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 this article.
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!
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!
Because of the sheer number of cat pictures on the internet not everybody enjoys viewing or shooting cat photos. I love cats, especially their inquisitive nature. I never get bored of watching them snoop around and photographing them while they do so. The following photos are quite old. I’ve taken them in September and October 2014. All were shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 and 45mm f/1.8. I hope you like them. 🙂
Photographers often use lenses for subjects they are not primarily designed for. Macro lenses, for example, often double as portraiture lenses – especially the ones with medium-long focal lengths. But how about doing it the other way around and using a dedicated portrait lens – such as the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 for micro 4/3 – for macro photography? Not a good idea? Well, no, not if you are only going to use the portrait lens. But if you attach one or two close-up lenses, you will be surprised what can be done with that kind of set-up. Take a look at the following photos I’ve shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M10, 45mm f/1.8, Marumi DHG200 (read my review here) and Raynox DCR-250. It’s important to note that none of these images were cropped.
I’ve added lots of photos taken with the Marumi DHG200 + 5 with the Nikon 1 V1 and 10-30mm and 18.5mm f/1.8 as well as Olympus OM-D E-M10 and 45mm f/1.8. There are now more photos of the said cameras and lenses with and without the Marumi attached to them. And last but not least there are also full resolution comparison images taken with the Nikon and Olympus gear, so that you can get a better idea of the boost to magnification ratio it provides. You can check out the review here.
Since I posted my first batch of photos taken with the brand new Olympus OM-D EM-10, I’ve had more time to study the camera and to take some additional photos. I must say, as much as I enjoy having the IBIS and the flexibility which the larger m4/3 sensor and the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 and Olympus 45mm f/1.8 provide in terms of low light performance and DOF control, almost equally I hate the color rendition, seemingly random auto white balance and “dark” metering of the E-M10. The Nikon V1 with the Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 (you can read my review of the lens here) still have some advantages which make the setup very fun to use. For example, the V1 has extremely precise metering and Auto WB, vastly superior to the both systems the E-M10 employs. I find that with the latter I’m constantly correcting exposure by +0.3-0.7 stops to get the result I’m used to with the V1. And even then, some work in Lightroom is needed to make the highlights “roll off” as smoothly as with the V1. The reason for this is no doubt the fact that the E-M10, while having greater dynamic range overall, has less highlight headroom and a steeper curve in the highlight region (but more shadow headroom) than the V1, thus underexposing constantly to protect those highlights.
I’ve had my Olympus OM-D E-M10 for two weeks now, but due to being swamped at work and having some business meetings abroad I couldn’t find the time to write a blog post about the camera and the first batch of pictures I took with it. Together with the E-M10 I also bought the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 and the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4. Both seem to be excellent lenses. I can’t say much without some thorough testing first and I don’t like to go out on a limb, but Olympus cameras seem to be like mini super computers with loads of customization, which can be overwhelming at first. But once you assign the functions you want to the Fn buttons and customize the features and the way the camera operates to your liking, chances are you won’t need to dive in to a menu for a looong time. The E-M10 is the opposite of the Nikon V1. You can customize almost anything and the level of manual control is insane, but in a good way. The aspect of the camera I like best is undoubtedly the IBIS. With the V1 I’ve learned to hold the camera firmly and to do my best to avoid any movement. I even hold my breath when going under 1/50th of a second, but with the Olympus I find myself shooting anyway I see fit, while still getting sharp photos free of camera shake. Anyway here are some of my first photos with the E-M10, 45/1.8 and 25/1.4, most of which were taken at high ISO (ISO1600 and above).
More than two years after release Nikon still doesn’t offer a native macro lens for its Nikon 1 system. This means that if you intend to take macros, you are left with a few “odd” choices. The most powerful, but also the most expensive and bulky solution is to buy the FT-1 adapter and a DX or FX Micro-Nikkor, like the 40mm f/2.8, 60mm f/2.8G ED, 85mm f/3.5 IF-ED or 105mm f/2.8 IF-ED. These lenses will allow you to achieve even greater image ratios (above 1:1) on N1 cameras than when used on DX or FX Nikon DSLRs. Including the FT-1 adapter these setups will cost you from $530 up to $1000. The other two solutions are intelligent extension tubes for existing Nikon 1 lenses (you can’t buy a “dumb” tube, because AF will not work, and “by wire” MF and aperture control on N1 lenses need power from the camera) or achromatic and close-up lenses. Both are considerably cheaper, but also less powerful. BUT, depending on your expectations, cheap solutions such as extension tubes and achromatic lenses could be just the right thing for you. One of my main reasons for investing in Nikon 1 was low size and weight, which was the reason I wasn’t ready to add so much weight and bulk to my photo bag with the FT-1 and a full grown Nikkor. I ended up buying the Marumi DHG200 +5 achromatic lens with a 52mm filter thread and a 40.5mm to 52mm step-up ring instead, which turned out to be perfect for my needs. At least until Nikon releases a native Micro-Nikkor for Nikon 1, in which case I will get that lens and use it WITH the Marumi. Here is what the Marumi looks like mounted on the Nikon V1 and 10-30mm.