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Thread: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

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    wblynch
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    G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    Wondering if anyone has made comparisons between the Pen-F 40/1.4 and the CV 40/1.4 lenses on the Micro 4/3 cameras.

    I currently have a Pen 40 but no adapter yet and I plan to get a few M-mount lenses towards building a future M-system.

    So, before I buy a Pen-F adapter for my G1, should I just get the CV 40 and M-adapter instead?

    Also, is it worth pursuing more Pen-F lenses since the prices have gone up so much in the past year?

    Comparison pictures would be wonderful.

    Thanks for any advice and encouragement.

    -Bill L.

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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    I do not think pen F lens prices have "gone -up". The ones I bought > 10 years ago cost me a lot more than the current prices. They are less expensive than the RF lenses.

    Pen F 40/1.4 close focus distance is 30cm. Any RF lens has severe limitation (including the superb 40/2 Summicron or M-Rokkor).

    That alone is a huge determining factor. So, a more useful lens with lesser price is better.

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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    I compared my Pen F G.Zuiko 40mm f/1.4 against a friend's CV Nokton 40mm f/1.4.

    Both are good performers. The Pen lens is a little bit larger but focuses much closer. Wide open to f/2.8, it's a small mount sharper at the edges and corners. Past that, it's hard to tell them apart.

    I've also compared the Olympus 40/1.4 against the Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8 (I own both of these). These two lenses are so close in overall performance it's hard to tell them apart ... both are slightly soft wide open, very sharp and contrasty from f/2.8 onwards. The Konica lens only has whole-stop clicks on the aperture ring and is hard to set between them. Fitted with appropriately deep lens hoods, they're very close to the same size overall, but the Konica lens is larger in diameter. The Konica lens cost me $60, the Pen lens just shy of $200.

    I don't know how many lenses you plan to buy. Personally, three or four is all I generally use frequently, and I buy a mount adapter for each one to maximize convenience in the field when changing lenses. So mixing and matching Konica, Nikkor, Olympus Pen, and Pentax lenses just isn't much of a problem. I'd pick the most satisfying lens of whatever focal length makes sense rather than trying to keep them all within one mount family.

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    wblynch
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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I do not think pen F lens prices have "gone -up". The ones I bought > 10 years ago cost me a lot more than the current prices. They are less expensive than the RF lenses.

    Pen F 40/1.4 close focus distance is 30cm. Any RF lens has severe limitation (including the superb 40/2 Summicron or M-Rokkor).

    That alone is a huge determining factor. So, a more useful lens with lesser price is better.
    Thanks Vivek,

    I bought a very nice Pen F 40 last year for $92 and now I see them on Ebay for well over $300. I've been trying to find a 20 or 25 and am nervous about spending near $400 for those.

    As I still don't have an adapter I haven't experienced the joy of the Pen F lenses yet.

    The close focusing factor is compelling.

    -Bill L.

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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    I've had the CV 40 f/1.4 on my M's. I no longer own it. I do own the Pen-F 40 f/1.4. I would take the close focusing of the Pen-F any day. I am also working on my M lineup, but I think that the amount I have invested in the Pen-F lenses is worth it for their performance on my 2 M4/3 bodies. If you already own the Pen-F 40, my advice would be to buy the adapter.

  6. #6
    wblynch
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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    Thanks Godfrey,

    It sounds like the image quality between these lenses is very close so other factors will have to guide my path.

    I don't intend to buy a lot of lenses, maybe 3... but I would like to only buy them once and the M-mount path is interesting to me because lately I feel compelled to try the RF world.

    I also have a half-dozen OM lenses that I want to use on the G1 but the small size of Pen and M-mount lenses makes them exciting to me.

    I like to keep things like this in alignment -- stick with one mount/system. But maybe that is a limit I unreasonably put upon myself.

    -Bill L.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I compared my Pen F G.Zuiko 40mm f/1.4 against a friend's CV Nokton 40mm f/1.4.

    Both are good performers. The Pen lens is a little bit larger but focuses much closer. Wide open to f/2.8, it's a small mount sharper at the edges and corners. Past that, it's hard to tell them apart.

    I've also compared the Olympus 40/1.4 against the Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8 (I own both of these). These two lenses are so close in overall performance it's hard to tell them apart ... both are slightly soft wide open, very sharp and contrasty from f/2.8 onwards. The Konica lens only has whole-stop clicks on the aperture ring and is hard to set between them. Fitted with appropriately deep lens hoods, they're very close to the same size overall, but the Konica lens is larger in diameter. The Konica lens cost me $60, the Pen lens just shy of $200.

    I don't know how many lenses you plan to buy. Personally, three or four is all I generally use frequently, and I buy a mount adapter for each one to maximize convenience in the field when changing lenses. So mixing and matching Konica, Nikkor, Olympus Pen, and Pentax lenses just isn't much of a problem. I'd pick the most satisfying lens of whatever focal length makes sense rather than trying to keep them all within one mount family.

  7. #7
    wblynch
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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    Thanks Cindy,

    I will order one today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    I've had the CV 40 f/1.4 on my M's. I no longer own it. I do own the Pen-F 40 f/1.4. I would take the close focusing of the Pen-F any day. I am also working on my M lineup, but I think that the amount I have invested in the Pen-F lenses is worth it for their performance on my 2 M4/3 bodies. If you already own the Pen-F 40, my advice would be to buy the adapter.

