Manual Focus shooters - what classic lenses do you use?

Started Jul 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
dougjgreen1 Senior Member • Posts: 3,076
Don't ignore macro

tjuster1 wrote:

dougjgreen1 wrote:

Maklike Tier wrote:

Well yeah I'd be looking at FF lenses in the 25mm area. Are they rare?

There are TONS of legacy 24mm to 28mm lenses out there. The real question you should be asking is, are they anywhere near as useful on a Micro 4/3 body as either of the two outstanding fast native 25mm AF lenses that exist for this system from the primary manufacturers. And I have to say, the answer is no. Or if you really WANT to manually focus, the Voigtlander you are looking at is much the best option.

The legacy lenses in the 24mm range almost certainly won't be as sharp, they won't be as fast, and they won't be anywhere near as easy to focus.

To me, the best purposes for legacy glass are: Macro, Portraiture with fast lenses having particular bokeh, and long fast lenses in focal lengths unavailable in native lenses.

Slightly wide to normal lenses for street shooting are one thing that the Micro 4/3 system has in vast abundance of excellent choices. I strongly suggest you choose and use one of those (or, like many of us, MORE than one of those).

This is exactly right. I went down that road for a while, and finally realized to get a normal or slightly WA look from a legacy lens I needed to get a lens that was: (a) big; (b) heavy; and (c) expensive. Sure I could spend $500 on a 15mm Voigtlander Heliar, but for about a third of that I can get a Panny 14mm that's AF, faster, way smaller, and about a third the price.

So, like douggreen, for me the only legacy lenses that make sense are fast or optically excellent telephotos (which get even longer with the 2x crop factor) and "specialty" lenses like old C-mount cine lenses that can produce a distinctive look. Here's an example of the latter, a Cooke-Kinic 25mm f/1.5:

IMHO, the best and most cost effective use of legacy lenses is to get a legacy 50-55mm Macro lens, such as the Micro Nikkor 55mm f3.5, or Olympus 50mm f3.5 or similar lenses from Minolta, Canon, Konica, Pentax etc.   These can easily be found for under $100.   My 50mm f3.5 Minolta MD Macro, bought on ebay in near-mint condition, cost me $46.

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Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Nikon 1 V2 Olympus PEN E-P5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-PL7 +15 more
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