*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

*Congratulations to Manizkrishnan for winning our January Flickr Photo Blog Challenge, Portrait! with @Mirrorlessons

Festive Spirit by Manizkrishnan

“Festive Spirit” by Manizkrishnan (see more HERE), our Portrait Challenge Winner!

Congratulations Manizkrishnan!  A beautiful portrait chosen from a very beautiful group of amazing submissions this month.  We are one challenge away from our second semi-annual giveaway vote where Manizkrishnan will be entered against our 5 other monthly winners in a vote to decide our overall favorite image from the last six challenges, and to the overall winner go the spoils of free stuff.

Thank you to everyone who submitted, it was one of my favorite challenges so far.  I love seeing portraits, candid, spontaneous or staged in all their glory and feel it has always been one of my central draws to photography.  Capturing a human story within a singular frame can be a great challenge, and we had a multitude of beautifully executed portraits this month, so I hope that you all enjoyed capturing and submitting your work as much as we did in getting to see it all.

Keep shooting, and stay tuned to find out what this month’s theme will be, as chosen by our winner, Manizkrishnan!

Thanks to Heather and Mat from Mirrorlessons, and join me in wishing them luck in their move!  Here’s to hoping that the relocation will bring excitement and inspiration in this new chapter for you guys.

As always, I’d love to connect via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram so feel free to find me on any or all of those platforms, and to stay posted on new articles, feel free to add your email address at the top right of the page here.  You’ll get email alerts as new articles are released.

Thanks all and happy shooting,

Tyson

*Time to vote! Vote for the winner of our eleventh monthly Flickr Photo Blog Challenge; Portrait. With @MirrorLessons

This was a very difficult month to pick our favorites you guys.  It is honestly one of my favorite themes in that it is one of my favorite types of subject to shoot.  I like a good portrait, and this month provided us with many to choose from.  Thanks again to Giorgio Lumaconi (visit Giorgio HERE), our winner from December, for choosing this theme.  Below are Heather, Mat and my choices for this month’s vote.  The poll will run for the next 5 days, so make sure to vote, tell friends and visit Mirrorlessons HERE to vote there as well!  We present our favorite three images from January’s theme, Portraits:

Matt Seattle by mullygun

“Matt Seattle” by mullygun (see more HERE)


Festive Spirit by Manizkrishnan

“Festive Spirit” by Manizkrishnan (see more HERE)


New Goggles by Brian Frank

“New Goggles” by Brian Frank (see more HERE)

For those new to our monthly theme challenges, we have open threads in our respective Flickr groups where anyone can submit an image based on their interpretation of the monthly theme. Find our Flickr groups HERE-TRP and HERE-Mirrorlessons.  At the end of any given month, Heather, Mat and I choose our three favorites which we then showcase on both our sites with an open vote, like this one.  The vote runs for 5 days at which time we tally the totals and the winner gets to choose our theme for the current month as well as gets entered into our semi-annual vote.  Our second semi-annual vote will happen after this next theme wherein we have our 6 monthly winners in a new vote with the winner taking home various prizes, goods and adoration.  It is free, and a way for all of us to get exposed to wonderful photography from all over the world.  Our growing community is awesome, and I, along with Heather and Mat I’m sure, have thoroughly enjoyed doing these monthly challenges, so keep on keeping on!

Don’t forget to vote over at Mirrorlessons HERE as well.

Thanks to everyone who submitted images this month.  It was certainly one of our best theme challenges ever and stay tuned for this month (and future months) theme!

I’d love to connect via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram and to stay posted on new articles, feel free to add your email address at the top right of the page here.  You’ll get email alerts as new articles are released.

Thanks all and happy shooting!

Tyson

*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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*Wanna see differently? Check out the Lensbaby Super Holiday Sale

©2011tysonrobichaudphotography

My friends and hometown optics company, Lensbaby is offering a wide gamut of their unique products at substantial sales for the holidays.

As many of you know, I tend to shy away from using this site to push gear specials or sales constantly because we get them from many other sites, especially this time of year.  I will however give a shout out for Lensbaby because they’re a very cool, forward thinking, local company that I have been fortunate enough to become friendly with over the years.  I’ve helped create promotional imagery for them, I’ve done quite a bit of beta product testing and feedback, and have been published in a coffee table book focused on Lensbaby imagery.  When I was a wee blogger, they didn’t look twice when I asked about reviewing their lenses for the mirrorless systems way back in the day.  They even had me do some acting spots for their educational videos for larger retailers like B&H and Adorama which was a lot of fun, so you can say that I’m a bit of a honk.

I make no money from you buying Lensbaby products, so I’m not saying this because there is monetary incentive for me to do so, I just like them as a company, and like their products.  If you or someone you know has been interested in one of the many cool Lensbaby optics or creative products for photography or film making, now might be a good time to check on their sale.  You can see updates and find links to all of the discounts going on through the 22nd of December on Lensbaby’s website HERE.  Have a look, and let me know if you have any questions about the Lensbaby stuff, I’ve used quite a bit of it :)

If interested, you can see my various Lensbaby reviews and articles on the Review Page HERE.

Happy holidays to all, and happy shooting.

Tyson

*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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*Olympus 75mm f/1.8 vs Canon 135 f/2 L

the showdown

One of my absolute all time favorite lenses has been my EF 135mm f/2 L USM.  Before I’d acquired this lens, I was looking for a mid range tele lens that I could use for portrait work as well as use for events, sports, etc.  The 135L a few years back cost me exactly as much as the Oly 75mm f/1.8 does today.  Yes, the Oly uses much less in the way of materials, far less glass, and is actually a 75mm lens, not a 135mm (or 150mm to be more accurate) lens, but, for the Micro 4/3 format, it is as close to that magical piece of glass that the 135L is for the Canon system.  Both are metal, neither are weather sealed and they’re each their own system’s mid-tele master.  Even with the extra glass, the 135L is a noticeably faster focuser (I’d assume largely due to the USM focusing motor and a superior PDAF in the EOS DSLR’s) but as to the quality of the actual images…

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