Update: Unscientific lens shootout: @Rokinonlenses /Bower/Samyang vs. Panasonic M4/3 fisheye @SEC_Carrboro

Update: If all goes as planned I will be picking up the Bower/Rokinon/Samyang 7.5mm fisheye later this week. Will post pics soon. Original ramblings below…

Stopped by my favorite camera shop (Southeastern Camera Carrboro) to compare two fisheye lenses I am thinking of buying. My obsessive research (dpreview.com, bhphotovideo.com, stevehuffphoto.com and amazon.com among others) led me to the Bower/Rokinon/Samyang triplets (one lens of many names evidently) 7.5mm fisheye which runs for as low as $239. That being said I was concerned that it was manual focus. Manual focus itself is not scary as I enjoy shooting with my father’s old school Pentax ME Super. The issue, or so I thought, is that I have become quite spoiled by my little E-PL5’s touch screen focus and rely on it heavily. Enter the Panasonic 8mm fisheye. Autofocus?: Check. Price of $638… Wait. What the heck? All of a sudden a twist of the wrist to focus seemed more reasonable. But can I take a clear picture while pocketing $400? To Southeastern Camera! When online shopping just won’t do. Contrary to common practice for many, researching in store and buying online, I tend to start research online and then do final comparisons and buy in store (if available in stock for the same price that is) mostly due to an utter lack of patience. Your results may vary, but I found the Bower (the triplet in stock) to be a match in photo quality and fisheye-oscity, but (duh) more effort to focus up close. Distant shots were a match since set just below infinity the Bower rendered my camera a point and shoot. This would be resolved if I purchased an EVF. Perfect since I have been looking for any excuse to buy an Olympus VF-4 anyway (Update: Purchased since writing this. Love it.). So if I buy the Bower and a VF-4 I am actually saving about $130? Wow. Justification is an expensive slippery slope. Below the Panasonic 8mm autofocus shots are on top and the Bower 7.5mm manual focus shots are below…

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Here is a shot of it on the camera that I took with my Lumia920:

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While I was there I also checked out my planned next lens purchase, the Olympus Zuiko 45mm f1.8 (Update: Have purchased since writing this. Love it.). Below is a shot I took of it looking all handsome in black on my E-PL5, and a few sample shots after that…

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-ELW

Loving the @GetOlympus M. Zuiko 45mm f1.8 lens…

Why did none of my friends warn me that cameras were an addiction? I find myself buying and shopping for accessories and lenses based on 3 criteria:

  1. Can I afford it? (I do have a mortgage to pay and three kids to feed.)
  2. Will it help me take better pictures?
  3. How will it look on my camera? (I must be honest.)

Here are some of my cameras outfits accessories:

It all began innocently enough...

It all began innocently enough…

The initial kit lens served me well. The below photo and gallery (click photo to see gallery) were taken day one with the camera which happened to be as a chaperon on a school trip to DC for my daughter:

Click image for DC Gallery...

Click image for DC Gallery…

Next up was a walk around lens…

Pocket mode lens. The Lumix 14mm...

Pocket mode lens. The Lumix 14mm…

…and a zoom.

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M. Zuiko 40-150mm.

The zoom was put to use for the first time while a chaperon on another school trip. This time to the Durham Life and Science museum for my son. Sample picture and gallery below (click image to see gallery):

Click image to see Durham Museum of Life and Science gallery:

Click image to see Durham Museum of Life and Science gallery:

Next up was dress up. Enter the Kaza Deluxe half case and strap:

Kaza Deluxe hand made half case and strap. Click image for link to store.

Kaza Deluxe hand made half case and strap. Click image for link to store.

Next are my most recent acquisitions, the Olympus VF-4 (to aid in bright light situations and manual focus) and M. Zuiko 45mm f1.8 (a good fantastic portrait lens).

 

VF-4 and 45mm f1.8.

VF-4 and 45mm f1.8.

A recent picture taken with the 45mm and a link to recent photos below:

Night Gallery, Chapel Hill. Taken with M. Zuiko 45mm 41.8. Click for link to recent photos.

Night Gallery, Chapel Hill. Taken with M. Zuiko 45mm 41.8. Click for link to recent photos.

Still there? Thanks for sticking with my most recent E-PL5 ramblings. Great compact size, great image quality, and a broad lens selection that starts at more than reasonable prices. I am so happy with the Olympus M4/3 system that I have become the office, friend and family Olympus sales rep.

Thanks,

ELW

Dadism – “Don’t do guilt…”

“Don’t ‘do’ guilt.  No good is ever accomplished by getting stuck and languishing in guilt. Evaluate the situation honestly. If you have not done wrong move on. If you have done wrong, apologize, make amends as much as you are able to, adjust, improve then move on.” – RLW

Click image for Flickr Gallery

Click image for Flickr Gallery

Click image for Flickr Gallery

Click image for Flickr Gallery

Click image for Flickr Gallery

Click image for Flickr Gallery