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Thread: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    I recently purchased a secondhand Panasonic G1 and am completely delighted with both the results it yields and the fact that I no longer have to lug around a Nikon DSLR. I knew when I bought the G1 that I wouldn't find the 14-45 kit zoom particularly appealing, so I've picked up a couple of M-mount lenses (a Nokton 40/1.4 and an M-Rokkor 40/2) plus a couple of Pen F lenses (38/1.8 and 40/1.4).

    The method in this "when too many 40mm lenses are barely enough" madness is that I'll eventually figure out which one(s) I like best and then sell the others. (In other words, the standard GetDPI attitude towards gear acquisition.)

    Although I very much like the rendering of the M-mount 40's, I'm frustrated by the 0.7 meter (~28 inch) close-focusing distance of these lenses. The Pen F lenses, on the other hand, focus to half that distance (~14 inches), which is perfect for the kinds of still life pictures I want to make with the G1, such as this one, shot with the G.Zuiko 40/1.4:



    I'm hoping that someone can suggest how I might be able to achieve the same kind of (14 inch) close-focusing distance with the M-mount lenses. My first thought was an extension ring but this thread suggests that the OUFRO/16469 extension ring for 50mm and 35mm lenses is the only one Leica offered in M-mount and further research indicates that it's designed to give reproduction ratios of 1:1 and 1.4:1. Which is way closer than I want.

    It occurred to me that I could possibly ask Jinfinance to make me a custom Leica M to m4/3rds adapter with a deeper than normal tube. The only problem is that I have no idea how much extra depth would be necessary to yield the 14 inch close-focusing distance I'm after.

    Alternatively, would it be possible to combine Hawkpeng's Pen F to m4/3 G1 Flange, which requires a W1 Type C-Mount TO m4/3 adapter, together with one or more C-Mount extension tubes to produce the desired effect?

    Or perhaps there's another way of achieving my goal that I'm unaware of. Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    You might want to consider this:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_xXpH8W-GRP...llows_0001.jpg

    It works very well and is most likely one of the cheaper options.

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    Senior Member JBurnett's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    While I have no experience with the lens or its rendering, there is another 40mm CV lens to consider -- the Ultron 40mm f/2 SL-II in either Nikon or Pentax mount. Obviously you'd need yet another adapter. But the lens focuses to 15" natively (1:7) and to 9.85" (1:4) with the supplied close-up lens. I've seen posts from a few users who seem to like it very much.

    I've also seen some excellent results from the Raynox DCR series of close-up lenses. I think these have a 43mm rear mount and they come with a snap-on mount for 52-67mm. Once again, no personal experience.

    BTW, please share your experiences and opinions with the 40's when you're ready. It's a great focal length for 4/3, and I'm sure many others would be interested. I have the Rokkor 40mm f/2 and I like it very much. I, too, wish for closer focusing at times. I also have the Olympus 35mm macro (exceptional lens) but I only pack it when I'm pretty certain I'll be using it.
    Best regards,
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    http://jburnett.ca

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    I went through this process myself and ultimately settled on the Pen lenses. I found the 40/2 Summicron-C much too limited in terms of close focus, ditto with the 40/1.4 Nokton. The Pen F 40/1.4 was the solution, and it renders extremely well, and no need to bother with custom extensions.

    Alternatively, would it be possible to combine Hawkpeng's Pen F to m4/3 G1 Flange, which requires a W1 Type C-Mount TO m4/3 adapter, together with one or more C-Mount extension tubes to produce the desired effect?
    The Pen F flange fits on the c-mount adapter, but it doesn't allow the use of c-mount. It's only for Pen lenses. I use one of these. If the flange isn't screwed in all the way, it could be used to get even closer focus with Pen lenses, though. But this doesn't apply to M mount lenses.
    Last edited by monza; 22nd August 2009 at 07:44.

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Thanks, everyone, for responding.

    Quote Originally Posted by volkerhopf View Post
    You might want to consider this:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_xXpH8W-GRP...llows_0001.jpg

    It works very well and is most likely one of the cheaper options.
    volkerhopf, that's certainly a nice setup but I'm looking for something small and lightweight plus I don't need to do macro shots.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBurnett View Post
    While I have no experience with the lens or its rendering, there is another 40mm CV lens to consider -- the Ultron 40mm f/2 SL-II in either Nikon or Pentax mount. Obviously you'd need yet another adapter. But the lens focuses to 15" natively (1:7) and to 9.85" (1:4) with the supplied close-up lens. I've seen posts from a few users who seem to like it very much.

    I've also seen some excellent results from the Raynox DCR series of close-up lenses. I think these have a 43mm rear mount and they come with a snap-on mount for 52-67mm. Once again, no personal experience.

