Samstag, 20. Dezember 2014

Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 - a good choice

Sony a7 with OM 50mm f/1.8 at full aperture
Let's start our mini challenge of the cheap 50mm lenses. I begin with a really good glass. The Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 was in the past one of the most sold lenses of OM-system. Today, we would call this lens a typical kit lens. You can still buy it for very little money. Normally it should not cost more than 30 Euros, although prices have risen sharply in recent times. This lens is a secret hint, it is not only cheap, it is lightweight and small too.
We come to the statistical disclosures: the little lens has a length of 32 millimeters and a weight of 165 grams. The maximum diameter of the lens is 61 mm, the thread of the filter 49 millimeters. The design includes six lenses in five groups. The aperture can be divided into stages close of 1.8 to 16. The shortest focus distance is 45 centimeters.  Here you can see the lens on a full frame camera Sony a7.  If think away the adapter, then the Zuiko 50mm is really compact.

I have the lens tested on a Sony NEX-3N and at a Sony a7 with full format. Oh well, I have now collected a whole bunch of different 50mm lenses. And now I can compete against each other.  Who is all in the race? Right now lie before me: besides the OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, the Zeiss Jena 50mm f/2.8 (named "Eagle Eye"), the Asahi Pentax SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8 and the Minolta MC Rokkor PF 55mm f/1.7. At this point I would like to thank my good friends from all over the world who have made it possible to compare these lenses. They have sent me their 50mm lenses, so I test them. Thank you for your trust.

Sony a7 with OM 50mm f/1.8 at full aperture
Getting back to our test candidate. The feel of the lens is excellent. Everything is solid, the mechanism works great. The apertures will snap rich and clearly audible. The aperture can be operated very well even without eye contact. The focus ring runs smooth and has a sufficiently long adjustment path. Ideally suited to adapt to any camera, like Micro four-third or Sony Nex with focus-peaking.  My OM-NEX adapter I purchased at amazon. It is a simple copy from China, which has cost not more than ten Euros.

Sony a7 with OM 50mm f/1.8 at full aperture
Sony a7 with OM 50mm at f/2.8
Sony a7 with OM 50mm f/1.8 at f/4.0
Sony a7 with OM 50mm f/1.8 at f/2.8
How it looks with the picture quality?
At full aperture the images are a little dull and lacks contrast. The center of the picture is sufficiently sharp even at full aperture. But at the full frame camera, the edges are very weak. But stop down from 2.8 to 4.0 the photos are sharp from one corner to the other.
The Zuiko 50mm f / 1.8 is a little sensitive backlit subjects. There is a little purple fringing and ghosting. The whole thing disappears immediately when you stop down the lens. Additionally, you can buy a lens hood made of metal or rubber, which can be screwed into the filter thread.
If you shoot in RAW format, you can quiet conscience work with open aperture. The small weaken of the lens can quickly improve in Adobe Lightroom. Used at full aperture shows the OM Zuiko 50mm f / 1.8 results comparable to the legendary lenses from Zeiss at the Leica- M. OK, that sounds very enthusiastic, but look at my photos. Sometimes you can guess the 3D effect.
Unfortunately, this lens is only a slight telephoto lens on an APS-C sensor. But to fully recommend it as a portrait lens.
Let us summarize: I can fully recommend this lens. The price-performance ratio is perfect. As far as optical and mechanical power for so little money there is nowhere.  My recommendation: If you can get it cheap, then buy it.

Samstag, 22. November 2014

The 50mm challenge - it is worth a try

Hi guys, i will start in next few days a challenge of the really old and cheap 50mm lenses. Do you lie in your showcase even such old baby around? Then send the items to me so I can try them. The more the merrier.  For starters, all of Minolta MD, Canon FD, M39 or Nikon Ai (S) would be a great thing. I know there are also a lot of M42, but the right adapter I have not yet here. I'll try the lenses on APS-C and full frame test on. I just need cheap Sony a7; o)

Montag, 17. November 2014

misty morning

In November, the early hours are usually foggy, cold and uncomfortable. It's the same this year. Every morning I run my usual route to work and sometimes I take my camera out of my pocket. Today I will show three photos that are incurred in the morning twilight between night and day.   
As usual with me everything in black and white. Looks a little bit like Bruce Barnbaum, is not it?

Sonntag, 2. November 2014

art and communications- a short visit in Nürnberg

To knowing about Nürnberg in two days was my destination for a little trip. It was damn a very short time to see all of the highlights of these nice town in franconia. I had no great pleasure to haul a lot of cameras and lenses.  So I grabbed my little Olympus E-M5 and had a good time. Only the 25mm f/1.8 and a 17mm f/2.8 pancake and it was good.  The main thing I shoot for myself black-and-white images. Look the pictures and enjoy it- my special kind of photography:

Sonntag, 26. Oktober 2014

My black and white diary from Tuscany

See and experience only one week in Tuscany is far too little Well no matter. I have a huge amount of photos shot. I need forever to sort all photos.  I present some of the many pictures here. Maybe you like them.  Here's a few shots first. There are more in the next few days.

Mittwoch, 1. Oktober 2014

The Tokina RMC 28mm f/2.8 - a small gem for little money?

