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Lens focus The place to talk about your camera's glassware.

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Old 9th April 2018
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F1.2 pro glass

Hi all,

What are peoples views on the newly released Olympus pro f1.2 glass - is anyone using them and how are the results.

I have seen a few used 25mm examples up for sale, so wondering why?

I'm tempted, but not sure of pulling the trigger yet for one of them (or two).
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

I have used the 25mm for a lot of live music in badly-lit venues and found it excellent. It's heavy on the wallet and in the camera bag if you don't need the fast aperture though.

John
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

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Originally Posted by Bikie John View Post
I have used the 25mm for a lot of live music in badly-lit venues and found it excellent. It's heavy on the wallet and in the camera bag if you don't need the fast aperture though.

John
Thanks John, pretty much what I'd be using it for (either the 25mm or the 17mm).

I shot at a local theatre with the 40-150 f2.8 at the weekend; I needed the extra reach. I was pleased with the results. The 12-40mm did a good job too.

There is a little bit of me thinking I should just wait and see what happens. I know from purchasing the SHG glass for 4/3 that the glass is outstanding, but I'm unsure of laying out the cash at this point.
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

At The Photography Show I shot a few frames on my E-M1ii with all the Pro lenses. Each of them generate beautiful images with excellent sharpness wide open.

I didn't shoot them back-to-back with the f1.8 primes, but I'd say that they are perhaps slightly better at resolving fine detail and yet overall have a less harsh contrast to them. It's a nice combination - in the modern parlance, they seem to "render" well.

In addition, the extra stop or so over the f1.8 and f2 primes is definitely noticeable in DOF terms. It's most noticeable with the 25mm I'd say.

However, whether using one of these beasts over their more modest cousins would make or break a shot is a much harder question. As Cartier-Bresson famously quoted "sharpness is a bourgeois concept"! OTOH, they do generate nice images. As a mainly landscape type, I can't see me rushing out to buy one, but I think if I were into portraits it would be a tempting option - esp the 25 and 45.
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

Thanks Paul, I can see a use for them as you say for portraits and low light work. Hopefully I can get my hands on one to try before deciding which way to jump.
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

You could try the f/1.8 primes - I have used the 25 and 45 a lot and found both very good. And you should get them for a lot less outlay! In fact I got the 25/1.8 used from somebody here on the forum (sorry, can't remember who) and still use it if I don't need the speed and want to avoid the bulk and weight of the f/1.2.

John
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

The 17 1.2 has a noticeable advantage for subject isolation in some types of street photography. At the sort of subject distances where a person fills the height of the frame in portrait or landscape mode, the depth of field at full aperture is usefully roughly around body depth/width. Thatís under half that of the 1.8.

I donít do portraiture, but my friends who do tell me the 45 1.2 at full aperture at usual portrait distance gives a dof roughly from eye to ear, which is also pleasant and more natural than the eyelash-deep dof given by an 85 f1.2 on a full frame body.

Whether these are worth the cost of ownership is a personal decision, but Iíd argue they are practical and real-world advantages that you canít otherwise get in m4/3 even if youíre a PP demon.
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

As others have pointed out, these very wide aperture lenses are more to do with depth of field than light gathering capability.

With decent results at 1600 ISO or beyond, there is rarely a problem with low light, even with f/1.8 lenses. On the other hand, it is very difficult to isolate a subject with a wide-ish angle lens, unless it has an extremely wide aperture. That's why there are lenses like the f/0.95 Voigtlanders, to provide the shallow depth of field that 'full frame' users get at f/1.8.

The trouble is that you lose the size and weight advantages from the micro4/3 format. If portraiture is your thing, then full-frame should probably be your format.
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

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Originally Posted by MikeOxon View Post
As others have pointed out, these very wide aperture lenses are more to do with depth of field than light gathering capability.
I disagree - it's to do with both. Which is more important will vary depending on your subject matter and circumstances. Original poster WPJ had already talked about shooting theatre performances - the lighting in all sorts of performance venues can be very low, which means that it is a positive advantage having a lens that can hoover up as many photons as possible.

Of course, depth of field is just as important in other applications.

John
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

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Originally Posted by MikeOxon View Post

The trouble is that you lose the size and weight advantages from the micro4/3 format. If portraiture is your thing, then full-frame should probably be your format.
Hi Mike,

I've been a long-term Olympus user since the film days and then through 4/3 and then mft. I also use FF as well; so run two systems. Pre em1 ii it was a simple choice which camera I picked up for the different events and styles of photography I like. Now with the EM1 ii I'm erring more to that than the FF.

The issue I'm trying to work through is the trade off on mft negated by the bigger pro lenses that are out there vs FF size and weight and cheaper glass.

My Oly SGH glass is superb and was expensive (probably twice the price of the mft pro glass in some cases). It produces fantastic images on the E5 which I still use at times.

There is a draw for the pro f1.2 glass, but the bank balance is talking to me (along with the wife in the other ear).

