Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Round 2 with the Zuiko OM 55mm F1.2 Lens

I am loving the good old OM lens, Zuiko 55mm F1.2 the more I use it. I have forced myself to just use this one lens on an Olympus OM-D E-M1 this time, shooting people that I get the opportunity to meet over the weekend. Using the 55mm F1.2 on the E-M1 is a lot easier in comparison to the E-M5, mainly due to the much larger, brighter and higher resolution electronic viewfinder in the E-M1, allowing much faster and easier manual focusing. Although the E-M1 has built in focus peaking to assist manual focusing, I still find it rather difficult to use for critically sharp photographs, and I resorted to the slower magnify the area to focus method, for better accuracy. What is the point of shooting if you cannot even get the images in focus in the first place? Accuracy is almost always more important than speed. 
All images were taken with Olympus Zuiko OM 55mm F1.2 lens, mounted on OM-D E-M1

Meet Pekchekkia and Akiraceo, both very prominent comic bloggers in Malaysia, whom I am proud to know personally. They came over to give a presentation/speech at the #Ohhsome festival. 

Cyril Dason, the founder of Sarawak Bloggers, and one person whom I know can make things happen with sheer determination and will power. Congratulations to Cyril on the newborn baby girl! 

Shaun Nykvist, one photographer from Brisbane, Australia that I envy so much, for having the opportunities to travel all over the world and shoot amazing photographs! Shaun is also an Olympus shooter, with amazing street, travel and underwater photography in his portfolio!

So what did I do differently with the 55mm F1.2 lens this time? 

I did not shoot wide open, instead I stopped down to F2 (or sometimes, near F2, perhaps F1.8 or a little wider open), hence I managed to get rid of the smearing/ghosting/flaring effect in the photographs causing the soft look. I understand (thanks to multiple blog readers for pointing out) that there is a way to reduce/minimize the issue by applying an DIY lens baffle at the rear part of the lens, but I have not have the time to make that happen just yet. I shall give that a try next time. For now, I am very happy with the results I get at F1.8-F2 on 55mm F1.2. The images are not superbly sharp like the modern digital lenses, but the images are still pleasingly sharp, and I like how the overall look and feel the lens produces!

Even at F2 the depth of field is super shallow

the minimum focusing distance is 0.45m, still respectable, and I can shoot this image by holding the bottle with my other hand. 

Oh my weekend will not be complete without a street portrait photo or two. 


  1. What a fantastic lens, I love this blur.

  2. Outstanding images, as always. Thanks for the constant inspiration.

  3. Nice shots Robin – love the out of focus renderings! It' definitely worth a try to use some older lenses with manual focus although it might be intimidating. I'm so happy I kept my vintage Hexanon lenses – when it comes to buttery bokehs they're always on top of my linst. Keep on your inspiring work Robin :-)