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Sony A7II full frame with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8ii vs Olympus OM-D with PanaLeica D 25mm f/1.4 lens – real world comparison images

Monday, May 1st, 2017

These two lenses give a similar field of view – that of the “Standard lens” or 50mm in full frame terms.

I have posted similar DOF and background blurring comparisons for full frame 85mm f/1.8 vs Olympus 45mm f/1.8 and also full frame 85mm f/1.8 vs Olympus 75mm f/1.8 taken twice as far away.

This blog post is to demonstrate the slightly shallower depth of field (DOF) and more background blurring that a full frame camera can attain over a Micro Four Thirds camera – but does it make the image more aesthetic, and is the difference really worth losing all the fantastic benefits of Micro Four Thirds – smaller, lighter, less expensive kit, easier to take traveling, to social events and hiking, better weathersealing, better image stabilisation, touch screen AF, closest eye AF, more fun and versatility, and the list goes on.

Only you can decide if you really need to go shallower DOF – and of course on both cameras you can get even more shallow DOF – the full frame allows use of 50mm f/1.4 lenses (and even a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L), while on the Olympus OM-D, you can use the wonderful superb Olympus micro ZD 25mm f/1.2 lens, and if you want, you can go to f/0.95 lenses but currently only in manual focus.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens is known as the plastic fantastic – perhaps one of the worst build quality of any modern AF lens, and a cheap price to match but it has reasonable optics – although, not the sharpest tool in the shed wide open, and has lots of vignetting on the Sony a7II, plus lots of coma aberration and the bokeh is quite busy and often annoying – but this comparison is just to show DOF and degree of background blurring at f/1.8. When used with the Sigma MC-11 EF-Sony lens adapter, you do get fairly fast AF but no Eye AF, BUT it is very frustrating to use as you must re-mount the lens every time the camera is turned off or goes to sleep, and sometimes AF is a very slow stuttering experience. For some reason, the Sony a7II under-exposes this lens at f/1.8 but not at f/2.8 – very strange indeed!

On a full frame camera such as the Sony A7II mirrorless camera, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 ii provides the user with a further 1.3 stops of shallow depth of field options when compared to an Olympus OM-D E-M1 II with the old, now discontinued, Panasonic leica D 25mm f/1.4 Four Thirds lens but will this really matter for most people and will the many benefits of the Olympus system outweigh the DOF benefits of the full frame system?

Note that this Four Thirds lens is one of the few that is compatible with CDAF, but for some reasons, AF is stutteringly slow on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mark I but works fine on the mark II camera. This lens was replaced with a smaller, lighter, less expensive Micro Four Thirds version. Neither are weathersealed but the new Olympus mZD 25mm f/1.2 lens is.

Real world lens tests:

Let’s have a look at some jpg images straight from camera (just resized for web viewing) with both lenses wide open as I walked around some gardens yesterday, not really looking for great shots, but shots to show difference in depth of field and image quality between the two systems when taken from the same camera position.

The Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 lens is first then the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, both taken from same camera position:

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Note that the severe mechanical vignetting of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens on the Sony a7 II is causing much more annoying “cat’s eye” shaped bokeh near the edges – note the sky highlights, as well as much darker corners. In addition, the longer aspect ratio of the full frame system makes it harder to exclude distracting skies in portrait orientation than it is with the wider Micro Four Thirds 4:3 aspect ratio – another reason I prefer Micro Four Thirds for portraiture.

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The greater blurring capability of the full frame is well demonstrated here but the near out of focus leaves on the right are far more annoying with their distracting bokeh compared to the less blurred but less distracting bokeh of the Panasonic image.

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When the focus point is farther away, the difference of the degree of background blurring becomes less between the lenses – as demonstrated with my previous posts.

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For this image, the 25mm lens gives adequate subject isolation and background blurring, and I think it has much nicer bokeh, plus if you look at the highlight area of the statues’ head, the cheap and nasty 50mm lens has much more flare, softer, less contrasty imagery – that’s one of the resons why you may want to pay more for a higher quality lens!

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Again the 25mm gives adequate background blurring and it is less busy – look at the branches of the birch – but this bokeh issue is not a full frame versus MFT issue but a lens design issue.

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The larger out of focus circles of the 50mm are actually much more distracting and annoying – sometimes the more background blurring is actually worse for aesthetics!

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Again the 25mm gives adequate background blurring and it is much less busy with nicer bokeh.

