*Your Micro 4/3′s camera + your existing lenses = limitless fun.

so much for compact...

so much for compact…

Who cares that Olympus and Panasonic have released relatively few lenses, mainly slow zooms, for the micro 4/3’s cameras?  Adding m4/3 mount adapters to your bag opens up a bevy of hundreds of lenses.  What you gain in variety though, you may loose in automated functionality. 

*Authors Note:

This article was written years ago, as the micro 4/3 system was still in its infancy.  Years later, there are many, many new options available as most of us are well aware.  This is still one of the more popular articles here on my site, so I wanted to add a link to a newer article where I’ve tested a new Kipon adapter which allows full AF support for many Canon EF lenses when adapted to a micro 4/3 camera body.  It is a pretty wonderful piece of engineering, and worth a look if you are like me, and are looking for a solution to use your EF lenses on a micro 4/3 camera.  That article is now HERE.  

Thanks for the read and happy shooting,


With an inexpensive adapter, your m4/3 lens arsenal will open up all the while fine tuning your technique.  Most adapters are capable of infinity focus, but check before purchasing.  Due to the fact that most all of the adapters disable electronic communication between the lens and m4/3 camera body, you will be responsible for two things, adjusting your aperture and manually focusing.  Manually focusing!  Can you remember life before cell phones?  How did we get in touch with each other if we weren’t at home near our phone?  Remember life before mp3s?  Having to juggle a phonebook sized folder full of CD’s, or shoebox of tapes while driving with one knee (let’s not even go to the backbreaking milk crates full of vinyl, and yes I intentionally left out 8-tracks.)  Waiting as your VCR rewound your VHS or BETA tape?  Okay, I guess what I’m getting at is our interactions required more foresight, patience and intentionality.  By forcing myself to manually focus (out of requirement in this case) it has helped me create a more intentional image.  Sure, autofocus doesn’t stop anyone from composing and focusing an image to their liking, but having to manually focus has helped me slow down, and sometimes I need a good slow down.  Like shooting a roll of film nowadays, I really think about each frame, where with digital, I’m more prone to being sloppy, lazy or rushed knowing that one of the 75 shots I just took of my kid awestruck by the button on my shirt will have wielded at least one keeper.  It has been fun intentionally slowing things down a notch.  (here’s a newer article showing use of a micro 4/3 cam with Legacy Lenses)

UPDATE: – Here’s a new article comparing the newer G3/GX1 sensor to the GF1 sensor!

When using 3rd party lenses via adapters on a m4/3’s camera (in my case the GF1), you will need to go into the camera’s menu and allow the camera to “shoot without lens” which is telling the camera to function when it doesn’t have an electronic connection to relay information.  Setting the camera to shoot in Aperture Priority will allow the camera to adjust your shutter speed to account for the light hitting the sensor.  You can also adjust your exposure compensation by spinning the thumb wheel to fine tune your exposure as the metering can be challenged I’ve found.   Following are some images captured using my GF1 and my Canon EF lenses.  The beauty with getting to use my existing lenses is that most of them provide ranges and apertures not available to me in a m4/3 lens offering.  That, and I don’t have to reinvest in an entirely new lens collection.  I’ll start by showing you how to manually adjust your aperture for lenses that do not have an external/manually adjustable aperture ring.

We’ve figured out how to adjust our aperture for those of us without a physical aperture ring on the lens, now it comes down to the shooting technique.  If you’ve spent time with a rangefinder and manual focus lenses for instance, or remember cameras before auto focus systems, then you’ve got a built in advantage.  One big difference I’ve now noticed having to manually focus my EF lenses, is that they’ve not been built with as much attention when MF is used.  Using a lens that has been built to be manually focused, like the newer Zeiss optics, or Leica lenses for instance, the MF operation is easier to fine tune as you have more movement in the focus ring.   In this case, it is a little awkward to get used to when your lens is larger and heavier than your camera and the focus ring’s range of movement is more geared to quick AF operation.  Not using an EVF (electronic viewfinder) I am forced to use the rear LCD to focus.  This keeps the camera away from my body where as on my DSLR’s I have that extra stabilizing point of contact (both hands and it’s pressed firmly against my face) which I miss out on, so it makes it a bit shakier.  This all adds up to a challenging MF experience, for me anyway, but I may just be out of practice.

The 1 (if not 2 or 3!) over the effective focal length rule should surely be considered here.  The 1 over focal length rule for those not familiar is the rule of thumb stating that to get “sharp” images, keep your shutter speed equal to 1/your focal length.  So if using a 50mm lens, keep your shutter speed at 1/50sec at least.  I use 1 over the Effective Focal length because most sensors are not full frame sensors as this rule was developed for 35mm film format cameras and as the image circle is cropped, it can amplify hand shake in the viewfinder akin to what a longer focal length would.  The cropping on a micro 4/3’s sensor effectively crops the scene which equates to the same field of view (FOV) as twice the actual focal length.  Keeping in mind that the effective focal length on the m4/3’s cameras is 2x combined with holding the camera away from my body, I found myself actually needing to triple my shutter speed in relation to the focal length for consistent results (1 over 1.5x the effective focal length in this case where my effective focal length is already doubled.)  Make sense?  Your mileage may very well vary.  For me, tripling my shutter speed to actual focal length seemed to fit the bill, but there were many times that I just couldn’t properly expose using this rule, so do what you can when you can and just brace yourself and work on your breathing technique while shooting.  It’s great practice.

