Monday, May 11, 2015

Olympus' new Ultra Wide Angle and Fisheye lenses look good: fisheye on order

I'm a long time user of Olympus equipment, though I mostly claim the E-System as helping my serious photographic work.  Starting with the E-1, 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5, and 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5, I did quite well as digital photography was growing out of its infancy.

I have contemplated the Four-Thirds 7-14mm f/4.0 and 8mm f/3.5 lenses for a very long time.

The trouble with both was the relatively small aperture of each.  I don't really photograph landscapes, so using the 7-14mm indoors might be a problem without substantial lighting.

Equally, the 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lens was not enough for interior or lower light work at skate parks.

Today, they announced two micro Four-Thirds lenses that change all that: 7-14mm f/2.8 and 8mm f/1.8 fisheye.

At US$1299.99 and US$999.99, they are not cheap lenses, but they are not exactly expensive lenses, either, given the capabilities.  Both will be available around the end of June 2015.

At US$1799.99 and US$799.99, the Four-Thirds versions were somewhat similar in price and capability but a bit too big and slow for micro Four-Thirds.  The 7-14mm f/4.0 is a Super High Grade lens while the 8mm f/3.5 fisheye is a High Grade lens.

They're all weather-sealed.  I doubt seriously I'll be doing work at skate parks in the rain, but I suspect that these lenses will be great for many more situations.

The micro Four-Thirds lenses look absolutely small, especially compared to the Four-Thirds versions.

According to DPReview, the 8mm f/1.8 fisheye is not really f/1.8.  While they are referring to the effective depth of field, they insinuate more.  I suspect that the shutter speeds used to make use of the maximum aperture will reflect f/1.8, regardless of DPReview.  Their bias against Olympus has been so strong that Olympus refused to send them an E-3 dSLR review unit.

In any case, I'm likely to pre-order the fisheye and I may pre-order the UWA lens as well.

Update 2015.06.29: I went to the camera store to see about the lens.  They have no idea when it will arrive.  Apparently, the only information is that two of us have ordered it.  I'm wondering, as much as they ignore the California stores, if the Colorado stores are getting them first, regardless of when we ordered.  I should have gone with Adorama.

Update 2015.06.30: I returned today and talked to the manager in a firm, but pleasant tone of voice.  I told him that I didn't think that being told "whenever" as a delivery date was acceptable, and that my money didn't seem to be important to the sales person.  He agreed and swore to impress upon that person (through torture, if necessary :-D ) that sales requires a bit more finesse.  The money has been pushed back to my account, but of course, that doesn't happen immediately, does it?

A few minutes later, across the street before entering a store, I called Adorama, checked to see if they had the lens in stock, and they had just received 10 of them.  I should have it Thursday or Friday and I'm using 2nd Day Air.  It could arrive the same time regardless, but UPS will artificially hold packages, even when they don't have enough deliveries, unlike FedEx.

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