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Old Jun 12, 2014, 9:35 AM   #1
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Default FOTGA brand m4/3 to 4/3 adapter

Like a bunch of guys recently I've bought an OM-D E-M1 body to replace an old E-series 4/3 camera body. The first thing we need to buy after that is an adapter so we can run our old 4/3 lenses.
Olympus make them, but at a high cost for a mainly plastic thingy with no smart parts in it, nothing but wires and a few contacts inside (IMHO they should be FREE with a $1500 camera !).

I thought I'd try a newish one on the after market and bought a FOTGA all metal adapter for about $50 off Ebay, given that if it's was a dud I'd reluctantly part with $200 for the Oly MMF-3.
Anyway, after cock-ups by the Hong Kong retailer on Ebay I finally got one today from them (some six weeks after ordering it).

The unit seems reasonably well made, but some small quality improvements would be nice. It fits the camera body m4/3 side quite tight, not crazy tight, but very firm. The 4/3 side is opposite, quite free on my plastic base lens (a kit 14-42mm), and reasonable but free on the Pro lenses like a 50-200mm and a 12-60mm. No lateral wobble on them, but does move in rotation by about 1 degree quite easily on the 4/3 face.

I think it's just a good enough fit on the 4/3 side, but only barely...

In operation it's working perfectly as far as I can tell indoors and outside in the dark with the E-M1. All my lenses focus fine, at least as good as the E-520 body and maybe better. Particularly the Pro lenses seem to be quite quick to focus even in poor light (compared to my E-520).

So, bottom line so far is the FOTGA Model AB083 m4/3 to 4/3 adapter works fine on an OM-D E-M1, and quality is fair. Probably worth $50 if your on a tight budget like me at this point.

Martin
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Old Jun 12, 2014, 3:01 PM   #2
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The MMF-3 is worth the $160 price. It's not made out of stainless steel, but it's not made out of plastic either....at least, certainly not the same type of plastic they use to build the all-plastic 14-42 and 40-150mm kit zooms, and it's sealed, so if you're using the better sealed four-thirds Zuiko lenses with the E-M1 (I use mine with the original 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 and 50mm f2 Macro), the lens/body combinations remains sealed for use in wet environments, the fit on both ends is solid and the action of mounting on the body and lens ends are both emmaculate.

Olympus has run specials in the past that included adapters with body purchases, but as far as I know, there is no OEM maker giving adapters away 100% of the time with any body, cheap or expensive, to use their DSLR lenses on the smaller systems. If you buy a full-frame Sony A7 and want to use their DSLR lenses, you'll be paying $200 for their similarly basic adapter. Nikon charges $236. Canon's charges $129 for their quite pathetic M "system" EOS adapter and the low price OEM option is Panasonic's at $100, so $160 for an MMF-3 is right in the middle compared to the other original equipment makers.

Of course, there are cheap third-party adapters for all of those mounts too, and I have no doubt what you get is.... cheap.... compared to the OEM version.

Same story with extension tubes. I do own third-party extension tubes because neither Olympus or Panasonic have yet to supply them to use with the Micro lenses. the Kenko set is probably the best of all the third-party brands and they work flawlessly, but they are inferior to the Olympus EX25 tube I will use with the 50-200 Zuiko for getting closer than that lens can focus on its' own.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 12, 2014 at 4:30 PM.
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Old Jun 12, 2014, 4:27 PM   #3
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Greg - for a guy (me) who didn't start out with a 4/3 body but instead with m4/3, would it make sense to purchase the MMF-3 adapter and some 4/3 lenses for improved IQ? I've seen some wonderful images with long reach from the people on this site with such combinations. Money is always a factor, but for this question I'm talking IQ and reach.
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Old Jun 12, 2014, 7:44 PM   #4
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The high grade and super high grade Zuiko four-thirds glass is outstanding. Depends on how much weight/mass you'd be willing to tote. The 12-40 M. Zuiko seems every bit as good as the 12-60 four-thirds Zuiko and I really like the 35-100mm f2.8 Panasonic. Of course, it does not come close to the native reach of the 50-200 Zuiko, but the 2x digital zoom on the E-M1 is pretty darn outstanding and I've worked out my own process in Adobe camera raw to do basically the same thing, but customize the amount of the crop instead of it just being 2x.

