Olympus 45mm F1.8 vs Nikon 32mm F1.2 Image Quality Comparison

Olympus 45mm f1.8 vs Nikon 32mm f1.2 image quality comparison

I’ve been using the Nikon 32mm F1.2 prime lens for many months now and I have owned and used the Olympus 45mm F1.8 lens for much, much longer. I think it’s safe to say that I know both lenses inside and out. Looking at their properties – like focal length, suitability for beautiful bokeh, and so on – one inevitably arrives at the conclusion that these two lenses serve the same purpose inside their respective ecosystems and that therefore they are very much comparable. In my opinion both of them are great lenses in their own right. There are huge differences in the image quality department, however, which I’m going to discuss in the following article.

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Some recent macro photos with the Canon FD 200mm F4 Macro

I’ve had the Canon FD 200mm F4 Macro for about a month now and I’m still getting used to its size and weight. It’s a massive lens, but due to its long focal length it allows you to sit back and shoot macro subjects from a long distance. You don’t have to worry about scaring away insects and arachnids you are photographing, but you have to concentrate really hard to keep the lens/camera combo from shaking too much. In my experience the 3-axis IBIS in the Olympus OM-D E-M10 is definitely overwhelmed by the massive shake. What resolves this issue to some degree is activating the high speed burst mode. Shooting with 8 frames per second improves the odds of capturing at least a few sharp pictures tremendously. “Spraying and praying” is most definitely the way to go, when it’s windy, your subject is moving and you are shooting handheld. Since I’m one of those lazy macro shooters, who can’t be bothered to get up before sunrise or to lug a tripod, it’s windy and my subjects are very active most of the time when I’m go out to do macro photography.

I’m now gonna show you some of the images I’ve taken since last time.

Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M10 & Canon FD 200mm F4 Macro Continue reading

A few super macro samples with the Cosmicar 8mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens

After my last post regarding the Cosmicar 8mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens I have purchased a revers mounting ring for micro four thirds. It’s a 55mm to M4/3 mount mounting ring, which is too large for the Cosmicar. I have therefore attached the lens to two step-up rings – a 40.5mm to 52mm and a 52mm to 55mm. It’s not an ideal solution, but I wasn’t able to find a reverse mounting ring with a smaller filter thread. Anyway it works and surprisingly well at that. I haven’t calculated the maximum magnification ratio, but it puts all my other macro setups to shame. See the anthers in the following photo which was shot with the reverse mounted Cosmicar 8mm f/1.4 on my Olympus OM-D E-M10?

Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M10 & Cosmicar 8mm f/1.4 C-mount lens (reverse mounted)
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Canon FD 200mm F4 Macro – the newest addition to my arsenal

Canon FD 200mm f/4 Macro is the kind of lens I wanted Olympus and Panasonic to release for quite some time now. In my mind smaller sensor formats, like micro four thirds and Nikon 1, are perfectly suited for macro photography – especially for skittish macro subjects, such as damselflies, dragonflies and butterflies. It’s a real shame that neither Olympus/Panasonic nor Nikon have released a long macro lens for their respective systems. In absence of such a lens, the best option is to get a legacy lens and a suitable adapter and focus manually.

Canon FD 200mm F4 Macro Continue reading

Cosmicar 8mm f/1.4 on M4/3 and Nikon 1 – A total bust?

A couple of days ago I bought a Cosmicar 8mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens. Since there are no ultra-fast ultra-wide angle lenses for either Micro Four Thirds or Nikon 1, I wanted to try it out and see if it would work. What I wanted to use it for were nighttime landscapes with an emphasis on the sky. I always wanted to try out photographing the stars, Milky Way, etc. Of course, as is often the case with C-mount lenses, there was a chance that it wouldn’t work at all.

A rare lens

There is no mention of the Cosmicar 8mmm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens on either ebay US or ebay Germany – not even under completed listings. There is also very little info regarding the lens on the web. I found a thread on mu-43.com eventually, but this was after I bought the lens. There is a lot more info about Cosmicar 8mm f/1.5 and 8.5mm f/1.5 lenses, though, neither of which are able to illuminate the entire 4/3 sensor.

Since there seem to be a lot of similar lenses – at least with similar specs – I’ve included several images of my Cosmicar 8mm f/1.4 down below.

Shot with: Nikon 1 V1 & 1 Nikkor 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 Continue reading

ePhotozine reviews the new Meike 25mm F0.95 lens

Meike-25mm-F0.95 -MK-E-25-0.95

About one and a half months ago Meike announced a 25mm F0.95 lens and three additional prime lenses for almost all mirrorless camera mounts – even Nikon 1. ePhotozine has posted a review of the of the micro 4/3 version of the 25mm F0.95 lens. The verdict reads as follows:

Of course, we have to accept that this is a manual focus lens, which will not be to everyone’s taste, but if we are prepared to live with that then we end up with a very desirable lens. It is sharp, albeit not at the edges until f/2, in the centre outstandingly sharp, there is no trace of flare, CA is well under control and the price very reasonable for what we are getting. We can add to that the creative possibilities for stills and movies of that f/0.95 aperture and it makes a good case for giving the Meike 25mm f/0.95 serious consideration.

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My Macro Diffuser for Meike MK320

Less than a week ago I finished making a macro diffuser for my Meike MK320. Unlike the first version of the diffuser (see here), which was intended to work with the built-in flash of my Olympus OM-D E-M10 and was made of paper – and was therefore fiddly and not very robust – this one is mostly made of cardboard. The inside is layered with aluminium foil, in order to reflect more light and therefore increase effective output and improve flash recycle time.

I’m not entirely sure that I have succeeded in making the setup more efficient, but I’m very satisfied with the look of the photos. The light doesn’t look hard, which is the most important aspect for me.

I’ve included several sample photos taken with the diffuser and the following gear down below: Olympus OM-D E-M10, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45m f/1.8, Marumi DHG200 + 5, Raynox DCR-250 and FOTGA extension tubes.

Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M10, Olympus 45mm f/1.8, Marumi DHG200 +5, Raynox DCR-250, FOTGA automatic macro extension tubes & Meike MK320 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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