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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 3rd October 2016
Snookerman Snookerman is offline
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Testing Lenses - m43 vs OM on the E M1

Today, I went out to a local arboretum with my new E M1. It's a sunny but rather hazy day with indistinct sunshine. Not imperfect, but good enough to test.

I shot with the following lenses: m43 12-40 and 40-150mm kit lens; OM 50mm 1.4, Tamron 135mm.

I shot the same scene using F5.6 and F8 - mainly F8.

I handfocussed the legacy lenses and used live view and the EVF to double check the focus. I did not focus peak. I used the notion also that the lenses focus better manually just before infinity - which seemed to be the case. I used auto-focus on the m43 lenses.

The best 2 lenses for colour, clarity and sharpness were definitely the 12-40mm and the OM50mm 1.4. Both produced really strong colour (if anything the OM had the better but maybe not quite as sharp - not much in it).

The 40-150mm kit lens was tested at 40, 75 and 150mm. At 40 it looked only marginally worse than the 12-40mm at 40mm. At 75mm it was softer but not too bad, at 150mm it appears very soft. (I have this lens not because I expect great things of it, but because it is handy, esp up to 100mm and light - and the best lens is the one you have and can carry, right?)

I found the same thing with the 43 kit 40-150mm...decent or good up to 100mm, after that it falls off a lot. (The 70-300mm is much better but very heavy and cumbersome). If anything, from memory, I expect that the 43 kit 40-150mm maybe a little better than the m43 version, but I'd have to test this - I have both.

So, since I am looking for a decent lens to carry around easily (ie it's not heavy) that performs well at 100mm or above - the kit lens doesn't and the 43 70-300 is not light enough (though it's a good lens), I also tried my old Tamron 135mm.

I don't think I am quite getting the best from it yet. I forgot how to set the focal length for it - I now know it's on the IS settings. In practice, it was a sunny day and I was shooting with a shutter speed of 1/350 or above, so I doubt it mattered.

Having said that, the Tamron was not nearly as good as the Oly 50mm. It was, however, much better than the kit lens at 150mm. It's much heavier though - about 300g more, so that must come into consideration.

So, all in all, the Oly 50m 1.4 may make a decent telephoto, though I'd like something longer that performs better than the Tamron 135mm.

I think the Oly will also make a decent portrait lens, though I think I would use my Sigma 60mm much more for the autofocus. I haven't got a 75mm, but I am sure that I will one day - and perhaps that's the answer to the telephoto issue - albeit with lack of reach, I'd find myself cropping a fair bit.

That seems to be one of the issues with m43 at the moment. I think we really need prime 100mm, 135mm, 150mm and 200mm telephotos.
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Old 4th October 2016
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Re: Testing Lenses - m43 vs OM on the E M1

Thanks for sharing your results, it's always good to hear other people's opinions, specially as well thought out as these.

I am a bit surprised by your results with the m43 40-150 kit lens - I had thought that it was one of the unsung gems of the m43 line-up (the other being the 45mm f/1.8). I bought one from a forum member and although I haven't used it all that much, I tried it for rugby on a dry slightly overcast day and it performed superbly. I have a thread about it somewhere, here is the sample photo I put up:



It was at full stretch and wide open - 150mm f/5.6. Given the subject I wasn't too fussed about what was going on in the corners, but the general quality was fine and easily good enough to feed to the local paper or make an A4 print.

Other people here have praised this lens, and some have criticised it. Perhaps there is a lot of sample variation and if you happen to get a goodie it is worth hanging on to!

John
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Old 4th October 2016
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Re: Testing Lenses - m43 vs OM on the E M1

That's much better than what I got. I'd better try it again though...
Hopefully it will do better next time.
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Old 4th October 2016
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Re: Testing Lenses - m43 vs OM on the E M1

I too consider the 40-150 "Kit Lens" to be extremely good Value for Money, especially when it can turn back this level of IQ:

100% crop from RAW (No Processing) 150mm hand held at a moving target:


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Old 4th October 2016
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Re: Testing Lenses - m43 vs OM on the E M1

Hmm...Well, I really do need to give it another go then. The 150mm on my shots was very soft. Maybe it was atmospheric haze, since I was shooting into the distance. Maybe that is the issue - if I try it closer up to something we will find out. Having said that, the 50mm Om did not have atmospheric haze, albeit zoomed in 1/3 as much focal length wise.
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Old 4th October 2016
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Re: Testing Lenses - m43 vs OM on the E M1

Have decided to buy an OM 200mm f5. It weighs only 380g, so that's not going to be a bother. Small too. At 400mm it should be interesting to use. I'm not worried about the F5 as I can use a faster ISO if I need to and the 5 zone IS will help.

I am not sure about the 2x-A converter - F10 would be a lot! 800mm would be some reach, though!

The other thing is that it is cheap! You can get one for under 80. This is a big saving on likely alternatives. I should imagine it'll look pretty cool on the E M1 and Pen EP5.

Anyone used a metabones?

This kind of fulfills my need to have a long telephoto for m43. There are not really any I'd go for as native lenses. I fancy the 75mm, but it's not long enough, and I don't always want to use a zoom.

Since it will mainly be used to shoot stuff that is literally miles away, focus won't be an issue. With the adapter, just focus shy of infinity and it's about right and then adjust slightly with the eye. Not much need for auto focus in these circuumstances. I can even set IS for 200mm for every time it goes on.
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Old 9th October 2016
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Re: Testing Lenses - m43 vs OM on the E M1

Hi Snookerman, I have the metabones check out my previous threads and also over on bird forum. It works well! I have the model that does not alter the focal length of what ever lens you apply to the camera! I perchased it to be able to use my canon lenses (EF ). It works with my macro through to my 500 prime. It's not cheap but OLY does not make a 500mm for m4/3 neither a 180 macro.
I hope this helps.
Kind regards Mike.
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Old 9th October 2016
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Re: Testing Lenses - m43 vs OM on the E M1

I can still get shots hand held with a 400mm and a 600mm Sigma.

The IS really works well and provided I take care the images are "reasonable"
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