Digital Rev TV takes a step back from reviewing expensive lenses and now jump on a camera body cap, with a hole in it: 'It makes you smile, part laughing, part amazement, but the best feeling is that it works'
Laura's camera of choice for this lens review was the Olympus E-M5:
"This one is a keeper. I am a big fan of this lens -- mainly due to my love of all things macro. The autofocus was generally fast, the color quality was very good and the images were pretty sharp. I found the image quality to be excellent for this price range. As a portrait photographer I could easily utilize this lens in traditional shooting mode. As a macro fanatic, the macro setting of this lens was extremely fun to play with. My only real concern with the 60mm f/2.8 macro lens is the double edge effect I noticed especially at wide open apertures. At times I did not notice it much, but sometimes it was far too obvious and quite distracting. That being said, I still recommend this lens. For me, it's simple. This lens makes me want to use it. For those who are not used to macro
These guides don't come often. Ian has written an extensive introduction and tutorial on the how and what of lens adapters, and has also included a rundown of his favorite lenses:
"These days, there seems to be no shortage of lens adapters available on the market—some good, some not so good. There are a number of reputable manufacturers making adapters, including Adaptimax, Bower, CameraQuest, Fotodiox, Novoflex, Vello, Voigtländer, and others. You can find cheap adapters on places such as eBay, many of which are quite good—but you can also find many adapters that will be inadequate for critical use. . . . read more
Spike uses a Panasonic GX1 body with the lens on this review, and it sure helps him explore the dark underworld of the Pattaya naughty industry scene:
"The lens is sharp at F1.8 and sharpens up more as you stop down. Personally, I like to shoot wide open whenever possible, to encourage bokehliciousness (maybe not a word). So what are the negatives? Cost is an obvious one, but having used the lens I think it is a bargain. I have paid more than twice the price for Canon L lenses which can’t match the 75mm for IQ (or convenience, or light gathering). The only thing I would say is that the focus speed on this lens can be lacking occasionally. Take a series of photos at a similar distance from the subject and the 75mm is as fast as anything else out there; but . . . read more
Ivan doesn't think very highly of the 15mm body cap lens:
Compared even to “low-end” Olympus 14-42 F/3.5-5.6 kit lens, the 15mm is nowhere near sharp. In all samples below, 14-42 used at the F/8 aperture gives clearly sharper images in center. Corners are even worse, where 15mm sometimes looks bad even when viewed scaled to my monitor’s size (24″). But keep in mind at all times, Olympus 15mm costs $ 40 and is smaller than smallest available lens for micro 4/3 system. There had to be a trade-off somewhere. There’s another issue though… when set to infinity, the lens has sharp corners, but somewhat blurred center; set at hyperfocal center . . . read more
Gordon Laing is the reviewer, and he took the unusual step to use the Panasonic GX1 as the test camera:
"The Olympus 45mm f1.8 is arguably one of the best lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system, whether you're using an Olympus or Panasonic body. This lens is so small and light you'll hardly know you're carrying it around, yet is capable of delivering industry-leading performance with pin-sharp details across the entire frame right into the extreme corners. With an effective focal length of 90mm and a maximum aperture of f1.8, the lens is ideal for portrait work and can deliver sharp detail on the subject with a satisfyingly blurred background behind it. Likewise for closer subjects down to the nearest focusing . . . read more
For some reasons only known to Tamron's managers, the company chooses to enter the micro 4/3 format with a 14-150mm zoom, closely matching the popular Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 and the elder Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4-5.8 ASPH MEGA OIS lenses.
Now, if they had bothered to shave a millimeter or two off the wide end, it would have been really exciting news, but as it stands now, the micro 4/3 mount is served by no less than 11 zoom lenses all sharing the 14mm wide end. Is there enough playing field for the New kid? . . . read more
The Olympus M.zuiko 60mm macro scored a slight bit better than the Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS lens, while costing less money and offering weather sealing on top of that.
