Robin Wong - Olympus 25mm 1.8 review, part 1

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
tt321
Senior MemberPosts: 3,849Gear list
Like?
Re: Robin Wong - Olympus 25mm 1.8 review, part 1
In reply to 453C, 8 months ago

453C wrote:

amtberg wrote:

Acrill wrote:

So use your eyes and look at the pictures.

If there is nothing wrong with the pictures then there is nothing wrong with the lens. Lenses are tools for creating pictures.

A good photographer (and Robin Wong is one) can make any lens look good. Has he ever given an Olympus product a less than positive review?

Good point. I don't follow Robin, so I couldn't say. As always, my advice would be to compare reviews from multiple sources to gain a fuller understanding of the item.

My concern would be more about post-processing shenanigans, if I had reason to believe a reviewer wasn't truthful. Subtle work could improve or degrade an image sufficiently to support a reviewer's bias. I have no reason to believe that about Robin, but the opportunity is there for anyone to exploit. If Robin was consistently posting reviews that boosted Olympus gear and trashed other makes, I'd be concerned. If his supporting data consistently varied from other sources, I wouldn't return to his site.

He seems to have an optimistic and positive personality as well as an enthusiasm about photography and gear, which come out in his art and his reviews, but apparently one could read negatively into what he thinks of the e.g. Olympus 17mm.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RoelHendrickx
Forum ProPosts: 22,561
Like?
Fisheye lens cap
In reply to tt321, 8 months ago

tt321 wrote:

targut wrote:

Pic Man wrote:
I disagree about there being nothing wrong with employee reviews.

Several users of this forum have told you already that they find nothing wrong with it. Why don't you accept their opinion and stop pushing your (of course the only correct) one?

Why should he? This is not a vote where a decision is based on the majority opinion. He keeps saying that it's his personal view, and it looks like attempts at converting him have failed. That's about it.

True. He is entitled to his opinion, and it does have merit.

Employees can hardly be expected to trash the merchandise of their employer.

I actually disagree with him. I think such employee reviews are very useful before 'proper' reviews with test data come out. Such early bird reviews, because employees get early access, could help people hungry for information and impatient to wait, i.e. the majority of the population these days, it seems.

And he is not alone.

I know of some photographers who are "in the loop" with certain camera manufacturers and who get the benefit of using new products even before the release date (under embargo and NDA not to write about it before the official release).  That is how "first impressions" on the release date are published.  DPR gets their cameras also in advance.

Those photographers are not employees but they get a beneficial treatment (maybe also some items for free or at discount).  Does that really make them biased beyond the point where their opinions are not useful anymore,

Also, if you are into conspiracy theories, you could read something from the fact that Robin Wong has not personally reviewed the body cap lens... Therefore employee reviewers could be doubly useful

I think he will still review that body lens cap fisheye.

The samples I've seen are pretty good.  Better than the 15mm lens cap.

F8 on a wide fisheye is practically equal to "no need to focus at all".

Could be fun, but I have my Rokinon and it is stellar and also quite small.  If I had a spare and very small Olympus µFT body (like an E-PM), I would however consider getting that lens cap as fun walkaround, shirt pocket size.

-- hide signature --

Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tt321
Senior MemberPosts: 3,849Gear list
Like?
Re: I don't understand the: "25mm of course is larger" comparison with the 45mm.
In reply to Paul De Bra, 8 months ago

Paul De Bra wrote:

He states that the 25mm f/1.8 and 45mm f/1.8 are quite similar but "25mm of course is larger". Why would that be "of course"? I would expect that a 25mm f/1.8 can be made smaller than a 45mm f/1.8.

I don't think he meant technologically this is a necessity. I think he meant from looking at the picture or seeing them together this fact is obvious and indisputable.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RoelHendrickx
Forum ProPosts: 22,561
Like?
Re: Size, versatility and the options that the system offers
In reply to NZ Scott, 8 months ago

NZ Scott wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

That, BTW, is one of the beauties of the system (and particularly of the E-M5, more than of the E-M1): with the size customizability that the dual-grip offers, I can turn my camera from a fully articulated semi-SLR into a semi-compact in no time.

The PEN cameras are even more customisable in terms of size - by adding an MCG-2 large grip and a VF-4.

I do agree, but I don't want my main camera to be without EVF ever.  So it would just have to permanently attached, and the E-M5 looks much better...

