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

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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Kudos to Olympus for its dust reduction system

Yesterday, while post processing several photos I shot with my Olympus OM-D E-M10, I saw a speck of dust in one of the photos. I believe it to be for the first time since buying the camera, but I’m not 100% sure. I can’t recall ever encountering dust on the sensor or cleaning the sensor since purchasing the camera more than two years ago. Anyway, I just finished cleaning the sensor with a Hama blower. It took me less than ten seconds. So it wouldn’t be a big deal even if I had to do it more often – but not too often.

The reason why I’m sharing my seemingly trivial experience with you is that we get used to technology that makes our lives easier very fast. We start to take these things for granted in no time. But after thinking about the many times I had to clean the sensor in my Nikon D40 – a real dust magnet, I tell you – I suddenly realized that Olympus must have an amazing dust reduction system under the hood. Cleaning the sensor is not that much work, but removing all those pesky dust specks in a dozen or more photos with the cloning tool sure is.

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Olympus OM-D E-M10 & 50mm f1.4 CCTV lens: it’s time for some C-mount action!

Do you know that feeling when you fall in love with somebody or something anew? Well, I loved the cheap 50mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens on the Nikon 1 V1 – not so much the ease of use on the N1 camera but the bokeh and its unique rendering. And now using it on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 – with exposure metering, IBIS, focus peaking and magnification – I find that I’m falling in love with it again. 🙂

Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M10 & 50mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens Continue reading

Several new/old cat photos

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. 🙂

Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M10 & Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Continue reading

Shooting macro with a portrait lens: Olympus 45mm f/1.8, Marumi DHG200 and Raynox DCR-250 working in unison

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.

Olympus OM-D E-M10, 45mm f/1.8, Marumi DHG200 & Raynox DCR-250 Continue reading

I’ve updated my Marumi DHG200 +5 review!

Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M10 & 45mm f/1.8

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.

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Additional photos with the Olympus OM-D E-M10, PL 25mm f1.4 and Oly 45mm f1.8

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.

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My first photos with the Olympus OM-D E-M10, 45mm f/1.8 and Panasonic 25mm f/1.4

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).

Olympus OM-D E-M10 & Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Continue reading