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View Full Version : Old Olympus Lenses (OM lenses?) and the E-Series


Gazza_DJ
4th October 2008, 09:44 PM
Im thinking about getting a lens mount adaptor to use older olympus lenses, however I was wondering if there are any lenses which will retain the autofocus capability? If it is manual focus only in all cases, I guess its an opportunity to develop my photography skills as I havent really had much experience with manual focus :lol:

Graham_of_Rainham
4th October 2008, 09:52 PM
Everything goes back to Manual

I often use the adaptor to attach a Macro Bellows and other such things

I think it's a great little bit of kit and would recommend it.

*chr

Gazza_DJ
4th October 2008, 09:55 PM
OK, that could be interesting!

Is there any issues with operation? By everything in manual, I assume that means Aperture as well? So the only modes you can effectively use are Aperture priority and Manual?

Gazza_DJ
4th October 2008, 10:28 PM
Well, Ive placed a bid on a 50mm Zuiko OM prime and a 28mm Zuiko OM prime, hoepfully I win them for an agreeable amount and let the experimentation begin!

JohnGG
4th October 2008, 10:58 PM
OK, that could be interesting!

Is there any issues with operation? By everything in manual, I assume that means Aperture as well? So the only modes you can effectively use are Aperture priority and Manual?

Yes, you are limited to Aperture Priority or Manual.

The adaptor is made so that the lens is always stopped down to whatever aperture you have selected. Thus you have to keep opening the lens up to focus then stop it back down to meter (if in Manual) and shoot. In practice I have found it possible to focus at f/4.0 or even f/5.6 in bright conditions.

The adaptor is a really useful piece of kit, giving you access to heaps of legacy Zuiko and independant glass that can be picked up second-hand for very reasonable money. You may find these links of interest:

http://www.datasync.com/~farrar/zuiko.html

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/shared/zuiko/htmls/index.htm

http://members.aol.com/olympusom/lenstests/default.htm?f=fs

There is another web site where someone has gone to the trouble of posting images taken with a very large collection of OM Zuiko lenses, IIRC most of them from 16mm to 500mm :eek: I thought I had it bookmarked but can't find it at present :o Perhaps another forum member know of the page I'm referring to and can provide the link :)

Cheers,

JohnGG

Xpres
4th October 2008, 11:03 PM
You won't look back. :D
There is a wealth of info out there, have a look at the manual focus forum and MF lenses and you'll 'see'.
Remember you have to use stop down metering which is fairly easy on zuiko lenses using the preview button. You soon get used to it.
have fun

Gazza_DJ
5th October 2008, 04:38 PM
Any recommendations for some nice OM lenses to look out for? :)

mas
5th October 2008, 04:57 PM
A little light reading to get you started ;-)

http://www.snaar.co.uk/lenses/index.html
http://members.aol.com/olympusom/lenstests/default.htm?f=fs
http://web.archive.org/web/20030415043752/medfmt.8k.com/third/cult.html

There is another one that I thought was quite useful but for some reason I cant find it in my bookmarks.

I have an OM 50 1.8 which has given some quite nice results (and is cheap cheap cheap - I paid 10 inc postage). I've also got a couple of other OM and a kiron that I need to sort out and play with when I have a spare moment.

Gazza_DJ
5th October 2008, 05:03 PM
Excellent, thanks for all the links everyone, I'll have a read :)

JohnGG
5th October 2008, 10:53 PM
Any recommendations for some nice OM lenses to look out for? :)

The 200mm f/4.0 makes an excellent telephoto lens, the equivalent of a 400mm f/4.0 on 35mm or full-frame DSLR and can be picked up for about 70 quid. The 135mm f/2.8 also gives good results and is also cheap. The slower versions of both of these lenses, 200mm f/5.0 and 135mm f/3.5, are also said to perform well. The standard lenses, 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.4 can make good portrait lenses and are very cheap.

If you have an interest in macro photography the OM system was renowned in that discipline and you can purchase extension tubes and bellows plus various macro lenses. My favourite is the 90mm f/2.0 but that lens is still quite pricey second-hand. The (non-macro) 100mm f/2.0 short telephoto is said to be tack-sharp but is as rare as rocking horse manure.

Entering the world of dream purchases, I would love to get either or both of the super-bright telephoto lenses Olympus brought out later on; the 250mm f/2.0 and 350mm f/2.8. Trouble is, they still cost in the thousands :(

As an added bonus, if you have an E-510, E-520 or E-3 you can use image stabilisation with all legacy lenses *yes

Cheers,

JohnGG

HughofBardfield
6th October 2008, 09:58 AM
Another link:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/om_four_thirds_adapter/

Lots of images from legacy lenses of all kinds - basically adaptors are available for almost anything except Canon (where there is a physical incompatibility).

