Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
OP Sbarnaveli Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
3

valsan wrote:

Short answer: 17mm f1.2

long answer: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm F1.2 PRO

Made me laugh a lot! Great reply

OP Sbarnaveli Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
1

RobbieBear wrote:

Although you have the 25 1.7, you don't mention its usage.

17mm is the one prime missing from your lenses.

I think, for the type of indoor portraits you are considering, especially when wanting a second person not that close to the first, 17mm would be a better FL

Go for the 17 1.2.

I am looking forward to receiving mine - says it is ready for shipment, so hopefully, not too long now!

I use 25 1.7 from time to time, but I it might be too tight - in some sense, it's neither here nor there - not the kind of perspective that 35mm gives, and not the kind of compression that 85mm gives. It is very neutral. Though, I still like it and always trying to use it more. Have used it for some portraits. The bokeh seems to be a bit busy though. I also thought of going for 25 pro instead of 17mm, but I think 17mm might be more interesting in terms of the perspective and 45mm in terms of bokeh. But again, 25mm might be the best middle ground and might give me a bit of both of those lenses.

Dunsun Contributing Member • Posts: 591
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
3

I have owned both Voigtlander 17.5mm 0.95 and Olympus 17mm 1.2 lenses.

I sold both since I prefer smaller lenses. Anyways if you do not mind manual focusing go for Voigtlander. It's such an amazing lens. Center sharpness is actually very close to the sharpness of my Oly 25mm 1.2 !!

Though what I really loved about that lens is its character. It can deliver many different looks. Wide open it's dreamy and it's on a warmer side. Close it down little bit a you will get great sharpness with amazing colors. One huge positive is starburst effect that it produces. There is no better lens in the whole m43 system.

Cheers

ahaslett
ahaslett Veteran Member • Posts: 7,302
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
3

Sbarnaveli wrote:

Thanks for a nice and detailed reply!

I agree with your points and indeed, 75 can give me a similar bokeh to 45 1.2 outdoors, when I'm not restricted in the distance.

As to 20mm 1.7 and 12-40 wide open at 20mm I think that might not be enough with distances so small between the subject and the background. I've been trying to check that at home and with the lenses but as I currently don't have people around it is a bit hard to check.

Nice pictures! In the first one the background is definitely blurred enough, but it is also further than in some of the examples of the movie, I think.

The second picture made me now think about 25 1.2 - maybe that's the perfect middle ground?

However based on the examples that I've seen so far, I do think that 17 should also be to give me more or less good bokeh in these cases.

25/1.2 works well for head and shoulders indoors but is a bit tight to capture two people. 17mm allows you to stand closer to the group and still get them in. How blurred the background is will depend on the relative distance to subject and to background. With the 25mm, you are further from the subjects - provided the room is big enough.

If 17/1.2 isn’t shallow enough, then I’d buy a used FF DSLR and 35/1.4. Otherwise you could take the MFT 17/1.2 as a challenge to your composition skills. Constraints build skills and vision. Maybe using the 17/1.2 will be a better and cheaper way of developing your obvious talent.

I rather like the 25mm focal length as a way of getting more intimate portraits but 17mm works better for groups.

Here are some images from my bathroom mirror. The distance from me to the mirror and back is about the same as from me to the cabinet behind me.

17/1.2 equivalent

Notice how blurred the towel is, despite being closer to me than I am to the camera (via the mirror). Also notice how tight the framing is in a relatively small room.

Several people suggested a 17/0.95...

17/0.7 equivalent

Now even the shower cabinet close behind me is blurred, or the tap which is just behind.

My aim for this 35/1.4 lens is to take pictures where the background looks like the first image but there is a wider view, showing more of the environment, more clearly.

You can see that I'm close enough that perspective distortion is making my nose look large and very little of me is in critical focus. Compare that with the image taken with a 55/1.8 at f/2.4 where the subject framing is similar but the room is larger and I was further from a mirror.

Andrew

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G1Houston Senior Member • Posts: 2,985
Use longer FL to blur the background, not just by wide aperture

Long lens can much more effectively blur out the background by "compression."  The "degree of blur? between f1.2 and f1.8 is too small to make any difference.  For m4/3 for head and shoulder shots, the 56/1.4 from Sigma is ideal.

Keep in mind you want to keep all the facial features in focus, again argue against shooting at f1.2.

The examples you showed are too dark, too underexposed.

