My Rokinon antidote for Oly 75mmF1.8 lens lust

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RoelHendrickx
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My Rokinon antidote for Oly 75mmF1.8 lens lust
4 months ago

I visited a really nice camera store in Brussels on Friday.

They had an incredible spectrum of µFT lenses in stock, including the Voigtländer Noktons and other gems.

I had my E-M5 in the car, so I tried the 42.5mmF0.95 Nokton.  Really sweet build and feel, but no overwhelming temptation, because I quickly compared it with my old cheap 45mm F1.8 Olympus.  Sure, the Voigtländer is a lot faster, but also heavier and expensive.  At that focal range, manual focus becomes much harder with a fast lens than at 17.5mm (like the Nokton I already own and totally love as a low light documentary standard focal length lens). The Oly 45mm once again proved its worth.

I also tried the Olympus 75mm F1.8 and was seriously impressed: not really too big and heavy, but produces wonderful photos with exemplary sharpness, even wide open.  But again a lot of money.  So instead of making an impulse purchase, I refrained and promised myself to do a bit more testing with my Rokinon 85mm F1.4 on MicroFT (I have that lens in FT mount).

So yesterday I went out and took the Rokinon with the adapter, and also the EC-14 (FT lenses have the extra benefit that I can use my teleconverter and macro extender ring with them).

So my conclusion is that I do not really need the 75mm, nice though it is.  Sure, AF is a benefit.  And the Rokinon, when shot wide open is not really a match in sharpness.  But the Rokinon is good enough, especially when stopped down to F2.  I'll save my money for now.

Here are some of the shots that convinced me of the Rokinon's lasting quality.

I chose cows because they are a convenient and patient subject (and also a bit because Steve Huff used them in his review of the Oly 75mm...)

With EC-14 but not EX-25.  Later on I stacked them, but no shots worth sharing.

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Roel Hendrickx
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James Pilcher
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quite a stack
In reply to RoelHendrickx, 4 months ago

Good grief, Roel! A Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 + adapter + EC-14 + EX-25??? That's quite a stack for a µ4/3 camera. How far did it stick out in front of the camera? 40cm??? 

I could (would) not afford the 75mm f/1.8 for quite a long time. Then I managed to get a used one in truly mint condition for a very good price. As you noted, the 75mm f/1.8 is just a stellar performer; it has no flaws. In some ways, I'd call its performance "magical." It's well worth the wait if the photographer needs to save up the cash.

Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

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RoelHendrickx
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Jim, this is what it looks like
In reply to James Pilcher, 4 months ago

James Pilcher wrote:

Good grief, Roel! A Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 + adapter + EC-14 + EX-25??? That's quite a stack for a µ4/3 camera. How far did it stick out in front of the camera? 40cm???

Jim this is what it looks like (excuse the poor iphone quality):

Mind you, the shots shown before are only with Rokinon+adapter or Rokinon+EC-14+adapter. none with the EX-25 also.

Quite possible to handle.

I could (would) not afford the 75mm f/1.8 for quite a long time. Then I managed to get a used one in truly mint condition for a very good price. As you noted, the 75mm f/1.8 is just a stellar performer; it has no flaws. In some ways, I'd call its performance "magical." It's well worth the wait if the photographer needs to save up the cash.

Oh, the 75mm was indeed a great performer in those few moments I had it on my camera.

And there probably is one with my name on it, someday.

But not right now.

Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

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Roel Hendrickx
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James Pilcher
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pair that with a GM1
In reply to RoelHendrickx, 4 months ago

Just imagine all of that hanging off the front of a Lumix GM1. Now, that would be quite the Rube Goldberg contraption, and probably quite unmanageable.

RoelHendrickx wrote:

James Pilcher wrote:

Good grief, Roel! A Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 + adapter + EC-14 + EX-25??? That's quite a stack for a µ4/3 camera. How far did it stick out in front of the camera? 40cm???

Jim this is what it looks like (excuse the poor iphone quality):

Mind you, the shots shown before are only with Rokinon+adapter or Rokinon+EC-14+adapter. none with the EX-25 also.

Quite possible to handle.

I could (would) not afford the 75mm f/1.8 for quite a long time. Then I managed to get a used one in truly mint condition for a very good price. As you noted, the 75mm f/1.8 is just a stellar performer; it has no flaws. In some ways, I'd call its performance "magical." It's well worth the wait if the photographer needs to save up the cash.

Oh, the 75mm was indeed a great performer in those few moments I had it on my camera.

