The perfect wide angle of view: Zuiko M.12mm F2 & M.12-50mm F3.5-6.3

We ca argue again and again on what is the perfect “wide” angle of view but many of us will agree that 12mm (24mm equivalent in 35mm film format) is one of the most appealing focal length to work with.

Zuiko M.12mm F2.0
Zuiko M.12-50mm F3.5-6.3

These two fine Olympus Zuiko Lenses are very good choice to start experimenting the 12mm focal length .

The12mm is certainly an true urban lens that allows photograph to be close from his subject. It is also a real contextual lens in term of the extra angle of view available. It may be the widest lens that you can easily apprehend the final result without doing testing during your photo shot.

With such a wide angle we are able to control the impact of your foreground and background subjects by creating a more dynamic composition. The notion of space arrangement is giving a true 3D perspective to the observer.

Because wide angle lenses are “decompressing” the final image using them is demanding a more careful attention to its composition. It also add some kind of disproportion of near subject opposed to far context. That could be use as a creative tool.

Wide angle lens are by essence very close action lenses compared to their telephoto brothers. But it doesn’t prevent to do action imagery if you are able to position yourself to do so.

Although many people are recommending wide  angle lenses for architectural work the use of the M.12mm may be tricky considering the fact that this model of lens doesn’t have any provision for tilt and shift correction. Yes it can be use successfully to exaggerate perspective for instance but it cannot pretend to present objectively to work of the designer.

Playing (i.e. working) with the M.12mm is very interesting because it will ask the photograph to learn to anticipate a different perspective and the results will represent a different view of our surrounding world.

Olympus OM-D EM5 personal experimentation 1

Since last December 2012, I have the chance to bought a new Olympus OM-D E-M5 along with some interesting lenses such as the Oly 75mmF1.8. I have already experimented the Olympus system with the Pen model EP-3 and beautiful optics like the 12F2.0 and 45F1.8 that are still part of my camera case. Many friends who know me for several years are aware of my love for beautiful 35mm film cameras which I have worked personally and professionally many years ago just to mention some like Nikon F, F2, F3Hp, F4 series and Leica M4P/6 and R4.

Photo industry have taken a different direction privileging post-creativitiy through graphic hardware and software equipment instead of the reality interpretation approach of the last century. You can call it a kind of photo painting expressionist with its own esthetic rules.

But as a more classical photo enthusiasm I am not really found of this figurative trend. I think photographs in a large view have a duty of reporting direct reality even considering that it always represent in fact our own aspect of it.

But enough philosophy for today and let speaking “camera” (and lenses) as beautiful artistic tool. What really hook me with the Olympus M4/3 system are their selection of prime lenses which are in essence the eyes of the photograph. Even some of their zoom lenses are interesting.

The Olympus 45mm F1.8 is the first prime lens that have caught my attention because of the combination of the maximum aperture and the very small size and… selling price. Picture like this one taken with the Pen EP-3convince me to invest more in the M4/3 system.
The Olympus color rendering was another strong factor to invest more in the system. This “River Scape” was capture with the Olympus 14-150mm zoom lens at 14mm.
At first I was really seduced by the charm of the Olympus Pen series and I have selected their EP-3 model with the EVF 2. I do like working with the camera but the external viewfinder (technically excellent) was too much protuberant from the camera itself.
Eventually the Pen option was not the final answer and with the coming of the new OM-D E-M5 my though have taken a new direction.
What I am really appreciate regarding the E-M5 is the size of the camera by itself which remind me the original 35mm OM series. And also the fact that it is a real system camera with a lot of funny combination as for example with the grip. As a direct consequence, the camera can follow me everyday, everywhere for every purpose. I can use it (as intended) or… forget it if I am not in a photographic mood. It does not  bother me to bring the little package.
During my last Cuban trip I have appreciated to bring the kit combination E-M5 / 12-50mm without asking myself if the camera/lens will sustain the possible adverse condition (water, sand, etc) and picture results for a zoom lens were up to the level.
Modern Cuban architecture (around 1980) with the M.12-50mm lens.
Cuban Interior Court, Cayo Largo Pelicano
Casual Abstraction. E-M5 / 12-50mm at 50mm


Winter rainy day at the bus window. E-M5 / 12-50mm
Ice over the riv
er. E-M5 / Zuiko OM 200mm F4 MC