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allematic Forum Member • Posts: 60
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
2

Like you, I like enviromental portraits and the slight subject separation in them, I love manual lenses, I enjoy absurd amounts of bokeh found in longer lenses and I adore the Voigtlanders. If I was you, I would choose the 17mm f1.2 pro lens. The Voigtlander lenses are magical but you won't get one for free. Besides, the m-mount Voigts are better value than the m43 ones. Lighter, smaller, with better background separation and with similar pricing. But you will need a separate FF body for them.

Dostoy Contributing Member • Posts: 520
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95

The Olympus 45mm F1.2 has been reviewed very highly, with some reviewers saying it's one of the best lenses they have EVER tested.

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Jan Chelminski
Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 2,289
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
3

Sbarnaveli wrote:

Thanks!

I agree with the points about excessive bokeh, but as I outlined in my original post, I'm not trying to get it. I want to have a reasonable amount of bokeh just as in the examples from the movie that I posted (and I think a movie of that scale is as professional as it can get).

I also completely agree that 1.8 primes are real gems and a lot can be done with them and I haven't even got close to getting the most out of them.

I was actually not planning to buy any more lenses and be happy with my 1.8s, but it is simply the fact that I could get a new Em1 mkii with 5 years of warranty for the same price (or a bit cheaper) as used ones and a new 1.2 lens for cheaper than the used prices. So that's why I started thinking that I could make use of this 1.2 aperture blur for cases like in the movie screenshots and went for the deal.

And your comment about sharpness is also a good one - 1.8s (especially the ones that I have in 40-50mm range) are not that even across the frame, so there 17 1.2 might also be beneficial for me.

Hi,

Just reread your original post, I think I should recomment.

The 17mm is excellent, but the 25mm may be the best. While the 17mm is trying (and succeeding, very well) to be a fast, sharp and technically balanced optic, the 25mm actually seems closer to me, in character with what you seem to be after, which I think is: A classy, refined character and rendering 'habit'. If so, thats your lens, IMO.

It's the real star of the bunch, if you are after an extremely refined rendering.

Another lens I think has 'cinema like' rendering, is the 10-25mm f/1.7.

All 3 MZD 1.2's are great, I would study pictures and consider perspective, I think 45mm might often be a bit too little, in that dept, so 17/25mm may be best.

heres a couple

17mm @ 1.2. Sculpture is about 2.5 to 3 feet tall.

Also f/1.2

Rgds,

Jan

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pdelux Contributing Member • Posts: 972
Re: Take a look at examples of the images made by the lens
1

Jan Chelminski wrote:

But otherwise, excellent for environmental, and also as a one-lens choice.

Jan

Agree, If I only had one FL it would be 35mm equivalent!

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cba_melbourne
cba_melbourne Senior Member • Posts: 3,442
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
5

Sbarnaveli wrote:

......

I was actually not planning to buy any more lenses and be happy with my 1.8s, but ................

The 1.2 lens is free to you. But nobody says you have to keep it. Especially not if you are never going to use it because it it is too big and heavy compared to your 1.8s. Get the 1.2 one that is most in demand, and sell it. You won't get near list price, but whatever you get makes the new camera cheaper by as much as you get for the lens. You should be able to get grey import price for it. My 2c.

Then, one day there may be a lens that you really fancy, or another accessory. And you will be glad you have the money in the bank to buy it, and not an 1.2 lens in the cupboard gathering dust and losing value for nothing.

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OP Sbarnaveli Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95

Dunsun wrote:

I have owned both Voigtlander 17.5mm 0.95 and Olympus 17mm 1.2 lenses.

I sold both since I prefer smaller lenses. Anyways if you do not mind manual focusing go for Voigtlander. It's such an amazing lens. Center sharpness is actually very close to the sharpness of my Oly 25mm 1.2 !!

Though what I really loved about that lens is its character. It can deliver many different looks. Wide open it's dreamy and it's on a warmer side. Close it down little bit a you will get great sharpness with amazing colors. One huge positive is starburst effect that it produces. There is no better lens in the whole m43 system.

Cheers

Thanks! I thought more about it and I decided that I'm looking more for sharpness wide open across the frame and I think in that regard the Olympus 17 should be better. I would like to place subjects to the sides as well and that should be more consistent in terms of sharpness with Olympus. And not so sure if I will benefit from the dreaminess in what I would like to achieve (this part is hard to quantify and just following my general thoughts and feelings here).

