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Is it mid life crisis

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  • Is it mid life crisis

    I have a number of zooms and some primes but hanker for a Leica like approach to taking pictures, which led me to think about manual lenses. Just wondering how usable manual specialist lenses are on the OM-D cameras and whether its worth investigating. I dont specialise in any kind of photography, so its not for a particular purpose except its something I would like to try.

    Has anyone had much experience with manual lenses, in particular the very fast ones - I'm thinking bokeh here!! I'm dreaming of creamy black and white shots here.

    Can anyone offer help / advice?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Is it mid life crisis

    Because micro 4/3 has a short depth from the lens flange to the sensor, adapters are available to fit many classic manual focus lenses. I've tried one or two, and got some pretty good results but haven't pursued it much as I prefer the convenience of the system lenses. This could well be partly to do with the kind of stuff I shoot. There are various features that are really helpful with manual lenses, such as viewfinder magnification and focus peaking - magnification is certainly is available for MF lenses, I think peaking is as well but no doubt someone will put us right if not.

    There are quite a few classic lens users on here so you should get plenty of practical advice. Good luck with whatever you choose - I will be interested to see the results.

    John

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    • #3
      Re: Is it mid life crisis

      Originally posted by tmy999 View Post
      I have a number of zooms and some primes but hanker for a Leica like approach to taking pictures, which led me to think about manual lenses. Just wondering how usable manual specialist lenses are on the OM-D cameras and whether its worth investigating. I dont specialise in any kind of photography, so its not for a particular purpose except its something I would like to try.

      Has anyone had much experience with manual lenses, in particular the very fast ones - I'm thinking bokeh here!! I'm dreaming of creamy black and white shots here.

      Can anyone offer help / advice?

      Thanks in advance.
      In mentioning 'Leica-like' I assume you mean any manual focus, and not specifically Leica. Individuals mention the Leica glow and as an M240 user I do detect something special with the pairing of the camera and lens, hard to describe but there is something in it. However I believe the real Leica glow goes back to the days of film and older glass, maybe 1980's and earlier. Part of the effect I suspect was the effectiveness or otherwise of the anti-halation layer causing a slight spreading of light as it was reflected back to the emulsion.

      If you desire manual focus, I would highly recommend a camera designed to be used as such, and not one designed for focus-by-wire. A good place to start is an el-Cheepo SLR and a roll of film. If you don't like it, sell it on.
      Steve

      on flickr

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      • #4
        Re: Is it mid life crisis

        I've used a wealth of m39 and m42 lenses on my EM10, EM1mk2 and GX7 (I know it's a Panasonic but I couldn't afford a Pen-F I'm sorry!) and find that they are definitely very usable although the smaller sensor does mean that you lose a lot of the "swirly" bokeh that vintage lenses have become known for. Adapters are cheap, lenses are cheaper (have a look at car boot sales and charity shops - you'd be surprised how many lenses appear). Also, due to the crop factor these older lenses do end up being a bit long if you're aiming for leica-like street photography.

        On the plus side, you do get better corner sharpness and the EVFs with focus peaking etc make manual focusing relatively easy once you get the hang of it!
        Bailey

        Em1ii, GX7, 12-40 Pro, 60mm Macro, 40-150 Pro, PanaLeica 100-400mm, Sigma 30mm f1.4 & 16mm f1.4 and more bags than I can shake a tripod at :/

        www.taberham.co.uk

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        • #5
          Re: Is it mid life crisis

          If you want to use manual/legacy lenses that are wide angle then the equivalence to u43 pretty much kills it. Your best bet is to pick up a used Sony A7 or A7ii. They work very well with legacy glass.

          My 2c though - legacy glass is a real mixed bag and 90% of it is much worse than good native u43 lenses. Add to that MF, no Exif, size and weight and my view is that it's just not worth the agro!
          Paul
          E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
          flickr
          Portfolio Site
          Instagram

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          • #6
            Re: Is it mid life crisis

            I did try to use my old Pentax lens's.

            Alas they were semi automatic, and needed a gear lever to close the aperture when pressing the button.