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This closer image of grapes, looks nicer with the 50mm lens to my eye as the much larger out of focus bubbles make it less busy.

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The 50mm lens here is giving too much background blurring making it hard to work out what is in the background which can work against the aesthetics by making the viewer work too hard – of course, the 50mm could have been closed down to f/2.8 to address this.

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The bridge looks busier on the 50mm lens – the 25mm to my eye is giving nicer bokeh and sufficient background blurring.

Moral of the story:

Just buying into a full frame system does not guarantee you nicer looking, shallower depth of field, more aesthetic bokeh – you do need to choose your lens carefully, and lens design is always a trade off between wide open sharpness vs wide open bokeh:

The superbly sharp, big, heavy, expensive, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens has busy, distracting bokeh – sort of defeats the purpose of having a shallow DOF lens.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L lens has buttery smooth bokeh but is soft (not that sharp) wide open with lots of aberrations.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens is soft wide open with lots of aberrations and often busy bokeh but at least it is relatively small and inexpensive.

The Sony FE CZ 55mm f/1.8 ZA is sharp across the frame, relatively compact but has busy onion ring bokeh and costs $AU1150.

The Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA has nice bokeh and is sharp in the centre wide open but is soft half way to edges and will set you back $AU2250!

See also my comparison table of the high end 50mm AF lenses for a Sony full frame.

And here we have the full frame conundrum – which is the lens that suits your needs best and can you afford the cost and weight?

If you are going to have stop it down to f/1.8 or more for adequate image quality or depth of field, then perhaps you are not really gaining much over an Olympus 25mm f/1.2  lens which is weathersealed, compact, relatively light, has almost zero aberrations and minimal distortion, probably better edge-to-edge sharpness wide open, can focus twice as close, has a lovely manual focus clutch, and has by far the best image stabilisation of 5EV 5 axis IS when used with Olympus OM-D cameras, which also allow fast, accurate AF almost anywhere in the frame (not just near the middle and which can be activated rapidly by using the touch screen or even the touch of the Live View screen on a wifi tethered smartphone) and with ability to accurately AF on the closest eye – just awesome! And that’s not all – on the E-M1II you get continuous AF at 18fps and silent shutter, not to mention the unique Olympus Live Composite mode for doing star trails, car headlights, etc at night, and for static scenes with tripod, the ability to shoot 50mp Hi Res shots.

ps… I didn’t do this comparison with the Olympus 25mm f/1.2  lens as I don’t own one ….. yet! :)

In the end, do you really need the extra shallow DOF that full frame affords when you are giving up so much to have it?

Sony A7II full frame with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 vs Olympus OM-D with Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens – real world comparison images

Monday, April 24th, 2017

In an earlier blog post, I compared the Sony A7II full frame with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 vs Olympus OM-D with Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens in terms of how they render the background wide open at f/1.8 at approximately the SAME subject distance and approximately the same field of view. The full frame kit allows 2 stops more shallow depth of field, but for most situations, the ability to blur the background with the 45mm lens is adequate, and it does so at a much smaller size.

In this post, I tackle the photographic problem slightly differently as I tried to maintain the same subject magnification by shooting the 75mm lens twice as far away from the subject as the Canon EF 85mm lens as the 2x crop factor of Micro Four Thirds means the Olympus 75mm lens actually has the field of view of a 150mm lens in full frame terms.

These are two of the sharpest wide aperture “consumer” lenses from each manufacturer – unfortunately, neither are weather-sealed.

Thus when shooting both lenses wide open at f/1.8 at same subject magnification as outlined, one can expect for the Olympus 75mm lens, the background field of view will be narrower and more compressed (which I prefer as most Australian forest backgrounds tend to be busy, chaotic and distracting, and one can better avoid having distracting bright skies in the frame, so less background for me is better, even though it is not as blurry).

Had I shot with the background at infinity, the DOF calculations indicate that the background would be just as blurry, but when the background is quite close to the subject as in these images, the full frame does give more blurry images – but at times too blurry (although this can be addressed by stopping the aperture down but then may need to increase ISO by 2 EV if you cannot afford to have a slower shutter speed, and then the benefits of full frame are largely lost).

One big difference between the two is the far better close up magnification obtainable with the Olympus mZD 75mm lens as both have close focus of around 0.85m but the Olympus does this with twice the telephoto effect giving twice the macro.