That is why I resisted all those lovely PENs until the E-M5 was released.

-- hide signature --

Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tt321
Senior MemberPosts: 3,849Gear list
Like?
Re: Fisheye lens cap
In reply to RoelHendrickx, 8 months ago

RoelHendrickx wrote:

tt321 wrote:

And he is not alone.

I know of some photographers who are "in the loop" with certain camera manufacturers and who get the benefit of using new products even before the release date (under embargo and NDA not to write about it before the official release). That is how "first impressions" on the release date are published. DPR gets their cameras also in advance.

Not all of these are as upfront as RW about such arrangements.

The manufacturers seem to have now switched to a system of using rumour cites for true news, and using proper news cites for first impression reviews. I think the primary section on this website should have its name 'News' changed to 'Impressions'

Also, if you are into conspiracy theories, you could read something from the fact that Robin Wong has not personally reviewed the body cap lens... Therefore employee reviewers could be doubly useful

I think he will still review that body lens cap fisheye.

The samples I've seen are pretty good. Better than the 15mm lens cap.

Indeed. Depending on the eventual cost, it's pretty high on my list as a true lens like Rokinon seems overkill for my very low hunger for this type of contraption. The 15 makes no sense at all to me as I always have my phone with me.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tt321
Senior MemberPosts: 3,849Gear list
Like?
Re: A step in the right direction
In reply to cfh25, 8 months ago

cfh25 wrote:

He confirms that Olympus are now supplying lens hoods even with non-PRO lens (long faces by certain Ebayers!)

Which probably resulted in the relative high release price ...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
TonyinJapan
Senior MemberPosts: 1,050Gear list
Like?
Re: Trusting Robin Wong
In reply to Michael J Davis, 8 months ago

Michael J Davis wrote:

I don't know how he'll change in the future, but he's only recently become an Olympus employee, and has promised to 'tell it as it is'.

I wonder what it means for Robin to be ‘an Olympus employee’? What his role actually is? Of course, he would be expected to share good news of the latest releases, answer questions prospective buyers may have, offer support and suggestions where needed, and test/share photos that he has taken.

Being an employee though, I am sure he cannot be down the line ‘brutally honest’ and advise prospective buyers to buy a Panasonic lens instead when it is actually a better lens than an Olympus alternative.

His credibility is enhanced in my eyes by his various statements about Olympus lenses that he doesn't like (eg 17mm).

Correct me if I am wrong, but from what I have read, it seems like he does not like the lens due to the field-of-view, not because of any characteristics/image quality of the lens itself.

I was withholding judgement until I've seen the way he handles the comparison with the Panny-Leica 25mm.

Same here. But with Robin not being an owner of the lens, I wonder if he understands the weaknesses and strengths of non-Olympus lenses to make a worthwhile comparison? For example, to compare the purple fringing open wide between the two lenses (which the PL25mm is known to exhibit), or show which lens resolves better (which the PL25mm is know to be superb, especially around f1.8-2.8), and to say which is the better even if it is not the Olympus lens.

Will have to wait and see…

-- hide signature --
 TonyinJapan's gear list:TonyinJapan's gear list
Olympus PEN E-P1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RoelHendrickx
Forum ProPosts: 22,561
Like?
Re: Fisheye lens cap vs Zuiko and Rokinon
In reply to tt321, 8 months ago

tt321 wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

I think he will still review that body lens cap fisheye.

The samples I've seen are pretty good. Better than the 15mm lens cap.

Indeed. Depending on the eventual cost, it's pretty high on my list as a true lens like Rokinon seems overkill for my very low hunger for this type of contraption. The 15 makes no sense at all to me as I always have my phone with me.

True about the 15mm.  I added it to a purchase (no shipping costs) but I have not yet used it much.  Some test shooting and an outing or two but that is it.  I take the 20mm when I want a small lens on my camera.

Fisheye photography, however, is a substantial part of my shooting.

So I want good lenses for that.

I used to use my ZD7-14mm very much, because I found the 14mm of my ZD14-54mm often not wide enough for some of what I like to do.

The ZD12-60mm suits my wide angle needs better, and is one of the reasons why I use the ZD7-14mm much less than before (still like it though).  I am so glad that Olympus uses 12mm as the wide angle base line for some of their standard zooms.