"With strong performance across most of the DxOMark tests and a video-friendly MSC AF motor as well as a weather-resistant design, the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro is a good choice for outdoor macro shooting, such as nature portraits or close-up videos. Compared to its main (and more expensive) competitor, the Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS, it offers better quality for the money, delivering category-leading vignetting performance among Micro Four Thirds prime lenses as well as excellent sharpness. . . . read more
I guess this is what Olympus users wanted, a new, dark n'plastic 75-300mm lens. At least it looks like a proper lens now, and the addition of ZERO coating won't hurt either. Reading the press release issued by Olympus, i wonder what they mean by saying that the lens is redesigned to match the E-M5 and the Pen series cameras. So, what did the previous lens match, the drapes?
Olympus Press Release
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 29, 2013 – Olympus makes high-performance super-telephoto shooting more accessible than ever before by introducing the affordable M.ZUIKO ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II lens (35mm equivalent 150-600mm). Olympus has redesigned the lens to match the distinctive OM-D E-M5® and PEN®Micro Four Thirds® series cameras and added a new advanced ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating to keep scratches off, and . . . read more
Why read a review of the body cap lens? It costs less that some of Oly's lens hoods, is comes at around the same size as a regular body cap, but is a lens. Excellent for photography training too, as every prime lens it makes you use your feet instead of a zoom range. I gave it as a Christmas gift to a fat relative of mine, and now he's looking healthier than ever!
"No photographer buying a $49, 9mm long body cap lens is expecting optical perfection. Instead this lens is a bit of fun, a curiosity, a point and shoot option that’s a bit quirky and doesn’t cost much money. The limited focusing, fixed 15mm focal . . . read more
Lens first: Everything appears unchanged, except for the new ZERO coating (ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical Coating), same as the one that adorns many of Olympus Prime Lenses. Availability set to March 2013. The lens is also slightly redesigned, it looks a bit less like a designer flower-vase now and more like a proper lens.
As for the XZ-10, it is a smaller, lighter and cheaper successor to the similarly looking XZ-2, with little else in common. The lens is now a 5x optical zoom of 26-130mm F1.8-2.7, and the sensor is very sadly a smaller 1/2.3" 12 Megapixel story, that kinda puts this cam out of the 'prosumer' range we're covering at Estiasis. If this digicam is still of any interest to you, grab your Google transgorbler and head over to Digicame.info for the rest of the spec list. . . . read more
This kit lens may come out mauled by most the reviewers, but a minority like Lindsay-and others, see it otherwise. It may not be the optically best mirrorless kit lens there is (that distinction should probably go to the Fujinon XF 18-55mm), nor the cheapest, BUT, it is sharp enough, has a good zoom range, and is unbeatable when it comes to features., the 'Jack of all trades-master of none' equivalent of lenses.
And for those buying the E-M5 and get rid of this kit lens within 5 minutes because they read a bad review of it, just try it first, will ya? You get Weather sealing, 24-100mm range, power zoom and macro mode, all in one convenient package. Too dark for you? Just bump up the Iso and you're set. Don't believe me? Check out Lindsay's pics, many of these are shot at Iso 1250-1600:
"But the question got me thinking, and I asked myself if there might be situations where the Olympus M Zuiko ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ would prove useful to me. And actually, the answer is yes. . . . read more
"This one is easy. This lens has the build, the speed, the feel, the looks, the design and the performance in IQ that makes it a no brainer for your Olympus Micro 4/3 camera (especially the E-M5). If you shoot a Panasonic camera I can not say how the lens does as I did not test it on a Panasonic body but on the E-M5 it rocks just as much as their other premium lenses. . . . read more
Kai W chooses the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens as a showcase for the 85mm necessity. Coming up: 5 reasons why you need a pinhole lens.
"Carrying on from "5 reasons you need a 50mm lens" and "5 reasons why you need a 35mm lens", we are giving you 5 reasons why you need a bokehlicioius 85mm lens!"
