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November 22, 2014
Posted in reviews

First “serious” Kowa 8.5mm/f2.8 review.


The Kowa 8.5mm f/2.8 is now shipping in Japan (on eBay). And a very first KOWA 8.5mm/f2.8 review has been posted in Chinese at These are the reviewers conclusions:

Vignetting is about 1.5EV at maximum aperture
– Surprisingly very low distortion for such a wide angle lens

– Very good resolution
– a bit of purple fringing a wide aperture
– Has some Astral granular spots

November 19, 2014
Posted in reviews

LX100 gets highest ever award in its class at Dpreview!

Dpreview posted the full LX100 review and the camera gets the highest ever award in its class! The short conclusion is:

It offers significantly better image quality than pretty much any zoom compact ever made. It’s not a camera entirely without flaws but most of them are so minor that it’s unlikely they’ll ever be more than slight irritations about a camera you’ll love.
My overall experience has been much more about what the camera can do than what it can’t. The LX100 is a pleasure to use and offers superb image quality. I’d consider it the best photographers’ cameras on the market and probably the best zoom compact ever made.

Panasonic LX100 store links:
LX100 in USA at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto. Europe at WexUK.
LX100 in Europe at WexUK, Wex Germany, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon UK,
LX100 in Asia at Digitalrev, Amazon Japan.

November 18, 2014
Posted in reviews

Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 reviewed at Photozone.


Image courtesy: Photozone

Photozone tested the 25mm f/1.8 Olympus lens and writes:

The Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 is undoubtedly a high quality lens with a tiny form factor. The resolution characteristic is very even across the relevant aperture range. The center quality is mostly excellent followed by a good to very good outer image region. Lateral CAs are low which contributes to the high quality perception. Image distortions are negligible – also in RAW mode. On the downside, there’s some light falloff in the corners at large aperture settings. The bokeh is generally smooth although the rendition of out-of-focus highlights could be better.

The lens earned a very good score althaugh it didn’t manage to get “highly Recommended”.

November 16, 2014
Posted in reviews

Photozone tests the Olympus 14-42mm EZ. And says the Panasonic PZ is the better option.

Image courtesy: Photozone

Photozone (Click here) tested the Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED EZ

Combined with a small MFT camera such as the Panasonic GM1 or GM5, it is really a pocketable setup similar to a high-quality digicam. Unfortunately the reduced size comes at a price. The optical quality isn’t quite comparable to the best standard zoom lenses of the system.
Well, the king isn’t dead yet – the Panasonic Lumux G X 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ Power OIS remains the best option in this class.

November 15, 2014
Posted in reviews

Samyang/Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS MFT Video Test Review (Guest post by Pier Yves Menkhoff)

SamyangRokinon12mmF/2.0 – 03

43rumors readers Pier Yves Menkhoff wrote the very first review of the new Samyang/Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS MFT lens! The lens is available on preorder in Black and Silver:
Black at Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
Silver at Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).

Thanks Pier!


Samyang Rokinon 12mm F/2.0 NCS CS MFT
from Pier-Yves Menkhoff on Vimeo.

I film events where I am often in “emergency” position. I need a reactive material with many automatisms. Until now, I was convinced that I would never have the time to do a manual focus on professional shooting where “emergency” is needed. I rediscovered the manual mode with the DMC-GH4 and the Focus Peaking on a Bar Mitzvah (…….). No one automatism.
The Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 is excellent. However, it is difficult to zoom and to do a focus within a meter of someone dancing. We have to make a choice. I have long been tempted by the Olympus 12mm F/2.0. But it is expensive and almost impossible to find in black.
I then “squinted” to the “exotic” brands. The Samyang Rokinon and other Sigma are not directed to the ayatollahs of the photo. Nothing will ever be perfect with them. They have preconceived ideas. For them, nothing beats a Leica, Nikon, Canon, etc. lens. Just take a look on the French photo websites or magazines. They are unable to compare what is not comparable. They have the same a priori between full frame and mirrorless.
Samyang Optics has celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012. It manufactures and markets optics under the Vivitar brand, Samyang, Rokinon, walimex, Bower or Pro-Optic brand according to the continent where they are distributed. The “low cost” is due to the absence of coupling with the camera. The Samyang brand is poorly distributed in France. No collaboration can be expected from the importer. I need to buy the Samyang Rokinon 12mm for testing.
The Samyang 12mm F/2.0 NCS costs 339 € in Europe. For this price, the videographer or photographer are more than worth the money. The 12mm comes in a box that was not ashamed of the comparison with the “big” brands. The Lens hood and a pouch are included in standard.
The appearance is professional and appealing. The Samyang is not a “cheap” lens. It is constructed with 12 elements in 10 groups, including two aspherical with a beautiful opening at F/2.0. It weighs 255 grams on Micro 4/3 version. It also accepts filters with a diameter of 67 mm. The lens hood is relatively large. It gives a “Pro” look to the camera.

SamyangRokinon12mmF/2.0 – 01

We must be realistic. For 339 €, no automation, everything is manual. The focus ring is wide, long and endless. It is quite firm. Even too. The focus becomes easier with the Focus Peaking included to the DMC-GH4, a DMC-GM1 or DMC-GX7. If you want to use the “magnifying glass”, you will have to activate and the register the function via Fn shortcut. About the aperture ring, the setting of the opening is by notch. Notching represents no discomfort in video mode. The DMC-GH4 records no operating noise.
Samyang announces a development between 20 cm and infinity for the focus. In fact, very positive, the development can be made at about ten centimeters from the subject.
The shooting of the film below was made with a DMC-GH4 with the Samyang 12mm F / 2.0. By the absence of second camera, several shots have been made for the piece on the piano. I would like to thank Nathalia Romanenko for her collaboration.
I let the reader to judge what is comparable. The Samyang does not suffer too much from the comparison with the Panasonic 12-35mm in 12mm mode. I will not talk to you “dive center” and “soft edges.” I will not talk about chromatic aberration, contrast, tone, diffraction. Photo Life is not an autopsy. The image of Rokinon Samyang is very good and professional. My only “minus” comes to the focus. Even with the Focus Peaking function, it seems to me less accurate than any Panasonic, Leica, Olympus, etc. lens. The distance scale seems more confused. For the defense of Samyang, the light of the church was not very nice …

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