As to the starbursts, I never used them anywhere and I think I actually more dislike them than like.

OP Sbarnaveli Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
1

ahaslett wrote:

Sbarnaveli wrote:

Thanks for a nice and detailed reply!

I agree with your points and indeed, 75 can give me a similar bokeh to 45 1.2 outdoors, when I'm not restricted in the distance.

As to 20mm 1.7 and 12-40 wide open at 20mm I think that might not be enough with distances so small between the subject and the background. I've been trying to check that at home and with the lenses but as I currently don't have people around it is a bit hard to check.

Nice pictures! In the first one the background is definitely blurred enough, but it is also further than in some of the examples of the movie, I think.

The second picture made me now think about 25 1.2 - maybe that's the perfect middle ground?

However based on the examples that I've seen so far, I do think that 17 should also be to give me more or less good bokeh in these cases.

25/1.2 works well for head and shoulders indoors but is a bit tight to capture two people. 17mm allows you to stand closer to the group and still get them in. How blurred the background is will depend on the relative distance to subject and to background. With the 25mm, you are further from the subjects - provided the room is big enough.

If 17/1.2 isn’t shallow enough, then I’d buy a used FF DSLR and 35/1.4. Otherwise you could take the MFT 17/1.2 as a challenge to your composition skills. Constraints build skills and vision. Maybe using the 17/1.2 will be a better and cheaper way of developing your obvious talent.

I rather like the 25mm focal length as a way of getting more intimate portraits but 17mm works better for groups.

Here are some images from my bathroom mirror. The distance from me to the mirror and back is about the same as from me to the cabinet behind me.

17/1.2 equivalent

Notice how blurred the towel is, despite being closer to me than I am to the camera (via the mirror). Also notice how tight the framing is in a relatively small room.

Several people suggested a 17/0.95...

17/0.7 equivalent

Now even the shower cabinet close behind me is blurred, or the tap which is just behind.

My aim for this 35/1.4 lens is to take pictures where the background looks like the first image but there is a wider view, showing more of the environment, more clearly.

You can see that I'm close enough that perspective distortion is making my nose look large and very little of me is in critical focus. Compare that with the image taken with a 55/1.8 at f/2.4 where the subject framing is similar but the room is larger and I was further from a mirror.

Andrew

Thanks for the effort you put in these replies and providing samples with good descriptions! I really appreciate it!

I also decided to try and photograph myself with the lenses that I already have using OI share app and a tripod and to my surprise, mimicking the compositions that were in the screenshots that I posted, in some of them (closeups) I actually got enough blur even with 12-40mm @17mm f2.8. The quality might not be there sometimes, but the 17mm will take care of it in this case for sure.

I also tried taking some shots in my room with 20mm prime on EM1 and 25mm on EM10 to be able to compare them very quickly. I think for indoor environments with tight spaces 17mm will be significantly more convenient than 25mm, so I think it is the way to go. And as you also pointed out, it will be a good challenge to work on compositions more carefully when more things are in the frame.

As to the distortions when taking close up pictures with 35mm equivalent, well, that part I sometimes even like and if I'm careful enough, it is possible to get interesting shots without eye catching distortion (of course, if one directly compares two photos of 50mm vs 35mm, the distortion will be visible, but if it's not that apparent in a single picture, then I'm perfectly happy with that). It might also add some intimacy as I think we associate these  distortions with being very close to the subject.  E.g. in the pictures you posted with 35mm, I wouldn't notice any distortions with the nose.

And as I said, sometimes these distortions (or even more dramatic ones might actually be interesting as it is in this portrait taken by Arnold Newman:

Clearly, his hands are distorted and probably his face as well, but I really like how it looks in total.

OP Sbarnaveli Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Use longer FL to blur the background, not just by wide aperture
1

G1Houston wrote:

Long lens can much more effectively blur out the background by "compression." The "degree of blur? between f1.2 and f1.8 is too small to make any difference. For m4/3 for head and shoulder shots, the 56/1.4 from Sigma is ideal.

Keep in mind you want to keep all the facial features in focus, again argue against shooting at f1.2.

The examples you showed are too dark, too underexposed.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Indeed, it is true that long lenses blur more effectively, but they are also too long for environments sometimes. I considered 56mm but that will be too tight for the shots that I am aiming for. And for the situations when I can make use of 56mm, I have 75mm, so I don't think 56mm Sigma would benefit me in the end. Even Olympus 45mm is quite often too tight.

