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Bo_Lorentzen

Digilux 3 - NOT a mini DMR

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Twice now I have read that somebody referred to the idea of the Digilux 3 as a "mini DMR" while I don't have a DMR, I do have the Digilux and a large collection of generally tack sharp lenses.

 

The references I have seen suggest putting Leica R lenses on the Digilux 3 body, while Im sure this is technically easy, I am not entirely sure they will perform as expected. simply because they were designed for a mirrorbox larger than the 24x36mm negative area. The mirrorbox on my D3 is only 26x28mm seems like about maybe 25% of a typical 35mm SLR when I checked..

 

I stuck my Nikon 50mm 1.4 on the Digilux and the E1 body, it works perfectly at f.8 albeit with a smidge of highlight flare, nice for portraits, but when I open up wide to f 1.4 I get flare resulting in no contrast - like - really NO contrast. Soo after tossing this around in my mind for a while I have decided that the reason must be that the exit lens on the nikkor lens is significantly bigger than the entry to the mirrorbox on the cameras, so basically a lot of light hits the front of the "stuff" inside the camera bouncing around and scattering light all over the place. stop down and the lens start to work again as expected when the light path become narrower.

 

Unlike the big real element on the nikkor (and I am sure most R lenses) the rear element on the D3 Kit zoom is only 28mm and this applies to other 3:4th lenses I checked also.

 

Soooo. my conclution is that YES a R lens will positively mount and take pictures on the D3, but don't expect to operate lenses with large rear-elements wideopen. and also one should expect some flare at smaller f.stops.. which naturally can be very flattering for portraits, but maybe questionable for say wildlife images. (smile)

 

Any thoughts...? Am I doing this entirely wrong..?

 

 

Bo

 

My Leica scratch page - random thoughts , pictures and such.

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try to keep 1 or 2 stops from the bottom

you need to work with your glass to see where it works and where it doesnt

conversions always take something and leave something, they are rarely perfect

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That's only one data point, Bo. If I ever receive the pentax to 4/3's mount adaptor I ordered, I'll try my Pentax 50 1.4 and add another.

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have a look around here Bo

 

wrotniak.net: Using any Lens on Your E-System Camera

 

there are other pages as well

you will see there are particular ways you need to deal with this

and that there are losses and gains

 

from the above

 

Advice

 

Adding all this up, here is some advice for those who would like to use their "older" lenses on Olympus E-system cameras.

 

* Carefully select the lenses you want to use; choose only the sharpest, as they will have to provide twice the resolution for which they were designed. This usually means limiting yourself to non-zoom lenses. (Sharpness is not all; if you like the results, use the lens anyway!)

* Make sure that you can live with stepped-down aperture priority metering. If not, forget it. Remember that most lenses will perform best (here: satisfactorily) when stepped down one or two F-stops from widest aperture.

* For every lens shoot a series of test images under controlled conditions (preferably artificial light), at various apertures. For widest apertures the images may be overexposed. At these apertures apply negative exposure compensation until the image matches, exposure-wise, those taken with aperture closed down; write down these corrections and use them as needed.

* Use manual white balance setting (which is generally a good idea), especially when shooting at wide apertures.

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In general, autofocus cameras are made for autofocus lenses. Critical focus with manual focus lenses is more difficult through the viewfinder, since there's no split image or microprism focusing aids. It certainly is easier with Liveview.

 

BIOFOS, for Olympus collectors documents experiences with Olympus OM lenses on an E-1.

 

In general, I believe you would be disappointed if you purchase a D3 (or any 4/3) camera for the sole purpose of attaching R or OM or Nikon or Pentax or any other legacy lenses, despite the fact that common adapters are dirt cheap on eBay, and there's a large selection of quality adapters at Cameraquest.

 

There is something satisfying about being able to attach every lens (Pentax M42, Pentax K, Nikon, OM, Hasselblad, T-mount) in the house to my 4/3 cameras, however.

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For what it is worth - I did put on several of my big aperature lenses

 

nikkor 50 f 1.4 - nikkor 300 f. 4 - nikkor 80-200 f. 2.8 - nikkor 35-70mm f. 2.8

 

The result were the same for all lenses, very high blooming in highlights at wide open, acceptable or better at 5.6 and great when closed down.

 

 

Bo

 

My Leica scratch page - random thoughts , pictures and such.

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I'm having a great time with an old 50 mm f1.4 OM lens on my D3, shooting wide open for very shallow DOF. It's very hard to get the focus just right through the viewfinder, though--it requires either lots of trial and error or using live view with magnification plus a tripod & timer or remote. I've seen no technical faults in the images, just lots of creative ones as I'm learning a new tool.

 

All that said, the kit lens is on the camera 90% of the time.

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COOL...! that is great, glad to hear it works well. Im wondering about the real-element of your lens, about what diameter does it have..? larger than or close to 28mm..? (though I would think a older 1.4 lens would have a huge real element, effectively blasting my theory that the glare is caused by the size of the real beam at wide open.

 

Bo

 

My Leica scratch page - random thoughts , pictures and such.

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COOL...! that is great, glad to hear it works well. Im wondering about the real-element of your lens, about what diameter does it have..? larger than or close to 28mm..? (though I would think a older 1.4 lens would have a huge real element, effectively blasting my theory that the glare is caused by the size of the real beam at wide open.

 

The rear element is almost exactly 28mm, and I'm using a cheap (~$20US) OM to 4/3 adapter I got on eBay. Once I get the focusing properly sorted, I'll post an image or two.

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