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 โ‚ฌ400, 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.


14 thoughts on “Homecoming

  1. Thank you Nils, Michal and Freya :)I also have this 28mm prime, but it's pretty much useless. I tested it as turned super macro but there's awful lot of glow in pictures taken with it. Then I have Sigma 16mm fisheye lens, which becomes 32mm wide angle, but I'm not sure if I have any use for that, except it might work as closeup wide angle lens. I was so thrilled to test all other lenses first, that I have not yet tested this Sigma lens.

  2. oh gosh!!:yikes: these are the "weapon" you catch that needle pic?? yes yes, it's much profession.:yes:

  3. ___________________________I really miss not having a lens I can manually adjust and it drives me nuts when my "shutter" clicks and the subject disappears for what seems like an infinity but, w hat do you think this camera is worth or these photos or this video ?http://www.youtube.com/watch?vE43sg-Ytt58I just read the article and thought of your blog. I couldn't resist and thought you and/or readers would appreciate. I haven't even looked at the photos or the video yet but the links are from Yahoo! News. :whistle: I think that's got it!Oops! The video didn't fly and maybe it's supposed to be Nemo!

  4. Tom, I say they make tough waterproof plastic cases ;)For me the sound of shutter is no problem. If you check what kind of photos I take, you will notice it does not even matter if the camera is not waterproof, and manual focus is even an advantage when shooting still objects.

  5. It very much depends on situation. However, if the camera is fast, silent and tough, then it's just perfect on all kinds of situations. But usually it costs to have all those in one camera.

  6. I don't think you understood me. I loose track of the subject because of the shutter and, the fact that it displays the photo right after it's taken! I have to reset each time. A truely manual lens would be a pleasure. any way I was just practicing bbcode really. Your blog should be about you! ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Anyway, have you checked all the setting on your camera Tom? I suppose there should be settings to change all kinds of things like 'auto review' time aka time how long picture is displayed after shooting.

  8. Yes, I would too. I looked but couldn't find how to stop the auto review. At least that way I can get a better idea of how the picture looks. The camera is not a true slr (Sony HD20). 2 aperture settings per iso setting but I can change iso on the fly. I would like the focus and aperature to be manual in the lens. Like you said though that can cost. :awww: :cry:Well…so much for creating raku ponies! ๐Ÿ˜‰


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