Author: Klaus

by Klaus Schroiff, published February 2015 Introduction During the introduction of the NEX system, Sony followed a rather erratic strategy regarding the introduction of new lenses. It seems as if they have learned quite a bit in the process because they are much more focused when it comes to the new FE mount. Following high-end standard- and tele-zoom lenses plus a few fast prime lenses, Sony has just released a new ultra-wide zoom lens – the Carl-Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS. Thus with this lens we’d say that the FE system has reached minimum viability in terms…

Read More

by Klaus Schroiff, published November 2014 Introduction There has been a revival of standard prime lenses in recent years and there’s also no shortage of them in the Micro-Four-Thirds system. The Panasonic/Leica Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH comes into mind or the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95. However, these are rather pricey lenses. In early 2014 Olympus released its first entry into this market segment – the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8. The lens follows the tradition of the M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 in being not overly expensive yet fast enough to make a difference compared to the fast zoom lenses of the system.Please…

Read More

by Klaus Schroiff, published May 2014 Introduction The Micro Four-Thirds system is a bit in a vulnerable position these days. They are receiving increasing heat from Fujifilm and Sony in the high end sector and due to the smaller sensor size this is probably going to be a difficult battle in terms image quality potential. From the bottom end, smartphones are at least attracting less ambitious users. Finding new value propositions is therefore key. Panasonic and Olympus are keeping a bit of an edge in certain aspects – namely AF speed and movie capabilities. However, at least Panasonic rediscovered an…

Read More

by Klaus Schroiff, published May 2014 Introduction So far Sony didn’t really bother to offer high quality tele lenses for the E-mount but with the introduction of the full format camera lineup, Sony seems to have changed direction towards the higher end of the market. Following the initial full-format Zeiss offerings, the new Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS is the first professional grade E-mount tele lens. Along with the new priorities, the pricing has also been lifted to new heights. At around 1500US$/EUR it is not a cheap lens for sure but, to be fair, this is in line…

Read More

by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2014 Introduction One of the key elements of a system is the availability of – hopefully decent – standard zoom lenses. Sony released two of them straight from the start of its new full format mirrorless cameras. There’s, of course, a cheap kit lens but in this review we will have a closer look at the more interesting one – the Carl-Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS. As you may have guessed from the Zeiss brand name, you have to be prepared to invest quite a bit here (MSRP: 1200US$/EUR). However, compared to a…

Read More

by Klaus Schroiff, published February 2014 Introduction It is interesting how things changed during the last few years. There was a time when it (progress in photographic technology) all happened on the DSLR side but lately mirrorless systems are the leaders in innovation. Sony is certainly an aggressive player here and it doesn’t come as a surprise that they were the first to release a full-format mirrorless system. They are still in the ramp-up phase so the system doesn’t really offer many options. In its lens universe, there are less than a handful of available native lenses as of the…

Read More

by Sebastian Milczanowski, published Jan 2014 Lens kindly provided by Hendrik Baumgarten. Introduction After five and a half years of Micro-Four-Thirds (MFT) Olympus and Panasonic cover the entire range from 7 to 300mm, including some excellent fixed primes like the Olympus 75mm f/1.8. However, friends of fast zoom lenses were left staring at nothing until the launch of the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 in mid 2012 and only more than one year later Olympus finally joins the league of MFT prime zooms.Therefore Olympus raises the bar, at least on paper, by spending 5mm extra focal length as well as an outdoors…

Read More

Lens kindly provided by Hendrik Baumgarten. Review by Sebastian Milczanowski, published Jan 2014 Introduction The Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 ASPH II is a standard prime lens designed lens for micro four-thirds format cameras. It is a so-called pancake lens because … well … it is just as flat – just 2.5cm in this case. Pancake lenses tend to be rather “slow,” but Panasonic managed to squeeze out an ultra-large max. aperture of f/1.7. In terms of its depth-of-field capabilities this is about f/3.4 in full format terms, the focal length is equivalent to 40mm. As such, it is a…

Read More

by Klaus Schroiff, published October 2013 Introduction Micro-Four-Thirds (MFT) may offer the most extensive mirrorless lens system but even so it has one significant shortcoming – professional-grade MFT tele-zoom lenses are rare. Very rare. Essentially, ambitious users have the choice between … well … one lens – the Panasonic Lumix G X 35-100mm f/2.8 Power OIS (Note: Olympus is going to release a 40-150mm f/2.8 in 2014). Now while this simplifies your purchasing options quite a bit, it is still interesting to have a deeper look, of course. :-)In full format terms, it offers a “70-200mm” range with a f/2.8…

Read More

by Klaus Schroiff, published June 2013 Introduction The Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 is – as of the time of this review – the 4th high-speed prime lens for the micro-four-thirds (MFT) system by Olympus. It is a moderate wide-angle lens thus targeting applications such as street-, landscape- and still-life photography. While Olympus is shy of marketing this M.Zuiko as ‘pancake lens’, we’d say that given its short length (3.5cm) and marginal weight (120g), it still falls into this category. The price tag feels somewhat steep upon first glance. This seems to be a bit of an unfortunate trend in the…

Read More