This was an image from Gettysburg I captured at 100mm, but couldn't get quite close enough to compose the way I wanted..



I went back to Adobe Camera Raw and cropped the image the way I wanted. Before opening the item in Photoshop I re-sized the image in ACR back to the 4608x3456 original pixel size, which ACR seems to do extremely well..



After seeing the results, I wouldn't have a problem at all using this option with an image captured with the Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 to crop and re-size up to around an equivalent of 200mm as needed.

By this Fall the 40-150mm f2.8 will be out and by late next year the 300mm f4. If you need something high-end and longer now, the four-thirds glass is about the only choice.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 12, 2014 at 11:16 PM.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 6:42 AM   #5
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Hi Greg.
Hey where do they weather seal the MMF-3.

Actually where do the seal the lens to body mount on Oly lenses like my 12-60mm SWD. I thought that would need O-rings on one surface ?

If the FOTGA is not sealed I'm not worried, as I've never let my best camera wet, I have a Olympus TG-2 P&S for wet or rough stuff

PS. My quoted price above was in $AU and is about right, if you can find one locally anyway.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 8:57 AM   #6
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The Tough cameras are a cool series. Last time the Olympus guy was in town he had the latest, with a set of accessory wide and long lenses you could interchange, even if underwater.

The mount on the MMF-3 looks just like any sealed lens. It has the o-ring that overlaps the body mount, just like the lens does at the other end of the adapter.

The MMF-3 is a sealed MMF-2. They came out with the MMF-3 specifically for using the sealed four-thirds lenses with the E-M1.


Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 13, 2014 at 9:00 AM.
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Old Jun 14, 2014, 8:52 AM   #7
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Thanks Greg.
Those seals are quite subtle, I'd missed noticing them on my 50-200mm and 12-60mm lenses (black on black didn't stand out like it does on silver).
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 7:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sneezy View Post
Like a bunch of guys recently I've bought an OM-D E-M1 body to replace an old E-series 4/3 camera body. The first thing we need to buy after that is an adapter so we can run our old 4/3 lenses.
Olympus make them, but at a high cost for a mainly plastic thingy with no smart parts in it, nothing but wires and a few contacts inside (IMHO they should be FREE with a $1500 camera !).

I thought I'd try a newish one on the after market and bought a FOTGA all metal adapter for about $50 off Ebay, given that if it's was a dud I'd reluctantly part with $200 for the Oly MMF-3.
Anyway, after cock-ups by the Hong Kong retailer on Ebay I finally got one today from them (some six weeks after ordering it).

The unit seems reasonably well made, but some small quality improvements would be nice. It fits the camera body m4/3 side quite tight, not crazy tight, but very firm. The 4/3 side is opposite, quite free on my plastic base lens (a kit 14-42mm), and reasonable but free on the Pro lenses like a 50-200mm and a 12-60mm. No lateral wobble on them, but does move in rotation by about 1 degree quite easily on the 4/3 face.

I think it's just a good enough fit on the 4/3 side, but only barely...

In operation it's working perfectly as far as I can tell indoors and outside in the dark with the E-M1. All my lenses focus fine, at least as good as the E-520 body and maybe better. Particularly the Pro lenses seem to be quite quick to focus even in poor light (compared to my E-520).

So, bottom line so far is the FOTGA Model AB083 m4/3 to 4/3 adapter works fine on an OM-D E-M1, and quality is fair. Probably worth $50 if your on a tight budget like me at this point.