I think the site that John is referring to above may be:

http://www.biofos.com/cornucop/omz_e1.html

It includes some useful recommendations, although bear in mind that there can be significant variations between samples of the same lens. In general, longer lenses perform better than wide lenses, "standard" apertures perform better wide open than their faster cousins, but see John Foster's exhaustive tests above for the full SP.

You might also want to look at Konica Hexanon lenses, that don't need an adaptor to be used on 4/3rds, just a bit of fairly simple tinkering. See:

http://www.buhla.de/Foto/Konica/eHexanonUebersicht.html
http://www.snaar.co.uk/lenses/index.html
http://gfsnt.no/hexanon/

One other point which I don't think has been mentioned: spot or centre-weighted metering tends to produce more reliable results than ESP/ matrix.

Dicky
11th November 2008, 10:38 PM
i bought an adapter on E-bay for about 12inc posting and its great to have the ability to use OM lenses and to have them focus where i want them to not where some machine wants them to
Adaptors are allso available ti fit Zeiss and leica lenses to 4/3rds cameras aswell as most japanese makes

Barrie Norman
10th February 2009, 06:47 PM
I purchaced my first Olympus Camera (OM 10) in 1979 and over the years I have collected many lenes, I have a Tamron II 135mm f2 a Tamron 200mm f3.5 and an unknown 500mm f6.3 mirror lens, with a screw fitting which fits the T mount, all of which I still use when I photograph butterflies they all still work perfectly as I have looked after them over the years. It is good to go back to shooting manual and gives new comers a good insite into the correct working of an SLR camera, I still use manual mode when photographing butterflies even with an automatic lens fitted. I now would not be without my digital E500's and my sigma bigma 50-500 but still enjoy shooting manual for the control but OM fit lenses work perfectly on DSLR bodies and there are many bargins to be had.

Enjoy you photography!

Barrie Norman

David M
11th February 2009, 12:49 AM
Entering the world of dream purchases, I would love to get either or both of the super-bright telephoto lenses Olympus brought out later on; the 250mm f/2.0 and 350mm f/2.8. Trouble is, they still cost in the thousands :(

As an added bonus, if you have an E-510, E-520 or E-3 you can use image stabilisation with all legacy lenses *yes

Cheers,

JohnGG

The 350mm f2.8 is a spectacular piece of glass on any of the current E-system bodies. If you can find the dedicated OM 1.4xA tele-convertor you have a 500mm f4 as well.

There's a few shots taken with the 350mm and at least one taken with the lens plus the 1.4xA in my gallery.

As far as using IS with the 350mm, I've tried it, but holding a 9+ lb lens/body combination can be a bit of a strain for any lenght of time.

bully74uk
11th February 2009, 07:58 AM
Entering the world of dream purchases, I would love to get either or both of the super-bright telephoto lenses Olympus brought out later on; the 250mm f/2.0 and 350mm f/2.8. Trouble is, they still cost in the thousands :(


3750 to be exact ! http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170110859301&cguid=6453bfca11f0a0e2032454a4ffd30ccd

This seller has a few OM lenses inc an 80mm F4 Macro which could be fun.

mike_j
11th February 2009, 08:50 AM
Any recommendations for some nice OM lenses to look out for? :)

Olympus lenses tend to be a bit pricey except for the 50mm f1.8. I have a couple of Tamron Adaptall mulitcoated BBAR lenses which are very good optically and the BBAR build quality is excellent, in fact the 90mm f2.8 macro is hard to beat. I have just bought a 28mm f2.8 absolutely mint for 8. These Tamrons are designed to work with most traditional SLRs via an adapter. You would need an Adaptall to Olympus OM adapter plus the OM to 4/3

Once you start on the legacy lenses you are not limited to Olympus - almost anything (except Canon I believe) can be used via an adapter, and I haven't had any problem with the eBay cheap adapters (about 10)

You may find zooms disappointing, keep to good quality primes and you will have great fun.

Focussing on the Oly isn't too easy via the viewfinder, magnified live view works well but is cumbersome.

snaarman
11th February 2009, 09:25 AM
I have a couple of Tamron Adaptall mulitcoated BBAR lenses which are very good optically and the BBAR build quality is excellent, in fact the 90mm f2.8 macro is hard to beat.
Focussing on the Oly isn't too easy via the viewfinder, magnified live view works well but is cumbersome.

