Getting started with legacy lenses?

Started Feb 10, 2009 | Discussions thread
Forum ProPosts: 22,733
Re: Most of your shots I seen were done in house.
In reply to Sergey_Green, Feb 15, 2009

Sergey_Green wrote:

olyflyer wrote:

In a way, I agree with you Sergey, let's say to 90%. While I had the
E-500 I used my legacy lenses more than I do now with the E-3.
Although, I had no problems focusing with the E-500, now that I have
the E-3, which is undoubtedly better in regard of legacy lens use, I
rarely use my lenses and prefer the digital one.

I only tried mine on moving subjects, like birds in flight or macro
shots. The hit rate with macros was not as nearly as good as with AF
lenses, although many will say it is when the manual focus is used
the most. The problem was not just to focus, but to focus right
through the stopped down lens and when there is less light on the
mirror. And the E500 viewfinder in addition had the most dreadful vf
I had ever seen. Now if you do not need to stop the lens down then it
is an entirely different story, and through the larger vf and with
focus confirmation focusing, although not as quick, usually it is
quite easy.

...and I am the opposite. I tried my long 400mm Tokina OM lens on moving subject several times but always failed and only got OOF images. This was also the case with the E-3. I just could not handle the lens for anything else then "sitting ducks" like this one:

In the end, I got tired of all my failures and sold the lens. With shorter lenses I don't have the same problems, but of course, the digital lenses give a much higher keeper rate. For macro I never really had any problems with the E-500, but again, only static subjects. For close ups and moving targets, like these ones below, I found a reversed 70-210mm (push-pull zoom) works well.

Focusing is done by pushing / pulling the zoom (and of course my feet), so it works reasonably fast and well, which you can see by looking at the bees butt in 100%.

Of course, similar image taken with the 50/2 beats the above images hands down.

On the other hand, working distance is better with the zoom then the 50/2 macro, which makes the use of digital lens more difficult in these situations.

Yes, I often use manual focus even with the digital 50/2 macro because even if it is AF, the focus may not be where I want it in the end, so I have to correct often by moving the camera a bit. I don't use AF+MF, I prefer to move the camera. I found this is an easier way since I don't use tripod that often and almost never outdoors.

But then as I said, the camera has to come from the different league
as well. Once you have it, the manual lenses for whatever reason
suddenly become less of an interest.

Sure, as long as you can use digital lenses, I found them better. But when you have no choice for whatever reason, the use of legacy becomes easier with the higher end bodies.

BTW, as far as I know, the E-500 has the brightest VF of the Oly consumer bodies. The only bodies with better VF are the E-1, E-3 and E-30. I have not much experience with the other bodies, and I can not scientifically proof this, but the impression I got is that the E-500 is not bad at all, even when compared with cameras like Canon 3xxD and 4xxD or the Nikon D40. Of course, the E-500 can not be compared with any of the higher end models, but within the same group it has nothing to be ashamed of regarding the VF.

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