Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympus mZD 75mm f1.8 Medium Telephoto Lens

Recently, Olympus has launched a new telephoto prime lens for the Micro Four-Thirds (m4/3) System. It is the mZD 75mm f1.8 lens.

Picture courtesy of Olympus Imaging

Ain't it a beauty? Full metal body construction with fast f1.8 aperture. It takes very sharp pictures from wide open till stopped down. Its performance matches the Four-Thirds System's ZD 150mm f2 SHG (Tuna) lens. Those familiar with the Tuna's performance will be in awe from what this new kid on the block can do.

MTF Chart courtesy of Olympus Imaging

Olympus Malaysia has sponsored a walkabout to celebrate the launching of this lens in Malaysia and I was one of the lucky participants. Using an Olympus PEN E-P3, a couple of shots were taken with this amazing lens.

The end-to-end sharpness is amazing and it handles flare very well. It is difficult to get any flare even when I deliberately tried to.The bokeh created is very smooth and creamy. Excellently produced for great portraitures.

This is one of the lenses to be in many, if not all, PEN and OM-D owner's wish or must buy list. I am drooling on it as well. Anyone game to buy one for me as a birthday gift?

Monday, May 28, 2012

2012 F1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix

It was a great moment when I had the chance to attend my first ever Formula 1 race at Sepang International Circuit after the fact that I had been here before for the Super GT as well as MotoGP. As with all racing sports, it is another great way to test panning photography. This time though, the challenge was much higher with such great vehicles like F1 race cars. They go much faster and more agile than other types of racing vehicles.

Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull Racing

The race, as expected, was a wet one. This is what makes Formula 1 races in Malaysia much more interesting. It was havoc! Armed with a weather-sealed Olympus E-3 camera and ZD 50-200 f2.8-3.5 lens, the weather was of no issue. Let the rain drop and there is no need to hide the equipment.

Lewis Hamilton - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

The sound of 24 F1 cars accelerating from the grid at the start of the race is pure adrenaline and utterly awesome! Just don't forget the earplugs or it will be a real painful experience.

Michael Schumacher - Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Fans from all over the world were cheering for their favourite driver and team, with Ferrari being the dominant fan force in Malaysia. The fans were not to be disappointed as Ferrari's Fernando Alonso won the race.

Fernando Alonso - Scuderia Ferrari

And for my case, I left SIC with a big smile on my face. Finally able to cover all 3 major motor sporting events held there. But as with all motor sport events, I leave you with a little bit of eye candy.

The rest of the images can be viewed here. All panning images taken using Olympus E-3 with ZD 50-200 f2.8-3.5 lens. Models image taken using Olympus E-3 with ZD 35-100 f2 lens. A big thanks to Olympus Malaysia for loaning me the ZD 35-100 f2 lens.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Miki F @ Bukit Jalil Park

Armed with an OM135 f3.5 lens from many many years ago - I believe the lens MIGHT be older than myself - comes the time when we move forward one step and brace the world of everything in manual. Gone is the time when you will hear the "beep beep" of an AF lock. Gone is the time when the lens will move itself to get everything in focus. Gone is the time when A and S values will somehow be in sync to what you want.

It is very important that you are able to see things in focus through that small little viewfinder of the camera. There is also a need to have the brain control the hands in twisting the focus barrel of the lens while your eyes interpret what is being seen. This is where even the most sophisticated electronics will never be able to match the power of how our brain works in tandem with other limbs and senses.

It is a great feeling able to embrace what senior photographers from the film days feel while in a photo shoot.  Even though we have the advantage of being able to manipulate images easily post shutter click, nothing beats getting it right the first time! Setting the perfect exposure and focus based on instinct then clicking the shutter, the feeling is priceless. The adrenaline flows when you see that same picture on the camera LCD for a short review and found out that it is what you have imagined in the first place.

There is no doubt that lens quality from the olden times still perform strongly in the digital age. Pristine glasses from days of old work perfectly till the present day. The built quality of the olden lenses still beat those of the new, in terms of toughness and sturdiness. Those old lenses are made to kill! Imagine throwing one onto someone's head!

Oh yeah, have I mentioned that the bokeh from the old lens is SUPERB! It beats new digital lenses easily. It is so smooth and creamy, not to mention more pleasant to the eyes. The bokeh quality can only be matched by digital lenses which cost 10-15 times more. Oh! Those creamy bokeh just melts my heart each time I see it...

This is the first but definitely not the last photo shoot which full manual is used. The joy of controlling and deciding all aspects of getting things right the first time is just great. Satisfaction guaranteed!

The rest of the pics can be viewed here. All images taken using Olympus E-3 with OM135 f3.5 lens.