*New Kid On the Blog! Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 lens, first look.

leica 15mm f/1.7

 

Hi all.  Sorry for the lack of activity on the blog.  Lots of things happening in the Robichaud camp of late, many of which have required a large amount of time, energy and emotional involvement.  All’s well, and one thing I’ve been really wanting to share is a quick look at this new micro 4/3 gem.  The (Panasonic) Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 aspherical micro 4/3 lens is the fourth Leica branded lens for the micro 4/3 system, and much like the others I’ve shot with, brings with it a unique signature.  Boasting a fast f/1.7 maximum aperture setting, and a 30mm equivalent field of view in a solidly built little package, it should prove to be another success for the system.  An odd focal length, but one that if embraced, can give someone a unique wide angle that moonlights as a semi-standard a-la the more traditional 35mm focal length.  I have always been a 35mm lens fan, and not a fan of the 28mm lenses, rather opting for a 24mm as my wide angle and the 35 as my semi-wide/standard focal length of choice for all around shooting, this lens has forced me to reassess my past comforts, but to be fair, the Oly 75mm falls into that same category, and I love that one, so I’ve found room in my heart for odd focal lengths in the past.  Okay, let’s take a quick look at this little lens…

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*Canon EF 55mm f/1.2?

Canon EF 55mm f/1.2

Nope, not a typo.  I have, in my possession a Canon 55mm f/1.2 lens with an EF mount.  How?  Well, many of you may know of Ed Mica, an engineer with a passion for photographic lenses, and lens mounts more specifically.  He has worked to provide many mount conversion kits for older FD lenses, converting them to a more modern EF mount and while Ed has had a conversion mount for the FL 55mm f/1.2, I’d been waiting for an FD 55mm f/1.2 SSC conversion since I’d first heard about Ed’s products a couple years back.  Now, he has a conversion mount for many different FD, FL and FDn lenses including my lovely 55mm.  Not only do I now have an ultra fast semi-standard lens for my full frame Canon cameras, I also need to keep one less micro 4/3 adapter around which turns this lens into a 110mm equivalent lens capable of absorbing light in the near darkness for both formats…  Examples and test shots on the other side…

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*Panasonic Battle, GX7 vs GM1

GX7vsGM1blog

As is always a bit of fun, I’ve gone through and pitted these two cameras against each other to see if I could tell much in the way of a difference in the file quality.  DXO says there’s a 4 point difference in the performance between these two sensors (in the GX7’s favor) yet they seemingly employ the same sensor and processor…  Seems a little weird, and while I feel DXO does a good job at giving all of us a great resource from which to compare different cameras, it didn’t seem to add up on paper.  C’mon in, We’ll have a look at files from each of these micro 4/3 cameras…

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*Congratulations to Marco Bozzato for winning our first Flickr Photo Blog Post

12956356505_4c3f906b2c_b

 

Congratulations to Marco (see more from him HERE) for compiling over half of the overall votes between the poll here and on Mirrorlessons (click HERE to visit Mat and Heather)!  Stay tuned to find out Marco’s choice on our Flickr Photo Blog Challenge topic for April.  To sign up to receive posts as they go live, enter your email at the top right of the page, find me on Facebook here, or Twitter here and find the TRP Flickr group HERE and the Mirrorlessons Flickr group HERE!  It’s all about family, friends and community and I’m very excited that we’re continuing to grow ours.  If you didn’t see the recent eye enhancement tutorial featuring Heather from Mirrorlessons, check it out HERE.

Thanks to all for the continued collaboration, support and conversation.  I look forward to seeing where we can all continue to take this.

 

Take care and happy shooting,

 

Tyson

*Fun with soul windows. Eye retouching techniques using Photoshop.

