Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Panasonic Leica 12mm f/1.4 - BOKEH-LICIOUS!!

In my recent posting about this very bright, pricey super-wide "Low Light King",  I follow up with a "Second Take" where I compared the NZ$2,500 lens with cheaper glass, I received some feed back from Panasonic Hew Zealand...


"Thank you for the review.

While comparing all 3 lenses at F5.6 for sharpness is valid as part of a whole review I do feel that you have overlooked the main feature of the lens that is also the main contributor to the cost of the lens. Namely, its brightness. 

Getting a 12mm lens to F1.4 and keeping sharpness at that aperture is not cheap. Also keeping the size in check and using 9 aperture blades and weather sealing also add to the cost.

Will you be following up with reviews showing the Bokeh performance?"

That timely feed back reminded me that I should look into one of the main attraction this lens can offer... NICE, CREAMY BOKEH!

For those that don't know what BOKEH is...

In short...

The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens.

A "nice" bokeh will help to isolate your subject from a distracting background. In general but not always, a large aperture lens will exhibit nice bokeh.

Friday, August 12, 2016

PANASONIC-LEICA DG 100-400 - Second Take

The First Time when we visited the Wellington Zoo was in 1988, (the first week when we arrived from Penang); since then, we probably went back only once!

But yesterday, taking advantage of a rare SUNNY WINTER DAY, my Home Minister and Moi went walking down the memory lane again!

1988 at the Wellington Zoo! © C.Y.Leow
Apart from reliving our lost youth, I had another mission on hand, to give the PANASONIC/LEICA 100-400 super zoom a good run for their money!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH, Second Take..

I have mix feeling on this pricey Panasonic / Leica optics, some of my friends think this prime lens is specially created for low light photography; in some way, they are correct, I informed them this exotic glass is also very good for day to day shots and landscapes photography.

"For NZ$2,400.00 a pop, surely there must be a cheaper optics that give similar results?"

That question got me going to compare this well made 12mm or 24mm Eq optics with 2 of my own Panasonic lenses.

To make sense of my comparison, we must only compare a focal length of 24mm Eq and f/5.6. Pointless to compare f/1.4 on the Panasonic/Leica with a cheaper lens on f/4, most likely the expensive Leica will loose!  So lets standardise our test aperture at f/5.6.



Some of my friend think I am loosing it because the first lens I choose is the tiny Lumix G Vario 12-32, the kit lens that came with my tiny GM1.

The ultra compact Lumix G Vario 12-32 f3.5/5.6 zoom have a 24-64mm equivalent focal length. I will just set it to it's 24mm Eq to compare with the 24mm Eq Summilux.

My test target was my favourite Oriental Bay vista that I use for all my lens test.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH - the Low Light King?

I was lucky to have this incredible Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH Prime Lens, send to me from Panasonic New Zealand, last Friday. I discovered this Leica branded 24mm Eq wide angle beauty is not even in the NZ shops yet!  WOOHOO!!


Don't let anyone tell you this is a "small lens', it is NOT, it is solid, chunky and heavy. In Leica tradition, very well made.

It is also Panasonic's widest and BRIGHTEST 24mm Eq M43 weather-sealed, auto-focus super-wide.

Auto focus is very fast and you can switch to manual focus in a flash and oh.. you also get a clickable APERTURE RING that will make the Leica fan boy grin!

To enjoy all these features will set you back a cool NZ$2,300!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

They Shoot Planes With PANASONIC LEICA 100-400 Don't They?

"Bird" hunting while driving up Mt Victoria, in Wellington with the Panasonic Leica 100-400 super zoom.


It was a clear winter afternoon, the gusty wind packed an insane chill factor, cannot see any birds at all! Not even the long legged humanoid kind!

Half way up the mountain I noticed some IRON BIRDS negotiating the Wellington blow to land on this windy Capital.

I parked the car and became a plane spotter!

The chunky Leica zoom is quite heavy mounted on the just as chunky Lumix GX8, the total weight was quite a handful standing in the very strong southerlies.

I could have use my monopod but I want to find out what it is like hand holding this set up.

Surprisingly, the big 100-400 balance really well on the Lumix GX8.  The GX8, I think is the ideal camera body for this lens. A smaller body like the GX85 will not balance as well.

Friday, July 29, 2016

PANASONIC-LEICA DG 100-400 - First Impression

WOOHOO!  As promised, I received the long awaited Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4.0-6.3 ASPH zoom lens from Panasonic New Zealand today!



It was raining cats and dogs when this super-zoom arrived outside my front door  and I was dying to take it out with the Lumix GX8 (came together) for a spin!

Not wanting to give these lovely Panasonic beauties a shower, even though they both can take the plunge because both are weather sealed... I thought for this wet day 1, I will just take some quick shots from our rain drenched deck!

But first, lets look at this Leica designed super-zoom...

First of all, this is a heavy and PRICEY zoom lens, is Leica lenses EVER CHEAP?

Our local Photowarehouse is asking NZ$2,499 for this 985g (34.7 oz) beauty!

Why so much?

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Street Photography

During the weekend I was browsing and looking at photos that are classified as "Street Photography" and was stunned how popular this type of documentary photography is!

So what is street photography?

According to Wikipedia:
"Street photography is a type of documentary photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions, and other settings."

It go on to say about this type of photography...

"Street photography uses the techniques of straight photography in that it shows a pure vision of something, like holding up a mirror to society. Street photography often tends to be ironic and can be distanced from its subject matter, and often concentrates on a single human moment, caught at a decisive or poignant moment."

Straight photography? A quick click of my mouse told me that...

"Straight photography or Pure photography refers to photography that attempts to depict a scene as realistically and objectively as permitted by the medium, renouncing the use of manipulation.

Founded in 1932, Group f/64 who championed purist photography, had this to say:
Pure photography is defined as possessing no qualities of technique, composition or idea, derivative of any other art form."
Hmmm... that prompt me to look at my archived images to see which of my shots can go under this decisive, candid; category :)

One of my favorite!