            So not much use with any Olympus camera...
            Mark Johnson

            My Sailing Page

            My Flickr

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            • #7
              Re: Is it mid life crisis

              Even the Zuiko OM lenses need to be used in stop-down mode. The adapter has a little bit of metal that keeps the shutter closed to the set F/number. Would have been so nice if Olympus had made an adapter that mimicked the stop down lever in the OM cameras. Personally I would also like to see a focal length control ring on the adapter so it would be easy to set the EXIF for any lens you weer using rather than having to delve into the on-screen system.
              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
              Learn something new every day

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              • #8
                Re: Is it mid life crisis

                I'm pretty much totally manual focus these days. The only lens I use with auto focus is the 7-14 as the focus by wire is so crappy.

                And probably 95% of my personal work is with manual focus primes these days.
                It's the image that's important, not the tools used to make it.

                David M's Photoblog

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                • #9
                  Re: Is it mid life crisis

                  Wow, thanks everyone, some real food for thought here.

                  I didn't have in mind legacy Zuiko glass although I still have my OM1 and some lenses, so I could try that to start but if its a mixed bag then its pretty much just for fun.

                  I've got plenty of equipment (including a Canon 6D which I pretty much hardly use as its so big and heavy), so more cameras and format is probably not the direction I was looking to go, although, full frames like the Sony do appear to have good adaptors!

                  I also had in mind current lenses that are available for the M4/3 mount, I cant remember where I've seen them but there are the odd german type lenses with fast apertures. I think this is what I would like to try.

                  Otherwise, what I am really looking for is the good old days of having to think about your shot (a roll of 36 exp film and processing was quite expensive), and trying to make it count. Whereas nowadays Im finding I hit the shutter without too much thought, in the hope of the the many shots I've taken would turn out good.

                  Must be an age thing! Yikes!

                  btw I got out my old OM1 and my word, the viewfinder is super big and super bright

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is it mid life crisis

                    The only native manual m43 lenses I know of are the Samyang fisheye, holga plastic lenses and the super expensive Voigtlanders https://cameraquest.com/voigt_m43.htmhttps://flic.kr/s/aHsjXCFUjv

                    EDIT
                    I'd forgotten SLR Magic, Lensbaby and Lomography - some might fit the bill
                    https://www.wexphotovideo.com/micro-...gory_viewall=y
                    https://www.flickr.com/photos/amcuk/

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                    • #11
                      Re: Is it mid life crisis

                      Originally posted by AMc View Post
                      The only native manual m43 lenses I know of are the Samyang fisheye, holga plastic lenses and the super expensive Voigtlanders https://cameraquest.com/voigt_m43.htmhttps://flic.kr/s/aHsjXCFUjv

                      EDIT
                      I'd forgotten SLR Magic, Lensbaby and Lomography - some might fit the bill
                      https://www.wexphotovideo.com/micro-...gory_viewall=y
                      Some great shots in that Flickr gallery of yours. Shows that sharp isn't the be-all and end-all!
                      Paul
                      E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
                      flickr
                      Portfolio Site
                      Instagram

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                      • #12
                        Re: Is it mid life crisis

                        Thanks for the info. The voitlanders look pretty interesting, I definately would like to try one of those if I can.

                        Prompted me to search on google and found this:-

                        http://hazeghi.org/mft-lenses.html

                        Pretty useful guide to what is available.

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                        • #13
                          Steve

                          on flickr

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                          • #14
                            Re: Is it mid life crisis

                            Originally posted by tmy999 View Post
                            Thanks for the info. The voitlanders look pretty interesting, I definately would like to try one of those if I can.

                            Prompted me to search on google and found this:-

                            http://hazeghi.org/mft-lenses.html

                            Pretty useful guide to what is available.
                            There's a few lenses missing from that list. And two more manual focus primes were "leaked" today. The forthcoming 35mm f/1.2 sounds interesting, I've found 35mm a nice long standard and the f/1.2 is smaller in comparison to my f/1.9.

                            Edit. The photo of the 35mm f/1.2 wasn't the lens but the same makers 50mm f/1.1 tagged as the 35mm. Presumably to get more hits for the rumour site.
                            It's the image that's important, not the tools used to make it.

                            David M's Photoblog

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