Micro Four-Thirds Friendly Website

Older Type 43 Lenses

Are these older Four Thirds lenses still relevant plus capable providing good results or should one not consider these older type FT (Four Thirds) lenses with the E-M5 or the E-P3?

Older type 43 lenses

I think those of us who did use FT cameras like the E5, the E3 or any of the others like the E620 will never debate these questions because we know just how excellent these older FT lenses are.


Take for example the 50 - 200mm zoom or the 200mm F2,0 Macro, there are no match for these masters in the MFT offer today and best of all, they available at increasingly lower prices on the 2nd hand market…..


The MSC version FT 14 - 54mm MKII plus MKI lenses were always known for their good image quality and sharp results. It was never really known or used as video lenses. It was only with recent M43 bodies that video graphers discovered the MSC 14 - 54mm MKII again. It is basically a fast lens at f2,8 to f3,5 , especially at the long, 54mm end plus it offers excellenthigh quality image characteristics at low light work.

E-M5 the perfect…

The add-on grip transforms the E-M5 into a completely different camera. In basic form the E-M5 is like a compact, especially with the 17mm, f2,8 fitted. It is with the complete 2 part add-on grip that the E-M5 is physically fully ready to and well balanced to physically handle any of the older FT lenses. The only aspect one need to keep in mind using older FT lenses, are the focussing speeds vary and are generally slower than the newer MFT lenses.

Nobody really knows what Olympus plan for the E5 successor or the E-M5. successor. My guess is we will see something that will be a better match for these high grade FT lenses than what the E-M5 or E-P3 are. While nothing is confirmed I often see people sell these excellent FT lenses at giveaway prices.

For example I was never really happy with the new MFT 9 - 18mm lens. It happened so that I saw a FT 9 - 18mm on the 2nd hand market and I bought it. Must say I like the fit and look of this older FT lens on my E-M5 plus the initial results are looking really great….

It is important to do the firmware update on the four thirds 9 - 18mm lens because it increases its focussing speeds much plus the general performance of the lens.

It is true that when fitted on the E-M5, these older lenses does not Auto Focus as quick as they did on the E5. In fact the 35mm Macro is no fun on the E-M5 when used in AF mode. It is really slow plus it battles to find a good focus point. Switched over to MF and the 35mm macro is as great a macro as it was before. It offers 1:1 magnification plus it is a real macro lens at a fraction of the Olympus 60mm Macro price. See below image with 35mm macro fitted to the E-M5.


The E-M5 is an advanced photographic instrument and capable of much more than what the older Olympus SLR cameras were designed for. One of these advanced capabilities are Live View. See the article I wrote in the E-M5 section. With a little practice and a few clever options the E-M5 will be great in the studio as in the field capturing extreme detailed and capable images using FT lenses. For those interested my advice is grab these high grade FT lenses as they show up on the 2nd hand market, things will change once the next generation OM-D is released.


There are several MFT kit type zoom lenses in the range today. Olympus has no less than 4 different MFT Kit lenses and Panasonic has two with a third they like to market as an Pro-Grade zoom. I always liked the FT 14 - 42 kit lens (see above image) plus among reviewers it has always been regarded as one of the best kit lenses. Again I was lucky to get one on the 2nd hand market for 25$ only. I took it and as you can see in the above image it is a real looker on the E-M5. I am now using it more frequently and hope to give you more feedback soon.

300 Prime

Above you see an example of one of the Four Thirds lens classics. One of them a 300mm F2,0 prime must be a dream fitted to the front of the E-M5. Another is a 70 - 200mm zoom with a constant f2,0 aperture and finally one could decide for a 180 - 500mm F2,8. These are expensive lenses and known for their outstanding optics. Personally before I buy the MFT 12 - 35mm f2,8 Lumix lens, I will look around for one of these old masters. I really hope Olympus will consider using their excellent lens making capability to design us m43 owners better and more advanced zoom options. The primes we have today are great and they speak for great lens designing experience.

Fish Eye

Above you see the well regarded 8mm fish eye. I used one on my E3 and always enjoyed its good balance plus results. I saw one this week on the secondhand market at 50% of its original going rate. The 8mm FY is twice the size of the 8mm Lumix FY and my advice is make sure you OK with that.


Personally I use the 7,5mm Samyang and are more than happy with the results. Extreme WA primes like the 14mm Lumix, the 12mm Olympus or the 7,5mm FY has really interesting depth of field characteristics.

This helps me to use my 7,5mm FY with a fixed FL for approximately 95% of the time.

I hope you guys enjoyed this article. It surely is fun discovering the older FT masters again.


Olympus 300mm Zoom Lens

I visited one of my favorite camera shops in Bern …….. Read More...

