Best adapters for Lumix GF1 and old glass? Canon FD, Hasselblad, Cine, etc.

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Frank T, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Frank T

    Frank T TPF Noob!

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    This is my first post here, and I've really enjoyed reading through the discussions. Also, I wanted to say Hi and introduce myself as well as ask a couple of questions. So...Hi! :)

    I recently bought a Panasonic Lumix GF1 and have really enjoyed it so far with two of the kit lenses. One of the big draws of the G system (and micro 4/3 in general) for me is the ability to put some of my old glass back to use in digital photography.

    After searching the forums, I'm still a little confused as to the best lens adapters for various mount types. These are the lenses I have, and I'd love to learn which adapters you've found work best:

    1. Canon FD lenses (mostly manual, a couple of older automatic), mostly primes from 28mm to 200mm, some of them quite fast.

    2. Older (all manual) Ziess lenses for Hasselblad (500 camera). Many of these are longer focal lengths, 150mm and up.

    3. Some cine glass from when I did more movie work (mostly C-mount but a couple of larger lenses) that might be worth experimenting with.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Some of the lenses wouldn't cost that much to replace with system lenses, but the lenses I've managed to keep over the years are personal favorites which I'd love to put to use.

    Assuming that one lens adapter can be used for each set of lenses (as opposed to leaving an adapter ring on each lens when not in use...I'm not sure how easy they are to mount and dismount), then price isn't a big issue, as paying more would be worth it across all of the lenses. If it would be better to keep an adapter on each lens, then I'm definitely more price sensitive. :lol:

    Thanks and Cheers!

    Frank
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I have found that there are three basic adapter prices. Ridiculously high, high, and affordable. FotoDiox is one on-line source for many,many adapters. Aluminum adapters seem very cheesy to me...just not good-feeling. Brass or bronze adapters that have been chrome-plated work pretty well,and I prefer them to the aluminum ones.

    The cameraquest.com web site has some good background articles and information on adapters...they are proponents of the ridiculously high priced adapters. But the
    information there is pretty good.
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    You'll also find that the particular legacy mount involved has a significant impact on the range of difference between the high end and low end adapters.

    Mounts like M42 and LTM (Leica Thread Mount) are rather simple mounts. You find less difference across the range.

    Bayonet mounts are a different matter. With these, the springs that keep the mounted lens snug and the latch (claw like that typical of Minolta MD or Konica AR, "dead bolt" pin like that of Nikon and Leica M, ...) make the quality of adapter a bigger issue. You'll see a wider range of difference between the low and high end with these.

    There are two approaches. One is to buy an adapter for each lens, put an m4/3 rear cap on it, and treat it like an m4/3 lens. The other is to get one adapter and switch which legacy lens is attached. The former makes lens changes easier, with less fumbling around. The latter is, of course, less expensive. Both work; you pay you money an make your choice.
     
  4. Frank T

    Frank T TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice! I'll do some further research.

    Since I use the Hasselblad lenses on another body also, I'll probably just get one adapter. But adapters for the FD lenses might make sense if they aren't too expensive....

    Cheers!
     
  5. Frank T

    Frank T TPF Noob!

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    Oh, also, I notice that a lot of people love the Pen F lenses for the micro 4/3 format. Is it worth keeping an eye out for those? Are the adapters available good?

    I appreciate your opinions!
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow I'm surprised...

    For a long time there were only three people here that had m4/3rd cameras: Ron, Sw1tch, and I. Mine is specifically used with my collection of: LTM, M42, K-mount and M-mount lenses.

    Yes.. as Derrel mentioned, there is a whole range of chinese, japanese, and german made adapters. You basically get you money worth. There are few things I have observed with different adapters:

    * Simpler the mount, the easier it is to make. Complex mounts should probably warrant the necessity for a better quality adapter
    * Cheaper adapters use bent metal "leafs" to provide the necessary tension on the contact areas of the mount. More expensive adapters use actually leaf springs which is similar to the tension mechanisms found on the actually mount of cameras.
    * Cheaper adapters have a tendency to allow focus beyond infinity. Not a show stopper but can be annoying.
    * I've seen mid priced and cheap adapters that had a bit of play. Not really a show stopper but it doesn't lend well to the feel of quality.
    * I have yet to see any adapter (cheap nor expensive) have incorrect flange to film plane distances.
    * I have yet to see any adapter made with a switch to make it easy to open up and stop down a lens. GRRR!! I'd pay extra for a K-mount version.

    With screw mount style adapters, you'll probably want to buy several adapters and keep them mounted on your lens itself switching between lenses via the m4/3 bayonet. 1) screw style lens mounts are annoying. Some people have dropped lenses trying to change them quickly. 2) if the adapter is made of soft material or is not made to good tolerances, you can end up cross threading lenses. 3) Switching lenses keeping the adapter on the lens is much faster.

    With that said, I have mostly cheap chinese built adapters. They do have quality issues but heck, this is not my main system... I do this for enjoyment. They work well and I can focus just fine. I got mine from "rainbowimaging" seller on ebay.

    The easiest to use lenses I have found to use on these cameras with an adapter are the M42 screwmounts with the Auto-manual diaphragm switch. THe switch allows for easy stop down of lenses. M42 are numerous and the M42 SMC Takumars are my favorites. The M42 mount is very simple and easy to get correct and there are less tolerance issues.

    Also, I have yet to see Hasselblad, Pentax 645, Pentax 67 MF adapters for these cameras. I just checked Ebay and I still didn't see any.


    There's a whole group of enthusiasts having fun with C-mount lenses out there. In fact, I had a hard time finding any in good condition at the local camera swap because everyone is selling them on ebay. THe image circle is smaller and the lenses produce a "unique" effect. Some like it .. some don't.
     
  7. Frank T

    Frank T TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. That's very helpful. The only setup I've heard for Hasselblad is a double adapter, a Panasonic DMW-MA1 with another Cirrus adapter. It doesn't sound promising....
     
  8. nancyk

    nancyk TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I have the Lumix GF1 and a Canon 50 mm F1.2 lens. Can someone recommend a specific adapter to buy in the U.S.? I saw happy reviews by users of the Novaflex, but it's more than $200! There do not seem to be many reviews of the Fotodiox adapter. Does anyone have any opinions of this one: [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Adapter-Olympus-Panasonic-DMC-GF1/dp/B002U4RRTG/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_1_0]Amazon.com: Canon FD Lens to Micro 4/3 Four Thirds System Camera Mount Adapter, Olympus PEN E-P1, Panasonic Lumix…[/ame]

    or this one:
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Adapter-Olympus-Panasonic-DMC-GF1/dp/B003EAVUMK/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_0_0]Amazon.com: Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter, Canon FD Lens to Micro…[/ame]


    Thanks!
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Those two links seem to be showing the same, exact adapter. I think for $39, the Fotodiox adapter from their USA site is a fair price. I have bought a number of adapters from the Fotodiox web store on e-Bay, and they have always been very good at prompt shipping. I honestly think you "might" experience a very slight amount of play in the Fotodiox adapter as compared with the Novoflex adapter, but nothing that will affect image quality; that's the difference between a $19-$40 adapter and a $200-$279 genuine Novoflex adapter...precision machining at $19 to $40, versus Uber-precision machining for $200 to $279...
     
  10. nancyk

    nancyk TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I bought this adapter and it just came in:
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Adapter-Olympus-Panasonic-DMC-GF1/dp/B002U4RRTG/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_0_1]Amazon.com: Canon FD Lens to Micro 4/3 Four Thirds System Camera Mount Adapter, Olympus PEN E-P1, Panasonic Lumix…[/ame]

    Now I'm reading further, and I realize it's lacking something to allow one to adjust the aperture on the lens. Does anyone have a recommendation for how I might rig this on the adapter, or should I just shop more carefully for an adapter that has more features? Can anyone recommend on in particular (for Canon 50 mm f1.2 lens on a Lumix GF1).

    Thanks.
     
  11. nancyk

    nancyk TPF Noob!

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    Never mind! I just needed to stop down all the way before putting the lens on.
     

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