It’s saturday, and it’s time for another roundup of interesting articles! (Btw, I think I’m going to make this a weekly recurring post, instead of writing about single articles every other day.)
Photography, reloaded — Beck & Burg’s animated photos
Photographer Jamie Beck and graphics artist Kevin Burg went one step further, and combined photography and motion picture. In order to tell a story beyond what is possible in a single picture, the artists created a new kind of animated photographs, compiled in a internet-ready GIF file. Pretty impressive stuff. Here’s their regularly updated tumblr.
Manufacturing the Voigtländer Nokton 25/0.95
This video shows how the already legendary Voigtländer Nokton 25/0.95 for Micro Four Thirds is being manufactured by Cosina in Japan. Very interesting!
Ongoing Fujifilm camera reviews
Two Fujifilm cameras are currently getting ongoing user-reviews. One is about the F550EXR, a compact superzoon featuring the latest-generation, backlit-CMOS EXR sensor. The other one concentrates on the new X100, a fixed-focal-length-lens large-sensor rangefinder-like retro-style digital camera for the professional as well as the serious amateur.
The Fujifilm F550EXR is reviewed by Kim Letkeman.
The Fujifilm X100 is reviewed by SoundImagePlus.
Just a quick note on some new articles that are worth taking a look at.
Soundimageplus have been testing the Panasonic GH2 and the Sony α55 extensively during the past weeks, and have now published a comparison between the two. Their verdict: “Both cameras (A55 and GH2) are bristling with quality and innovation, in small, light and relatively inexpensive packages. I’m not talking about gimmicks introduced to grab a few headlines, but genuine, useful, well thought out and implemented photographic innovation that assists us as photographers to both take better pictures and extend the scope of what its possible for us to do.” What? There is no clear winner? How can that be!
There’s been another review written of the Voigtländer Nokton 25/0.95, the king of “available darkness” for Micro Four Thirds. Yes, we all love this lens. But what do Lens Tip have to say about it? Read their take on the Über-Nokton here.
The PhoBlographer has started an ongoing field review of the new Pentax K-5, which turned out to be quite a surprise. Coming in the same weather-proof, compact and functionally designed body as its predecessor the K-7, it ups the ante by sporting a new Sony CMOS sensor that delivers outstanding image quality, surpassing even the rivals from Canon and Nikon. What we would have though impossible just a couple months ago has become true — Pentax has brought a product that can not only compete with the major players in DSLR world, but that even surpasses them in several respects. If you’re curious to know what the guy from The PhoBlographer think, follow their multi-part field review here.
News from the world of Micro Four Thirds! First, I’ll start with two recent reviews.
Reviewed item #1 is the Voigtländer Nokton 25/0.95, currently the fastest dedicated Micro Four Thirds lens. Yes, this lens has been reviewed many times already. No, we can’t get enough of it The lates review comes from Peter Lück, a german photographer who is — like me — a fan of the Micro Four Thirds and Leica M systems. You can find his take on the MFT Nokton here. And take a look at the rest of his site as well, he’s written some excellent articles and is also a great photographer! (His site is in German, of course, but there’s a Google translator tool available on-site if you require a translation.)
Reviewed item #2 is the new Panasonic GH2, of which not as many reviews have been written so far. Soundimageplus have recently received their GH2, and are currently writing an ongoing multi-part review, comprising 10 parts so far. Check out their blog here. They’ve been testing the GH2 with a number of lenses, also with aforementioned Nokton 25/0.95.
New item #1 is a lens adapter from Kipon, which allows you to use your Canon EF lenses on your Micro Four Thirds body. The problem with Canon EF lenses is that their aperture is controlled electronically — there is no mechanical link at the outside of the lens. Thus, so far you could only use the lenses wide open. The Kipon adapter now comes with its own integrated iris, which you can use to reduce the amount of light transmitted to the sensor. See the announcement on EOS HD here.
New item #2 is an adapter for the Sony NEX system, which allows you to use Micro Four Thirds lenses on Sony’s NEX-3 and NEX-5 cameras. Indeed! Using an MFT lens on a camera with an APS-C sensor is a bit like using a C-mount lens on MFT — it will cause severe vignetting, as the imaging circle needed to illuminate an MFT sensor is smaller than the one needed for an APS-C sensor. Still, this could be interesting for some, and it sure sounds like fun! See the news on 43rumors.com here.
Luminous Landscape have gotten hold of one of the first copies of the yet-legendary Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f/0.95 lens for Micro Four Thirds, which they playfully call the “Naught Dot Nokt”. As everyone else before them, they’re very positive about the lens, praising its very good build and image quality. In comparison to the also quite legendary Leica D Summilux 25mm f/1.4 for Four Thirds, the Nokton definitely has the edge at f/1.4.
ePHOTOzine have published a review of the new Olympus E-5 semi-professional Four Thirds DSLR, successor to the great E-3, and quite similar to its predecessor in most regards. Their verdict: “Olympus have a finely made product that delivers exceptionally good results.” The camera has also been reviewed in the current print issue of the German photography magazine ‘Color Foto‘, where it got very good marks and was ascribed better image quality than the Nikon D7000. Go, Olympus!
The Olympus E-PL1s was announced this week, together with a new version of the 14-42mm kit lens. While the camera really hasn’t much new to offer (6400 ISO and a new battery), the lens seems to be a promising evolutionary step of the old version. According to Imaging Resource, it is a completely new technical and optical design, now featuring the “Movie & Stills Compatible” fast and silent internal focusing. It’s also lighter than the original version. Imaging Resource have a preview of the camera and lens with all the technical details for those interested.
Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f/0.95 for Micro Four Thirds
The new “poor man’s Noctilux” for Micro Four Thirds has been reviewed twice this week. One is a first-hand user review from Andrew Fildes, published on cameraquest.com, accompanied by a gallery. The other one comes from our friends at DC Watch, Japan, and features — as always — many beautiful pictures showcasing the len’s beautiful shallo depth-of-field when used wide open at f/0.95.
The Sigma DP1x was announced earlier this year, together with the DP2s, as the third iteration of Sigmas popular large-sensor wide-angle compact camera series. The DP1x is a minor evolutionary step from the DP1s, which was a minor evolutionary step from the original DP1. The major changes are software-wise, with some different labelling of the controls on the rear of the body. TrustedReviews have taken a look at it, and aren’t really thrilled with it: “While it can certainly take a very good picture under the right circumstances, it is beaten soundly on features, performance, handling and image quality by cameras costing half as much.”
Leica M9 Titanium
Much more positive is Edmond Terakopian’s take on the Leica M9 Titanium, with which he was granted some hours of fondling. While the camera is technically mostly the same as the standard M9 (apart from the red LED-illuminated framelines), it features a full titanium body and completely new carrying concept designed and developed by Volkswagen’s chief designer Walter de’Silva. It is also limited to 500 pieces. (The one Terakopian used was not actually for sale, but a pre-production model.) Terakopian’s verdict: “I can’t think of anything that can make an M9 feel cheap, but the M9 Titanium does just that!” The review is also accompanied by a gallery.