Going Mirrorless With Old Glass
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Thread: Going Mirrorless With Old Glass

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  1. #1
    Member ManOnTime's Avatar
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    Going Mirrorless With Old Glass

    About three years ago my wife and I inherited some of her grandfather's photo equipment that he accumulated throughout his life, both as an enthusiast and for his career.
    I've been tired of the lenses sitting around and not being used, so I decided to jump in feet first and start shooting with them. They are all 40 years old or older and are Canon FD and Nikon F mounts.

    One of the easiest method to adapt those to a modern camera is to go mirrorless, which is what I've done. I picked up a NM condition Olympus E-P1 from NatCam and ordered F, FD and PK (for my personal Pentax lenses) adapters. I'll have to shoot manual or AP, but that's totally fine with me. I'm really looking forward to giving this old glass some new life, and I have a feeling Grandpa would love that the stuff is being used.

    I hope to share some images taken with them soon.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Going Mirrorless With Old Glass

    I'd be curious how this works out for you. I'm testing just this (albeit with lower level equipment, my Olympus EPL-6, Panasonic adapter, and a 4/3 Olympus 35mm Macro lens). I'm very much an amateur, but it was the cheapest way to get into a macro lens. I'm just not sure if this will be the best move long term, but I guess I'll find out!
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  3. #3
    Member ManOnTime's Avatar
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    Re: Going Mirrorless With Old Glass

    Here's a pic I took with the E-P1 and a 16mm f1.4 CCTV c-mount lens.

    Name:  Cira.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by dafuture View Post
    I'd be curious how this works out for you. I'm testing just this (albeit with lower level equipment, my Olympus EPL-6, Panasonic adapter, and a 4/3 Olympus 35mm Macro lens). I'm very much an amateur, but it was the cheapest way to get into a macro lens. I'm just not sure if this will be the best move long term, but I guess I'll find out!
    I quickly moved on. The E-P1 is a great body, but the lack of viewfinder and the fact that the LCD washes out in bright light made it a struggle to use.

    I scored a great deal on a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5, and now I am using that with the lenses. I'm also looking at primes and a couple zooms from Olympus and Panasonic.

    I'm interested in how you like the adapter for the 4/3. I am assuming it is electronic so you it will still transmit data and you can use auto focus?
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  5. #4
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    Re: Going Mirrorless With Old Glass

    Just my 2c.
    I don't think it's at all worthwhile for anything except a) sentimental value and b) very exotic lenses. The unfortunate issue is that most FD and F lenses have been superseded by much better performing lenses (read: computer-assisted design), and even if it were not so, there is the pesky issue of thick sensor cover glass in mirrorless lenses degrading film-optimized lenses (google around for this, it's been a big thing for using especially leica M lenses on Sony mirrorless, but is also a factor in micro 4/3 cameras). One possible exception to this is the metabones speedbooster, which is a focal reducer, and its design takes into account the sensor cover glass thickness. If you can spring for one (it's super expensive) it may mitigate a lot of the issues with cover glass. For me I have all my required FLs covered in the formats I shoot so I rarely share lenses between systems, though I have done some. I'm waiting for a good deal on the metabones speed booster but not holding my breath.

    All said, adapting is a fun way to re-purpose lenses, especially exotic ones that have no modern equivalent, like the Nikon 50/1.2 AIS, Canon 200/1.8, or Mamiya 80/1.8, or the Leica noctilux. Oh, and for lenses that don't exist in a system, such as tilt shift lenses for mirrorless.

    I've tried most lens adapters on my micro4/3 with a wide range of lenses, so PM me if you'd like more deets


    Off topic: @ManOnTime - appreciate your bargain thread stats - very thorogh!
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