You can throw out the idea of non micro 4/3’s lens’ optically based stabilization as the stabilization mechanism requires power from the camera body which isn’t transmitted from these adapters (the adapters I’m aware of anyway.)  Hence the lack of any electronic control from the camera.  This is where in body/sensor based stabilization can really come in handy.  +1 to the Olympus camp here.  I think that this would be one of the big arguments for an Olympus m4/3’s camera over a current Panasonic m4/3’s camera as the Oly’s all have sensor based stabilization effectively “stabilizing” any lens attached between 2-3 stops by most reports.  If you have yet to buy a micro 4/3’s camera and plan to use a lot of 3rd party glass, this may be a good thing to look at.  For me, well I’ve spent the better part of my photographic life using cameras and lenses built way before the concept of lens or sensor based stabilization was even a pipe dream, so it’s not so big to me.  (I certainly wouldn’t mind sensor based stabilization in the next version though… Panasonic, are you listening? 🙂 )  So, it has been really good for me to work on my technique.  I find that tucking my elbows to my ribs helps and after I achieve focus, I breath out and hold my breath as I push the shutter button.  Again, I need to approach each frame with a bit more intention and concentration.  I’ve been enjoying that.  Now one very handy feature on the GF1 is the magnification focus assist.  Press the thumbwheel to the top right on the back of the camera and it will zoom in aiding in getting a sharp manual focus.  You can also spin the thumbwheel for an even closer view.

Easy enough right?  Okay, so now that we know how to adjust our aperture, and we’ve thought about our capturing techniques, lets look at how the EF lenses perform on the GF1.  Most of these images have had some level of adjustment.  These aren’t “straight out of the camera” but I have not de-noised other than what was processed in JPEG compression in camera, or now that I’m finally able to use Aperture to convert the GF1 RAW files, during the RAW conversion.  But who doesn’t do some level of processing to their final images right?  I want to show real world examples.  If you’d like to look at color reproduction charts and noise measuring tests, there are quite a few sites out there offering those comparisons.  For me, I want to see what I can do with the image files (within reason in this case.)  The initial capture, regardless of the lens, is only the first step and I’m more concerned with what the image file is capable of no matter which lens it has been shot with.  That said, I am not going to post severely processed images to try and unnaturally boast performance.

Let’s start with the EF 35mm f/1.4L USM (70mm Effective Focal Length / FOV)

GF1 + EF 35mm f/1.4L USM via EF>m4/3 adapter

This lens is quite possibly my very favorite lens.  It is solid, sharp wide open and the color and contrast it provides are beautiful.  I’m a fan of the 35mm field of view on a full frame as my (slightly wider than) standard lens.  (the Panny 20mm f/1.7 is as close to this lens in micro 4/3’s world in a dedicated mount which would explain why I feel so comfortable with it, and no I don’t consider the Oly-17mm f/2.8 to compare as it is two full stops slower than my 35 which is huge to me.)  At an ‘effective focal length’/crop factor of 70mm on the GF1, it offers a nice candid frame for portraits and general shooting.

Little baby what’s-his-face hammin’ it up for dad.

And here is a 100% crop:

ISO – 100, 1/125sec, f/1.4

Now with a wide opened aperture, my DOF was pretty narrow.  My attempted point of focus was his dominant eye (viewer’s right).  It is close to being sharp, but his other eye is starting to get soft and his ear is falling out of the plane of focus.  This is more due to my inability to steady myself enough during capture combined with a razor thin DOF, than it does with the lens’ performance.  I am happy with the way that this picture came out, so for me, it’s all good.  I added the vignette, the lens was bright, and sharp to the corners as one would assume when we’re substantially cropping the image circle on a lens built for full frame cameras.

Here’s another with the 35mm shot from a moving car through the window.  Aside from a slight saturation adjustment, it’s untouched…

Sunrise behind Hood over the Columbia

100% crop

ISO-100, 1/1600sec, f/2.8

The EF 85mm f/1.8 USM (170mm EFL/FOV)

GF1 + EF 85mm f/1.8 USM via EF>m4/3 adapter

I’ve neglected this lens.  It’s never really gotten a fair shake in my lens lineup, mainly because I tend to prefer different focal lengths. It’s not provided me with as much “wow” factor as a couple of my other lenses.  That said, I’ve been impressed looking as closely at it as I have playing around with it on the GF1.  I even figured I would plug an extension tube on it for a little impromptu closeup/macro fun.  Being that it adds up to an EFL of 170mm, it could give me a good working distance for close up work.

A knook, or perhaps a cranny.

100% crop:

ISO – 100, 1/8sec, f/1.8,  ev+1/3 on tripod

Here is a shot of the Lumix 20 f/1.7 lens using the 85mm and extension tubes to allow for closer focus.  I’d stopped the lens down to f/8, using the DOF Preview button method described above, to get a little deeper DOF.

The Lumix 20mm on the other side of some extension tubes.

100% crop

ISO – 100, 1/2sec, f/8, on tripod

The EF 135mm f/2 L USM (270mm EFL/FOV)

GF1 + EF 135 f/2L USM ‘the bokeh barrel’ via EF>m4/3 adapter.