Another vote for Tamron here:) I have modified three or four Adaptall/Konica AR adapters to fit my 4/3 cameras. Thus each Tamron has its own adapter - but that is a luxury. That SP90 macro is a very very good lens, its almost as sharp as my 50mm f2 ED, and that is high praise indeed.

OK I do have problems focussing shorter lenses with 4/3 viewfinders and so I stick to the longer ones*, and magnified live view is a big help.

Pete

*I am expecting a Tammie 200 f3.5 to arrive quite soon. Will report back :-)

bully74uk
11th February 2009, 10:09 AM
Another vote for Tamron here:) I have modified three or four Adaptall/Konica AR adapters to fit my 4/3 cameras. Thus each Tamron has its own adapter - but that is a luxury. That SP90 macro is a very very good lens, its almost as sharp as my 50mm f2 ED, and that is high praise indeed.


*I am expecting a Tammie 200 f3.5 to arrive quite soon. Will report back :-)

What price could one expect to pay for the 90mm Macro in reasonable condition ?

I would be interested in this route as in intro to macro/manual shooting.

Steve Lane
11th February 2009, 11:44 AM
The cheapest I have seen a 90mm f2 zuiko go for is just over 400. I have also seen them offered for considerably more i.e. 700, but this was mint in box. A couple of years ago, I was offered a brand spanking new one from a person I have dealt with previously in Honk Kong for $800, which was a pretty good deal, but I did not have the funds then.

The only OM Zuiko macro lens I have is the 80mm with the dedicated 2 x close up filter. I have never used this lens on my E-cameras, but it is tack sharp on the OM's.

Some years ago I had the Zuiko 20mm F2, which was incredible, but difficult to use. I sold it to finance the purchase of another lens and regret selling it to this day :(

Cheers, Steve.

snaarman
11th February 2009, 11:56 AM
What price could one expect to pay for the 90mm Macro in reasonable condition ?

I would be interested in this route as in intro to macro/manual shooting.

If you are talking about the Tamron SP90 macro, then they seem to ebay for 40 to 100 depending on condition and bidding madness. I bought mine for 28 with a focus problem, which I was able to fix :)

Pete

bully74uk
11th February 2009, 12:48 PM
If you are talking about the Tamron SP90 macro, then they seem to ebay for 40 to 100 depending on condition and bidding madness. I bought mine for 28 with a focus problem, which I was able to fix :)

Pete

It was indeed the Tamron that I was interested in.

Please confirm that I would need the tamron - OM converter and also the OM - E-System converter ?

Also, how does stop down metering work and would I have to use this method with the Tamron ?

snaarman
11th February 2009, 01:09 PM
It was indeed the Tamron that I was interested in.

Please confirm that I would need the tamron - OM converter and also the OM - E-System converter ?

Also, how does stop down metering work and would I have to use this method with the Tamron ?

Yes, you would need both adapters to fit the Tamron to the E-system.

As to metering: You can use Aperture priority or Manual Mode.

I use Aperture priority myself: Set your preferred ISO first. Open the lens up fully to get the brightest image in the viewfinder, compose and focus your shot. Finally click the aperture ring down to get your desired depth of field and press the shutter.

Some notes: As you stop the aperture down, the screen gets darker, that's why you do it last. Check the shutter speed as you do this. Its easy to end up with camera shake brought on by a slow shutter speed. (You can switch IS on if your camera has it)

Manual mode is similar. First set your ISO and a reasonable shutter speed. Compose and focus. Finally stop the aperture down until the exposure sign (+- in the viewfinder) goes out. That should be the right exposure.

Pete

Xpres
11th February 2009, 01:46 PM
Yes, you would need both adapters to fit the Tamron to the E-system.

You can get an adapter to fit most mounts to 4/3 so wait and see what A2 mount comes with the lens before you get the 4/3 adapter.

JohnGG
11th February 2009, 07:48 PM
...

Some years ago I had the Zuiko 20mm F2, which was incredible, but difficult to use.

...


I have that lens and I have to agree about how difficult it is to use. Even with the lens wide open and with moderate bellows extension the viewfinder is very dark and the depth of field is amazingly shallow. Plus, the magnification is so high that the slightest clumsiness means you've nudged the camera off the subject completely :mad:

I'm very far from mastering it but I will persevere :o

Cheers,

JohnGG