 

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A couple years ago, I’d posted a tutorial on simple eye enhancement techniques and I wanted to revisit and build on that.  Lately, “Photoshop” has seemed to be getting absolutely bludgeoned and cast as some evil, socially destructive outcast.  Used as a verb, photoshopping has become akin to kicking a blind puppy, and then forcing it into a life of anorexia.  While I am in no way a fan of, nor support using photoshop to unnaturally build unrealistic body proportions, or overly plasticize a face to perfection, I will make the case that retouching is an art and like anything has boundaries.  If viewing retouching from a creative angle, there are things that can be a lot of fun.  If viewing retouching from a practical angle, it can be effective.  Going overboard in any direction can certainly lead to criticism, but so many forms of artistic manipulation have and will always continue to draw ire.  For this post, I want to play around with both the creative and practical angles in regards to enhancing one’s eyes in a portrait.  Thank you to my friends Mat and Heather from Mirrorlessons – Bestmirrorlesscamerareviews.com for the shot you see above.  Eyes are often a focal point in many a good portrait, so why not add a bit of punch to that focal point?  Come on in to see how I achieve this quickly and easily.  If interested, you can download these eye enhancement Photoshop actions for free…

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*Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens, Tested

Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens review Yet another kit lens has come onto the scene.  On paper, ho-hum, a little wider, a little shorter, still slow, no focus ring…  Why would this particular kit lens be a better choice than the other current options?  Yes, it’s tiny and light weight and nearly as small as the Lumix 14mm Pancake lens, but what’s this?  It’s reasonably sharp at all focal lengths and all apertures and offers us a 24mm equivalent lens as opposed to the moderate wide 28mm equivalent in most all other kit zooms… Interesting.  Hit the jump for my user review on this little optic…

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*Hallelujah!!! Apple finally supports Lumix GM1 RAW files! (as well as XE2, XT1, and others)

GM1 with green garda wrist strap

 

I may be speaking to a small audience on this one, but I cannot contain my momentary excitement, er, relief.  For those GM1 shooters who’ve been using Lightroom or ACR, DXO or Silkypix, this news will be of little consequence.  For those of us who use Apple’s Aperture, today is a good day.  FINALLY (seriously Apple, this camera was announced last Fall and has been in shooters hands for almost 5 months!) Apple has decided to properly support the .RW2 RAW files from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1.

Along with the GM1, below are the cameras that are now supported in Apple’s most recent Digital Camera RAW Update 5.04:

  • Fujifilm X-E2
  • Fujifilm X-T1
  • Nikon D3300
  • Nikon 1 AW1
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1
  • Pentax K-3

If you’re a shooter with any of the above cameras, and use Aperture as your Digital Asset Management software, you can download the new version of Digital Camera RAW v5.04 – HERE or just go to your Software Update and it should be sitting there ready to go.

I will be testing the RAW files from the GM1 shortly and will have an article posted in due time.  In the mean time, if you’d like to receive that when it is posted, feel free to enter your email at the top right of the page to subscribe or find me on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy shooting,

Tyson

*Topaz DeNoise5, updated and on sale for 50% off!

Topaz DeNoise5 On Sale

Hi guys!  Your monthly Topaz deal is here!  Topaz Labs is offering up DeNoise for 50% off.  I have written up a more in depth review on DeNoise 5 before, and feel it is one of the best, and most effective plugins I use.  It’s pretty amazing to see what this software can do for your high ISO images.  Topaz is running this sale through the end of March via Topaz Labs Website HERE.  Just use the code “mardenoise” at checkout to get the discount.  C’mon in to see some before and after examples…

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*Panasonic GM1 Reviewed – Say hello to my little friend

gm1 and friends

I have spent the better part of the last month shooting with this camera almost exclusively.  I wanted to really get a feel for this tiny machine, its ins and outs, before I wrote up any type of review.  While being the smallest interchangeable lens system camera body currently available, it certainly has some ergonomic drawbacks, but that begs the question, who is this camera for, and can it be a compliment or even replacement for another of the micro 4/3 system cameras, even {gasp} a larger system camera?  Well…

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*Lumix GM1, mine’s smaller. A quick look at the smallest MILC camera.

this little piggy...

How small is too small?  How about a micro 4/3 camera that is smaller than most any fixed lens compact sporting a 1/1.6″ or 1/1.7″ sensor (not to mention any of the 1″ sensor cams, or even most compact p&s cameras I’ve owned)?  Well, I’d heard that the Panasonic Lumix GM1 was small, but I don’t think I was prepared for HOW small this thing actually is.  Have a look…

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