Next to the 35 /1.4, this is my most enjoyed lens.  I love the compression and shallow depth of field which can create some very pleasing bokeh, in my mind anyway.  This lens on the GF1 more than any other Canon lens I used, created a difficult challenge when it came to keeping my plane of focus where I wanted it.  This was largely due to the dampening on the focus ring coupled with my burgeoning manual focus technique.  While on my full frame cameras, it’s not as pronounced, but to crop it and effectively halve it’s fov while narrowing the depth of field to what seemed like a fraction of a millimeter with close working distances, it became apparent that it isn’t the best MF’er (manual focuser, get your mind straight.)  The 70-200 at the long end was tricky too, it’s MF dampening as well as balance in my hand was superior by my experience, but we’ll get to that lens next.  When zoomed in during the focus assist, it looked like I’d just put down a pot of coffee and mainlined some high fructose corn syrup.  The image on the LCD jumped around quite a bit making it hard to focus.  Again, not having that third point of physical contact with the camera made for a more difficult manual focusing experience.  So what did I do?  I put a 1.4x teleconverter/extender on there to compound the problem 🙂  With the 1.4x teleconverter and the 2x EFL multiplier by way of the sensor size produced the equivalent to a 378mm fov f/2.8 lens (you lose one full aperture stop with a 1.4x TC)!  The first image was taken wide open without the TC and with the TC attached, I stopped down to f/4 just to try and give myself more than a few millimeters of acceptable sharpness.

what remains of the fall

100% crop

ISO – 100, 1/400sec, f/2

In true 135mm f/2L fashion, any background elements are obliterated.  The lines in the top of the frame below are not banding, they are our fence slats about 12 feet behind the point of focus.  With good light and a fast enough shutter speed, it is capable of good sharp focus, which is never a problem for it on the Canons.

As the rhododendrons begin their climb toward spring

100% crop

ISO – 100, 1/320sec, f/4 135mm w/1.4x extender

Here’s a human shot.  Even at f/4 with a decent working distance, the compression between the focal length, 1.4x extender and 2x EFL crop factor, the dof was still thin enough to really create a challenge to get the shot in focus.  Here’s Mrs. Squeeze playing the patient, good sport and providing an example:

fighting an extremely shallow dof for fine focus

100% crop

ISO – 100, 1/160sec, f/4  w/1.4x extender

And finally one last shot with the 135mm of the Mrs and little baby what’s his face.

familial documentation, you know for the sake of posterity.

The EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM (140-400mm EFL/FOV)

With a 1.4x tele-extender and 68mm worth of extension tubes, weighing in at an effective cropped focal length/fov of 196 – 560mm f/4 lens and an almost uncontrollable area in focus, it’s the most ridiculous combination I am able to achieve with my gear!  Well, at least it looks funny.

Just for kicks, here is a handheld shot with the above combo:

a very small portion of a lenscap.

Where I’d had some issues with the focus ring on the 135, I have to say that the 70-200’s focus ring had a much better feel to the dampening for manual focus.  At the long end it made for a very, very difficult manual handheld focusing task as this lens weighs nearly 5 times the weight of the GF1 body.  On a tripod it can be entirely possible, but this is a large, heavy lens and when attached to the GF1 it is pretty far away from being even remotely balanced.  That said, with the tripod collar attached and used as a hold point in my left palm, I was able to operate the MF ring pretty well (I do have larger than average hands and long fingers though.)

a walk in the park

100% crop

ISO – 400, 1/250sec, f/2.8

trying to follow focus a moving, albiet slow moving, subject

100% crop

ISO – 400, 1/250sec, f/2.8

While the shot above of Delilah came out soft and a little noisy, it was a good test for me to try and focus with a long focal length, on a moving subject and shallow dof.

Finally, here’s a quick little bugger.  He must have been either protecting or warning others as he was vocal and very aware of where I was.  So I shot him, photographically of course.

The only shootin’ I do is through a lens.

100% crop

ISO – 200, 1/100th sec, f/8

While it’s not as sharp as I’d have liked, and the bokeh (and background in general) is a bit distracting, I was happy that I was able to catch him before he went jumping from tree to tree chirping bloody murder.

In conclusion, using my EF mount lenses on the GF1 has proven to me to be an enjoyable challenge which I approach in a more deliberate way.  Where I’ve gotten so used to relying on my cameras and their AF systems, I’ve been able to reconnect with the medium from a fundamental standpoint which I’d almost forgotten and certainly taken for granted over the last few years.  While I probably won’t be spending the majority of my time on the GF1 or any future m4/3 camera using manual focus lenses, I will certainly continue to hone the technique and play around with MF lenses whether they are lenses that I already own, or lenses that I will look to acquire in the future.  My big hopes for the future, that realistically have already been addressed with the Olympus cameras, is that I’d like to see and in body stabilization and high quality electronic viewfinder come in a Panasonic flavor.  The easy answer is to just get an EP-2, but I still feel that the menu interface and higher quality LCD screen on the Panny’s are higher on my list right now.  Coupled with the ability to purchase a kit with the 20mm f/1.7 lens, I still think that my decision was the best for me.  The next camera purchase will certainly be looked at more closely though.

