Review: Olympus OM Zuiko Macro 50mm 1:3.5

The Olympus OM Zuiko 3.5/50 Macro packs decent performance into a lens which is as small as it is affordable. In-Depth review on the Sony a7ii.

Specifications

Diameter 60 mm
Length 40 mm
Filter Thread 49 mm
Weight 200 g
Max. Magnification 0.5
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.23 m
Number of aperture blades 6
Elements/ Groups 5/4, floating elements
The Olympus OM MC 3.5/50 Macro usually sells for around $40 used at ebay.com (affiliate link). 
In Germany you can buy it used for around 50 at ebay.de (affiliate link). 

Image Samples

Just click on any image to get to the full resolution.

Continue reading Review: Olympus OM Zuiko Macro 50mm 1:3.5

Short Review: Voigtlander Heliar 75mm F1.8

The Voigtlander Heliar 75mm F1.8 is a rare representative of the family of 75mm lenses. In this shorter review I give you my impressions on how it performs on the Sony a7ii.

Specifications

Diameter 58 mm
Length 74 mm
Filter Thread 46 mm
Weight 427 g
Max. Magnification 0.12
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.9 m
Number of aperture blades 10
Elements/ Groups 6/3
The Voigtländer 1.8/75 usually sells for around $430 used at ebay.com (affiliate link). 
In Germany you can buy it used for around 400 at ebay.de (affiliate link). 

Image Samples

Just click on any image to get to the full resolution version.

Continue reading Short Review: Voigtlander Heliar 75mm F1.8

Rolling Review: Sony FE 1.8/85

Introduction

I have just reveiced my own copy of the Sony FE 1.8/85. I am happy to see that Sony continues to expand their budget prime lens lineup. Especially the Sony FE 2/28 reflects a great value for the price, we liked the Sony 2.8/50 Macro too.

Let’s take a closer look at the latest “budget” lens in this rolling review. The review will be updated periodly.

Sample Images

Sony A7 II | Sony FE 1.8/85 | f/1.8 | full resolution
Sony A7 II | Sony FE 1.8/85 | f/1.8 | full resolution
Sony A7 II | Sony FE 1.8/85 | f/2.8 | full resolution

Continue reading Rolling Review: Sony FE 1.8/85

Review: Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE

Introduction

rangefinder leica m lenses focus field curvature thick sensor stack leica summilux summilux-m 35mm 1.4 asph fle 35 mm 1,4 1/1.4 sony a7 series a7rii a7rmk2 a7rm2
Sony A7rII with Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter and Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE

The Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE is to my knowledge the most expensive 35mm lens for fullframe money can buy and it is also very highly regarded among the few that can afford it. But does it make any sense to use this lens on an A7 series camera? Read the review to find out.

Sample Images

rangefinder leica m lenses focus field curvature thick sensor stack leica summilux summilux-m 35mm 1.4 asph fle 35 mm 1,4 1/1.4 sony a7 series a7rii a7rmk2 a7rm2
Sony A7rII | Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE | f/2.0 | shot handheld | full resolution
rangefinder leica m lenses focus field curvature thick sensor stack leica summilux summilux-m 35mm 1.4 asph fle 35 mm 1,4 1/1.4 sony a7 series a7rii a7rmk2 a7rm2
Sony A7rII | Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE | f/1.4 | full resolution
rangefinder leica m lenses focus field curvature thick sensor stack leica summilux summilux-m 35mm 1.4 asph fle 35 mm 1,4 1/1.4 sony a7 series a7rii a7rmk2 a7rm2
Sony A7rII | Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE | f/4.0 | full resolution

This lens was also featured in my fast 35mm manual focus lenses comparison you might want to have a look at.

Continue reading Review: Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE

What I learned from shooting nothing but a $25 lens on my a7II for a month

When I decided to use only my 45-years-old Minolta MC 1.7/55 in February I had only one basic idea: I wanted to get out of my comfort zone because I know that I improve my skills much faster in anything if I can’t rely on my routines. And I guess I was also curious how I would fare without all the fancy gear I normally use.

My lens cabinet with most but not all my lenses. I think I can safely say that I am a gear head.

During the project I tried to take pictures everyday and I also created additional challenges for myself: One day I only allowed myself to take 5 pictures and on another I had to photograph in conditions I had little experience in.

1. It was much easier than I anticipated

Continue reading What I learned from shooting nothing but a $25 lens on my a7II for a month

35mm Comparison: Voigtlander VM 1.7, Zeiss Loxia 2.0 and ZM 1.4, Leica FLE 1.4

Introduction

Leica Summilux-M 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE | Zeiss Distagon ZM 35mm 1.4 T* | Voigtlander Ultron 35mm 1.7 Asph | Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0
Leica Summilux-M 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE | Zeiss Distagon ZM 35mm 1.4 T* | Voigtlander Ultron 35mm 1.7 Asph | Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0

We managed to gather the three most recent fast rangefinder 35mm wide angle lenses from Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander, threw in the Zeiss Loxia and put them up against each other on the 42mp A7rII.  So in case you are looking for a small modern high quality 35mm manual focus lens: read on!

Continue reading 35mm Comparison: Voigtlander VM 1.7, Zeiss Loxia 2.0 and ZM 1.4, Leica FLE 1.4

Best lenses for Sunstars

sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/11 | 10 straight blades

The shape and appearance of sunstars is very important for landscape and architecture photographers. For some of them, they are even a defining element in their photos. Sunstars can appear around strong point light sources under certain circumstances, in this article I will talk about how to get them and how certain lenses (being more specific: number and shape of aperture blades) can influence their rendering.

Sample Images

sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/5.6 | 10 straight blades
sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0 | f/11 | 10 straight blades
sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 Distagon | f/11 | 10 straight blades

Continue reading Best lenses for Sunstars

Project: $1500 camera with just one $25 lens for one month – updated

I am a gear head. How do I know? Because I own about a dozen normal lenses.

Usually I enjoy the choice I have but I was asking myself what would happen if I had no choice and could use only one lens for a whole month?  There is only one way to find out and so I decided that I would limit myself to the Minolta MC Rokkor 1:1.7 55mm which is 45-years-old and cost me $25.

When I started the project I was curious how it would affect my photography. I have always progressed the fastest when I was outside of my comfort zone and I expected that this project would give me many experiences outside my comfort zone.

In this post I will recapitulate my experience so far.

Day 1: Black and White

On day one I decided that the lens alone wouldn’t push me outside of my comfort zone enough so I decided to give myself additional challenges each day which would make the project more interesting.

For day one this was photographing in black and white only because color is usually essential for my pictures. I think it worked quite well as did using 55mm for zoo images.

Day 2: Unknown territory

Continue reading Project: $1500 camera with just one $25 lens for one month – updated

Review: Canon FD 85mm 1:1.2 S.S.C. Aspherical

The Canon 1.2/85 is a legend of a lens and in this review I put it’s earliest incarnation to the test on my Sony a7II.

Specifications

Diameter 81 mm
Length 72 mm
Filter Thread 72 mm
Weight 756 g
Max. Magnification 0.1
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 1 m
Number of aperture blades 9
Elements/ Groups 8/6, floating elements
The Canon FD 1.2/85 Aspherical usually sells for around $600 used at ebay.com (affiliate link). 
In Germany you can buy it used for around 650 at ebay.de (affiliate link). 

Image Samples

Continue reading Review: Canon FD 85mm 1:1.2 S.S.C. Aspherical

Manual Lenses | Sony Alpha