Photokina 2018: Fun while shooting with some awesome lenses....

October 01, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Photokina is the big name in the photographic industry. It is the place where people meet and the company's present their newest stuff. The announcements are timed accordingly, some demo things are exhibited on nicely cleaned vitrines and some things are on display.  And in these days you can even test the newest equipment, especially lenses with your own gear - or putting your chip in a certain camera.

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Many of the companies make their own shooting and testing areas well lightened and for the people to shoot.... Panasonic did it, Canon, Fuji Nikon Sony - all the big ones.... I did this one with my own gear - in style with my Lumix GX 80/85....

This year I went there again - and tested a couple of things which is always exciting.... It is necessary to bring your own stuff for having fun,. My set uo was

  • Panasonic GX85 with the Leica 25mm f1.4
  • Canon EOS M5 with the EF-M 22mm f2
  • Canon EOS 5 D Mk IV with the EF 40mm f2.8 pancake

Just for having small and lightweight equipment with me using all the versatility....

Mirrorless Full Format - the big hype...

Maybe I will make a blog post of its own on this mirrorless hype. For me its a kind of "turning the mosquito into an elephant" style of thing... Maybe I will do a blogpost of its own on this topic.....  Maybe we should all remember that the first Full Frame Film Camera was developed by Oskar Barnack 1913 for the Leitz Camera factory in Wetzlar... better known as Leica....and it was mirrorless....

Anyhow: this will be a topic of another day or so... Mirrorless Full Format (Will short cut it to MFF...) had  a major change this year....  Nikon and Canon are stepping in...Panasonic is announcing for 2019.

Leica is there forever, Sony was stepping in 5 years back - And Panasonic is a using the Leica SL mount by the way- a clever move!

Canon EOS-R a very interesting first try....

Since I am a Canon shooter I needed to get the camera in my hand and make some comparisons....

I did had my first personal experience with the EOS R before photokina... but without major comparison in size... The first impression was: "Wow" Canon did many things right... especially the way how the feels in the hand: the grip has the right size, there is enough space between grip and lens - pretty perfect....

Size comparison: 5DMkIV vs EOS R: The body is remarkably smaller and lighter - shot on the iPhone....

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This shows the same comparison but with the 24-105 lens - EF-Mount on the 5DMkIV - R-Mount on the EOS R... Shot with the EOS M5.... (Well, there is a reason for real cameras.....)

I will be very happy when I will have my EOS-R in hands.... hopefully end of the week... For me it feels like the M% a bit - which is much smaller but the "R" is small enough for being used as a travel camera.....

EOS M - only one new lens... but what lens... EF-M 32mm f1.4

Canon has announced one little lens for photokina - the EF-M 32mm f1.4... In Full Frame diction it is a 50mm f 2.24 lens - enough for good bokeh??

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Any CR?? really sharp and buttery creamy background.... Wow!!!! It is a high end lens for very moderate money....

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And here a real world shot... I think this will easily become my favorite lens on the M5....

Lens trials on Photokina 2018: Full Format

Testing Lenses is one of my most likely things on each photokina. I do not do any representative long test shots - but I do a couple of shots which each lens, just to get a feeling for the lens... It is pretty funny - Some lenses are mind-blowing - like the EF-M 32mm f1.4, others are soso and some are just bad...

In total I checked more than 20 lenses....

Let´s start with some specials

Yongnou 50mm f18 II @ 60 €...

Very cheap... it is a copy of Canons nifty fifty. It has a metal mount.. and feels astonishingly solid....

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Mot shabby for 60€ I would say...  For everybody on the budget - this should be effortable... the shots are made wide open with f1.8....

I tested the 60mm macro and the 14mm 2.8 as well, but they did not impress me...

Venusoptics Laowa 24mm f11

Tis is a very special lens...

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The Laowa 24 mm is a remote shooting lens with an integrated LED light the distance to the tip of the lens to the camera is ca 400 mm.... The perfect lens to take photos inside of something - like a laser - where you normally cannot go inside that easy. Yes it is impressive, but the price point is hefty, too... 1600€....

