Olympus, 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
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 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.
One 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/2.8||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko Fish Eye 16mm f/3.5||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 18mm f/3.5||f/5.6-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 21mm f/2||f/2.8-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 21mm f/3.5||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 24mm f/2||f/2.8-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 24mm f/2.8||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 28mm f/2||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 28mm f/2.8||f/5.6-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 28mm f/3.5||f/5.6-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 35mm f/2||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 35mm f/2.8||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko Shift 24mm f/3.5||f/5.6-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko Shift 35mm f/2.8||f/4-f/8 |
|Standard ||Olympus Zuiko 40mm f/2||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.2||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.4||f/2.8-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.8||f/2.8-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 55mm f/1.2||f/2.8-f/8 |
|Telephoto ||Olympus Zuiko 85mm f/2||f/5.6-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 100mm f/2||f/2.8-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 100mm f/2.8||f/5.6-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 135mm f/2.8||f/5.6-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 135mm f/3.5||f/5.6-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 180mm f/2||f/2-f/11 |
|Olympus Zuiko 180mm f/2.8||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko 200mm f/4||f/8-f/11 |
|Olympus Zuiko 200mm F5||f/5-f/5.6 |
|Olympus Zuiko 250mm f/2||f/2-f/11 |
|Olympus Zuiko 350mm f/2.8||f/2.8-f/11 |
|Olympus Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8||f/8 |
|Macro ||Olympus Zuiko Macro 50mm f/2||f/2.8-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko Macro 50mm f/3.5||f/3.5-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko Macro 80mm f/4||f/5.6-f/11 |
|Olympus Zuiko Macro 90mm f/2||f/4-f/8 |
|Olympus Zuiko Macro 135mm f/4.5||f/4.5-f/11 |
|Zoom ||Olympus Zuiko Zoom 28-48mm f/4||f/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/4||f/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/2.8||f/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/5||f/8 at focal length around 250mm |
|Olympus Zuiko Zoom 65-200mm f/4||f/8 at focal length of 115-200mm |
f/5.6 also possible at focal length around 115mm
|Olympus Zuiko Zoom 75-150mm f/4||f/5.6-f/8 at focal length of 105-150mm |
|Olympus Zuiko Zoom 85-250mm f/5||f/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
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
No automatic coupling
The Olympus MF-1 OM Four thirds Adapter costs around £99 is available from here.