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Thread: Leica M to EOS adapter?

  1. #1
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    Leica M to EOS adapter?

    is there an adapter or a solution to use M lenses on a canon EOS system (full frame 5d)?

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    Senior Member Arne Hvaring's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by drazin View Post
    is there an adapter or a solution to use M lenses on a canon EOS system (full frame 5d)?
    Basically no, the distance between the flange and film (sensor) of the M cameras is far too short to accommodate a SLR mirror. If you have older M-lenses (65mm or longer) some might be detachable for use with the Visoflex mirror viewfinder; these should be adaptable to current SLRs. Given the quality of present days optics, I doubt if it's worth the bother though...

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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    thanks for the info.

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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    You may know, that you can use Leica R (SLR) lenses with an adapter.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    The only adaptable mount for M lenses right now is Micro Four Thirds - this can be achieved because there is no reflex mirror (and thus, only an Electronic Viewfinder is possible).

    Novoflex has an adapter that lets you mount M lenses onto Panasonic or Olympus M43 bodies, but of course, the sensor sizes are a 2x crop (so definitely not full frame, like you're asking).

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    Member Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    There is an adapter that will let you attach a Leica extension bellows (for the Visioflex) and if you have that and the associated hardware you can use all of your lenses 65mm and longer. You can also use it with the 400 mm Telyt. If you are inclined to do very close up work, the you can use the shorter lenses. You can get it at Camera Quest. FWIW.... it is preferable to use this set up with a tripod since it weighs a "ton".
    Last edited by Greg Lockrey; 2nd November 2009 at 18:49.

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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread but is this a new design adapter that will allow M mount lenses to be used on the EOS cameras?

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....=STRK:MEWAX:IT

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    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    "This adapter can work with lenses having both only automatic diaphragm (A) and selector A/M (automatic/manual diaphragm)"

    Mistaken for R lenses i guess.

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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    This is the response I got from the seller:

    "as long your lens is Leica M then it is work with it
    thank's for asking"

  11. #11
    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    This guy knows nothing about M Lenses i'm afraid. The latters are too far from dSLR sensors to works otherwise than in macro mode.

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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    ah dammit.

    Thanks LCT, you saved me some cash.

  13. #13
    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    My pleasure

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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    For sure it is impossible to mount M lens on EOS body. Leica reflex R lens only.

  15. #15
    oyang
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    I am completely new to this, so forgive me if I get the terms wrong. I decided to invest in a Leica M3 and some lenses for it; great fun! A friend of mine has a Canon EOS, and like the original poster of this thread, I was hoping to mount the Leica M-lenses to the Canon SLR. I got a cheap adapter on eBay and discovered what you are all saying: it can only allow the lenses to work as macro lenses, and does not allow focus to infinity.

    After some reading and thinking I finally understood the problem you all have been discussing here: the focal length of the lenses is too short compared to what is needed to reach the Canon sensor. If this were to work, it would require another lens in the adapter to push the focal length further back to reach the sensor.

    This crude diagram is my understanding of the problem. So I pose the question: how can I get an adapter made that does this? A helpful technician at a company I called suggested that I try some biconcave doublet lenses from Edmund's, and if I could find one that works, have a machinist make the adapter.

    Questions for everyone:

    1. Can I calculate the lens correction I would need so I have a rough idea of what doublet lenses to order?
    2. Would the image suffer so much degradation that this is not worth the trouble and expense?
    3. If I get this all figured out, would there be a market if I could get several adapters made?

    Thanks much for any information,

    Otto

  16. #16
    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    It is not a matter of focal length (FL) but of flange focal distance (FFD) as mentionned in your diagram. Problem is the FFD of RF lenses is shorter than that of SLR cameras. Optical doublets are used to correct chromatic aberrations usually but i don't know if they can modify FFD in any way. Failing which, an adapter should protrude into the SLR's body which would let little room for the lens if any and would require a permanent lockup of the mirror. FFIW.

  17. #17
    oyang
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by LCT View Post
    It is not a matter of focal length (FL) but of flange focal distance (FFD) as mentionned in your diagram. Problem is the FFD of RF lenses is shorter than that of SLR cameras. Optical doublets are used to correct chromatic aberrations usually but i don't know if they can modify FFD in any way. Failing which, an adapter should protrude into the SLR's body which would let little room for the lens if any and would require a permanent lockup of the mirror. FFIW.
    So then I'm confused. Doesn't adjusting focal length with a corrective lens make up for the altered FFD? Using a concave lens (Barlow) should move the focal length back to match the FFD, no? Isn't that how glasses and eyeballs work? Someone who is near-sighted has a focal length that is too short to reach the retina due to the geometry of the cornea and lens, and glasses are used to adjust the focal length backwards (negative diopters).