In addition, I feel the Olympus OM-D cameras render the greens in a more pleasing way than the Sony a7II, and of course, the Olympus camera has a 4:3 aspect ratio which I think works better for portraits, while the Sony has the old, historic, narrow 3:2 ratio.

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 lens is a highly regarded “portrait” lens, often regarded as one of the best Canon lenses which is not a Pro L lens. It is sharp but does have some CA issues wide open. When used with the Sigma MC-11 EF-Sony lens adapter, you do get fairly fast AF but no Eye AF.

On a full frame camera such as the Sony A7II mirrorless camera, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 provides the user with shallow depth of field options when compared to the slightly smaller (58mm filter vs 58mm filter), lighter (305g vs 400g) Olympus micro ZD 75mm f/1.8 lens but will this really matter for most people and will the many benefits of the Olympus system outweigh the DOF benefits of the full frame system?

The Olympus mZD 75mm f/1.8 lens is regarded as one of the best lenses ever made optically and is one of my all time favorite lenses for people photography and also shallow DOF work on Olympus cameras. Unlike the 85mm lens it is optimised for mirrorless cameras and their CDAF system and thus you can have fairly fast, accurate face detection autofocus on the subject’s closest eye (if they are not moving much), which is an awesome feature indeed – this is not possible with the Canon lens.

The Olympus lens has 5EV image stabilisation thanks to the Olympus OM-D E-M1, while the Canon lens gains around 2-3 EV IS thanks to the Sony a7II (it would have none if used on a Canon dSLR).

Real world lens tests:

Let’s have a look at some images straight from camera (just resized for web viewing) with both lenses at f/1.8 as I walked around an oak forest yesterday, not really looking for great shots, but shots to show difference in depth of field and image quality between the two systems when taken from the same camera position.

The Olympus is first then the Canon, all taken at f/1.8, base ISO, with auto WB unless specified, and none had any filters applied to the lenses – both had lens hoods attached:

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I much prefer the Olympus version of the above two, gives better context and I personally find the bokeh of the Canon one a bit annoying because we have lost the definition of the trees too much leaving distracting vertical lines.

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The above was taken with “Shady” white balance.

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The following two show that if the subject distance is substantially less than the background distance, then the degree of background blurring becomes more similar with the two lenses.

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The following two were taken not with the same imagery, but I have added them anyway.

The Olympus  was with WB set to “Shady” but came out too warm – I should have taken a custom WB with a grey target to get the best rendition here.

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The foreground bokeh of this last Canon EF 85mm lens image is very distracting and busy and in fact is so annoying I would be forced to crop it out.

Each lens renders images differently even though I have tried to control subject magnification – both have nice bokeh in most cases, but you do get quite different images – sometimes in favor of the Olympus (thanks to double the background compression), sometimes in favor of the Canon 85mm (thanks to more blurring of a nearby background).

There is no “RIGHT” camera / lens combination that will suit every image – you as the photography have the decision to make as to which tool is needed – assuming you have the tools with you.

But in the end, if you had not seen the full frame imagery, most would be very happy with the degree of background blurring of the Olympus lens – it has how you use it that will determine the success of your photography.

Here is what the Olympus 75mm lens can achieve in outdoor available light portraiture:

portrait

Olympus mZD 300mm f/4 bokeh

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

The brilliantly designed Olympus mZD 300mm f/4 IS PRO lens for Micro Four Thirds is an amazing lens in terms of compact 600mm super telephoto capabilities with near diffraction-limited optical superb resolution and almost zero aberrations.

A 600mm super telephoto lens though usually has very limited utility – usually to shooting wildlife or sports at a distance.

Not so this lens, it is light enough and compact enough to walk around with and with its close focus of only 1.4m, it doubles up as a close up almost macro lens to allow taking shots of small things from a distance without scaring them.

It could even be used for people photography where a busy background can be compressed as well as rendered out of focus with a nice bokeh.

So here are a couple of examples of the bokeh with this lens:

oak leaves in winter

residual oak leaves in mid-winter.

bokeh flowers

Not sure what this plant is – a winter flowering plant I found on my walk yesterday through the Victorian goldfields, dodging incredibly deep and steep mine shafts littered all around – without any hazard protections – so one had to tread carefully indeed!

As you can tell – I love these Olympus lenses because they are sharp edge-to-edge and this has freed me from having to have my subject in the centre as with most dSLR lenses – the above were shot hand held in very overcast conditions.