As to the darkness of the examples, I like darkness in the pictures a lot. And the Godfather portraits were meant to be dark and the Director of Photography was called "the Prince of Darkness". So that's just a preference and it also depends on the screens that we're using to look at these pictures.

Edit: Forgot to add that I played with a DoF simulator with fixed face size in frame and 1.8->1.2 makes a significant difference and is easy to see (didn't expect that myself, to be honest, but it is significant)

OP Sbarnaveli Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
1

allematic wrote:

Like you, I like enviromental portraits and the slight subject separation in them, I love manual lenses, I enjoy absurd amounts of bokeh found in longer lenses and I adore the Voigtlanders. If I was you, I would choose the 17mm f1.2 pro lens. The Voigtlander lenses are magical but you won't get one for free. Besides, the m-mount Voigts are better value than the m43 ones. Lighter, smaller, with better background separation and with similar pricing. But you will need a separate FF body for them.

Thanks! Yeah, I agree with your reasoning. And selling the Pro and then buying the Voigtlander is just too much of a hassle, in my opinion and 1.2->0.95 difference shouldn't be thaaaat dramatic either, I think. And although I'm fine with manual focus and can live with it, I much prefer autofocus on my main lenses. I do have vintage lenses that I love to use and it gives a different feeling when you work with manual lenses that are also well built, but I would strongly prefer to have an autofocus. Ok, if there's no other choice than to have 17mm in MF, I'm fine with that, but as 17mm pro is available, I do think that it is a way more practical choice as well (and lighter).

Maybe one day I'll be very rich and add Leica system for these feelings and nice manual lenses (as I don't see any other practical reasons to go for Leica other than for a nice shooting experience and the joy of working with products of a very high quality mechanical engineering, which I appreciate), but currently still in my PhD stage, so a bit early to think about that for me

OP Sbarnaveli Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95

Dostoy wrote:

The Olympus 45mm F1.2 has been reviewed very highly, with some reviewers saying it's one of the best lenses they have EVER tested.

True, I also read that and know that is a magnificent lens with all the corrections implemented optically etc. but it is indeed a bit too tight, as it has been pointed out by other people here as well.

OP Sbarnaveli Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95

Jan Chelminski wrote:

Sbarnaveli wrote:

Thanks!

I agree with the points about excessive bokeh, but as I outlined in my original post, I'm not trying to get it. I want to have a reasonable amount of bokeh just as in the examples from the movie that I posted (and I think a movie of that scale is as professional as it can get).

I also completely agree that 1.8 primes are real gems and a lot can be done with them and I haven't even got close to getting the most out of them.

I was actually not planning to buy any more lenses and be happy with my 1.8s, but it is simply the fact that I could get a new Em1 mkii with 5 years of warranty for the same price (or a bit cheaper) as used ones and a new 1.2 lens for cheaper than the used prices. So that's why I started thinking that I could make use of this 1.2 aperture blur for cases like in the movie screenshots and went for the deal.

And your comment about sharpness is also a good one - 1.8s (especially the ones that I have in 40-50mm range) are not that even across the frame, so there 17 1.2 might also be beneficial for me.

Hi,

Just reread your original post, I think I should recomment.

The 17mm is excellent, but the 25mm may be the best. While the 17mm is trying (and succeeding, very well) to be a fast, sharp and technically balanced optic, the 25mm actually seems closer to me, in character with what you seem to be after, which I think is: A classy, refined character and rendering 'habit'. If so, thats your lens, IMO.

It's the real star of the bunch, if you are after an extremely refined rendering.

Another lens I think has 'cinema like' rendering, is the 10-25mm f/1.7.

All 3 MZD 1.2's are great, I would study pictures and consider perspective, I think 45mm might often be a bit too little, in that dept, so 17/25mm may be best.

heres a couple

17mm @ 1.2. Sculpture is about 2.5 to 3 feet tall.

