Going Digital with the Olympus E-PL2

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Jazz up this old lens – Leitz Summitar 50mm F2 wide open

I was a bit restless last week-end, still scanning the backlog of films I needed some less intensive activity. Plus my son has a field trip in Indonesia and we were thinking he would be better off wit a cheap camera, just in case he lost it, drop it or got robbed.

So I scratched my head and after a while (and a bit of google-ing) went down to the shop and bought a Olympus E-PL2 and 12-24mm lens plus an adapter for Leica lenses.

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Lunch time –¬†Leitz Summitar 50mm F2 wide open

For 140 USD my son have a very good camera although “obsolete” said the shopkeeper. And I can attach my Leica lenses including the russian and japanese ltms to a digital sensor. I can let you see some results.

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Gong xi fa cai – Industar 22 50mm F3.5 wide open

 

Like everything this takes time to get used to and I am no expert in micro four-third cameras, but it looks this can be a fun toy. A few things to take into account:

  • the E-PL2 has a crop factor of 2, so the 50mm becomes a 100mm and the Serenar 135 becomes a 270mmF4 lens !
  • even with the adaptor depth there is not much room for recessed lenses, so the Jupiter 8 with its big inner element cannot be used (damn I really wanted to use this one)
  • on the good side you cannot hurt the sensor with the collapsible lens.
  • mmm the camera uses the back screen for focusing which is very difficult for me; and EVFs are a bit expensive just for fun, so I don;t know how much usage I’ll do with thus.

Gong Xi Fa Cai everybody, happy year of the monkey.

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Going Digital with the Olympus E-PL2

The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term)

I can never resist doing something foolish, so after having owned the Zorki for a few weeks, I googled a bit and flickered a lot and ordered an adapter to put the Industar 22 lens on the Leica M4.

Leica introduced the M mount in 1954, before this time the M39 (LRM or screw mount) was the norm with some variations on the on the thread. Since 1954 it is possible to mount older LTM lenses on M bodies using adapters. Adapters have 3 functions:

  • allow mounting the LTM lens on the M body (the reverse is not possible)
  • enable the usage of the view finder for focusing
  • trigger the display of the correct frame lines in the M viewfinder. This means you need several adapters if you have several different lenses.
  • I found a very cheap adapter on Ebay (8 $ including port) and could attach the Industar on the M4. Hurrah ! I managed to replace a 50mm Summilux F1.4 genuine Leica lens that costs a 1000 bucks by a Industar F3,5 russian lens probably older that costs me 50 dollars at most. The 3 functions above work very well : the rangefinder displays the proper distance, the 50mm frame is shown on the viewfinder and needless to say that the lens is attached.

    I loaded a roll of Fuji Neopan 400ASA, so I can shoot at smaller apertures; we never know and a after a couple of days of waiting I got the results from the lab.


    Walking to the office, I came across this guy painting a very nice mural that can be found on my Flickr. I made a couple of shots at F3.5 and 1/30s; probably the Summilux would have come more handy.


    This lens has a terrible flare; I cannot see any special damage to my sample, so probably it’s a factory defect. I applied a bit of dodging in Lightroom to fix that one. I think the picture has a nice “old time” effect to it.


    This one is my favorite; nothing to add, I just like it.

    So all in all, that works, it’s good fun for 8$, plus the lens is very nice to focus but the aperture is a real pain to set. If you add the fact that the M4 has no internal meter it’s not so easy to take a pic. Or you have to play it but ear; very old style.

    But that’s not the end of the story. During a late Sunday night at home I ordered on Ebay (where else) a Canon LTM lens, a 135MM F4, called Serenar, for 60 USD including shipping. I also got the correct 135mm adapter. This one was a different ballgame:

  • It is not mounting on the Zorki because the thread is different, so it does not lock, plus it may get stuck with the Zorki Rangefinder prong.
  • And it does not couple with the M4 rangefinder prong. Basically once attached the M4 prong is at 12 o’clock and the lens one at 11AM: no rangefinder coupling. Ok I said I can use the guessometer, this useful tool I used for the Zorki, but damn the bloody lens distance scale is in imperial measurements!

    To be short there will be some DIY sooner or later, but however I made a few shots sitting at the terrasse of a Cafe and here is a sample below. Not mind blowing but that works.

    I think I like the 135mm.

  • The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term)