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Old OMlenses on E1 body via adapter

zuikoholic

Active Member
Hi,

Does anybody know what the lens registration distance for the 4/3 system is/will be? The OM system had a lens registration distance of 46.00 mm see here:

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I'm predicting that the 4/3 system will have a smaller lens registration distance than the 46mm of the OM system. If this is the case, then maybe someone (either Olympus or another company) will provide an OM-4/3 lens adapter.

Now, I would be more likely to consider buying one of these new cameras if I could use my existing collection of OM lenses on it. I know the new lenses are supposed to give better quality images with the digital sensor; even if this is true, I could never afford to buy a whole heap of the new lenses, at least not straight away. Allowing us to mount OM lenses onto the E-1 via an adapter would also allow us to build up a collection of the new lenses gradually - what do you think? (Yes, I'm talking to you who use Olympus photo equipment!).
 

dirk

CI-Founder
HI Neil,

please do not use html coding in your messages. Just type them as a normal text like with a word processing in.

On one hand I find it interesting to have an adapter, on the other hand I am afraid that I will be disappointed with the image results, since the new system is not made for this and the old lenses neither.

I assume that the images with this new system will be horribel, if you use old zuiko lenses on it since the light falls with a totally different angle on the chip. So if you reflect that an adapter might not be cheap (if it is at all technically possible), then you you risk to spend another 300 Euro for worse images than with your old prooven OM and old zuiko lenses.

At the momemt I think it is a better idea to stay with the OM and in case that the first testimages of the E-1 will be promising to start with the body and only one lens. After 6 months of using this combo (by 2004), you will know whether you like the E-1 handling etc. better than the OM.

Especially this last point might be important. No matter how good the images will be with the E-1, you have also to like to take it in your hands and to use it. If you do not like the handling, it will stay in the closet and will be never used. Would be a very expenisve shelve in the closet


Dirk
 

dirk

CI-Founder
... one point I forgot to mention. As we all know, the other brands like Canon and Nikon are offering to use the same old (after 1990) lenses with their current digital cameras. But what we do NOT know exactly is what the downside of it is (colour shift etc.). Both these companies made already their changes in the 90ies in their lens system. So it would not be fair to compare this with Olympus.

It is just reality that within 30-40 years, every manufacturer has to change its }lens mount, if he wants to keep up with the technological requirements. Some made it earlier, some are doing it later. Lets wait and see what Nikon will do over the next 12 months
 

iberger

Well-Known Member
If Olympus ever does it, I doubt it will be a high priority. For one thing, I suspect anyone who can afford a $2,100 body is probably a pro or semi-pro who'll want the lenses made to work with it. That's because the Digital Specific lenses are autofocus, are perhaps a bit smaller and lighter than 35mm lenses of the same absolute focal length, can communicate detailed info, via the camera, to Olympus' PC software. The OM lenses are none of the above -- and remember that your prized 24mm wide-angle becomes the equivalent of a 48mm normal lens on a body like this. Furthermore, the Digital Specific lenses should produce better quality -- at least, the theory behind that is valid. The silver grains in film are distributed within a transparent gelatin medium, so light rays striking the film plane at an angle will still register full-strength, even on the lowest layers of color film. In digital imagers, each sensor spot is recessed behind the imager surface, in a "pixel well." Straight-on light beams reach the bottom of the well full-strength; as the angle deviates further from the perpendicular, less and less of the beam's light makes it to the bottom of the well, and you get vignetting. The DS lenses appear (judging from a slide flashed quickly on the screen) appear to have collimating elements at their back ends, which bend angled beams back to the perpendicular,

That being the case, I would look forward to someday breaking the "28mm equivalent" barrier for digital cameras and being able to get lenses equivalent to a 24mm or wider film-SLR lens. But possible does not mean easy: the shorter lens must be closer to the imaging plane yet still have room for the collimating elements -- and those elements become more needful the wider the lens's angle is. A possible solution would be to design the lens as a "reverse telephoto," whose virtual optical center (where the rays cross) is between the lens's rear element and the imaging plane (a technique widely used in the early days of SLRs, which had particularly deep bodies). But I have no idea how well that approach squares with the need for collimation, if at all.

Maybe the solution is to build an imager whose sensor spots were up at the surface. My intuition suggests that this might be more practical with a Foveon-type sensor, in which (as I recall) each imaging spot somehow picks up all colors at once. But I do not guarantee the accuracy of my intuition, especially at 1:54 AM.
 

zuikoholic

Active Member
Hi Dirk,

Sorry about the HTML code above - I use it a lot on photo.net, so I have a habbit to break.

Dirk & Ivan,

Thanks for your replies - I don't think the results of using the existing OM lenses on the E-1 will be all that bad (OK, maybe the proper lenses specially designed for it would give better results, I won't dispute this point). I think I have reason for stating this because I currently shoot with a Canon 10D, and with the help of an adapter, I use all my OM lenses on it (I don't own even one EOS-mount lens!). As far as quality goes, I'm happy - really happy - about how the images come out from this combination (see ex&le below).



