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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

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I am convinced that if Panasonic, Epson, Leica (!) or whoever will release a G1 class EVF (to cut down the cost of the rangefinder) but with a APS-C sensor or larger and with a M mount, this would be the R2-D2 that we all have been waiting for.

Leica D-CL, what's not to love?!!

I think that it's great to have a wider selection of lenses for this cameras, especiallz with larger apertures as demanded by a smaller sensor.

Will this be an ideal camera for low-light situations in which the noise of a mirror would not be acceptable, i.e. concerts? Or is the viewfinder not good enough? I am looking forward to your review, with or without quotes!

suddenly the G1 looks nice to me
( never gave it a second look )
but now, with those lens on the camera, it just seems to be calling me :D

Is there going to be a noticable optical advantage by going this rather expensive route or is it just a cool and interesting thing for retro enthusiasts to do?

The G1's kit is a pretty decent lens and they have a WA zoom and a normal prime (f1.7) coming. When Olympus releases their micro4/3 lenses, G1 owners will have some pretty good glass available - no adaptor required.

"Is there going to be a noticable optical advantage by going this rather expensive route or is it just a cool and interesting thing for retro enthusiasts to do?"

mikeinmagog,
Just a cool and interesting thing for retro enthusiasts to do, if you ask me. Don't forget the f-l's are doubled, so a 35mm is 70mm-e, etc.

Fun, though.

Mike J.

"I also finally bought a new camera for myself, but I'm not going to tell you what it is"

Let me be the first to speculate pointlessly: the Sony A900.

Nerdie,
I wish.

Mike J.

Jeez Mike, talk about burying the lead. And then pulling it off the table. Totally unfair. ch

Why does this camera matter? Just for the EVF? It's not a great sensor, right? So why does anyone care?

I'm calling it; you got the Pentax K20D didn't you? It's a steal at B&H right now for only $742.95.

Given what I've read recently, I'll guess that Mike's new camera is a Pentax K20D.

The G1 is so very tempting, but I'm just not in love with the form-factor. It's small, sure, but it seems unnecessarily chunky, and that negates some of the size advantage that would encourage me to carry it instead of a traditional SLR.

OTOH, the body does look like it should handle pretty well with those heavier classic lenses. And look good doing it, too.

As I suspected after seeing a few samples, the G1 is a stinker around which a cloud of mystery has formed to promote sales of this "new" sensor format. I'll stick with my Canon XSi/450D for this body size. Its performance continues to astonish me.

I like how the G1 is attached to that Canon f/0.95 (and not vice versa). Would make one hell of a low-light portrait kit.

I wonder if there will be Pentax K adapters. Or maybe I should just wait for Samsung to release their hybrid camera with an APS-C sensor and hope they use a µ-PK mount:

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/New_interchangeable_lens_system_compact_digital_camera_system_on_the_way_news_266661.html

" Don't forget the f-l's are doubled, so a 35mm is 70mm-e, etc. "

Mike, say it comes from a horse's mouth, but the f-l's are NOT doubled, rather it's the angles of coverage that are halved. Nice retro approach though, I also shoot with Retina mount Schneider-Kreuznach and Voigtlander lenses adapted to F and M42 :)

r

I love the shot at the bottom, with the big Canon 50mm. It absolutely dwarfs that tiny G1!

My lowball pointless speculation is the Pentax K2000. I think the reason Mike wants to have some serious work on hand is so the guys won't mock him too much for buying a budget "ladies" SLR.

Kidding aside, Mike, I hope you get your hands on one sometime and share your impressions. It looks like a sleeper, and while it's been fun to learn about and drool over all the high-end stuff you've been reviewing, I've been missing your wise takes on the lower end.

Jeepers, Mike. I've been waiting for this announcement for months and now Summer you say. Unfair! Uh, is it film or digital?

Nah, Mike bought the Zeiss Ikon he always wanted...and a few rolls of Tri-X.

Mike

"So why does anyone care?"

Erik,
Perhaps I should have explained this again--it's the only camera that can be used this way. The Micro 4/3 standard has a much shorter flange distance (the distance between the lensmounting ring and the sensor, basically) which allows the thickness of an adapter and then the mounting of a rangefinder lens, which has a shorter flange distance than an SLR lens. Many SLR systems have different flange distances, allowing lenses from some systems to be used on cameras from other systems with adapters, but no SLR could use rangefinder lenses with adapters.

Mike J.

Seeing that Canon f0.95 lens again was a wonderful trip down memory lane. With that on the G1 you could take available light action shots of a black cat in a coal cellar!

Having recently used a good friend's G1, I can certainly testify to the fact that the EVF is quite superb - way better than I anticipated - and the fold out rear LCD's resolution and clarity astound in comparison with my Olympus E410. Nice low shutter noise, ergonomically very well designed (even if a big bigger than needs to be) very effective image stabilization, and, yes, I am very tempted! Then I won't have to worry so much about my friend "borrowing" my Olympus lenses when she gets the appropriate adapter. :)
I still think the 4/3rd system, of which I am a user anyway, has fantastic potential for a wide range of excellent cameras, and may be as revolutionary, in perhaps a quieter, but more mass-market friendly, way, than the plethora of extra features currently being absorbed into mainstream DSLRs.
Not everyone wants, or can even use, all the features of a latest model Nikon or Sony. Or wants the associated bulk and lens costs. But the potential for compact, high quality cameras, exploiting all the advantages of a decent sensor, no mirror, and a rapidly developing technology could provide the kind of rangefinder/HQ P&S alternatives that so many people seem to hanker after.

