*Voigtländer 17.5mm f/0.95 – Getting some time in with another m4/3 system gem.

Believe it or not, I’m still attempting to actively write, and after a very hectic year, I’m getting back into the game, kinda.  This article all started indirectly during the total solar eclipse this year.  A friend who also shoots micro 4/3 and I got to talking about lenses we like for the system.  We were taking turns using my adapted Sigma 150-600mm through a solar filter to snap shots of the celestial event, and we got to talking about the Voigtländer offerings.  I, having been the proud owner of the 42.5mm Nokton (review on that bad boy HERE), was excited to find out my friend was toting the 17.5mm version around with him.  Well, I’ll spare you the minutiae of the back and forth, but we decided to do a lens swap for a month or so, and here we are. C’mon in for some touchy, feely bits on my time with the Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 lens

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*TRP featured in Olympus Passion Magazine

Remember my portrait lens shoot out?  Well, it caught the eye of the folks over at Olympus Passion Magazine as they’d previously featured my article testing the Leica 15mm against the Panasonic pancake 14 and 20mm lenses on their website, and had asked to feature the portrait shoot out in the August edition of the magazine.  I happily obliged, and it can now be seen in the current issue of their beautifully curated, Olympus-centric mag HERE.

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*Lensbaby Trio28, embrace the weird, wild and wonderful world of imperfect. w/@seeinanewway

In an industry that provides me with my very favorite of hobbies, the idea of perceived perfection in performance is often the benchmark.  To this end, I too am guilty in that I often look for and test to make sure I have the best optics for whichever sensor I happen to have invested in.  Often times, when we as photographers focus on measurable optical metrics, we can lose sight of the artistic, creative outlet that visual art such as photography can provide us.  As the old adage goes as far as skill and creativity are concerned, sharpness is overrated.

I like to explore photography from a very large spectrum of angles, and find I enjoy myself most when I change my vantage from time to time.  I don’t feel photography is one thing, and certainly feel for me that if it only provided me with one type of result, I’d not be nearly as happy.  I like variety, I like difference, I like weird.  For those who’ve been around for a while, you’ll probably remember articles I’ve written about Lensbaby products, and how the company resides just down the road from me.  Back when this was a fledgling little blog, they offered me many opportunities to beta test new optics, and provide fodder for those looking for adaptable optics for their (at the time, young, new) mirrorless system cameras.

Say hello to the Lensbaby Trio 28mm f/3.5 lens.  Three unique Lensbaby optics, built into a single lens for mirrorless systems, and I’ve been loving it.  C’mon in for some examples and comparisons…

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*Olympus m.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens, a user review w/ @getolympus

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Ultra wide angle options for every system, tend to be expensive and/or compromised.  It can be difficult to optically correct and transfer light onto these digital sensors which are far less forgiving than film ever was, especially outside of the center frame.  Add to that, with various “crop” formats, the physical focal length needed to achieve these angles of view has to be remarkably short which provides other engineering challenges.  Panasonic saw the need for an ultra wide angle zoom lens from the very early stages of the Micro 4/3 format, and has offered a very solid 7-14mm f/4 lens for years, but many system shooters wanted both a faster option, along with one that was environmentally sealed for outdoor work.  Olympus answered that call with the m.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens.  A substantial, weather sealed, tank like 14-28mm f/2.8 equivalent lens (in light gathering you FF fanatic naysayers, you) that costs a pretty penny, especially considering the Panasonic Lumix option at close to half the price, it’s not necessarily one for the budget minded shooter.  It is however, a pretty damn stellar performer.  I have had this lens for the better part of the year, and I’ve just returned from a trip to Portugal and Holland where I used this lens on the GX8 for my travel documentation needs.  I have some other shots sprinkled in, but I want to give a bit of perspective when using this lens as a travel companion. C’mon in for some shots and thoughts…

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Battle of some Portrait Primes. Full Frame vs m4/3, Zeiss vs Leica, let the pissing contest commence…

battle

Well hi there!  Been a while.  Yes, I’ve been focused largely on launching the Nauti Straps stuff (utterly shameless plug, of which it will not be the last, surely) which has been going smashingly thus far, so thank you to everyone who’s supported me in that venture.  That said and done, I’ve been long wanting to compare these two premier portrait focal length prime lenses for the two formats I shoot in concert in the Sony FE and micro 4/3 systems.  

Enter the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar FE mount lens for Sony E mount cameras, and the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 DG Nocticron lens for micro 4/3 system shooters.

C’mon in for comparisons, pixel peeping galore and my thoughts as someone who has been shooting these two lenses for the better part of the last year.

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*GX8 Shutter Shock test. Mechanical and Electronic both with and without IBIS…

IMG_9722I had never, ever noticed any issue with shutter shock personally.  This goes for my experience with the GX8, the OMD EM5 years back that many claimed to have had issues, and any other camera I’ve owned and shot with.    This isn’t to say that my cameras didn’t suffer from this issue, I’m just saying that I’ve never noticed it.  That may be that I’ve not been a huge pixel peeper (except when doing these types of tests for these articles) or perhaps I’ve just been easily able to excuse any softness for whatever reason.

That said, I have received a few emails over the last couple months asking specifically about the shutter shock issue with the GX8 and so I thought it might be handy to run a test to satisfy my own curiosity, and better equip myself when attempting to answer these types of inquiries.  C’mon in to see the results…

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*Quick look! Check out the dynamic range recovery on the GX8, which also happens to be on sale!

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I am mere hours of work away from posting my GX7 vs GX8 final comparison, but going through images from my work trip last week, I came across a snapshot I took while rushing to catch the tram.  The sun rise was begging to be recorded, and I quickly pulled my GX8 (on sale for $200 off right now DOH! see it at B&H HERE and Adorama HERE) with the PL15mm out of the bag and literally stopped walking for a second to take this shot.  The sky dominated the exposure, as it should have in this case, and just now I tried bringing up the shadows to see what I could get as I’d not really pushed any of the GX8 frames quite this far, in this way.  Well, color me frigging impressed… have a look:

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