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Olympus MF1 - OM Four Thirds Adapter Review

Olympus MF1 - OM Four Thirds Adapter Review - The Olmpus OM Four Thirds adapter allows Olympus OM users to attach their manual focus lenses onto an Olympus digital SLR body. Peter Bargh sees if his prize 50mm works with the new E3.

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Category : Convertors and Other Adaptors
Product : Olympus MF1 - OM Four Thirds Adapter
Price : £99
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Olympus MF-1 AdapterOlympus, for a while, were once the most popular SLR system going. This was thanks initially to the ground breaking OM-1, with its bright viewfinder, compact size and superbly dampened mirror system. That was followed by the hugely popular OM-10 and then by the pro spec OM-4ti.

The system of lenses offered had superb optics in compact bodies and that wide range can still be used today on the new Four Thirds digital system thanks to this Olympus MF-1 adapter.

Olympus MF-1 specifications
Diameter: 62 x 7.5mm
Weight: 50g

The Olympus MF-1 is a slim adapter that attaches to an Olympus Four Thirds body and has a OM bayonet at the front. This allows Olympus OM fit lenses to be attached to the new digital camera and, because of the smaller sensor, doubles the focal length, so that a razor sharp 50mm f/1.8 becomes a superb 100mm portrait lens.

Olympus MF-1 adapter casedOlympus MF-1 Build and handling
For those who remember the beautifully presentation cases that the Olympus accessories used to come in you won't be disappointed here either. Although the outer box (plain white) is a disappointment, the adaptor is housed in a luxury blue material box, almost like something you'd see at a jewellers.

To attach the Four Thirds System adapter to the body align the red marks on the body and lens mount and rotate to lock it in position, then align the mark on the lens and rotate that lock that into position on the adapter in front of the body.

The lens aperture stops down once attached so you need to set it wide open to focus and then stop down to the desired aperture to take a photograph.

To use it correctly on the camera you will only be able to use aperture-priority or manual exposure mode and spot metering doesn't work well. The aperture is not displayed in the viewfinder or on the LCD panel so you have to refer to the lens ring.
Also, as the mount has a slight extension, the focusing scale is not correct so don't rely on that.

Olympus MF-1 Performance
There's not much you can say about the performance, as there's nothing that this adapter can influence in optical delivery. The bayonet fitting has a positive grip on both ends, fitting snugly to the body and offering a solid fix for the lens. As it's such a thin tube I'd suggest you support longer lenses using the lens mount for a tripod or make sure both hands are balancing the weight when hand-holding (one always on the lens and one on the body). If your longer lens hasn't got a tripod mount, make sure you support it with your hand to avoid strain.

Olympus MF-1 on E3One thing that became really apparent when using the Olympus MF-1 is how much I miss true manual focus lenses. All current AF lenses have such weak, slippy focusing rings that when using the Olympus 50mm you really have great control over focusing. Everything is smooth and oiled, unlike the ratchety AF systems that clunk.

Olympus MF-1 Verdict
Although I no longer have an Olympus OM system, I hung on to my Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 because I was really happy with the performance. Maybe I knew that one day I'd be able to use it again! The MF-1 adapter is well made, and will unleash the power of those old OM lenses.

£100 is a lot to pay for what it is, and you can buy cheap Chinese mounts on eBay, but this one is a much classier gadget with a very well engineered mount. As there are many low cost OM optics around the saving on, say, a 300mm will provide a significant payback. And, once you've tried the silky smooth manual focus of an Olympus OM lens you won't want to go back to the flimsy AF manual focus rings.

Olympus OM lens compatibility chart

Wide-angle Compatible lens Recommeneded f/stop and focal length
Olympus Zuiko Fish Eye 8mm f/2.8f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko Fish Eye 16mm f/3.5f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 18mm f/3.5f/5.6-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 21mm f/2f/2.8-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 21mm f/3.5f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 24mm f/2f/2.8-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 24mm f/2.8f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 28mm f/2f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 28mm f/2.8f/5.6-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 28mm f/3.5f/5.6-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 35mm f/2f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 35mm f/2.8f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko Shift 24mm f/3.5f/5.6-f/8
Olympus Zuiko Shift 35mm f/2.8f/4-f/8
Standard Olympus Zuiko 40mm f/2f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.2f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.4f/2.8-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.8f/2.8-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 55mm f/1.2f/2.8-f/8
Telephoto Olympus Zuiko 85mm f/2f/5.6-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 100mm f/2f/2.8-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 100mm f/2.8f/5.6-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 135mm f/2.8f/5.6-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 135mm f/3.5f/5.6-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 180mm f/2f/2-f/11
Olympus Zuiko 180mm f/2.8f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko 200mm f/4f/8-f/11
Olympus Zuiko 200mm F5f/5-f/5.6
Olympus Zuiko 250mm f/2f/2-f/11
Olympus Zuiko 350mm f/2.8f/2.8-f/11
Olympus Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8f/8
Macro Olympus Zuiko Macro 50mm f/2f/2.8-f/8
Olympus Zuiko Macro 50mm f/3.5f/3.5-f/8
Olympus Zuiko Macro 80mm f/4f/5.6-f/11
Olympus Zuiko Macro 90mm f/2f/4-f/8
Olympus Zuiko Macro 135mm f/4.5f/4.5-f/11
Zoom Olympus Zuiko Zoom 28-48mm f/4f/5.6-f/8 at focal length of 28-48mm
f/11 also possible at focal length around 36mm
Olympus Zuiko Zoom 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5

f/5.6 at focal length of 35-50mm
f/8 also possible at focal length around 35mm
f/4 also possible at focal length around 50mm

