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Rokinon/Samyang 12mm F2 Review: First Impressions and Comparison with Olympus 12mm F2

Apr 18, 2014 - 5:49 AM - by napilopez
Rokinon/Samyang 12mm F2 Review: First Impressions and Comparison with Olympus 12mm F2

Slightly blurry, but handheld at 0.6s and ISO 400

Micro Four Thirds has built up one of the strongest set of lenses out there, but one area it's been lacking in is high quality, bright, wide lenses; users have essentially been limited to the Olympus 12mm F2. Unfortunately, that one costs $800, so in comes Rokinon/Samyang (they're the same thing) with their own 12mm F2 at just $399 MSRP. Sure, it's manual-focus only, but that shouldn't be a huge problem at wide angles. So does it deliver the goods on a budget?

I've had both 12mm lenses with me for review, so I've been able to compare them a bit. Unfortunately, it seems either both of them are exhibiting some sort of decentering towards the left of the frame, or that there's an issue with my E-M5, so I'll refrain from making detailed sharpness comparisons for now, and will update this post or create a new one when I can perform better tests. In the meantime, there's plenty to talk about.

Build and Operation

The Rokinon 12mm is designed a bit oddly. Most of the barrel is pretty narrow. It's only slightly wider than the... [Read More]
-Napier Lopez
16 Replies | 1,733 Views

Cross-System (Panasonic Leica, Fuji, Canon, Nikon) 85mm Equivalent Lens Performance Comparison

Apr 12, 2014 - 7:30 PM - by Amin Sabet
The four lenses compared here are the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 (Nocticron) on Olympus E-M1, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 on Canon 6D, Nikon 85mm f/1.8G on Nikon D610, and Fuji 56mm f/1.2 on Fuji X-E2.

P4130001 by Amin Sabet, on Flickr

In this post I'll be showing how each lens performs wide open. I like to feel confident that I can use a lens wide open, and the purpose of this thread is to look at how these lenses deliver at that setting. For those wanting to see how these lenses compare at matched depth of field, see post #16 of this thread. For general comments on use, see post #18.

JPEGs were converted from RAW in Lightroom 5.4 with a quick (not always successful) attempt to match overall brightness and white balance during processing. Sharpening and noise reduction settings were left at defaults. I cropped the Olympus E-M1 JPEGs to 3:2 aspect ratio to facilitate comparison.

I recommend comparing JPEGs by right clicking each one and choosing "Open link in new tab" in your tabbed browser of choice so that you can compare one JPEG to the next by switching tabs.

... [Read More]
Amin Webmaster (Site FAQ | Help Forum | My Disclosures | My Flickriver | My G+ Profile)

Note: Links in this post may be to our affiliates. We get a small referral fee when you buy after clicking our link. Your price is unaffected.
71 Replies | 9,914 Views

Featured: 'Photographs from Morocco' by ggibson

Apr 07, 2014 - 11:05 PM - by ggibson
Last month I traveled to Morocco with my wife and some grad school classmates of mine. Through the course of a week, we drove over 1000 miles, touring all around the countryside. We visited the cities of Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh, and Essaouira, as well as driving out into the edge of the Sahara desert. It was an incredible trip, and I came away with many, many photos. Keeping my kit light, I brought along my GF1, Olympus 9-18mm, Panasonic 20mm, and Panasonic 45-175mm lenses. With these three, I feel like I can typically cover everything that I would want to shoot when traveling. I've included some of my favorites from the trip below. If you'd like to see the rest of my photos (all 188 of them!), you can take a look at my flickr set here:

The morning after arriving in the Sahara, I woke up early and hiked over a nearby hill to see the sunrise. I set up my GorillaPod and took this "selfie" with the 9-18mm:

Driving out to the desert, we stopped for lunch near an old fortified city called At Benhaddou. Taken with the Panasonic 20mm:

