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!
Meike, a Chinese company best known for its camera accessories, has announced four new lenses for Micro 4/3, Nikon 1, Fuji X, Canon EOS M and Sony E mounts: 25mm f/0.95, 28mm f/2.8, 35mm f/1.7 and 50mm f/2.0.
Most of them are already available at Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon DE. The 25mm f/0.95 is undoubtedly the most interesting lens of the bunch, but it’s also the most expensive one with a price tag of $660. The other three cost between $80-90.
Sadly the Nikon EN-EL15 battery in my Nikon 1 V1 has reached the end of its working life. It happened without there being any sign whatsoever that it would die. I took some photos one day, depleting the battery in the process, and recharged it afterwards. The next day I was greeted with the following message on the camera display.
I must confess that I was naive when I bought my first set of C-mount adapters for my Nikon 1 V1 and Olympus OM-D E-M10. I assumed that it was very easy to make a so called “dumb adapter” – meaning an adapter that doesn’t pass through electrical signals from the camera to the lens and vice versa. Boy was I wrong! As it turns out it is quite a challenge to get the design right, in order to ensure compatibility with as many lenses as possible. At least it seems to be a challenge for manufacturers like “Kiwi”. I posted a couple of images down below, so you can identify the adapters in question.
Just like Ricoh has done two weeks ago Konica Minolta has now patented a new lens for 1” sensor format, a 9-90mm f/2.8-5.6 zoom with image stabilization. Oddly enough, despite being a stop faster at the wide angle end and offering a 24mm instead of a 28mm full frame equivalent focal length, it has a much simpler lens design – 16 instead of 19 lens elements – than the Nikon 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4-5.6 VR zoom lens.
I’ve been meaning to post some of my recent macros, which I’ve taken with the trusty old V1, 10-30mm, Marumi DHG200 (check out my review of the Marumi here) and Raynox DCR-250, but unfortunately I’ve had bronchitis the past couple of weeks. I wasn’t really in the mood for blogging.
Nikon 1 community has been debating whether Nikon will abandon the system entirely, ever since the DL series of compact cameras with the 1“ sensor was announced at the end of February. The last Nikon 1 related announcements – Nikon 1 J5 and Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 70-300mm f/4-5.6 announced in April 2015 and March 2014 respectively – were made quite a while back, which naturally contributes to the anxiousness of N1 users. The V3 being two years old and there being no sign of the V4, the next high-end model, doesn’t help matters either.
But as the Japanese blog Egami reports, Nikon could be working hard on a fast wide angle prime as we speak. The 9mm f/1.8 (24mm full frame equivalent) described in the published patent is designed for 1” sensors, which implies that it could also be intended for a DL series camera or a lower end Coolpix A model. As you can see in the schematic below, the lens has a moderately complex optical formula, consisting of nine elements. Just to put things into perspective, the 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 has six elements in five groups, while the optically superb 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 has nine elements in seven groups.
I’ve bought the 25mm f/1.4 C-Mount lens last August with its larger sibling, the 50mm f/1.4 C-Mount, which I’ve reviewed here. This is a new record even for me in regard to long term usage of a lens, before writing a review. It took me four months to review the 50/1.4 C-Mount and a whopping eight to do a review of the Nikon 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8. Despite having the 25/1.4 and using it for such a long time, I don’t have that many photos to show for it. One reason is that it is a specialized lens, which I only use when I feel that its characteristic look adds something to the photo opportunity at hand. Otherwise I go with the 18.5mm f/1.8, which is similar in terms of focal length and DOF control, and doesn’t have the swirly bokeh I don’t like that much. The other reason is that I have the afore-mentioned 50/1.4 C-Mount. Unlike the 25/1.4 it cannot be substituted with the 18.5mm, because it is an entirely different beast in regard to focal length and bokeh. Having smoother focus and aperture rings, whereby the former is further away from the body (25/1.4’s focus ring is next to the body), makes it easier to use. I will go into more detail on that later. This is what the 25/1.4 C-Mount lens looks like mounted on the Nikon V1 and in the hand.
Unlike with my previous photos I’ve developed the photos you see below in Lightroom 5.4 and used the fringing and CA tools to reduce color artefacts on edges with strong contrast. Not that it did much good, considering just how flawed the 25mm f/1.4 C-Mount lens is in this regard. 😉 You can find my previous posts about the C-Mount lens here. I will be posting the review of the lens tomorrow. In the meanwhile you can view all my photos taken with the 25/1.4 C-Mount in my Flickr set.
After a pause lasting two months, over the course of which I’ve been shooting with my Micro Four Thirds gear, I took the Nikon V1 with the 25mm f/1.4 C-Mount lens for a spin. Unlike the 50mm f/1.4 C-Mount, the 25/1.4 is not a lens I enjoy shooting a lot, which is why I still haven’t gotten to writing a review. I simply haven’t taken enough photos with it to be confident enough to pass a final verdict. I hope that it won’t take 8 months, like it did with the 18.5mm f/1.8, until I’m ready to sit down and write a proper review. Btw. you can read my long term review of the 18.5mm here.