Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Nikon E-P2

In April 2010 I wrote about my Leica E-P2, one year on; I got myself a Nikon E-P2!

This is no April Fool joke! This was the camera I used to take those wedding pictures you saw on "The Incidental Wedding Photographer"!

By now you would have guess my Nikon E-P2 is really my Olympus E-P2 camera with Nikon lens attached ;) This is achieved with a special lens adapter ring that I ordered from CameraQuest; they stock the Voigtlander variety, they are NOT cheap but they are the best!

Just like the last time, I email Stephen at CameraQuest and in less than 6 days I received my Voigtlander M4/3 to Nikon F Adapter!

Thanks Stephen! Great service as usual!

I started using Nikon gear when I joined The Star newspaper in Penang, 1974; as their first Photo Editor. I was 25 year old :) Through the years I bought various Nikkor lenses to use in my work and I upgraded to newer one whenever I can afford it.

To date, I still own the following Nikkor lenses.

20/2.8, 50/1.4, 85/2, 105/2.8 micro, 35-70/3.5, 80-200/4, 180/2.8, 300/4.5 IF-ED, and 300/2.8.

Saturday 2 April

It is not often that the weather cooperate when you are thinking of lens testing! Today turn out to be a great day just for that! The sun is out, outside temperature was 15C; cool but not cold.

I pack my four Nikon lenses for testing, they are:

Nikkor 20mm f2.8
Nikkor 50mm f1.4
Nikkor 85mm f2
Nikkor 35-70mm f3.5 zoom

The E-P2 is sporting the 20/2.8 Nikon, in the middle is the bright 50mm "standard" f1.4 and on the right, the 85mm f2 short tele. Due to the "half-frame" CCD, my favorite Nikon 20mm only achieve a field-of-view similar to a 40mm lens!

Unlike when I was testing the Leica lenses, I am unable to get Brooke to be my model :( so my next bet is around our Wellington Oversea Terminal area.

I know this area well, I tested my Leica lenses around here!

Nikkor 20mm f2.8

Once upon a time this was my favorite lens! It is down right eerie shooting with it again, alas I am not getting the 20mm super-wide coverage but a "standard-lens" like field-of-view!

Going into 100% I notice the image is rather soft, was it the f8 I use that cause the diffraction softening effect? I checked other shots and they are all the same. I was disappointed!

The disappointing soft 100% crop of the 20mm lens capture.

Super-wide turned "standard" on a M 4/3 camera!

Nikkor 50mm f1.4

The "standard" lens, this was the lens I shoot the last wedding. On that occasion I notice quite a bit of coma from this 50mm.

Coma (white circled) exhibit by the f1.4 50mm lens. I think the aberrations were caused by the three bright wall and ceiling lamps shinning right into the lens.

f5.6 shot taken by the same 50mm lens, no trace of coma here!

The 100% crop from the 50mm result was really good!

Just as I thought, at f16; diffraction sets in and there go the crisp sharpness of this lens!

A curious sea gull stop by and watch what I was doing :)
Still the 50mm, shot at f2.8. Nice bokeh!

Not bad for a 10 year old lens! There is a trace of chromatic aberration, but I have seen worst. I love the bokeh!

Overall, the venerable 50mm glass did very well indeed!

Nikkor 85mm f2

A very compact portrait lens, large f2 aperture flatter the out of focus background.

At f5.6, the result from this short tele look similar to what the 50mm can deliver.

Moving in, I was stunned that I cannot see any CA at all! How do it compare to the Leica 90mm f2 Summicron I wonder ;)

85mm at f8. Was diffraction a problem at this aperture? See crop below!

Judging from this crop, I think the 85mm hold on to f8 quite well!

85mm at f2.8

Same picture 100% crop, my focusing could be better!

Nikkor 35-70 f3.5 zoom

On this occasion I also have with me the manual focus Nikkor 35-70 f3.5 "two-touch" zoom.

This lens was very popular with the pros in the late 70s onwards, it was the sharpest zoom you can buy and according to Ken Rockwell; it still is!

When mounted on the E-P2, the lens became more bulkier than the camera itself!

This classic short zoom is solidly made and it is heavy for it's size!

This is the result of the 35-70 lens at 70mm. Wow! Still a hard lens to beat!!

35-70 at 50mm.

At 70mm, a 100% crop confirmed the quality of this 15 year old zoom!

At full aperture of f3.5, focusing is on the gull.

Famous Last Words...

A quick check in eBay confirmed that the 85mm f2 lens is hard to get, if I were you I will keep an eye out for a clean example. It will make a fantastic portrait lens on the E-P2 :)

You Will Also Like:

My Leica E-P2

A Paparazzi Tale!


Anonymous said...

The coma with the Nikkor 50mm 1.4 is NOT coma caused by the lens itself, but reflections from the(possibly bad) filter in front of the lens.

Coma happens AROUND existing light points in the image. Not when there are no lights near. These are reflections.

I also find it hard to believe how soft the 20mm is at f8. I can see on your pictures it also has a filter.

cy.leow said...

Thanks for pointing that out, blaming the "bad" filters I find hard to accept. I have been using these lenses with those Hoya Super Multi Coated filters in film shoot for 30 odd years without the problem.
I will test out the lenses again, with and without the filters.

Anonymous said...

It's not bad as in: bad quality, but more like showing the bad side effects of using filters in artificial lit environment with point lights (in this case= lights in an interior)

Taking the filter off would have prevented the reflections. I guarantee the filter is causing them. I have had the same problem and so have had many others.

Some filters show less reflection than others.

Many examples can be found on Google:

(copy paste links in your browser if not clickable)