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Adapters for M43 BMCC

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Andrew Akada
Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 26, 2013 at 5:42:43 pm

How reliable are adapters according to their specifications? I'm currently on back-order for a camera at the moment and I'm trying to be as productive as I can in the interim by researching and wish-listing glass I'd like to purchase.

That said, I know Olympus and Panasonic have the lion's share of readily available m43 lenses - but what about if I'm looking to fetch up Nikkors or Canon lenses?

Granted, all of I'm aiming for all things manual but since all of these will need adapters for an M43 body, I'm a little indecisive because of the reliability issues I've read about regarding adapters in general.

Is there any sure-fire way to make sure that an adapter I order will even work properly on the BMCC before I have the camera in my hands or would it be best to just sit on it until I actually get a chance to tinker around with the thing? Thoughts? Suggestions?


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 27, 2013 at 7:04:55 am

Panasonic Lumix MFT lenses (and any MFT lens with electrical contacts on its mount) can't be used on the BMCC-MFT camera's passive MFT lens mount. These lenses require power and communication with the camera to adjust focus and aperture, even when using the lens in "manual" mode. The BMCC-MFT's passive lens mount doesn't have electrical contacts.

MFT lenses that are fully manual lenses, with no built-in electronics, can be used on the BMCC-MFT.

Likewise, other fully-manual lenses that are designed for use with sensors larger than MFT (such as classic old Nikkor 135-format SLR film camera lenses) can be mounted on the BMCC-MFT via lens mount adapters from many different vendors. Other examples of manual lenses than can be adapted for use on the BMCC-MFT are old Canon FD lenses, PL mount cine lenses, and many others.

Also, just to confirm which camera we're talking about: The new BMPCC "pocket camera" will have an active MFT lens mount. Its sensor will be S16 film size, smaller than the sensor in the BMCC-MFT & BMCC-EF.

I use Nikon-to-MFT lens adapters with my Panasonic GH1 & GH2, and Nikon-to-E lens mount adapters on my colleague's Sony FS100, with great success. Both are from Fotodiox's "Pro" line. I've heard that some more-expensive adapters have a tighter, more solid fit, but I haven't used them. When I receive my BMPC-4K camera I plan to use RedRock's Nikon-to-EF lens mount adapters.

I recommend against buying expensive accessories for a camera you don't yet have in-hand. If you wait until you have your camera, then you can test accessories and if necessary return them to your dealer for a full refund.

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Andrew Akada
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 28, 2013 at 6:00:00 pm

Thanks Pete! As always, you've ridden to my rescue!

So, if I understand correctly, even if I only intended to use the lens manually, any MFT glass that even has the option to be used with electrical contacts in an active way is out of the question for usage on the passive 2.5K MFT?

Is this the case even for lenses (M43 or otherwise) that have the option to be used in either AF or manual modes?

And what about purchases for ready-made M43 glass?

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Aspherical-Pancake-Interchangeable-Cameras/...

(or)

http://www.amazon.com/Voigtlander-Nokton-17-5mm-Manual-Focus/dp/B007VHDUN4/...

I'm just so used to seeing things getting snatched up and I'm really a target-of-opportunity buyer when it comes to these kinds of things so I just want to make sure my tempered approach is correct and my patience isn't for naught.

I also have a couple of old Soligor lenses (150 & 200mm) plus a 50mm Nikkor fixed for an old FE series SLR. I've been looking around online and from what I can tell - that camera is compatible with an F Mount. Would these be adaptable for the passive M43 or am I just chasing my tail on this one?


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 28, 2013 at 8:10:17 pm

Again, MFT lenses such as those made by Panasonic & Olympus, which have electrical contacts on their mounts, require an active MFT lens mount such as on the new BMPCC pocket cam. These lenses won't function at all on a camera with a passive MFT lens mount, as on the BMCC-MFT model. These lenses require power and/or communication with the camera body to perform their functions, even when they are switched to "manual" mode.

