different Hexanons, a Nikon lens, a Vivitar, a Takumar plus some other cheapies (Pentacon etc)

I have to report that the modern Zuiko zooms are indeed better wide open than most of the above lenses. I think this also applies to OM legacy lenses.

However there is little to chose between new and old if you stop down to f5.6 f8 and beyond.

You may well need a split image screen (Katzeye for example) in order to focus accurately.

The advantages of legacy lenses? They feel well made compared with modern plastic lenses and you can get a good low light lens (f1.8 f2 etc) for peanuts. An E400 with a compact Tamron has a nice retro look and feel, a bit like a digital OM perhaps...

I have a web page with basic test chart shots from many of my legacy lenses which might be of interest..

http://www.snaar.co.uk/lenses/index.html

Hope this helps :-) Pete H

What inspiring stuff Peter - some marvellous work on your site and very informative as well.

Hiding_Pup
28th February 2008, 12:38 PM
I'm a big fan of Russian M42 lenses, my favourite being the classic Jupiter 9 85mm f2. Fixed lenses are tiny for what they do, and it's amazingly liberating to work with a 170mm f2 equivalent that costs less than £60. Focus is a pain (less so for those who those who grew up with manual focus film cameras), but good eyesight and a bit of practice pay off eventually:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/2223632157_96504823b0.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/3201)

snaarman
28th February 2008, 12:38 PM
What inspiring stuff Peter - some marvellous work on your site and very informative as well.

Thanks for that :-)

I like to contribute to the world of 4/3 where I can by sharing my experiences. What does freak me out is stumbling across links to my lens pages being shared between folks I've never met on forums I rarely visit :D

On the whole "using your legacy lenses" thing: I am currently calculating which minmal lens set to take on holiday. I just want to take 2 lenses.

Maybe the 11-22 Zuiko and my little Tamron 35-70. That's it. No more. The thing is (and this takes some getting used to) the 11-22 wide angle is so much bigger and heavier than the Tamron(!) It always used to be the other way round.

Alternative lens pair is the 14-42 and the Tamron 35-70. Aaah, now we are talking light and compact - but I would miss those really wide angles.

Decisions!

P

snaarman
28th February 2008, 12:45 PM
I'm a big fan of Russian M42 lenses, my favourite being the classic Jupiter 9 85mm f2. Fixed lenses are tiny for what they do, and it's amazingly liberating to work with a 170mm f2 equivalent that costs less than 60. Focus is a pain (less so for those who those who grew up with manual focus film cameras), but good eyesight and a bit of practice pay off eventually:



Hi there..

Actually I am holding a Jupiter9 85/2 in my hands right now. Its hidden secret is the 16 (or more) blade diaphragm!! This one doesn't seem to have coated optics and when I tried it on the e400 it seemed very soft wide open.. Rather like the Pentacon 50mm lenses, it is very sharp if you stop it down enough..

P

Hiding_Pup
28th February 2008, 12:55 PM
I suppose it's a bit soft, but that's never really bothered me. And it gives a nice glowy feel when converted to black and white (which is what these lenses optimised for). Don't know whether my copy is multicoated, probably is as it's a relatively new one - but it's sharp enough for me. The biggest problem for me is focusing exactly on the spot I want - the f2 aperture doesn't leave much margin for error. 100% crop: of the above:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/100_.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/3202)

snaarman
28th February 2008, 01:29 PM
Agreed, I don't mind a little bit of soft wide open, as long as you know its there and as long as it goes away when you stop down one or two stops..

(BTW - My secret weapon is the Nikon Series E 100mm f2.8. I can and do use that one wide open without regrets...)

As for focus, I swapped my screen for a Katzeye (expensive but excellent) and that helps me focus lenses wider than f4. To use the split image and microprism you need to have the eyepiece diopter set exactly right for your eyes IMHO...

