Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

First day with Leica and Carl Zeiss lenses on Panasonic Lumix G1

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Shot with G1 with Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 - closeup
Shot with G1 with Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 – closeup

First of all, I didn’t know what to expect with the merging of M-mount lenses and the G1.  I figured that the lenses were more than up to the task.  The main question to me was:  Was the sensor up to the task?  After an afternoon of shooting this combination I have to say that it works although there are some shortcomings.  But they were niggling and not dealstoppers.

As I noted earlier, I purchased the Rayqual adaptor in Osaka a couple of days ago setting myself up trying this gear out.  The adaptor is a well-made precision piece of kit that will not dissatisfy you.  The only problem was the lack of English language instructions but this was not a real impediment.  The only changes you have to make are: changing a setting in the menu so the G1 can recognize a manual focus lens and setting the dial to aperture priority.  That’s about it.

The above photo was shot with a Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 lens.  Not a bad image.  But consider that it’s a cropped image.  The uncropped image from which it was taken is below.

Shot with G1 and Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 lens
Shot with G1 and Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 lens

So how easy is it to set the G1 in manual focus?  It’s pretty easy and I encountered no problems with the EVF.  It was up to the task and I didn’t have to use the magnify feature very often to zero in the focus.  In addition the metering was spot on.  No problems whatsoever.

Shot with G1 and Leica Summicron 90mm f/2 lens
Shot with G1 and Leica Summicron 90mm f/2 lens

The only difficulty had to do with the 2X crop effectively making a 90mm lens a 180mm lens.  Try a 180mm lens with no image stabilization or tripod.  It’s a bit difficult although you can be effective.  The above photo was taken handheld.

Shot with G1 and Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 lens
Shot with G1 and Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 lens

But remember that with all lenses, the focal length is doubled so that your favorite 28mm is now 56mm and so on.  I eventually ended up using my Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 and Voightlander Heliar 15mm f/4.5 exclusively because it gave me some wide angle capability.  Lenses above 21mm had too much focal length for my tastes.

Shot with G1 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lens
Shot with G1 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lens

Finally, you can still retain a decent image even if you have to severely crop the image.  Not as good as the M8 sensor but not bad.  The photos below are the uncropped and cropped versions of the same photograph.

Shot with G1 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lens
Shot with G1 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lens
Shot with G1 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lens
Cropped from above.

In the coming week, I will be testing the G1 and M-mount lens combination under other conditions.

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Written by leolaksi

February 8, 2009 at 6:47 am

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