Mini tripods for mirrorless cameras

Introduction

tripods mirrorless cameras velbon gitzo manfrotto sirui rrs kirk markins a7rii a7s

As a follow up to my Tripods for Mirrorless Cameras article I will now also take a look at some of the Mini tripods available (often referred to as table top tripods). Even the smallest tripod is better than no tripod at all, so let’s have a look at some ridiculously small ones you won’t find an excuse not to carry around all the time ūüôā

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Review: Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-T 100mm 1:2

Olympus_Zuiko_100mmf2-1-7

The Olympus OM 100mm 1:2 is by some margin the best manual portrait lens I have used on my Sony a7. Read on if you want to know why.

Specifications

Diameter 72 mm
Length 72 mm
Filter Thread 55 mm
Weight 520 g
Max. Magnification 0.2
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 70 cm
Number of aperture blades 9
Elements/ Groups 7/6, floating elements
The Olympus OM 2/100 usually sells for around $750 used at ebay.com (affiliate link). 
In Germany¬†you can buy it used for around 650‚ā¨¬†at ebay.de (affiliate link).¬†

Image Samples

olympus_om_zuiko_100mmf2-7

olympus_om_zuiko_100mmf2-48

olympus_om_zuiko_100mmf2-50

Continue reading Review: Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-T 100mm 1:2

Leica R mount lenses

Some time ago I had the chance to put several older Leica lenses to the test, here are the results.

I have never actually used any of these lenses, I just had them for a couple of minutes to shoot a test series.

I only had one copy per lens so my results might not be representative for other lenses,

Leitz Super-Angulon-R 1:4/21SuperAngulon21

Typical performance for UWA lens of it’s era.

The center is very good from f/4, midframe is okayish and the corners are soft.

Stopped down to f/11 even the corners are sharp but not very much so. CA is controllled quite well.

My Canon nFD 2.8/20 is a better performer for a whole  lot less money, but there are many other legacy lenses in the 20/21mm range which have worse corners.

Test

Leitz Wetzlar Elmarit-R  1:2.8/28Elmarit28

A pretty unremarkable performance, my 20 bucks Minolta MD 2.8/28 is slightly better.
At f/2.8 the center is a lillte soft, the midframe is noticeably worse and the corners are pretty bad.
It takes f/11 for the corners to sharpen up to very good levels.

Test

 

Leitz Summicron-R 1:2/50Summicron50

This lens showed an interesting performance pattern.

At f/2 the center is only ok,  my other lenses like the Minolta MC 1.4/50 or Canon nFD 1.4/50 are noticeably sharper in the center at f/2. What is remarkable is that the corners are the best I have seen in any legacy 50mm lens at f/2.

At f/2.8 the center sharpens up a lot to excellent levels.

By f/4 the lens shows very good sharpness from corner to corner which is a stop earlier than I would expect from my Canons or Minoltas.

At F/5.6 it is excellent from corner to corner.

I think this is an excellent landscape lens  but for general purposes I would prefer other lenses because of the under performing center at f/2. My analysis is based on the analysis of these infinity shot so my conclusion might be a different one if I would use it for actual shooting.

Test

Leitz Tele-Elmarit-M 1:2.8/90Elmarit90

This is a very small lens with very good performance in the center and midframe from f/2.8 with a hint of purple fringing. The corners at f/2.8 are soft.

At f/4 the center improves to excellent levels, the other regions don#t see much improvement.

By f/11 the corners have reached a good level.

I think this lens will work quite well as a very compact portrait lens but for serious landscape work I would leave it at home.

Test

Leitz APO-Telyt-R 1:3.4/180telyt180apo

Writing about a lens is always easier when there are no defects to describe.

The lens shows excellent sharpness from f/3.4 corner to corner with only the smallest hint of CA in the corners.

Test

 

Conclusion

Based on these results I don’t get all the fuss about Leica lenses.

Sure, all lenses had a very nice finish, nicer than that of other manufacturers .

