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Adapting Old Lenses (1 Viewer)

gergrd

GREG
I read a reply to a question in a recent Popular Photography magazine regarding the use of older lenses that were designed for film cameras on modern DSLRs. Pop Photo responded that older lenses generally will work well with new cameras with one caveat. They mentioned that the DSLR sensor is more reflective than film and this can cause ghosting / internal reflections with some older lenses that would not have been seen on the film camera. They mentioned that modern lenses typically include a coating on the rear lense element to deal with this problem. I'd never heard of this issue before, other than discussion of ED coatings in general to improve contrast, etc.

Since the Panasonic / Olympus Micro 4/3 cameras easily adapt to a variety of lenses (and since Panasonic and Olympus have been so slow in bringing out M4/3 lenses), I've looked into acquiring older lenses and adapting my existing Nikon lenses. Based on the Pop Photo article, I wonder if that is a good idea?
 

Neil

Well-known member
I wasn't aware of this issue either but I won't let it bother me. I have old Olympus, Nikon,Leica and Zeiss (Hasselblad) lenses that I've been using and having a lot of fun with them ( have a look a the older threads ).
Neil.
 

postcardcv

Super Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I read a reply to a question in a recent Popular Photography magazine regarding the use of older lenses that were designed for film cameras on modern DSLRs. Pop Photo responded that older lenses generally will work well with new cameras with one caveat. They mentioned that the DSLR sensor is more reflective than film and this can cause ghosting / internal reflections with some older lenses that would not have been seen on the film camera. They mentioned that modern lenses typically include a coating on the rear lense element to deal with this problem. I'd never heard of this issue before, other than discussion of ED coatings in general to improve contrast, etc.

I seem to remember that this was the reason that Sigma gave for the DG coating on their lenses... however I've never found it to be a problem when using older lenses. It seems to be less or a problem and more a marketting ploy to me...
 

cledry

Active member
On the Hexanons I adapt, I use a specifically designed rear lens baffle with a smaller opening. It helps with contrast and the metering.
 

Wildmoreway

Well-known member
It certainly is a problem with some older lenses, when I had a Canon 400D I had a pentax screw adaptor and a Olympus OM adaptor and found that some lenses such as an old Soligor 28mm and an OM manual 135 lens worked ok but several others such as a Russian Helios 44 suffered from severe flare. When I had a 4/3rds system I did also have an OM adaptor and used some older OM lenses without a problem, it may well be that higher quality older lenses had better internal coatings to inside of the lens tubes.

I know that some digiscope enthusiast who make their own scope apply black "flocking" to the insides of the scope tubes to get rid of this problem.
 

Pat Donnelly

New member
The best way of dealing with this is to use two adapters! Use a c mount adapter and a OM to c mount adapter.

What you are doing is reducing the light entering the box containing the sensor. Baffling! Tech term!
Look up manualfocuslenses to find more indepth articles?
Putting a bit of cardboard into the lens, makes the Konica 40mm into a very sharp piece of kit! Without it, there are double images seen as oof! Until you stop down the lens that is! Even worse for wider lenses than telephoto.
 
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Bifurcator

Toy Camera Noob
I've used over 100 (about 120 to be closer) on my GH1. (Click here to see the collection when it was about 80 lenses.) I'm pretty sure this is a non-issue. If the lens flares and is prone to internal reflections then it'll show up on film just like on your digital camera with the differences being mostly only academic. Adapting legacy glass is an awesome idea! Older lenses are very often of MUCH higher quality than modern lenses in the same price range. For example I can beat the snot out of the $800 Lumix 100-300 with almost any zoom from the 70's or 80's that sells for $250 today. It won't have OIC and AF but the image quality will be greatly superior. There are some poor lenses from that period but they (typically) sell for under $50.

I think people adapting legacy lenses are the happiest photographers in the world. I know I am! I have a massive selection of very interesting lenses for less then the price of the Lumix 7-14mm + the Lumix 100-300. USA prices are higher but not all that much. I could have 60 lenses instead of 120 if in the USA or if only shopping on the auction sites.

You don't need to do anything special or unusual for these to just work and work better than they did on film cameras. Just buy the cheapest adapter and connect the lens. That's it! If you're getting flare of internal reflections add a hood - just like had to be done (with such a lens) on film. Us micro-four-thirds users have it great. Since our crop-factor is 2:1 we're taking images through only the center of the lens system. Centers are where all the goodness is... This very often means a lens that was rather poor on a film or full-frame cameras will totally ROCK on M4/3! It also means that we get double the focal length but get to keep the widest aperture. For example a 300mm f/4.0 which sells for $250 (used) is virtually the same as using a 600mm f/4.0 on a full-frame camera. Well, a 600mm F/4 (used) costs several thousand dollars! We make out like bandits!

There's absolutely no reason not to use legacy lenses on our systems and every reason to use them! The advantages are astounding!

Here's an example of a 400/5.6 Sigma I picked up for $90 (about $190 in the USA):

_1030102.jpg

http://tesselator.gpmod.com/Images/_Image_By_Lens/Sigma_400_f5.6/_1030107.jpg


And here's some 100% crops of images from a $150 (about $300 in the USA) Canon 300/4.0 L:

_1020671.jpg

http://tesselator.gpmod.com/Images/_Image_By_Lens/Canon_FD_300mm_F4L/_1020690.jpg
http://tesselator.gpmod.com/Images/_Image_By_Lens/Canon_FD_300mm_F4L/_1020696.jpg
http://tesselator.gpmod.com/Images/_Image_By_Lens/Canon_FD_300mm_F4L/_1020751.jpg
http://tesselator.gpmod.com/Images/_Image_By_Lens/Canon_FD_300mm_F4L/_1030014.jpg

etc. etc. etc.
 
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