I hope that this has been even remotely as enjoyable to read through as it has been to document.  I’ve obviously been using my Canon EF lenses, but there are adapters for tons of different mounts and if you have a bevy of lenses that you use for a different system, it may just be worth it to you to pick an adapter up.  Check with Novoflex or search on E-bay, etc.  Shop with caution and make sure you’re getting the proper adapter for your lens mount, there are many out there, some of which are better than others.  If you’ve been sitting on the fence waiting to purchase an adapter for your 4/3-standard, Canon EF, Canon FD, Leica M, Leica R, Minolta MD, M42, Nikon F, Olympus OM, Pentax K, Sony Alpha, Contax/Yashica (and probably just about any other) lenses, I’d say go for it.  It is a small investment in the way of an adapter to gain access to your lens collection on a compact system camera with quality results.  Until Olympus and Panasonic start to offer high quality AF options as proprietary alternatives to some of these trusted and true offerings from other manufacturers, it is a great way to diversify with very little investment.

For more reading on Micro 4/3 cameras, try these articles:

FD’d up from the Feet Up! Using legacy lenses on m4/3 bodies.

GF1, my new obsession.

Using Lensbaby’s new Tilt Transformer for Micro 4/3!

GF1 vs Sony NEX5, the Showdown.

76 thoughts on “*Your Micro 4/3′s camera + your existing lenses = limitless fun.

  1. Hi Tyson,
    Fantastic lens combination!
    It just shows that there is no limit to size of lenses that you can attach to a camera, just like the supersize Hubble telescope, which has a tiny brain (the camera) compared to its hugh diameter glass (the lens).



  2. Thanks Lew. I would love to find one of the super tele’s like the 600 f/4 or 800 f/5.6 to plug this onto. The next time I can justify renting one of these lenses I am certainly going to put the GF1 on there for the family photo album!


  3. Great blog post!

    I love it when people take the time to produce such detailed and interesting work. It’s what makes the internet so worthwhile!

    Thanks for linking to it from the “Panasonic DMC-GF1” Flickr group; I wonder if you’d mind if I linked to it from the “Micro Four Thirds cameras using alternative & legacy lenses” Flickr group. I feel it would be of interest to the group and a useful resource.

    Thanks again for such a well thought out piece; a pleasure to read.



  4. Thanks all!

    fortytwenty – I really appreciate you taking the time to read my ramblings and thanks for the tip. I have started a discussion in the legacy glass group (I’m mistersqueeze)

    Madewira – The micro 4/3 system’s compatibility with just about any lens out there via adapters was a big factor for me. There aren’t any limitations with aperture aside from those lenses that need to be electronically adjusted (like the EF lenses). It takes an extra step to adjust the aperture, and you need to have a proprietary camera body (a canon in my case) to change the aperture, but any aperture setting that the lens is capable of can be used. We might need to look at diffraction at a certain point, but…

    focus factor – Check my “free sources” tab at the top of the page. I try to direct folks to other websites, blogs, etc, many of them are where I like to read about these types of products and tests.

    dunc – That would certainly help wouldn’t it?! I am a stubborn man though, and I like not having a neck strap attached to the GF1 although I should keep one around for this reason. I just have a small piece of line fashioned into a wrist strap, but you are absolutely right. It would help with manual focussing a ton.


  5. Hi

    my problem is using the EF lenses on my G1 and having aperture control. I’m presently using quite a few OM lenses (as I’m sure you know)

    now *if* I had an EOS digital camera again (only have film right now) then an EF 300f4 instead of the FD might be very tempting. I’ve found that I don’t in reality need to stop down so the lack of aperture control is perhaps not such an obstacle.

    But that isn’t true with the less telephoto lenses. I do stop my 50 down …

    glad to see more people writing and influencing in this area 🙂


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  7. Dear Tyson,

    I stopped at the video explaining how to use an EF lens on the GF1 body. My enthusiasm turned into being puzzled: why would one carry a good Canon body (which usually has a better sensor than a GF1), go through this goofy exercise of setting up the f/stop and than still comes the manual focusing which itself is no small trick (I use and love the GF1 but only with the 20 mm lens). Why no just firing the Canon with ease and end up with a better photo? What am I missing?



    • Hi Akos,

      Thank you for the comment. Simply put, because we can. There are times that I don’t want to lug around an xxD or xD body and while most of my canon lenses go a long way in creating a very unrealistic and imbalanced set up, some of my smaller lenses offer a great compact, high quality, low profile set up with a 2x crop factor on a micro 4/3 body which can come in handy for situations like candid street photography and the like. The main thing that I enjoy about using these lenses on my GF1 is because A) it offers me a choice of high quality optics that are currently unavailable in a m4/3 mount and B) as mentioned in the article, it forces me to be a bit more intentional with my image making being that most all electronic automation is taken out of the equation. It isn’t very efficient, it isn’t very practical, but it is fun and just a nice change from the automated modes I’ve come to enjoy and rely on. It certainly doesn’t make sense for most of what I shoot, but for the times I want to switch gears, it is just the ticket.

      Thanks again,



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  9. Thanks, Tyson!
    I appreciate the advice. I’m really torn between Olympus which I own and used in 35mm and my (I think) wonderful all-in-one Panasonic FZ-18 which takes decent pix and is a really nice travel camera.

    I’m reasonably convinced that the m 4/3 format is a good choice for me, someone who doesn’t want to haul around a lot of weight and wants good pix.

    I’ve spent a fair amount of time researching and bookmarking on the two cameras, their lenses, reviews, discussion groups and prices, etc. Tough choice but macro is essential for what I like to photograph.

    I’ll go off and read the links in a minute – actually cross-posted from Flickr – nice article and much more to chew on. I had not thought of the loss of viewfinder as a loss of third point of contact, eg. Thanks again!