    BTW, please share your experiences and opinions with the 40's when you're ready. It's a great focal length for 4/3, and I'm sure many others would be interested. I have the Rokkor 40mm f/2 and I like it very much. I, too, wish for closer focusing at times. I also have the Olympus 35mm macro (exceptional lens) but I only pack it when I'm pretty certain I'll be using it.
    John, I do have the CV 40/2 Ultron -- it's the lens I use most on the D700. I also have the CV Nikon to m4/3 adapter but the 40/2 Ultron plus adapter is huge compared to my M-mount and Pen F lenses. I love the G1 + small 40mm combo partly because it gives me a good working distance but mainly because I can take it with me everywhere. I could get "better" results with a D700 and a PC-Micro Nikkor 85/2.8 but then I'd need to lug a tripod around as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    I went through this process myself and ultimately settled on the Pen lenses. I found the 40/2 Summicron-C much too limited in terms of close focus, ditto with the 40/1.4 Nokton. The Pen F 40/1.4 was the solution, and it renders extremely well, and no need to bother with custom extensions.

    The Pen F flange fits on the c-mount adapter, but it doesn't allow the use of c-mount. It's only for Pen lenses. I use one of these. If the flange isn't screwed in all the way, it could be used to get even closer focus with Pen lenses, though. But this doesn't apply to M mount lenses.
    monza, it's somehow comforting to learn that I'm not the only one who has faced this dilemma. I'm also pleased with the rendering of the Pen F 40/1.4 but, rightly or wrongly, I can't help feeling that I'd like the results from a closer-focusing M-Rokkor as much if not more. It seems as though a custom M-mount to m4/3 adapter might be my only option. If I decide to go down that path, I'll certainly report back.

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Well, if you decide you don't like the Nokton I might consider buying it back

    Glad to know I'm not the only one who's nuts around here...and speaking of that, how do you like your D700?

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    Well, if you decide you don't like the Nokton I might consider buying it back
    Not at all! I like the Nokton very much -- it's just that the M-Rokkor is smaller and significantly lighter than the Nokton (105g vs 197g).

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    Glad to know I'm not the only one who's nuts around here...and speaking of that, how do you like your D700?
    Do you mean nuts generally? Or nuts about 40mm lenses?

    I like the D700 a lot, particularly with the 40/2 Ultron. But I'm totally besotted with the G1. I had no idea that it would:
    * be so much fun to use
    * match my shooting style so well
    * provide such an excellent platform for MF lenses.

    Many years ago I shot with a Leica M2 so I understand why the M8 is popular with many of the forum members. But, in my heart, I'm not an RF shooter any more and the G1's EVF is perfect for me.

    I'll be interested to see how the promised Panasonic 20/1.7 and 45/2.8 Macro-Elmarit lenses perform. I think I'll automatically have to get the 20/1.7 in order to feed my 40mm (EFoV) mania but my fear is that its rendering will be kind of clinical, compared to the M-mount and Pen F lenses.

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    wblynch
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    I went through this process myself and ultimately settled on the Pen lenses. I found the 40/2 Summicron-C much too limited in terms of close focus, ditto with the 40/1.4 Nokton. The Pen F 40/1.4 was the solution, and it renders extremely well, and no need to bother with custom extensions.



    The Pen F flange fits on the c-mount adapter, but it doesn't allow the use of c-mount. It's only for Pen lenses. I use one of these. If the flange isn't screwed in all the way, it could be used to get even closer focus with Pen lenses, though. But this doesn't apply to M mount lenses.
    How about a Pen-F bellows with the 40 1.4?

    I still see offerings quite often on Ebay for the Pen-F bellows kits.

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    How about a Pen-F bellows with the 40 1.4?

    I still see offerings quite often on Ebay for the Pen-F bellows kits.
    The problem is that a bellows would not only make the camera far less portable but would also provide a much higher magnification ratio than is really necessary. I already have a set of Pen F extension tubes, which I don't use because the Pen F 38/40/42 lenses all focus to 0.35m (14in) and that gets me close enough to the objects I wish to photograph.

    What I want to do is focus closer with the M-mount lenses (Nokton 40/1.4 and M-Rokkor 40/2), each of which -- because they're rangefinder lenses -- focuses to only 0.7m (28in).

    I'm now working towards having the custom Leica-M to m4/3rds adapter dream come true.

  10. #10
    OzRay
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    I just received an OUFRO M-Extension ring from the US (Brooklyn Camera Exchange). A couple of quick tests with my CV 50mm f1.1 and CV 28mm f2 shows that it works quite well.

    With the 50mm, the closest working distance is about 170mm and the furtherest working distance is about 250mm (taken from the front lens element). With the 28mm, the closest working distance is about 70mm and the furtherest working distance is about 80mm (taken from the front lens element).

    No pictures to show just yet; the weather here is simply miserable at the moment. May have to get a focussing rail for this combo, to enable steadier focussing. If you have any questions or want me to try anything out, just let me know.

