Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Olympus ED 75mm F1.8 V Leica 90mm F2 Summicron

I lied ;)  It is not actually a real "V" confrontation because the NEW Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm F1.8 lens is not even in the shops yet!  But what I have are high resolution samples taken by this big deal telephoto lens from Olympus themselves, that to me are good indication of it's quality!

What I do have is Olympus's competitor, my LEICA SUMMICRON-M 90mm f2 short telephoto.

From 1980, for 18 years; this chunky, weighty glass was Leica's most expensive 90mm lens! In 1998 Leica replaced it with the even more expensive but even more spectacular LEICA APO-SUMMICRON-M 90mm f/2 ASPH !!

My Summicron 90/2 is a 1985 vintage, famous reviewer Ken Rockwell did a interesting piece on this gem; worth a read!

28 years later my OLD 90mm lens is gonna take on a new, solidly built for M 4/3 lens that received RAVE applause from reviewers?  Am I MAD?

Hello... that 28 year old glass is a LEICA lens! It is the real McCoy, the REAL THING ;) Lets look at the three samples from Olympus...

All 3 samples were shot with a OM-D E-M5 at FULL aperture (wide open) at F1.8 with the new  M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm F1.8 lens.

Look at the beautiful skin tone! At F1.8 there is hardly any DOF! Focusing is CRITICAL!
Look at the fluid bokeh!  Only a really large aperture lens can get that kind of blur!  The focusing is SPOT ON!  This AF feature will beat the heck out of my vintage Leica non-AF glass ;)

A beautiful landscape rendered 3D like with large aperture!  Stunning!

My turn!  Here are samples taken with my 90mm Summicron on, you guess right; my OM-D E-M5!

Since I don't have a little baby or a stunning Japanese landscape, I will concentrate on flowers ;)  I went to the same garden that I test the Nikon 1 V1.

The 90mm Leica Summicron-M is mounted on the OM-D with a Voigtlander M4/3 to Leica M Adapter that I ordered from USA two years ago.

Being a manual focusing lens with a field of view of a 180mm F2 (equivalent) lens, achieving critical spot on sharp focus with my 65 year old eye; believe me, IT IS BLOODY TOUGH!

Luckily, after hours of deciphering; I managed to understand (not all) of the silly OM-D menu fiasco and set the button next to the shutter release to "magnify".

Every time I press that button, the image in the finder will zoom to 5x for critical focusing; hit it again and you are back to the normal view to snap your shot! If only that important button is less soggy and work every time!

I wanted to see how well I can focus accurately with the "magnify aid", I picked this spider web in our garden; the focusing is NOT easy because once magnified (so are all the shake) the image in the finder is like rock and roll!  The super dubber 5 axes STABILIZER suppose to steady the EVF view, DID NOT!  This was shot at F2, wide open; I like the bokeh, do you?

 Still in our garden, getting more accustomed to the magnified manual focus way!

 Pictures below were taken at the Lady Norwood Rose Garden at F2 or F2.8.

From the lily pond
This is a close crop from the rose above.
I am happy that the OM-D rendered the white rose without burning out the highlight!
Overall, I am pleased with my old lens!  It still deliver beautiful results! But I MISSED the auto focus ;)

On the other hand the Olympus wonder, cost an arm and a leg; I have no idea how much it will cost in New Zealand; info below is from U.K.

The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm F1.8 lens will be available from July 2012 for £799. The optional LH-61F lens hood costs £69.90 and the LC-61 lens cap £39.90!

A LENS CAP that cost NZ$82.00 and a SCREW ON lens hood for NZ$144.00? Has Olympus GONE MAD? Are these items GOLD PLATED?

Notice my old Leica lens came with a built-in lens hood and a solid lens cap ;)

Look like I am gonna stick with my Leica glass :)

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