Also f/1.2

Rgds,

Jan

Thanks Jan,

Yes, after reading this comment, I realized that it agreed a lot with what I was considering and wishing and started looking at the examples from both lenses again. And I agree, that with 25 I would get significantly more bokeh and the "feathered" nature of it would also be much more apparent. I almost decided to reconsider my choice in favor of 25mm. But based on some examples including your examples as well, I can see that 17mm can also give that smooth and classy bokeh if used correctly. Besides, as I mentioned above, I played with different focal lengths this morning and I think the perspective of 35mm is actually more interesting in some cases and it's also more suited to rooms which might be tight. At the same time, it is still not wide enough like 24mm, for example, to give crazy distortions when you take close up pictures of people when their face is places towards the edge of the frame.

And after all, if it appears that I really can not make use of 17mm, I can always sell it and buy the 25mm Pro. Even with loosing some money on this, it is at least going to give me a solid understanding that 17mm is not "my focal length" (or that I somehow wasn't able to make use of it in my portraiture no matter what I tried).

Though, I highly doubt this scenario and I think I'll get used to 17mm and will make it a useful lens for me.

And in the end, life is not ending here, so if I feel at some point that I really really can't live without 25mm 1.2 (as I already have 25 1.7 (with ugly bokeh sometimes, but still)), I can start saving up and buy it in the end. (If mft is still going to be alive by that time ).

ahaslett
ahaslett Veteran Member • Posts: 7,302
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
1

Sbarnaveli wrote:

ahaslett wrote:

Sbarnaveli wrote:

Thanks for a nice and detailed reply!

I agree with your points and indeed, 75 can give me a similar bokeh to 45 1.2 outdoors, when I'm not restricted in the distance.

As to 20mm 1.7 and 12-40 wide open at 20mm I think that might not be enough with distances so small between the subject and the background. I've been trying to check that at home and with the lenses but as I currently don't have people around it is a bit hard to check.

Nice pictures! In the first one the background is definitely blurred enough, but it is also further than in some of the examples of the movie, I think.

The second picture made me now think about 25 1.2 - maybe that's the perfect middle ground?

However based on the examples that I've seen so far, I do think that 17 should also be to give me more or less good bokeh in these cases.

25/1.2 works well for head and shoulders indoors but is a bit tight to capture two people. 17mm allows you to stand closer to the group and still get them in. How blurred the background is will depend on the relative distance to subject and to background. With the 25mm, you are further from the subjects - provided the room is big enough.

If 17/1.2 isn’t shallow enough, then I’d buy a used FF DSLR and 35/1.4. Otherwise you could take the MFT 17/1.2 as a challenge to your composition skills. Constraints build skills and vision. Maybe using the 17/1.2 will be a better and cheaper way of developing your obvious talent.

I rather like the 25mm focal length as a way of getting more intimate portraits but 17mm works better for groups.

Here are some images from my bathroom mirror. The distance from me to the mirror and back is about the same as from me to the cabinet behind me.

17/1.2 equivalent

Notice how blurred the towel is, despite being closer to me than I am to the camera (via the mirror). Also notice how tight the framing is in a relatively small room.

Several people suggested a 17/0.95...

17/0.7 equivalent

Now even the shower cabinet close behind me is blurred, or the tap which is just behind.

My aim for this 35/1.4 lens is to take pictures where the background looks like the first image but there is a wider view, showing more of the environment, more clearly.

You can see that I'm close enough that perspective distortion is making my nose look large and very little of me is in critical focus. Compare that with the image taken with a 55/1.8 at f/2.4 where the subject framing is similar but the room is larger and I was further from a mirror.

Andrew

Thanks for the effort you put in these replies and providing samples with good descriptions! I really appreciate it!

I also decided to try and photograph myself with the lenses that I already have using OI share app and a tripod and to my surprise, mimicking the compositions that were in the screenshots that I posted, in some of them (closeups) I actually got enough blur even with 12-40mm @17mm f2.8. The quality might not be there sometimes, but the 17mm will take care of it in this case for sure.

I also tried taking some shots in my room with 20mm prime on EM1 and 25mm on EM10 to be able to compare them very quickly. I think for indoor environments with tight spaces 17mm will be significantly more convenient than 25mm, so I think it is the way to go. And as you also pointed out, it will be a good challenge to work on compositions more carefully when more things are in the frame.

As to the distortions when taking close up pictures with 35mm equivalent, well, that part I sometimes even like and if I'm careful enough, it is possible to get interesting shots without eye catching distortion (of course, if one directly compares two photos of 50mm vs 35mm, the distortion will be visible, but if it's not that apparent in a single picture, then I'm perfectly happy with that). It might also add some intimacy as I think we associate these distortions with being very close to the subject. E.g. in the pictures you posted with 35mm, I wouldn't notice any distortions with the nose.

