Speedboosting a Legend – Using the Canon 85mm 1.2 MKII on the Micro Four-Thirds System

Felix Jäger:

I bought a used copy of the Canon 85mm 1.2 MKII for use on my GH5 and Gx8 with the Viltrox Speedbooster. I found very little information about this combination on the internet so I thought that I would detail my findings in case somebody else thought that this might be a good idea.

TL;DW: it sucks. Save your money.

I put my pictures here: https://www.instagram.com/jaeger_shots/

Leica 50-200mm MFT lens review by Opticallimits: “darn-sharp zoom lens”

Opticallimits tested the Panasonic-Leica 50-200mm MFT lens:

The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS is an outstanding lens … with one exception. It excels in most of the formal parameters. In terms of resolution, it is extremely sharp across the zoom range. Image distortions are absent in conventionally processed images with just a little distortion present in RAW images. Lateral CAs are negligible. Vignetting is usually auto-corrected so no worries here normally. If you chose to deactivate auto-correction, you may notice an elevated light falloff at maximum aperture though. The biggest weakness is in an informal parameter – the bokeh. Out-of-focus highlights have an odd inner structure and the general rendition of background blur is also harsher than desirable in certain scenes at least.
The build quality is excellent and if you handle it, you can immediately feel the difference compared to conventional Panasonic lenses. The subjective quality perception is even superior to Olympus PRO lenses in our book. It’s still not perfect though. Zoom creeping can be a bit of annoying and some may miss a dedicated tripod mount (especially when using teleconverters). The AF is extremely quick and noiseless. The performance of the optical image stabilizer system is also impressive – and also needed at such long focal lengths. While the lens-based IS is pretty good already, it is a bit unfortunate that Olympus users can’t take advantage of Dual-IS (=combining the optical IS with the in-camera IS system). So if you intend to have this as your primary lens, you may be better off with a Panasonic camera.
If you want a darn-sharp zoom lens, the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS is an obvious choice albeit an overly expensive one. For portraits and other “bokeh-centric” applications, you may prefer to look elsewhere though (the Olympus 45mm f/1.2 PRO is superb).

Leica 50-200mm lens at BHphoto, Adorama, Amazon, Panasonic.

Panasonic/Leica 100-400mm test at Opticallimits: “the potential quality is impressive”

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Opticallimits tested the Panasonic/Leica 100-400mm lens and concludes:

The Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH Power OIS is a unique and probably quite under-appreciated lens. Unlike pretty much all other lenses on the market, it combines compact size, extreme reach and very decent quality in an affordable package. In terms of optical quality, it is limited by its slow maximum aperture. f/4-6.3 is already way beyond the optimum aperture point (around f/2.8) for Micro-Four-Thirds lenses so the image quality is affected by diffraction. Even so – within its context, the potential quality (that is under optimal conditions) is impressive. The resolution is, of course, highest in the lower part of its zoom range. However, even at 400mm, it remains on a very good level. Image distortions and lateral CAs are nothing to worry about. If you use image auto-correction, this also applies to vignetting. The quality of the bokeh is good for such a zoom lens but keep in mind that prime lenses are always better in this respect.

The achievable quality at such extreme focal lengths is probably more limited by your own ability to handhold the lens steady at realistic shutter speeds. The image stabilizer helps, of course, but at least at the 400mm setting, it is clearly at or already beyond the maximum that such a system can provide because the angular change due to jittering is massive here. We tested the lens on an Olympus E-M5 II which doesn’t support Dual IS (hello, Olympus/Panasonic – please do something about it!) and you have to concentrate hard in order to keep the image steady at 400mm. The extra potential Dual IS can provide does probably come handy so a Panasonic camera may be a better match here.
The build quality is very good indeed thanks to a tightly assembled, all-metal body. Some may argue that the zoom action is too tight and there’s some truth in that. Zooming does indeed require some effort but it is not extreme really. The lens has a rather curious approach regarding the two lens hoods. Yours truly is usually too lazy when it comes to mounting a lens hood so the built-in one, albeit tine, is greatly appreciated. As you can expect from a lens in this price class, weather-sealing is provided.
You may argue that the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH Power OIS a very specialized lens but in some situations there’s just no substitution for long focal lengths but longer ones. If you are into sports and wildlife and want to limit the burden of carrying a even bigger, fast(er) lens – and who doesn’t – it’s an obvious choice. Therefore highly recommended!
Panasonic-Leica 100-400mm preorder links at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto and Panasonic.

E-M5 Mark III tested by Dpreview: “gets a lot of things right”

Dpreview tested the new Olympus E-M5III and concluded:

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III gets a lot of things right. It produces great images, is packed with fun and genuinely useful features, is well-built and beautifully designed, and above all, fun to use and take control over. Unfortunately, its autofocus just can’t keep up with the competition and the overly complex user interface could use updating. But for many types of photography, the E-M5 Mark III will be a rewarding and capable choice.

Olympus E-M5III at BHphoto, Amazon, GetOlympus, Adorama. In Eu at WexUK.