    • Terry, I think the micro 4/3 system would be a lot of fun, especially being able to use your Olympus lenses that you already have. Taking that into consideration, I might lean toward the Olympus cameras because of the in body/sensor based stabilization. It is one big drawback with shooting third party lenses on the GF1. One thing the GF1 does do well with non-4/3 lenses is it’s focus assist feature which will zoom to 5x and 10x (I believe), or at least two magnified increments moved to wherever you want it to be in the scene. Not the quickest way to focus, but for static subjects it is wonderful…the only trick is to then have to hold the camera still enough. I’m not sure that the Oly’s have a similar focus assist, if they do, strike two for the GF1 and OM glass. Strike three might be the quality of the EVF on the EP2, as the EVF for the GF1 is sub-par. Rumors are circulating that Panasonic is coming out with a higher quality EVF very soon though, maybe even in the next couple weeks. If it is as good (or near) the Oly version, I’m buying one. Both the GF1 and EP1/2 are amazing compact cameras capable of very high IQ. When considering those of us that already have invested in lenses can use these lenses (granted manually) it really boosts the benefit, to me anyway.


  10. Pingback: *Panasonic GF-1, my new obsession. « Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

  11. Pingback: *G-FD’d Up From the Feet Up! (or, how I saved thousands buying FD lenses) « Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

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  13. Very nice post. Good blog!

    I had that same combo. The 40D and the 135 f/2 HOLY COW. I think that 135 must be the most overlooked lens in the world.

    The DOF for portraits was simply stunning. Now this post gave me an idea. (DANG it) I can use that 135 again…. even tho’ I shoot Nikon now.

    Great post and I’m gonna RSS ya.


    • Thanks Tom!

      I think the 135L is one of the best values out there. A unique and relatively affordable tool for a short tele and just a beaut of a portrait lens. Of course, I love the focal length and I’m a sucker for a fast prime. 🙂

      Nikon has their own 135 f/2 don’t they? I’m sure, if it is anything like their other beautiful primes, it’s a killer piece of glass.

      Thanks for the follow and I hope I can keep it up!




  14. what brand adapter are you using?? I have a gf1 and would like to use the nikkor lenses I already own with it. Can you recommend an adapter /preferably with aperture control ring??


    • Hi Noel,

      I don’t know what the brand of EF>m4/3 adapter that I purchased. It was cheap, and it was off of ebay. I’ve tried to find the seller again, but to no avail.

      I am not very well versed in the various Nikon F mount adapters and I’m not familiar with those that have reportedly been able to adjust the aperture for any lenses other than some of the 4/3 standard lenses. That’s not to say that there aren’t products doing that out there, I’m just not sure about any of them. One thing I can say regarding F mount adapters is that I know of one that will be announced for Photokina that will be different than any of the others out there 🙂 I won’t say anything about the product as I’ve signed an NDA, but I will have an article up next Tuesday after the official launch with my experiences and some examples! I guess, I’d wait a few days to pull the trigger on an F mount adapter if for no other reason than to see some of the cool things coming out within the week for micro 4/3 (and many other systems for that matter).

      I will do some research on flickr in some of the m4/3 groups to see if I can’t dig up a better answer for you on the various F mount adapters currently out though and I’ll comment back here.


      *edit: see this article: https://tysonrobichaudphotography.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/micro-43-lensbaby-tilt-transformer-is-here/


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  17. Hi Tyson,

    great blog I’m curious if adapters are available for Zeiss /yashica mount lenses which I have from my Contax SLR. These are great lenses which I don’t use anymore but would like to use them and I am considering purchasing a 4/3 digital camera such as the panasonic or olympus PEN E-PL2. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for the blog,



    • Hi Thomas,

      Thank you, and thanks for reading through. There are contax/yashica mount converters for micro 4/3. I’m not personally very familiar with the C/Y lenses (they have electronic aperture control via the Contax 35mm cams and not via an adjustable aperture ring on the lens right?) other than knowing about their reputation for being remarkably sharp optics. I searched ebay for c/y to micro 4/3 adapter and found all of these:


      If the lenses don’t have a physical aperture adjustment on the barrel, then I believe you’d have to shoot the lenses wide open, but otherwise should be entirely functional on a m4/3 camera definitely, and if you do buy a micro 4/3 camera, I’d suggest buying an inexpensive adapter from a seller with a good reputation in a heartbeat.

      Good luck, and let me know if you end up with this combo, I’d love to hear how the C/Y lenses look on a MILC body!




  18. Micro 4/3 with the lenses of choice really makes the system interesting. We are still in quest for wide angle lens for Micro 4/3.

    Adaptors are available by many brands and dealers.

    When we start renting out cameras like AF102, all these works together so perfectly.

    Thanks for making this information available to all.


  19. I am having so much fun it should be illegal! lol
    I purchased a fotodiox 4/3 to Minolta MC/MD mount.
    I have a shelf full of lenses that go back as far 40 years. It is fast glass, manual focus and exposure and built like a fleet of tanks….metal and glass. Since they are manual lenses, I can adjust aperature with my fingertips.
    I am now able to utilize these wonderful lenses on
    my Olympus PL2. They are great. The resulting photos are
    wonderful. Since the stabilization is body based I reap
    that benefit on these oldie but goodie lenses.
    I mounted a 400mm with a 2x extender effectively giving me a 1600mm lens on the PL2. I did use a tripod and
    iso 1600 but I did get interesting and usable photos.
    I have made a living with my cameras but I am now retired.
    This camera, Olympus PL2, 14-42mm & 40-150mm lens,
    VF-2 viewfinder, a couple of 8GB, class 10 SD cards and an extra battery all fit in a waist pack and weigh in at about 2 pounds. I can carry it all day without any fatigue. What an evolutionay, revolutionary addition to the family of camera choices. I love the photo and this new system of mine.
    I just picked up a Fotodiox adapter to try my Canon L lenses.
    As I said at the beginning, I’m having so much fun, it is a rebirth of my original joy of photography from 60 years ago.


