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tashley

Update for M8 users wanting G1 as backup

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Like a lot of people I got a G1 hoping to use it with my Leica glass. I just received my adaptor this morning and have been able to do what Sean Reid suggested, which is to test the G1 with a broad range of focal lengths. He had tested with a 28 Cron and had suggested that lenses of different focal lengths might perform more or less well.

 

I have tested:

 

CV15

28 Cron

CV35 Skopar

50 Lux

Noctilux

90 F4 Macro

 

Method was to shoot a lens test chart taped closely to a wall, providing detail to the edges of the frame. The camera was tripod mounted and self timer was used. All lenses were mounted and then distanced from the chart so that it filled the frame. Focus was at 10x live view.

 

All lenses were focussed wide open then stopped down to F4 EXCEPT for the CV15 and the 90 Macro which were both shot at F5.6 so they could move into their sweet spots as the other lenses are doing at F4.

 

Results:

 

CV15 - no good, visibly soft at corners and edges

28 Cron - ditto

CV35 Skopar - ditto but useable at a push depending on subject

50 Lux - not bad. Very crisp on centre and almost to edges but a little soft there. Gorgeous look!

Noctilux - better than 50 lux. Almost perfect at edges but not quite. Gorgeous look.

90 F4 Macro - absolutely fine... maybe a tiny tiny tad softer at edges but only maybe.

 

So where does that leave the G1 as a backup?

 

Pushed for funds and willing to work only the the focal lengths that work well, it would do OK in good lighting conditions. But if funds permitted I'd rather take another M8. However, given how good the Panny kit lens is and how small and light the longer zoom is, I can imagine taking it on trips where I was saving weight and where the work was to be mostly M8 type stuff but where I thought I might sometimes need an SLR type camera with zoom etc. Provided I could use it in good light and at base ISO I'd probably be able to squeeze enough form it to make very nice 20 x 30 exhibition prints. I could also use it as a limited backup with the longer M glass only.

 

Hope that helps

 

Tim

Edited by tashley

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Hi Tim,

 

Would you mind posting the Nocti and the 50 lux shots? I am curious to see the looks. My choice as a backup is always an M6/M7 but I am curious about this option.

 

Many thanks in advance,

Arif

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Hi Tim,

 

Would you mind posting the Nocti and the 50 lux shots? I am curious to see the looks. My choice as a backup is always an M6/M7 but I am curious about this option.

 

Many thanks in advance,

Arif

 

Arif, the rigorous testing was of a lens chart and you can't gauge the gorgeousness from them! But a quick wander around the garden with those lenses made for some very nice files which I deleted with the exception of this one... please don't judge me creatively on it and please be aware that you can only really judge the file quality if you have the original RAW, too large to post here.

 

From the 50 Lux... full frame and then 100% crop which is not as nice as the original due to JPEG compression effects. The original is very clean indeed.

 

 

 

 

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Guest Luis D

Tim, that is horrible news, but thank you for spending your money so that I will not

I donot know what possible good is G1 as a back to an M8 if it cannot perform well with lens shorter than 35mm, who is already as a 70mm due to the crop. Now with prices for secondhand M8 going in the direction of $2K and surely to fall farther down, it is more likable to take that approach, or perhaps Canon G10 as it has already 28-140mm range. I did not ever like the design of the G1, so I am waiting still the rumoured small pocket camera from Olympus on micro-4/3. Maybe will be better with M lenses??

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Like a lot of people I got a G1 hoping to use it with my Leica glass. I just received my adaptor this morning and have been able to do what Sean Reid suggested, which is to test the G1 with a broad range of focal lengths. He had tested with a 28 Cron and had suggested that lenses of different focal lengths might perform more or less well.

 

I have tested:

 

CV15

28 Cron

CV35 Skopar

50 Lux

Noctilux

90 F4 Macro

 

Method was to shoot a lens test chart taped closely to a wall, providing detail to the edges of the frame. The camera was tripod mounted and self timer was used. All lenses were mounted and then distanced from the chart so that it filled the frame. Focus was at 10x live view.

 

All lenses were focussed wide open then stopped down to F4 EXCEPT for the CV15 and the 90 Macro which were both shot at F5.6 so they could move into their sweet spots as the other lenses are doing at F4.

 

Results:

 

CV15 - no good, visibly soft at corners and edges

28 Cron - ditto

CV35 Skopar - ditto but useable at a push depending on subject

50 Lux - not bad. Very crisp on centre and almost to edges but a little soft there. Gorgeous look!

Noctilux - better than 50 lux. Almost perfect at edges but not quite. Gorgeous look.

