Legacy Lenses for Micro Four Thirds

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
yonsito Regular Member • Posts: 135
Re: Helios

Thanks!

It's certainly not a perfect lens but I think it's fun to use. It renders quite differently. It's the only old lens that I use regularly. I have a few others but they are not better than the native lenses. And they're usually bigger.

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Francis E Senior Member • Posts: 1,925
Re: Legacy Lenses for Micro Four Thirds
1

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Furthermore I am in full agreement that it is not whether they are better or even more economical - it is the pleasure given from the effort of using them.

I haven't read through this thread, so the point I'm making may be covered. I have an EM-5 as well as a Sony A7, with adapters on both for Pentax K, Leica R and Nikon F. For example, a Nikkor 135/2 DC is 135mm on the A7 and 270mm on the EM-5. I think MFT lenses are best for MFT, and legacy glass works best on Sony. Wide angle legacy glass is also very problematic on MFT.

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WhiteBeard
WhiteBeard Senior Member • Posts: 1,871
Re: Legacy Lenses for Micro Four Thirds
1

Francis E wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Furthermore I am in full agreement that it is not whether they are better or even more economical - it is the pleasure given from the effort of using them.

I haven't read through this thread, so the point I'm making may be covered. I have an EM-5 as well as a Sony A7, with adapters on both for Pentax K, Leica R and Nikon F. For example, a Nikkor 135/2 DC is 135mm on the A7 and 270mm on the EM-5. I think MFT lenses are best for MFT, and legacy glass works best on Sony. Wide angle legacy glass is also very problematic on MFT.

There is indeed - for me - a sweet spot for legacy lenses on µ4/3; I would set it between 35 to 100mm while a lot of birders favor good large aperture teles of up to 300mm. My sole remaining tele from the Rokkor days is a 200mm F4.5. Nice, compact and relatively light on my old SRTs, it becomes a F9 400mm manual focus lens on my GX8... A quick "normal" lens is perhaps in the centre of that sweet spot, for example my Rokkor 58mm F1.4 becomes a great 116mm F2.8 portrait lens.

I do agree with Terry that there is a certain distinctive quality to the images you get from legacy lenses which has to do as much with the time you have to take to frame and focus than with the 40 year old optical design.

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Yannis1976
Yannis1976 Senior Member • Posts: 2,926
Re: Legacy Lenses for Micro Four Thirds

jeffharris wrote:

Yannis1976 wrote:

Nikon 105mm f2.8 AI-S macro. EXCELLENT!

I use all the lense in the photos regularly! There are NO native M4/3 macro lenses longer than 60mm, so the only (reasonably priced) way to gain a decent amount of working distance is to adapt manual lenses. Lots of fun to use, too!

Hi Jeff,

I just did a search for this lens in ebay and cannot find any cheaper than 200-300USD... Isn't a bit expensive for a legacy lens?

No, that's what they cost. It's a macro lens, not a telephoto. I paid about $300 for mine.

That lens is still in production, by special order. Check the Nikon web site. They sell new for about $799.

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/mf/micro/micro_105mmf_28/index.htm

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/36856-USA/Nikon_1455_Telephoto_105mm_f_2_8_Micro.html

Hi again,

is that lens below a similar one and proper for macro?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nikon-nikkor-QC-200mm-f4-Nikkor-F-mount-manual-focus-telephoto-lens-AI-converted-/332667426534?oid=202344826419

Thx

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Mark9473 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,357
Re: Legacy Lenses for Micro Four Thirds

No that's a normal long telephoto.

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Mark

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jeffharris
jeffharris Veteran Member • Posts: 8,863
Re: Legacy Lenses for Micro Four Thirds

Yannis1976 wrote:

jeffharris wrote:

Yannis1976 wrote:

Nikon 105mm f2.8 AI-S macro. EXCELLENT!

I use all the lense in the photos regularly! There are NO native M4/3 macro lenses longer than 60mm, so the only (reasonably priced) way to gain a decent amount of working distance is to adapt manual lenses. Lots of fun to use, too!

