Wandering – The Bronx Zoo with the Olympus ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II Lens

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Will we ever know who’s watching whom in a zoo? Ever since I saw the movie ‘Zoo‘ by Dutch film maker Bert Haanstra many years ago, I cannot escape the feeling that we’re just as entertaining for those animals as they are for us.

In the 1961 movie, Haanstra put hidden cameras in the animal cages of Amsterdam’s Artis zoo and filmed the interaction between animals and humans with the human visitors pulling faces and generally being silly on the other side of the bars. If there was ever any doubt that we stem from monkeys, the movie does away with it.

It is with this in mind that I visited the Bronx Zoo with my kids a while back. Since 1961, zoos have put more space between people and animals and I’m not even sure to what extent the animals behind the modern glass walls can observe us. Doesn’t matter. I still feel that gorilla is watching me as much as I am watching it.

But I got a camera and a long telelens. Ah!

[Read more…]

Olympus USA Not Offering 40-150mm Lens-Converter Bundle

1_40-150f28_blk_right_af

Olympus USA is not planning to sell the newly-announced M-Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens and the MC-14 1.4x teleconverter in one kit, the company told Photographic Wanderings.

A company representative said that “at this time this bundle is not being offered in this region.”

Customers had hoped Olympus would offer the lens and converter as one discounted kit. While Olympus USA will not offer the bundle, this does not rule out it will be available in other countries.

The lens is available for pre-order at $1,499 and the converter for $349. They are supposed to reach customers in November (affiliate links to B&H):

M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

MC-14 1.4x Teleconverter for 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

Should You Buy a Leica T ?

LEICA-T-WINDOWTEASER_teaser-1200x470

Leica this morning announced its rumored Leica T. At the same time, several Leica beta-testers and Leica-oriented bloggers published their reviews.

Very quickly: the T is a 16-megapixel, APS-C mirrorless – but not a rangefinder – camera with AF, a new lens mount and two new lenses available at launch. It costs $1,850. The lenses are a 23mm f/2 prime (35mm equivalent) at $1,950 and a 16-56mm f3.5-5.6 at $1,750.

Being devoid of Leica – or any other brand – love and lacking an enormous audience, I have not seen or stroked this new masterpiece. What I have done, my dear reader, is read a bunch of those reviews and come to some quick conclusions. [Read more…]

Fujifilm X-T1 Review; Bit of Sony A7R & Olympus E-M1 Thrown In

20140308-_DSF4105

On my desk, between the keyboard and my monitors are three goodies: the Fujifilm X-T1, the Sony A7R and the Olympus OM-D E-M1. Take the best of each, combine that and you’ll get the near-perfect camera. Fat chance of that happening, so I’ll forget that thought and focus mostly on the newest of the bunch, the Fuji.

I’ve been shooting with it only for a little over a week and only with one lens, the 35mm f/1.4. They’re both rentals. I picked the 35mm lens because it has a good reputation and because I have equivalent lenses for my Sony and my Olympus, so I could make some fair comparisons. More about that later.

I was really looking forward to the Fuji. It just looks right for a guy like me, who grew up with cameras that had dials for stuff that was important. Dials that meant something. More importantly, dials that did only ONE thing. In modern cameras, one dial can have multiple functions and you have to remember all of them.

So the Fuji looked right. The right size, the right color (I’m a big fan of black), the right dials, even some lenses with real aperture rings. Awesome. This looked like a camera I had been waiting for. [Read more…]

Battle of the 50s: Olympus 25mm f/1.8 versus Panasonic 25mm f/1.4

A few weeks ago, Olympus launched a 25mm f/1.8 lens for the Micro Four-Thirds format, finally kind of catching up with the existing Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens. Kind of, because the Olympus doesn’t have that magical f/1.4 aperture that seems to be the distinguishing feature between low-end f/1.8 50s and higher-end f/1.4 50s in the DSLR world (25mm is the MFT equivalent for 50mm in full-frame format).

With the new Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 coming out at the same time, though, and that lens being lauded as one of the best normal lenses ever, f/1.8 might just have a chance to be taken seriously. Even better for Olympus, its lens comes in at $400, compared with the Panasonic at $529 and the Sony at $1,000. [Read more…]