The Micro Four Thirds camera world has often been a major battle ground more than a collaboration: and that’s very evident with the release of the new Panasonic 12mm f1.4. For many years, Olympus has had the 12mm f2–a stellar lens in many ways that still remains so today. This was an owner’s only choice if they wanted a 24mm equivalent prime, but now Panasonic has an f1.4 option. On top of that, it has a working aperture ring, a nice build quality overall, fantastic image quality, and weather resistance built into the design. In many ways, it’s an excellent lens–and could probably be an essential piece of kit for every Micro four thirds camera user.
The world of portrait photography is becoming more and more filled with great lens options available for purchase. Sony. Zeiss, Sigma, and Tamron all make some absolutely fantastic ones that were recently announced: but one lens is seriously looking to outdo all of them. Nikon has shown some recent true innovation with the Nikon 105mm f1.4. This lens is the longest telephoto lens to have an f1.4 aperture and also something that absolutely no one else has. Though Sony’s 85mm f1.4 G Master has 11 aperture blades and Tamron’s 85mm f1.8 has vibration control, nothing has the pure perspective flattening that a 105mm lens can–and nothing has the out of focus bokeh ability.
Sigma has always made some very interesting cameras that in many ways felt like they shot themselves in the foot, and something like the Sigma sD Quattro I believed to really fix a lot of the problems of previous cameras. To start, the camera offers two models: an APS-C model and one that moves away from APS-C sensors and went to APS-H–a dead standard that Canon used to include with some of their 1D series cameras. The sensor has a 1.3x crop factor and so is larger than typical APS-C sensors. It still uses a Foveon sensor, which in the hands of a skilled editor can produce some absolutely flawless results.
And unfortunately, the autofocus is still stuck in the early 2000s.
The Pentax K-1 is a camera that is great in many ways. It offers features that Canon, Nikon and Sony just don’t in a full frame DSLR while also keeping the price point fairly modest. Pentax’s strategy for years was always to take professional grade features and bring them down to the consumer and enthusiast. For the most part, the Pentax K-1 does that. With cool things like Astrotracer, WiFi, Composition adjustment, and arguably the weirdest LCD screen in the industry, the K-1 is a camera that will suit the needs of most professional photographers when paired with the right lenses.
Sure, Pentax may not have the more extended dedicated flash and lens support that Canon, Nikon and Sony do (especially in TTL monolights)–but that doesn’t mean that it still can’t be a very capable camera in the hands of an experienced photographer.
If you were to choose one walkabout zoom lens for the Pentax K-1, it would most likely need to be the Pentax 28-105mm f3.5-5.6 ED DC WR. This lens has a very versatile zoom range and despite its variable aperture, is still highly capable of doing quite a bit for any photographer who holds it in their hands. Designed as a general use lens for many photographers, this lens can prove great in the hands of portrait photographers, landscape photographers, and so many more that choose to buy into Pentax’s full frame camera system. Then combine the fact that you’ve got weather sealing designed into the lens, plus the great sensor at the heart of the Pentax K-1, and this lens could be the only single zoom lens you’ll need if you’re the type to stick to all prime lenses.
The Pentax K-1 is probably the greatest thing to happen to many Pentax users in a while; and when you consider some fantastic lenses like the company’s Pentax 15-30mm f2.8 you start to see more and more how someone could almost want to switch systems. The Pentax 15-30mm f2.8 is a weather sealed beast of a lens that works very well with the Pentax K-1 and is designed for landscape, architecture, and Real Estate photographers. But it’s also a generally great walkaround lens if you’re the type that enjoys shooting wide. Like all wides, it can also be used to deliver a very unique perspective when shooting portraits.
With 9 aperture blades in its design and HD coatings to render even more details, there’s a lot to love here.
When Olympus announced their latest flagship Micro Four-Thirds camera at Photokina, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II (EM1 Mk. II), we got a chance to do a quick overview of what the newest flagship had to offer. Overall we were pleased with what the specs promised to both the high-level enthusiasts and to the professional photographer as well, but just how well did it deliver in the real world? After spending four days with the camera, here’s what we found.
I never quite understood the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 series of lenses–they overlap with the company’s 24-70 offerings and the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 lenses seemed to be more reasonable in terms of building a kit. But nonetheless, the lenses have always been popular with the photographers that really need the wide to semi-wide angle of view. When the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L USM III was announced, I figured that it made sense to replace that lens. Interestingly enough, these focal lengths are some of my favorite to play with. I swear by the 35mm field of view over the 50mm field of view, and I thoroughly enjoy shooting wider than 24mm when I can.
But to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from the beta version of the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L USM III lens that I tried.