Lens Talk

Some random observations about Veydra, Fuji, Sigma and Olympus.

A comment by a viewer who’d watched my YT video, ‘Why Aren’t More People Talking About These Lenses?‘ was so spot-on that I just had to share it here.

These lenses will be that sort of thing where they will go unnoticed while the company is still in business. Then one day Veydra will close shop and all of a sudden their lenses will be hip with chic film makers. Everyone will be trying to find used ones and a Veydra lens will be like the Holy Grail…they will go for crazy amounts of money…

Also, while it makes little difference to me at the moment, since I’m not shooting Fuji, I found Lee Zavitz’s review of the 80mm f/2.8 especially interesting, both regarding the resolution and focusing speed of the lens. For one, he says it must be the sharpest lens he’s ever used in his life, which wasn’t much of a surprise given the reviews I’d already read and watched. As far as the focusing speed goes however, in his tests, it appeared that the 50-140mm was even faster. Personally, I find AF-C unusable with my X-T2 and any lens regardless of speed, because I find the focus seems to jump from one spot to another rather than transitioning smoothly. And even though Lee had never shot with the 90mm f/2, he was pretty certain he’d prefer it to the 80mm f/2.8 for portraiture for at least two reasons: one being that he finds the 80mm is sharp to the point of being unflattering; the other reason being the highly unattractive swirly bokeh the 80mm produces at wider apertures.

Regarding Sigma, many viewers of not only my channel but every other one as well, were interested in how easy it is to focus the 16mm f/1.4 DC DN manually. I found it practically unusable, but that would go for practically every lens I own except for the Voigtlander 17.5mm and the Veydras. One angry viewer even asked how I could dare say the Sigma’s manual focus wasn’t good when several other reviewers were saying the exact opposite. I’m guessing these commenters had never used a mechanical lens in their life – anyone who’s ever handled a Nokton or any cinema lens would realize immediately just how shitty FBW lenses are for manual focusing. And just how many of these self-professed YT experts have shot narrative work and tried pulling focus with one of these FBW miracles? Fewer than .001 percent I imagine.

Lastly re: Olympus. The videos I’ve made about the couple of Zuiko lenses I own have probably been the most contentious of any I’ve shared on YouTube. One video in which I recommend the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 as the very best lens for the GH5 has received more hate than practically any review I’ve ever uploaded. But I should clarify that at the time I made the video, many were looking for a lens with more reach to supplement their Panasonic 12-35mm or Olympus 12-40mm zoom lenses. Anyhow, I’ve been working on a project now, shooting models using LED lights in the evening, and I started off by using the exceptional Leica Nocticron. But it just wasn’t producing the results I was after, which is something resembling say, the Sony A7R II outfitted with an 85mm f/1.4 G Master. And I’ve found that the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 fits the bill nicely. It’s crazy sharp, has beautiful bokeh, nice color, the whole bag of chips.

As an aside, there still appear to be many who absolutely despise 4K and everything it stands for; hurrah for them: but when it comes to sharing screen grabs from individual frames of projects I’m working on, the extra resolution is impressive. Click on the image below and view full size to see what I’m talking about.

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