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Thread: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

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    Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    KOWA PROMINAR series (source: dpreview)

    Fancy a 17mm wide angle ?

    Bart ...

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Oh, man...

    I used a Zeiss 18mm for about a year and have never gotten over the love affair I had w/it.

    If this turns out to a a great performer, I'm there and promise to never again look at the Panny 7-14 with lust in my heart.

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    The 8.5mm looks tempting.

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (��43) block ?

    Received my Kowa 8.5mm the other day and while I haven't had much time with it, the build quality is sensational.

    I took delivery of the Kowa 8.5mm f/2.8 two days ago. Here is one of my first photos...


    Mitchies Jetty II 2_S
    by peterb666, on Flickr

    I have written a review of the lens PeterB Photography: Kowa Prominar 8.5mm f/2.8 for Micro Four Thirds
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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    The 8.5mm f2.8 is the only one that really entices me, as the other 12mm and 25mm are just manual focus versions which is already available Olympus or Panasonic.

    Not sure if I like the aesthetics of the lens. Having the two tone color design makes it look like the black portion is the lens, and the silver part is is an addon lens in front. Wonder if they will bring out an all black edition for the 8.5mm... mmmm


    Update:

    I found an Ebay link selling the 8.5mm Kowa that seems to be all in black!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/KOWA-PROMINA...item259e2b2ad7
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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Still costing a hefty $1000: so perhaps better wait for the 7-14/2.8, no ?

    All the best.
    Bart ...

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    True, the cost is rather steep for a MF lens. The telling will be how much larger and heavier the 7-14 2.8 is in comparison. Also it will be interesting to compare edge performance wide open between the two.
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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mazor View Post
    True, the cost is rather steep for a MF lens. The telling will be how much larger and heavier the 7-14 2.8 is in comparison. Also it will be interesting to compare edge performance wide open between the two.
    Exactly ! One reason for me buying the Nocticron over the Nokton was AF despite the latter's faster aperture.
    Besides edge performance, it remains to be seen how well controlled distortion is.
    I'm sure software correction will kick in, but at a cost.

    For now I sincerely hope Peter finds some time to post a few more shots

    Kind regards.
    Bart ...

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (��43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    Received my Kowa 8.5mm the other day and while I haven't had much time with it, the build quality is sensational.

    I took delivery of the Kowa 8.5mm f/2.8 two days ago. Here is one of my first photos...


    Mitchies Jetty II 2_S
    by peterb666, on Flickr

    I have written a review of the lens PeterB Photography: Kowa Prominar 8.5mm f/2.8 for Micro Four Thirds
    Hi Peter,

    thank you for the write-up, interesting to read the Olympus has no filter thread ...
    I was not aware of that ... mmm

    Anything to report IRT distortion ?
    TIA

    All the very best.
    Bart ...
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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    There is a 10mm f2.8 Samyang (et al) that looks quite reasonable, and is reasonably priced.

    I will be picking up a Zuiko 11–22 soon that will keep me happy for a while (has simple barrel distortion at 11mm which is easily correctible).
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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorp View Post
    Exactly ! One reason for me buying the Nocticron over the Nokton was AF despite the latter's faster aperture.
    Besides edge performance, it remains to be seen how well controlled distortion is.
    I'm sure software correction will kick in, but at a cost.

    For now I sincerely hope Peter finds some time to post a few more shots

    Kind regards.

    With regards to focus I agree that having AF at semi tele focal lengths and fast apertures is a must for quick precise focusing wide open, but in the case of the 8.5mm focal length, it can be considered as an ultra wide angle. From my experiences at these focal lengths, anything over 1m tends to be in focus, and hence no need for autofocus, except for extreme closeups.
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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    PeterB666, excellent writeup on the Kowa 8.5mm. Look forward to more pictures from this lens, especially from your trip to New Zealand where I reside.

    Looking at the 8.5mm front cowling, it reminds me alot of the old 1st generation Leica R 19mm Elmarit lens I have in my cupboard.

    Here is a link to show you what I mean.
    http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...-R-19f28-i.jpg
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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (��43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mazor View Post
    Not sure if I like the aesthetics of the lens. Having the two tone color design makes it look like the black portion is the lens, and the silver part is is an addon lens in front. Wonder if they will bring out an all black edition for the 8.5mm... mmmm
    Mine is all black. AFIK, that's the only colour shipping in the 8.5mm - it is the only one offered in Australia.

    There have been at least 3 variations of this lens in MFT mount. It is as though Kowa were having a problem deciding. The all black, all metal design is the best looking by a long margin.
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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (��43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorp View Post
    Hi Peter,

    Anything to report IRT distortion ?
    Not sure what the "IRT" stands for but the lens is very linear for an ultra wide.

    I haven't attempted photographing brick walls to confirm but if you get the horizontals and verticals right, nothing further to do to clean up the image.

    Yet to give the lens a workout during the middle of the day so the only thing I have yet to really investigate is the contrast.

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mazor View Post
    ...
    Looking at the 8.5mm front cowling, it reminds me alot of the old 1st generation Leica R 19mm Elmarit lens I have in my cupboard.

    Here is a link to show you what I mean.
    http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...-R-19f28-i.jpg
    Hey! I have that lens! It's a wonderful beast of a thing... :-)
    I expect the Kowa is smaller by some.

    G

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Hey! I have that lens! It's a wonderful beast of a thing... :-)
    I expect the Kowa is smaller by some.

    G
    nice Godfrey. Does that lens ever get used these days? I am seriously thinking of trading it up form something else. The 19mm elmarit gen 1 was not a stellar performer especially when compared to the gen 2. The only reason I acquired the gen 1 many years ago was to allow legacy compatibility with my Canon DSLRs. If used on a m43 camera it would look quite absurd, and the worst part is the effective focal length would be 38mm which is far from being a wide angle, while visually appearing physically as a wide angle.

