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Are adaptor rings worth it?

Robin_TB 8 204 9 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2010 8:56PM
As my first DSLR I am using an Olympus E1 which is great to learn on. However, being 4/3rds the choice of decent lenses seems both limited and expensive. Is it worth buying an adaptor ring enabling me to fit Nikon/Pentax etc lenses? The range of lenses available and the costs seem to make the investment in an adaptor ring worth while but are there any significant problems with putting an adaptor ring between the body and lens?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated!


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Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
19 Mar 2010 9:02PM
The range of 4/3 lenses can see limiting to some people, though I would not consider what is available as dearer than those made by any other manufacture.

Adapters are Ok, best stick to primes only and you will be limited to stop down metering.
Robin_TB 8 204 9 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2010 9:15PM
Thanks Paul, I guess part of my problem is lack of funds for the OEM lenses and 4/3rds lenses just don't seem common second hand. The classifieds are full of Nikon/Canon/Sony but Olympus are much rarer.

Having said that I'll now find 4/3rds lenses all over the place! Wink
cabinfever 11 21 Scotland
19 Mar 2010 9:32PM
There's actually a pretty good range of reasonably priced Zuiko lenses for the 4T system. Admittedly the range is nowhere near as extensive as say Canon or Nikon.
I shoot E1 and E620 and in building up my glass menagerie I have found that lens prices have become more competitively priced over the years.

I know nothing about any adapters that would allow you to mount Nikon/Pentax lenses to your E1. I suppose they exist - and hopefully someone will come along and confirm whether they do or not.
I've never really investigated the possibility of using other system lenses because the Zuiko/OMs just do a great job for the price.
Some third party manufacturers - eg Sigma - manufacture lenses for 4T

You can get an OM/4T adapter to use OM legacy lenses on your E1. You lose autofocus and will have to set aperture manually but you can get some great glass fairly cheaply.
By slowing down and going manual with these legacy lenses you also get to learn loads more about the way your settings affect your image.
Google "Wrotniak" to find more info on lenses that will be compatable with your E1.
Robin_TB 8 204 9 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2010 9:51PM
Thanks, currently I only have the Zuiko 14-45mm and 40mm-150mm so a long way from a glass menagerie! Reviews of Sigma 4/3rds seem rather mixed, another reason I was looking at adaptors. Recently I had a look at Macro lenses and the advice from all on here was to get the Zuiko 50mm, guess I'll have to keep saving as it sounded great and was also recommended for portrait work.

I know some people who specialise in a certain photographic area have specialist lenses but as I'm just starting out it seemed sensible to try and stick to more 'general' lenses. Maybe I need to spend longer looking in camera shops to work out what a 'reasonable' price is.Smile
cathal 13 492 4 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2010 10:01PM
The E1 is a very highly regarded camera in four third circles. If you know where to look, there are lots of glass options around for it. You can get adapters - for example Olympus make one to mount their OM lenses on a four thirds body - and many more exist from many different sources to mount all sorts of lenses onto four thirds bodies.

The real question is would you want to? If you already have the lens, then why not? Unless the lens is very specialised (fisheye or tilt/shift for example) then it might not be worth buying the lens and adapter over and above a purpose designed four thirds lens. Remember that the 2.0x factor of four thirds means that the effective focal length is doubled. (A Pentax SMC 24mm f2.8 lens acts like a 50mm lens on your E1)

Interestingly, on micro four thirds cameras adapters are big news, where exotic Leica lenses can be mounted on very compact bodies.
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
19 Mar 2010 10:24PM
cameraquest make plenty of adapters.

The Zuiko 50mm F1.8 can be picked up dirt cheap.
Robin_TB 8 204 9 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2010 10:25PM
I'm just going through the Wrotniak pages recommended by Cabinfever and it's full of good info. What a great site!

Cathal - any hints on where to look?? I am not convinced to look at adaptors if not neccessary.
cabinfever 11 21 Scotland
19 Mar 2010 11:28PM

Quote: Recently I had a look at Macro lenses and the advice from all on here was to get the Zuiko 50mm, guess I'll have to keep saving as it sounded great

I posted on your macro thread too. Don't know if you saw my reply there.
For the budget conscious the 35mm macro is a great entry into the world of macro at about a third of the price of the 50mm.
It gives you 1:1 ratio -ie lifesize - as opposed to 1:2 ratio- half lifesize - of the 50mm.

You can buy one, play around with it and then sell it without much of a loss to finance a longer macro lens if you really get keen. The 35mm also makes a decent walkabout lens, nice and compact.
Glad you are finding the Wrotniak site useful.
StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
20 Mar 2010 6:57PM
I had the 35mm macro, and I believe it should be a part of any Olympus togs kit, amateur or pro. It is an excellent lens for the price, and has many uses. The only reason I sold it is because I decided to move on from Olympus, but I still think they're a great alternative to the big 2.

If you decide to get a dioptre lens, make sure you get a good quality one. The Nikon 5T is excellent, but is not made anymore. They're available on Ebay for a price of about 100 - 125 US dollars. Originally $50.00, which shows they are quality. Canon makes some excellent close-up lenses also, and I believe if you read Pete's excellent close-up article on here, he mentions a brand called teleplus. You need a multiple element dioptre.

Good luck.
Robin_TB 8 204 9 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2010 10:57AM
Thanks all for the advice.

I did read all the posts on the macro thread and this wasn't meant to turn into a re-run Wink

The general feeling I'm getting is stick to the OM lenses as its worth the money, and be patient and shop around for the best deals.

I'll investigate the 35mm option as I have seen these locally at very affordable prices.

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