And there probably is one with my name on it, someday.

But not right now.

Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

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

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Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

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Kim Letkeman
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Re: pair that with a GM1
In reply to James Pilcher, 4 months ago

James Pilcher wrote:

Just imagine all of that hanging off the front of a Lumix GM1. Now, that would be quite the Rube Goldberg contraption, and probably quite unmanageable.

While size does matter, the GM1 can be surprisingly comfortable to use in its John Holmes configuration ...

RoelHendrickx wrote:

James Pilcher wrote:

Good grief, Roel! A Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 + adapter + EC-14 + EX-25??? That's quite a stack for a µ4/3 camera. How far did it stick out in front of the camera? 40cm???

Jim this is what it looks like (excuse the poor iphone quality):

Mind you, the shots shown before are only with Rokinon+adapter or Rokinon+EC-14+adapter. none with the EX-25 also.

Quite possible to handle.

I could (would) not afford the 75mm f/1.8 for quite a long time. Then I managed to get a used one in truly mint condition for a very good price. As you noted, the 75mm f/1.8 is just a stellar performer; it has no flaws. In some ways, I'd call its performance "magical." It's well worth the wait if the photographer needs to save up the cash.

Oh, the 75mm was indeed a great performer in those few moments I had it on my camera.

And there probably is one with my name on it, someday.

But not right now.

Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

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

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Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

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jeffharris
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Re: Jim, this is what it looks like
In reply to RoelHendrickx, 4 months ago

RoelHendrickx wrote:

James Pilcher wrote:

Good grief, Roel! A Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 + adapter + EC-14 + EX-25??? That's quite a stack for a µ4/3 camera. How far did it stick out in front of the camera? 40cm???

Jim this is what it looks like (excuse the poor iphone quality):

Mind you, the shots shown before are only with Rokinon+adapter or Rokinon+EC-14+adapter. none with the EX-25 also.

Quite possible to handle.

Man oh man, what a beast!

Here's a Voigtländer 75mm f2.5 Color Heliar to compare size.

Perfect size and weight (230g + L mount adaptor), excellent image quality and a pleasure to use. Sure, it's a stop slower, but so small and manageable. No one ever thinks I'm packing a 150mm lens when I use it!

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Zensu11
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Re: pair that with a GM1
In reply to Kim Letkeman, 4 months ago

The E-P5 with my slide copy contraption can be a handful too!

Forgive the tablet photo.

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RoelHendrickx
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Re: Jim, this is what it looks like
In reply to jeffharris, 4 months ago

jeffharris wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

James Pilcher wrote:

Good grief, Roel! A Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 + adapter + EC-14 + EX-25??? That's quite a stack for a µ4/3 camera. How far did it stick out in front of the camera? 40cm???

Jim this is what it looks like (excuse the poor iphone quality):

Mind you, the shots shown before are only with Rokinon+adapter or Rokinon+EC-14+adapter. none with the EX-25 also.

Quite possible to handle.

Man oh man, what a beast!

Here's a Voigtländer 75mm f2.5 Color Heliar to compare size.

Perfect size and weight (230g + L mount adaptor), excellent image quality and a pleasure to use. Sure, it's a stop slower, but so small and manageable. No one ever thinks I'm packing a 150mm lens when I use it!

For "just" the 85mm (170mm EFL) at F1.4, there is ONLY the adapter and the lens (you can ditch the hood too).  That looks VERY different.

What I have shown here includes ALSO EC-14 (x1.4 teleconverter) and EX-25 (macro tube).  together, these two are more than half the size of the actual 85mm lens.

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Eddy M
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Re: My Rokinon antidote for Oly 75mmF1.8 lens lust
In reply to RoelHendrickx, 4 months ago

If you have a chance you should try Konica Hexanon 57/1.4. I can post images taken with this lens if you want me to.

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RoelHendrickx
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Re: My Rokinon antidote for Oly 75mmF1.8 lens lust
In reply to Eddy M, 4 months ago

Eddy M wrote:

If you have a chance you should try Konica Hexanon 57/1.4. I can post images taken with this lens if you want me to.

Please do.  I am always interested in legacy lenses.

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Eddy M
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Konica Hexanon 57mm/f1.4
In reply to RoelHendrickx, 4 months ago

f1.4

f1.4

f1.4

f5.6

All those images processed in PS with small level adjustment, I have those images processed with more than just level adjustment and they looked amazing but I wont post them here since we're talking about lens and not post processing pictures.