  20. Just a note to all you out there. I have purchased 2 Fotodiox adapters for my PL2. I orderd them from Amazon.com. They cost me 30 bucks each, no shipping or tax. They are built solid! The fit on both is firm, no wobble. In fact the Canon EF adapter is so firm that I literally have to hold them tight together just to release the pin. I would rather have that than a wobbly mount. Both are metal front to back, both mounts….no plastic at all. They are beautifully finished in matte black with ribbed outter surface for gripping…no rough edges. It is easy to see
    that care was taken in the design and manufacture. I highly recommend these adapter, both Canon EF and Minolta MC/MD mounts. The only other recommendation I have….I purchaded Micro 4/3 mount caps for the back and the matching camera body cap for the front ( I had extras of body caps) to store or carry in a bag. This will keep dust and dirt out and protect the mounting surfaces. If this is an example of the general quality of Fotodiox I am sure that I will buy their products without hesitation. ( I HAVE NO CONNECTION TO FOTODIOX INC.)


  21. T,
    the incredible thing is… when i use in ISO 100… my picture hasnt noises!!!
    my G1 and the lens is nikkor 50mm… o my… o my…


  22. Pingback: a Date with Adapter

  23. Pingback: a Date with Adapter « nomilknocry

  24. Isn’t it very inconvenience if I can only use with the same aperture unless I plug the EF lens back to a DSLR and reset it? I also have a few EF lens and a MFT body but it might be easier to use some of those legacy lens with manual aperture ring on them.

    Though, good work on the detailed explanation and that video! You did great!


    • Thanks Will,

      It isn’t the most effective way to shoot, no. But for the cost of a cheap adapter though, it lets you use existing lenses. I wouldn’t buy a micro 4/3 or NEX camera specifically to use with my EF lenses, but as I have decided to invest in a GF1 as my compact system camera, and already have quite a few Canon EF lenses, I can now at least use the lenses on my GF1 if and when I want, and if I would like to shoot those lenses stopped down, this is the way I can do that. Older, or more manually built lenses are definitely more useful from an exposure adjustment standpoint with these little mirrorless cameras, but if you already have invested in lenses without an aperture ring, this is a work around. If out and about shooting for instance, I’ll adjust my EF lens to a working aperture for the light I’ll be shooting in. If I were going out on a walk on a sunny afternoon, I might adjust my 35 f/1.4 lens to f/2.8, set the ISO on the camera to 100 and be shooting at 1/1000 – 1/2000 or so. If the light started to disappear, I could adjust my ISO to maintain a faster shutter speed if needed. Yes, if I wanted to adjust the aperture of my lens, I’d need to bring along an EOS body, but for the fun of it, I can at least use some of my really nice lenses, albeit at a fixed aperture for the duration of the walk.



    • Hi.

      Unfortunately not. Lumix lenses cannot be used on any larger format that I’m aware of. While there may be a physical possibility for other mirrorless systems in the future, the flange distance disallows the micro 4/3 lenses to be used. Basically, in many cases, you can make a larger format’s lenses work for smaller formats, but not the other way around because of physical limitations with lens construction.



  25. Pingback: *Everything you need to know about digital photography. Two years of tips, tricks and various freebies, revisited. «

  26. Pingback: *Lumix G3 vs the mighty might GF1, or why I chose to upgrade my MILC. «

  27. Thanks for the information. I’ll have to look it over more carefully.

    I’m just starting out with m4/3 system, getting a Lumix G3 in a few days (with 14-42mm lens).

    If I like the camera, I was thinking about getting a Dot Line Micro Four Thirds Adapter for Canon EOS Lenses (from BH Photo), so I could try this camera out with my Lensbaby (EOS mount) and my Canon 50mm f-1.4 lens (and maybe other EF-EOS lenses that I have).

    To summarize, I realize that all focusing would be manual, but I’m getting the sense that aperture and shutter controls are also ALL manual, and that at least with the Canon 50mm f1.4, I would be shooting at f.14 (no other choice) and would then be manually adjusting the shutter speed. Is that correct?

    Regards, David


    • No problem David.

      I’m not familiar with the dot line adapter. I use a cheap adapter I got from Hong Kong. EF lenses aren’t the best lenses to use on a micro 4/3 camera for the reasons you mention as well as the focus ring being very short (hard to manually focus due to gearing for quick AF operation). You can adjust your aperture via the DOF preview method, but you’d need to do that on an EOS body, remove the lens and then use it on the m4/3 camera. It would stay stopped down to whatever you set it to until you place it back on the EOS body and turned that camera on. Not the best way, but doable. All that said, I rarely use my EF lenses and only really do when I want to have a little fun. I vastly prefer some of the old FD lenses and Contax lens that I have. Much better for manual operation. I’d also look at OM lenses or even older F mount lenses if you do start to get into legacy glass. The FD, and OM glass is readily available and usually cheaper because they’re no longer directly compatible with any digital systems.