"The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 is best lens DxOMark have tested for the Micro Four Thirds hybrid camera system. Available for both Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras it’s an excellent choice for portraits, sports or low-light photography but costing $899, or $975 including the lens hood, it’s not cheap. Money aside however this lens delivers good results for a Micro Four Thirds lens in all DxOMark Lens Metric Scores and with a Sharpness Score of 11P-Mpix it’s the sharpest lens available for this system. . . . read more
Too bad it will be a dark f/4.8-6.7 lens again. Something must be done to get the message to Olympus, its users screaming about the need of fast zooms. 43rumors has the story:
I finally got some bits about the next Olympus announcement that will be made right before the CP+ show start in Yokohama (January 31th). The discontinued Olympus 75-300mm MFT lens will be replaced by the new 75-300mm II F4.8-6.7 ED lens. And there will be a a new Olympus XZ-10 that is smaller and lighter than the current XZ-2. It has a f/1,8-2,7 lens and will be cheaper than the current XZ-2 model (here on eBay).
That's a whole train of wide angle mirrorless system lenses, and it seems the caboose* has derailed somehow, pretty soft and fringy compared to the other 3, BUT it was used with a GH3, not the best of combinations. Kudos to Sony to make such a sharp wideangle (used with a NEX-5R) zoom lens, they had a slow start but seem to have begun catching up by now. As for the Fujinon xf 14mm (mounted on the X-E1), it performs as expected, very sharp with no visible Chromatic Aberrations. The PanaLeica 7-14mm falls a bit behind, but it is the oldest lens of the bunch, by a wide (heh) margin. Click on the image for the full thing. For those daring enough to delve through the Google translated text, here's a snip: . . . read more
"We tested the review lens on two camera bodies, the PEN E-PM2 (which is reviewed separately) and the OM-D E-M5. It performed better on the latter camera so we've used those results as the basis for this review. Autofocusing was as fast as the camera supports and generally very quiet, making this lens ideal for use when shooting movie clips.
Subjective assessment of shots straight from the camera showed them to be a little soft. However, they became 'sharp as a tack' after very modest unsharp masking in Photoshop.
"The Olympus 17 mm 1.8 is a nicely built lens with which you can focus quickly and accurately, automatically or manually. On this Olympus 17 mm 1.8 lens is a ring, which acts as an AF / MF switch. The focus ring stops at 25 cm or infinity and the focus ring has a pleasant resistance when focusing. This takes away the concerns that some photographers have against the electronic focus-by-wire system. The AF is also completely silent, which makes this lens very suitable for video. At full aperture, this lens already draws quite sharp in the center. From aperture 1.8, the center resolution . . . read more
"Olympus 12 F/2 ED lens is quite a good performer. At $700 – $800 it is not cheap, but then you get what you pay for. F/2 wideangles this small are not something that grows on trees. It’s sharp across the frame at F/2 and gets really sharp from F/2.8 to F/8. There is visible vignette at F/2 but disappears already at F/2.8 so there’s really hardly anything to complain from optical performance standpoint. Unique manual focus implementation makes this lens really desirable for . . . read more
"The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R is a quite good entry-level telephoto zoom lens. It may not be a cracker in terms of delivered resolution but it is no show-stopper either. The image quality is quite impressive in the low to mid portion of the zoom range. At 150mm it is somewhat weaker but not terribly so. Image distortions are usually cared about by the camera's auto-correction mechanism but technically they are only very obvious at 40mm anyway (in RAW data only). Vignetting is usually nothing to worry about either. Lateral CAs can get obvious at 40mm but they're not . . . read more
"Although the lens in general well corrected, you do get the feeling that it’s on the extreme edges of what was possible with the design constraints put upon the optical designers: there’s visible CA against high contrast subjects, especially in the corners where you can get up to 2 pixels’ worth; there’s also very noticeable distortion. Fortunately, it’s fairly simple in nature – barrel with no sombrero/ moustache – and is easily correctable in ACR. Flare exists but the ZERO coating does a good job of keeping it to a minimum – even without the hood. . . . read more
"The Olympus 60mm ƒ/2.8 Macro is a solid little lens which does not add much weight to the camera. The lens has 13 elements in 10 groups: of these, one is an ED lens, two are HR lenses and one is an E-HR lens element. The lens features a seven-bladed circular aperture which stops down to ƒ/22, and as previously mentioned, takes 46mm filters. The lens is marked as splashproof, providing some level of weather resistance. . . . read more
"If you are not interested in macro, and are prepared to pay 50% more, go for the 75mm. The extra light gathering of F1.8 can be really useful, as well as offering creamier bokeh and a chance for thinner depth of field if such is you need. And the IQ is beyond reproach.
