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Lens focus The place to talk about your camera's glassware.

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Old 1st November 2017
tmy999 tmy999 is offline
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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.
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Old 2nd November 2017
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Bikie John Bikie John is offline
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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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Old 2nd November 2017
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Re: Is it mid life crisis

Quote:
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.
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Old 2nd November 2017
BTaberham BTaberham is offline
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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!
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Old 2nd November 2017
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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!
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Old 2nd November 2017
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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...
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Old 2nd November 2017
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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.
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Old 2nd November 2017
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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.
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Old 2nd November 2017
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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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Old 3rd November 2017
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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.htm
The Voitlanders look amazing but I don't have that kind of money

I have a Chinese Holga from eBay - cheapest lens I've bought at under 10 - it's not fast or wide or any good at all but I do enjoy taking it out for a spin now and then when I'm running out of fun with trying to get perfect focus and exposure.
Pictures have a pleasant vintage quality. Nothing can be sharp so you stop worrying.
https://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
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Old 3rd November 2017
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Re: Is it mid life crisis

Quote:
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.htm
The Voitlanders look amazing but I don't have that kind of money

I have a Chinese Holga from eBay - cheapest lens I've bought at under 10 - it's not fast or wide or any good at all but I do enjoy taking it out for a spin now and then when I'm running out of fun with trying to get perfect focus and exposure.
Pictures have a pleasant vintage quality. Nothing can be sharp so you stop worrying.
https://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!
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  #12  
Old 3rd November 2017
tmy999 tmy999 is offline
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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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Old 3rd November 2017
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Re: Is it mid life crisis

I can't remember the details precisely, however I recollect the u43 sensor stack has some depth compared to the relatively thin film, meaning old film camera lenses are not at their best on u43. Others will have a different opinion I'm sure.
I played round with the OM 50mm on the OMD, and yeah it was ok, but not worth the effort. I paid 25 and sold for the same money, but lost on the converter.

The Voigtlander lenses designed for u43 should perform better, but focusing will require more effort compared to the native fly-by-wire designed for the u43 system.
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Old 3rd November 2017
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Re: Is it mid life crisis

Quote:
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.
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