      When using any third party lens on a micro 4/3 camera, the only way to get the camera to properly account for any exposure automation is to use either “A” or “M” where with Aperture priority, it will automatically set the shutter speed based solely on the light coming through the lens, which is preferable in most cases, and in Manual, you’d set the shutter speed yourself and would need to adjust this. You can shoot on Shutter priority, but it doesn’t allow for exposure compensation to be viewed in the viewfinder/screen due to the fact that the camera is trying to calculate this by adjusting the aperture, which it can’t, and as a result is more difficult to use.

      You’ll need to go into the menu (the wrench on pany cams) and get to the “Shoot without lens” and turn that to on. Basically allows the camera to operate without the electronic connection to a lens.



      • Thanks Tyson. Since I don’t own any other lenses besides the ones that fit my Canon DSLR, I don’t think I’ll start investing in more adapters and lenses, just so I can try them out on my soon-to-be G3.

        As I said, I mainly want to get the adapter so I can try my Lensbaby on the new M3/4 camera. I’ll just have to play with the EF lenses, but you’re right they are not easy to focus manually, even when on the Canon SLR.

        And if I like the system, it may be easier to just invest in a wide f-stop lens made for the Micro 3/4 system, some of which you’ve mentioned here on your blog. Panasonic has some “Leica” lenses that seem worth checking out further.

        Regards, David.


      • I too started using a Canon EF mount lensbaby via my EF>m4/3 adapter. I’ve since been using the micro 4/3 mount LB tilt transformer which also doubles as a Nikon F mount adapter w/ tilt (obviously). Depending on the need though, it could be cheaper to get a good, fast manual lens and adapter if lens speed is paramount. An FD or OM 50mm f/1.8 lens plus adapter can probably be found for around a hundred dollars and mates pretty nicely with the G3 while offering a great portrait lens. Just something to keep in mind anyway. As far as micro 4/3 lenses, I’d say the 20mm f/1.7 is a pretty killer little lens that is fast, has a good angle of view and is relatively affordable all while making the G3 pocketable (larger coat pockets anyway).




  28. Bill

    This is all most helpful and reassuring. There is one question that I would like to raise, and would be grateful for your advice.
    I have a Panasonic G2 camera and, from 30 years ago, the Pentax 75 – 150 lens and the Tamron SP 90 with Pentax adaptor from my old Pentax MX. Each of these weighs about 450 gr and one is 110 mm long.
    I have just put in an order for the Fotodiox Pentax K to Micro 4/3 adaptor and am awaiting its arrival.
    When I use it on a tripod or monopod, will I need to make a support to hold it near the centre of gravity and also support the lens, or can I safely use the tripod mount on the camera body?
    Looking forward to hearing other users opinions


    • Hi Bill,

      Thanks for the inquiry. I’d say that as long as the lens being mounted doesn’t require its own tripod collar mount in its native system, it should be fine. 450g is just shy of a pound and I wouldn’t worry at all with that kind of weight. The lens mount on the G series cams, even using any of the adapters I’ve purchased, has had no physical problem handling the weight. The balance is a little off in certain cases which has required a bit more attention as I crank the ball lock down on the head, but once locked in, I’ve not had any problems (I’ve mounted some pretty heavy lenses while needing to necessitate the camera’s tripod mount ie: 600+g Zeiss 85/1.4 on my GF1, etc). More of an annoyance than anything. I probably wouldn’t leave a heavy lens hanging from the camera on the tripod for weeks at a time or anything, but I really don’t think you will have any problems.



  29. I have now got my old Pentax K lenses back from my daughter, and the Fotodiox adaptor from Amazon, and married them up. Results very successful.
    I have tried Macro and got the following results. First figure for each lens is the minimum width of object, the second figure is the distance from front of lens to object;
    Panasoic G2 Kit lens 4″ 6″
    Pentax 35/70 set at 70 1.75″ 4.25″
    Tamron SP90 1.0″ 9″
    Next thing to try is using my old Pentax reversing ring with a step up adaptor


  30. Hi,
    I sold my 5d2 and im considering to buy panasonic gh3. was looking for info of how ef and fullframe lenses does in 4/3 body. I found your a cool guy and i love your way to express urself :p …im looking a good price/value fast (f2.8) telephoto either prime or zoom lens. something between 150-300mm which would give me 300-600mm. I just read today panasonic will release 150f2.8 lens in future but i bet itl be expensive and am much willing to hear your suggestions what to buy if you might have time to give me some tips itl be much appreciated, thanks a lot and enjoy this beautiful life :p.


    • Hi Jukka,

      I’m considering a GH3 myself as it is about as functionally perfect a camera as the system has put out in my opinion. I’ve enjoyed the OMD EM5, but honestly, I could not get away with it as my primary camera. The GH3 is a true alternative to a DSLR while the EM5 is more a suped up compact as it lacks external controls, has small buttons, quirky interface, etc.

      As for lenses, it would depend on what you plan to shoot. The Panasonic 100-300 f/4-5.6 is a lens I’ve contemplated strongly, and for tele work, it would probably be my first suggestion. No comparably priced EF lenses are going to be even remotely as functional. If you already had a 300/2.8 L lens or something, sure it would be worth adapting, but I would never buy EF lenses (or any fully electronically controlled lenses) to use specifically adapted on a micro 4/3 system camera. If you’re looking for adaptable lenses, look to older, manual focus, manual aperture control lenses like the OM, FD or old F mount optics. Manual focusing on the EF lenses is crappy, and the lack of direct aperture control makes it really hard to justify them in any real shooting scenario. They’re fun, but not really functional if that makes sense.