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Quote Originally Posted by OzRay View Post
    I just received an OUFRO M-Extension ring from the US (Brooklyn Camera Exchange). A couple of quick tests with my CV 50mm f1.1 and CV 28mm f2 shows that it works quite well.

    With the 50mm, the closest working distance is about 170mm and the furtherest working distance is about 250mm (taken from the front lens element). With the 28mm, the closest working distance is about 70mm and the furtherest working distance is about 80mm (taken from the front lens element).

    No pictures to show just yet; the weather here is simply miserable at the moment. May have to get a focussing rail for this combo, to enable steadier focussing. If you have any questions or want me to try anything out, just let me know.

    Cheers

    Ray
    Ray, many thanks for this. If it's not too much trouble, I'd be really interested in seeing some pictures, shot with both the 50 and the 28, of one or more objects of known size (matchbox, beer bottle, etc) and taken at the nearest and furthest working distances. That way I can get an idea of the kind of magnification ratio I could expect with my 40 (which, happily, sits about halfway between the two lenses you mention).

  12. #12
    OzRay
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Ray, many thanks for this. If it's not too much trouble, I'd be really interested in seeing some pictures, shot with both the 50 and the 28, of one or more objects of known size (matchbox, beer bottle, etc) and taken at the nearest and furthest working distances. That way I can get an idea of the kind of magnification ratio I could expect with my 40 (which, happily, sits about halfway between the two lenses you mention).
    OK, I'll put up a few pics in the next day or so.

    Cheers

    Ray

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    OzRay
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    OK, here are some shots taken with the ext ring, 50mm and 28mm, shot wide open. I haven't cropped the images at all, so what you see is the full image as seen on the sensor of the Pen.

    50mm set at infinity:



    50mm set at closest:



    28mm set at infinity:



    28mm set at closest:



    I just moved the matchbox by hand and it never quite settled down correctly when I let go, so it's quite clear that a focussing rail is almost a must have.

    The 28mm really picks up some beautiful detail

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Wow, talk about fast service!

    Ray, that's exactly the information I needed. You've confirmed what I pretty much expected -- that the OUFRO M-Extension ring yields a much higher magnification ratio than I'm looking for. I think I've figured out how much extra extension I need and I'm waiting until someone with expertise in optics has checked my calculations. Then I'll try to get a custom adapter made.

    Quote Originally Posted by OzRay View Post
    OK, here are some shots taken with the ext ring, 50mm and 28mm, shot wide open. I haven't cropped the images at all, so what you see is the full image as seen on the sensor of the Pen.

    50mm set at infinity:



    50mm set at closest:



    28mm set at infinity:



    28mm set at closest:



    I just moved the matchbox by hand and it never quite settled down correctly when I let go, so it's quite clear that a focussing rail is almost a must have.

    The 28mm really picks up some beautiful detail

    Cheers

    Ray

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    legba999
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    I'm also interested in closer focusing distance with m-mount lenses. I have a Canon 50mm 0.95, which I love, on my GF1. Problem is it has a minimum focus of 1m. Have you had any luck with a custom extension/mount?

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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    You may be able to remove the four screws on the adapter and add spacers to make the adapter a few mm thicker.

    Or, a Contax G 45 Planar with the RJ adapter seems to focus to about 15-16".

    j
    Jonas Yip
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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Quote Originally Posted by legba999 View Post
    I'm also interested in closer focusing distance with m-mount lenses. I have a Canon 50mm 0.95, which I love, on my GF1. Problem is it has a minimum focus of 1m. Have you had any luck with a custom extension/mount?
    legba999, I haven't had any luck with a custom extension/mount -- mainly because (like monza) my Pen F 40/1.4 got me as close as I needed to be and I then got distracted into using fast 57-60mm lenses (57/1.2 Hexanon, 58/1.2 Rokkor, 58/1.4 Nokton, 60/1.5 Pen F Zuiko) on the G1.

    But I did calculate the extension needed, based on the equations provided in Science for the Curious Photographer and then emailed the author, Charles S. Johnson, asking him to verify my calculations. He kindly replied to my email, pointing out that my calculation would be correct "for a simple thin lens that focuses by being moved relative to the sensor" but not for a compound lens such as the M-Rokkor 40/2 (or your Canon 50/0.95). As soon as I read his reply, I realized that I could figure out the necessary extension empirically by creating a series of thin cardboard spacers, simply pressing the lens+spacers against the G1 mount and adding/subtracting spacers until I achieved the desired close focusing distance. I could then have a new adapter made which extended the lens the necessary amount.

    In other words, a variation on the (superior) solution proposed by Jonas Yip:

    Quote Originally Posted by JonasYip View Post
    You may be able to remove the four screws on the adapter and add spacers to make the adapter a few mm thicker.

