View Full Version : Do I need an adapter to fit an OM lens to my E510 ?

12th September 2008, 11:47 AM
I have seen an Olympus Zuiko 50mm F1.4 OM Lens on ebay and was wondering if I would need an adaptor to fit it on my E510 ?

Also does anyone have any experience of this lens on a DSLR and what kind of results could I expect from it.

Also is there an art to the manual focus as I haven't branched out that far yet ?


12th September 2008, 12:09 PM
Yes you do. Readily available on fleabay, or buy Olympus's own MF-1 (for a lot more money - it's just an extension tube with a different bayonet at each end, in effect). Fotodiox are a well regarded 3rd party brand.

In general, faster than "standard" legacy lenses seem to perform slightly less well than their cheaper siblings, especially wide open (see http://www.biofos.com/cornucop/omz_e1.html ). However, if you can pick it up for a good price, it will still be a useful lens even if you have to drop down a stop or two. I'm fairly sure there are some examples in the pool here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/om_four_thirds_adapter/

Manual focus - especially with the small E5xx viewfinder - is indeed an art. You can help yourself with an ME-1 viewfinder magnifier (not everyone finds them that helpful - try before you buy) or a replacement split-image focusing screen (the best are made by KatzEye - see http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/page--Custom-Focusing-Screens--store.html ). Cheap screens are available on fleabay, but my personal experience is that you get what you pay for. The third option is to use live view - which is really good for critical focusing on static subjects. If you practice MF, it does get easier with time. Concentrate on the edges and move the ring very gently.

Don't forget you will also have to get used to stop-down metering - ie, focus at maximum aperture, stop down to the taking aperture, recompose and shoot. It becomes second nature after a while. Metering is also best done with spot or centre-weighted. ESP can play tricks.

I find legacy glass good fun, but I don't use it that often seriously. Once you have an adaptor, the alluring world of second-hand racks opens up to you, so if you have "Gear Acquisition Syndrome" as I do - beware!

12th September 2008, 06:56 PM
An excellent informative reply Hugh, thank you.

Didn't purchase the lens as it was quite close to ending and I wanted to do some research first but now I have a better understanding of things I may keep my eyes open for another.

Could you or someone else take some time to explain why there is a need for stop down metering as ive never heard of it before ? When you say focus at the max aperture you mean in the case of this lens F1.4 then if you wanted to shoot at F16 you would adjust to that and shoot without re-adjusting the focus ?
Why cant you simply focus at F16 ?

12th September 2008, 07:35 PM
At f16 the image in the viewfinder would be too dark to see anything properly.
Focus @ max aperture then let depth of field take over when you stop down.
You will need to experiment with exposure, I have found tendency to under expose.
Get it, play with it, and have fun- you might surprise yourself *yes

12th September 2008, 07:38 PM
We 4/3rds folks ave a sneaky advantage here. The distance from the lens to the sensor is less than the same distance from lens to film in them old cameras. This means that (provided you can get an adapter to join lens to camera) there is potentially a load of lenses out there you can try.

Bizarre to relate, but someone discovered that Konica AR series lenses are almost a direct fit on a 4/3rds camera, though this involves some light engineering with watchmakers screwdrivers, so not for the faint hearted..

I have a Nikon to 4/3 adapter, so I can use their lenses. On the front of that at present I have a Tamron to Nikon adapter, so I can also try the many Tamron lenses there are on ebay. (My best ebay bargain? A Konica camera with the excellent 40mm f1.8 plus a flashgun. I sold the camera, and the flash, kept the lens and was 5 up on the deal!)

But I digress. Obviously you will have to focus manually as there is no mechanism for the camera to focus the lens. Equally you will have to operate the aperture manually, because there isn't a linkage to do that either. So you can set the camera to aperture priority and it choses a shutter speed entirely on the basis of how bright the lens seems.

In real terms this means you can use your fab new 50mm f1.4 wide open - focus and shoot. You could stop it down to f4, focus and shoot, but now its going to be a bit too dark to get the focus right. If you go to f8, you don't stand much chance of getting the focus right as the viewfinder will be so dark.

Thus the answer is to open the lens up, focus first, then stop down then compose and take the shot. Aaah, tha't how we had to do it in the '60s. Its character forming :)


12th September 2008, 08:36 PM
Thanks for the replies guys.

The closest thing I had to a film camera would have been a point and squirt disposable for school trips etc so I really don't understand the ins and outs of film photography, manual lenses etc etc.

As said before, this thread has been really informative, thanks again.

And I do fancy giving legacy lenses a go if just to get a feel of what its like.

12th September 2008, 09:18 PM
I have an OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 and the MF-1 adaptor. It is a bit soft wide-open but that can be an advantage for portraits as it can cast a flattering veil over skin blemishes. I have not used any 4xx or 5xx cameras and I've heard that manual focus can be a little tricky with them due to the smallish viewfinder. There are no problems with the E-1 or E-3 though, wide-open is very bright but focussing at f/4.0 is not a problem.

The adaptor really comes into its own with legacy telephoto lenses. Pick up an OM Zuiko 200mm f/4.0 for about 75 and you have a very sharp, bright super-telephoto lens that is light and easy to carry around but works like a 400mm f/4.0 on a 35mm SLR. The 135mm f/2.8 also works very well. I watched a second-hand OM Zuiko 250mm f/2.0 gradually come down in price from "well out of reach" to "maybe I could just stretch to that" but some so-and-so beat me to it :mad::(

I hope you manage to find some good legacy lens bargains. There are adaptors available for lots of different systems. I'd like to try some of the legendary Leica and Zeiss/Contax glass that's out there *yes