MFT lens communication protocol?

Started Feb 5, 2013 | Discussions
t_andersen Junior Member • Posts: 29
MFT lens communication protocol?

I am an engineer and I dream of making an adapter that interfaces both mechanically and electronically between MFT cameras and Nikon or Canon lenses. There are plenty of such lenses around and using these lenses with the small MFT field will lead to even better image quality.

Does anybody have information on the MFT lens communication protocol, or does someone have heavily damaged lenses that I can use for reverse engineering?

texinwien Veteran Member • Posts: 3,326
Micro Four-Thirds is an Open Standard

There should be no need to reverse engineer anything. The standard is open. A good place to start looking would probably be on the official Micro Four-Thirds web site.

tex

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OP t_andersen Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Micro Four-Thirds is an Open Standard

I do not think that the standard is entirely open. I have not found any communication protocol but I would of course be glad if someone could direct me to it.

Detail Man
Detail Man Forum Pro • Posts: 16,789
Re: Micro Four-Thirds is an Open Standard

t_andersen wrote:

I do not think that the standard is entirely open. I have not found any communication protocol but I would of course be glad if someone could direct me to it.

(As you likely have found), the information at the Micro Four Thirds site referenced is entirely vague - nothing even remotely close to the kind of hardware specifics that you are seeking and needing.

yonsito Regular Member • Posts: 128
Re: Micro Four-Thirds is an Open Standard

I don't think it's an open standard, either. But they do list an email contact for manufacturers (four-thirds@ot.olympus.co.jp).

I'd say just write to them and see what happens. If they demand payment up front in unmarked notes, you can still reconsider.

There's also a bit of a hacking scene around the GH1 but I think it's more about removing firmware restrictions. Still, people from the hacking forums are probably a bit more technically inclined.

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texinwien Veteran Member • Posts: 3,326
Apologies

Sorry to send you on a wild goose chase. For some reason, I had it in my head that the standard was open. The official site doesn't seem to have any useful, technical information, and a cursory google search isn't turning anything interesting up, either.

tex

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Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Veteran Member • Posts: 3,627
Re: MFT lens communication protocol?

I think you will find that obtaining the MFT interface details the easy part of your quest, it will be much harder to discover those details for Canon and Nikon.

Canon and Nikon have a commercial interest in keeping that information private, and, they have the legal right to do so.

-- hide signature --

Eric

s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 12,059
Re: Apologies

Yeah, they are open for membership subscription, that is not free of charge...   

-- hide signature --

Looking for equilibrium...

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gtravis Regular Member • Posts: 257
Re: MFT lens communication protocol?

Good luck.  i tried something very similar a couple of years ago -- specifically to find out what the pin specifications on the {m}4/3rds lens connector were -- i.e. which pins did what -- as well as to find out what the protocol supported in terms of lens/body communication.

I couldn't get very far at all.  It is NOT an open standard, which is a huge mistake on Olympus' part.

OP t_andersen Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: MFT lens communication protocol?

Eric Nepean wrote:

I think you will find that obtaining the MFT interface details the easy part of your quest, it will be much harder to discover those details for Canon and Nikon.

Canon and Nikon have a commercial interest in keeping that information private, and, they have the legal right to do so.

-- hide signature --

Eric

I have actually found the Canon EF protocol on the Internet produced by someone by reverse engineering I guess

Chas2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,502
Re: Micro Four-Thirds is an Open Standard

texinwien wrote:

There should be no need to reverse engineer anything. The standard is open. A good place to start looking would probably be on the official Micro Four-Thirds web site.

tex

Micro Four Thirds is NOT an open standard.  You would have to contact them to get the tech data, and I have no idea what licensing is involved, but I doubt they would just give you the info you seek.

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Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: Apologies

texinwien wrote:

Sorry to send you on a wild goose chase. For some reason, I had it in my head that the standard was open. The official site doesn't seem to have any useful, technical information, and a cursory google search isn't turning anything interesting up, either.

As others have already pointed out, they are open for members of the MFT consortium only. That's still an important difference to the common case of a single manufacturer though. Sigma can get the specs they need to make MFT lenses by becoming a member (as they have). They can't get such specs from Canon or Nikon, however. They have to reverse engineer and this may (and sometimes does) lead to problems. Furthermore, some functions won't work, e.g., lens firmware upgrades since a Canikon body wouldn't accept the Sigma code. Sigma recently released a special device specifically for the purpose of allowing the lens owner to upgrade the lens firmware. Previously, the only solution was to send it in for "service".

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Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: MFT lens communication protocol?

t_andersen wrote:

I am an engineer and I dream of making an adapter that interfaces both mechanically and electronically between MFT cameras and Nikon or Canon lenses. There are plenty of such lenses around and using these lenses with the small MFT field will lead to even better image quality.

Does anybody have information on the MFT lens communication protocol, or does someone have heavily damaged lenses that I can use for reverse engineering?

I as well as some others have tried to search a bit on the net to get basic information on the function of the various electric connectors at the mount. We haven't been able to come up with anything even on such very basic stuff so I doubt that there is much you can lay your hands on. Regrettably, I haven't got any defunct lenses to offer either.

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tedolf
tedolf Forum Pro • Posts: 26,047
Engineering......
1

t_andersen wrote:

I am an engineer and I dream of making an adapter that interfaces both mechanically and electronically between MFT cameras and Nikon or Canon lenses. There are plenty of such lenses around and using these lenses with the small MFT field will lead to even better image quality.

Does anybody have information on the MFT lens communication protocol,

It is a confidential trade secret.

If you pay the Oly/Panny licensing fee, sign the Confidentiality Agreement and join the Micro Four Thirds Consortium they will give it to you.

or does someone have heavily damaged lenses that I can use for reverse engineering?

You can't reverse engineer the software.

TEdolph

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lpinpon New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Engineering......
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