Review: Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo

Just to make things clear right from the start, this is a photography centric review of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo. I will only be discussing the smartphone’s photo taking capabilities. If you are looking for a more general review, there are many such reviews to be found on the web. But if you want to find out how it fares as a camera, then read on.

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Photographing Macro with Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f3.8-5.6

Three weeks ago I bought a used Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lens for my Nikon 1 V1. It wasn’t exactly in pristine condition, but the price was too tempting to let the opportunity pass. As the luck would have it, my EN-EL15 battery died just several days before. The 30-110mm arrived sooner than my replacement battery from ChiliPower. Since going by its cosmetic condition I wasn’t sure that it would even work, I was biting my nails, waiting to test the lens out. And as you probably know, if you’ve bought enough used gear online, there are many conman out there. Luckily the 30-110mm turned out to be an excellent workhorse in disguise of an ugly duckling. 🙂

Depicted: Nikon 1 V1, 1 Nikkor 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6, Marumi DHG200 +5, Raynox DCR-250 Continue reading

Review: 25mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens [Micro 43]

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Note: I have already reviewed the 25mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens on my Nikon 1 V1 – you can read the review here. Because of borderline unusable image quality on my Olympus OM-D E-M10 I have decided to write this review, in course of which I will be analyzing its performance on Micro 4/3.

In the original review I have made the argument that this no-name 25mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens isn’t worth getting, unless you are a huge fan of swirly bokeh and other “Lo-Fi” effects usually associated with Lomo and Instagram. This is even more so when you use this lens on a micro 4/3 body. This is unusual, since its cousin, the no-name 50mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens, performed much better on the larger sensor of the E-M10.

Anyway, this review is more of a warning than anything else. Read on to find out why you shouldn’t get this lens.

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Shot explained: baby praying mantis at 1.33:1 magnification

Depicted: baby Praying Mantis, aprox. 7mm or 0.276" in size

This morning, while enjoying a cup of coffee with Sani, I noticed a praying mantis “baby” (what’s the correct word in English?) on the back rest of one of our garden chairs. I was deeply intrigued since I had never seen a mantis this young and small before. I had to take a picture right away!

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Panasonic announces Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH lens

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Early in the morning Panasonic has announced the Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH MFT lens. It is already available for preorder at Amazon and other online shops. The MSRP in the US is $1,299. Considering that this lens is almost as expensive as the Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH you can expect a similarly high level of build and image quality.

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A batch of photos with 25mm f1.4 CCTV C-mount lens and Olympus OM-D E-M10

This is probably the last batch of photos I will ever take with the 25mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens. I don’t enjoy using it, partly because of focusing ring and aperture ring positions and partly because of bad image quality. In the next couple of days I will write a micro 4/3 centric review. Expect a very negative verdict.

Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M10 & 25mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens Continue reading

Panasonic to announce Leica Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH tomorrow

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According to digicame-info.com Panasonic is going to announce a new LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm / F1.4 ASPH. [H-X012] lens tomorrow at 5-6am London time. There is no word yet on pricing and availability, but I’m guessing that it won’t be a cheap lens. The only other two lenses with Leica Summilux branding (15mm 1.7 H-X015 and 25mm f/1.4 H-X025E) cost around $600 / €500, and this being a very wide and very fast wide-angle lens it is almost certainly going to cost even more. The only info available at this moment is the closest focusing distance of 20cm and the filter thread diameter of 62mm.

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Comparison: Marumi DHG200 +5 vs Raynox DCR-250

Achromatic close-up lenses are one of the most popular options among photographers who want to get a taste of macro photography without breaking the bank. They are a special kind of close-up lenses with multiple lens elements instead of just one. This minimizes chromatic aberration and ensures better image quality at the borders of the frame.

Two highly regarded achromatic lenses are the Marumi DHG200 +5 and Raynox DCR-250. They cost almost the same, around 50-55 bucks. I own both of them and I’m more than satisfied with their build and image quality. That being said, there are some differences that will make you prefer one over the other, unless you want to own both. 😉 So let’s get to it!

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Review: 50mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens [Micro 4/3]

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Note: I have already reviewed the 50mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens on my Nikon 1 V1 – you can read that review here. Because of vastly improved image quality on my Olympus OM-D E-M10 I have decided to write this review, in course of which I will be analyzing its performance on Micro 4/3.

As I’ve said in my original review of the 50mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount, this lens is very cheap (less than 30 dollars/pounds/euros), yet capable of amazing results. Technical image quality (as in lack of aberrations, flare, vignetting, etc.) isn’t what this lens is about, although it isn’t bad in that regard either. What it’s really good at are image rendition and bokeh. Read on to find out what I think about its build quality, usability and image quality.

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