Excellent bird picture by the way :-)

P

Sam M
29th February 2008, 01:53 AM
Very inspiring stuff! I think I've got some old Nikon lenses as well. Must get a mount, dust them off and have a go too.

Is the focal length equivalent on the 4/3 system? Or does an old 28mm legacy lens give you same as a 14mm on a 4/3 DSLR?

Sam

snaarman
29th February 2008, 08:07 AM
If you put a 28mm Nikon lens on your 4/3 it will act just like an Olympus Digital 28mm lens (if there were one). So no tricks there.

However - either lens will act like a 56mm lens would on a 35mm SLR. You might remember 28mm as a wide angle from the old days, but on a 4/3 it comes out as a standard lens..

Pete

HughofBardfield
29th February 2008, 12:42 PM
Surprised no one has mentioned John Foster's useful tests of OM lenses:
http://www.biofos.com/cornucop/omz_e1.html and http://www.biofos.com/cornucop/omz_e330.html

This Flickr group may also be of interest:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/om_four_thirds_adapter/

I found legacy lenses almost unusable on the E500 because of the small viewfinder, but a KatzEye screen made it more feasible. I was still irritated by the faff of focus, compose, stop-down, and shoot however. I thought I'd left that behind with my Practika IVF... One of the reasons for going digital was having AF, so I abandon it with reluctance.

I did a few experiments with Live View on the E510, especially with macro using extension tubes, but I was never very happy with them. The only image I really liked was with an old Sirius 500mm mirror lens (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughofbardfield/1452548334/), but achieving optimum focus wasn't easy, even with LV. Why is it that Oly won't do a firmware update with Focus Confirmation. Allegedly the Russian Dandelion chips and experiments on DP Review show it could be done...

I find the brighter viewfinder of the E1 a good deal easier to work with and will persevere with my few remaining OM lenses.

I understand Hexanons have a number of fans (http://www.buhla.de/Foto/Konica/eKonicaStart.html) - including one I've seen described as "the sharpest lens ever made..."

E-P1 fan
29th February 2008, 12:54 PM
Some Hexanons are great. I had a Konica FS-1 slr with built-in motor drive (looked a bit like a small E-1)

http://www.buhla.de/Foto/Konica/eFS-1Haupt.html

The Hexanon lenses were first rate.

Wish I'd kept them

Jim Ford
29th February 2008, 01:07 PM
WOW - 350mm f2.8 - what a lens!! There's even one going now on eBay for a whopping 3,750.

Here's the link (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Olympus-Zuiko-350mm-f2-8-Lens-in-original-box-MINT_W0QQitemZ170110859301QQihZ007QQcategoryZ3344Q QrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQ_trksidZp1638.m118.l1247QQ cmdZViewItem)

DOUBLE WOW - it's white as well!
;^)

Jim

snaarman
1st April 2008, 08:03 AM
I suspect this is revisiting old ground but..

I do enjoy my old glass (see above) but I still find problems setting the focus really accurately. While the Katzeye screen helps in a way, I suspect my eyesight is the limiting factor:

So, I am tempted to go back to the standard screen and buy a pair of Dandelions for my 100mm and 28mm manual lenses.

Anyone here had experience with these? Where to buy (conveniently)? Do they really help with focus confirm?

Pete H

Sam M
1st April 2008, 08:49 AM
Excuse my ignorance, what are Dandelions? (the flowers I know about...)

Sam

snaarman
1st April 2008, 09:13 AM
Aha!

This is a glue-in chip developed in Russia that adds the computer contacts to your old legacy lens. This makes the camera body think it has a modern lens fitted, so you can use IS, and focus confirm.

Pete

HughofBardfield
1st April 2008, 12:15 PM
Excuse my ignorance, what are Dandelions? (the flowers I know about...)

Sam

You may be interested in this link: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1022&message=26872441&q=dandelion+results&qf=m

snaarman
1st April 2008, 01:01 PM
Hugh

Thanks, very useful link. I hadn't seen the latest sections of that thread. He certainly seems to have gone into it in some detail :-)

Personally I would prefer that the Dandelion had gold plated contacts, and I am not so certain about gluing it in place. But I guess if they were falling off all over the place we would hear about it!

