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Thread: Q: Olympus OM-D E-M5 and manual lenses

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    Q: Olympus OM-D E-M5 and manual lenses

    I have been planning to buy an ILC for quite some time, but couldn't decide whether to buy a NEX (bigger sensor, no IBIS, fewer decent native lenses, focus peaking) or an m43 (smaller sensor, Olympus IBIS, arguably better and/or smaller native lenses, no focus peaking). Finally I decided that since I don't have that many great manual lenses (some M42 Takumars and K mount lenses), m43 it is for me. My somewhat better Pentax lenses are DA and have no aperture ring and the adapters including an aperture mechanism sound impractical. But now having just received my OM-D with the 12-50mm and 45mm f/1.8 lenses, I'm wondering if I should get M42 and K adapters nevertheless. Hence a few questions.


    - How easy do you find manual focusing using the OM-D?
    - How exactly do you do it?
    - Is the pseudo focus peaking art filter of any real use?
    - I had thought of buying Novoflex adapters, but since we're really talking about a rather simple piece of tube, perhaps the money is more wisely spent elsewhere. Which adapters are recommended, which to be avoided?


    Thanks.

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    Re: Q: Olympus OM-D E-M5 and manual lenses

    I purchased a Rainbow Imaging $12 adapter for Leica M bayonet to M43 conversion, since I have a pretty full set of Leica M lenses (by Zeiss and Voightlander as well), including some very wide angles. This attaches and detaches smoothly (not doing that is a common complaint), but is not the correct thickness. After some experimenting, I found that it is too thin, so that infinity on my shortest lens (CV15/4.5) is found at 2 m on the focussing scale. Since this is the sort of lens that you would want to prefocus and shoot instantly with, I had to develop my mentally corrected set of distance settings to get sharp pictures walking about. The error is less than 1/4 mm, so it affects telephoto lenses much less, but still careful focusing on distant objects is required. Focus with LiveView works well, even with 10X magnification, but you need to brace your body for this (or use a tripod). Hand-holding a long lens at 10X while focusing manually takes real skill, but can be done. Incidentally, the aperture of an AF lens will stop itself down to the taking setting while you view the scene electronically. With a fully manual lens you can focus wide open, then stop down. I have no experience with focus peaking, either for real or simulated with an art filter.

    HTH

    scott
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    Re: Q: Olympus OM-D E-M5 and manual lenses

    I discovered that you can apply image stabilization in the viewfinder with a half-press of the shutter and that helps loads when focusing, say my Nikkor 105.
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    Re: Q: Olympus OM-D E-M5 and manual lenses

    Manaual focussing with the OM-D works quite well. I've set up the Fn2 button to provide magnification when needed, and the stabilization to work with a half press.

    As rangefinder lenses wider than 35mm start showing smearing in the corners, I only use longer lenses adapted to m43. My most commonly use ones are a Micro-Nikkor 200/4 (AI), a 75mm Summilux, a Leica Telyt 280/4 with and without apo teleconverters and various macro and micro lenses with helicoids or bellows including Aristophot with Photars. And, I use the 25mm f/0.95 Voigtlander.

    None are as quick to use as autofocus lenses, but all have their uses which are not met by the existing M43 lens range.

    I have various adapters, and on the whole you get what you pay for. The best ones are the ones for Leica-M and R made by Panasonic. Next are the ones made by Cosina and Novoflex, and then there are many quite inexpensive ones made cheaply. Most work, and if the lens you are adapting has unit focussing, it doesn't matter (except for scale focussing) if the adapter is a bit thin. You just need the lens axis to be kept perpendicular to the sensor and the adapter be not too thick and everything to click firmly and securely into place.

    Henning
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