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Leica R lenses on m43 cameras


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I hope this is not regarded as sacrilegious on the Leica forum... but I recently bought an Olympus OMD EM5 Mk2, along with the 12-40mm Pro lens for underwater photography, and am wondering if anyone has used Leica R glass on the Mk2 body with good results?  

For those not familiar with m43, significant software correction is built into lenses and bodies as opposed to optical correction on Leica R lenses.  And since there is a 2X crop factor, only the center of the Leica R lens would be used when mounted to an m43 body.  

In addition to many other R lenses I have the 100, 180, 280 and 400 apo lenses that I'd like to use on the Olympus body if the R glass plays well with the m43 sensor.

I've ordered a Fotodiox Leica R to m43 adapter and should have it in a week or less... so I should be able to answer my own question in due time.  Nevertheless... for those who have used R glass on Olympus cameras I'd appreciate your input.


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I have used Contax, Zuiko and Minolta glass on Olympus Micro 4/3, and now use both Contax and Leica R glass on Sony A7 series. The lenses themselves work extremely well on both sensors, but you want to be careful with the adapters. In my experience, Fotodiox is hit or miss. In particular, my Fotodiox Contax-Sony adapter had massive light leaks, owing to a basic design flaw in the little lever that locks the lens. I have never used their Leica R adapters because after that experience I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and get Novoflex adapters for all of my lenses. They are expensive, but the fit is perfect and the construction is very solid. Some of the cheapo adapters (and that includes Fotodiox) allow "play" between lens and adapter, or camera and adapter, and may also have some misalignment between both sides of the adapter, causing, at the very least, edge problems in the images in addition to the light leaks (which you see as nasty-looking areas with loss of contrast and saturation). If you see issues like these of others in your images begin by questioning the adapter, not the lens or the sensor or whether or not the lens was designed for film or for a digital sensor. In my several years of using many different old lenses on two different mirrorless system I have never found any of this to be an issue. The weak link is the adapter, and if you are going to put several thousand dollars worth of glass in front of your sensor, it makes sense not to save a few bucks on the adapter, but get the very best. Trust me - I wasted time and money on this.


I hope this help!




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Thank you, Alberto.  Your point is well taken.  

I use a Novoflex Leica R to Samsung adapter for my NX1 and it has been outstanding in every respect.  I'm also aware of a Metabones Leica R to m43 adapter and I'm under the impression that Metabones makes a decent product... though I've even heard of sample variability with Metabones adapters (though I think these were adapters with optics and not just straight lens-less adapters).

I'll immediately run some critical tests with the Fotodiox adapter, as soon as it arrives, and return it if any irregularities arise.  No point, as you state, in putting several thousand dollars with of glass on a poor adapter that won't bring out the best in the lens.

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I cannot comment on the likely performance of the R lenses on M43, only on APS-C (Sony A6500).  However, I can comment on the quality of Novoflex adaptors - the one I bought (for Leica M to Sony E as I already had the R to M adaptor) is of very high quality material and design. Rock-solid!



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I routinely use several R lenses on my Olympus Pen F. Excellent optics, and the usual touch screen problems (accidental changes) with such cameras can be avoided by turning it in. However, the camera control settings could be better thought through.


My complaints are not specific for R-lenses, but they are considerably heavier than my M-optics.


The focus spot that I set in the center to start with, moves around if one grips the body hard, since it is impossible to disable the little multi-choice wheel on the rear of the camera. In order to focus exactly, enlarging the focus spot is necessary. Not very useful if it turns out that your "central point" has moved to the lower right hand corner.


Unfortunately , despite improvement suggestions , Olympus has not seen fit to bring out the easy firmware-fix of a universal "do nothing" choice for all buttons and wheels for those who might prefer that setting.



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