The Bokeh Dilemma

There’s a ghastly moment when you first, tentatively, speak aloud a difficult – perhaps foreign – word; one you’ve rarely and inconsistently heard others pronounce. Perhaps, previously, reading it, you sounded it confidently in your mind, but now the moment has come to vocalise this trip hazard; to get your shibboleth together; to say ‘bokeh’. […]

The 7-8mm Focal Length

        Panasonic 7-14mm Panasonic 8-18mm Olympus 7-14mm Laowa 7.5mm Acuity: 86.5%Bokeh: 45%Geometry: 60%Light Handling: XShot-Grabbing: 45%Light-Gathering: 20%Overall: 69.3% Acuity: 72.4%Bokeh: 60%Geometry: 72.9%Light Handling: XShot-Grabbing: 45%Light-Gathering: 40%Overall: 67.5% Acuity: 72.4%Bokeh: 60%Geometry: 72.9%Light Handling: XShot-Grabbing: 45%Light-Gathering: 40%Overall: 67.5% Acuity: 65.2%Bokeh: 55%Geometry: 75%Light Handling: X%Shot-Grabbing: 0%Light-Gathering: 60%Overall: 63.2% At 7mm, the Panasonic 7-14mm f4 is […]

Speedboosting: Part 1

I was nagged by five questions: some may have pestered you too: 1: What does a Speedbooster do? Not the obvious gains – 30% more FoV and a stop of light – but what’s the hidden penalty? What degree the degradation? Or are Speedboosters win-win? Do they really improve results for smaller sensors? 2. Is […]

Micro Four-Thirds: What is it?

The 2020 Coronavirus outbreak prompted much pondering on the nature of things. However Micro Four-Thirds (henceforth M43) has always attracted peculiarly fecund speculation about its nature and niche in the photographic ecosystem. What is it? Why is it here? And what does its future hold? As a religion, the primary doctrine of M43 is portability. […]

LAB Techniques

There are several web pages and YouTube videos extolling the advantages of using Photoshop’s LAB mode for colour correction, but the following are a couple of tweaks that could be incorporated in every photographer’s workflow, and are suitable for almost every image. LAB level and curve adjustments are the best way to make colour alterations, […]

G9 HiRes v D810: 14mm Comparison

The 28mm focal length (14mm in MFT) is the gateway to wide-angle. It’s an architectural photographer’s staple. Many lenses cover it: it’s typically at the top of a wide zoom and the low end of a standard zoom – where both tend to be weak. There are few MFT primes in this territory: Panasonic has […]

High Res on the Lumix G9 and S1R: Introduction

The fundamentals of shooting in the Lumix G9’s high-res mode were sketched out when the camera was released in 2017. Likely you’ve already read Damien Demolder’s article; if you haven’t, that’s a good place to begin. In 2019, MFT seems to be clinging to a rather precarious foothold supported by Panasonic’s critical mass in the […]

Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6

Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS Review There is much speculation about how this lens performs compared with the Canon 70-200mm f4 L, and of course everybody still really really wants a Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS, but Canon knows that if such a fantastically useful and high quality lens existed, far fewer of its other (more […]

Zeiss 21mm v Canon 17-40mm

Contax Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Distagon v Canon 17-40mm f4 L [first published 2002] Lens comparison made at 21mm / f11. Exposure 4 seconds on a Canon 1Ds Mark I mounted on a view camera head on Manfrotto 155 legs, locked and braced, on a concrete floor. Multiple frames were shot, with fractionally different focusing – […]

35mm Group Test

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 DI v Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX v Contax Zeiss 35mm f2.8 [published 2004] The motivation for this test was to establish whether a zoom could replace the 35mm Distagon f2.8 I commonly use for architectural shoots. Trolling about on location, the perfectly convenient lens for shooting exteriors would be a 35-70mm zoom […]