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Kim Letkeman
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Re: pair that with a GM1
In reply to Zensu11, 4 months ago

Zensu11 wrote:

The E-P5 with my slide copy contraption can be a handful too!

Forgive the tablet photo.

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"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
Bobby

Of course, since the image is attached to the lens, framing and shake are not issues at all ...

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RoelHendrickx
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Re: pair that with a GM1
In reply to Kim Letkeman, 4 months ago

Interesting alternative for scanning.

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Marco Cinnirella
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Re: pair that with a GM1
In reply to RoelHendrickx, 4 months ago

interesting OP. My 75 1.8 lust was sated when I got the Sigma 60mm f2.8 - not the same focal length or aperture but a stunning performer and amazing value

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RoelHendrickx
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60 - 75 - 85
In reply to Marco Cinnirella, 4 months ago

Marco Cinnirella wrote:

interesting OP. My 75 1.8 lust was sated when I got the Sigma 60mm f2.8 - not the same focal length or aperture but a stunning performer and amazing value

The Sigma 60mm is indeed interesting.

So is the Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro.

But I prefer my fast medium tele to be a bit longer (more removed from 40mm).

So in order to "substitute" 75mm, 85mm makes more sense for me than 60mm.

We are blessed with so many options.

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SnapHappy32
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Re: 60 - 75 - 85 - 135!
In reply to RoelHendrickx, 4 months ago

Hi guys - I paired my OMD with an old Schneider (Rollei-mount) 135 mm f. 3.5.

Although not terribly sharp it's small, light, discrete and a joy to focus.

Great fun used for non-critical images.

The lens and adapter could be had for 50-60 USD.

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Kim Letkeman
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Re: 60 - 75 - 85 - 135!
In reply to SnapHappy32, 4 months ago

SnapHappy32 wrote:

Hi guys - I paired my OMD with an old Schneider (Rollei-mount) 135 mm f. 3.5.

Although not terribly sharp it's small, light, discrete and a joy to focus.

Great fun used for non-critical images.

The lens and adapter could be had for 50-60 USD.

A joy to focus ... you must be using the line art pseudo focus peaking trick?

I use the Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro on my EPM2 and it is incredibly sharp when perfectly focused. In good light, the line art focus peaking trick works great, but in poor light the combination of poor contrast and very slow shutter speeds conspires against it. In such a case, the inexpensive Sigma 60mm 2.8 ART would be the far better choice.

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SnapHappy32
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Re: 60 - 75 - 85 - 135!
In reply to Kim Letkeman, 4 months ago

Nope - I use the magnify function. The focus ring is (still!) very precise, so small changes are easy to make.

It's a well build lens. As is the 50mm 1.8 and Zeiss 18mm f4 for the Rolleflex system.

Currently they're seeing much more action than my trusted PL25 and 12-35. Legacy lenses are just more fun to use.

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jeffharris
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Re: Jim, this is what it looks like
In reply to RoelHendrickx, 4 months ago

RoelHendrickx wrote:

jeffharris wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

James Pilcher wrote:

Good grief, Roel! A Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 + adapter + EC-14 + EX-25??? That's quite a stack for a µ4/3 camera. How far did it stick out in front of the camera? 40cm???

Jim this is what it looks like (excuse the poor iphone quality):

Mind you, the shots shown before are only with Rokinon+adapter or Rokinon+EC-14+adapter. none with the EX-25 also.

Quite possible to handle.

Man oh man, what a beast!

Here's a Voigtländer 75mm f2.5 Color Heliar to compare size.

Perfect size and weight (230g + L mount adaptor), excellent image quality and a pleasure to use. Sure, it's a stop slower, but so small and manageable. No one ever thinks I'm packing a 150mm lens when I use it!

For "just" the 85mm (170mm EFL) at F1.4, there is ONLY the adapter and the lens (you can ditch the hood too). That looks VERY different.

What I have shown here includes ALSO EC-14 (x1.4 teleconverter) and EX-25 (macro tube). together, these two are more than half the size of the actual 85mm lens.

Yes, a bit Frankenstein-ian! It's fun piling up stuff like that… because you can!

So, how is it to use by itself? I'd thought about getting a Nikon 85mm f2 AI-S since it's small and cheap and faster than my 105mm and 135mm f2.8 lenses. (I use them for concert shooting… choruses, harpsichords and viola da gambas) But that 85mm f1.4 lens intrigues me because of speed and price. I'd get a Nikon mount so I could easily adapt it for a second generation Sony A7-series body.

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