I appreciate all the input and discussion into the thread - it gives food for thought.
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

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Originally Posted by WPJ View Post
.........Pre em1 ii it was a simple choice which camera I picked up for the different events and styles of photography I like. Now with the EM1 ii I'm erring more to that than the FF......
As your comment suggests, I also feel that the EM1 ii marks a 'coming of age' of the MFT system. For me, as a natural history photographer, the initial attraction of MFT lay in lenses that offered powerful telephoto capability in a more portable package. Now, the EM1 ii has added the speed and AF tracking ability, to challenge traditional DSLR systems in my field.

For hobbyist photographers, such as myself, the image quality achieved by the latest MFT sensors is adequate for almost all our needs. For the professional, however, whose livelihood depends on achieving the best possible results at all times, the choice may be different. I expect, though, that the advantage of greater portability will have an increasing appeal to sports and nature professionals.

For the studio portrait photographer, on the other hand, it is hard to find any advantages for the smaller format. In fact many of these professionals may tend towards larger-sensor formats as these become more viable manufacturing propositions.

So, from my perspective, I would much rather see the MFT manufacturers putting their effort into portable high-quality telephoto lenses, rather than weighty f/1.2 (or wider) lenses.
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

For the studio portrait photographer, on the other hand, it is hard to find any advantages for the smaller format. In fact many of these professionals may tend towards larger-sensor formats as these become more viable manufacturing propositions.

So, from my perspective, I would much rather see the MFT manufacturers putting their effort into portable high-quality telephoto lenses, rather than weighty f/1.2 (or wider) lenses.[/QUOTE]

Mike I think you have very valid points here. Especially as the mirrorless medium format takes hold. I also agree that good telephoto lenses would be of benefit. I love my 40-150 f2.8 but struggle adding the converter to take it to an f4, the results at the weekend were poor at times in low light situation.
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

All photo gear choices are ultimately compromises. I photograph pretty much everything, but with a slight leaning towards landscape and cityscape. Although I have some of the longer Oly m43 glass, my staple focal lengths are in the 8-100mm range with probably the balance being under 25mm. That should probably make me a better candidate for an FF system - but I've come to value portability and features above pure IQ.

The Pro primes seem to me to be big enough and expensive enough that you need a really good reason to want to buy them. They might be a bit sharper than their smaller counterparts, but I think that's not a good reason to buy them since the f1.8 lenses are more than sharp enough for most people's needs already. So, we're left with that extra 1-stop of both light and DOF shrinking. For some that will be important, for others not. For sure, the only real point of these lenses is to use them wide-open.

I can't see me buying any of them - at least not yet. Maybe at some point in the future when I can get one second-hand, secure in the knowledge that I can move it on if it doesn't work out for little loss, if any, then I might jump; if only for novelty and to experience the magic first hand!
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
I can't see me buying any of them - at least not yet. Maybe at some point in the future when I can get one second-hand, secure in the knowledge that I can move it on if it doesn't work out for little loss, if any, then I might jump; if only for novelty and to experience the magic first hand!
Come on Paul, you must keep up the pace, you know you have to buy it and try it,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Re: F1.2 pro glass

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeOxon View Post
As your comment suggests, I also feel that the EM1 ii marks a 'coming of age' of the MFT system. For me, as a natural history photographer, the initial attraction of MFT lay in lenses that offered powerful telephoto capability in a more portable package. Now, the EM1 ii has added the speed and AF tracking ability, to challenge traditional DSLR systems in my field.

For hobbyist photographers, such as myself, the image quality achieved by the latest MFT sensors is adequate for almost all our needs. For the professional, however, whose livelihood depends on achieving the best possible results at all times, the choice may be different. I expect, though, that the advantage of greater portability will have an increasing appeal to sports and nature professionals.

For the studio portrait photographer, on the other hand, it is hard to find any advantages for the smaller format. In fact many of these professionals may tend towards larger-sensor formats as these become more viable manufacturing propositions.

So, from my perspective, I would much rather see the MFT manufacturers putting their effort into portable high-quality telephoto lenses, rather than weighty f/1.2 (or wider) lenses.
It is very much down to the intended purpose of your images, and the image quality necessary for that.

For a pro portrait photographer whose images might need to fill billboards and A0 posters, even the latest m4/3 output might indeed not cut the mustard often enough for it to be a handicap. In fact, FF isn’t always good enough, which is why the top ones use Phase One medium format cameras and the like.

However, we have 3 amateur portrait photographers in our camera club who run the Portrait group, and all three shoot with E-M1ii bodies with an assortment of 42.5, 45, 60 and 75mm primes. They almost always share the top prizes for both digital and print portrait internal competitions against plenty of good competitors with full-frame gear, and regularly represent the club in regional and national competitions: our club won the PAGB national print championships last time.

So, m4/3 is objectively good enough for that when judged in anonymous open competition. How much better does one need?

For sure, a couple of those portrait guys have kept some of their full frame Canon gear because they also do a lot of concert and gig photography where low light performance is key, but for studio portraits I’m struggling to accept that m4/3 is still not good enough when well used.
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