Monday, November 09, 2015

The 50mm Perspective Weekend

If there is a new Olympus OM-D or PEN user, using the basic kit lenses, either M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ or the 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ asked which lens to go next, I would most likely answer them: stay with your kit lens and use it until you can create beautiful photographs with it. Then what is next? Surely by then, you will not ask me which lens to get because based on your experience shooting excessively with the kit lens, you would know what you need and what your preferences of shooting style would be, hence knowing what lenses to complement your shooting needs. This also largely corresponds to what kind of photography you are doing (surely you do not recommend a wildlife bird shooting to use a fisheye lens, would you?). 

If that photographer is still clueless on what to buy, or decided the kit lens is rubbish from the start (most people do any way) and want a lens that is versatile and will be frequently used, the answer is none other than the incredible Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 lens. It is an equivalent of 50mm classic focal length, providing you with flexible perspective and easy to use frame coverage. This magical focal length can be used for a wide variety of photography subjects, ranging from every day casual shooting, portraits, a little bit of close up on details, tight landscapes, and so on. The lens being a prime lens, delivers excellent image quality, razor sharp even at wide open F1.8 and has minimal technical flaw. Yet it comes in a small and light package, matching OM-D and PEN compactness, thus easy to carry around or just fit into that small corner in your camera bag. The F1.8 wide open aperture allows shallow depth of field and at the same time useful for shooting in low light conditions. What is there not to like about this lens? If I were to pick one lens and say it is a must have (obviously if you already know what you are doing you surely have decided on your own must-have list of gear), surely it is the M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8. I bought mine as soon as it hit the market in Malaysia. 

I have spent the weekend with this lens, shooting around Petaling Street, as well as some urban skyscape shots since the haze is now gone. I brought only ONE lens. The 25mm f1.8 and I used it on the new OM-D E-M10 Mark II. 

I know this scene may appear ordinary and dull to you, but we Malaysians appreciate such clear sky and haze free air. You have no idea how bad it has been. Considering it is coming to the raining season very soon, it is best we shoot these shots in whatever chance we can find!



Baby in the bus
Sometimes, I am still surprised by how fast the AutoFocus on Olympus OM-D is. 

The Policeman
For this, I used the Silent Shutter on the E-M10 Mark II. 

Checkers

Hello
I thought it was quite ironic speaking through a mobile phone, as the man was standing next to the payphone. 

On the Head

Deep Blue

Texting

Sunday Morning guys

Kuala Lumpur by the Day

Kuala Lumpur after Sunset

A little Selfie with the 50mm perspective. Selfie with Bokeh yo!

The MUST have Coffee to end the session

And yes I was super hungry. 


In this blog entry alone, I have used the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 to shoot people, street photos, urban landscape and food. Most of the time, if I were to only bring ONE lens out (using a tiny bag) I would decide to just bring this M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8, I can hardly go wrong.

By now I know many of you own the M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8 lens. Share your thoughts!

33 comments :

  1. I love my 25 1.8 :) I agree with you about it being a versatile lens. I use it on e-p1 end e-m10. Thinking aboutupgrading the e-m10 to mk2. You think it's a good upgrade or just stick with the mk1?
    Greets, Peter

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    1. well, it depends on how do you find the mark 1 now, and why you need the upgrade. If the E-M10 is still working fine and deliver the results that you are happy with, no reason to upgrade! Unless you want to upgrade the E-P1, that is a different story of course.

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    2. There is some upgrades in the mk2 i like. IQ like i don't think i will see a difference. The e-p1 up to iso 400 is still usable and fun! Pana 14mm and it's almost as big a a compact.

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    3. Ooowhhh I miss having that Panasonic 14mm around, loaned it to a friend. I should get another one, in the used market it is cheap.

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    4. Amazing images in such a compact size that 14mm. I love it yes!

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  2. Fantastic article, as always! I am on a Oly Zuiko 25mm only mission at the moment, to ensure I learn to compose better rather than zooming all the time. I am really, really pleased with the results. Both in terms of my photography and the quality of images the lens (and EM-10) produce.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Andrew! I feel the same way as well.

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    2. How about Pana 25mm 1.4 Robin Wong? In my country it just over olympus 25 1.8 about 50usd. They are both used lens and have the same like new conditions.
      It is hard for me...could you give me your opinion?

      Thanks

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    3. Previously I have written a lengthy comparison between the two. You may find the blog entry via the search box

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    4. Previously I have written a lengthy comparison between the two. You may find the blog entry via the search box

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  3. Great Shots!

    Still on a digital P&S, but saving up for my first digital Olympus, most likly the E-M10 mk2. Used a film OM10 for 23 years (1979-2002), first just with 50mm, later also 35mm and 28mm.
    After getting a E-M10 mk2 + kit lens, I'll hope to 'go back' to using 50mm again, so getting the 25 f/1.8. Down the road hope to be able to afford the 60mm f/2.8 macro, in combination with the focus bracketing feature on the mk2. I'd like to experiment with landscape focus bracketing too, to get maximum DoF without having to go into the higher f-numbers.