Interestingly, 43rumors.com has posted that Olympus has applied for patents for a couple more fascinating super-telephoto lenses around the same size as this 300mm f/4 lens:

  • 200-300mm f/2.8-4 lens 228cm long
  • 300-500mm f/2.8-4 lens 338cm long

It will be very interesting indeed to see if these lenses eventuate as they also had applied for a patent for a 500mm f/4 lens measuring 338cm long.

See my list of Micro Four Thirds lenses.

Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 vs Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L lens for portraiture

Monday, April 25th, 2016

At one of my photography workshops using available light, no hair stylist and no MUA,  I had the opportunity to test the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM lens mounted on my Olympus OM-D E-M5 using face detection closest eye AF (a little unreliable but this shot worked) against the Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 lens mounted on an Olympus OM-D E-M1 at 135mm f/2.8 again with face detection AF for closest eye but with this combination, AF was much faster and more reliable.

I was brought up to respect women for who they are and not how much makeup they wore, what adornments they had nor what fancy clothes they wore, so my preferred portraiture is a very natural look with minimal post-processing of natural skin textures largely restricted to removal of blemishes. I certainly don’t go for the over-processed glamour looks nor the plasticized Instagram looks which are commonly used on iPhone selfies these days.

Photographing women in such a manner to achieve an intimate imagery with beautiful aesthetics is a rare privilege for me, so hope you like the results .. and spoiler … I don’t think the extra f/2.0 aperture advantage of the Canon lens makes up for the better depth of field at this distance, the faster AF and the more subject detail and pop that the Olympus lens provides.

If you do really want smoother bokeh, then look at the Olympus mZD 75mm f/1.8 lens – it is my favourite of all lenses for outdoor portraiture assuming you don’t mind working at that focal length.

I have tried to post-process them from RAW in an identical manner.

Olympus lens

Above, the Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 lens at 135mm f/2.8.


Canon lens

Above, the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM lens at 135mm f/2.0.

See my last post as to how one can attach the Canon lens to the Micro Four Thirds cameras and gain full aperture control, EXIF data and some AF capabilities.

 

Hiking with the Olympus mZD 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens – what is it good for, how can it best be used?

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Following on from my previous post on Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 lens with MC14 1.4x teleconverter for hiking, last night I ventured out on another solo sunset bushwalk on a different track through the gorges – but this time I brought some head lamps to get me back in the dark!

For the hike, I only took 2 cameras and lenses as with the last walk, but this time did not use the MC14 teleconverter, and again both cameras were carried on my waist belt which really takes the weight of my back which is fantastic – but see my last post for issues with this method.

The Olympus mZD 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens on Micro Four Thirds equates to an ultra-wide angle 14-28mm zoom on full frame, and thankfully, the f/2.8 aperture and image stabilisation provided by the Olympus OM-D E-M5 allows when to keep shooting hand held in the gorges after sunset whilst keeping ISO at only 400 which allowed for f/5 shots for adequate depth of field and 1/6th to 1/3rd sec shots hand held even though my heart was pumping from the exertion and a little fear of heights as I stood on the edge of a 100m sheer drop to get some of the shots!

I have previously discussed the specs of this lens and compared it to the Olympus ZD 7-14mm f/4 lens for Four Thirds dSLRs in which I point out that thanks to the shorter sensor-lens flange distance by removing the clunky mirror of dSLRs, wide angle lenses can now be made much smaller and lighter – this lens is one stop faster at f/2.8 yet is substantially smaller, lighter and less expensive than the Four Thirds version.

What can you use such a wide angle lens for and how can you use it to get the best visual impact?

Ultra wide angle lenses do take a bit of practice to make the most of them and are not to everyone’s tastes but can really add an important tool in your kit, even for hiking.

Most people would initially think, great it lets me shoot really wide shots so I don’t have to bother with panoramic stitching. Whilst that is true, you will end up with lots of sky which can be boring.

A better use is to find an interesting foreground object (these are not always easy to find on Australian bushwalks) and ensure focus is on that subject, and stop down the aperture to give enough depth of field to give the object context and perspective of the landscape background.

Other uses for a lens like this include:

  • ultra wide angle shots of alley way graffiti art – often alleys do not allow one to get far enough back with other lenses to capture the entire artwork – this lens will, and as alleyways tend to be dark, you can use this lens hand held in darker conditions than most other camera combinations.
  • Milky Way astroscapes like the one I captured in the next post after the walk at the railroad crossing – these require a wide aperture lens (f/2.8 or wider), a ultra-wide angle lens (14mm full frame) which is very well corrected for coma aberrations, purple fringing, etc which would otherwise make for ugly star shapes – this 7-14mm lens is really very nice for this.
  • indoors – the lens is awesome for available light real estate agent shots and architecture
  • creative works

Let’s see what I managed to get on my very hurried hike in low light:

First an overall view of the gorge after sunset. Olympus mZD 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens at 7mm f/5 1/3rd sec hand held on top of a sheer drop down a gorge after sunset, ISO 400.