In Casablanca, we visited the Hassan II mosque, one of the largest in the world. The architecture was quite stunning in scale and design. This is in a tall atrium leading to the baths in the lower level. Taken with the Olympus 9-18mm:

The spice vendors had impressive displays. Here is one in one of the markets in the city of Essaouira. Taken with the Panasonic 20mm:

In Marrakesh, we visited the Bahia Palace,... [Read More]
Panasonic GF1
38 Replies | 2,762 Views

Nocticron for $1299 at Unique Photo - $300 Off! (Box May Have Minor Damage)

Apr 01, 2014 - 6:36 AM - by Amin Sabet
Unique Photo is selling "White Box" Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 for $300 less than other stores. Here's what they mean by white box:

"Some Boxes may come dented or with imperfections. Lenses are tested to function as normal"

Unique Photo is a great and reliable seller, and this is a terrific deal on an amazing lens.

Please use this affiliate link to get to Unique Photo and then search for "PNL1034I" to get the lens for $1299. Free shipping, tax in NY and NJ.

[Thanks, usayit]
Amin Webmaster (Site FAQ | Help Forum | My Disclosures | My Flickriver | My G+ Profile)

Note: Links in this post may be to our affiliates. We get a small referral fee when you buy after clicking our link. Your price is unaffected.
61 Replies | 3,895 Views

Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 Review Part II - Real-World Results

Mar 28, 2014 - 6:01 AM - by napilopez

The Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 is a peculiar lens. In a system that has traditionally been most known for its size, weight, and price advantages, the Nocticron seems antithetical at first glance. It’s larger and heavier than some similar lenses for other systems, and in several cases more expensive. For example: the Fujinon 56mm F1.2 is by all accounts excellent, and that lens comes at $600 less than the Nocticron, while being smaller and lighter *and* covering a larger sensor to provide shallower depth of field. Then you have the competition within Micro Four Thirds itself, primarily the venerable and miniscule 45mm F1.8, coming in at less than $400. Does this lens really make sense?

The problem with making these superficial comparisons, however, is that doing so betrays the merits of the Nocticron in the field. From the subtler technical advantages you won’t find described on any MTF chart, to the quasi-ineffable rendering aesthetic befitting its Leica branding, virtually every facet of the lens exudes a sort of masterful quality. I’ve spent the past 3 weeks working with the lens almost every day, and it’s been nothing but joy.

In Part 1 of my review, I discussed many of the technical details of the lens, and how it compared to the two other main AF lenses for the system, the ... [Read More]
-Napier Lopez
46 Replies | 6,897 Views

Nocticron Compared to Selected Lower Cost Full Frame Systems - Introduction

Mar 26, 2014 - 9:22 PM - by Amin Sabet
A lot of comments in forums go something like this: For slightly more than the cost of a Nocticron, you can get a full frame camera and an 85/1.8 or Fuji X-E2 and 56/1.2!

Of course that does me no good if I'm a MFT shooter and don't want a second system. Also, if I plan to have my E-M1 and PL25 with me, it's way lighter for me to add a Nocticron to the bag than it is to add a Canon or Nikon DSLR plus the corresponding 85/1.8.

Still, it's an interesting comparison: Nocticron on MFT and full frame DSLR with 85/1.8. Worth exploring for sake of curiosity if nothing else.

So here are a few kits I have on hand:

Left: Nikon D610 and 85/1.8G. Center: Olympus E-M1 and PL 42.5/1.2. Right: Canon 6D and EF 85/1.8.

Soon to join the party will be a ... [Read More]
Amin Webmaster (Site FAQ | Help Forum | My Disclosures | My Flickriver | My G+ Profile)

Note: Links in this post may be to our affiliates. We get a small referral fee when you buy after clicking our link. Your price is unaffected.
119 Replies | 11,543 Views

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 Now Available for Pre-Order

Mar 24, 2014 - 2:48 PM - by napilopez

In a surprise announcement, the Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 was made available for pre-order earlier today, at a price of $599. You can choose either a black or silver version, depending on your preference of stealth vs shiny.

