We had a chance to see and interact with the new Olympus 12-100mm F/4 here at PhotoPlus Expo 2016. This lens was announced back at Photokina and this was our first opportunity to give the lens a good look, so today we have some initial impressions for you.
If you were to tell me that I would honestly fall in love with a Canon lens like the Canon 11-24mm f4 L USM earlier this year, I would’ve told you that I’ve had my heart broken by the company many times in the past few years since the Canon 5D Mk III came out. But when I had the chance to play with the Canon 11-24mm f4 L USM, I was rather excited by its output. Not because Canon flew me and a bunch of other journalists out to the Hot Air Balloon festival in New Mexico, but because when it was first announced I was honestly intrigued. The lens is billed as being completely and totally rectilinear–and when bringing the images into Adobe Lightroom, Adobe’s algorithms seemed to agree.
As one of the company’s wide angle zoom lens options, this is a lens designed for architecture, real estate, and landscape photographers. Instilled with Canon’s weather sealing present in most L lenses, it’s an optic that you’re bound to enjoy if you love shooting wide.
If you’ve ever used a Tokina lens, you’ll know that they’ve always been the even more affordable option that always performs with great image quality–and the Tokina 24-70mm f2.8 Pro recently was rated by DXO Mark’s as being not too far behind what Canon offers. In my review published last year, I felt that the Tokina lens delivers better color than the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II USM, and while DXOMark thinks that the Canon version is sharper, it probably is. But Tokina’s lens is more contrasty–which gives the appearance of a sharper image very easily.
If you wanted to go for a premium point and shoot camera of some sort, then the best of the best is easily awarded to the Sony RX1r II and the Leica Q. With their full frame sensors and fast aperture lenses, they’re bound to be appreciated by many photographers. Both of them have been out for a while now, and with the price differences not too far apart from one another you’re obviously curious about which one you should get. For some, the answer is clear: you prefer a higher megapixel sensor and the 35mm field of view. Others however want to go for the 28mm f1.7 lens and don’t want to fill their hard drives up.
We’ve reviewed both cameras, so here’s what we think.
The latest news from DXO Mark rates the Olympus Pen-F as one of the best Micro Four Thirds sensors overall but extremely well when it comes to high ISO results. This seems to make a lot of sense as the sensor and the camera overall are designed to cater to the street photographer. When paired with a fast aperture lens, it’s bound to also help to keep the need to raise the ISOs down.
Despite all this though, it’s quite odd. Why? One of the black and white presets on the camera does the best job of emulating the look of Ilford Delta 400 that I’ve seen. Plus, the grain just looks nice!
If you look at the work of some of the master portrait photographers, you’ll notice that much of their work tries to keep the use of color very minimal. Why? Portraiture is a type of photography that involves putting an emphasis on a person or thing and when the colors in the scene are very complicated, the scene can be distracting to the viewer. In fact, specific films were developed to create better skin tones and colors for portraiture. Some of the best from Fujifilm were Astia and Fujifilm Pro400H.
So how do you make that happen in-camera?
Let’s be very honest there: you absolutely do not need to take classes or many tutorials that you need to pay for to learn the basics and a little bit more about photography–but photography classes do something for you that being behind a screen in a dark office at home can’t do for you. Classes, for many years, were the best ways for photographers for learn how to do their craft. But the internet has changed there. There are loads and loads of places where you can go to learn all of the basics. Photographers that just want to know the basics probably learned this way. There’s YouTube, The Phoblographer, Tuts Plus, and a load of other free resources that do a great job of teaching you some tips and tricks that you’ll be responsible for getting into a routine of.
And perhaps that’s one of the best reasons why you should take photography classes.
If you’ve known anything about Venus Optics and what they’ve been doing for the past couple of years, you’ll know they entered the manual focusing lens world and are promising a zero-distortion 15mm f2 lens to be delivered soon for the Sony full frame E mount. At Photokina 2016, we got a chance to meet with the company to give the lens a bit of a try on the original Sony a7. So far, it seems like they’re holding themselves very closely to their claims.
To be fair, I tested a pre-production unit and our reps tell us that the production version of the lens will be around 30% better.