Getting started with legacy lenses?

Started Feb 10, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Andr the giant Regular Member • Posts: 199
Getting started with legacy lenses?

I'm too young (or rather, I never was interested in photography pre-digital) to have ever owned an SLR camera before.

Thus; I own no legacy lenses, and I honestly did state to myself when buying my E-510 that I'd probably never bother to deal with the hassle that is manual focusing with legacy lenses.

But, times are a-changing and with focus confirm aids, and me on a way tighter budget than I'd hoped a couple of months ago, legacy lenses are a more attractive alternative now as a cheap shortcut to some focal lengths (and apertures!) I can't reach at the moment with the single kit lens.

I've been thinking about starting with a 135/2.8 lens. And I've found three different brands on offer right now.

One is a Tamron for M42. The auction ends in two days (damn if there are any Swedes here trying to beat me to this one!!! ;-)) and it's very cheap so far.

There's also another M42 lens, a Meyer Orestor. Also quite cheap and I read good things about it the other day ("Bokeh king").

The last one is a Vivitar for Minolta (if I'm correct Vivitar lenses are available for different mounts?). Not quite as cheap but looks to be in great condition.

Anyway, I need advice on which legacy system to start with, as I will need an adapter as well and I don't want more than one mount. Is any brand, or mount rather, better than another? Or offers more lenses? Cheaper lenses?

Advice on the adapter is of course appreciated too – do the ones with a Dandelion chip already on them work well? Is it worth paying more for any particular brand of mount adapter? Focus confirmation is a must for my type of shooting – most of it requires some speed.

And lastly, is there any pedagogic website that wrotniak-style goes through a bit of what one needs to know to get started with legacy lenses? Except wrotniak's OM guide – I've read it and there was nothing new for me. Good guide though.

And ultimately, if anyone has anything else to (dandelion-) chip in, feel free to do so. I feel like a total rookie and need all the help I can get.

I realize these are many questions, and I don't ask of any one of you to answer them all. But if you do have anything to add, please do.

Thank you all.

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With regards from Sweden,

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