Panasonic-Leica DG 8-18mm f2.8-4 Wide Zoom

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The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH is a new high-end ultra-wide angle zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds system (M43) of interchangeable lens cameras from Panasonic and Olympus. Offering a useful and versatile effective focal range of 16-36mm in 35mm terms, the new Panasonic 8-18mm lens also boasts fast and silent auto-focusing and weather sealing.

So how does the new lens perform?

Well Online review site Photography Blog UK conducted a full review and concluded:

“The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-16mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH ultra-wide-angle zoom offers a classic focal range of 16-36mm in a small and lightweight package, backed-up by outstanding image quality throughout the focal range and impressively fast and silent autofocusing. It’s just a little soft wide-open at 18mm, where it’s best used stopped down for the best results, there’s some predictable barrel distortion at 8mm, and it is susceptible to flare when shooting directly into the sun, but otherwise it delivers fantastic sharpness at all focal lengths, even at the edges of the frame.

This lens is small and lightweight considering the zoom range on offer. It’s also very fast to focus and silent too, making it well-suited to candid stills and particularly video work, making it a perfect partner for the G80 camera that we tested it with. Build quality is very good, perhaps to be expected given the premium price-tag, and the fact that this lens is weatherproof is the icing on an already rich cake”.

May 2017

Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 GM

Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine recently contained a full review of Sony’s new high end full frame FE 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS mid telephoto lens designed to work with Sony’s Alpha 7 mirrorless cameras and Sony’s new a9 mirrorless camera.

Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS Review Image

Whilst far from cheap AP’s verdict on the lens was pretty conclusive, I quote:

“By any measure this is an impressive optic, particularly as its performance here has been evaluated against a 42MP sensor”

The lens won a 5 Star Gold Award

May 2017

Panasonic-Leica 8-18mm f2.8-4

Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 Asph

The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. is a new wide zoom for Micro Four Thirds cameras. Equivalent to a 16-36mm lens in a 35mm system, the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. covers a variety of photographic genres and shooting situations, from interiors and landscapes to environmental portraiture and street photography. The non-rotating 67mm filter thread allows users to mount a variety of creative filters such as polarisers and ND grads. Comprising 15 elements in 10 groups, the lens system features an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens, three aspherical lenses, two ED lenses and an UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. The use of these lenses effectively suppress spherical distortion or chromatic aberration to achieve high resolution and contrast from centre to corners. The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH.

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From Ephotozine : Verdict

“The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 Asph. is a pleasure to use, but the greatest pleasure is arguably in the outstanding sharpness, giving a real punch to images. The pleasure extends to enjoying fine engineering as well, because there is the high quality of the construction and finish to enjoy for its own sake.

In summary, a lens that lives up to its Leica tag and should serve very well for many years of use”!

Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 Asph Pros

  • Outstanding sharpness
  • Low distortion
  • Low CA
  • Fast and silent AF
  • High contrast for punchy results
  • Dust and splash proof

Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 Asph Cons

  • Can be susceptible to flare
  • Fairly expensive

April 2015

Zeiss Batis 135mm f2.8: As Good as it gets

Zeiss Batis 135mm f2.8 Prime

image of Zeiss 135mm f/2.8 Batis 2.8/135

This weeks Amateur Photographer (AP) magazine has a real world testing and lab testing of thee new Zeiss Batis 135mm f2.8 designed for use on Sony’s full frame E-mount Alpha models like the Alpha 7-II & 7R -II.

135mm is ideal for head and shoulder portrait shots as well as representing a useful mid range focal length for general photography or maybe even concert and wedding photography.

Although the new Batis lens isn’t as “fast” as Sigma’s 135mm f1.8 DG Art lens and is very expensive (ie around £1750 mark) it has a very complex optical formula which promises much.

And reading AP’s review this new lens ceretainly delivers, to quote:

“your luck is in because the Batis 135mm isn’t just good, its astonishing. Indeed in almost a decade of reviewing lenses I’ve seen few that come anywhere this close to perfection”

No wonder AP awarded the lens a “Gold” 5 Star award

Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 Review Image

April 2017

 

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 Pro Travel Zoom

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 Zoom: The perfect travel zoom

Online test – review site, Image resouring has tested the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f4 Pro zoom a micro four third lens that offers the equivilent 35mm focal range of 12-200mm , so potentially very useful.

image of Olympus 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro M.Zuiko Digital ED

Here’s their conclusion:

“Olympus continues to crank out stunning lenses. The 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro is yet another remarkable lens for their professional line of lenses. The Olympus Zuiko Pro family now has a smattering of primes as well as a trio of f/2.8 zooms, but now the 12-100mm squeezes into the lineup, aiming at those MFT photographers wanting “Pro” image quality, build quality and performance, but in an all-in-one package.

Optically, the 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro is excellent, with tack-sharp images across its entire zoom range, even wide-open — that’s a really tough feat, and often a point of compromise for other long-zoom interchangeable lenses of the “travel zoom” category. Other optical qualities are also top-notch, and the rugged build quality is classic “Zuiko Pro.” At around $1,300, however, the 12-100mm f/4 is a bit on the pricey side.

If you’re shooting with the Micro Four Thirds system and want a top-notch single lens setup, perhaps for traveling, hiking, or just keeping your camera bag’s weight at a minimum, the 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro is that lens. Its versatility and quality make it a winner for pretty much whatever you want to throw at it”.

Mt Take:

Well I have a 12-100mm f4 and I can tell you its a seriously good lens that offers the perfect focal range for a general purpose all-in-one travel zoom and here’s some images to prove it.

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Mark Baynham ( April 2017)