Anyone know if these can be bought in or via the UK?? As far as I know, you can't buy these the easy way (with Paypal)

Pete

OlyFlyer
21st April 2008, 08:24 AM
Thanks, very useful link. I hadn't seen the latest sections of that thread. He certainly seems to have gone into it in some detail :-) On DPReview there are quite a few threads about the Dandelion. Personally I think it is a good working prototype, but IMO too expensive and the functional quality and reliability is just not that good. There has also been example of the chip falling off the adapter, it is only glued which makes it quite weak in the long run. Super glue is not fit for the purpose, as you can see Jonas B has reinforced a bit more. I will meet him in a few weeks time to talk photography, so the subject will probably come up as well.

Personally I would prefer that the Dandelion had gold plated contacts, and I am not so certain about gluing it in place. But I guess if they were falling off all over the place we would hear about it! Has happend. I don't know how often, but I think not everybody bothers to admit it did not work. It is also not that easy to fit exactly right to get contact. I have read about cases where it was pushing too hard on the camera contacts, so the adapter contacts got weared out after a short time of use. Anyway, it seems the discussions has died out since Olympus effectively killed the market for the chip by introducing the IS support for legacy lenses. Of course, it would be even better if Olympus gave us the focus confirmation LED and beep as well, since that is a very easy firmware fix.

With the E-3 I find manual focusing very reliable and fairly easy, assuming the diopter adjustment is correctly set. With the other bodies manual focus is not as easy, but according to my long experinece with the E-500, it is possible.

I would not buy the adapter due to it's low quality and high price. If Olympus would make a high quality adapter I would be prepared to pay a quite high price for it.

Last year we sent a lot of requests to Olympus Japan about focus confirmation for legacy lenses. The campaign progressed really well. Than somebody came up with the idea of even demanding IS, so the camp got split and it resulted in IS. I would have welcomed the focus confirmation more than the IS, if only one was given to us, because of several reasons. More people could benefit from it since not every camera has IS, and also it is pointless to have IS if you can't focus. Focusing is more important, IS can be fixed with other aid, like the good old tripod or some other support, or increased shutter speed. Unfortunatelly, the IS camp won. If Olympus is ever going to give us the focus confirmation LED for legacy lenses or not is still unknown. I hope they will include that in the next firmware update.

Graham_of_Rainham
21st April 2008, 08:40 AM
I use the adaptor to connect to my OM Bellows with Macro Lenses and this works very well. The results are as good as scanned film and considerably less expensive.

At the other end I have also attached a Sigma 600mm Mirror and just to see if it would work a 2x converter. Thats a 2400mm equivalent and it actually produced an image that was better than I expected (better than anything I've seen from a phone camera, holga, lensbaby, etc...) :rolleyes:

So if you have some good glass, and like to play, then go for it. If you don't like it, sell them here or on ebay :)

Have fun

Graham

ianinsuffolk
25th May 2008, 08:21 AM
I regularly use my OM 300mm, f4 lens on E510 and now that image stabilisation is available for OM lenses, I have a really sharp 600mm lens that can be handheld! It really works well and I usually work between f4 and f8. This is a lens not recommended by Olympus to be used with DSLR cameras!!! I've also regularly used my 35 to 80 mm f2.8 lens and this is very sharp and higher contrast that most of my digital OM or Sigma lenses.

Ian

ianinsuffolk
16th July 2008, 08:37 PM
Yes - regularly use the f4 300mm OM lens and now IS is available with the E510 for legacy lenses it's a really powerful 600m lens! I use it mainly wide open and have been constantly amazed by what it achieves. Really good for wildlife for those of us who cannot afford a modern AF lens. It's not even a recommended Olympus combination!

Ian