New Olympus E-PL5 and 60mm macro and SLRmagic reviews (AdmiringLight, Robin Wong)


EOSHD test of SLR Magic **prototype** 35mm T0.95 / T1.4 (Panasonic GH2 non-hacked) from Andrew Reid on Vimeo.

EosHD (Click here) tested the SLR Magic 35mm T0.95 and T1.4 prototype lenses on the GH2.

Further we have two new reviews from well know (and highly rated) Olympus reviewers:
Admiringlight (Click here) posted a new “Macro Battle” article between the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 and the Leica 45mm f/2.8: “Overall, it’s looking like the Olympus 60mm may have a slight edge in resolution over the also excellent Panasonic Leica
Robin Wong (Click here) tested the “mini-Em5”, the new E-PL5. He shot a wedding and writes: “Honestly, I have very, very little complains, and generally very satisfied with what the camera could do. When I was shooting, I did not even wish for a moment to switch back to my old DSLR E-5. Yes, I have my minor complains of no Viewfinder and wanting a better grip, but what the E-PL5 could do, trumps all the complains I had.

Panasonic and Olympus Preorder Links with specs and price:
Special GH3 page at Amazon (Click here) and a full Olympus presentation page at Amazon (Click here).
GH3 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here) and in Europe at Wexphotographic UK (horrible price in UK!).
35-100mm X lens at Amazon (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
E-PL5 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here). In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,
E-PM2 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here). In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,
XZ-2 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
60mm macro at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
12mm Black prime lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
15mm cap-lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).

  • Anonymous

    Do I want to be first?????

    • wongisdong

      Robin Wong “I love it, I love it, it’s got soul ,is that ok Olympus or do you want more sycophantic platitudes and when do I get paid lol

      • Wong’sDong

        you’re just jealous… you can’t have cameras and lenses for free =))

        • HarryT

          Robin is a great photographer and posts real images not bloody test charts it is a pity to slag him off like this , his language may be flowery but the results speak for themselves

        • Not only free, he need do a good jobb too. ;-)

      • AG

        He’s an excellent photographer and Olympus makes the tools he likes. He’s honest about his art so that is all that counts. If you don’t want to hear about it, why are you here?

  • bitcrusher

    Looks good! I wonder why Andrew did not have the hack installed.

    Better coma performance then I thought it would have. SLR magic is not known for having top of the line lens coatings but I did not notice any horrible flare. They might have a winner here, still want to check out the Mitakon 35mm F.95 when it comes out on m43 and would love a voight in 35mm f0.95. More glass fast glass for us.

    • Im curious about first comparisons of that lenses to the Mitakon as well but I do not expect it to perform that exceptionally good.

      The Voigtlander 35mm F/1.2 ASPH is softer. You can see a comparison on APS-C sensor and the coverage of a full frame sensor here:

    • Andrew

      Hi, it’s Andrew from SLR Magic. The reason Andrew from EOSHD does not have the hack installed was because he’s on holiday after all with his OM-D and did not expect to be out on a video shoot. It was too bad we did not manage to get a loaner GH3 for the video shoot. The GH2 used in the lens demo was our company owned GH2 that is on stock firmware. In the behind the scenes preview link on eoshd the lens was strapped onto lens gears but for the production version we plan to add lens gears to the lens similar to the 35mm T1.4 prototype.

      • Tron

        I’ll be buying a 35mm T1.4 for sure. Does this mean the actual F-stop is closer to F1.2? You guys should consider adding lens gears to the 12mm as well. It’s one less piece of kit to worry about and one more reason to choose over the Oly 12. Keep up the good work!

      • Anonymous

        “Voigtlander Nokton 35mm F1.2 ASPH (version I)” – soft at 1.2

        What about the version II ?

      • “Voigtlander Nokton 35mm F1.2 ASPH (version I)” – soft at 1.2

        What about the version II ?

      • the SLR Magic website could use some work. You get the impression all they do is the 50mm Noktor

        • Andrew

          Yes I agree. The IT guy promised the website would be ready by last Christmas. However, I can confirm we will have a new website very soon though as we are just doing final debugging for the new website. We did not have a website before and the current one was taken from Noktor when we bought the brand name. We are better in making our lenses than making a website >.<

  • Tom

    Wonder when the EPL5/EPM2 is shipping, as the 60mm macro is already in some people’s hands. Can’t wait!!!!

  • I liked the video, although the depth of field and amount of blur seemed a bit too much at times. How much is the 35mm 0.95 going to be?

    • Never mind, I found it. $1276 for the t0.95 and $279 for the t1.4. 35mm T1.4 is very attractive at that price.

    • ulli

      i am sure many people like the smooth blur character, but sometimes i prefer funky/busy character. it makes the oof areas less boring, more part of the whole picture.

      • Andrew

        Actually someone told me they like the funky bokeh look more on film but not for digital. It all comes down to personal preference. When we made our first SLR Magic and Toy Lens 3 years ago we went for unique bokeh. However, matching unique bokeh is hard to achieve from design. However, we found a pattern for reproducing smooth bokeh in our optical designs and figured it is the route we will take from now on so that our own lenses are more suitable for cinematography when used as a set.