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    wblynch
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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    Any comments on the Pen-F 20 or 25 mm's ??

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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    Any comments on the Pen-F 20 or 25 mm's ??
    I haven't been interested in the shorter focal lengths because I already own the Summilux 25/1.4 and will be getting the Lumix G 20/1.7. I think they're simply a better match to the mFT cameras and will out-perform any adapted lenses. I have the Nikkor 20/3.5AI, which is an excellent performer, but in my testing I've found that the G Vario 14-45 out-performs it; only downside is that the zoom is 2/3 stop slower.

    That said, I've never heard anything bad about the Pen F 20-25 mm lenses.

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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    What I would recommend out of the pen F lenses that I use are:

    40/1.4 (for size)

    42/1.2 - there is nothing like this. Simply the best.

    60/1.5

    100/3.5 (size)

    150/4

    250/5 (size)

    38/3.5 Macro

    All the pen F lenses (barring the old 25/4) perform superbly.

    Unlike other lenses (especially RF stuff), you use extension rings from pen system with all these lenses, even a reversing ring that is the best in any system ever made.

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    Any comments on the Pen-F 20 or 25 mm's ??
    I have the 20/3.5 and, even though I've just ordered the Panasonic 20/1.7, I know I'll be keeping the Pen F 20mm. From all accounts the 20/1.7 is an excellent lens -- fast and sharp with pleasing bokeh, not too much distortion being corrected in software, plus it has autofocus. Whereas the Pen F 20/3.5 is sharp with pleasing bokeh but it focuses manually and is more than two stops slower. Why keep it then? Because the Pen F lenses are marvelous. They feel like real lenses that are a pleasure to use. So that in shooting with them you can't help feeling connected to and appreciative of Mr Maitani's genius. (Which is also, conversely, why the current Olympus "Pen" lenses, far from paying homage, are actually an insult to his memory.)

    Even more, the fact that the 20/1.7 is faster and easier to focus doesn't necessarily make it better than the 20/3.5. Last month, Mike Johnston wrote a post about a documentary movie called It Might Get Loud, a group portrait of three guitarists: Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, the Edge from U2, and Jack White of the White Stripes. For Mike, the best quote in the film came from Jack White: "The instrument should get in the way. You have to pick a fight with the guitar." Similarly, the Pen F 20/3.5 makes one work a little harder -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    As for the 40s: I have the Pen F 40/1.4 and 42/1.2, the Nokton 40/1.4, and the M-Rokkor 40/2. As Godfrey noted, the Pen F 40/1.4 is slightly larger (i.e. physically longer) than the Nokton but it's also about an ounce lighter (165g vs. 197g). Both Vivek and Cindy have mentioned the most important difference: the close-focusing distance. Although I very much like the way the Nokton draws, the fact that I can't get closer than 0.7m drives me crazy. So I'm about to sell the Nokton. The M-Rokkor I'll keep, partly because there may be a Leica M-mount camera in my future, mainly because I'm a 40mm-holic and I always wanted to own a copy of this legendary lens. The Pen F 42/1.2 is, as Vivek said, as good as it gets. (I bought my 42/1.2 after asking Cindy how she liked hers. She said she liked it a lot.)

    Executive summary: hold on to the Pen F 40/1.4 (which it seems you've already decided to do) and, if you can find a good copy of the 20/3.5 at a reasonable price, it's worth having too.

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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    Another nice thing about the 20/3.5 (and other manual focus adapted lenses) is that it can be preset for hyperfocal shooting unlike the 20/1.7.

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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Another nice thing about the 20/3.5 (and other manual focus adapted lenses) is that it can be preset for hyperfocal shooting unlike the 20/1.7.
    Indeed and this also cuts the "blink time" delay.

    The AF lenses even in manual focus and even in M settings mode open and close the iris before a shot is taken.

    A severe draw back for me.

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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Another nice thing about the 20/3.5 (and other manual focus adapted lenses) is that it can be preset for hyperfocal shooting unlike the 20/1.7.
    Robert,

    Surely you can use MF with aperture priority and use the AF button to focus on a distance representing the HF distance? (I don't yet have my GF1 kit). Not as "manual" as with a legacy lens, but doable nonetheless.

    Cheers,

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    Re: G1 -- Pen-F 40/1.4 or CV 40/1.4. Which is better?

    "The instrument should get in the way. You have to pick a fight with the guitar."
    Exactly the opposite of what I want with a camera. On the other hand, I find autofocus as making me "fight the guitar" on frequent occasion ... I often lock a focus setting and work zone focus to eliminate the vagaries of AF's operation with shorter focal lengths.

    With lenses like the G 20, which does not have a focusing scale, I pre-configure the lens to the focus distance I want and then switch the camera to manual focus. It will hold my selected focus setting through sleep and wake up cycles, only re-set when the power is physically turned off. It is why I often use the Nikkor 20/3.5AI too ... I know exactly what f/stop and which focus positions to use to do my work to best advantage. The Nikkor's a lot bigger than the Pen 20/3.5, but it's what I have ... and I can use it on the L1/E-1 bodies too.

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