Caveat: a smooth Yes to my own question in the title. I have many lenses with 28mm focal length tried in recent times. Some lenses, like the Sigma 28mm mini wide II were very impressive in the image quality. For other lenses, such as the Vivitar 28mm f/2.8, it was necessary to stop down before I really satisfied with contrast, sharpness and colors.
However, the Tokina RMC II 28mm f/2.8 is really a very impressive lens.

As with the wide angle Tokina RMC II 24mm f / 2.8 is also the 28mm lens already to very good use at open aperture.   The Tokina 28mm f/2.8 you can buy for less than 30 euros. And you get a really good lens for your little money.
Let's start with the statistical data: The Tokina 28mm is a very compact lens with dimensions 64 x 42 mm and a weight of only 160 grams. The minimum focus is 0,3 meter, it is a multi-coated lens with 5 elements in 5 groups. The filter size is 49 mm.  A beautiful lens to adapt to a sony-nex or sony a7.
What about the image quality?  Already at open aperture sharpness and contrast are very good. If you stop down only grows the depth of field.  I have the lens used in bad weather and sunshine. The sharpness and resolution were always excellent.
In some situations, such as for example in the back light, it is better to use a lens hood. Otherwise the performance of the lens is blameless. Or in other words: I can really recommend this lens. One gets an excellent performance for very little money. I hope you can see on my photos, for example, how good this lens really is.

Sony NEX-3N with f/2.8, 1/250s, ISO 200

Sony NEX-3N with f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 200

Sony NEX-3N with f/2.8, 1/250s, ISO 200

Sony NEX-3N, f/4.0, 1/200s, ISO 200

Sony NEX-3N with f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 200

Samstag, 20. September 2014

The Vivitar Series 1 28mm f/2.5 - made by Kiron

Not wrongly applies the Vivitar-lens-series as one of the best lens series from the good old days. What is the origin of the name and company Vivitar? 1938 fleeing from Hitler, the German immigrants Max Ponder and John Best founded in Los Angeles a company for distribution of optical equipment. Ponder and Best first imported German-made photo equipment. After World War II, the partnership began to import cameras and photographic equipment from Japan. Since the early 60s the company sales still called "Ponder & Best Inc." different lenses of the Japanese company called Tokina. Tokina designed and manufactured the lenses and "Ponder & Best Inc." sold these under the name "Vivitar" throughout the world. The production of the lenses took over in the 70s, the Japanese companies "Kino Precision Industries", better known under the brand "Kiron" and the company "Komine". In Internet circulated the opinion that "Komine" was only an extended workbench of Kiron and not an independent company. You can see that a lens of "Komine" comes when the serial number begins with the number "28". The best lenses from "Vivitar" called "Series 1" descended assuredly from the Komine Co. Ltd. . In 1979 the company "Ponder & Best Inc." renamed in "Vivitar". Under the name "Vivitar" very many good lenses were designed and sold. But the company has then in the end of 80s completely missed the transition into the time of autofocus-cameras and particularly the transition into the digital photo era.  Later it was sold to the company Hanimex and produced until 2008 inter alia for the South Korean company Samyang.

The lens that I am presenting today, was made ​​by Kiron. Also available as a Panagor badged lens, Kiron made Vivitar 28mm f/2.5 dates from the mid 1970s. Here the specs:
The lens has 8 Elements in 7 Groups. The aperture range goes from f/2.5 to f/22 (in Konica- version to f/16).The minimum focusing distance is 300mm. It weights 11 and 1/4oz (318 grams). The length at Infinity is 2 and 3/8"  (60mm), maximum diameter are 2 and 1/2"  (63mm), the filter size is 67mm.

The lens is built like a tank. For a 28mm lens, the design is quite large. In addition, it is necessary an adapter if you want to use the objective. With a Sony NEX or Olympus E-M5 the whole construction is then already top-heavy.

Typical of the lenses from the 70s is the very solid lens body. The aperture ring snaps fed and safe, the distance can be adjusted very precisely. Such optics are built to last.

With Sony NEX-3N at f/4, 1/500s, ISO 200
How is the picture quality? Well, at full aperture, the image-center is slightly sharp and contrasty. To edge sharpness and resolution falls off very violently. Only when you stop down to f 4 or 5.6, the image is uniformly good quality. The distortions are rather small. The lens can even be used on an APS-C sensor as a portrait lens. At open aperture i found a little bit purple fringing at contrast edges. The lenses otherwise are coated obviously excellent.

With Sony NEX-3N at f/4, 1/250s, ISO 200
With Sony NEX-3N at f/4, 1/400s, ISO 200
With Sony NEX-3N at f/2.5,  1/60s, ISO 1250
With Sony NEX-3N at f/2.5,  1/250s, ISO 200
With Sony NEX-3N at f/2.5, 1/60s, ISO 1000
And bottom line?  You can buy this lens on eBay or as a package with any camera for less than 30 Euros.  You should not have to pay much more even. Stopped down to f/4 or 5.6 the Vivitar 28mm/2.5 is a very good performer. And: stop down ist not a shame.  In low light, the lens is still even at full aperture acceptable performance. It is not as good as the Yashica 28mm/2.8 or the Olympus 28mm/3.5. Even the Sigma mini wide II 28mm/2.8 is better at full aperture.  You get what you paid for. And for 25 to 30 Euros you have made ​​a bargain and should give a chance to this lens.