Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Saturday Morning in Sydney: Panasonic 7-14mm, Olympus Pen E-P3 & others

[Photos originally taken on March 15, 2014]

I haven't done this in a while. And by 'this' I mean going out at 4 in the morning to take pics.

4am might be my favourite time to shoot since almost everyone is asleep. You may see one or two people going for a run and there may be some jobs that start at that time (clean up, trash collection, construction) so some are already working. As you go on, the number of people around you increases and it's even better on a weekday since you really start to feel the city come alive. I love being around for that.

This latest early morning photo session is probably my first in about 4 years, maybe more. I've been putting it off for a long time mainly because I work full time and while it's not stressful, it does tends to take a lot out of me. So most of my non-work time is spent recharging my energy reserves.

I've been meaning to go back and recreate a shot of the Opera House that I did several years ago, but this time with my current gear. I found myself wide awake at 3am which is rare so I thought I'd do another of my 4am photo shoots.

Camera: Olympus Pen E-P3
Lenses: Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f4, Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f1.7, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f4-5.6 R

After going through my pictures, this is what I realised...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Double Review: Cosmicar 6mm f1.2 & 25mm f1.8

Based on my last few posts, it would seem like all I shoot with are C-mount lenses. I swear I shoot with other lenses too! I just thought I'd get these out of the way since I'll be going overseas not too long from now and it should be all Micro Four Thirds when that happens. I may even be jumping into a new system but I don't want to jinx it so I'll keep my lips sealed for now. 

My main reason for doing this 2-in-1 review is that I feel the same way towards both of these lenses. I'll get this out of the way now... Neither the Cosmicar 6mm f1.2 or the 25mm f1.8 are spectacular so if that's what you're after, you can pretty much skip this review. They aren't on the top of my list of favourite lenses to use although not because I think they're horrible. They're okay, I just have better options in my arsenal. But if any of these lenses happen to fall into your lap or you're able to get a good price on them then it might be worth experimenting with. And to be fair, you can do far worse when delving into the world of C-mount lenses.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review: Pentax 16mm f1.4 C-mount CCTV lens - tested on Micro Four Thirds & Pentax Q

Back in January I bought a bundle of 12 C-mount CCTV lenses from eBay. (The ad actually said there were 13 but the guy forgot to send me one of the lenses. Oh well.) I paid $85 for the lot and included were 2 copies of the Spacecom H3.5mm f1.6, 6 copies of the Rainbow S4.8mm f1.8, 1 copy of the Pentax 6mm f1.2 and 3 copies of this lens that I'm about to review, the Pentax 16mm f1.4.

I've seen a few C-mount CCTV lenses from Pentax (some are manufactured along with Cosmicar) being used on mirrorless cameras but I've only had a chance to shoot with about a handful of them. Some aren't so good on modern digital camera sensors while others are excellent. I wouldn't call the Pentax 16mm f1.4 a standout lens but it's one of the better C-mount lenses I've used, at least on the Pentax Q. Your opinion may vary if you're expecting to use this on a Micro Four Thirds camera.

(One of the lenses that I consider to be excellent (at least when using Micro Four Thirds cameras) is the Pentax Cosmicar 25mm f1.4 which I should do a review of at some point. Far from perfect technically but great in the areas that matter to me and the images look gorgeous. But anyway, we're here to talk about the 16mm f1.4!)