Quick Primes Test

I believe a lens like this really makes a great sensor shine. How does the 12mm compare to the 25mm Leica or the 45mm prime or any other prime? Should one compare them with something like the 14 - 42mm MKII zoom from Olympus or should one only compare primes at a time? I took a day to do just that and in this short article my findings……….

Is Eye-Fi or Bluetooth the right choice?

For years I have been downloading my images inserting my camera SD memory card directly into my laptop. It is quick and effective and allows great control over the images taken with my digital camera. One reads more and more about cameras being Wi-Fi ready and people seemed to like using this unique function. I decided to try an Eye-Fi card and to see for myself how effective they are….. Read More...

7,5mm Samyang Fish Eye Lens

The 8mm fisheye from Olympus were always my favorite. The Olympus 8mm fisheye is huge when compared to the 7,5mm from Samyang. That said I think Olympus fisheye, image quality, was always class leading. Your typical fisheye is not something one would use every day. When in use it is great fun plus fisheye lenses can help create great image effects. Smaller lenses like the Samyang are one of Micro Four Thirds main advantages……. Read More...

Panasonic 100 to 300mm MFT lens overview

When I talk about a zoom lens I do not refer to the standard kit zoom lens supplied with the camera but rather about a lens with a reach of more than 200mm. One of the advantages of the MFT format is the 2x factor one apply to FL. Read More...

A different way of having great fun...

I think there will always be talk amongst digital photographers for and against image editing. Should one only rely on the camera output, am I allowed to do just the “basic” adjustments or should we look at it all as art? Personally I am OK with Photoshop and in fact love working with it. I also believe we are in a world where the manufacturer tuned the image to represent the brand signature, Olympus for rich colors, Sony for neutral images, Nikon say they should be a little soft and Canon like them silky smooth…… Read More...

Olympus OM-D is Camera of the Year 2012 - 2013

The Olympus OM-D EM-5 is a successful remake of the exceptional OM cameras from times gone by. The camera features a compact, yet sturdy and weather-resistant, body that is extremely comfortable to hold, especially when the battery grip is attached. The super-fast single-shot autofocus and the exceptional 1.4-million-dot electronic viewfinder will make you believe you’re shooting with an SLR. Read More...

Micro Four Thirds and Color Management

What are the differences between the image you see on your camera screen versus the PC screen and finally prints? How does all these interfaces compare with the real thing? Many photographers claim to have developed unique profiles for Lightroom or Photoshop. Adobe has unique camera profiles for its Raw Converter and many claim one should calibrate the PC for best results and on the list of best practices go…….

Every Enthusiast should have one!!

Must say I can get carried away by Olympus "technology"… Every so often one come across a product that just shines. The Olympus E-PL1 is one of those. I always wanted one because I read so much about it's image quality, the low impact filters covering the sensor, best in class images, sharp and detailed plus more……. Read More...

The Olympus E-PL2 versus the E-PL3

Olympus first compact system camera in the PEN series was the E-P1 and one year after it's launch the E-P2 followed. Each of these were special in that they were water breaking milestones for Olympus. The E-P2 still today is an extremely capable camera. I will comfortably recommend the E-P2 to anybody interested in a PEN series camera. I recently sold a perfect silver copy of the E-P2 and the new owner is having lots of fun with it…… Read More...

Micro Four Thirds and IR Photography

Hobby photographers are always on the look-out for something different and something new. IR photography looks interesting to photographers and the unique look created by IR photography seems like an interesting challenge to most. No wonder that so many try IR photography at one or the other stage. Please regard this article as a general information article. I do not claim to be an expert with IR photography…… Read More...

Comparing 14 - 42 mm Kit Lenses

In this short article I like to show you some interesting points which I have not seen this clearly pointed out elsewhere on the web. What are the main differences between the three different 14 - 42mm, Olympus M43 kit lenses? In the above picture, the first series of the 14 - 42mm Olympus M43 lens is seen in the center of the image. This lens was sold with the E-P1, the E-PL1 and the E-P2. It was not that popular and people generally were not happy with this lens. Personally I think it is optically a good "kit" lens. ….. Read More...

LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH O.I.S.

Panasonic is proud to announce a new digital interchangeable standard zoom lens LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-HS12035) (35 mm camera equivalent: 24-70 mm) for the LUMIX G Micro System……. Read More...

Micro Four-Thirds - Field of View

I saw an interesting image on DPR that showed the field of view for different lenses made for the Four-Thirds camera. I contacted the lady who posted the information and she agreed that I can place it on the site. Thank you to rrr-hhh for doing the effort taking a picture with each lens from the exact same set-up and to then place all these images into one.