Martin
Initially I had tried the Viltrox adapter and found it was too loose rotation-ally and would cause the contacts to loose contact on my 70-300 with the e-pl2. I know others did not have the problem but I did, could it have been looseness on the body and the lens? sure, but I went with a used Panasonic DMW-MA1 and have had no such problems although it was almost twice as much used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiPersei View Post
Greg - for a guy (me) who didn't start out with a 4/3 body but instead with m4/3, would it make sense to purchase the MMF-3 adapter and some 4/3 lenses for improved IQ? I've seen some wonderful images with long reach from the people on this site with such combinations. Money is always a factor, but for this question I'm talking IQ and reach.
If you're doing it to save money, then sure, I bought my three 4/3 zooms, 9-18/14-54/70-300, for around $900. Buying equivalent micro zooms, 9-18/12-40/75-300 would have been around twice as much. There are some excellent 4/3 lenses and they can be had relatively inexpensively but they will make your camera bag bigger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
The MMF-3 is worth the $160 price. It's not made out of stainless steel, but it's not made out of plastic either....at least, certainly not the same type of plastic they use to build the all-plastic 14-42 and 40-150mm kit zooms, and it's sealed, so if you're using the better sealed four-thirds Zuiko lenses with the E-M1 (I use mine with the original 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 and 50mm f2 Macro), the lens/body combinations remains sealed for use in wet environments, the fit on both ends is solid and the action of mounting on the body and lens ends are both emmaculate.

Olympus has run specials in the past that included adapters with body purchases, but as far as I know, there is no OEM maker giving adapters away 100% of the time with any body, cheap or expensive, to use their DSLR lenses on the smaller systems. If you buy a full-frame Sony A7 and want to use their DSLR lenses, you'll be paying $200 for their similarly basic adapter. Nikon charges $236. Canon's charges $129 for their quite pathetic M "system" EOS adapter and the low price OEM option is Panasonic's at $100, so $160 for an MMF-3 is right in the middle compared to the other original equipment makers.

Of course, there are cheap third-party adapters for all of those mounts too, and I have no doubt what you get is.... cheap.... compared to the OEM version.

Same story with extension tubes. I do own third-party extension tubes because neither Olympus or Panasonic have yet to supply them to use with the Micro lenses. the Kenko set is probably the best of all the third-party brands and they work flawlessly, but they are inferior to the Olympus EX25 tube I will use with the 50-200 Zuiko for getting closer than that lens can focus on its' own.
I've been looking to upgrade from the DMW-MA1 to an MMF-3 to make my 14-54/em1 combo weather proof. I may however just hold out and get the 12-40 and keep the DMW-MA1 for the 9-18 and 70-300 which are not weather sealed.
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Old Jul 1, 2014, 6:14 AM   #9
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Default Bought an MMF-3.

I was not happy with the sloppy fit of the FOTGA AB083 on the lens side (body side was OK if a bit on the tight side).
I picked up a new Olympus MMF-3 today. I tried for a few weeks to find a used one but in Oz they are rare. Reluctantly I bought one new for $180AU. Still seems a lot to me, especially since I recently paid just $300AU for a perfect used 12-60mm F2.8 SWD lens !
Anyway, enough whining from me on that subject.

Since the FOTGA is now the second fiddle adapter in my camera bag I did a tear down on it and took quick hand held images with my TG-2 (which does very good macro if you light the item well and use a tripod).

So what's in the adapter ?
Not a lot. Confirmed there is no electronics inside (unless wires count).
The shell is aluminium and seems well made, it's the chrome plated brass face plates that let it down.

The MMF-3 on the other hand has a plastic body, but the face plates fit the E-M1 body and my bag of lenses with a perfect fit. No wobble even on a plastic kit lens, no rotation without effort either, and even then barely noticeable.
Martin
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Last edited by mr.sneezy; Jul 1, 2014 at 6:23 AM.
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Old Jul 1, 2014, 6:30 AM   #10
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Mr. Sneezy,

Sorry to hear you had to go through such expense. It's a shame the MMF-3 was such a high cost. On the other hand sounds like a great deal on the 12-60, it should do really well for you on an E-M1.

Thanks for the teardown, I was luckily able to send back my cheapo adapter but my conclusion, like yours, was that the chrome plated mounting plates were the culprit. When I held them up to a mount for another lens (the body side was loose on mine) I found that they had skimped a little and didn't make the metal bits that stick out as big as they should have been. Sounds and looks like they did the same on the lens side as well. I downloaded your picture and put some arrows where the metal bits are that are just a bit short. Really a shame as it wouldn't have taken that much to make the metal bits correctly and then they would have worked
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