90 F4 Macro - absolutely fine... maybe a tiny tiny tad softer at edges but only maybe.

 

So where does that leave the G1 as a backup?

 

Pushed for funds and willing to work only the the focal lengths that work well, it would do OK in good lighting conditions. But if funds permitted I'd rather take another M8. However, given how good the Panny kit lens is and how small and light the longer zoom is, I can imagine taking it on trips where I was saving weight and where the work was to be mostly M8 type stuff but where I thought I might sometimes need an SLR type camera with zoom etc. Provided I could use it in good light and at base ISO I'd probably be able to squeeze enough form it to make very nice 20 x 30 exhibition prints. I could also use it as a limited backup with the longer M glass only.

 

Hope that helps

 

Tim

I got roasted here suggesting the Canon G10 as a backup and I may get roasted again but it appears to be a much better camera at that job than the G1.

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I got roasted here suggesting the Canon G10 as a backup and I may get roasted again but it appears to be a much better camera at that job than the G1.

 

Depends. I think the G1 is a better camera than the G10 when using its kit lenses. It's only when trying to use it with the M8 lenses that it falls short. How many different lenses can you put on your G10...

I will admit, though, that this news is very disappointing. Edited by brucek

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Tim, thanks for taking the trouble to do this. I suppose it simply confirms that what Leica have been saying all along about the light angle problem is very real and they have worked wonders with Kodak to make the M8 sensor perform as well as it does. It hints at the real challenge of making an FF camera. They may not even be trying at the moment.

 

I don't expect another MFT camera would do any better unless the sensor design is changed and an Olympus alternative is likely to be much the same.

 

The attraction for me of the G1 has always been the through the lens focussing of lenses like the Noctilux and 75mm Summilux which I find much easier than on an M8 and I like the idea that a future M camera could provide some sort of focus assist through the lens. Plus of course, I think it's a quite decent P&S camera in its own right and represents good value.

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Tim, thanks for taking the trouble to do this. I suppose it simply confirms that what Leica have been saying all along about the light angle problem is very real and they have worked wonders with Kodak to make the M8 sensor perform as well as it does. It hints at the real challenge of making an FF camera. They may not even be trying at the moment.

 

I don't expect another MFT camera would do any better unless the sensor design is changed and an Olympus alternative is likely to be much the same.

 

The attraction for me of the G1 has always been the through the lens focussing of lenses like the Noctilux and 75mm Summilux which I find much easier than on an M8 and I like the idea that a future M camera could provide some sort of focus assist through the lens. Plus of course, I think it's a quite decent P&S camera in its own right and represents good value.

 

Hiya Mark,

 

I think we stand in about the same place then, though for me the G1 is just too big for a real P&S in terms of the 'carry everywhere' role, as is the G10. It's going to be my glovebox camera and it will also probably get packed on the odd trip. But creatively I am quite excited to try it on tripod for some wide open Noctilux work...

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Here's what I don't understand (and remember I'm one of the guys who is fully aware of the challenges short-focus RF wideangles face on digital sensors):

 

When I had an R-D1, while I had some issues with in-sensor reflections (with 15/21/28) and (with the 15) vignetting, I didn't really have any problem with softness - at least in the part of the image that would correspond to the area of a 4/3rds sensor. And at least no more than the overall softness due to the Epson's AA filter - i.e. equally soft dead-center as it was anywhere else.

 

How is it an even smaller, more-cropped sensor is having problems?

 

Can you describe in more detail the "softness"? Just blurry? Radial blurring (streaking)? Color fringing? Maybe post some samples?

 

Understand I'm not doubting what you see - just trying to figure out the dynamics of how a small sensor can do worse than a medium (APS-C) sensor. Maybe Panasonic is using extra-thick cover glass since the sensor is far more exposed than in SLRs?

Edited by adan

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I never had any problems with my R-D1s either. Luckily, I made my own adapter to use Leica mount lenses on the G1 before claims like these were made. None of my lenses know about such claims either and do quite well.

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3543/3352214716_5368486387_o.jpg&key=3f888d003432650be00a5f3fe4aed4e09ce90bb4d19d92c90d3a8636e396ad39">

CV15 @ f/5.6 on G1.

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3005/3075406422_88d66fbdf2_o.jpg&key=8b83b25fe135c5bdf79d85841f3800f5637bbc20b1d6d513caf4dea17f103830">

 

Cron-C 40mm @f/2.8 on G1

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3161/3055960197_ec1f0cf6c2_o.jpg&key=c05cad16a5e7c2a640e9259a18ffe80d40fae728af46c3d729c3117985c57917">

 

Canon 50/0.95 wide open on G1.

