Mumbai Rains…

Mumbai Monsoon

Mumbai Rains…
On a quiet night

Shooting with a 150 dollar prime on my Olympus OM-D


As I went through the process of looking for a prime for my OM-D, I realised that my options were limited to :

 – Pana 20mm F1.7 (US$ 350)

 – Olympus 17mm F1.8 ($ 499)

– Sigma 19mm F2.8 ($ 150)

The pana was a reputed lens.  Sharp and fast, the lens did not perform optimally on a Oly. Key challenges being slow autofocus and banding issue. Then there was the long awaited Olympus 17mm F1.8. A well build, good looking, fast focussing lens, although a trifle expensive. After looking through a lot of reviews, two things became very clear – sharpness was not as good as the pana; and more importantly, the lens was not weather sealed. At that price, the Oly, without weather sealing and less sharp than a $ 350 lens was not exactly  something that got me excited.

At this point in time, I heard about the Sigma 19mm F2.8. This lens was retailing at around $150 around christmas time. a quick review of the test results at various sites told me that the lens was pretty sharp on a m 4/3 and focussed pretty fast as well. Although the max aperture was F2.8 (one and half stop slower than the other options), but the price made me  take a risk.

I have been using the lens for the last 3 months. Sharp enough for me ( i shoot streets not test charts) and very fast in focussing. There is zero shutter lag. The lens has not left my OM-D for the last three months. 

One word of caution though, this lens & cam combination takes about 3 seconds to start up from the time you switch on the camera (indexing of the lens happens). So, a quick shot when your camera is switched off does not happen. Otherwise it performs well. The new version of the lens is expected in a fortnight. Hopefully, that would be even better



Olympus OM-D E-M5

Well, most of you must be thinking… Not one more micro 4/3 camera in the already congested space. Well, I also thought so when the read the burb about the product launch. I must admit, I belong to a genre of photogs who feel they have been there and seen it all. To top it, I use a cam with a APSC aensor. Would I want to move down the value chain to a further smaller sensor ? Nyet !!!!

Then I was talking to a friend. A man who is an expert on cameras, if there was one. He had laid his hands on a pre-production model of the camera. Combining the camera with a prime lens of his choice, he produced results (SOOC JPEGS) which were just mindblowing. The crisp colours and the sharpness of the pictures blew him away. Mind it, this was a gentleman, who owns both a Canon EOS 60 D and a Nikon D 7000.  He now plans to jettison his APSC sensor cameras and plans to but the OM-D and a couple of primes. He also mentioned that the 5 axis image stabilisation is nothing like he has seen till date. He was happily shooting at 1/16 and 1/8 of a second without any perceptable shake.

Just imagine what such a camera with a fast lens can do for you.

Since I needed to validate what I heard from one source, I decided to keep a watch on what the major websites had to say. And soon enough, DPreview  posted a few pictures from the camera. I looked at the comparative pictures against some of the sharpest cameras known to man – Full Frame and APSC sensor. Well, this sensor was as good or better than most of the big names.

I know there will be some knitted brows after reading this. Hence, I am attaching below the link to the comparatives. See for yourself.

I know it is counter-intuitive to believe a micro 4/3 will challenge sensors double its size

Watch this space. We will be back with more information.