*ZY Optics, Zhong Yi Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95 lens for Micro 4/3 user review

ZY Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95

Small, sharp, fast, relatively light and comparably inexpensive.  All things I love in a lens.  ZY Optics has produced yet another ultra fast option for micro 4/3 shooters, but a first option available in a dedicated mount, faster than f/1.4, new for under $400. 

The question now stands, how does this fit in with all the other standard/normal lens offerings within the micro 4/3 landscape?  Well, more easily than you might think.  While not perfect, it definitely has enough going for it to justify a look.  C’mon in for my thoughts and some tests against the Pana-Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux…

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*Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art Lens on the Sony a7II and Canon 5DII, a user review w/ @adorama

 

Sigma Art EF 20mm f/1.4 Lens review

Happy new year! I’ve been having a wonderful holiday season, largely thanks to Adorama for lending me this beaut of a lens.  The Sigma Art 20mm f/1.4 is the widest, f/1.4 full frame lens, and is the newest addition to the much vaunted line of f/1.4 Sigma Art Primes available in Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma mounts.  In this article, we’ll explore a bit of the more measurable aspects as well as the more touchy, feely parts of interacting with this lens.  I shot this lens on both the Canon EOS 5D mkII and the Sony a7II via the EF>FE Metabones MkIV smart adapter, and it performed equally as solid on both cameras.  Is this a viable option for full frame system shooters for fast, ultra wide applications?  Well, seeing as there has never been a full frame compatible lens this wide, this fast, it’s forging new ground for many shooters, and that is pretty rare in this day and age.  C’mon in to see some example images and read my rambling thoughts…

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*The Panasonic Lumix GX8 vs GX7 showdown. How much of an upgrade is it, really? Well… w/ @LumixUSA

gx7 vs gx8

Well, my friends, I have been enjoying the comparison between these two great cameras, and in this article I would like to present my opinions and findings regarding how they directly compare to each other in regards to performance and file output, once and for all (for my purposes, anyway).  Here’s my disclaimer… I don’t work for Panasonic.  I’ve always researched and purchased my own gear, and do these tests in an attempt to help others like myself see what I wish that I could have seen in cases before buying stuff.  Enjoy and I hope this shows you something you’ve not yet seen.

I’ve been looking at the comparison from the angle of one who is curious about replacing my historically favorite micro 4/3 camera in the GX7, with it’s intended upgrade in the GX8.  I’ve now had the GX8 for a couple months and have shot a few thousand images with it, so I have been able to get a good feel for how it handles, performs and how the files look when digging into them.  With the GX8, Panasonic has given us an increase in size, resolution and features, which have all looked good on paper, and I’m now wanting to really see that come through in practice, which in most cases, it has.

Here is what I’ve seen, and what I’ve found…

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*Holy S#!† The new FW updates for the @Sony a7II and #Metabones EF smart adapter have created a monster.

P1050568

Sorry for my dirty, foul mouth. I’m just blown away by how much better my a7II and Canon EF lens setup has become overnight.  Long overdue, the Sony a7II got the much ballyhooed Uncompressed 14 bit RAW update (as opposed to that weird 11/7 compressed stuff, which is still nicely, an option) along with the return of the on sensor Phase Detection AF to the a7, pro-sumer camera with third party lenses.  Why they kept this out to begin with is beyond me, and really one of my gripes with the Sony approach as a whole, but now that it’s here, it is friggin’ amazing.  It is like I have an entirely new camera.  C’mon in for firmware update links, and a video comparison between the auto focus speed and performance from the original firmware on the a7II and Metabones mark IV adapter, and now that they’ve both very recently been updated…

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*Pana-Leica 15mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens on Sale!

leica 15mm on sale!

This little gem is on sale for $70 off right now.  I’m not normally a sale pumper unless it is for stuff I use, I like and I would recommend.  If you’ve been on the fence, or waiting for this lens to drop a little, here’s a great opportunity to save a good amount of money on a great little lens.

Find the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 Aspherical lens on sale at Adorama HERE and B&H HERE.

If you’d like to see my review on the Leica 15mm, you can read that HERE.

Or, if you’d also like to read the head to head (to head) between the Leica 15, and the two Lumix Pancakes (14mm and 20mm) I did a comparison article HERE.

It is a great mate to any of the micro 4/3 cameras, especially the GM bodies, and is compact and lightweight enough to go largely unnoticed in the bag.  I’ve been shooting the 15mm on the new GX8 with its 20mp sensor providing great results for me.

 

*Using the Kipon EF to m4/3, smart adapter. Things are getting interesting w/ @adorama

kipon ef to m4/3 af adapter

The Kipon EF Lens to Micro 4/3 mount smart adapter is a fairly big deal.  Not just because it enables aperture adjustment for the electronically controlled EF line of lenses when adapted to a micro 4/3 camera body, but it has also bridged the proprietary technology to gain the use of full auto focus and lens based image stabilization capabilities.  Having followed a fairly similar path into the micro 4/3 world as I would imagine many others, I came from a long standing investment in the Canon system.  I still shoot my Canon full framers, and have compiled some very nice glass over the years that tends to sit on the shelf more often now that I shoot the micro 4/3 system.  I’ve been waiting for a solution to merge my two beloved systems, and Kipon has produced it.

Enter the new, Kipon EF>m4/3 Smart Adapter. Come on in for some insight and my experience over the last month…

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*Sony 5 axis IBIS vs EF Lens Based IS vs Panasonic 2 axis IBIS Comparison

 

 

ibis vs ois

Stabilization.  A term that, before a handful of years ago meant “tripod,” or physical bracing technique, has grown to provide various hardware solutions within our camera system of choice.  We as consumers have been lucky to have stabilization options within most all digital camera systems, and while image stabilization isn’t going to remedy all problems, it is certainly a nice feature to have.  

I’m awaiting a new Panasonic GX8 to arrive within the next couple weeks which will boast a new, dual IS system incorporating both an on sensor IS and lens based IS solution, but before that time, I wanted to really see how the first full frame, 5 axis on sensor/in body image stabilization (IBIS) system from Sony compares to a very good lens based image stabilization (IS) system in the Canon EF lenses, and a better than often credited 2 axis IBIS system from Panasonic’s first foray into on sensor stabilization, in the GX7.

Come on in to see my three different comparisons between these three different offerings, and see if there is a clear winner.

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