How to Adapt a Canon 1200/5.6L EF Lens on an Olympus E-P1 | B&H Photo Video Pro Audio
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How to Adapt a Canon 1200mm f/5.6L EF Lens on an Olympus E-P1

By Allan Weitz

So you're hot-to-trot for an Olympus E-P1 but your camera bag is already spilling over with lenses and accessories for another camera system. Right? Trust me… I feel your pain. And there's no way on earth you can justify to (or hide from) your significant other yet another bag of camera gear. (Ditto the line about understanding your pain) Still and all you really want an E-P1, but what can you do? Well for starters, come away from the window ledge for a moment because we already sell adapters for mounting your lenses on a Digital Pens, or any 4/3-System camera for that matter.

But because we run an honest shop at B&H, I have to qualify the last sentence by telling you that at the moment we only have Micro-4/3 adapters for standard 4/3 optics, older manual-focus Olympus OM lenses, and Leica M-mount lenses. I fibbed about the others because we anticipate having adapters for just about every other lens system by late August, which is about how long it will take you to work up the courage to tell you-know-who about that new camera you stashed away in the closet.

Panasonic DMW-MA1 4/3-system Adapter Olympus MF-1 Adapter for OM Lenses

Before moving on it's important to note that with the exception of standard 4/3-system lenses, which retain full functionality when used on Micro-4/3 cameras, you lose several degrees of functionality when you start mixing non-4/3 format lenses into the equation. Autofocus is the first to go, along with Program and Shutter-priority exposure mode, but do maintain Manual and Aperture-priority mode and the ability to view up to a 10x magnification of the image for fine focusing in Manual mode.

As for exposure settings you can base your exposure on the histograms displayed on the camera's LCD, or simply base your exposure on the brightness levels of the Live View image that appears real-time on the camera's LCD. And because the E-P1 Digital Pen contains in-camera image stabilization, any lens you mount on the camera automatically becomes IS-enabled. You can even manually enter the focal length of the lens you're shooting with for additional stability, which becomes increasingly important with longer focal length lenses. (This function is performed automatically with Micro 4/3 and standard 4/3 lenses)

As for currently available Micro-4/3 adapters, the Olympus MMF-1 and Panasonic DMW-MA1 both enable the use of standard 4/3 optics on Micro-4/3 cameras with zero loss of functionality. You retain full AF and metering functions, and because the adapter seats your current your lenses in the same position as a regular Micro-4/3 lens, the focusing range also remains unchanged.

For shooting with older, manual-focus Olympus OM-series optics, the Olympus MF-1 adapter enables you to mount all OM lenses onto 4/3-system camera bodies. As mentioned above, you loose a degree of metering functionality when using OM glass (they're already manual focus, so AF isn't an issue).

Leica-M and R-series lenses on a 4/3-system camera? Sure… why not. If you already own or plan on buying one (or more) of these gems the Novoflex Leica R to 4/3 Adapter allows you to use all Leica R-series reflex optics on all 4/3 cameras. An M-mount adapter is due out shortly from Novoflex according to the nice folks at HP Marketing.

Other lens mount adapters due from Novoflex over the next couple of months include Nikon (all manual and AF lenses including G-series lenses), Canon (EF & FD), Pentax, Yashica/Contax, and Carl Zeiss (in Nikon, Canon EF, Pentax, Leica-M, & M42 Universal-mounts).

Adapters for Carl Zeiss Optics in a selection of lens mounts will soon be available for 4/3 and Micro-4/3 cameras

And do keep in mind when Novoflex starts shipping their Canon EF to 4/3 adapters you'll finally be able to justify the purchase of the used (and super-clean) Canon 1200/5.6L EF USM lens we currently have on display in our used department (click here to view our video on the Canon 1200/5.6L EF USM). Just think… a 2400mm/f5.6 equivalent lens for only $120,000. And if you tell them Al sent you they'll throw in a free box of donuts.

The Canon 1200/5.6L EF USM lens
The Canon 1200/5.6L EF USM lens


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