Are there any serious users of MF lenses on this forum?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell
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Re: Are there any serious users of MF lenses on this forum?
In reply to beomagi, 6 months ago

beomagi wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Subtitled "What is a focal reducer?"

It seems that most members of this forum are using M4/3 oem AF lenses. They will perform well, are matched to the camera mount and are straight forward in use. No problem.

But MF can be fun and Panasonic has tossed in a reasonable focus peaking system in the GM1 at least and not being "into" Olympus I presume that there is one in current use there as well.

Focus peaking just increases the fun of using MF lenses. But it is not for everyone.

I would like to get some feedback from those who use MF lenses, what types, and what adapters and techniques they use. Also if they are using any of the new Focal reducer adapters that are appearing on the market for M4/3 mount.

These adapters change the normal crop factor effectively from 2.0x to 1.4x they also give one full stop of extra light for the lens. For example a f2.8 lens will act like a f2.0 as far as light to the sensor is concerned.

I am using the RJ M42-M4/3 adapter and I have accumulated a good number of MF lenses that I now share between the Ricoh GXR-M LM mount, the Sony NEX6 E mount and still occasionally use on the Samsung NX10 NX mount. I can now use many of these lenses also on the GM1.

The GM1 is a good mule for MF lenses. Left arrow, press set (screen magnified), twirl dial (change magnification level), twist focus ring (focus), click.

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Tom Caldwell

Any relation to Brian Caldwell?

No I am not, if we are we must be 64th cousins.  But as we are both clever I guess there must be some common dna there (grin)

I've recently received a cheaper EF-MFT 0.72x Chinese focal reducer, and I'm loving it.

I already have a variety - mostly for the Sony E mount.  Ia came across them when I was trying to find a way out of my Canon EF lens headlock. Great lenses and I love them but I am fed up with simply upgrading my dslr every so often as Canon would dictate and the EF-M was not what I was looking for.

I use 2 systems - so most my gear is manual, and I admit to GAS. If it works on my 5D, I want it on my EP3. Since the adapter is EF, I've been able to toy with my F, K, M42, CY, and OM mount lenses on the 5D and then on the EP3. Right now the 55mm F1.2 FD converted has supplanted the 25mm PL native lens from my EP3 thanks to the focal reducer. I'll admit effective 80mm isn't quite comfortable, but the effective light gain (f0.86) is insanely addictive, especially with this older noisy sensor.

My 5d is even more of my main MF camera. see, I bought the old 5d "cheaply" because I had every intention of modifying it to work with my 55mm F1.2 FD I initially got for the EP3. The mirror was ground down to not hit the back of older lenses, focusing screen replaced and calibrated with scotch tape...

It's not just about curiosity, but practicality. The AF on the 5D is atrocious. AF or not - prefocus rules, and if you're not ready to prefocus and time it then shooting a burst while racking focus can work. Caf on the EP3 and 5D both suck more than I do with manual focus when my kid is moving usually, so to get the shot it's normally my best option.
Then there's low light capability - in terms of affordability (any f1.2 af vs manual) and specification (F1.4 and brighter lenses on focal reducers are in a very elite club).
Cost is a factor in every situation.
Character is a reason, but it take time to appreciate it in quirky lenses.

Of course, anyone doing video may learn to appreciate the smooth focusing, and sometimes clickless aperture a manual lens can provide.

These were all done on the 5d. No way was this going to give me sharp focus otherwise.

Reason 1: movement!

NB: these are from the 5D

135mm F1.8 Spiratone. Shot wide open, horses running towards me. Prefocus->snap->pre focus ahead and wait->snap...repeat

135mm F1.8D - I like it when she runs around because it means she'll sleep through the night and not wake me up. I LOVE catching shots with her in motion.

Reason 2: Cost!

pretty much any lens here is far cheaper than AF alternatives.

Jupiter, and it's 4 largest moons. 500mm F8 Tokina RMC. No way would I afford an AF long lens. ~$80

Reason 3: Low Light!

My 35mm and 55mm Manual F1.2 lenses both cost much less than my PL 25mm F1.4. Of course now that I have speed booster, it's even faster and more usable.

ISO3200 on the EPL1 with 55mm F1.2, 1/13.

EPL1 and 55mm F1.2 FD. Pitch black except for her light up turtle.

Reason 4: Character!

This was done with a c-mount Canon PHF 35mm F1.2. Love the swirly bokeh!

And I thought I was adventurous - well done and thanks for the tips but I am not about to grind anything on my 5D, dear old thing.  I have not been overly worried by lack of AF speed on the 5D, but I agree that your MF technique for MF lenses is brilliant.

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Tom Caldwell

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