You can definitely use most new & old, fully-manual lenses on a camera with either a passive or active MFT lens mount.

There are also relatively expensive active lens mount adapters that support modern Canon EOS lenses (ones with electrical contacts on the lens) on all MFT cameras (regardless of whether the camera has an active or passive lens mount on the camera body). Some of these active adapters have their own power supply & electronics, independent of the capability of the camera's lens mount.

To get an idea of the number of types of lens adapters available to mount lenses to a MFT camera body, take a look at B&H website (note this is not an all-inclusive list; other adapters are available on eBay, Amazon, etc.):
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Lens-Mount-Adapters/ci/12013/N/4294545080

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 28, 2013 at 10:14:25 pm

Hi Andrew,

The Panasonic lens that you linked to above will not work on the BMCC MFT. It will work on the BMPCC. The Vogtlander will work on either as it is fully manual. There are some lenses with electronic contacts such as newer Leica R lenses and Zeiss ZF lenses but these contacts relay lens data to the camera for metering, etc. These lenses however still function manually and are compatible with either MFT camera.

The general rule is that manual will work, electronic will not.

The Panasonic lenses, and many Canon EF lenses use a system called "focus by wire" where turning the focus ring does not actually move the elements, rather it is computerized and the focus ring is essentially a computer interface, not unlike a mouse, that tells the electronics inside to move the glass elements to focus closer or further away. As the original BMCC MFT does not have an "active" mount, it does not provide this necessary power and as a result, the lenses cannot focus. They also require this same power to change aperture as the lenses do not have independent aperture rings themselves either.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
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pekin azer
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 29, 2013 at 8:12:07 am

You can also get a mft to PL adaptor and use pro cinema lens.... Like cooke 18-100 zoom or Zeiss Ultra primes... Etc....
Regards,
Pekin

You are what you make others feel.


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Andrew Akada
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 30, 2013 at 5:10:44 am

As much as I'd love to dive into products like that, I don't think I'd have the budget for that. Still working the day job :-)


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Andrew Akada
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 30, 2013 at 5:10:02 am

Matt,

Thanks for weighing in! I guess I'm just a little flustered by the variety and variability of the choices.

On another M43 forum I had someone mention that I wouldn't even be able to use regular M43-designed lenses on the passive BMCC without aperture rings - going so far as to suggest that they can't take M43 lenses period (I think he meant to say that it couldn't take active lenses but I could be mistaken).

And just to clarify between the signals I'm getting from Pete and from you, there are lenses that can function both as manual and AF that are compatible with a passive M43 body (like the BMCC) but this will be explicitly stated within the design specs, correct? Meaning that if it can be manually focused, I can opt to do so rather than relying on the electrical contacts?

You mentioned ZF and R mounts, specifically.

For instance, I can go along with something like this--

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZQE4XQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&p...

--and, theoretically, it should work just fine.

PS: I know it seems pretty prosumer of me to be shopping thru Amazon but as far as pricing goes (via Adorama) - is $725 a decent price for something like a Zeiss. I know it's quality glass and I'm seriously considering pulling the trigger on it.


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 30, 2013 at 7:05:35 pm

To the best of my knowledge, all MFT lenses that have electrical contacts on their lens mount can't be used on the BMCC-MFT model because it has a passive lens mount.

These lenses require power & communication with the camera for most/all their functions, whether or not the lens itself is switched to it's "manual" mode. These lenses are "fly by wire": Even in manual mode, turning the lens barrel rings to adjust focus/aperture requires power and/or communication with the camera. Thus they can't be used at all with a camera that has a passive (mechanical only, no electrical connections) lens mount such as the BMCC-MFT.

The BMCC-MFT is intended for use with fully-manual, non-electronic lenses either designed to directly mount on a MFT camera, or lenses (usually fully-manual, with rare exception) designed for other camera mounts, and mounted on a MFT camera via an adapter.