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    1. E-M10 Mark II sounds like just the right camera for you since the OM DNA is still in there! All the lenses you have in mind are superb, I personally love the 60mm F2.8 macro as well. I have not tried the focus bracketing as I find no use for it but I can see the advantages and possibilities with it!

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    2. Thanks for your recommandation - happy shooting

      PS:
      Little anecdote: In 2002, I dropped my M10 when on a 5000m pass in Ladakh (in India, bordering Tibet). It fell several hundred meters into a ravine and I thought 'lost for ever'. After having told our guide about the 'accident' he descended and found it - with only a dent in the UV filter and still working!

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    3. Just another quick question, as fellow glass wearer: how's the mk2's EVF?

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    4. another 'PS', apologies - here's a Olympus Visionary using focus bracketing for macro (with 60mm f/2.8) and a few scenery pictures (with 14-42 kit):
      http://pen3.de/OMD_E-M10II/omd_e-m10ii.html

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    5. I have been using the Electronic Viewfinder for years now since the em5. The new em10 mark II has slightly smaller EVF compared to EM1 but still quite large and comfortable to view

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    6. To Strawbale..
      The link u provided ...The captures are so captivating ..awesome really ..:).
      Focus bracketting is obviously needed for focus stacking purposes ....however I feel that the AF in Olympus cameras is already' BLAZING FAST '' and the next level can only be INSTANT ..so AF bracketting does indeed offer some protection from some false positives ..so as to say ..

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  4. Lovely captures ..It feels as if the mark 2 infuses an.... extra dose of captivating color in to each shot .....just saying you know ..:)..
    However PLEASE careful about pointing your camera/lense at the backsides/bottoms of policemen[anywhere in the world ] ......they can be nasty at times you know ...[just my opinion ]
    I have seen police men to be docile.... ONLY when they come to our hospital as patients...[just my observations]

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    1. No worries. I have sufficient practise of being super stealthy

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  5. I love Checkers. And Texting is great too. A nice collection.

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  6. Although I switched from Oly to Pana, because I wanted a Pen like camera with an EVF (GM5), I really like to use a 25mm (sorry Pana too). It's my "most on camera" lens and when I'm travelling it's certainly my favourite. Much more is mostly not needed but the Oly 45 is a really good companion for the 25, in my opinion.
    Really like your photos,( Texting is my favourite ) as always, and keep up the good work! And because you're an Olympus employee why not ask them to make a Pen with an EVF, and please keep it small. Something like a GM5 would be perfect, for sure if they put IS in it!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Jo, and yes 45mm is a great companion, and comes in handy when the reach is needed.
      Oh believe me when I say I have a long, long list of "to improve" items.

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  7. Thanks Robin, great advice and shots a usual! Question- do you bother using a filter?

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    1. I usually have a UV filter, which serves as a protection layer against the front glass element of the lens. However, when I review lenses/camera, I usually shoot without any filter, unless the situation is dangerous to the lens.

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  8. Cant decided between this or the Panny 25.4. One is faster in aperture and one is faster in speed. I have both at hand and have to get rid of one. I love the Oly for its color but the rendering of the Panny has a special character.

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    1. I pick the Olympus. Yes, the Panasonic has a different look and a tad faster, but to me the smaller and lighter lens is more important for the photography that I do.

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  9. Great shots, and thanks for your natural way of sharing your knowledge. I really appreciate to visit regularily your site.

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    1. Thanks for the visits, and the kind words!

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  10. There is a clarity and naturalness about your images that deserves praise. Gear alone doesn't accomplish this. To me it's akin to the Japanese aesthetic sense of "sono mama," or things as they are. Nothing added and nothing taken away from the subject as it is. Well done!

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    1. I think, having haze free air is helping to achieve just that!

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  11. Beautiful shots, as always, Robin! I just got my EM-10 Mark II with the 14-42EZ. Was looking for something LX100 size - jacket-pocketable - but coming from EM-1 and 12-40 F2.8 Pro was not, honestly, expecting much. Imagine my surprise when this humble kit lens starts giving me wonderful images - OOC jpegs, no less - right off the bat! (Had to do a lot of heavy lifting with the LX100 RAW files and the JPEGS were very sad). I think I'd advise any newcomer (alas, I have been shooting for over 40 years) to simply stick with this kit combo for a full 365 days before getting *any* other lens. Then, yes, the 50 F1.8 is a classic FOV and a wonderful lens - and for little extra nudge wider the Oly 17 F1.8 gets my vote, too - and let's not forget the wonderful Panasonic 20 F1.7! ;-) Keep up the inspirational work!

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  12. I use my Leica DG25 on my M5II and I agree with you about what nice shots these 25's take. Great pics in this set by the way!

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