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3081/3124125921_fea59b070f_o.jpg&key=fc6b1d6ad56d41d0223a835f17650c95a9612cce735917d04b9d36ab6cb0036a">

 

Cron 70mm wide open on G1

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Vivek: Well, I see some "looseness" in the outer edges of the lower crusts in your pie image.

 

No problems with the others (well, I mean the 0.95 is a bit soft overall - but it has been soft ever since 1964, so no knock on the G1) - but they are from longer focal lengths (40mm+) that also worked fine for Tim.

 

I was actually thinking of a GH1 (adding video) and also using it for stills with a couple of R primes, which are going cheap these days (60macro, 80/90, 180) - and from your shots it looks like the LONG lenses work just fine.

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I have been following user comments on the G1 since it came out a while back with great interest. There is something I am still trying to understand: On the one hand many M8 ( or M8.2 for that matter ) users wanted full frame on their cameras, for various reasons. Then on the other hand many wanted to use the G1 as M8 back up, although we know the sensor is not only not FF but even smaller. Now maybe these are two totally separate group of people, but what is the magic of G1 that would attract so much attention from M8 users? The fact that you can use Leica glass on it? But the sensors are going different ways.

 

My feeling is that if I ever had the G1 I would most likely use it with my bellows II for close-up work or my Telyts from 200 all the way up to 560 for extreme tele shots. In either of these applications the direct viewing ( or live focusing ) would probably make focuing and framing an easier job as compared to the Visoflex, even faster and more accurate, too. Especially with the 2x crop factor, the 560 will now become 1120! As for anything in between, I most likely would prefer to stay with the M8.

 

Tim, thanks for doing this test for those of us who do not have the G1 but thinking ( drooling ) about getting it. It certainly is a valuable piece of information.

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Andy, OOF regions whether on film or digital (R-D1s or G1) would certainly look "loose".

 

For comparison- CV15 @ f/11 (with a thin extension ring to close focus to 5cm) on R-D1s:

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm1.static.flickr.com/195/470564651_9a280e8be4_o.jpg&key=b0f63a35ba93dc29d53916e5be76d1449f0dc9fd0b4235b97f248da39f209662">

 

Mush everywhere.

 

Overall softness of the 50/0.95 image is due to flat light and poor technique (during the snap and post processing). The lens is certainly very sharp, wide open and is better on the G1 than on the R-D1s.

Edited by Vivek Iyer

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Here's what I don't understand (and remember I'm one of the guys who is fully aware of the challenges short-focus RF wideangles face on digital sensors):

 

When I had an R-D1, while I had some issues with in-sensor reflections (with 15/21/28) and (with the 15) vignetting, I didn't really have any problem with softness - at least in the part of the image that would correspond to the area of a 4/3rds sensor. And at least no more than the overall softness due to the Epson's AA filter - i.e. equally soft dead-center as it was anywhere else.

 

How is it an even smaller, more-cropped sensor is having problems?

 

Can you describe in more detail the "softness"? Just blurry? Radial blurring (streaking)? Color fringing? Maybe post some samples?

 

Understand I'm not doubting what you see - just trying to figure out the dynamics of how a small sensor can do worse than a medium (APS-C) sensor. Maybe Panasonic is using extra-thick cover glass since the sensor is far more exposed than in SLRs?

 

 

Sure thing. This is the same shot. from RAW and developed in LR with defaults then cropped to show firstly the centre ('Focus Here' is at dead centre) and then the left hand edge (again 'Focus Here' is half way up the frame). The exact same thing shows with the CV lenses but is worse the shorter the lens. The hint of softness at the edges of the 50 Lux shot is also of the same type. My results tie in with Sean's but you really should read his article...

 

EDIT: I should add that I did not do these tests at an angle of 45 degrees as printed on the test chart: they were shot full on square.

 

 

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I suspect many of us will be less ambivalent about m43 once Panasonic comes through with the 20mm f1.7 -- and/or Olympus produces a fast wide zoom (like the rumored 12-xx f.2.4, which I don't realistically hope to see). Meanwhile, the issue for me is not whether the G1 is a good backup for M8, but its usefulness in its own right with the decent kit zoom plus its complementary role in any rangefinder kit. My current travel bag includes the G1 with short zoom, and a Zeiss Ikon or M5 with a 35mm, a fast Canon 50mm and an Elmar C 90, The Elmar works absolutely beautifully on the G1; the Canon as 100-equivalent portrait lens on the G1, ditto, especially wide open where any softness doesn't matter. In short, although the Panasonic would be better if pocketable, and more useful with M-mount wides, it adds a lot of extra possibilities at a very modest cost in weight and space if you're already carrying a bag anyway. I wouldn't be without it.