But if I look at the performance it is pretty similar to that of other lenses of the same era. The only lens which stood out was the 3.4/180 APO but I would suspect that a Nikon 2.8/180 ED AI-S isn’t any worse.

Of course there¬†are other very important aspects about lenses which I couldn’t experience like bokeh, color and contrast or handling etc. but I would be surprised if these lenses performed that much better in these aspects than other lenses.

From what I have read and seen the more modern lenses from the 90’s and later are in fact often better than¬†the designs of other manufacturers, but that’s not the case here.

The manual photographers series part 1: Dan Noland

In this series we interview amateur photographers just like us, who inspire us and who share our passion for photographing with manual lenses.

Mitakon 50 0.95, f0.95
Mitakon 50 0.95, f0.95, by Leonie Bellé

Hi Dan,
can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to use manual lenses?

D: I’m studying mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen. Besides my studies and my work as mechanical designer at a young high tech kickoff of the Fraunhofer ILT Aachen I take photos and make music.

I started with photography about 7 years ago. At this time I owned a Lumix FZ18 ‚Äď a bridge cam. I was really annoyed by it after some time, it felt like the cam made the photos and not me. There was nothing left for me to do except framing, the auto focus just had its own will and the super zoom made it too easy. To take control of¬†the image I used a lot of Photoshop.

At some point this did not satisfy me anymore. I wanted to create an image, to make the camera do what I wanted it to do. So about 5 years ago I bought a NEX 5N with the 18-55 kit lens. While this combination was no real change to my FZ18, I could also use some old FDs from my dad.

Using the Nex-5n with the old FDs was what I had wanted all along. No more pumping auto focus and no more miss focused images.
I started testing and collecting FDs and I do so til today. Legacy lenses were and are the best compromise between price and performance. Besides some of them do have real unique characteristics.

My 5N accompanied me about 2 or 3 years but I was complaining about bad image quality at low light situations a lot. So¬†I decided that¬†the best thing to do would be to buy an a7 and that’s what I did. It was indeed a¬†boost in lowlight for several¬†reasons.

First the sensor is bigger and therefore it is better at those situations by its own. Second my old FDs were made for fullframe and now I could use their full potential. I owned some f/1.2 and this light boost seemed pretty much insane to me. Til today I‚Äôm happy with my A7. I never anticipated to buy an AF lens and I think I never will. I shot a wedding, various model shootings, a band shooting and take everyday footage of my family… of young and wild kids.

Mitakon 50 0.95, f0.95
Mitakon 50 0.95, f0.95

I don’t miss any little helper besides the things my A7 already does and the only thing that a A7II could do for me would be the IBIS. Photography has becomea big part of my life and I hope to lift my hobby up to the next level in the future.

Can you give us a look into your camera bag and tell us a little about your gear?

Continue reading The manual photographers series part 1: Dan Noland

Review: Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED

Introduction

Sony A7s with Metabones Nikon G -> Sony E Adapter and Nikon AI-s 180mm 2.8 ED
Sony A7s with Metabones Nikon G -> Sony E Adapter and Nikon AI-s 180mm 2.8 ED

The Nikon AI-s 180mm 2.8 ED is one of the most famous manual focus Nikkors and reknown for it’s beautiful bokeh, great CA correction and build quality. It was also one of the first “consumer” lenses featuring ED glass. I paired it with the A7rII and A7s to find out if it is still a viable option today.

Sample Images

nikon nikkor manual focus ed 180mm ai ais ai-s tele lens fast sony a7r a7 a7ii a7s a7rii mark 2 series bokeh natur nature goose duck bird volgen
Sony A7s | Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED | f/2.8 | full resolution
nikon nikkor manual focus ed 180mm ai ais ai-s tele lens fast sony a7r a7 a7ii a7s a7rii mark 2 series
Sony A7rII | Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED | f/2.8 | full resolution
bokeh natur nature macro makro close up pk-13 extension tube nikon nikkor manual focus ed 180mm ai ais ai-s tele lens fast sony a7r a7 a7ii a7s a7rii mark 2 series bokeh
Sony A7s | Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED + PK-13 extension tube | f/2.8 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED