Anyone using manual focus lenses with the Panasonic S1/S1R?

Started Mar 29, 2022 | Questions thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 47,774
Re: Anyone using manual focus lenses with the Panasonic S1/S1R?

Sjak wrote:

Alun Thomas wrote:

Thanks for your very elaborate answer, very helpful!

I have not been able to tear myself away from my comprehensive M4/3 kit enough to use my S1 as a serious go-to camera body. It is used for ‘special occasions’ (Where only a FF sensor will do …)

The 'Constant Preview' function allows you to see in the viewfinder a representation of how your chosen exposure settings will work out, which I generally use in manual focus mode. However the implementation of the feature is flawed. When you are trying to do long exposures in lowlight, the update of the view takes the same amount of time as the exposure setting, making it more or less unusable for focussing and framing the shot. You need to disable the setting, set the focus etc, then later re-enable it to check the exposure chosen. I set up a custom button to quickly do this and still haven't found a better work around. As is it severely impedes the workflow.

Good to know, I don't do much long exposures, but I do lots of low-light.

I did not know it was an issue …

IBIS - the S1 has it, but persists in asking for the focal length of the manual lens every single time you power on the camera. This quickly gets boring, to the point I just disabled IBIS and assigned a custom button to turn it on if I need it.

My Pentaxes do this too, but the camera retains the last set value.

Compared to Olympus which will happily keep using the IBIS setting that the camera had out of the box and needs a complex little finger dance to change it the nag at switch on it is a mildly annoying feature. Offset by an soft press accepts last setting (remembered) with no delay whatsoever and to change it a left arrow and a rear wheel spin sets a new IBIS setting in a short second. Olympus made big deal about their IBIS and I can imagine countless users forgetting to optimise it when they change lenses.

I've just found a video, where the youtuber had set 3 values for the focal length to pick from (when he is on a 3-lens-shoot); I can't comment if his approach is practical, or even how it works, but here's the link:

USB connection - likewise, every single time you plug in the cable to transfer files, it asks you what you want to do. I've only ever chosen one option and can't see why I can't just preset that option and have it start automatically.

The USB-connection was the 1st thing to break on a few past cameras. Since then I simply remove the SD-card and put it in the PC.

I have always uploaded from card as well.

The design inside the camera flange is more restrictive than other makes, you cannot use a Jupiter 12 biogon copy on this camera, and I presume not the original biogon either.

No biggie, I have a digital M for rangefinder-lenses, but others might be interested.

This is more of an issue fro me. Sony chamfered the mount baffles so that wider lenses like the Jupiter 12 could be mounted but Leica designed a mount that had ‘square’ baffles that cannot mount some of their own wider protrusion early M mount lenses.

Great viewfinder

Yes, I've even found a reviewer who didn't even need the magnified view.

The histogram changes colour even in manual exposure mode, to tell you that the cameras inbuilt exposure calculator thinks this setting gives correct exposure - a good backup.

This is really nice indeed!

Buttons for Africa - you can set up custom buttons to do most things, and there are also loads of controls, i.e. for drive mode, which took quite a bit of discovery to work out where everything was.

Yeah, a bit like the K-1. It's both a good thing and a curse. For street, candid, pub&club I'd typically use the M, as the brutal simplicity is a big bonus in those situations. The K-1 and S1(R) are for about everything else.

There is such a thing as too many customisable buttons and I think that Panasonic might have found that limit It is not that they don’t provide enough assignable functions but there gets a point where you end up assigning functions that you will never use or even remember where they were assigned if ever by chance you needed to use it.

Fully electronic shutter - After the shutter died on the Sony, I use this most of the time, even though the S1 has a heavy duty shutter design rated for double the activation count of most consumer cameras.

Time lapse as a standard feature - not that I've used it, but was noticeably missing from my previous camera.

The pixel shift high resolution mode - haven't used this either, but still a cool feature.

I think this is an area where the panny has actually less features than the K-1; at least I haven't found any references to composition adjustment, astrotracer (never used it myself) and automatic horizon correction, all achieved using the IBIS-movements. Probably I'll need to adapt to the lack of horizon correction. The composition adjustment is nice as well but I could do without; it allows small shifts of the sensor for getting optimal framing, when tripod/ballhead adjustments lack precision.

Ricoh are the masters of innovative thinking by engineers who actually take photographs. It is just a little pity that they did not stay with the GXR ‘experiment’ and decided to make the very best dslr on the planet when Canon and Nikon were desperately looking for a way out.

The build quality. Although it's a heavy camera, if you just want to buy a high quality camera and keep it, as opposed to constantly trading up, this camera is one that I get the feeling will last and last.

Yes, this is a major reason for considering the S1(R). My K-1 is roughly the same size/weight, and able to withstand any conditions I expose it to, and still feels like it can go on for a decade or more. Actually my 1st impression of the S1R is that it feels a bit more premium.

I point out that you can focal reduce a Sigma DC (aps-c) EF mount lens full image circle on to a M4/3 mount camera with 20mp 4/3 sensor. Yet on an auto crop sensor on a S1 or S5 only a (roughly) 10mp capture results with the same lens. I am not worried about this or even tried to compare the results - but I think that it is an interesting observation when we can easily compare the GX9 camera body size to the S1.

All up it's a decent camera, but it took a bit of getting used to after using a Sony, which in my opinion is actually easier to use for adapted lenses once set up for it. I never owned an auto focus lens for either mount, and treat the camera body as almost purely a digital back, and just need it to get in the way as little as possible.

For bad and/or cold weather, I'll get 2-3 AF-lenses, and the S1 feels much better for this, especially when wering gloves. Obviously the sonys are very capable cameras too, and it boils down to personal preference.

I bought the first iteration of he A7R and I have not been back …. I don’t reward companies that flog pre-beta product to unsuspecting consumers by buying several models while they slowly sort out the consumer interface. At least the S1 was a pretty good first try and I am very comfortable with it even with no L-mount lenses and only use adapted EF and legacy MF lenses with it.

I'm actually hoping another Panasonic user who has spent a considerable time with theirs can let me know if there's any way to work around some of the annoyances I've listed above.

Yes, that would be very interesting indeed!

Anyone that can handle the generally bad handling of the early A7 series bodies should be capable of coming to terms with a few niggles on the sweet handling S1 camera body.

It does work well with MF lenses.

Adapting EF lenses is a bit ‘meh’ compared to other mount systems. Metabones needs to get into the act.

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Tom Caldwell

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