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Which lens, Tim?

 

But yeah, both smearing (due to thick cover glass, or maybe the light going through the AA filter layers at an angle) and CA (lines red on one side, cyan on the other: microlenses, or the cover glass acting as a Newtonian prism).

 

I.E. the sensor was designed for the micro-4/3rds optics, and you take pot-luck with anything else, at the wide end.

 

It will be interesting to see how Panasonic's 7-14 compares (once someone gets one), since it was designed for the sensor and format.

 

Vivek: Ah, yes. "Nuttin but bokeh!" Of course, putting the lens on an extension ring moves it out away from the sensor, and increases its "telecentricity", and stopping down 2 stops doesn't hurt - but it works.

___________________________

 

Edit: I don't really fault Panasonic for this. Except for the pure pleasure of banging one's head against the wall, why try and shoot wide lenses on a small sensor? (yeah, I know - M8 backup) The primary advantage of a cropped sensor is - the crop. Instant teleconverter. Turn your long lenses into longer lenses. Which the G1 seems to handle fine. A "270mm f/4" the size of a Tele-Elmar 135 f/4? A "180 f/2" for the price and weight of an old Canadian 90 Summicron? Cool stuff!

Edited by adan

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I was a great enthusiast of G1 as M-lens backup, but it's not going to be simply.

The construction of the nMOS sensor must have additional requirements for telecentricity of the lens. Maybe the wells are deeper, microlenses more straight-on or else, as a result even though smaller than RD1 sensor, G1 performs worse with M-lenses. I still like the camera on its own merits , with the excellent kit lens. Can't wait for 7-14 and 20/1.7.

 

Four Thirds | About Four Thirds | Standard

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Like a lot of people I got a G1 hoping to use it with my Leica glass. I just received my adaptor this morning and have been able to do what Sean Reid suggested, which is to test the G1 with a broad range of focal lengths. He had tested with a 28 Cron and had suggested that lenses of different focal lengths might perform more or less well.

 

I have tested:

 

CV15

28 Cron

CV35 Skopar

50 Lux

Noctilux

90 F4 Macro

 

Method was to shoot a lens test chart taped closely to a wall, providing detail to the edges of the frame. The camera was tripod mounted and self timer was used. All lenses were mounted and then distanced from the chart so that it filled the frame. Focus was at 10x live view.

 

All lenses were focussed wide open then stopped down to F4 EXCEPT for the CV15 and the 90 Macro which were both shot at F5.6 so they could move into their sweet spots as the other lenses are doing at F4.

 

Results:

 

CV15 - no good, visibly soft at corners and edges

28 Cron - ditto

CV35 Skopar - ditto but useable at a push depending on subject

50 Lux - not bad. Very crisp on centre and almost to edges but a little soft there. Gorgeous look!

Noctilux - better than 50 lux. Almost perfect at edges but not quite. Gorgeous look.

90 F4 Macro - absolutely fine... maybe a tiny tiny tad softer at edges but only maybe.

 

So where does that leave the G1 as a backup?

 

Pushed for funds and willing to work only the the focal lengths that work well, it would do OK in good lighting conditions. But if funds permitted I'd rather take another M8. However, given how good the Panny kit lens is and how small and light the longer zoom is, I can imagine taking it on trips where I was saving weight and where the work was to be mostly M8 type stuff but where I thought I might sometimes need an SLR type camera with zoom etc. Provided I could use it in good light and at base ISO I'd probably be able to squeeze enough form it to make very nice 20 x 30 exhibition prints. I could also use it as a limited backup with the longer M glass only.

 

Hope that helps

 

Tim

 

Hi Tim,

 

Thanks for doing those tests. As people do these, we can build up a sort of informal database of how various lenses perform on the G1.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Edit: I don't really fault Panasonic for this.

 

Actually, I think the image quality from G1 could have been much better. As is, it is more like a P&S cam (with terrible ergonomics). The plus points for me are the camera mount (basically an Olympus Pen F mount), the short registry and the superlative live view.

 

I also think it is a waste of money to use Leica lenses on the G1.

 

There are far better c-mount lenses that suit the G1. They are cheaper, smaller, lighter and deliver good quality images (whatever is the upper limit) that this camera is capable of.

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