The other and quite important reason for less use of my ZD7-14, is the fact that I have gotten a ZD8mm : whenever I want to go beyond 12mm, that lens is on the camera.

I also used the ZD8mm on the E-M5 (with adapter) and that worked really well.

But I could not resist the Rokinon for its much smaller size.  Knowing the 85mm, I expected good quality and was not disappointed: it is as good as the ZD8mm.  Now the Rokinon fisheye fits in my µFT bag all the time.  I don't need AF on a fisheye.

-- hide signature --

Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
neilm16
Regular MemberPosts: 360
Like?
Robin Wong is this inconsistent?
In reply to TonyinJapan, 8 months ago

I love reading his blog and do think he seems very honest and seems happy to reply etc.

However I did notice something which doesnt appear to be consistent and this could be a genuine error.

If you look here Robin talks about the 20mm f1.7

http://robinwong.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/panasonic-lumix-20mm-f17-pancake-lens.html

And notice he says...

Even at 20mm, thanks to the F1.7 wide aperture, I can render very good bokeh. The bokeh is creamy, smooth and very desirable.

Great you think! big plus....

Then I noticed this... when talking about the newer 17mm f1.8.. http://robinwong.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/olympus-mzuiko-17mm-f18-review-street.html

I find the out of focus rendering of the 17mm F1.8 to be very smooth, creamy and pleasing to look at. I remember complaining about the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 for having very harsh bokeh and distracting out of focus rendering, even at F1.7 widest open aperture. I am glad to see Olympus 17mm can create much more pleasing out of focus look in the image.

So if it is a simple error fair enough but does seem somewhat inconsistent...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Pic Man
Contributing MemberPosts: 981
Like?
Re: Robin Wong - Olympus 25mm 1.8 review, part 1
In reply to targut, 8 months ago

targut wrote:

Pic Man wrote:
I disagree about there being nothing wrong with employee reviews.

Several users of this forum have told you already that they find nothing wrong with it. Why don't you accept their opinion and stop pushing your (of course the only correct) one?

Because it's the correct one of course 

Here's a review of the 17mm 1.8 by photozone

http://www.photozone.de/m43/840-olympus17f18?start=2

Here's a review of the 17mm 1.8 by Robin Wong

http://robinwong.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/olympus-mzuiko-17mm-f18-review-street.html

To me this highlights why I disagree about there being nothing wrong with employees writing reviews of their companies products. You're welcome to disagree with me which going by the current trend looks likely.

DISCLAIMER:

  • This is not an attack at Robin Wong or Olympus
  • I'm a Panasonic fanboy¬†
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Olymore
Senior MemberPosts: 1,170Gear list
Like?
Re: I don't understand the: "25mm of course is larger" comparison with the 45mm.
In reply to Paul De Bra, 8 months ago

It's my understanding that the 40-60mm focal length is easier to design and build than wider and longer focal lengths.

So standard focal lengths for 35mm format were always the cheapest lenses. And 50mm (35mm equivalent) lenses on 6x4.5 format were also relatively cheap.

As m43 has the 2x crop it is actually cheaper and easier to make short portrait length lenses than standard focal length lenses.

And wide angles on m43 are actually equivalent to ultra wides on 35mm and introduce further complexity which is why the m43 wide angle primes are not as cheap as people expect.

I'd be interested if someone who knows  about lens design can confirm this though.

-- hide signature --

There are 10 types of people.
Those that understand binary and those that don't.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RoelHendrickx
Forum ProPosts: 22,561
Like?
Re: Robin Wong is this inconsistent?
In reply to neilm16, 8 months ago

neilm16 wrote:

I love reading his blog and do think he seems very honest and seems happy to reply etc.

However I did notice something which doesnt appear to be consistent and this could be a genuine error.

If you look here Robin talks about the 20mm f1.7

http://robinwong.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/panasonic-lumix-20mm-f17-pancake-lens.html

And notice he says...

Even at 20mm, thanks to the F1.7 wide aperture, I can render very good bokeh. The bokeh is creamy, smooth and very desirable.

Great you think! big plus....

Then I noticed this... when talking about the newer 17mm f1.8.. http://robinwong.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/olympus-mzuiko-17mm-f18-review-street.html

I find the out of focus rendering of the 17mm F1.8 to be very smooth, creamy and pleasing to look at. I remember complaining about the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 for having very harsh bokeh and distracting out of focus rendering, even at F1.7 widest open aperture. I am glad to see Olympus 17mm can create much more pleasing out of focus look in the image.

