The Greatness of the Olympus OM-D – Using lenses with adapters
By Stefan Schmidt
I recently bought an OM-D as a second camera to my Canon 5DMkII and I have now used it for almost two weeks and even if I had high expectations of it from reading about it in your test, I really was blown away when I started using it. First I couldn´t develop the pictures as I wanted to but as luck would have it Capture One released their update the week after I got the camera, nice timing! Here in Sweden it is quite easy to get a camera, unless you want the silver one…
Anyway, since I only have the “kit-lens” I decided to buy an adapter for my Canon lenses and as I had to go and work on my summer cabin last weekend I decided to have a little fun and not just work. My cabin is in the region called “Småland”, it is built around 1850 in a small ravine that trails down from a small lake to a larger one called Vattern. The last winters have crumbled the stone foundation that the cabin was built upon so I had my work cut out for me. In one of the pictures you can see the small dirt track that passes by my house.
The fun begun in the afternoon after a day of working. I strapped on the adapter to my Canon 100 mm F2,8 macro and took a picture of our dog that was drowsing in the sun. I was surprised how well the OM-D exposed ! I found that I really had to use the manual focus tool to enlarge a portion of the picture because otherwise my focus would be off. I then found a crab-spider that was waiting patiently for a fly to arrive. Again the combo of the macro 100 and the Olympus surprised me! The sharpness and color were great and the bokeh is really to my liking. The only thing I had a problem with was the mechanical aperture on the adapter. It´s a little tricky to set it correctly.
Also, when going in as close as possible, the area with sharpness is really tight. (See the closeup picture of the spider…)
The second lens I brought was my cherished 70-300 4-5,6 L that really is fabulous on the 5DMkII and I was eager to try it on the OM-D. I strapped it on and attached the battery grip on the OM-D to get at least some balance to things.
I sat down ten meters away from the corner of the cabin and watched the birds nesting there, the house does not have regular drainpipes for rainwater but rather a “gutter” made from a tree that is split in two halves, worked into trenches, and tarred. For some reason the birds always make a stop there before entering their bird house that´s mounted high on the house wall. I took these pictures on the 300 mm setting and since I wanted to try the stabilisation I didn’t bring a tripod. Worked great! Although I found that the 70-300 is really tricky to focus manually since the focus ring is so extremely sensitive.
My son wanted to go fishing and naturally I brought the camera with the 70-300 along. I shot some pictures of him and focused without using the manual focus tool to enlarge the picture and although I thought it looked good in the camera I was disappointed to se the pictures on my computer and find that I was off by half a meter. Since this lens “releases” the focus pretty quick even that short a distance from the focused area in the picture it really makes a difference if focus is not “tack on”.
I also shot a distance shot across the lake from where we stood on the opposite beach and the yellow fields and the forest there as well as an evening shot when the sun descended and we walked home. I am so pleased with the warm color tone the OM-D even though I have set the tone to neutral and I only shoot raw. I wanted to drop you a line and thank you for the review, it played a large part in my decision to buy the camera.
All my attached pictures are from this weekend using only my two canon lenses. I hope you enjoy them even though they are pretty far from street photos.
I wish some shop i Gothenburg would stock the Voigtlander 17 F0,95. I am so curious to try it out after you wrote that the manual focus on it work brilliantly with the OM-D. Still it´s an expensive piece of glass, perhaps it´s for the best. I suspect I would buy it.
With My best regards