Tamron 28-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD A010

What a name... This lens is more a reasonably priced one. a lens which can accompany you on a trip - using your full format body and it gives you the versatility you need. just look at the range it covers...

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28mm, f4, ISO 800

180930_5D4_0268.jpg180930_5D4_0268.jpg 300 mm f6.3 ISO 800

The first version of this lens - without VC (or OIS) was just useless. But this version: wow! it performs pretty well. I took a couple of shots in various distances and the only major concern might be the distortion of the lens..

  • The price point 400-750€...
  • The weight: 540g,
  • Dimensions: 96mm long and 75mmø... 

An ideal Full Format travel lens....

The 85mm lenses...

The 85mm lenses are some of my favorites... I do love them and this focal range and therefore I gave a couple of them a try....

The Tamron 85mm f1.8

The charge of this lens is in the sharpness, vibration control and being nicely small it  is an interesting option... and it delvers nice bokeh as well

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It is really a very interesting option, with 700 g pretty light weight 91mm long and a ø of 85mm...; The price point is around 700€

Samyang 85 mm f1.4

The Samyang is even more compact than the Tamron. This makes it even more charming as well as the price point of ca 540 €

180930_5D4_0332.jpg180930_5D4_0332.jpg It does not has the impressive sharpness of the Tamron - but especially in combination with a mirrorless camera 485g and the lower price point are interesting topics as well... Maybe it sill find its way into my mirrorless full frame camera bag....

Wide angel primes

Wide angel lenses are something which everybody should have in his camera bag. Its essential on landscape as well as astrophotography... This time I was a bit focused on that what would fit to EOS R as well as being excellent - and I di end up with a couple of 14mm lenses

Samyang 14mm f2.8 AF

I do own the 14mm f2.8 manual since years. It is tiny its is good - and pretty much value for many. Samyang upgraded this lens with its new version. New optical formula, new autofocus. It remains to be small - 96mm long incl. lens hood and light - 485 g.... 180930_5D4_0334.jpg180930_5D4_0334.jpg 180930_5D4_0337.jpg180930_5D4_0337.jpg

It is crisp and sharp  and with the autofocus its a now brainer. But the autofocus makes the lens more expensive - with 650€ not a no brainer but in comparison  to Zeiss Milvus still reasonable...

Sigma 14mm f1.8

This lens is very astonishing - f1.8 on 14mm Full Frame is unique. But it comes with a price.... 

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Sigma 14mm f1.8 - unfortunately being sharp at infinity... but really sharp

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This image was shot to look at 2 points: lens flare as well as lens correction. The lens flare is maybe not optimal, but the correction is awesome as well as the corner sharpness.

The "downsides" of this lens: weight: 1,2kg and price tag - 1.450 €. Which is on one site fair for the performance on the other side really valuable....

 Samyang 24mm Tilt Shift

This was a funny experience... to stitch a handhold pano with a tilt shift lens...

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I did not apply any lens correction - simply because lightroom does not offer this... for that lens. For my taste the viewing angle is not wide enough that I would add it to my lens portfolio but I believe that a wider lens like 17mm would be worth owning....

Wide Angle Zooms

There are a couple of pretty extreme wide angle zooms on the market. On the last photokina I tested the Canon 11-24mm f 4.0 - which is an amazing lens. Thin time There were some other lenses more in the focus...

Sigma 12-24 f4

180930_5D4_0311.jpg180930_5D4_0311.jpg This shot was made to check the straightness of the beam on the top - to check the lens distortion. I find it pretty impressive what Sigma is delivering here....

Sigma 14-24 f2.8 Art

This lens is pretty interesting - because it is the widest f2.8 Zoom on the market
 

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As a fan of bokeh... yes even at 14mm there is some... it is a very interesting lens for everybody who wants to go with faster zooms than f4.0-- The price tag is with 1400€ reasonable - as well as the weight - 1150 g...

Panasonic Lenses

After switching to Canon as my standard travel gear I still do like the µ43 format and my Panasonic gear. I am still convinced that for special applications this equipment os outstanding - f.i. for hiking or bike riding.... It is always interesting what kind of gear is new - and this time it was more the lenses which were attracting me...

