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Who would buy the Kowas and why?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by T N Args, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    http://www.kowaproducts.com/kowa-mft-lenses/

    They are big, heavy, expensive, and fully manual.

    There are much cheaper options with excellent optics at 12mm, and 25mm.

    Trying to think of why I should be drawn to any of these. Struggling....

    OK, the 8.5mm I can see. Rectilinear, low distortion without correction: if the tests show it to be sharp across the frame, it probably beats a de-fished Samyang 7.5. But the other two?

    8.5mm f/2.8
    kowa-mft-8-5mm.
    12mm F/1.8
    kowa12mmf18group.
    25mm f/1.8
    kowa25mmgroup.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
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  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I guess it depends on the IQ and how they feel to people that get to use them. Some people swear by/live and die for the love of an all manual experience. I'm not one of those people, but I can see the appeal.
     
  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    They're geared for focus pullers, etc. (for video/cinematography)

    Barry
     
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  4. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    432
    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Aaron
    The 12mm and 25mm make no sense when there are other native options available, both manual and autofocus, some with faster apertures, as most of the native options are available at much lower cost.

    The 8.5mm is interesting if only for the fact that you can mount filters easily. A de-fished 7.5mm is already very good, same for the 7-14mm f/4, 9-18, etc. The f/2.8 7-14mm PRO may beat them all. Unless you need filters...
     
  5. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    The 8.5 takes filters too. (Mind you, it requires 86mm filters in the lens hood.) This might be an advantage to people who are upset about the P7-14 and future O7-14 not taking filters (I recall some of this in another thread).

    [beaten to the punch by Aaron!]
     
  6. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The system needs an UWA rectilinear prime. Double bonus points if it takes filters! I can see me buying this to replace the 7-14 f4. Has anyone found distributors and prices? Is it actually shipping yet?
     
  7. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    about 1200 UKP
     
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  8. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    Moving on to another thread... :crying:
     
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  9. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Correction, 1050 UKP. That'll lift your spirits. :whistling:
     
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  10. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    The 8.5mm may be up for consideration for the previously mentioned reasons, but in the end it's probably going to be too big and expensive for my tastes.
     
  11. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Yikes - North of a grand in GBP puts it into supercar territory so to speak.
     
  12. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    What's the Voigtlander 10.5 going to cost BTW?
     
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  13. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Yes, and there is a need for a 12mm in that niche. To take T N Args' point, they are expensive. I am interested to read some of the reviews.



    Interestingly, in the video which is a year old and showing prototypes, the iris (aperture) clicks. I wonder if it is now de-clicked.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  14. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    My guess is $1,200.00.
     
  15. sprocket87

    sprocket87 Mu-43 Veteran

    306
    Jun 29, 2011
    Yup, video is their target market. Fat rough rubber focus and aperture grips for smooth manual control, gearing rings on the body for interfacing to motorized focus/aperture rigs, extremely low circular and TV distortion, T-stop option for silent aperture changes, etc... Pretty sure our Samyangs don't cover those bases. The fact that they showcased them at the Broadcast Video Expo is a clue ;)

    Price seems crazy to us still shooters, but for a dedicated m43 videographer in a pro environment, these babies are going to be very attractive indeed.
     
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  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  17. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    This is how I see it too ;
    As far as I know only Voigtlander make a native-mount manual-focus lens of good quality and manageable size :
    all the autofocus native lenses are focus-by-wire or too small and fiddly for easy use by someone expert in manual focus pulling ...
    and using other lenses via adapters might not be the preferred option for certain serious professional setups.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong please?
     
  18. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
  19. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    From the get go they were listed as "cine" lenses for video work. Sadly they did not fully make them "cine". The focus ring although geared has finger indents which may not work with some follow focus gears. I think this was so they could sell to still photographers as well. Also a true cine lens would have the aperture and focus scale printed sideways so a focus puller can easily read them{SamYang got this wrong too on their cine lenses}. Here is a picture of a Zeiss cine lens to show what I mean.
    Zeiss_Compact_Zoom_horizontal.

    Kowa has a very good reputation for high quality optics. These may be the best optically for the given focal length? The price is actually very low in the world of cine lenses and not extremely high for high quality photography lenses. The prices are actually lower than I figured they would be.

    You are right! I hate trying to use focus by wire for video work! They work OK in autofocus mode or if the focus is fixed. They are almost impossible to use with a follow focus and have to be reset every time you power off as the focus is reset. A geared focus lens stays at what ever point you leave it at. Also focus by wire lenses don't have a scale which can be useful if not critical for video work.
     
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  20. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Now I know a lot more than I did yesterday, thanks everyone!
     
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