And as I said, sometimes these distortions (or even more dramatic ones might actually be interesting as it is in this portrait taken by Arnold Newman:

Clearly, his hands are distorted and probably his face as well, but I really like how it looks in total.

It's good for my own learning to produce examples.

The combination of wide angle and close focus enables some interesting effects. The Samyang 7.5mm/3.5 fisheye can do all kinds of interesting shots. It has an MFD of 9cm, so you can get distortion and separation, even with the modest aperture.

With the assistance of my rubber friend:

You can see that shallow DoF can be a problem, even at f/4, if you get close enough.

I agree with your results on the 12-40/2.8, which has an MFD of 20cm.

18/2.8

If you stand a bit further back, there is still some subject separation, probably what I normally desire.

18/2.8

At this point, I'd probably be reaching for the 20/1.7, another one of the MFT system's cost-effective gems.

I find the 12-40 is pretty good quality, especially at the wide end. There are better lenses and I have some. The problem with these kinds of shots is poor light.

Even at 35/1.4 in the bathroom, the ISO for 1/60s was 400. Look at how much noise there is. At f/2.4 the noise was bad on my head at ISO 1000 on FF. I could have gone for longer exposures, but then you risk blur, even with subjects posing. (My rubber friend is very good at posing).

Lighting is also important - notice how it contributes to separation in my second bathroom shot and further reduces noise in my face.

Andrew

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OP Sbarnaveli Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
1

cba_melbourne wrote:

Sbarnaveli wrote:

......

I was actually not planning to buy any more lenses and be happy with my 1.8s, but ................

The 1.2 lens is free to you. But nobody says you have to keep it. Especially not if you are never going to use it because it it is too big and heavy compared to your 1.8s. Get the 1.2 one that is most in demand, and sell it. You won't get near list price, but whatever you get makes the new camera cheaper by as much as you get for the lens. You should be able to get grey import price for it. My 2c.

Then, one day there may be a lens that you really fancy, or another accessory. And you will be glad you have the money in the bank to buy it, and not an 1.2 lens in the cupboard gathering dust and losing value for nothing.

I agree. I was also thinking of just getting the 45mm and selling it, but then I realized, that I didn't buy 1.2s before because they were expensive. But if I had them, I would definitely make use of them one way or another. So they're definitely not going to gather dust. It was this deal of getting a new EM1 (which I was still planning to buy) with 5 year warranty (very useful for peeling of rubbers on the handle) cheaper than the used ones + a new 1.2 lens with warranty also cheaper than the used ones, I decided to go for it.

As I already have all the accessories, I would prefer to make use of the new lens and find the one that can actually improve some areas of my photography (sure, it's the photographer that matters, but if you have a better gear, you can in principle achieve more (or the same, but significantly less effort)). So, I decided to keep whichever lens I get.

OP Sbarnaveli Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95

ahaslett wrote:

Sbarnaveli wrote:

ahaslett wrote:

Sbarnaveli wrote:

Thanks for a nice and detailed reply!

I agree with your points and indeed, 75 can give me a similar bokeh to 45 1.2 outdoors, when I'm not restricted in the distance.

As to 20mm 1.7 and 12-40 wide open at 20mm I think that might not be enough with distances so small between the subject and the background. I've been trying to check that at home and with the lenses but as I currently don't have people around it is a bit hard to check.

Nice pictures! In the first one the background is definitely blurred enough, but it is also further than in some of the examples of the movie, I think.

The second picture made me now think about 25 1.2 - maybe that's the perfect middle ground?

However based on the examples that I've seen so far, I do think that 17 should also be to give me more or less good bokeh in these cases.

25/1.2 works well for head and shoulders indoors but is a bit tight to capture two people. 17mm allows you to stand closer to the group and still get them in. How blurred the background is will depend on the relative distance to subject and to background. With the 25mm, you are further from the subjects - provided the room is big enough.

If 17/1.2 isn’t shallow enough, then I’d buy a used FF DSLR and 35/1.4. Otherwise you could take the MFT 17/1.2 as a challenge to your composition skills. Constraints build skills and vision. Maybe using the 17/1.2 will be a better and cheaper way of developing your obvious talent.

I rather like the 25mm focal length as a way of getting more intimate portraits but 17mm works better for groups.