 A few Prime Lenses for µ43

Panasonic G25mm f1.7

While traveling with the Leica 25mm  f1.4 I wanted to get a little impression of this lens. It is kind of a "NiftyFifty" Lens for µ43. With a price range of 150-180€ it is still not on par with the original nifty-fifties of Nikon and Canon - but it closes the gap...

 

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Unfortunately the camera was set at f4.0 from previous lenses.... but it clearly shows it potential.,

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I clearly like to say: this lens is very useable as an entry level prime lens in the µ433 line up....  good to know that this exists...

Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f2.8

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The 200mm f2.8 is an excellent performer... it is relatively light - in comparison to a 400mm lens... but in comparisons to my Canon FullFrame it is heavy. 

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But I do like how it use rendering....

Some Zoom Lenses for µ43

This year I got the opportuniy to put some of the new Leica lenses on my GX80. They are variable open aperture - but this is an ongoing discussion. It allows them to be small.. and this they are - especially for the range you get...

Panasonic Leica DG 50-200 f2.8-4.0

This lens represents a focal rang which I really like for wildlife and sports. In comparison to the Canon 100-400 it is one stop brighter - so it minimizes the loss of bokeh - and makes it easier in low light

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The first image above is taken at 50mm and f 4.0. not bad, or?

 

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The next photo was shot at 200 mm. I am amazed how sharp this is... it is taken @ 1/100 sec... I am not sure that you get it that easy sharp on the Canon side: IBIS plays in and shows what is missing if you do not have it...

Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm f 2.8-4

The 12-60,mm focal range is the universal high end lens of Panasonic. With the apertures chosen it is definitive no "bokeh-monster".

But it is definitely an excellent performer in color rendering and sharpness all over the focal range....

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The first image is taken at f4 and 12 mm. the lines are straight - but the depth of field is huge as well....

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At 60mm there is another picture: f4.0 gives you bokeh in headshots - and a pleasant one as well... so it is a lens which I can recommend... and if you go hiking - the combo with the 50-200 gives everything you need - in nature... 

Panasonic Leica DG 100-400mm f 4-6.3

This is a stunning lens if you look at the focal range from the full format perspective. a focal range of 200mm - 800mm does not exist at all.. On the other site: 100mm - 400mm is a kind of standard lens for Fullformat... very capable especially for sports and wildlife...

My first tryout 2 years back left me with some mixt feelings - but this time it was convincing... really...

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The shot was made with f4 - which is wide open at 100mm.... I take it... 

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And this one at f6.3 and 400mm... 1/160 sec exposure time...  But wait...

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This photo was taken at 1/40s... at 400mm.... more than 4 stops against the rule of thumb..  Very impressive indeed....
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Another topic is the close up range of this lens... It makes it to a very versatile long telephoto lens - interesting for sports and wildlife... Especially when Autofocus is getting better and better....

After a ling time it was fun to use µ43 again. And the awesome Leica lenses are delivering stunning images.... if compactness matters - still the way to go....

Verdict

Going to Photokina is always fun. But take your body with you and take images... It is amazing what the companies develop to give the crowd the possibilities to shoot.

Technically this Photokina has shown the break through of mirrorless full frame. It is a question of time until the flaws of mirrorless cameras are overvcome...

I doubt that the new yearly cycle will be a step up. Even if the development cycles are going down - I believe that for high end products the live cycle is increasing. Panasonic is showing this clearly - changing from the early yearly cycle to meanwhile 2-3 years lifetime - while Canon has a 4 year cycle for their high end market.

Since the cell phones are taking over more and more the performance of cameras only the high end is going to survive anyhow I guess...

Miscelleanous.

I have taken all photos in public. I hope that nobody who might find his personality rights not suitably respected: please send me a mail and i will take your images out of my blog as well as out of the related image gallery.

For the moment this blog post is a bit work in progress. But I wanted to start with the highlights. During the next couple of days I will add some more content.

The images were taken with the following cameras:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mk IV
  • Canon EOS M5
  • Panasonic Lumix GX80
  • Apple iPhone x plus

I gave the images my standard development preset - but no lens correction etc...

The full size images are available here.

I hope you do have fun with it...

 


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