So if it is a simple error fair enough but does seem somewhat inconsistent...

Could also be he just changed his opinion over time.

If he shot with the 20mm in circumstances where the background allows for nice bokeh, it is quite possible to voice that as a first impressiion;  But then later come to realize that under other circumstances, the bokeh from the lens can be quite harsh.

-- hide signature --

Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
0MitchAG
Regular MemberPosts: 240Gear list
Like?
Re: Robin Wong - Olympus 25mm 1.8 review, part 1
In reply to mijokijo, 8 months ago

mijokijo wrote:

I'm actually really interested in the fish eye body cap lens after seeing the photos from his friend. For $100, it looks like it could be fun.

It definitely looks pretty good compared to their other body cap lens, which is just plain horrible and I'm not sure why one'd waste money on it. But this, this seems quite good for $100!

 0MitchAG's gear list:0MitchAG's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm F4-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
TonyinJapan
Senior MemberPosts: 1,050Gear list
Like?
Re: Robin Wong is this inconsistent?
In reply to neilm16, 8 months ago

neilm16 wrote:

I love reading his blog and do think he seems very honest and seems happy to reply etc.

However I did notice something which doesnt appear to be consistent and this could be a genuine error.

If you look here Robin talks about the 20mm f1.7

http://robinwong.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/panasonic-lumix-20mm-f17-pancake-lens.html

And notice he says...

Even at 20mm, thanks to the F1.7 wide aperture, I can render very good bokeh. The bokeh is creamy, smooth and very desirable.

Great you think! big plus....

Then I noticed this... when talking about the newer 17mm f1.8.. http://robinwong.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/olympus-mzuiko-17mm-f18-review-street.html

I find the out of focus rendering of the 17mm F1.8 to be very smooth, creamy and pleasing to look at. I remember complaining about the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 for having very harsh bokeh and distracting out of focus rendering, even at F1.7 widest open aperture. I am glad to see Olympus 17mm can create much more pleasing out of focus look in the image.

So if it is a simple error fair enough but does seem somewhat inconsistent...

As is mentioned, perhaps he changed his opinion.

However, I was interested in reading about the resolution comments of his 17mm review and if he mentions any comparison with the 20mm f1.7, like he does with the ‘Bokeh’ section, but there is no comparison. It is generally well-accepted that the 20mm is sharper than the 17mm.

The 17mm is a good lens and the bokeh is very nice, but I always found the sharpness shot wide-open to be trailing behind Panasonic’s offerings. It is sharp enough for most needs, but does not have that ‘super-sharp/micro-contrast’ renderings of either the 20mm f1.7 and 25mm f1.4, from my own shooting experience. I think even the 12-32mm is sharper than the 17mm at the same FOV and the zoom’s widest-aperture in my tests (which shows that either the zoom is really sharp or the 17mm prime is not has sharp as it should be for a prime, which way you want to look at it).

Anyway, I hope when Robin compares the Oly 25mm and PL25mm, if the PL25mm is really better than the Oly in some areas, he can simply state it ‘as is’.

-- hide signature --
 TonyinJapan's gear list:TonyinJapan's gear list
Olympus PEN E-P1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tt321
Senior MemberPosts: 3,849Gear list
Like?
Re: I don't understand the: "25mm of course is larger" comparison with the 45mm.
In reply to Olymore, 8 months ago

Olymore wrote:

It's my understanding that the 40-60mm focal length is easier to design and build than wider and longer focal lengths.

So standard focal lengths for 35mm format were always the cheapest lenses. And 50mm (35mm equivalent) lenses on 6x4.5 format were also relatively cheap.

As m43 has the 2x crop it is actually cheaper and easier to make short portrait length lenses than standard focal length lenses.

And wide angles on m43 are actually equivalent to ultra wides on 35mm and introduce further complexity which is why the m43 wide angle primes are not as cheap as people expect.

14/2.5? The NEX pancake 16mm? Both are radical FL's on FF.

I'd be interested if someone who knows about lens design can confirm this though.

They make those single-digit mm lenses for mobile phones so good and small, and fast/compact 32/35mm standard primes are appearing for APSC.

Compare the Leica S system 45/2.8 to 70/2.5, and one should have no doubt as to which is the standard lens.