Olympus Zuiko Zoom 35-70mm f/3.6 f/5.6-f/8 at focal length of 50-70mm
Olympus Zuiko Zoom 35-70mm f/4f/8 at focal length of 35-50mm
f/5.6 also possible at focal length around 35mm
Olympus Zuiko Zoom 35-70mm f/4 (AF)f/8 at focal length of 35-50mm
f/5.6 also possible at focal length around 35mm
Olympus Zuiko Zoom 35-80mm f/2.8f/5.6-f/8 at focal length of 35-80mm
f/4 also possible at focal length around 35mm
Olympus Zuiko Zoom 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 f/8 at focal length of 60-105mm
f/5.6 also possible at focal length around 60mm
Olympus Zuiko Zoom 50-250mm f/5f/8 at focal length around 250mm
Olympus Zuiko Zoom 65-200mm f/4f/8 at focal length of 115-200mm
f/5.6 also possible at focal length around 115mm
Olympus Zuiko Zoom 75-150mm f/4f/5.6-f/8 at focal length of 105-150mm
Olympus Zuiko Zoom 85-250mm f/5f/5.6 at focal length of 150-250mm
f/8 also possible at focal length around 150mm
Olympus Zuiko Zoom 100-200mm f/5 f/5.6-f/11 at focal length of 140-200mm
f/5 also possible at focal length around 200mm

Olympus MF-1 OM Four Thirds Adapter Plus points
Excellent build
Ability to use wide range of excellent OM lenses
Ability to use OM lens high quality manual ring

Olympus MF-1 OM Four Thirds Adapter Minus points
Price
No automatic coupling

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The Olympus MF-1 OM Four thirds Adapter costs around £99 is available from here.

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Comments


JJGEE 9 6.3k 18 England
19 Nov 2007 1:46PM
"100 is a lot to pay for what it is"

For me, I would immediately have three Zuiko Lenses to use.. albeit at double the original focal length.

And as you say there are bargains around... quick look I spotted a Zuiko 50mm ( 100mm ) macro lens for 89.

Attach that to the E3 and use the Live View Swivel Panel for checking the focussing .... sounding good ! !

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Paul Morgan e2
13 15.2k 6 England
19 Nov 2007 5:29PM

Quote: And as you say there are bargains around... quick look I spotted a Zuiko 50mm ( 100mm ) macro lens for 89

I had one of those and wish I still had it, not very fast at f3.5 but still good Smile

Originally you could pick these up for free, not any more though. 100 might seem a lot but its an absolute bargain if you have or can get hold of the zuiko glass.

If you think the 50mm is good, just try the 28mm or 24mm. Fit one of these and its like using a 50mm prime on a 35mm film body Smile

I was reading a fairly recent lens test where they fitted a Canon, Nikon and this old Zuiko 50mm to a 5D. The Zuiko came bottom, but only by a margin and the Canon/Nikon glass was modern.

You can pick up cheaper copy`s on Ebay saving as much as 40 but be aware there not as good, on some the plating peels of the brass and the fit can be sloppy.
hator 6
28 Nov 2007 5:40PM
"...50mm f/1.8 becomes a superb 100mm portrait lens." Hm.. Mathematic says it is 25 mm.. 2x.. but on the other side..

p.s. Nice review !
4 Dec 2007 12:18AM
Been using one of these for a while now on E1 and E300 bodies. Using 55mm F1.2 and 90mm f2 macro lens and extension tubes, I can get results I only dreamed of before.
None of the Digital E lens give that quality.
These are heavy equipment and the connections are as tight as when first bought.
Exposure need patience for set up, and some experimentation is required to get it correct.
Hope this adds to your excellant reveiw.
MDaniel 7 3 3 Ghana
27 May 2008 2:51PM
Used the adaptor on the E-1, yet to try it on the E-3, had excellent results with the 180mm & 300mm lens at a grand prix motor event. Still used my OM 4ti though for the main.
StrayCat e2
10 14.7k 2 Canada
30 Jun 2008 6:09AM
I just bought the adapter, and just won a 50mm f1.8 for $18.99 cdn on Ebay. I've bid on a couple of the above mentioned 90mm f2.0, but was outbid. I'll keep trying.
2 Oct 2009 7:40PM
Just a little advice, regarding price. I got a friend to get me my MF1 adaptor whilst he was in New York. There is a large Photograhpic/department store in New York called B&H, were you can get the MF1 for about $99.00, which when I got worked out at about 56.00.(Which was nice). My favorite OM lens I use on my E-510 is, the 35-105mm Zuiko,
I get some cracking results.
19 Feb 2010 4:13AM
Hi,

I have a Yashika FX-D quartz manual SLR with two Tokina lenses.
I know that the camera is having a three fourth mount (bayonet).

But I could see the on the lens the diameter is 55mm.
I wanted to know if the Tokina lenses are compatible with the Olympus E-510 DSLR if I use the OM-1 adaptor.

please help.
Pete e2
13 18.4k 96 England
19 Feb 2010 9:18AM

Quote: I wanted to know if the Tokina lenses are compatible with the Olympus E-510 DSLR if I use the OM-1 adaptor.

No The OM Adaptor is for Olympus OM fit lenses. You would need a Four/Thirds to Contax/Yashica adaptor. Available on eBay

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