        This is a good example as the 35mm T1.4 and 35mm T0.95 lens are both used and the bokeh is practically the same as our 50mm T0.95, 25mm T0.95 and 12mm T1.6 lens.

  • simon

    links comment – why on earth is the body only GH3 from WEX over £1,5k? That $2,500 at current rates. Horrible price??? you aint kidding. Thats just plain theft.

  • Seems like a fairly good rate for the 35 ƒ1.4. The rig photo at EOSHD looks like a Redrock follow focus with the ƒ0.95. Nice setup, especially with the big lens and open aperture.

  • Samshootsall

    Is it 70mm equiv? Great Price but I’ll wait for the Oly 17mm 1.8

  • Walter Freeman

    On the macros:

    I think minute comparisons of MTF figures aren’t really all that important here. For lenses this good, minute differences from “perfect” become less important than other specifications, especially because these lenses will likely not be used wide open with a teleconverter like, for instance, the 50-200.

    The longer focal length of the Oly means that you get more working distance, and don’t have to go slapping a teleconverter on it just to not scare the bugs. (My most used macro setup? Olympus 35mm f/3.5 with 2x teleconverter, just to get some working distance!) It doesn’t have OIS, if you have a body where that matters. It’s these things that affect “which should I buy”, not minute differences in corner sharpness.

    • Good point Walter, one that many test chart freaks may forget to take into account. If you are using a Panasonic body handheld, of course you should get the Panny 45/2.8 for macro, to gain IS. And of course the Olympus macro will be a bit cheaper, it doesn’t have to pay for the Leica name or build in IS.

    • Mr. Reeee

      The 60mm looks pretty nice, but the real test, for me, will be to see how well it focuses manually. I’d be loathe to rely on AF for critical macro focus. I really dislike the feel of focus-by-wire!!!

      As far as the focal length goes, I use a Nikon 60mm f2.8D macro and find it much too short for shooting flying bugs. I tried my TC-201 (2x) teleconverter on it, but didn’t like losing 2 stops, so picked up a Nikon 105mm f2.8 AI-S macro. It’s a really nice lens.

      Going further (with a bit of impulse buying ;-) ) got a Nikon 200mm f4 AI-S (internal focus) macro, with a tripod collar. What a fun lens! Minimum working distance is about 2 feet (.71m) , but I can be a good distance away from flying bugs, not bother them and get good shots. It can also completely obliterate the background into a creamy smooth mush… kind of fun! AND it’s a nice telephoto… nice colors and very sharp.

      It would be great to see some longer, native M4/3 macros, or at the very least a good quality 2x teleconverter! Something like that could be very versatile and is long overdue!

    • I agree with you. While my early testing shows the Olympus to be very slightly sharper, the biggest difference that matters to the user is the presence of OIS in the Panasonic (if you’re using a Panasonic body) and the longer focal length and working distance of the Olympus. Both are excellent lenses optically.

  • Brain

    Hello guys

    I have E-M5 body and this is very hard for me to choose between a new Oly 60mm and Leica 45/2.8. I know that 60mm is better working distance for insects, but I love coler rendition, sharpness, and size of Leica 45mm.

    What a tough decision! Any comments please?

    • Well, the Zuiko has the following advantages over the Panasonic:

      * much faster auto-focus
      * a focus lock switch, so the auto-focus is actually usable in non-macro situations
      * weather sealed

      I’d go for the Zuiko any day over the old and too expensive Panasonic.

      • Anonymous

        Well, the Zuiko has the following advantages over the Panasonic:

        “* much faster auto-focus”

        According to who? Let me guess Oly fanboys

        “* a focus lock switch, so the auto-focus is actually usable in non-macro situations”

        The 45mm has a focus limiter

        “* weather sealed”

        Yep that’s two weather sealed mFT lenses for Olympus, a crap slow kit lens F6.3 AND A MACRO.

        “I’d go for the Zuiko any day over the old and too expensive Panasonic.”

        Yes it is just about 3 yrs old ancient is it carved from stone?

    • chronocommando

      get both and find out yourself.
      The lens you dont like you can return …
      Or you keep both :-D

    • GreyOwl

      The 45mm for static subjects, the 60mm for insects and the like. Or both if you are unable to decide between them and can afford the larger cost ;-)

      • PetafL

        I have always been a fan of Olympus macro lenses { they used to kings of the castle at macro in film days] though I have the 45mm and have found it focuses very well both at macro and distance

    • Walter Freeman

      I’d get the Zuiko: it’s cheaper, weathersealed, focuses faster, and will give you a longer working distance.

      I don’t know about the Leicasonic 45mm, but Olympus color rendition has always seemed (to me) very “pristine”, crisp, and neutral. Maybe this is a bad thing if you’re after a particular warm glow (that I see in some shots with the old Leicasonic lenses), but if you’re after accuracy I don’t know any Olympus lenses that will disappoint. At the end of the day they really do know how to make good glass.

      • IanMc

        Olympus colour is only neutral if you live in a world created by Walt Disney. They are anything but “neutral” now this does not mean they are not pleasing to lots of people. Colour perception is a rather personal opinion, I prefer the more muted tones of Nikons defaults and tend to dial down the colour on my E-M5 , it doesn’t really matter anyway as tweaking either JPEG or RAW output to a pleasing level is hardly brain surgery.

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