There is nothing magical about the 40-60mm range, away from the 135 sensor/film format.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
oeoek
Regular MemberPosts: 425Gear list
Like?
Re: Robin Wong - Olympus 25mm 1.8 review, part 1
In reply to mijokijo, 8 months ago

I have no problems with Mr. Wong being paid by Olympus, and I read his stories and look at his pictures knowing this. I just wish every reviewer was this open about their relationships (some are, some are not).

A long time ago, Leica had something called 'the Leica School'; a bunch of good photographers from a country who would get paid to give workshops and courses mainly aimed at Leica equipment in that country (perhaps the Leica Schools still exist, I don't know).

And guess what, while those photographers got paid by Leica, they still would tell you what was good but also what was 'not so good' about the gear. And they would show you how to get the most from it, learning to deal with - or work around certain problems. During a day they would grin and and admit certain problems and offer solutions, even if there was no red dot involved. Basically, they were getting paid to make sure people could get the best from their gear.

As a photographer, at some point investing in education is a better idea then investing in gear. And getting educated by the ones who make the gear is not a bad idea...

 oeoek's gear list:oeoek's gear list
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm 1:4-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,897
Like?
Start a blog, write unbiased reviews
In reply to mijokijo, 8 months ago

I read through RW's review. Looks pretty good. He is honest and upfront (right at the very top) that he works for Olympus now. His blog is free. People can read what he writes or not read what he writes. They can give weight to his opinions or not give weight to them. For those who get so upset that someone puts free info and photos out on the internet then there is a very simple solution:

Create your own blog and review stuff very carefully, meticulously, without any hint of any kind of bias, and do it all for free. Creating a blog is easy. Anyone who can manage to post here can do it. It sure sounds like a lot of work to do what RW does though and to do it the way you insist free stuff must be done it will be even harder. Personally, I am anxious to see these new, free, timely, unbiased reviews.

-- hide signature --

Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
fdwill
New MemberPosts: 18
Like?
Re: Robin Wong - Olympus 25mm 1.8 review, part 1
In reply to Pic Man, 8 months ago

This man takes excellent pictures. He shows us his wonderful images using specified equipment. This shows us that with appropriate skill, and eyes, we can takes great photographs with this equipment. BUT, I believe Robin Wong could take great pictures with junk; however Olympus gear is not junk, but remember the phrase 'appropriate skill and eyes'.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mh2000
Senior MemberPosts: 2,662
Like?
Re: Robin Wong is this inconsistent?
In reply to neilm16, 8 months ago

neilm16 wrote:

I love reading his blog and do think he seems very honest and seems happy to reply etc.

However I did notice something which doesnt appear to be consistent and this could be a genuine error.

If you look here Robin talks about the 20mm f1.7

http://robinwong.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/panasonic-lumix-20mm-f17-pancake-lens.html

And notice he says...

Even at 20mm, thanks to the F1.7 wide aperture, I can render very good bokeh. The bokeh is creamy, smooth and very desirable.

Great you think! big plus....

Then I noticed this... when talking about the newer 17mm f1.8.. http://robinwong.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/olympus-mzuiko-17mm-f18-review-street.html

I find the out of focus rendering of the 17mm F1.8 to be very smooth, creamy and pleasing to look at. I remember complaining about the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 for having very harsh bokeh and distracting out of focus rendering, even at F1.7 widest open aperture. I am glad to see Olympus 17mm can create much more pleasing out of focus look in the image.

So if it is a simple error fair enough but does seem somewhat inconsistent...

people can change their mind. maybe he was wowwed by the 20 at first because there was nothing really to compare it at the time... i don't know.

The 20 is kind of harsh, his examples from the 17 and 25 look very nice IMO. He uses limited DoF in his test shots very well too!

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mh2000
Senior MemberPosts: 2,662
Like?
Re: Robin Wong - Olympus 25mm 1.8 review, part 1
In reply to amtberg, 8 months ago

amtberg wrote:

Acrill wrote:

So use your eyes and look at the pictures.

If there is nothing wrong with the pictures then there is nothing wrong with the lens. Lenses are tools for creating pictures.

A good photographer (and Robin Wong is one) can make any lens look good.  Has he ever given an Olympus product a less than positive review?

He seems to shoot Olympus gear. This is probably not only because he works for them. There isn't an Oly lens that I've use that I would trash either... if so, I wouldn't be using it.

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads