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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 20th June 2013
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My little legacy collection.

I just thought I'd do a little write up on my little collection.

I originally wanted a few Olympus Zuiko lenses as I think they look gorgeous but when I came to buy my first I couldn't find any and I couldn't wait so instead I got a Minolta Rokkor 55mm f1.7 and it was a lovely thing. I went on to add a 28mm f2.8 and a 135mm f3.5 and then I managed to get hold of a little set of Zuiko's consisting of a 28mm f2.8, a 50mm f1.8 and a 135mm f3.5. So, I had two sets of similar lenses, Rokkor and Zuiko.

In use I actually came to prefer the Rokkor's for two main reasons, firstly they have intermediate aperture settings not offered by the Zuiko's and secondly I find the Zuiko's aperture dials rather clunky in use. One thing in favour of the Zuiko's is that their focus rings are a bit tighter and much less likely to move when you don't want them too, and of course (IMVHO) they just look lovely.

I compared the two sets to see if there was any difference in image quality and I really couldn't see any differences between the Rokkor and Zuiko 28 and 135mm lenses. The Zuiko 50mm f1.8 gave a touch more contrast than the Rokkor 55mm f1.7 but the slight lack of contrast with the latter was easy to rectify post capture. More of a problem was that the Rokkor seemed to have poorer coating and seemed susceptible to flare. I eventually gave the 55mm f1.7 away and replaced it with a later 50mm f1.7 which itself has since been supplanted by a 50mm f1.4, and I recently added a 35mm f2.8 to my collection.

The 50mm f1.4 offers (obviously) a wider aperture over the 50mm f1.7 and also offers additional aperture settings at the wide end. The f1.7 has f1.7 and then f2.8 whilst the f1.4 has f1.4, f2 and then something in between (f2.2? 2.5?) and then f2.8 and to my eyes the f1.4 seems to be as sharp at f1.4 as the f1.7 is at f1.7 so it's win win apart from the f1.4 being a bit bigger and heavier.

Here they are... from left to right... 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2.8, 50mm f1.7, 50mm f1.4 and 135mm f3.5.



They're all 49mm thread so that makes lens hoods and filters a bit easier.

Using these lenses on my G1 is a joy and focusing is quite easy with the magnified view. My keeper rate is very high and all of these lenses seem to be more than up to the task and produce images that stand viewing at 100%.

I also picked up a Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro and a Vivitar 28mm f1.9. The Sigma macro is perfect and although it's bigger and heavier than the Rokkor 50mm's it's manageable. The Vivitar 28mm f1.9 isn't the worlds best lens at f1.9 but it's useable and by f2.8 it's as sharp and vice free as the Rokkor and Zuiko 28mm f2.8's. Again and like the Sigma it's a bit big and another point against it is that the front rotates as you focus but at least it doesn't extend. One curious thing is that my copy has a definite notch at 1.25 ft when focusing from minimum distance towards longer distances that is hardly perceptible when going in the opposite direction. I don't know if it's meant to do this, I can't think of any reason why it would be made to do this and there's no mention of any "notch" in the little instruction book but if it is a fault of some sort it doesn't really matter as image quality is unaffected. If anyone has any idea what I'm talking about and can offer any possible explanation I'd be grateful!

Here's the Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9 and the Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro with a Zuiko 28mm f2.8 added just for a sense of scale.




I really like using these lenses. I have 20mm f1.7 and a 14-42mm AF lenses and I haven't used them for some time. I also have a Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 and it is very possibly the best lens I've ever owned or used but somehow using it feels like... cheating. I don't really know why as I'm quite lucky in that I can afford any "thing" that I want to buy but using the cheap Rokkor's seems much more... right
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Old 20th June 2013
ilscuro ilscuro is offline
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Re: My little legacy collection.

I love trawling the car boots looking for these and other lenses, they're more common than you think.

I'm currently waiting for an adapter to use a Chinon 50mm 1.4 which will be the fastest lens i've ever had.

I picked up a Konica auto S2 for £3 last weekend, but with a fixed lens, i would have loved to try that Hexanon 45mm 1.8 lens out.
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Old 20th June 2013
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Re: My little legacy collection.

I does get a bit addictive and to be honest any one or at the most two of the legacy lenses I have would be more than adequate but they're just so cheap and so good that it'd be rude not to buy them.


I'm currently looking for a Rokkor 24mm f2.8 with 49mm thread.


I don't need one, obviously, but my life would be complete if I had one... until I think of what I should be buying next.
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Old 21st June 2013
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Re: My little legacy collection.

Enjoyed the post on your legacy glass. I like to use some myself.
Sadly, I can not afford everthing and found that some old glass I've been looking for does earn pretty big money. I think there are many folks out there who apparently appreciate their slight imperfections more and more these days.
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Old 21st June 2013
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Re: My little legacy collection.

Most of my lenses were very cheap.

On my G1 they're pretty much perfect and I'd imagine that any fualts would perhaps only be visible to extreme pixel peepers or people using full frame cameras as on MFT we're only looking at the centre crop which should be pretty good.

Things like the shape of the bokeh highlights could disappoint some. I do like the rounder rendition myself but the more angular highlight bokeh could be said to add more... character
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Old 22nd October 2014
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: My little legacy collection.

Kiron lenses are very good and the commonest mount is OM.

Harold
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