OK, maybe the Olympus chip has its sensors more deeply sunk than with Canon's chip: if this were the case, the image quality would drop on going to the E-1 when using OM lenses. However, I would be surprised if the physical make-up of the various chips were that different.

Dirk, you are right about the handling, of course - this would apply to anything, and only getting hold of one and playing with it would answer this question.

Ivan, I also would be surprised if Olympus provide an adapter (although they did in the case of the pen-f etc). However, I'm quite confident that an opportunistic company would supply one to the market eventually. By the way, the "28mm equivalent" barrier for digital has been broken in a way - please refer to a discussion on photo.net:
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This was what I needed the fisheye for, Dirk - I estimate that the equivalent of a 21mm lens can be obtained by digital manipulation of the fisheye image. In the case of the E-1, the sensor size is smaller than the 10D, so maybe you'd only get the equivalent of a 24mm from this method - still OK though!
 

iberger

Well-Known Member
Who makes the OM to Canon adapter? I also have OM and EOS bodies.

And thanks for the tip on using fisheyes -- now I have to go over to the Minolta forum to see what fisheye attachments, if any, might work well with my Minolta Dimage 7i.

If this sounds like I'm not a camera-brand loyalist, you're right: I have an OM system, an EOS system, and the Minolta that I use regularly, a prewar Leica system that I use occasionally, and a few collector's items I no longer use (Kodak Retina IIa, Baby Rollei, Wirgin Edinex [first 35mm camera I ever owned], Brownie Reflex [first camera I ever bought], Univex Uniflash [first camera I ever owned--a gift when I was a kid], and Dad's old folding Kodak.
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
In re: your reference to the $2100 body-only price; keep in mind that that is a MSP, NOT the street price. I'll bet the street price comes in under $1800. But that's just a guess.

B. D. Colen
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zuikoholic

Active Member
Hi Ivan,

I got my OM-EOS(EF) adapter from a Japanese company called Kindai International (I was given the following email address, but I can't say if this is still appropriate now: h.masuda@kindai-inc.co.jp). It's a bit expensive as it's only 2mm thick, but it works!

I think that not limiting yourself to 1 brand is a good thing. However, I've such a large investment in Zuiko OM lenses that I really don't want to have to buy duplicates from another manufacturer. Actually, the main reason I looked at Canon was that I knew I could get the adapter - I'm just lucky that, at present, Canon makes the most affordable DSLRs that are still of a high quality.

JUst a note about the fisheye technique: because the 4/3 system crops more than the 10D, maybe an 8mm fisheye would be more useful on the E-1...
 

zuikoholic

Active Member
Hi Ivan,

I got my OM-EOS(EF) adapter from a Japanese company called Kindai International (I was given the following email address, but I can't say if this is still appropriate now: h.masuda@kindai-inc.co.jp). It's a bit expensive as it's only 2mm thick, but it works!

I think that not limiting yourself to 1 brand is a good thing. However, I've such a large investment in Zuiko OM lenses that I really don't want to have to buy duplicates from another manufacturer. Actually, the main reason I looked at Canon was that I knew I could get the adapter - I'm just lucky that, at present, Canon makes the most affordable DSLRs that are still of a high quality.

Just a note about the fisheye technique: because the 4/3 system crops more than the 10D, maybe an 8mm fisheye would be more useful on the E-1...
 
W

walrichard

As a very happy user of the new Olympus E1 - both commercially and for my own shots - I am delighted that both Olympus and the Chinese have brought out adapters that allow use of the OM system Zuiko lenses. The auto focus and light metering is lost, but if like me you are shooting in a studio with flash, or outside with a good light meter, this is a small price to pay against buying the full set of digital lenses.
Zuiko lenese have always been as good as any and if you shoot raw files, they can be converted to tiff or jpg with adjustment to the number of pixels interpolation that still produces amazing results to blow ups from the 5 megapixels shots.
I admit that I would have preferred Olympus E1 to have a higher pixel count but I have shot magazine covers that have been cropped from the 4:3 raw format and, after interpoation, have still looked as sharp as a knife. Portraits show every hair and detail perfectly.
Lord Lichfield, the recently deceased royal and celebrity portrait photographer, used this camera and produced A) sized blowups as prints. Ifit was good enough for such a distinguished photographer, it is good enough for me.
The only downside is the slight graininess that can result from higher ISO shots, but mostly I stick to 100 or 200 ISO (max 400) and use appropriate flash or light. I would not advise using the interpoated ISO r&s to 1088 or 3200 that the camera allows. Against this is the complete lack of abberation or fall off that the camers produces with its digital lenses. (I have yet to examine the results using the OM2 lenses on an adapter).
 
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