Hi Jeff,

I just did a search for this lens in ebay and cannot find any cheaper than 200-300USD... Isn't a bit expensive for a legacy lens?

No, that's what they cost. It's a macro lens, not a telephoto. I paid about $300 for mine.

That lens is still in production, by special order. Check the Nikon web site. They sell new for about $799.

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/mf/micro/micro_105mmf_28/index.htm

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/36856-USA/Nikon_1455_Telephoto_105mm_f_2_8_Micro.html

Hi again,

is that lens below a similar one and proper for macro?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nikon-nikkor-QC-200mm-f4-Nikkor-F-mount-manual-focus-telephoto-lens-AI-converted-/332667426534?oid=202344826419

Nope, that's an older non-macro telephoto.

Here's the newer, AI-S Nikon 200mm f4 I macro lens. IF = internal focus. It has an integrated lens hood, too.

One on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-AI-S-Micro-Nikkor-200mm-f-4-Excellent/302766731534?hash=item467e4db10e:g:3FcAAOSwLLZa6~h5

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millardmt Regular Member • Posts: 234
Re: Legacy Lenses for Micro Four Thirds
1

Patrick,

Here is a well known Nikon lens evaluation web site.

As Jeff Harris has said, you should get either the "105 mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor" or the "105 mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor".  (I own both lenses and to my eyes, both lenses produce excellent images on the 4/3rds sensor.)

Stay away from the 105mm autofocus (AF, AF-S) versions -- they're a real pain to use.

Anyone who says you can't get really excellent images using legacy glass is wrong.

Marc

Francis E Senior Member • Posts: 1,925
Re: Legacy Lenses for Micro Four Thirds

WhiteBeard wrote:

There is indeed - for me - a sweet spot for legacy lenses on µ4/3;

Indeed, but I would back my Zuiko 75/1.8 and 45/1.8 against any legacy glass mounted on my EM-5, including Leitz R lenses. The Zuiko lenses aren't cheap, I do recognise.

On birding, I really need AF, especially when small birds flit about.

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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,771
Not a problem with the lenses...

Dutch Newchurch wrote:

yonsito wrote:

Just to add to this extensive list of recommendations: my personal favourite is the Helios 44, an old russian 58mm/2.0 design (I have the 44-3).

I like it because it has a lot of character. I use it wide open for portraits. But stopped down it can be quite sharp, too. The lens is also known for its swirly bokeh.

The lens is quite affordable. I think I paid around 50€ for mine (plus the m42 adapter).

sharp in the centre

swirly bokeh

I have to smile when I see people enthusing about that lens. It was on my first SLR - the Zenit E - which was a horrible thing. I don't remember anybody having anything good to say about the lens at that time.

Nice photos, by the way! (Perhaps I should rummage in the loft to see if I can find the old Zenit...)

The Zenit E and it's variants were big clunky cameras that no one loved (compared to what was out at the time). They worked... But that's about it. The Helios 44's were also convoluted and clunky lenses but optically they were great. All told, the setup didn't inspire photography but just worked and took great photos because of the optics.

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Travis Butler
Travis Butler Contributing Member • Posts: 868
Re: Not a problem with the lenses...

peppermonkey wrote:

Dutch Newchurch wrote:

I have to smile when I see people enthusing about that lens. It was on my first SLR - the Zenit E - which was a horrible thing. I don't remember anybody having anything good to say about the lens at that time.

Nice photos, by the way! (Perhaps I should rummage in the loft to see if I can find the old Zenit...)

The Zenit E and it's variants were big clunky cameras that no one loved (compared to what was out at the time). They worked... But that's about it. The Helios 44's were also convoluted and clunky lenses but optically they were great. All told, the setup didn't inspire photography but just worked and took great photos because of the optics.

Clunky, yes, but in a good way to me. ^^;; I have a Zenit E that I bought from Seattle Goodwill to get the Helios-44 on it, and it reminds me of the fascination with complicated machinery that first got me interested in cameras as a little kid; lots of precision moving parts, but on a scale where they could be appreciated without a magnifier.

Have you heard the story behind Zeiss and the Soviet lens heritage?

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