*Olympus M.Zuiko MC14, 1.4x Teleconverter Review

m zuiko mc14 1.4x micro 4/3 teleconverter for 40-150mm f/2.8 pro lens

Olympus continues to add to its Pro lens quiver with the M.Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter MC-14, available as a useful accessory to the 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro Zoom lens.  Currently, the Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens is the only lens that this teleconverter works with, but I’d assume that once we see the soon to be M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 PRO prime lens show up, that number will climb to two.

A teleconverter effectively multiplies the focal length of the lens it is coupled to, while decreasing the lens speed by one whole stop in the case of a 1.4x, or two stops when using a 2x tele converter (Oly, feel free to bust one of these guys out too!).  In this case, it converts the 40-150mm f/2.8 lens into a 56-210mm f/4 optic which translates to an effective field of view in full frame terms of 112-420mm.  Not a bad range, and one that for system users essentially turns the 40-150 (80-300mm e-fov) into two very useful lenses if we’re to look at it in Full Frame equivalency as a workhorse, studio portrait/event tele zoom akin to the various 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses as well as the more sport and light wildlife tele zooms of the world in the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 flavor, it begins to make a lot more sense as to why Olympus chose this range, as opposed to what would have been a more traditional 35-100mm (70-200mm) lens in the first place.  Hmmmmm…  Continue reading

*Looking for lenses? Adorama has a big sale on Panasonic optics through the 21st.

panasonic lens sale at adorama

I know, I know.  I don’t want to bombard anyone with sales and promo posts, but it has been difficult with just about everything on sale right now.  Queue the Adorama sale on most every Panasonic micro 4/3 lens HERE.  Up to $200 off of lenses through the 21st, if you’ve been waiting for a sale, here it is.  You know I don’t like to promote stuff unless I actually have used it, approve of it and like it, and in this case, I’d say it’s very relevant.

Come on in if you’re interested in seeing what I’ve had to say about the Panasonic lenses I use for the micro 4/3 system…

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*Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro Lens, User Review

Olympus m.zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro Lens review

Well, one mirrorless system has certainly put its big boy pants on.  Over the last year, Olympus has joined Panasonic in offering a professionally fast zoom range from wide through tele in a two zoom setup.  Traditionally seen as a working photographers “go-to range” the 24-200mm focal length run being offered in a reasonably fast, constant f/2.8 maximum aperture is arguably a necessity, and depending on who you ask, a must have range for many professional applications.  Olympus has taken that traditional range, and added to it on both sides with their series of “PRO” zooms, the recently announced and soon to be released 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO (14-28mm e-fov), their 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO (24-80mm e-fov) and this 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO  lens (80-300mm e-fov) offer system shooters the ability to shoot from a 14mm ultra wide equivalent through a 300mm long tele equivalent at f/2.8.

Today, I’ll have a look at the tele zoom in this series in the 40-150mm.  So, how does this lens stack up?  Well, if Canikon have been waiting for a warning shot, this might be seen as a nuke across the bow.  C’mon in for my thoughts on this lens.

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*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, 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