On a quiet night
Hatu is a small hill station north of Shimla, surrounded by the majestic himalayas on three sides…. The enclosed photo is SOOC, taken with a CPL
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
Well… some of the options :
1) Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4
2) Panasonic 20mm F1.7
3) Sigma 19mm F2.8
4) Olympus 17mm F1.8
Let us know which one do you like and why…..
will put up some recomendations soon
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.