my review of the Kodak S1 kit zoom, 12-45 3.5-6.3

jyc860923

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updated. my review of the Kodak S1 kit zoom, 12-45 3.5-6.3

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unlike on my epl5, this lens AF is perfectly accurate and fast on my friend's G5

I received this lens just now and have done some test shots with it on my EPL5, pls pixel peep as I've allowed viewing originals by anyone on my flickr, despite my English, I hope this very limited experience can give you an idea about how this lens performs.

Build quality and form: this lens is just slightly smaller than the Panny 14-45, it feels rather cheap in hand, the zoom action isn't smooth and the focus ring feels loose; it has a plastic mount, big as possible rear element, lock mechanism as that found on the Oly 14-42 kit zoom, and a hood bayonet. What's interesting about this lens is that the big rear element seems to be a dust proof glass, while the true rear glass has a large diameter too and is actually moving inside, as long as I don't see any negative impact on the optical performance I'd say it's a nice idea as I've had actual problems with the dust on my Oly 14-42 II's rear element.

I bought this lens alone and it doesn't come with a hood, luckily I don't think it needs one, I have only been testing it under harsh afternoon sunlight, and so far it works in sunlight no differently from my other lenses.

Performance: I can't believe flickr's just having a down time at the time of writing. I'll upload somewhere else later on so you can see. It first occurred to me that the lens doesn't do AF fast in M43 standard, maybe on par with the P20 but I don't have that one right now, just a comparison with that in my memory. The MFD of this lens is 0.35m/1.15ft but then I discovered that my EPL5 sometimes confirms locked focus even when the lens wasn't able to, so it took me some time to learn to get the best focused shots as the examples here, but honestly this doesn't mean a real problem to me because it's only a limitation that happens to be on many other cameras too, the AF ability isn't that bad, and if I have a Lumix body with me I'd say it's quite possible that focus could've worked better than on EPL5.

Great, flickr's back, let's seem some shots. I didn't do a scientific test, and all the processing was done in LR like I usually would, the unmodified colours are natural, nothing to worry about here; distortions at both ends are almost perfectly corrected by software, even seeing the raws in "unsupported" image viewer (Xnview, raw full size mode) I can only observe a little barrel distortion at the 12mm end, so little that doesn't even always need to be corrected in my opinion.

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P6212152 by jyc860923, on Flickr

at 12mm, the max aperture is f/3.5; 14mm, f/3.8; 19mm, f/4.5; 32mm, f/5.8; 45mm, f/6.3

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P6212159 by jyc860923, on Flickr

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P6212158 by jyc860923, on Flickr

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P6212153 by jyc860923, on Flickr

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P6212150 by jyc860923, on Flickr

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P6212142 by jyc860923, on Flickr

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P6212165 by jyc860923, on Flickr

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P6212160 by jyc860923, on Flickr

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P6212161 by jyc860923, on Flickr

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P6212164 by jyc860923, on Flickr

I've never had any experience with other 12mm lens, but to me the sharp results from a lens like this is a dream come true. Say, if you get the AF and DOF worked for you, it could be sharp across the frame, sometimes the CA towards the corners is a little limiting but the resolution is there and all you need is to tick the CA correction in LR. All images are applied 25 sharpening as LR's default setting is.

Now that's all I can think about it's performance. While using in on the EPL5, sometimes shutter does sound differently, like somehow delayed, could be some compatibility issue, but I have not experienced delayed start up, I just don't think I can use this lens shooting fast actions, the deep DOF could help a bit though.

Pls feel free to ask if you've got any questions, thanks for reading.
 

darosk

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Thanks for the write-up jyc860923. Looks like a good budget option to get 12mm - samples look very decent for the price point.
 

jyc860923

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Thanks for the write-up jyc860923. Looks like a good budget option to get 12mm - samples look very decent for the price point.
Thanks for your support and for all the "thanks"

I was disappointed looking through the viewfinder at the max magnification but when I downloaded the raw and processed, I was impressed. The Oly body may not work desirably with this lens but truly this lens earned my respect for it's OQ and price, it's good optics, I just feel ashamed for once again our Chinese made product falls short in build quality.
 

jyc860923

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update, working directly against light is weak

what's more interesting is, F/3.5 at 12mm, f/5.8 at 32mm are NOT technically wide open, only when you turn to the long end the aperture blades are wide open. don't know why it's such designed, at f/3.5 it's two "clicks" away from completely open, and at f/5.8 it's one click away. Kodak tries to prevent this lens from being as fast as it actually is? How strange is that

trying to understand that, I set the shutter speed to 1/4000s, during shooting, I can see clearly the blades open up widely twice (the blades are not 1/4000s fast so I can see), which seems reasonable; then I set the shutter speed to 10 seconds, press the shutter and the blades open up once then quickly return to former state for the rest of the exposure, kind of makes me think it could be faster than f/3.5 at 12mm and f/5.8 at 32mm, I'm only curious why would someone design it like this? Or do other zoom lenses share similar design?
 

EarthQuake

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Thanks for the review. I'm curious, mostly because this lens isn't available here, how much did you pay for it, an what was your reasoning for getting it vs the Olympus 12-50mm?
 

jyc860923

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Thanks for the review. I'm curious, mostly because this lens isn't available here, how much did you pay for it, an what was your reasoning for getting it vs the Olympus 12-50mm?
thanks, curiosity was the reason to choose it over the Oly zoom. the Oly 12-50 is a versatile choice but I wanted something different, and I read some very limited user experience with this lens so decided to give it a try, and it turned out worth it. it's always good for mft to have more to choose from, and I do enjoy using it.
 
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