When Olympus first told us about their 25mm f1.8 lens, we were thrilled that they finally created one. For many years, the scene has been dominated by the Panasonic 25mm f1.4 which is a good lens in its own right, but isn’t the affordable option for many. But just because this lens is affordable doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deliver.
When Olympus first let us see their prototype of the 25mm f1.8, we weren’t allowed to take photos with the lens attached to a camera. But now we’ve got a review unit. And for the past couple of days we’ve been playing with the more affordable offering to Panasonic’s 25mm f1.4 lens. Olympus stated that this lens is just like their 45mm f1.8 in terms of sharpness and performance.
It’s been snowing here in NYC, and despite the fact that this lens isn’t weather sealed it is still performing quite well on the OMD EM5 in the inclement conditions that we’re currently experiencing.
Here are a couple of first sample images from the lens. Full review is still being worked on.
It’s been a while since the original OMD camera has been released. But reports are now stating that the camera’s successor may be coming next month in January. According to 43Rumors, the camera’s successor will be known as the low end OMD within the series–which only really makes sense when you think about it. Olympus released the OMD EM1–with a gap in between the one and five.
Olympus is also said to be putting the same sensor as the OMD EM5 and the processor of the OMD EM1 in the camera. Once again, this also sounds viable as they used the same 12MP LiveMOS sensor for years in many of their Pen model cameras and the entire line of Pen cameras now have the same sensor as the OMD EM5. We just really, really hope that Olympus decides to use their partnership with Sony in a smarter way and develop new sensors. Their lenses are already wonderful and a strong argument can be made that they’re the best in the mirrorless camera industry.
Of course, nothing is set in stone at the moment despite the reports being very strong. The OMD EM5 was already a hit with lots of enthusiasts, but we’re also wondering how this camera will be placed amongst the entire mirrorless camera industry. Sony and Fujifilm are giving Olympus quite the run for their money at the moment with better sensors, a lineup of lenses that keep growing, and affordable prices. That isn’t to say that Olympus’s cameras are bad–they’re actually incredible. But with the way that modern day marketing works in the consumer tech world, it seems that only the most savvy amongst us may understand.
Sam Dorado is a hobbyist photographer with a knack for tinkering and solving problems. He uses the OMD EM5 and also recently acquired the Body Cap Lens; then he discovered a couple of problems with the lens and modified it to make it better. With that said though, we need to warn you that this isn’t something that everyone should do. But if you’re brave, don’t hold us or Sam responsible.
As such, this is a guest blog post by Sam. And we recommend that you check it out on the blog where it was originally published, as well as follow him on Google +.
When we first heard about Olympus’s 12-40mm f2.8, we had some high hopes as the reps told us that the lens is really made of metal and has a very solid build quality. Then we saw it, and were quite impressed. We expressed a lot of interest in the lens and so we asked Olympus for an evaluation copy.
As a Micro Four Thirds user for years, I’ve always been very privy to the standard’s small primes. These lenses truly embrace the smaller form factor that mirrorless cameras were supposed to establish to begin with. But this is the first zoom lens that I ended up really, really liking. The Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 has lived up to and in some ways exceeded my expectations. And if you can justify the price tag to yourself, we recommend that you spring for it immediately.
At the moment of publishing this article, Adobe Lightroom doesn’t support the OMD EM1′s raw files. So when we decided to do a high ISO comparison, we made sure that the noise reduction settings for the OMD EM1 and its little brother the EM5 were on the exact same playing field. So we attached Sigma’s 30mm f2.8 lens to the cameras, shot them at the same exposure after using a handheld light meter, and then imported them into Adobe Lightroom for a quick view.
The images shot are JPEGs and resized for the web. They were shot at ISO 5,000 because both the OMD EM5 and EM1 both say that 6400 is an extension despite marketing that it is their native high ISO output.
Take a look at the images below and make judgements for yourself in our very informal comparison.