This is something I’ve been waiting an age to talk about… the Olympus 25mm f1.2 Pro!
I wanted to give you a “heads up” and a quick “show and tell” as soon as I was able. Lets talk about the first noticeable difference compared to the previous 25mm f1.8… SIZE!
lets be realistic here in real terms its gathering a lot more light, plus it has the Olympus Pro lens range build so it was never going to be a lightweight. I took a few comparative phone snaps so you could see size.
Interesting to note, as you’d expect its built and feels like a “pro” lens it even comes with a lens hood!
We have the 25mm f1.2 next to its brother the 25mm f1.8 and then next to the 75mm f1.8 just to give you a real world idea of scale. Finally you get a shot of it mounted to my E-M5 mk2. Yes is bigger but it is by no means a monster. (taken by my iPhone)
I think thats where we really need to pull back a little on what we take in and develop a real world perspective. In one carry on sized camera bag I can carry a range of lenses from 7mm to 300mm and everything in between, so coming from a world of medium format (my main camera being the mamiya RB67) carrying micro 4/3’s is a doddle.
I wanted to attempt to show you images that were more snaps than the world I shoot in, to give you the idea just what the Olympus 25mm f1.2 could do and was like so you could decide if it was the right lens for you.
My wife is changing her stables and I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to go with and find some things to shoot. As it happened as our friend Liam was working on new window shutters the opportunity appeared as soon as I walked through the door when I spied a pair of screwdrivers sat on a slatted bench.
So with my camera in aperture priority and with a iso of 1000 I snapped away. You can see from the 100% crop that at f1.2 there really is only a sliver of sharpness. The focus was quick and accurate I’m pleased to note.
As Haydn, my youngest, stuck his head out of the block door much to his annoyance I got a quick snap this time at f2.0, the iso had been set at iso 400 this time. I was very pleased with the separation it gave, he really “pop’s” out of the frame in my opinion.
Of course this first glimpse of the new Olympus 25mm f1.2 wouldn’t be complete for me without trying it in my “real world”. So I managed to convince the fantastic Essy to pop into the new studio for me. One of the features of the new place is its fab natural light.
So I set the camera, my Olympus E-M5 Mark2 titanium, to iso 1000, mono mode and aperture priority at f1.2 and snapped away. Ok this time there was direction to the subject and instruction to my assistant Tony as he ably danced about with my reflector. Maybe a little over kill to share in a “first look” feature but for me its important!
This is a lens I’ve been waiting for, in my camera bag it will have a real commercial use. Yes its bigger than its sibling but that doesn’t matter, it doesn’t even come into the equation… this is a “horses for courses”, “fit for purpose” type of choice… great lenses but both capable of different things. One is super portable and an every day lens thats a must and shouldn’t be overlooked, the other requires a little more time spent on it to fully utilise that depth of field and bokeh. For me its a vital tool, it will be an everyday lens for me. For those that comment on its size and price, thats fine, but please remember that for me this is both evolution and revolution in my photography, as much as I loved my RB67 its not something I’d want to go back to as my everyday / all day tool. The very simple choice comes down to what will the lens do for you and what can you get out of it… you choose the lens to your photographic need so BOTH 25mm lenses will find a home in my bag, as I say “Horses for courses”.
I love the lens it really is a stunner, my advice, try one, test it, see i it will enhance your photography, is it a tool you can and will fully utilise in your photography? I believe it should have a place in every serious camera bag.
I’ll leave you with a few images from the new studio to see how the fabulous Olympus 25mm f1.2 got on in my world.
Till next time