    Or, a Contax G 45 Planar with the RJ adapter seems to focus to about 15-16".j
    But, since I now have a Contax G 45/2 Planar and an RJ adapter (I picked up the lens from the post office on Saturday), I'm also able to test Jonas Yip's alternative solution. The close focusing distances for the Pen F 40/1.4 and the Contax G 45/2 are approximately the same (35cm for the Zuiko, around 38cm for the G Planar). Perhaps the Pen F 40/1.4 will be bested by the G Planar (the second-sharpest 35mm camera lens ever tested by the Swedish test site Photodo -- outclassing even the illustrious Leica 50mm Summicron-M).

    To be honest, though, having these two alternatives makes me less inclined to explore the spacer solution for the M-Rokkor 40/2 since both the Zuiko 40/1.4 and the G Planar 45/2 offer the close focusing distance I require whilst still providing infinity focus. Whereas I'd need two adapters for the M-Rokkor: one for close focusing, the other for infinity focus.

    Tip of the hat to Jonas for suggesting two viable solutions to the problem I posed. My guess is that the G Planar 45/2 is the best solution, given how ludicrously inexpensive it is for a lens of that quality. Assuming, of course, that it performs close up as well as it does at "normal" shooting distances.

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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    The problem with the Contax/RJ solution is that the little wheel is somewhat slow to use. Though for still-life close-ups, I suppose it's fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Whereas I'd need two adapters for the M-Rokkor: one for close focusing, the other for infinity focus.
    How about a custom helical adapter, where you rotate the adapter and it grows. I'd get one of those. Throw in some tilt and shift while we're at it.


    j
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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Quote Originally Posted by JonasYip View Post
    The problem with the Contax/RJ solution is that the little wheel is somewhat slow to use. Though for still-life close-ups, I suppose it's fine.
    The little wheel is slow to use but, as you say, perfectly fine for still-life subjects. monza's geared-wheel adapter should allow far more rapid focusing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonasYip View Post
    How about a custom helical adapter, where you rotate the adapter and it grows. I'd get one of those. Throw in some tilt and shift while we're at it.
    I'd get one of those too (even without the tilt and shift, though that would be a cool addition). Hopefully Robert (monza) will turn his attention to designing that adapter for us, once his geared-wheel Contax G adapter is shipping.

    But which mount(s) would the custom helical adapter(s) accept?

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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Jonathon, you should still check out the 20/1.7. It focuses very close, around five or six inches.

    Monza is working on a Contax G adapter with a geared (and much larger) manual focus wheel--he posted photos of it on another thread here. I believe he's planning to put it on the market soon.

    I agree about the Pen 40/1.4--it's a good one!

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Quote Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
    Jonathon, you should still check out the 20/1.7. It focuses very close, around five or six inches.

    Monza is working on a Contax G adapter with a geared (and much larger) manual focus wheel--he posted photos of it on another thread here. I believe he's planning to put it on the market soon.

    I agree about the Pen 40/1.4--it's a good one!
    mabelsound, I have the 20/1.7 and I agree with you (and Vivek) that it's a great lens.

    But, for still-life subjects, I prefer something longer, 40-45mm being ideal. So I'm looking forward to getting and using monza's Contax G adapter. In the meantime, the Pen F 40/1.4 does a fine job.

  22. #22
    Super Duper
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Not to get off the subject but the G lenses are interesting when adapted. Due to the nature of the Contax AF system, the lens helical will physically go slightly beyond both limits (close and infinity.) (If you have a Contax, try focusing at infinity; notice the lens will still extend somewhat.) Unlike a manual focus Leica M lens which has a hard stop at infinity, and at close focus.

    What this means is that the 0.5m meter close focus of the Contax is limited by the body, not the lens. The lens helical will focus closer, so on micro 4/3 you get a bonus.

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Not to get off the subject but the G lenses are interesting when adapted. Due to the nature of the Contax AF system, the lens helical will physically go slightly beyond both limits (close and infinity.) (If you have a Contax, try focusing at infinity; notice the lens will still extend somewhat.) Unlike a manual focus Leica M lens which has a hard stop at infinity, and at close focus.

    What this means is that the 0.5m meter close focus of the Contax is limited by the body, not the lens. The lens helical will focus closer, so on micro 4/3 you get a bonus.
    This caught me out when, wanting to focus the Planar 45/2 quickly on a distant subject, I turned the wheel on my Rong Jin adapter as far as it would go before bringing the camera up to my eye. Much to my surprise the distant subject, rather than being sharp as I'd expected, was completely out of focus.

  24. #24
    Super Duper
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    Re: Closer focusing for M-mount lenses on m4/3rds

    Heh he. Yes the physical hard stop on the lens is much beyond infinity. But the cool thing is the hard stop on the close focus side is also closer than 0.5m.

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