The BMPCC pocket cam has an active MFT lens mount that provides power for, and communication with, MFT lens functions (on MFT lenses with electrical contacts and related features) such as aperture, focus, IS, etc.. However, the camera does not feature auto-focus, nor continuous auto-aperture (one-touch, momentary auto-aperture only), nor lens (barrel/CA) distortion correction. In addition, you can adapt various fully-manual lenses for use with the camera.

The BMCC-EF & BMPC-4K cameras and their active EF lens mounts provide support for EF lenses that have electrical contacts & electronic features -- same situation/features/limitations as described with the BMPCC above.

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 30, 2013 at 7:20:12 pm

Purely having electrical contacts does not make it an electronic lens. Sometimes these contacts are for relaying lens data. For example, all new Leica M mount lenses have electrical contacts but these are very much manual lenses. That does not make them dysfunctional on older M cameras. Even film cameras began having electrical contacts for metering because the camera could more accurately judge the metering by knowing the characteristics of the lens. But that did not mean that they could not be used on older cameras. Were this the case then the Zeiss ZF lenses would not work on anything without Nikon contacts. The contacts tell the camera which lens is being used, nothing more.

This is a big difference than a fully electronic lens. Tell tale characteristics of this would be no manual aperture ring, autofocus capability even if there is a manual focus switch, infinity spinning focus wheels. Any combination of these will typically mean that it cannot work on a passive mount and requires power.

Simply turning the lens over and looking for contacts will not tell the whole story.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
Adobe Production Premium CS6, Avid Symphony 6, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
The College of William and Mary


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 30, 2013 at 7:24:35 pm

Matthew's correct: I forgot that there are some lenses that can communicate metadata to some cameras, but that aren't controllable electronically by the camera(s).

Cheers.

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Andrew Akada
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Jun 1, 2013 at 4:32:34 pm

To Peter & Matt,

So, for instance, when the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 ZF2 is listed as having,

"...support for all-important operations such as the automatic exposure for shutter priority, aperture priority and program modes..."

Does this mean that the passive will not work on it? The spec details go on to state that "...the CPU also supports manual exposure settings, including those for camera casings that are not AI-compatible..."

I just wanted to clarify...

http://www.adorama.com/ZI5014PTZF2.html


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Jun 2, 2013 at 1:01:30 am

It's not that complicated. It's really quite simple!

A passive lens mount has absolutely no (zero, zip, nada, zilch) electrical contacts in/on it.

A camera with a passive lens mount has absolutely no (zero, zip, nada, zilch) way to communicate with or control a lens, because the camera's lens mount has no (zero, zip, nada, zilch) electrical contacts in/on it.

The BMCC-MFT model camera has a passive lens mount. So, the BMCC-MFT camera has absolutely no (zero, zip, nada, zilch) way to communicate with or control a lens. Period.

All other cameras made or announced by Blackmagic Design have active lens mounts (active EF or active MFT), so these cameras can communicate with and/or control lenses that have electrical contacts & internal electronics/features (with certain limitations).

The end.

I hope that makes things clearer!

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Jun 2, 2013 at 3:08:17 am

Peter, what you're saying implies that the ZF series will not work on a camera without Nikon communication. It will work, but without the electronic features. As a cinema lens it will perform no differently when it comes to control of manual focus and aperture.

The ZF lenses are manual lenses with electronic features. Not electronic lenses with manual features. This is a crucial difference. In the case of the passive mount, any functionally manual lens, meaning manual focus (not focus-by-wire) and manual aperture, will function as normal. Any feature having to do with electronics will not work but that will have absolutely no effect on normal lens function and usage.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
Adobe Production Premium CS6, Avid Symphony 6, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
The College of William and Mary


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Jun 2, 2013 at 3:10:01 am

Andrew, if the Zeiss ZF 50mm is the lens you want, it will be fine on the MFT BMCC.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
Adobe Production Premium CS6, Avid Symphony 6, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
The College of William and Mary


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Andrew Akada
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Jun 3, 2013 at 5:39:39 am

Thanks for the advice, Matt! I still feel a bit lost when it comes to figuring out what's what but still, I appreciate your patience and clarification!