If you are after a macro, the 60mm will give you great macro shots, and also double as a general lens providing almost as much as the 75mm. And it’s lighter, cheaper, faster and more weather resistant. . . . read more
Buy one. Simple as that. If you've got an m4/3 camera, buy one. Use it as your main body cap (though note that the BCL-15 should have its rear lens cap mounted when it's not on the camera, to protect the rear element).
Indeed, so many people have opted to buy this body cap lens that it's mostly sold out and some places that still have it are charging more than list price for it as I write this.
It's really a no-brainer purchase for those of you trying to go small and pocketable with your m4/3 system (e.g. GF5 and . . . read more
"I rarely shot with this lens at the "default" 0.19m - Infinity setting that is highlighted in silver on the side of the barrel. I was either working close at 0.19m - 0.4m, or shooting portraits and sports at the 0.4m - Infinity setting. By working this way, I enjoyed fast autofocusing throughout the shoot. If you want to focus manually, the wide, well-dampened focusing ring is a joy to operate. In fact, it works so well in combination with the electronic viewfinder on the OM-D, that it's actually pleasurable to turn off the autofocus and work manually. I love lenses that give me this option. . . . read more
"I consider the 12-50mm a "kit lens for videographers." Most of the weaknesses of this lens hurt still users, but not video users, plus a video user likely feels more restrained by the kit lens than a still user. The 4x zoom range gives them more flexibility than the ~3x zoom range of the regular kit lens, the silent zoom/focus is necessary for close work, and even the quasi-macro range opens up abilities that a video user would seek.
While Olympus and others have suggested this lens with the E-M5 as the perfect kit lens combination, I have reservations . . . read more
"For those of us who like to take pictures of small things with great magnification, or close-ups of stuff like flower blossoms, a macro lens is a must. Panasonic has the Leica-branded 45mm f2.8 to offer, while Olympus recently introduced the 60mm f2.8 (which is much smaller in reality than it seems). Both allow for 1:1 magnification, and both . . . read more
"The build is the first sign of quality, but the excellence continues throughout the optics and the result is nothing short of amazing. Images are sharp, pleasing to the eye, and color pops beautifully. Weight could certainly be a concern if you’re travelling with this lens, or shooting with a smaller body like an E-P3 or an E-PM1, but the tradeoff is well worth it–a tremendously good portrait lens at what I believe to be a fair price. $899 is not exactly what I would call cheap, especially in the world of micro four thirds, but it’s an absolute bargain for a lens of this quality. If a high quality portait lens is what you’re looking for, then I have no doubt that this is the one for you." . . . read more
"Even for a guy who has not a “Macro Guy” I feel this lens could add something to my Micro 4/3 kit. It continues the streak from Olympus with high quality super glass that seems to be created from magic lens elves. If you like to shoot Macro or get in close I can not imagine ANYONE being disappointed in this lens. It is built well, feels solid, has nice auto focus performance, is 100% silent, is sharp and even the manual focus is smooth, silky and easy to use. There is some minimal CA in certain extreme situations (high contrast with full light behind subject such as tree branch can create some purple . . . read more