    It sounds like you are suggesting that the lens needs to be moved to match the FFD.... instead, can't this be done optically, with "glasses" for the Canon EOS to correct near-sightedness with the Leica M-mount lenses?

  18. #18
    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    I don't know sorry.

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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by oyang View Post
    It sounds like you are suggesting that the lens needs to be moved to match the FFD.... instead, can't this be done optically, with "glasses" for the Canon EOS to correct near-sightedness with the Leica M-mount lenses?
    Yes, it can be done optically. Such adapters with corrector elements already exist for some lens mount combinations. But often the reason for wanting to adapt lenses across systems is to take advantage of distinctive optical characteristics that those lenses offer. Adding glass to an adapter will necessarily change those characteristics, almost always for the worse, defeating the purpose of adapting the lens.

    More simply: once you put additional glass behind your adapted lens, it's not the same lens any more.

  20. #20
    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    Interesting thanks. Do you know if such adapters are available on the market?

  21. #21
    oyang
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Adding glass to an adapter will necessarily change those characteristics, almost always for the worse, defeating the purpose of adapting the lens.

    More simply: once you put additional glass behind your adapted lens, it's not the same lens any more.
    OK; that makes sense. I may try it anyway for fun.

    Considering the cost of a Leica M9, it almost seems worth getting a reasonably good digital camera for a few hundred dollars and reconfiguring it mechanically to get full frame use of Leica M lenses. It looks like the Sony NEC has a 1.5 crop factor; with some tinkering, could that be made to take full advantage without cropping?

  22. #22
    oyang
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by LCT View Post
    Interesting thanks. Do you know if such adapters are available on the market?
    I've scoured the internet and called several places; to my knowledge no one has made one.

  23. #23
    Member Arjuna's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by oyang View Post
    It looks like the Sony NEC has a 1.5 crop factor; with some tinkering, could that be made to take full advantage without cropping?
    The Sony NEX cameras, which are not SLR's, have a shorter flange-to-sensor difference than Leica M, so there are already adaptors available. They have a 1.5 crop factor because their sensors are smaller than 35 mm film - I don't think that there is any way around that. I think that what you want is a full frame, i.e. full 35 mm frame (~24mm x 36mm), sensor in a camera with a flange to sensor distance that is shorter than the Leica M registration, e.g. a mirror less camera, like the Sony NEX, but with a bigger sensor. You are not alone in wanting such a camera.

    My summary of the previous replies:
    1. the absence of any such adaptors strongly suggests that they are not economically practical.
    2. given the optical difficulties in building such an adaptor, it seems likely that you would get better results, cheaper, by just buying a lens of the same focal length that is native to the system, i.e. if you have a Canon SLR, a Canon 50 mm lens is likely to perform as well or better on it as an adapted Leica 50 mm lens, for less money than what a competent adaptor would cost, not to mention the original cost of the Leica lens.

  24. #24
    oyang
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna View Post
    given the optical difficulties in building such an adaptor, it seems likely that you would get better results, cheaper, by just buying a lens of the same focal length that is native to the system, i.e. if you have a Canon SLR, a Canon 50 mm lens is likely to perform as well or better on it as an adapted Leica 50 mm lens, for less money than what a competent adaptor would cost, not to mention the original cost of the Leica lens.
    Makes sense if you are purely interested in using a camera to its full advantage (e.g. the Canon SLR), but if one has a full set of nice vintage Leica M lenses and wants to take advantage of the unique properties of those lenses in digital format, obviously you need a way to rig a camera to use those lenses to full effect. Of course the M9 does it, but what's the fun in that???

  25. #25
    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    Yes aside from the M9, the only way to use M lenses digitally is to get crop bodies so far: R-D1, M8, M8.2 or mirrorless cameras like the Ricoh GXR M. For full frame, i use my R lenses on a 5D1 personally.

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    Re: Leica M to EOS adapter?

    LCT don't forget the Sony Nex 5n, another crop mirrorless camera that works excellent with M glass and with a helicoid adapter, you can get focus down to less than 1 inch for some lens.

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