OM10 Manual Zoom Lens on Micro Four Thirds – Tokina 70-210mm

Whilst Richard and I were in Devon at Christmas I popped into the revamped London Camera Exchange in Plymouth for a browse.

For Christmas, Richard gave me an adapter to fit my OM10 lens onto my EM5 MKII and this has opened up possibilities for my digital and film photography.

Whilst in the store they had a mint condition Tokina 70-210mm OM10 lens which was an absolute bargain at £25!  I decided to purchase the lens and was surprised that it came fully boxed.

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I believe the lens dates back to the 80’s and is in very good condition.  The telephoto length is great for my OM10 but when coupled to my EM5 with it’s Micro Four Thirds sensor, it goes up to a whopping 140-420mm!

Our nephew is spending time with us at the moment so we decided to go for a walk to the local RSPB nature reserve and this was the perfect opportunity to try out the lens.

There are a couple of things to consider when adding old glass to a digital camera as follows:

  1. The lens will be completely manual.  There will be no digital connections on the lens so you have to do more of the work than normal for the camera (that said I was surprised that the camera kind of worked out the aperture and was able to use face detection).
  2. The lens is old, metal, full of glass and therefore is much bigger and heavier than any modern lens.  It means the camera is a little front heavy and holding it to shoot manual requires a very steady hand (even with the in-camera stabilization).  I did take the mini tripod with me but decided not to use it.  Opting instead to lean on things to steady myself or taking multiple shots to ensure at least one shot was steady.
  3. Focus peaking does not work.  I kind of hoped it would but it does not so I had to rely on my eyesight to confirm that the photos I was taking were in focus.  No mean feat as the weather was freezing cold and I kept steaming up either the EVF or my glasses!

Apart from all of the above I thoroughly enjoyed using this lens and tried to take a range of shots to put it through its paces.

I managed to take some long distance landscapes, some portraits, and some closer natural photos.

Of course, the focal distance meant I was too close for some shots but soon learned the sweet spots and distance required to use the lens.

The lens also performed better at lower apertures of f4 then the higher range of 16 or 22.

Returning home and downloading the photos I was pleasantly surprised how crisp the photographs were.  The aperture was also very noticeable and the lens gave a nice level of bokeh, even at f4.

The motion of the zoom on the lens is very smooth and this lens feels like it is built like a tank.  It also looks like it was loved by its previous owners.

My only gripe is the weight it adds to the camera (and my camera bag).  It also fills my Peak Design bag when on the camera.  I can live with that though as the range of the lends and the sharpness are worth it.

It is a joy to use this lens on my EM5 MKII.

I want to use it more and will have to learn how to focus at speed (and to think about where I am shooting as the focal length is so long it can be hard to work out where you are actually pointing the camera vs where you think you are!).

Next will be to test the standard lens that came with the OM10 with the adapter on my EM5 but I have to say I enjoyed trying out this telephoto beast and am pleased I decided to make the purchase at Christmas.

If you have ever considered trying an old or antique lens on your modern camera, it will take a little bit of learning and patience but I believe it’s worth it.

Here’s a selection of photographs taken with the Olympus EM5 MKII and the Tokina SD 70-210mm:

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Interested in my kit? Find out more here

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