The lens features three aspheric elements, Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating to reduce reflections and flare, and an aperture ring for compatible bodies.

An interesting focal length choice, but given its small size, if it renders anything like the other Leica-branded Panasonic lenses, it should make for a versatile little optic!

B&H Pre-order link - Black - $599:
B&H Pre-order link - Silver - $599:

An image of the silver lens, which hadn't been seen before:

134 Replies | 9,950 Views

Four New Rokinon/Samyang Lenses for Micro Four Thirds

Mar 21, 2014 - 6:18 AM - by madogvelkor
Smayang has released 4 new neses for MFT (plus an updated 8mm fisheye for other systems):

They include a 10mm f/2.8, 12mm f/2, 24mm f/1.4, and 35mm f/1.4

I know the 10mm has been anticipated by a lot of people, but the others look like nice additions too.
Olympus E-PL5 | E-PM2 | Lumix 12-32mm | Lumix 45-150mm | Lumix 20mm | M.Zuiko 60mm | Bower 7.5mm | Tokina 300mm

OM-2 | 28mm 3.5 | 35mm 2.8 | 50mm 1.4 | 135mm 3.5 | F.Zuiko 38mm 1.8
26 Replies | 3,350 Views

Featured: 'Mu43 Wedding Experience' by SSSYURRR

Mar 13, 2014 - 1:09 PM - by SSSYURRR
Hi, my name is Sergei Yurin, I am wedding photographer from Moscow, Russia.
I have a friend here in the community who's been asking me to join for a couple of months now. You might know him as LivingLoud.
I used Canon 5D Mark II and other canons + several L lenses for about seven years. January 1 2013 I decided to replace my Canon gear with Olympus OMD E-M5 with lenses listed in my signature. I can say that I was very impressed with the result from this little Oly camera:)
Now I want to share with community some of my photos from my weddings. At the moment shutter count on my OMD E-M5 shows 100K shutter actuations, it was heavily used, I've shot 60 weddings with Oly during year 2013. Also I bought E-P5 because I like how it looks like and how it works, IMO it's one of the most beautiful Oly cameras:)

UPD: if you interested then check all the pages of this topic, I'll share more pictures there:)

And now, several photos made by me with m43

1. E-P5 + 60/2.8 macro

2. E-P5 + 9-18/4-5.6

... [Read More]
My m43 gear: Olympus E-M5 + Olympus E-P5 + Oly 75/1.8 + Oly 45/1.8 + Oly 60/2.8 macro + PL 25/1.4 + Panasonic 12-35/2.8 + Oly 9-18/4-5.6 + FL600 + 2xYN560-III + 2xRF-603C
More photos on my website:
180 Replies | 41,433 Views

Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 Review Part 1 - First Impressions and Comparisons to 45/75mm F1.8

Mar 12, 2014 - 4:33 AM - by napilopez
Part 2 of this review, with more real-world usage, can now be found here.

***Updated with a few more crops and sample. Comparison crops reuploaded for better quality, and some RAW files provided. See areas with asterisks***

Well, it's finally here. Met with much anticipation since its original announcement over a year ago, the Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F/1.2 (just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?) has finally started shipping. Unfortunately, along with the announcement of availability came a bit of sticker shock; at $1600, the Nocticron is currently the most expensive Micro Four Thirds lens available.

So is it worth the price tag? I've only had the lens for a couple of days, but I've done a bit of casual shooting and test shots to get a feel for it and its performance. Only after I spend some more time with the lens will I really know how I feel about it, but so far things are looking good. Very good.

Build and Operation

Your first impression of this lens will be that it's relatively heavy. The Nocticron is, in my opinion, the best built AF Micro Four Thirds Lens available. You pick it up and it just feels incredibly solid. It's short of matching something like the Voigtlander F0.95 primes, but surprisingly close. The ... [Read More]
57 Replies | 12,387 Views

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