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Thread: Using Old SLR lenses on a DSLR

  1. #1
    New Member PeeCee's Avatar
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    Using Old SLR lenses on a DSLR

    Is there anyone who has been using Olympus lenses from their old SLR on a DSLR? I am upgrading to a E5 and just wanted to know before how the older lenses performed.

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    inkista's Avatar
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    Kathy Li

    Re: Using Old SLR lenses on a DSLR

    I use an old Oly-OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.2, but I'm using it on Canon EOS mount, not four-thirds. I love the hell out of it.

    Using Old SLR lenses on a DSLR
    Canon 50D. iso 100. f/1.2. 1/1250s.

  3. #3

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    Re: Using Old SLR lenses on a DSLR

    I'm pretty sure you can get an adaptor, have a look on Ebay. Apparently the Zuiko 24mm is particularly good, unfortunately I can't find an adaptor to fit my Nikon. Advantage is that the original Zuiko lenses were designed to cover a greater area than the sensor in your DSLR (unless the E5 is full frame ?) and so essentially you are just using the central 'sweet spot' of the lens.
    I regularly use lenses from my medium format Mamiya on my Nikon. Be aware that you will have to manual focus and possibly manually expose too. The focus isn't too much of an issue if you have 'live view' or a focus confirmation light in the viewfinder but if you're an SLR user then ... welcome back to manual focusing. Exposure indication in manual mode on the DSLR you can use the exposure scale in the viewfinder, me - I spot meter or just plain guess.

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    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Using Old SLR lenses on a DSLR

    I'll come at this from a different angle and ask why you are buying an Olympus E5?

    If you have invested thousands in E-Series lenses then fair enough - though in that case I wouldn't be worrying about trying the odd old lens. Get an adapter for a few quid and give it a shot but the glass you have will be your main shooting gear.

    If you haven't then that is a very, very odd choice of camera which if you can afford it then the question about using old lenses is again not really important.

    Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not being critical of your choice but it is an odd one bearing in mind the competition from the main stream brands with larger sensors and a greater choice of accessories.

  5. #5
    inkista's Avatar
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    Kathy Li

    Re: Using Old SLR lenses on a DSLR

    Well, that and that Olympus has abandoned developing any further new lenses in four-thirds mount; they're now concentrating on micro four-thirds for new lenses. And, of course, you can use legacy OM-mount lenses on other dSLR mount systems as easily as on four-thirds. Canon EOS can use them with adapter rings, and Nikon F can use them with Leitax lens mount replacement kits.

    But, as Robin said, if you have a significant investment in four-thirds glass, then it makes sense.

    To go into a bit more detail on the limitations of using OM lenses on four-thirds, because OM lenses are manual focus and aperture and they do not have any electronic contacts to communicate with the camera body, you'll have the following limitations:
    • Manual focus only (you may want to research split-circle focus screens, or use liveview with magnification, as bambleweeny mentioned).
    • Manual aperture control only
    • Limited to full Manual and Aperture Prioirty modes
    • Stop-down metering only, not wide-open (no spot metering on Oly Es)
    • Missing EXIF information (aperture, focal length) unless chipped adapter is used.

    Also (minor note), the DoF scale on the lens won't be accurate: that only works with full-frame.
    Last edited by inkista; 3rd February 2011 at 06:50 PM.

  6. #6

    Re: Using Old SLR lenses on a DSLR

    Is there anyone who has been using Olympus lenses from their old SLR on a DSLR
    Yes, I use a 30 year old Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 on my Canon 40D. I use a e-bay flange converter which works very nicely . You have to disable the lever coupling on the lens that spring returns the iris or otherwise the aperture ring will not operate the iris. I just shove a wedge of plastic card in the slot. It works fine. As stated above you will need to use live view for accurate focusing.

    Using Old SLR lenses on a DSLR

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Using Old SLR lenses on a DSLR

    Steve,

    Holiday snaps - now flowers. Have you seen the doctor lately, I'm worried about you.

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