*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

*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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*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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*Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Lens on sale!

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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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*Amsterdam, a home away from home

reflections of a time past

Sometimes I lose track of what is and what isn’t familiar.  I can wake up in my own bed, surrounded by all of the elements involved in my habitual routine, and it takes me a moment to figure out where I am.  Other times, I can be thousands of miles away from home and feel as if I fit, I belong to the space I occupy.  All of us are, to an extent, just fumbling around this rock getting on with our lives, some of us possibly contributing more to the greater human experience than those of us photoblogging or whatever, but I’d like to think that certain places call us, mean more to us, regardless of our personal histories, and for some reason beyond my personal comprehension, just seem to make sense.  Like a familiar smell transporting me back to childhood, or meals reminding me of past occasions, Amsterdam has always just felt like home.

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*Another set of this guy’s opinions, or Mirrorless Lens buying guide!

IMG_6052 - Version 2 (1)

As requested from the camera body shopping guide post (thanks Tim and Chris), here are my opinions on the best lenses for the various mirrorless systems.  Keep in mind that I have not shot extensively with all of these lenses, or at least, many of the lenses for systems that aren’t the micro 4/3 system aside from the tire kicking in stores or when getting the chance to shoot friend’s gear, so my opinion is based on minimal use combined with personal intrigue and web based research.  Because I don’t own an X series or Alpha E (NEX, etc) camera body, I have not been able to access many of the lenses on offer for any period of time, but there are a few I have, as well as those that I would certainly look long and hard at if I was invested in these systems.  As for the micro 4/3 lenses, I have those down pretty well.  C’mon in and I’ll lay out my faves…

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