Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Leica E-P2 Do Landscape

My most popular post "My Leica E-P2" attracted to date, 1,493 Page views. Strangely, no one made any comment on this post; until, I commented myself...

"This is the post with the HIGHEST (1,223 to date) page view, yet NO ONE make any comment! What's the matter with all this people? ;)

Let me point out here, once and for all that I DO NOT receive any money or reward for spending umpteen hours of my OWN TIME writing this blog entries!

I did it for the love and passion of doing it and hope what I wrote will benefit some young photographer somewhere.

And if you people DO NOT comment, I DO NOT KNOW if what I post is of ANY USE to anyone! I cannot improve on it because NO ONE tell me anything!

Ok... enough of my rant! I did get two comments after my outburst and that is constructive!


Yesterday I got this from Fares:
Farès said...
Hello CY!...Just today I was thinking about getting an adapter to try some Leica prime manual lenses on the E-P2...
I also seriously considered getting a Leica M9 today...which looks like a great toy, if not difficult to justify to my bank manager!...so still mulling that one over!...
*Very much* looking forward to seeing how your Leica lenses came up on the E-P2 for landscape, since that's precisely the sort of usage I had in mind!...you're a man after my own heart!...
Cheers, F

How can I resists that kind of carrot Fares tangled in front me? :)
Saturday morning, today... bugger, the sky look like rain; no matter, the morning light is soft and gentle. I decided to carry out my landscape project.

After dropping my wife for her Saturday line dancing, I head for Oriental Parade; where my favorite "lens test vista" is.

I had the following in my little Domke bag:

The Olympus E-P2 with electronic view finder.

The Canon G12.

Lenses - The "kit lens" that came with my E-P2.
The Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 7-14 mm F4.0 ASPH
The Leica Elmarit-M 28/2.8
The Leica Summicron-M 50/2
The Leica Summicron-M 90/2

The Voigtlander M4/3 to Leica M Adapter

And my heavy duty Manfrotto Carbon tripod with magnesium head.

To keep the test "apple with apple" I decided to shoot each lens at f5.6 and to make sure I do not mix up the images (Leica lens do not give EXIF data to E-P2), I resort to a low-tech but effective recording method ;)

I take a shot of my hand written note before changing to that lens.

The E-P2 sitting on the Manfrotto looking at the Oriental Bay vista.

The Test...


Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 (angle of view = 56mm on E-P2)

During the film years, I can shoot straight into strong back lit subject WITHOUT any flare! I bought this wide-angle for my Leica M4-P in 1985. Still fungus free!

The 28/2.8 Elmarit with it's rectangular lens hood look great on the E-P2!

The Elmarit as expected, flare free; great contrast and colour!


Here are two 100% cut from the Elmarit shot.

Leica Summicron-M 50mm f2 (angle of view = 100mm on E-P2)

The "normal" lens, on the E-P2 this evergreen lens became a 100 mm short tele or portrait lens.
In term of sharpness, this is a hard lens to beat!

Nice and clean rendering from the Summicron 50 mm standard glass.

A 100% cut above and a 200% cut below.

Just take a look at that resolution! It is free of chromatic aberration too! I am impress!

Leica Summicron-M 90mm f2 (angle of view = 180mm on E-P2)

Since it is also named Summicron, I suppose it's design is the same as the 50 mm standard. I would use this lens for portrait than landscape, mainly because of it's beautiful bokeh!

I was stunned by the quality of this image! Everything they said about this lens are true!

Ken Rockwell said and I quote...
"Overall, this Leica Summicron-M 90/2 is a great lens, optically and mechanically.
Any bones I find to pick are irrelevant; the only thing between you and great pictures with this lens is your own ability as a photographer.
There is no coma. Coma is when points of light become blobs in the corners.
These are 100% and 200% cut from the 90 mm test shot!
We have proven the three Leica M prime lenses are top performer on the E-P2, but how much better are they, when you compare them to the "kit lens"?
This was shot at f5.6 with the light weight, retractable 14-42 zoom that came with my E-P2. Look good? Let's look at the cut!

They are OK, passable; but far cry from the quality of the Leica lens. What do you expect? The cost of a Leica lens can buy you 25 of this kit lens. No brainer, right? Duh!
Like I say, at that cheap price; the kit lens did a really good job. I would use it more for subject that are closer to the camera. This light zoom is not well optimise for landscape!
You were wondering how well the Panasonic Lumix 7-14 do? Take a look...
This was shot at the 14mm setting of the ultra-wide zoom.

The 100% cut look quite good except for some chromatic aberration around back lit objects.

Here are three of my better shots, taken after the test; all hand held.

This was shot with the 50/2 Summicron.


Famous Last Words:

I think once and for all, I have show you that older Leica M lenses perform great on the E-P2; as a matter of fact, it should do the same on all the other "Pen" series cameras!

The only disadvantage is the doubling of focal length, this is because of the "half frame" micro 4/3 sensor in the "Pen" series.

If you are a "Pen" owner, I would quickly look for used Leica M lenses in e-Bay and Trade Me before they are all gone ;) Mind you, they are hard to come by though.

Hello Farès!

Do you like my test?

I am jealous that you can just "consider to buy a Leica M9 today", just like that!

I can only afford a poor man's M9, my Leica E-P2.

Enjoy your "toy"!

1 comment:

yfc008 said...

Hi CY
Firstly thank you for time spent blogging. I knew I had hit a gold mine after discovering your blog yesterday and just skim reading your very unique approach to using the E-P2. I had acquired a unit last year with the 14-42 kit lens, VF2 viewfinder and a host of old Canon FD lens:(24/1.4L,55/1.2SSCAsph,85/1.2L,300/4L...Ya I salivated over those! and thus bought this gem). My choice for the E-P2 over the Panasonic m43 models was simply the built-in sensor stabilizer(IS). As I started to use it I was disappointed by the low-light performance as shots came up very noisy (was using auto ISO to 6400). Now having seen your shots in low-light depending on low ISO of 400-800 I am eagerly awaiting to try it again with IS!

Handholding in low-light:
I presume your shots were possible with low ISO and IS only because of the 7-14mm lens? Would longer lenses overwhelm the IS? BTW I'm inspired to get one now. Cheers and thanks again.