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The fastest adapted Lens you use on your 4/3 camera.

dan Mar , Apr 11, 2010; 05:36 a.m.

I was curious about all the different lenses available out there for the 4/3 cameras. Especially when i came across a company's site for a new 50mm lens made for the m4/3 system With a maximum aperture of, f/0.95 that sells for $750. It got me wondering what are some of the lenses people use already. How much do they go for and how well do they preform, or in some cases, why they got that particular lens.
Now i know some people like a very fast lens for low light photography and some use it for portraiture work, because of either the shallow depth of field or the Bokeh it produces. But some very fast lenses also are not preforming their best at wide open aperture, needing to be stopped down a stop or to to be at their sharpest. I love using fast lenses mostly for shallow depth of field and low light photography, I'm not really concerned with bokeh ever. This got me wondering what are the best lenses out there in the second hand market for uses on the 4/3 cameras. I only have used and bought Minolta Manual lenses and can only speak to their performance. I do know about many other brands and have used some of them but i figure there must be lots more out there i haven't seen or don't know about, however i don't know whats good since i never used much other than Minolta glass. SO I figured i would pose this question to all the people out there that use the various fast lenses adapted to your 4/3 camera.
What are some fast lenses you use, what type of shots did you acquire it to do and how do they preform?


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David W. Griffin , Apr 11, 2010; 10:50 a.m.

I'm pretty sure there is a Leica M adapter for micro 4/3 which would let you use the Leica Noctilux f/0.95 and f/1 -- very good but very expensive. And then there is the Nokton f/1.1 from Voigtlander which is expensive but not ridiculous like the Noctilux.

Other than that, there are lots of adapters for micro 4/3 and 4/3 which allow you to use lots of 50/1.4 and f/1.2 lenses and of course I think there is a f/1.7 for micro 4/3 native.

David Bookbinder , Apr 11, 2010; 11:14 a.m.

The lens you saw is a rebranded CCTV lens, not a lens specifically made for m4/3 cameras. There are cinema lenses as fast as this lens that appear to produce slightly better results in terms of sharpness, contrast, and bokeh, though you'd have to go hunting for them. There are some relevant threads on this from C-mount enthusiasts
Personally, I find I'm pretty satisfied with some of the old "standard" 35mm lenses. For portraits, I use either a MF Nikon 50 f/1.8 or a Helios 58mm f/2.0 44M-4. Occasionally I also use a Nikon Series E 100 f/2.8 lens, which turns into a fast, medium tele much lighter than the 45-200 and also much faster. Very occasionally I also use my old 40 f/1.9 Schneider Xenon lens, adapted from a now-defunct Robot Star camera. It's very compact, though heavy, and produces sharp but low-contrast images.
I'd be really pleased if Panasonic or Olympus or Sigma or somebody made a reasonably priced 50 f/1.4 for m4/3, as I'd rather have autofocus for the kinds of portraits and low-light shooting I tend to do, so I'm waiting for that to arrive before I try more legacy glass.
The older Pentax, Olympus, and Canon lenses are also reputed to be quite fine.

Patrick Dempsey , Apr 11, 2010; 11:03 p.m.

I'm pretty sure an old OM 55mm f/1.2 would cost you as much as that Noct + cost of the adapters.

Jim Nichols , Apr 11, 2010; 11:15 p.m.

I have no experience with m4/3, but frequently use older 50/55mm lenses with adapters on my E-510 and E-1. For low light, I have used the Pentax Super Multi Coated 50/1.4 Takumar. For other needs, I use the Leica-R 50/2.0 Summicron, and the 28/2.8 and 60/2.8 Elmarit-R lenses.

None of these lenses are really pricey, and the 50/1.4 Takumar can be found fairly cheaply. I will attach an example of work with this lens.

Great-Grandaughter and her Mom

dan Mar , Apr 12, 2010; 02:35 a.m.

O... ity seems i might not have been too clear, or that only jim really understood. I already knew all the other information that others stated .. So Because i know all about adapters and yes i am sure i could Google them and find what would work with what lens on what camera. But not asking that really.
Let me try again. Please tell me, like Jim, what fast lenses you have used and what you like about the lens.. and any other details , and yea you can also post an example like Jim did , that would be appreciated.
Jim i live that pic , i amazed at how well the 50/1.4 Takumar preforms. That is very sharp. Was that shot wide open? I think i have seen that lens selling for around 70 dollars which does not seem bad if this is how it preforms.
I think i will get an E-600, for months i was debating between that and the E-PL1.

Keith Selmes , Apr 12, 2010; 08:26 a.m.

I use a Contax 50/1.4, because its really good, even wide open, and has good bokeh. Also because I already had it for my Canon DSLR - it also costs substantially less than the equivalent Canon ef lens.
Although ebay prices seem to be nudging up in that direction now.

Dan Moore , Apr 12, 2010; 11:23 a.m.

You stated that you are familiar with Minolta glass, so this many not be of great help to you, but it may be.

I have had my E-600 for a few weeks now, and will be getting my MD to 4/3 adapter this week. So this weekend or next I'm going to go out and shoot some comparisons between the Olympus 14-42 and 40-150 kit lenses versus my Minolta MD glass (I'll shoot with my 24 2.8, 35 1.8, 50 1.4 and 50 3.5 macro, 85 2, 135 2.8, and probably some with my Tokina ATX 100-300 4, though that's obviously a longer lens than the Olympus so only comparable at the short end). I'll make a review page for this on my website and put up a link to it here. It's not going to be the most rigorous test in the world, but it should give you some idea how the Minolta lenses (in your case, the 50 1.4 in particular) do.

Godfrey DiGiorgi , Apr 12, 2010; 12:52 p.m.

My Micro-FourThirds specific lens kit includes the following, at present:

  • Cosmicar/Pentax 12.5mm f/1.4
  • Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7
  • Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8
  • Olympus Pen F G.Zuiko 70mm f/2

All perform quite nicely.

The 20 and 40 mm lenses are what I use most .. wide normal and short tele, my favorite focal lengths ... The 70 mm works beautifully for longer shots. The 12.5 mm covers the central square of the frame with just a little bit of vignetting, which I enhance into a bordering vignette effect.

Jim Nichols , Apr 12, 2010; 01:25 p.m.

dan - I did not record the aperture used for that shot, but seem to recall it was around f/2.8. I normally focus wide open, then stop down to get a little more DOF, but also checking to keep the shutter speed at 1/30 or higher.

Jim N.

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