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The sheer drop down the cliff, Olympus mZD 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens at 7mm f/5 1/5th sec hand held:

gorge

The narrow walking trail of the spur, Olympus mZD 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens at 7mm f/5 ¼ sec hand held:

gorge

The narrow walking trail of the spur, Olympus mZD 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens at 7mm f/5 1/6th sec hand held:

gorge

More uses for the 7-14mm:

Forest canopy at sunset, Olympus mZD 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens at 14mm f/4 1/60th sec hand held.

forest canopy at sunset

Here is how it performs in a dark alley at dusk:

Olympus mZD 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens at 9mm f/3.5 1/3rd sec hand held.

alley graffiti art

And some more bokeh shots with the Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8:

62mm at f/2.8:

gorge

70mm f/2.8:

gorge

 

Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 lens with MC14 1.4x teleconverter for hiking

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Those who follow my blog probably realise that I love getting away by myself and doing short 2-4 hour hikes into the forests and gorges, and if, like today, you start one of these hikes 2 hours before sunset and you take more time than one should for photos, it works better than a personal trainer as you really have to get a move on climbing those steep gorges to get back to the car safely before it really is too dark – there is no mobile phone reception in these gorges, so all the more reason to take extra care and not sprain an ankle in the process.

As is my want and need, I carry 2 Olympus OM-D Micro Four Thirds cameras on these hikes, and to take the weight off my back I carry them on a waist belt harness with quick release systems for the cameras.

This works superbly for me except for a few potential problems:

  • if you are not careful, direct sunlight can enter the rear of the viewfinder of mirrorless cameras such as these and potentially cause permanent damage to the EVF as happened with my E-M1 whilst walking around Uluru (see previous posts).
  • if you use the Olympus HLD-6 grip for the E-M5, the weight of the camera supported by the quick release mechanism gradually and permanently deforms and twists the HLD-6 grip making the grip part feel loose – hence I bought a dummy grip from China to try out for this walk and so far it works fine.
  • I have noticed that with heavier lenses such as my Olympus ZD 50-200mm lens and with the Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 lens, there is a risk the lens can rotate on the camera mount with risk of it coming off – I now regularly check for this.
  • your cameras are exposed to knocks against trees, rocks, etc, so you have to remember to allow room for them as you walk
  • you need to be mindful that you might dislodge the lens cap, especially the one for the 7-14mm lens – consider buying a lens cap cable attachment
  • NB. I HAVE GIVEN UP ON THIS SYSTEM AS IT DROPS MY CAMERAS TOO OFTEN AND DAMAGES THE TRIPOD BASE PLATE!

Today on my Spring walk through Werribee Gorge, I chose to take just two lenses – the Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 lens with MC14 1.4x teleconverter, and the Olympus mZD 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens (the latter lens I will talk about in a future blog post), and although rain was not on the radar, both these kits are very splash-proof, so a bit of rain would not be hurting them whilst carried in this manner.

Carrying these two lenses made me visualise the scenery in very different ways, with the Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 lens with MC14 1.4x teleconverter, I am always looking for distant scenes to capture, wildlife, or for closer scenes to explore how it paints the out of focus backgrounds and how pleasant or busy the bokeh is, in much the way as I use my Olympuis mZD 75mm f/1.8 lens.

The Olympus 40-150mm with MC14 adapter effectively becomes an easily hand held, relatively light and compact 112-420mm f/4 zoom in 35mm full frame field of view terms.

Some of the images below could have been taken without the MC14, but I didn’t have the time to be taking it on and off, so I just left it on until dusk when the very low light levels meant that leaving it off was the best option to gain that extra 1 stop of light.

