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

Started Feb 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,423
Re: Are there any serious users of MF lenses on this forum?

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. ...

Hi Tom,

After several rounds of using various MF SLR lenses (not the ones designed and built for mFT) on my Panasonic G1, GF1, then Olympus E-PL1 and E-M1, I came to be of the opinion that the best lenses to use on this format were the ones built for the format. In particular respect to my Leica R lenses, while they worked well on the E-M1 in terms of sharpness and rendering, they lost the 'Leica Look magic' that is essentially why I own them.

I came to be of the opinion that these lenses were so well optimized for the 35mm film format that they needed a FF sensor of appropriate quality to do their thing and make the magic happen. So I bought a Sony A7 body to use them on, hoping that the 24Mpixel sensor would be good match.

Lo and behold, it is. Doing comparative testing between the Leica R lenses on film (with a Leicaflex SL) and on the digital with the A7, the photos captured show the same lens characteristics and 'magic' from f/stop to f/stop. And they prove to me that my hunch was right: the tuning done to top-notch lenses does take the format they're designed for into account.*

I feel this is also why Micro-FourThirds bodies image so nicely with FourThirds SLR and Micro-FourThirds lenses: the lenses are all tuned with this specific format in mind, and as such, do the best rendering job. Oddball things aside ... like the Holga 25mm lens or the Skink Pinhole/Zone Plate lenses, or my construction of a Cosmicar 12.5mm f/1.4 TV lens onto an mFT mounting flange ... I use FT and mFT lenses exclusively on my E-M1 and E-PL1 now.

* The Ricoh GXR + A12 Camera Mount is an exception to this general rule. It is a case of a manufacturer of a camera format optimized specifically for existing lenses of a particular type on another format. Of course, that does not stop the notion that various lenses that work best on it can be a little different from lenses that work best on the film and FF-digital bodies that they are designed for, because that does happen too...

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