Here are some images from my bathroom mirror. The distance from me to the mirror and back is about the same as from me to the cabinet behind me.

17/1.2 equivalent

Notice how blurred the towel is, despite being closer to me than I am to the camera (via the mirror). Also notice how tight the framing is in a relatively small room.

Several people suggested a 17/0.95...

17/0.7 equivalent

Now even the shower cabinet close behind me is blurred, or the tap which is just behind.

My aim for this 35/1.4 lens is to take pictures where the background looks like the first image but there is a wider view, showing more of the environment, more clearly.

You can see that I'm close enough that perspective distortion is making my nose look large and very little of me is in critical focus. Compare that with the image taken with a 55/1.8 at f/2.4 where the subject framing is similar but the room is larger and I was further from a mirror.

Andrew

Thanks for the effort you put in these replies and providing samples with good descriptions! I really appreciate it!

I also decided to try and photograph myself with the lenses that I already have using OI share app and a tripod and to my surprise, mimicking the compositions that were in the screenshots that I posted, in some of them (closeups) I actually got enough blur even with 12-40mm @17mm f2.8. The quality might not be there sometimes, but the 17mm will take care of it in this case for sure.

I also tried taking some shots in my room with 20mm prime on EM1 and 25mm on EM10 to be able to compare them very quickly. I think for indoor environments with tight spaces 17mm will be significantly more convenient than 25mm, so I think it is the way to go. And as you also pointed out, it will be a good challenge to work on compositions more carefully when more things are in the frame.

As to the distortions when taking close up pictures with 35mm equivalent, well, that part I sometimes even like and if I'm careful enough, it is possible to get interesting shots without eye catching distortion (of course, if one directly compares two photos of 50mm vs 35mm, the distortion will be visible, but if it's not that apparent in a single picture, then I'm perfectly happy with that). It might also add some intimacy as I think we associate these distortions with being very close to the subject. E.g. in the pictures you posted with 35mm, I wouldn't notice any distortions with the nose.

And as I said, sometimes these distortions (or even more dramatic ones might actually be interesting as it is in this portrait taken by Arnold Newman:

Clearly, his hands are distorted and probably his face as well, but I really like how it looks in total.

It's good for my own learning to produce examples.

The combination of wide angle and close focus enables some interesting effects. The Samyang 7.5mm/3.5 fisheye can do all kinds of interesting shots. It has an MFD of 9cm, so you can get distortion and separation, even with the modest aperture.

With the assistance of my rubber friend:

You can see that shallow DoF can be a problem, even at f/4, if you get close enough.

I agree with your results on the 12-40/2.8, which has an MFD of 20cm.

18/2.8

If you stand a bit further back, there is still some subject separation, probably what I normally desire.

18/2.8

At this point, I'd probably be reaching for the 20/1.7, another one of the MFT system's cost-effective gems.

I find the 12-40 is pretty good quality, especially at the wide end. There are better lenses and I have some. The problem with these kinds of shots is poor light.

Even at 35/1.4 in the bathroom, the ISO for 1/60s was 400. Look at how much noise there is. At f/2.4 the noise was bad on my head at ISO 1000 on FF. I could have gone for longer exposures, but then you risk blur, even with subjects posing. (My rubber friend is very good at posing).

Lighting is also important - notice how it contributes to separation in my second bathroom shot and further reduces noise in my face.

Andrew

Yes, I agree with your points and nice examples :D. And indeed, the final bokeh is the best in terms of still showing the background but also separating the subject, at the same time.

20mm 1.7 is also great and I love it ever since I bought it 8 years ago. But the focus is very slow and sometimes, when autofocus is a bonus, it will hunt too long (e.g. when I'm in awkward angles and the model has to stay steady and it is dark (which I like lately a lot ( I guess just like LeGuin? ), we are all waiting for the lens to focus and that takes some time).

And finally, sometimes even the small bonus of 17mm light gathering will be helpful (especially with the mft sensor).

So, I will go for the 17mm in the end.

Thanks for helping!

ahaslett
ahaslett Veteran Member • Posts: 7,302
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95
1

You are very welcome and enjoy your new camera and lens.

If you want darkness, then Neil Gaiman and Mervyn Peake might be better than Ursula K LeGuin, although the Left Hand of Darkness would have a lot of very gloomy scenes if made into a film.

Andrew

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