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Legacy Lenses Discuss the use of older lenses, using adapters, from the Olympus OM system, Leica M and R-series, and the millions of others too.

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Old 10th March 2018
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Old vs New (or how the OM 100/2.8 compares to modern m43 "Pro" zooms)

As per the thread I posted here, I picked up basically a "new" OM 100mm f2.8 lens. I thought it would be interesting to compare it to the two "Pro" zooms that cover 100mm - the 12-100 f4 and the 40-150 f2.8. I bought the lens for use on my old OM-1 or Sony FF rather than m43, so it's not a test that will influence my usage - just an academic exercise. Of course, on m43, the OM lens is pretty heavily cropped so I'm only using the central portion of the image and so playing to its strengths. But even so, I was surprised with the results.

All are shot with the E-M1ii at ISO 200 and in raw. Processed in LR with default settings. Satisfyingly, I used Aperture priority metering and the camera chose the same exposure for all lenses. The transmission of the lenses must all be pretty close.

First, three comparison images at f4.

Olympus OM Zuiko 100mm:

EM200002.jpg by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


Olympus MZ 12-100mm:

EM200007.jpg by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


Olympus MZ 40-150mm:

EM200009.jpg by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

Now a 100% crop comparison at f4:

f4Crop.jpg by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


And here's a comparison between the 100mm and 40-150mm at f2.8:

Olympus OM Zuiko 100mm at f2.8:

EM200004.jpg by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


Olympus MZ 40-150mm at f2.8:

EM200011.jpg by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


And the 100% crop comparison at f2.8:

f2.8Crop.jpg by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

So, my conclusion:

- At f4 the little 100mm is slightly less sharp than either of the m43 zooms. It's closest to the 12-100. The 40-150 is the sharpest. The 12-100 is at its weakest at 100mm so this doesn't entirely surprise me.

- At f2.8 the 40-150 is notably better. Again, this doesn't surprise me since the Pro lens is probably one of the best optics in the m43 catalogue.

- Slightly stopped down, the old 100mm f2.8 still performs very well. For portrait work wide open, its slight softness would deliver very nice rendering.

- Any of them would deliver a nice image if the photographer does their bit.

So, for a little over 100, you have a very nice portrait lens for an FF camera.
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Old 10th March 2018
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Re: Old vs New (or how the OM 100/2.8 compares to modern m43 "Pro" zooms)

The Achilles Heel is generally revealed in the corners, but as you say here you played to the strengths by comparing centre stage. For anyone considering the option it would be education to see corner sharpness and the aberrations if any.

I've dabbled in the past with the OM 50 on the u4/3, results were ok but the main reason for moving on and selling was the lack of auto aperture. I found the need to focus at a wider opening and then to stop down a bit of a pain in the whatnots.
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Old 10th March 2018
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Re: Old vs New (or how the OM 100/2.8 compares to modern m43 "Pro" zooms)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post

I've dabbled in the past with the OM 50 on the u4/3, results were ok but the main reason for moving on and selling was the lack of auto aperture. I found the need to focus at a wider opening and then to stop down a bit of a pain in the whatnots.
I agree Steve. In general I'm not a great fan of adapted manual lenses. MF with peaking is reasonably fast and accurate most of the time, but as you say lack of auto aperture can be a PITA. OTOH, so long as you're not stopping down too far (say f5.6 or wider) then peaking usually still works so you can always just focus stopped down. At least that way you won't need to worry about focus breathing!
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Old 10th March 2018
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Re: Old vs New (or how the OM 100/2.8 compares to modern m43 "Pro" zooms)

That's the other issue, focus shift. Until now I have not considered how mirrorless overcome this issue. I guess all but the most expensive lens design and manufacture suffer to a degree (it happens on RFs and Leica glass isn't cheap) so I would expect u43 lenses to suffer this too. Mirrorless focus open with half press, then stop down as the exposure is completed. Opportunity for focus shift?
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Old 10th March 2018
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Re: Old vs New (or how the OM 100/2.8 compares to modern m43 "Pro" zooms)

An interesting and educational comparison.

I use and enjoy a few old manual lenses, but the ones I keep have all earned their place by having some particular features. The commonest for me is the unique ergonomic pleasure of using a well-designed direct manual focus ring, and very few current cameras can match this (current Leitz lenses being one exception in my limited expereince).

I've got an early-model 58mm f1.2 Rokkor in superb condition which not only has fantastic focus feel, but it throws a lovely image at full aperture, with fine bokeh.

Yes, these are mostly not up to modern standards when pixel-peeped, but there's more to good photography than that.

One lens which is getting on for 20y old but is still technically entirely viable today is the tiny Contax-Zeiss G T* 90mm f2.8 Sonnar, and this is another adapted cracker. There are a number of comparisons on-line, for example: https://admiringlight.com/blog/fuji-...x-g-90mm-f2-8/

These go very well on Sony full frame bodies, Paul, and are wonderfully compact and light compared to the AF modern equivalents. I got mine for 200 new-old stock from LCE around 10 years ago and have used it regularly ever since on m4/3 and Sony FE. Finding a good MF adapter is a bit of trial and error, though (Metabones and Fotodiox are OK in my experience).
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Old 11th March 2018
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Re: Old vs New (or how the OM 100/2.8 compares to modern m43 "Pro" zooms)

Nice comparison Paul. Thanks.
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Cameras: E-M5, E-PM2, OM40, OM4Ti
Lenses (M.Zuiko Digital): 7-14mm/F2.8, 12-40mm/F2.8, 40-150mm/F2.8+TC1.4x, 12-50mm/F3.5-6.3, 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 EZ, M.ZD 40-150 F4-5.6 R, 75-300mm/F4.8-6.7 Mk1, 12mm/F2, 17mm/F1.8
Lenses (OM Zuiko): 50mm/F1.2, 24mm/F2, 35mm/F2.8 shift
Lenses (OM Fit): Vivitar Series II 28-105mm/F2.8-3.8, Sigma 21-35mm/F3.4-4.2, Sigma 35-70mm/F2.8-4, Sigma 75-200mm/F2.8-3.5, Vivitar Series II 100-500mm/F5.6-8.0, Centon 500mm/F8 Mirror
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