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Old Jan 31, 2013, 7:18 AM   #1
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Default Leica lenses on non Leica body

I have a M9 Leica with Summilux 35 and 50 mm and Elmarit 28 and 90 mm lenses. Because I am suffering from increasing hand instability, I am considering the possible purchase of a top quality camera body with sensor shift anti-shake that will take my Leica lenses.
I looked at the Olympus Om-De-M5, but there must be more alternatives?
Can anybody help me?
Thanks!
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 7:44 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, Leica M-Mount lenses are designed to project an image on a focal plane 27.8mm away from the mount. That's shorter than the flange focal distance of any dSLR, and the only mirrorless camera brand that offers in-body image stabilization is Olympus.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 7:56 AM   #3
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T-Cay, thank you for your response!
I wonder whether coming from Leica's FF to Olympus Four Third 17,3 x 13mm and 16.1 Mp sensor is quality wise a large step backwards?
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 8:41 AM   #4
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Your Leica M9 is a 'Full Frame' 18MP (5216 x 3472) camera, while Olympus' newest cameras are 4/3 16MP (4640 x 3472) cameras. Since the Olympus bodies have a narrower angle of view, they actually put more photoreceptors in the same space as your Leica M9, so you're likely to get better image quality. And because of that narrower angle of view, the corner softness and vignetting of your Leica lenses will not appear.

DxOMark's test results show that the Olympus E-PM2 and E-PL5 have similar signal to noise levels to the Leica M9, and better dynamic range at higher ISO settings.

Unfortunately, while those Leica lenses are wide angle to portrait on your M9, they'd be normal to telephoto on a 4/3 body, so you might want to get a good kit lens when you buy an Olympus body.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 9:43 AM   #5
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I would second what T-Cav already said about the Olympus cameras being your only option that has sensor shift stabilization.

The E-PL5 and the E-PM2 both have the 16MP Sony built sensor that is in the OM-D EM-5 and has received very good reviews. The E-PM2 is really a entry level camera so I would suggest you look primarily at the E-PL5 as it has a better feature set.

The upside to the E-PL5 is it maintains a very range finder like profile

The downside is that the E-PL5 doesn't come with a viewfinder, and if you get the view finder you won't be able to use the flash at the same time, not that you would ever really need to use flash with fast high quality leica glass

The other downside to the E-PL5 is that it only has 2-axis sensor shift stabilization, only the OM-D EM-5 has the 5-axis sensor shift stabilization.

There are rumors that Olympus may release a range finder like camera with a built in EV-F that would be a more premium E-P model, but they are just rumors at this point.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 2:11 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your very useful answers to my question!
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 2:46 PM   #7
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I wouldn't get in a big rush to do this without a lot of research taking all the effects into consideration.
 
A 28mm f/2.8 acts a lot like a 56mm f/5.6 when used on a micro 4/3. The distance scale becomes nearly irrelevant and you lose the actual infinity focus.
 
You might have to focus wide open and then stop down to meter. Then re-focus slightly to compensate.
 
There are a lot of focus assist features built-in, but they're more functional with the dedicated focus by wire lenses. Not everyone does well with the "legacy" type all manual lenses.
 
I'm just suggesting that you do a lot of research before you invest in the system. Even with the IS, you might lose more than you gain. And you'll still be buying wide angle lenses to replace what you have and take advantage of all the advanced features of these bodies.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 3:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBbuilder467 View Post
... and you lose the actual infinity focus. ...
Not so.

And since the OP wants to use his Leica lenses on a stabilized body, his choices are limited to Olympus. So any other considerations are moot.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 5:08 PM   #9
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Hi,

I'm getting in late into the conversation, but thought it important to clarify a number of points.

First off, on the subject of lens field of view and aperture.
The M9 having a full frame sensor while The micro Four Thirds camera sensor, has a linear size almost exactly half of the standard 35-mm frame. (This is exactly true in terms of the frame diagonal, and slightly varies for image sides, as Micro Four Thirds has a different aspect ratio. For simplification let's just use the value of two.)
This means that when a lens of a given focal length, F, is mounted on a Four micro Four Thirds camera, the part of the optical image used by the sensor will be one half of the size of such part used by the same (or just the same F) lens mounted on a 35-mm camera. The camera's field of view is reduced by half (linear; the area is reduced four times).

This means that, for example, that any 50 mm lens mounted on an micro Four Thirds body will have a field of view similar to that of any 100 mm lens mounted on a film camera.
The lens aperture, defined as the ratio of the entrance pupil diameter to the focal length, obviously does not change.
Lens resolution
There is one important difference, though. The recorded image (from film or digital sensor) has to be enlarged to be viewed (as a print, or on a screen). Because of smaller original size, the enlargement factor for a Micro Four Thirds is twice as large as that for a film camera. This means that all flaws of the image will be also enlarged twice as much; among others, the effective resolution of a lens used on a Micro Four Thirds body is only half of that for the same lens used with on a film camera.
We may put it differently: to achieve the same final image quality, a lens designed for the Micro Four Thirds system has to be twice as sharp (in terms of absolute resolution) as a lens intended for a FF camera.

Lens adapters:
There are many manufacturers of lens adapters that will allow the mounting of
Leica m-mount lenses. For the most part, most all the Leica lenses will allow for infinity focus to be achieved when used on the Micro Four Thirds body.
CameraQuest and Novoflex are just 2 companies that make high quality adapters. Since the M9 doesn't have an AF system, focusing wil be done manually. But metering can be controlled by the camera body.

One recommendation I would make is that, since your primary concern is image stabilization, the E-M5, would be the Olympus camera that would most closely give you the quality that you're accustomed to. It has 5axis image stabilization. The sensor is also currently the best sensor employed in a Micro Four Thirds body.


One other item to consider: Olympus, make some of the best lenses available.
You may want to consider a 75mm f1.8 mft lens or the 45mm f1.8mft lens. All Olympus MFT lenses will Auto Focus. Could it be that part of the problem, maybe a manual focus issue.
Don't take my word for it. Heres a writeup by DXO:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Pub...lens-available

Some information here was reproduced from an article on lenses written by Wrotniak at Wrotniak.com
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 6:37 PM   #10
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The reason the OP posted his question here is because he wants to continue to use his Leica lenses on a stabilized body. Most of his lenses are already very good, and will be excellent on the smaller image sensor.

And while some of the Olympus m4/3 lenses are very good, most aren't any better than equivalent lenses from any other manufacturer. But that's beside the point. He already has excellent lenses in thos ranges. What he needs is a lens or lenses that will fill the gap created by the narrower angle of view of the m4/3 body.
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