Finally I upgraded my photographic gear for this millennium! In 1980's I became seriously interested in amateur photography. First I had Pentax SLR but then I switched to Olympus because of wonderful OM4. It was the first affordable SLR cameras having a built-in spot meter, and the OM lenses were (and still are) light-weight and enjoyable to use. Then came the era of digital photography. Olympus seemed to totally abandon it's, and when it finally answered to competition, Olympus introduced 'four third' system. All old lenses became useless. But finally the situation has changed! …
For few years it's been possible to get an adapter than makes it possible to use old OM lenses on new digital Olympus SLR bodies. First the adapter was quite expensive and difficult to get, but today I can buy one in reasonable price and delivered within one day. Also the prices of digital SLR bodies have become low enough. Therefore I finally decided to buy Olympus E-450, kit zoom lens and MF-1 lens adapter for €400, which I think is not much.
And when I had the first look and touch on E-450, it was like homecoming after many years! It fit like a glove into my hands, and fingers automatically found their places on zoom and focus rings, and even on all new controls of E-450 body. Although everything was now somewhat full plastic, instead of previously used titanium and metal, the usability of Olympus gear is still there. And when I took the first photo… Oh, what a feeling! The soft and reassuring sound of shutter welcomed me back to Olympus.
I have spent hours of reading everything I can about using old OM lenses on digital bodies. I have felt a little uncomfortable reading reviews where it's told there would be quite much visible glow on pictures taken, and especially in full aperture. Based on my own first impression, I think the quality is however, good enough to amateurs like me. Moreover, I somehow feel very comfortable to use manual focus lenses. Even setting the manual aperture seems to be easy enough, although focusing on very bright viewfinder class is a bit difficult.
Now I have the following gear:
New 14-42mm (28-84mm) automatic zoom is good for daily photography. I'm happy to have 28mm equivalent, since I love wide angle point of view. Barrel distortion usual for zoom lenses is of course a small minus, but this is good lens to start with. My old 28mm prime lens is now somewhat useless, because it transforms into 56mm lens on four third system, but hopefully some day Olympus comes with something equal (a prime wide angle lens).
Old 35-70mm (70-140mm) manual focus & aperture zoom covers nicely the telescopic zoom needs. According to reviews, it is somewhat not recommended to use old zoom lenses on new digital four third bodies, but I feel much more positive about it. Moreover, I have special use for this lens. I have an old OM adapter that can be used to turn around the lenses, and this 35-70mm zoom becomes an excellent and very adjustable macro lens when turned around like this.
Old 135mm (270mm) telescopic prime is just what I have wished for, even when I was still using it on film cameras. First test with this has proved that 270mm is just perfect to capture the details of distant objects. This old OM lens just feels great!
Old 400mm (800mm!!!) telescopic Panagor prime is kind of an extra. It's quite heavy and cumbersome to use, so definitely I'm not going to carry it with me every day. However, it can become handy sometimes, if I wish to shoot birds or a moon. Although I have never been so thrilled about nature photography anyway.
So, basically three useful lenses at the moment, which definitely will satisfy my needs for a long time. I also have quite amount of old filters and all kinds of other stuff, which may or may not become useful. Time will tell and results will be seen in my albums.