      Have fun with the GH3, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.



  31. Your blog posts have been very helpful in my preparation for the arrival of a GF-1. I just bought one to use as an “always on hand”, carry camera, something that I can’t say for my Nikon D300! I’m really looking forward to using it with the natively lenses and like you to use my Nikon lenses through an adapter as well. Therefore, the posts on the use of adapters and your Canon EOS lenses are especially interesting.

    I would say though that you might be too hard on yourself regarding your struggles with manual focusing. I believe much of that relates to the actual physical construction differences between the two types of lenses. There’s a world of difference between the classic helical (generally brass) vs. the “slot & peg” type of modern auto-focus lenses which lead to quite of lot backlash and sloppiness! I think you’ll find that you are magically much better at manual focusing when using lenses made for it like the Voigtlanders and others.

    Thank you for your work on this Blog.


    • Thanks Stan.

      I think you’ll really enjoy the GF1. My suggestion would be to grab the 20mm f/1.7 pancake if at all possible (one of the best lens/camera combo’s I’ve ever used), and then maybe the 14mm f/2.5 pancake if you’d like to go a little wider (and get a truly minuscule optical tool that performs wonderfully). The Oly 45/1.8 would be a great, pretty affordable option if you wanted a short tele lens, and these three would round out a pretty stellar setup with the GF1.

      This article was written years ago, and it was written primarily around EF lenses (which were the only other lenses I owned at the time), which I mention are geared for quick AF operation, and a little while later, I acquired a large box full of older FD optics which are absolutely better in MF operation. I also have used some Zeiss (ZE) and Voigtlander (just the 40mm f/2 EF mount Pancake) via the adapter on the GF1, G3 and now the EM5, and of course, any lens that is built specifically to be manually focused will be much easier to manually focus vs a tightly geared lens built for quick AF.

      Enjoy the ride, the micro 4/3 system is wonderful, and depending on what you need out of it, could very well start to supplant your APS-C alternative… I know it did for me 🙂 Now I have a FF setup for work and do just about everything else (including some work) with the micro 4/3 stuff. The system has matured really well, and while arguably a little over priced for certain lenses, the quality is definitely there and stacks up well vs APS-C all while decreasing a lot of bulk and weight. Ultimately, what it comes down to is offering a lot of really nice choices for us consumers. Different choices will yield different pros and cons, but that we have so many to choose from is a wonderful thing. 🙂




    • I’m not aware of any limitations when adapting lenses (for any previous interchangeable lens system mount) to the micro 4/3 system. That isn’t to say that there are adapters out there that don’t properly adjust for the rear flange distance, but the only lenses that I can foresee having issues being adapted to the a micro 4/3 format camera would be those that have a shorter rear flange distance (and as far as I know, that would be some of the newer, really small sensor MILC’s like Nikon or Pentax).

      What type of lens and adapter are you trying to mount to a micro 4/3 (or perhaps other) camera?

      There are extension tubes that will easily disallow infinity focus, but these aren’t lens mount adapters, rather tubes for a particular mount that will pull an existing lens further from the capture medium allowing for closer focusing and magnification (macro). There are also adapters between other formats that will disallow infinity focus because of optical design and again, improper rear flange adjustment distances without the use of glass/optics to correct for this difference (canon FD lenses on canon EOS cameras for instance).

      Hope this helps,



      • I am considering not getting an Olympus e400 some one offered me, simply because it sucks finding an adapter of anything for the normal OM4/3. Aside from the m42 adapter all I can find is adapters to micro 4/3 which brought me here. Even canon ef has more options. It sucks that the regular line has been tossed aside adapter-wise. This means I’ll have to wait a bit longer till I get to use my grandpa’s lens (c mount) on a dslr. 🙂


      • Hi Ben,

        The biggest reason that the mirrorless cameras have such an ability to adapt lenses is because there is enough room to account for differences in register distance for proper focus. With SLR’s (and DSLR’s) to account for the mirror swinging back and forth, they need much more room between the rear element of the lens and the film or sensor where the mirrorless cams don’t, and can have most any mount adapted as long as the distance is correct. C-mount may have a hard time with DSLR’s, but you can adapt C-Mount lenses to most any mirrorless system now, I believe.




  32. Pingback: *The Mirrorless Diet, how to lose weight instantly! Part 1 | Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

  33. Pingback: *Canon EF 55mm f/1.2? | Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

  34. Pingback: *Using the Kipon EF to m4/3, smart adapter. Things are getting interesting w/ @adorama | Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

  35. I want to use EF 70-200 f2. 8 on Olympus 0d M5 mark ii
    So I will have140-400 f2. 8 with Metabones adapter to shot in low light, so you think can be at that case usable?


    • I have used my 70-200/2.8 on my EM5 (previously) and on different bodies since. It’s an amazing lens, although I don’t consider f/2.8 to be a particularly fast aperture, and one that is somewhat limiting in really low light shooting scenarios. For low light, I always grab a fast prime lens, myself. As far as a zoom goes though, the 70-200/2.8 is about as fast as you’ll get outside the Sigma f1.8 zooms or a couple f/2 options.


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