*Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 review… dayum.

Voigtlander Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 lens review

Would it sound ironic if I were to mention the speed of this lens, and slowed hinderance of manual focus as the two best qualities that this lens can provide a photographer?  Let’s be honest, there are not many lenses in existence that offer this large a maximum aperture for any system, anywhere.  Certainly not very many that come in at under a thousand bucks, but this is the case for the micro 4/3 mount, Voigtländer Nokton series.  Yes, this 42.5mm (85mm equivalent field of view) lens is joined by a soon to be 10.5mm f/0.95 (21mm e-fov), a killer 17.5mm f/0.95 (35mm e-fov) and a 25mm f/0.95 (50mm e-fov) to create a set of super fast, Nokton wonder lenses.

I have been using the also stellar Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens of late, and before I took off on a recent trip, knowing I’d be doing a vast majority of my shooting in the darker hours, I felt the one thing I was really lacking, was a really fast lens.  A remarkably solid and well built hunk of metal and glass, this 85mm equivalent lens has been calling me ever since it was announced.  Well, I decided that I’d benefit more fully from a really fast portrait focal length over the long run, and would gain a good amount of latitude while handholding it combined with the IBIS in the GX7, so I bit.

C’mon in to see a few shots, and read my thoughts on this optical marvel.

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*Wandering through a slice of time. Amsterdam and Bruges in the Fall.

amsterdamorama2

 GM1 + PL15mm – stitched panorama

As is the case for me every Fall, life found me traversing the blue marble for work.  This year was a little different in that Mrs Squeeze was able to accompany me.  Our two not so little any more offspring spent the time being doted on by their grandparents, which enabled momma and dada to do some partying.

Full disclosure, by “partying” what I really mean to say is sleeping, maybe eating a meal in one sitting and generally being able to drink a glass of wine or beer before 8pm, and let me tell you dear friends, we partied.

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*Olympus 45mm f/1.8 vs the Contax G Zeiss 45mm f/2

olympus m.zuiko 45mm f/1.8 vs contax zeiss 45mm f/2 planar

I held off for a long time on buying a portrait focal length for the Micro 4/3 system and despite the stellar reputation and modest pricing of the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens, I’d found myself more or less happy with my adapted Contax 45mm.

The Contax G Zeiss 45mm f/2 lens has a pretty amazing reputation of its own.  In its day, it was touted as being one of the sharpest standard lenses available, even garnering praise over some more illustrious Leica lenses in the same focal length neighborhood.  While I wish I had some Leica glass with which to test and back up that claim, let’s just say that the little Zeiss lens has done okay for itself and still goes for a decent amount of money now that the weird proprietary focusing mechanism has been worked around and this lens can be adapted to most any mirrorless camera nowadays.

So, how do these two compare?  Let’s see…

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*$300 off the Lumix GX7?! Camera body, or kit and includes an extra $100 Gift Card!!!

GX7

So, that just happened.  While I’ve not yet tried every single micro 4/3 camera, of those I have tried, the GX7 is still my favorite overall.  Wonderful Image quality, discrete size yet comfortable ergonomics, IBIS, Tilting LCD and EVF, wonderfully functional and intuitive interface, silent mode, focus peaking, WiFi, manual control, good video options blah, blah, blah.  It has been, quite possibly, my favorite camera I’ve shot with period, which is saying a lot.  It is with me all the time, and will continue to be for some time yet.  Because of the combination of size, quality and features, I literally bring it with me everyday because I don’t need anything else.

On top of the $300 discount that runs through this Saturday, you also get a $100 B&H Gift Card.  Seriously?!  While I’m in no way disappointed that I bought this camera at full price about a year ago as it has allowed me to shoot with it as long, a $400 incentive is nuts for this machine.  Okay, maybe I’m a little disappointed, more jealous I guess :)

Check out the deals at B&H:

Panasonic GX7 Body only $698 (reg: $998) HERE

Panasonic GX7 + 14-42mm Kit $798 (reg: $1098) HERE in Silver

Panasonic GX7 + 14-42mm Kit $798 (reg: $1098) HERE in Black

There are rumors that the GX line has been discontinued, but I think those rumors are crap.  I don’t however see them replacing this camera in the immediate future.  I just think that they’re trying to spur sales.  It shares the same, current sensor with the new GM5 (and GM1) and I’ve done some pretty extensive comparisons between it and the current Sony sensor in the EM5/et al.  You can read more of my thoughts on the Lumix GX7 below if you’re interested.

GX7 – An Evolution Part 1

GX7 – An Evolution Part 2

GX7 vs EM5 – Battle for my affection Part 1

GX7 vs EM5 – Battle for my affection Part 2

GX7 vs EM5 – Battle for my affection Part 3

GX7 vs GM1 – Panasonic Battle

If you’ve been on the fence, or have been waiting to upgrade I think that this camera, at this price is the best value in the micro 4/3 landscape hands down right now.

Let me know if you have any specific questions as well.  I have certainly answered more emails and inquiries about this camera that I have for any other up to this point, so please feel free to fire away.

Thanks all and happy shooting,

Tyson

*Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Lens on sale!

IMG_7115

I’ve been on the fence for years now regarding a moderate/short tele micro 4/3 lens having been pretty happy with my adapted Contax G Zeiss 45mm f/2 Plannar lens, until fate dealt me a debilitating blow last week which saw my trusty 12-32mm pancake zoom bite the dust.  I’ll get into that in more detail later, but looking to replace it, and having a difficult time finding one, I came across the current Olympus Lens Rebates (click here to see them all).  The Oly 45mm f/1.8 lens is largely regarded as one of the best lenses for the system, especially for the price.  Right now, that normal price of $399 is down to $349 as Olympus has issued a $50 rebate which runs through June 14th, 2014 according to Oly’s website.

While I’ll do a more in depth review on this little gem shortly, come on in for my initial thoughts and sale links.

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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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