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Andrew Akada
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Jun 3, 2013 at 5:52:47 am

Matt,

I was on another forum and another use posted the following response to a threat I began as per our "adapter" inquiry:

QUOTE -- "...the full size BlackMagic Cinema [passive MFT] camera (sic) will not be able to use any of the Olympus or Panasonic m4/3 lenses{except for the Olympus 15mm bodycap lens}. They designed it so you can use all the various full frame and APS photo lenses plus 35mm cine lenses via adaptors. I think you may have misunderstood what BM meant by 'passive m4/3 mount'..."

Is this correct? Even if said Panasonic/Olympus lenses are manual?


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Jun 3, 2013 at 2:32:53 pm

The thing about the Panasonic and the Olymous MFT lenses is that they are all electronic, without exception, so in that sense yes, the quote is correct.

What you were told is not entirely true either however. The MFT mount is not simply to mount adapters to full frame, APS and Super35 lenses. There are many fully manual MFT mount lenses that will work brilliantly on the MFT BMCC. Look to the Voigtlander Nokton series. These include 17.5mm, 25mm, and soon to be a 42.5mm. They are all fully manual lenses, all the f0.95 (SUPER FAST) and all designed specifically for the MFT mount. There are also some great offerings from SLR Magic such as the 12mm Hyperprime.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
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Andrew Akada
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Jun 5, 2013 at 10:00:53 pm

Thanks for bearing with!

I have the Voigtlander on my wishlist already and there are a couple of others as well. Good to know about the Olympus & Panasonic lenses too.

Just to flesh out a decent kit, I was hoping I could also look for some cheaper glass to supplement the "flagship" brands. Any good places to start looking for those, if not Panasonic & Olympus?


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Jun 6, 2013 at 3:22:15 pm

This will probably be a strong lens to have in the arsenal once it hits: http://www.43rumors.com/samyang-16mm-f2-0-for-mft-priced-ay-449-shipping-in...

I'd really take a hard look at vintage glass and adapters. You will find a ton of old manual Canon FD, Nikon F, Minolta, Pentax, Zeiss, and Leica, for some really great prices. Then all you need are the proper adapters. None of these adapters would require the electronic communication for any of the aforementioned lenses and therefore they will be pretty cheap. As per the manual MFT glass, take a good look at the SLR Magic glass. It is available at Adorama and really there are some very nice offerings. Don't let the name of the company fool you. They are not just "toy" lenses anymore.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
Adobe Production Premium CS6, Avid Symphony 6, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
The College of William and Mary


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Andrew Akada
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:51:58 am

Thanks again, Matt! I'm taking a look and drafting a wish-list! Sorry for the late response. I was working logistics all weekend for a shoot so I wasn't really able to sit down and have a good look at your post until now! :-)

I also have a couple of old Soligor manual lenses (100 and 150mm, respectively). They were for an old Nikon FE series SLR.

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/nikonfeseries/fe/in...

After doing a little bit of searching I came to the conclusion that these were essentially wedded to the F mount, same as the Zeiss 50 I was looking at. Would I be able to use a single adapter to suit all of these to the passive MFT?


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Barbara Allen
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:48:26 am

What adaptor will permit me to use an Olympus Pen F 38 mm 1.8 F Zuiko S-Auto lens on a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera?

Has anyone tried such a lens on the BMPCC?


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Andrew Akada
Re: Adapters for M43 BMCC
on May 2, 2014 at 3:01:02 am

Sorry. Couldn't tell ya. I have the 2.5K MFT. I'm saving up for the Pocket Camera, though! Hope it was worth it. I ended up picking mine up about a week before they announced the 1,000-dollar price cut! :-(


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