Fuji’s “XF” prime lenses tested

The respected website photozone has tested all three of the “XF” series prime lenses designed to be twinned with the fabulous Fuji X Pro 1.Two of the three lenses the 35mm F1.4 and 60mm F2.4 macro came in for some particular praise:

35mm F1.4 “Fuji XF” Lens

“The center quality is breathtaking even at max. aperture whereas the outer image field is a bit soft here. From a real world perspective this is surely acceptable because you are rarely really after edge-to-edge sharpness when shooting at f/1.4. The quality is fine from f/2.8 and great across the image field between f/5.6 and f/11.”

60mm F2.4″ Fuji XF” Lens

“The Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R macro is the best of the three initial lenses for the X-mount. The image quality is already very good at f/2.4 and bitingly sharp around f/4. The resolution remains impressive till about f/11. If you are into macro photography f/16 may be an option but better avoid f/22 due to heavy diffraction effects”

18mm F2 “Fuji XF” Lens

“The Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R is certainly a cool little lens for the Fujifilm X-Pro mirrorless system. After all small is beautiful these days. However, performance-wise it is a bit of a mixed bag. The center performance is great throughout the mainstream apertures and the border quality is also very decent. However, the corner quality leaves something to be desired at f/2 and f/2.8”.

My Take:

Fuji will be adding more high quality “fast” lenses both prime and zoom to the “XF” system by the end of the year to complement the Fuji X Pro 1 so  its all looking rather wonderful if you want a stylish, high quality, high performing mirrorless system that comes very close to matching full frame DSLR’s in optical performance.

(June 2012)

Nikon D3200 Reviews

Both photography blog and What Digital Camera Magazine have published reviews of the latest entry DSLR from Nikon the Nikon D3200

From What Digital Camera Magazine:

“Thanks to the clever Guide Mode, the D3200 is a DSLR that’s easy to pick up and start shooting with, allowing you to learn as you go, while the impressive resolution offered can produce lovely looking images and plenty of photographic possibilities . If you’re looking for your first DSLR camera and are prepared to pay a bit of a premium among the entry-level options out there, then you won’t be disappointed with the D3200”.

From photography blog:

With its huge 24 megapixel sensor, the entry-level D3200 instantly becomes the highest-resolution APS-C DX format Nikon DSLR, and it offers more pixels than any competing manufacturer too. Compared to the 18-month-old D3100, Nikon has managed to simultaneously increase the pixel count by a massive 10 megapixels and yet still maintain similar quality at higher sensitivity settings, which is no mean feat. An improved movie mode with greater control over exposure and sound, an expanded Guide mode and simpler controls for beginners, more connectivity options and a better LCD screen all add up to the best entry-level Nikon DSLR that we’ve ever reviewed.

Sigma’s new m4/3rd lenses tested

This months What Digital Camera Magazine tested the two new wonderfully small Sigma primes lenses designed for the Panasonic “G” series m4/3rd cameras, Olympus’s PEN system  and Sony NEX compact camera system.The lenses were tested on a m4/3rd camera body.The Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN and Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN shows just how well Panasonic / Olympus’s m4/3rd system is developing.There are now a large number of high quality optics to complement the most recent m4/3rd camera bodies.

The results? REALLY impressive. Not only are both lenses wonderfully petite but the MTF (i.e. sharpness) figures are wonderful, especially for the 19mm lens which gives pin sharp results right across the frame.Now throw into the mix that they are both available for well under £200 and they begin to look like a real bargin.

The Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN equates to 38mm on a “G” series micro 4/3rd body like the Panasonic G3 or GX1,whilst the 30mm becomes a useful reasonable “fast”  60mm short telephoto, perfect for street photography.I’ve been so impressed I’ve ordered the 30mm myself and only the fact I already own the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 stops be getting the 19mm Sigma.

Mark Baynham (June 2012)

Sony HX200V Review

Photography blog have reviewed the new Sony superzoom / bridge camera the Sony HX200V which has an unbelievable X30 optical zoom (27-810mm equivalent), and a 18Mp 1 2/3″ CMOS sensor.

This camera is intended to take on the probably market leader, the Panasonic FZ150.Now I have tested the Sony HX100V last year and was mighty impressed with it, so does the HX200V continue in the same vein. Well here’s photography blog’s conclusion:

From photography Blog:
“Undoubtedly the biggest recommendation we have with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V is that, by daylight, we were able to achieve sharp results shooting handheld with it with greater consistency than we have been able to achieve with pretty much any super zoom camera to date. The hand-held twilight mode selectable from within the scene modes also comes in very useful by night. Simply put, if you line up a trick-sy shot there is more chance of you actually pulling it off with this Sony, which many would agree is worth the admission price alone.

Why such an expensive m4/3rd Lens: The Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8

Some questions have been raised in cyber space as to the logic of the new m4/3rd 12-35mm F2.8 lens from Panasonic. Why so expensive and what would you twin with it?

Well you can have several pints that the soon to be announced GH3 will sport a weather sealed body to match this new high quality optic. You can also be confident that if twinned with the new Olympus OMD EM5 that the end results will be top notch (I hope so as I’ve just bought a EM5 to repace my old EP1).

The m4/3rd family of cameras have really matured into viable and serious photographic tools. Some of the prime m4/3rd lenses produced by Panasonic and Olympus are seriously good (ie Panasonic 25mm F1.4, 14mm F2.5, 20mm F1.7 & Olympus 12mm F2 and 45mm F1.8).

This new high quality zoom from Panasonic will be the perfect complement to the current GH2, future GH3, the new Panasonic GX1, or even the soon to be announced G5 (replacement/update to the current G3). Its production shows Panasonic is serious about the m4/3rd system and that can be no bad thing. Fingers crossed Olympus produced a similar lens (maybe even “faster”). Just imagine something like a Zuiko m4/3rd 10mm – 30mm F2 10mm on front of an EM5?

So for now this Panasonic is as good as it gets for m4/3rd zooms but am confident it means there are plenty of m4/3rd surprises in the pipeline and some not that far away