patrick.borel's reviews

  • Panasonic 45-200mm f/4-5.6 MEGA OIS LUMIX G VARIO

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Extra tele reach compared to typical 40-150 Decent image quality at lower end Useful focal length for many purposes Very fast AF on Panasonic bodies
    Zoom creep Sharpness at long end

    I originally bought this lens for my kids, but started using it myself quite a bit. I am impressed by the AF speed on my GX7, but not on the Oly OM-D bodies, where it is average. This lens complements my main 12-60mm better than all the 40-150mm zooms, and the 75-300 and 100-300 I find a bit disappointing in image quality/price (haven't bought them). So for traveling, occasional wildlife or outdoor action the panasonic 45-200 is a fair deal.
    When I need more light or IQ I reach out to the prime 45 and 75mm instead. The Oly 40-150mm 4-5.6 (another bargain) I use for portraits and street photography where its smaller appearance is useful. That lens has even superior IQ at the low end, but no IOS nor 200mm reach. So the Panasonic keeps its niche.

    reviewed October 22nd, 2016 (purchased for $200)
  • Olympus 75mm f/1.8 ED M.Zuiko Digital

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Image quality is awesome
    No weather sealing

    I hesitated between the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 and this lens to improve IQ in that tele range over the kit lenses. I ended up choosing this lens because it sets itself more apart than the 35-100 zoom. And I don't regret it. It is simply a pleasure to work with such a quality glass. And when you add a 45mm prime (you get good bargains for those) you have a similar reach with f1.8 or lower for about the same cost.
    Back to the 75mm, In the days I owned a nikkor 135mm f2.8 and I loved that lens. I used it for about 66% of my pictures. An almost equivalent lens at f1.8 was only a dream in those days and it became true now. I mount this lens and my eye switches to respective long reach view. If it fits the frame you can shoot anything, it's a marvel. But you need your legs for zooming. And if you can't go closer, a crop is as sharp and detailed as when zoomed in with a kit lens to say 100mm or even more.

    reviewed October 22nd, 2016 (purchased for $700)
  • Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS LUMIX G VARIO

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Size My preferred zoom range Image quality

    This is my lens for city tours. I bought a used GF3 for 130$ and with this lens I get a very capable pocketable system with everything I need except EVF. The EVF is the one thing that keeps getting in the way when pulling it out of my pocket.
    So this lens makes an average outdated body an extremely versatile photographic tool. I don't miss the manual focus for my purposes. I love the wider angle compared to regular 14-45mm kit lenses. It covers exactly the range that I use 75% of the time. Crazy to even have an OIS built in to such a small lens, compensating partially the slow f-stop. Walking around the street in a city with this lens on a M43 body you blend in with the "normal" folks and don't stick out as a photographer. On the result side, you get the shots you want in the quality you need. I'll never give away this little marvel.

    reviewed October 22nd, 2016
  • Olympus 9mm f/8 BCL-0980 Fisheye Body Cap Lens

    6 out of 10 points and recommended
    Somehow unique in its kind
    Limited application

    I have only one useful application for this lens today, but I admit that it triggered my admiration for fish eyes. Many say that a fish eye distorts, which is true, but it is just as true for wide angle lenses. Why? Our surrounding is a sphere that is projected to a plane to be captured by a flat sensor. Rectilinear and equidistant projections are two approximations that bare truths and errors by design, so both are neither right nor wrong. What I want to say is that our field of view and perception is closer to a fish eye than a wide angle. And with the not too extreme 9mm fisheye e.g. persons at the edge of the picture look more natural than with a wide angle.
    I stick the lens cap on a good old GF3, set it to hyperfocal distance focus (2nd click) and go wild with shooting or filming action from unusual angles, without even looking at the display. The camera captures pretty much what your looking at if you point it there. Even with the limitation of the optical quality, you get stunning pictures or clips this way. And there is no other device available (to my knowledge) that can shoot raw equally well at this price point. And the kit slips even in a small pocket. I think the fun and results are worth the bucks.

    reviewed October 22nd, 2016 (purchased for $90)
  • Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 ASPH LEICA DG SUMMILUX

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Image quality, "Fast" aperture, Aperture ring (on panasonic bodies)
    No weather sealing

    I bought this lens as a complement to the 25mm, therefore being a tad wider than classical 35mm fff helped my purpose. Also keeping in mind that I can better crop in than out.
    To me this lens just feels right. I use it only on panasonic bodies because the aperture ring regrettably does not work on Oly bodies. I just love this ring, but that's me. And the focal length is very handy just between the classical 28 and 35mm fff. In cities at night this is my favorite companion. Combined with the GX7 that has a moderate in body stabilizer I get satisfactory results. The distortion I fix in post if it hurts.
    It seems that M43 primes generally don't deserve OIS, so I don't see it as a negative particularly for this lens. I still wonder about this fact in general though.

    reviewed October 22nd, 2016