Adapting lenses for use with a micro four-thirds mirrorless camera, 09 February 2024

Adapting lenses for use with a micro four-thirds mirrorless camera, 09 February 2024

I don't really have any proper lenses for my mirrorless cameras. Well, apart from the 18mm lens cap lens, which is made by Olympus so I guess that could be classed as 'proper', but it's fixed aperture and has a plastic lens so I guess that's on the borderline. What I have had until now are some odd lenses like the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit and the Thingyfy Pinhole Pro pinhole lens.

The Lomography lens kit is three plastic lenses; a standard lens, a wide angle lens and a fish-eye lens, which are micro four-thirds compatible. What I especially like about these lenses are that they incorporate a shutter mechanism, so they're really great for extreme multiple exposure photography, where you can take an infinite number of exposures on the same frame. This is quite normal for many film cameras, but for digital cameras trying to make in-camera extreme multiple exposures can be challenging. 

The Thingyfy Pinhole Pro is probably the worst lens I have ever used on a camera, and I have some cameras with some really awful lenses. This 'engineered' Pinhole lens is really soft, and at the right angle (or wrong, depending on your point of view) produces the most amazing lens flare. Suffice to say, I don't use it very often but I do have an idea in mind for some abstract work with this lens.

I also have a soft spot for the Olympus Pen. No, not the half-frame camera of days gone by but the modern mirrorless camera from the 2010s. My first was the Olympus Pen E-PL1, which I picked up cheap because it had broken image stabilization. Soon after I picked up an E-PL2, also with broken image stabilization, because that was cheap and it looked really nice. The interesting thing with these cameras is that they all have the same 12MP CMOS sensor, although the electronics and features are different. 

I don't really need another mirrorless camera, but when I came across a lovely Olympus Pen E-P1 (of course with broken image stabilization) how could I resist? What I did not expect was how beautiful this camera was. The feel and design of the smooth white body is quite unlike any other camera, and it weighs a tonne. Probably the only heavier camera I have is the Canon Powershot G5. It also has these lovely little design touches like 'Olympus Pen since 1959' etched into the body, something its successors in the EP series are sadly lacking.

So there I am, with a collection of weird and wonderful lenses but no 'real' glass. However, over the past few months I've been gathering some lenses that I've been after for a quite a while. The Pentax Auto 110 was an interchangeable lens SLR camera for 110 film. It's diminutive form came with a range of lenses, from wide angle to telephoto zoom, that are well known as the smallest and cutest lenses ever made. The other interesting thing is that the image size of 110 film (17mm×13mm) is almost the same size as the micro four-thirds sensor (17.3mm×13mm), so with an adapter close enough to the image sensor there's almost complete compatibility with the mirrorless cameras.

I had originally intended to make my own Pentax 110 lens adapter for the mirrorless cameras using a micro four-thirds body cap. But I was lazy and opted instead to order a manufactured adapter from China. I'm glad that I did, the lenses and adapter fit securely to the body of the camera and although it can look a little odd, especially with the tiny 24mm lens, the adapter works perfectly. 

The lenses have no aperture adjustment and are fixed wide open at f2,8. Originally the Pentax Auto body contained an adjustable aperture, but with the Olympus set to aperture priority or manual mode it's easy to get a good exposure. I have read that in bright sunlight you may need to use a neutral density filter to cut down the light reaching the sensor. In this instance I might have to invest in some step up rings. For reference,  the filter size of each lens is 30.5mm (18mm wide-angle lens), 25.5mm (24mm f/2.8 standard lens), 37.5mm (50mm telephoto lens), 49mm (20–40mm zoom lens.

In the next part of this post we'll look at some of the results using the Pentax Auto lenses and the Olympus Pen E-P1. In the meantime,  if you are on Mastodon, you can now follow this blog directly. Just go to Mastodon and follow my WordPress account at All new posts will be automatically updated to your timeline on Mastodon.

#PentaxAuto110,  #PentaxAutoSLR, #MiniatureCamera,
#DigitalPhotography, #Jankuary, #Olympus, #EPL1, #Mirrorless, #MicroFourThirds, #OlympusPen, #Adapter, #VintageLens,