ultrawide legacy lenses

Started Jul 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
EEmu Forum Member • Posts: 69
Re: ultrawide legacy lenses

grumpyolderman wrote:

I am switching all my native m43 lenses to manual focus legacy glass for my G5, except for the 20mm F1.7 and my 14-45 mm zoom as I can not get wide legacy lenses.

Is there any way to get a 12mm legacy lens? the SLR lenses "stop" at 28mm, but other formats might fill the m43 sensor and have shorter focal length, but I odn't know which ones are good, any tips from people that use old lenses around the 8-14mm focal length range (ideally f 2.8-3.5)? The only alternative seems to be the very good but expensive pana zoom...

any advice appreciated! Even if the lenses you might recommend are not ultra sharp, they would still be very good for videos, where manual focus and aperture control is really useful on the G5...


The short answer is no, not really.  The reason why is that ultra wide lenses need to factor in the field of view of their image circle, which dictates the way the lens is designed.  Because m43 only utilizes a part of that field of view, ultimately you're looking at lenses with a much more complex design that you aren't going to be using.

That said, a speed booster not only increases the lens speed by a stop, it also decreases focal length by 41%.  Thus, a 17mm f/4 (Minolta's widest non-fisheye prime) becomes a 12mm f/2.8.  That's not bad, but obviously still a lot of that lens is being wasted... If a 2 stop booster were possible, that would be a neat 9mm f/2.  Unfortunately metabones believes that it isn't possible to make a worthwhile 2 stop booster, so you're stuck with the 1 stop and ultimately nothing extremely impressive.

Outside of true legacy, there are APS-C wide angles (Samyang's 14mm f/2.8 is of particular note) which couple quite well with a speed booster in theory as, being APS-C, they're only 1 stop bigger than m43 and thus the speed booster fully utilizes the lens.  The aforementioned Samyang gives 10mm f/2.0, which is quite respectable.  There's also a 16mm f/2.0 which becomes an 11mm f/1.4.

All that said, speed boosters aren't cheap, and neither are, for that matter, the aforementioned lenses (even the legacy ones).  If this is a budgetary concern, you'll probably be better off buying native.  The gray market / used prices aren't bad for the 12mm f/2.0 ($650) and 7-14mm f/4 ($750).  Compare and contrast to a $430 booster and then lenses for $200-$500 each.  Without the speed booster, Panasonic's 14mm f/2.5 cannot be beat.

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