I got the camera and an adapter lately and have tried various lens I have.

I think the EVF actually is the problem. In low light it is really bad. Hence, it is not the R2-D2. Even if it is ok, the experience seeing outside the frame is important and cannot get it from any through the lens viewer. There is a discussion on alternative way to put some info. onto a optical view finder in other threads in the web (with Sean Reid participation). Check that out.

Still, the ability is use any lens (even a c-mount) is very good and that is already a good reason to try it. Of course, if one can use one button to do the manual focus it would be better, like the feel of the kit lens where you can touch and manual focus. Still the current arrangement is doable.

The size is ok as well. Anything smaller would be good for replacement of p&s especially with video. But for taken photo, there is a limit of the size being too small.

First generation product anyway.

I will be interested to read your thoughts on the G1, Mike. It's too bad you're not one of those experts who can render a verdict on a camera without ever handling it, or based merely on photos/comments from someone else's website. It will be refreshing to read the opinion of someone who actually has some hands-on experience with the camera.

I got mine already, for US $ 530, arrived yesterday. I wanted a quiet camera for street shooting, hope it works nicely. At this point, I find it encouraging, easy to use, the ev seems precise and contrasty, and the lcd on the back is astounding. Plus it does 16:9, something I'm willing to explore. I guess we are going to get along pretty well.
Had to decide between the G1 and the k20d, but since I find the later heavily discounted now I guess a replacement is in the way, and decided to hold on to my old pentax.
I wish the new one has new full frame sensor at Pentax prices. If not, I'll get back to the k20D

It is very funny to see which lens is attached to that G1 via an adapter:

A BRAND NEW SMC PENTAX 43 1.9 Special M42.
[The other Special lens I know was sold as a kit with the LX 2000, as a collectible, was the SMC 50 1.2].

Definitely, there are some not so tight mental screws over Asahi [or Hoya].

; )

Mike, gotcha on the flange distance with rangefinder lenses. Thanks.

PS:
Note that the Pentax lens is not a Limited, but a Special. A family from Pentax I hardly ever see any specimen of.

[Takumar, SMC Takumar, Super Takumar, K, A, M, M*, A*, F, FA, FA*, FAJ, DA, DA*, P-DA, Limited, and Special. Those are all the lenses I can remember are compatible with current Pentax cameras].

Inaki,
It's a very rare lens in that mount, but I believe the optical design is the same as the FA Limited lens of the same specification. Have you heard otherwise?

Mike J.

of course you can get adapters for old lenses and use them with most any mount. I use my pentax screw lens on my Sony-Minolta. It doesnt have to be with a G1

josh,
It does if they're rangefinder lenses. M42 screwmount lenses are SLR lenses and have a longer flange distance than M39 screwmount (also called LTM or Leica Thread Mount) lenses.

Mike J.

Late I know but...breaking news! A post over at P-net on the Olympus forum says his Pen F lenses will fit on the G-1 mount...WITHOUT ADAPTERS! All he needs is the Pen F extension tubes to bring the lens out to infinity. Has some samples shot with the 25mm f2.8 G Zuiko. Hard to believe Panasonic used the old Pen F mount but this guy seems to know what he's talking about.

Here's a link to a catalog of the Pentax-L 43mm f/1.9 Special (in Japanese):

http://www.pentax.jp/japan//imaging/catalog/pdf/l43_special.pdf [Note: .PDF download]

Although I don't read Japanese, it has a depiction of its optical formula, which looks identical to that of the Pentax-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited found on Bojidar Dimitrov's site:

Optical formula:
http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/_optics/43f1.9.gif

Found at:
http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/normal/FA43f1.9.html

If I recall correctly, the press release back in 2000 stated it was the same lens (optical formula).

Cheers,

Mike,
That´s what it says, and apparently it is the very same optical geometry [and this is a very important BUT]. That lens was sold only in japan, and there are very few lenses outside there [but can be had there for quite cheap].

But there are two different 43 ltd SLR lenses. One of them has lead glass on it, the other doesn´t [you can see it by the flare or color cast the glass creates; one is green, the other being purpleish]. The older glass composition is harsher, but renders even sharper.

So far it seems only 2000 were ever made. The other special lens [a reedition of the A 50-1.2 going for more than 2300 US $ on Ebay.

I was mighty impressed with the night photography pics on the Japanese web page taken with the Canon f/0.95 lens. But then, that is one hell of a lens. I can read Japanese but even without that ability, you can see he's shooting wide open and can get shutter speeds between 1/6th and 1/800th of a second at 100 ISO and the shots look great. There's one shot at 1/6th sec and ISO 100, it's lit by ambient light at night (presumably street lights) and it might be even a little bit overexposed!
If anyone has specific questions I could probably translate some of the text on the page. But the pics speak for themselves.

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