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mazor View Post
    nice Godfrey. Does that lens ever get used these days? I am seriously thinking of trading it up form something else. The 19mm elmarit gen 1 was not a stellar performer especially when compared to the gen 2. The only reason I acquired the gen 1 many years ago was to allow legacy compatibility with my Canon DSLRs. If used on a m43 camera it would look quite absurd, and the worst part is the effective focal length would be 38mm which is far from being a wide angle, while visually appearing physically as a wide angle.
    I've tested it briefly on the M-P, wouldn't bother with it on the E-M1.

    It shows a good bit of (correctable) corner falloff. Compared to the Nikkor 18mm, the Nikkor shows less falloff but is not as sharp especially in the corners.

    I don't know whether it looks 'absurd' but it is a big, beefy thing from the front. On the M-P, it actually feels pretty handy. Of course the M-P weighs half what the R8 + motor weighs.

    G

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mazor View Post
    … the effective focal length would be 38mm which is far from being a wide angle …
    The diagonal of a camera format’s imaging area has been widely accepted as “normal” for many decades, the exception being 50mm in full-frame 35mm being regarded as a “normal”, for historical reasons, rather than a true diagonal, which is 43.26mm. Thanks, Ernst!

    So, a focal length of 38mm [equivalent] is a “slight” wide-angle, when using 35mm FF as a benchmark; I consider my 20mm Lumix to be a “quite modest” W/A; the diagonal of the 4/3 format is 21.6mm.

    BTW, I have never been enamoured of the “nifty 50”; too long to get much in, and too short to get nice compression effects. Of course, photographers “raised” on zooms would tend to have no preferences.

    Last edited by mediumcool; 1st April 2015 at 19:16. Reason: added a BTW and a would

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    ah thanks for that correction mediumcool, I should have said "ultra wide' yes 35mm in full frame is still considered as a wide angle. I recently acquired a Olympus PenF 25mm f4.0 (effective 35mm) and in the PenF wiki it is considered as a wide angle.

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    You know, I never heard of the expression "nifty fifty" until the Internet happened. The 50mm lens was simply the conventional normal lens for most 35mm cameras once SLRs had become the norm by the late 1960s. I always had at least one or two 50s, and similar focal length 'normals' for other formats. The normal for 6x6 format was wider (about equivalent to a 35mm lens on my Nikon), which made sense with the increase in film area ... You can crop much more liberally without giving up so much quality.

    I still love the 50mm lens. A Nokton 50/1.5 was my most used lens on the M9, a 25mm lens on my FourThirds and Micro-FourThirds cameras. It just works for me. Lately I'm shooting a bit wider and a bit longer, however. One of my favorite setups for the E-M1 is a 14mm and a 45mm (28 and 90 equivalent), and when I've carried the R8 recently, I've mostly had 35 and 135 in the bag.

    It's all good. :-)

    G

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    You start thinking seriously about focal length only when using fixed-focal length lenses; in fact you are forced to!

    Many photographers (snappers?) I have seen tend to stand in one place, zoom to complete the composition they want, shoot, then move on. The possibility of influencing perspective by moving closer or further away from the subject is often nascent, or utterly absent.

    0.02
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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    You know, I never heard of the expression "nifty fifty" until the Internet happened. The 50mm lens was simply the conventional normal lens for most 35mm cameras once SLRs had become the norm by the late 1960s.
    The Leica of 1923–24 sported a 50mm Elmar designed by Max Berek; I understand that focal length was chosen as it was twice the 35mm film ciné lens ‘standard’ focal length of 25mm for an 18 x 24mm format which ran between the sprockets, and still does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I still love the 50mm lens. A Nokton 50/1.5 was my most used lens on the M9, a 25mm lens on my FourThirds and Micro-FourThirds cameras. It just works for me.
    I preferred a combination of 35mm f/2 and 85mm f/1.8 (wow fast!) in my long-ago Nikon days, with 24mm as ‘wide-angle’ (I considered the 35 to be a ‘wide normal’) and going all the way to 200mm for the beginnings of decent visual compression. 28 and 135? Nah.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    It's all good. :-)
    Indeed.
    Last edited by mediumcool; 4th May 2015 at 01:35. Reason: … got the dimensions right!

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Talking 35mm, my favorite lens currently is the Olympus OM 35mm f2.0. Just acquired it in mint condition with box etc for a good price. The shop also had the Nikkor 35mm f2.0, which was also in excellent condition, but upon testing, the nikkor's corner performance was no match for the Olympus OM. I did feel though the nikkor's soft corners gave better defocus pop, and seems to have better resolution in the center, but I prefered the overall sharpness over the frame from the Olympus OM
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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    The Kowa lens is now available and Photozone has tested it :

    http://www.photozone.de/m43/950-kowa25f18?start=1

    The IQ seems to be top, but I do already have the Pana 25mm F1.4 with which I'm very happy. So no need to get that one, even uv the IQ seems great second this test.

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    Re: Kowa: new kid on the (𝛍43) block ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    The Kowa lens is now available …
    The IQ seems to be top, but I do already have the Pana 25mm F1.4 with which I'm very happy. So no need to get that one, even uv the IQ seems great second this test.
    A crowded marketplace indeed. Perhaps best for video, as Photozone.de suggests. I do wish there was a fast lens around 30–35mm—it would suit me well. My 30mm Sigma is decent, but at f/2.8 is not great at differentiating planes of focus; I will have to keep plugging away with my 20/1.7 (pity about the bokeh).

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