naveedakhtar's reviews

  • Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 ASPH LUMIX G VARIO

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    extremely sharp, very low CA on GH1, very light weight, no vignetting

    Origionally posted on 09/10:

    I used this on my GH1 and carry it with me on long trip to middle East - Levant area Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

    The lens proved to be an excellent companion to all my outdoor landscape work and tight indoor shots in meusums, churches and mosques.

    With its lightweight body and almost no distortion at all (thanks to excellent GH1 in-camera correction), this was the only suitable lens for my travelling style.

    I used Tokina 11-16 f2.8 an excllent lens on D90 but very heavy comparatively and with less flexible focal range.

    Can't recommend it more, a must have for any travelling photography enthusiast.

    Update 01/01/2012:
    Though my rating is unchanged for this excellent lens, recently I bought Oly 9-18mm so thought should give some quick comparison:

    Well focal length is obviously wider on this and sharpness is much higher at corners and is faster at f4 throughout its range, if you are only interested shooting at 9mm and f4.5-6 (where this lens is sharp) is all you need, in my case yes that's what I normally use my UW at (good enough for tight interiors), then Oly gives you following advantages:

    - bit extra reach on your disposal
    - smaller size/ collapsible design
    - can mount a UV filter (other filters are not required in this digital world IMO)
    - half price chop

    otherwise extra price on panny 7-14mm is worth every penny.

    For some real world samples see my photo set dedicated to this lens:

    reviewed September 25th, 2010
  • Panasonic 100-300mm f/4-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS LUMIX G VARIO

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharpness, focal range, size, IQ, OIS, high build
    slightly expensive but none if you can afford it

    It took me ages to decide on this lens as I need something compact and still with high image quality and clarity. Though the lens is not as compact as you would expect from other micro four thirds, it is still smaller and lighter then Canon and nikon 70-300 mm IS and VR variants, and atleast as sharp (I have tried excellent 70-300 VR on Nikon D90) and Best IQ level Sigma 150mm macro on Oly Pen E-P1 with the adapter, which was very very heavy.

    + IQ Excellent on all focal lengths (I mostly used 100- 210mm, very few at 300mm) and most apperture I tried (never closed it under f 1:8). Even works wonder at f 1:4.
    + Mega OIS is excellent, but I suggest turn it off if you are taking any shot faster than roughly 1/125 sec or on tripod, it will save you some battery life and probably better IQ in few cases, just like any other IS system.
    + Excellent build from plastic and very good rubberised focus and zoom rings, that you can always expect from Pany. Same or better than 14-140mm kit lens.
    + Very accurate and fast AF on GH1, for this focal range.

    - Price is somewhat high, but almost the same range of Nikon and Olympus in the same range, so see if you need a lens on this focal range (best for Safari, bird shots, shots from the top of the hill), then this is the one you should seriously consider. Other four third and bigger body lenses can be sometime fast but not as fast to focus and very heavy and very very expensive if you want this kind of clarity.

    It is still probably the biggest in size among all Pany M4/3 lenses, but the IQ and features deserves the size, weight is very light comparatively.

    I used the lens on couple of recent event and trips and it never disappointed me. If you like to have a look at real world scenerio, feel free to have a look at:
    The set is dedicated to my Pany 100-300mm and I am definately keeping this lens.

    reviewed October 29th, 2011 (purchased for $540)
  • Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED M.Zuiko Digital

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    tiny, sharp enough, wide enough
    can't complain at this size and price

    Well ok, its not the sharpest and widest you can get on M4/3, Panny 7-14 is excellent in that regard. But how much it matter, is really something that matters :)

    I had Panny 7-14 before and I loved it, but later I couldnt hold my >800£ in drawer for more than a year, so had to sell it. Lets admit, ultra wide is not a lens you would want on your interchangeable lens camera all the time. Its application is mostly limited to some specialized work.

    Recently I planned again my trip to MiddleEast, this time Jerusalem, I found this little lens available, (two years ago only UW option was Panny) at roughly half the price of Pan 7-14mm, reviews were not bad, so I gave it a try and here is my opinion:

    + Its ultra light, ultra small and very easy to carry in a corner of your jacket pocket. Specially, its collapsible design is amazing.
    + Its budget king and give you some impressive standard coverage as well. In day light I don't really need to switch on my 20mm f1.7 as often as before.
    + Its sharp enough, don't compare with Panny at pixel level specially at corners and you are fine. Little PhotoShop RAW adjustment and there you go. I found it shapest at f5.6 and 9mm.
    + It takes filter so add on a small UV filter (Hoya HD Pro UV is my choice) and you are safe with the glass. I lost the lens cap (at western wall), so UV filter is all I am having on it now. Actually its good in a way, I dont have to keep worrying about removing and placing cap, all the time now.
    + Its wide enough, though 7-14 was wide, insanely wide, this in my opinion is mostly what I needed, there were very few times (less thab 5%), when I missed the wider coverage.

    The only complain is they don't bundle a carry pouch or lens hood. But then this is like a normal Oly practice these days.

    If you want to see some real world result on this, have a look at my recently uploaded photo set dedicated to this lens:

    So in nutshell I will only suggest Pann 7-14 if you really need 14-film equivalent coverage.

    reviewed December 31st, 2011
  • Olympus 45mm f/1.8 ED M.Zuiko Digital

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    insanely sharp on all appertures, light weight, style match with Pens
    None really dont care if lens hood is not bundled

    Conclusion First: Just buy it, at this price and un-matched performance; its no brainer.

    That is the reason it got short in stock everywhere and I felt lucky I got it a day before my holiday.

    I am replacing my Pany 45-175 with this lens. I know both of different leagues, but even at pixel level this is so sharp, I better get objects (focused) cropped out of the image, besides I also got 100-300mm Pany.

    + Very light weight
    + Sharp, Sharper ... Sharpest
    + No noticable CA, VA, distortion
    + Price

    - None (some may consider build slightly plasticy, but then if it would be metal they would complain its heavy; so at this price point, go away, NONE)

    I felt that the top of the lens slipped out, if this also happens to you don't worry it is meant to place a lens hood on it, just slide it back on and is fine.

    I have recently updated a set on flickr that gets all the images with I shot with this lens, using Pany GH1 or Oly E-P1. You can view them here:

    reviewed December 8th, 2011 (purchased for $400)
  • Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH LUMIX G

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, low CA, small, fast, price, bright, build
    loud, VA

    Considering this is the focal length am using most out of 14-42 mm range, this lens is very practical for me. I gave my kit lens on this one and am keeping this lens since it was released and used it extensively. Many times only this lens in my camera bag.

    Well as already listed its pros the only major cons is: I wish if it would be sielent like other M43 Pany/ Oly are making recently.

    For vigg as the review already suggested, stopping down will help, as for small primes of this size its more or less understandable.

    I recently added a photo-set that contains only photos taken through this glass, for some real world performance:

    reviewed December 8th, 2011 (purchased for $420)