Otoño en las Montañas

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Lichtspiel Senior Member • Posts: 2,415
Otoño en las Montañas

If I had to pick a single prime for my hikes it would definitely be the 15mm Pana-Leica.

Grasslands are still colorful after many months of drought

Close contenders are the 17mm Olys, both the 1.8 version, and the venerable, but too heavy 1.2. They all have similar stellar IQ.

Since I don't have to pick a single prime, I take the Oly 45/1.8 along with it in case something deserves a different angle. Rarely happens, but that lens is so small and light the two complement each other very well.

Lace lichens on oak trees, reminding me of tinsel my dad used to decorate Christmas trees a long time ago

The PL15 is so small and light that it almost seems like a toy, rather than the precision instrument it is. I appreciate the choice of materials that allows for that, rather than something "built like a tank".

This looks impressive on my large 4k monitor

In comparing a bunch of 15-17mm lenses, both primes and zooms, I could not determine clear winners in IQ. Sharpness is good wide open, according to reviews the PL15 beats the Oly17 in the corners, but it's going to be in the hair-splitting range.

Playing around with selective background blurring. Two frames combined, one front-focused to get the background mountains out of focus. Labor intensive, I wish I could reverse-engineer focus-stack programs to combine the blurriest parts of some frames with sharp ones of others.

Generally speaking, the lens renders "warm", with a slight yellowish hue, compared to some of the cooler Olympus options. I don't understand why AWB does not balance that out, but since I shoot Raw only these days, I don't really care that much and make adjustments in post. It's all personal preference anyway.

Fall colors... whenever the angle of view doesn't capture the entire scene, multiple shots can be taken to cover larger views and stitched in post.

The 15's aperture ring doesn't work with Olympus cameras, but I personally don't see that as a con as I am used to setting the aperture via camera, and having one or two lenses with aperture ring may be confusing and could cause accidental mishaps.

Please... can I be your pet?!

While it is not a macro lens, the MFD is short enough for the casual close-up.

Do you bite? Crop from the image above. Sharp enough? Yep.

So what are the negatives? Besides the obvious (it's not cheap, it doesn't zoom, it is not as fast an f1.2 lens, not weatherproof, etc) there is only one thing to keep in mind: some distortion. It really only becomes apparent when placing people (heads) near the corners. The auto-distortion adjustment turns them into alien eggheads. This can be easily fixed by reversing the said adjustment, or adding a bit of barrel distortion as needed.

Poison Ivy showing off its fall colors

In the end, I would be perfectly happy with a good copy of the Oly 17/1.8, with its MF clutch, as well. Either lens is a wonderful addition to your "bag of primes".

Thanks for looking, and as always, any replies/feedback/critique is appreciated.

 Lichtspiel's gear list:Lichtspiel's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus 8mm F1.8 Fisheye Pro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R +3 more
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH
Wideangle prime lens • Micro Four Thirds • H-X015
Announced: Mar 24, 2014
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