Here are a few quick edits of some of my ugly Australian gorges taken with some nice golden hour light – I wish I could have just stayed and sat there until the stars came out – maybe one day when I get my ultra-light one man tent set up!

gorgeous light silhouetting a gum tree

above image taken at 56mm f/4 (widest zoom with MC14 and widest aperture)

bokeh testing

above image taken at 95mm f/8

bokeh testing

above image taken at 77mm f/4

bokeh testing

above image taken at 155mm f/4.5

bokeh testing

above image taken at 210mm f/4 (longest zoom with MC14 = 420mm in full frame terms and widest aperture)

surreal granite

above image taken at 73mm f/9

the van with added flare

above image taken at 210mm f/6.3 and I have added some extra sun flare in post.

gums on the cliff

above image taken at 210mm f/8

After the sun had set, and the light became dim in the gorges on the way back, it was time to take the MC14 teleconverter off, ramp up the ISO to 800, so I could take this bokeh-centric image at 67mm f/2.8 at 1/15th sec hand held while I was catching my breath after walking up and down the valley path along Ironbark Gorge:

value walk

I really enjoyed this walk although it was like interval training for my heart, and didn’t even notice the weight of the cameras on my hips, although I do prefer the beautiful bokeh of the Olympus mZD 75mm f/1.8 lens, but of course, this lens cannot give the telephoto reach of the 40-150mm.

 

The Olympus mZD 75mm f/1.8 lens in action

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Olympus released the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras in the middle of this year and I am now a proud owner of said lens.

This is a lens that suits my style of photography and will now replace my heavy Canon 1D Mark III pro dSLR with Canon 135mm f/2.0L lens as it gives a similar imagery when that lens is used at about f/2.8 which is my usual aperture for 3/4 body shots but is sharper, and more importantly is image stabilsied on the Olympus E-M5 camera so that I don’t have to get too worried about camera shake at flash sync when using fill-in flash which was always an issue with the Canon.

Even better, the E-M5 will allow rapid autofocus on the subject’s closest eye wherever it is within the frame, and rarely do I place the subject’s eye in the central third where the AF sensors are in dSLRs.

The fast AF makes my lovely, but manual focus Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 lens redundant.

This is a fantastic combination and made even better given the price, weight, size and the lovely bokeh.

Here are a couple of quick shots I took on an annoyingly sunny day in a forest which gives lots of contrasty imagery and very busy backgrounds, yet the 75mm f/1.8 handled this with ease.

forest bokeh

forest wild flowers in Victoria, Australia in Spring:

wild flowers

and despite a field of view of a 150mm lens, the following shot taken without care was reasonably sharp even at 1/20th sec hand held!

wild flowers

more shots with the 75mm lens on my Flickr set here

In celebration of the wonderfully smooth bokeh of the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 manual focus lens – another demonstration of its amazing qualities

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

 
Rokinon bokeh
 

Compare all 6 images from this series – see them on my Flickr set.

The amazingly cheap Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 manual focus lens on a Micro Four Thirds camera (The Panasonic GH-1) bokeh and CA test on an extremely challenging subject – a strongly backlit wax mannequin with a multitude of highlights on the pearls – a challenge for any lens wide open – but this lens passes it easily – even with a cheap UV filter and no lens hood!

This image is to show how good the rear bokeh is for out of focus areas at f/1.4 but at closer focus than the others in this series to give even shallower depth of field – look at the pearl highlights in the rear.

AWB in artificial light.
No cropping.
RAW file with no post-processing performed other than Lightroom export with resizing and compressing for the web and its default standard sharpening.

This len gives me similar imagery to my Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L lens at f/2.0 on my Canon 1D Mark III camera at 1/5th the price and less than half the weight (see here for my comparisons) – no wonder my Canon stays at home now!

The amazing 1920′s flapper styled wax mannequin and pearl-beaded head piece belong to Ken Gray and Alister Reid Gallery of Melbourne who created the pearl jewelry and kindly consented to me photographing it in their store, as well as creating unique, high quality, individualised jewelry which can be re-fashioned from your existing jewelry – if you are in Melbourne, check their work and gallery in Collins St.

As I love this lens so much, I bought another one from Ebay tonight – this time in a Nikon mount so I have greater versatility:

I can let my friends use it on their Nikon (it is better than my friend’s mark I Nikkor 85mm f/1.4)

I can use it with AF-confirm adapter on my Canon 1D Mark III as a 110mm field of view f/1.4 (it is way better wide open than my Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 lens)

I can use it on my Four Thirds dSLR and gain image stabilisation as well as AF confirm giving me an effective 170mm field of view f/1.4 IS lens.

I can use it on my Micro Four Thirds and have easy live view magnification, and if I want, via the LensBaby Tilt Transformer, I can convert it into a tilt lens.