40mm. One of my favourite focal lengths. Long ago the Voigtländer 2/40mm Ultron was glued to my Canon. Even longer ago, the Zuiko 2/40 was a favourite on my Olmpus OM film gear. The 40mm equivalent 20mm Lumix was my favourite lens on the M43 gear I used to use for travel and hiking. So naturally a native 40mm full frame lens for E mount has me very excited.
That slightly wider than standard lens look (close to the theoretical ‘normal’ focal length of 43mm) gives a lovely, natural perspective that leaves the photographer, rather than the angle of view, in charge of the image. But of course the cost of the slightly wider angle of view is less potential for bokeh; the nice, isolating, out-of-focus blur that people prize in people photography. That’s why the speed on this lens is potentially so great. Perhaps f1.2 sounds extreme, but the actual blur potential is about the same as f1.4 on a 50mm lens. So in order to keep up with a 50mm lens in terms of blur, you really do want a bit of extra speed on moderate wides. 40mm is a great length for portraits which place people in a context: but you don’t want that context to dominate, so being able to see the context but have it nicely blurred is a fantastic combination. But what price do we pay for that? Is the IQ on this surprisingly small and fast lens good enough? Thanks to Mainline Photographics who are the Cosina Voigtländer distributors in Australia, for the loan of a review copy.
A Few Samples
Continue reading Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical: An In Depth Review
The Batis 25mm f2 was one of the original two Batis lenses Zeiss released; but it remains the only fixed 24mm class lens that is available in E mount. It’s not cheap, so how does it perform and is it worth the money? That’s what this review may help you decide.
Most of the images in this review can be seen in high resolution here
Continue reading Review: Zeiss Batis Distagon T* 25mm f2
The blogosphere melted down with frustration when the 135mm Batis was announced. Too slow and too expensive was the common verdict. But it’s also much lighter than the fastest medium teles, and faster and more convenient than the smallest. So is this lens the ideal compromise, or is it stranded uselessly between the fastest and the smallest? That will depend on performance, and handling. This review looks at just those issues.
Images can be seen and downloaded in full resolution here.
Continue reading Review: Zeiss Batis Apo Sonnar T* 135mm f2.8
A super fast fifty millimetre lens can be a lot of fun. But arguably it’s not the best all around type of lens to have; it’ll be bigger and heavier than a more modest speed fifty, and likely not as good stopped down. It’s more of an occasional use specialty lens. So it makes sense not to spend vast sums for a Leica Noctilux. No-one makes a modern f1.2; and if and when they do it will no doubt be extremely expensive and very big and heavy. That makes the better legacy 50mm f1.2 lenses well worth investigating.
This review is of one of the better contenders: The OM Zuiko 50mm f1.2. It has a reputation for being usably sharp in the middle wide open, and sharpening up to decent overall performance stopped down. Does it live up to this reputation? Read on!
High resolution versions of the samples can be found at http://www.davidbraddonmitchell.com/Varia/Zuiko1250/
Continue reading Review: Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f1.2