OK guys, I have been messing around with my Leica M to m4/3 adapter and I have to be honest. I’m not 100% in love with shooting M glass on the Olympus E-P2. Can it give good results? Sure. Can it give better results than a Panasonic lens on the E-P2? Well, in some cases it can but not always. The main improvements I see with shooting Leica or Zeiss M glass on the E-P2 (via the adapter) is in the color and bokeh. As far as sharpness goes, the Panasonic lenses do a great job with that already and let us not forget that we are limited by the m4/3 sensor. It can only do so much, so in reality the only things you will see improve with this expensive M glass is color and quality of the bokeh.
I have shot with the Zeiss 35 Biogon, Zeiss 85 Sonnar, the Leica 35 Summarit, 50 summicron, 75 summicron and 90 Elmarit. The only Leica lenses that I really enjoyed using on the E-P2 were the 50 and 75 Summicron. Really, those seemed to be the nicest in regards to quality and feel. The 35’s were OK but I felt I was able to get better results with the Panasonic 20 1.7. The 75 cron is gorgeous and on the M9 it’s simply incredible.
I have not done any “real” side by sides yet as it has been too cold outside, but I have shot some frames with these lenses and decided to show what I have so far. Nothing serious, just a bunch of randomness 🙂 In the coming days I will try to get out with a tripod and do a real bonafide side by side with the panasonic 20 1.7 and the Leica 35. But, I think that it will be a draw.
Being a Leica M owner I do not think I would choose to take the E-P2 with a Leica lens over taking my M9. As a matter of fact, I know I wouldn’t. If I want to shoot an M lens, it will be with the M9. So that leads to the question of “is it worth it to buy Leica or Zeiss glass if you only own a m4/3 camera?” Well, I would say no. I think the Panasonic glass is the best choice for m4/3 right now. The 7-14, 20 1.7, 45 macro and 14-140 are fantastic lenses and work well with the m4/3 bodies. Still, if you already own some M mount lenses it may be worth getting an adapter to give it a shot. As for me, the jury is still out. While I like the results I just feel that the sensor in the m4/3 cams can not take full advantage of these beautiful lenses. It’s quite a bit of fun though 🙂
So, on to some samples. The following examples can be clicked on for the larger version and you will see which lens took the shot. They were all converted from RAW in ACR 5.6 and have had the exposure, color and contrast tweaked in most cases.