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

Started Feb 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 36,499
Re: I hear ya Tom, I hear ya.

Dave Sanders wrote:

I hear ya Tom. I've really taken to using legacy glass on my Oly's...first my E-M5 and now my E-M1. I've had the 14, 20, 25, 45 and 75 and even with all of those, I still love using strange old MF lenses. It has nothing to do with absolute image quality and much more to do with personal enjoyment...I mean, it's a hobby, so that's what it's all about. I also find I get some very cool pictoral results. I've got adapters for m42, OM, Canon FD, Nikon F, Minolta and C/Y.

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.

I use the E-M1 and it is great for legacy glass. Peaking and magnification make it a snap, especially since they can so easily be assigned to custom function buttons.

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

I find peaking effective enough that I don't even need to use magnification that often. I actually like to set my lenses at MFD or close to it, flip the screen out and then just move my camera back and forth until I see what I want outlined and in focus. Works brilliantly and is a ton of fun.

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.

I haven't tried any of the Metabones Speed Boosters yet...the $400 price tag defeats the purpose for me. I use some cheap ebay adapters which I've found to be great, especially given the price.

The Chinese adapters work fine, on the Sony E mount there were criticisms however I hear that the M4/3 adapters from China might have been redesigned.  Certainly looking at lens diagrams published indicates that the Chinese adapters are quite different designs and not the "clone" or "rip-off" that is sometimes levelled at them.  If the performance is different then the design is more likely the cause and not some level of manufacturing laxity. I have seen the Zhongyi original design modified into a better element layout on the RJ version (for the E mount) and now the RJ M42 to M4/3 focal reducer feels, looks and seemingly acts as a well refined product.

Lest I seem to be in another camp I do have the Metabones Speed Booster and it is also a very good product.  Where I am coming from is that I might afford one or two Metabones adapters and be happy or I can afford quite a few more Chinese made ones and be just as happy. Some make do by buying an EF focal reducer and stacking other plain adapter rings as is necessary for other lens mounts that the owner might have.  This would work well enough but the more adapters stacked the more fiddly and also more chance for indexing errors to accumulate. Taking "a chance" on Chinese adapters has not caused me any serious grief so far.

People should do what they are most comfortable to do, I am only telling a story

As for lenses, I have a few that I really enjoy. The Nikon 50/2 Ai-s is a very nice lens that can be had for cheap and the Olympus OM 50/3.5 macro is a real gem. It's very small, sharp and goes to 1:2. That said, my current favourite is actually an old East German Pentacon 50/1.8 that I bought with a camera for $25. It has a nice short MFD of 0.33m and produces some cool close-up photos...which is good because it's not great at infinity. It has quite a 'glow' wide open and softens skin tones nicely. I really like it at f/2.8.

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Dave Sanders

Great examples Dave, I think you have it worked out.

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Tom Caldwell

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