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Sunday, 25 May 2014


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I am desperately trying to figure out the location from that picture. Concourse?

[You are correct Sir! You sure do know your town, Chris. --Mike]

I like Ctein's Specs.......I have heard there will be a 12-35 zoom
version soon.....never out of focus!

Two points re m43:

1- is your Panasonic 20mm the older or newer version (might make a difference)

2- when switching from m43 (4:3) & DX (3:2) formats do you have trouble composing the image? (only ask 'cause I sure did)

OT: Ohh, where did you eat? Papavero is one of my favorites here!

Interesting to see how the out-of-focus appearance of the inline blog photo contrasts with the much sharper image seen upon clicking on it to see larger? A product of my monitor resolution (current iMac)? Or something about the way Typepad squeezes files?

If the latter, I'd give that consideration in your evaluation of prospective new platforms.

Nice portrait of Ctein, Mike. Glad to see you and Ctein were able to meet-up and enjoy our spot of lovely spring weather.

Yes, that Panny 12-35 is a lovely lens on Micro Four-Thirds, isn't it? It's analogous to the EF 24-70mmL on Canon full-frame. You could just glue the thing onto your camera and have most of your needs well met. I shot one of my personal favorites, Air Show, in 2012 with that lens (on an EM5) and I simply marvel at how much detail is clearly rendered in that image.

I seem to have a few things in common with Ctein. I have the EM-5, the Panasonic 12-35, and the Olympus 75. I also have the Panasonic 45-200 that I believe Ctein has mentioned – all great lenses btw. (But I will never have that beard!) Even have the Superfocus glasses, although mine are black. According to my wife, mine make me look more like Harry Potter than Gandalf the Grey.


@Michael Matthews, Mike has already said that image presentation will be one of the criteria for the new blog solution. And he's certainly complained about Typepad's image presentation enough that I wouldn't worry for a second that it won't be an important consideration.

@Santa dp: I use m4/3s and crop to 3:2. I notice that the photo reproduced above is 770x900 pixels, which is somewhere in between 4:3 and 3:2.

I agree with Stephen Scharf--the lens rocks! I use it with my GX7. To me, this lens is the best example of the promise of m4/3 finally realized. I just can't get over how light and small this lens is compared to the equivalent 24-70 f/2.8 lens for full frame cameras, especially when combined with the diminutive GX7 body. The first time I used them together I just could not wipe the smile off of my face!

I have had a peek at a couple of gorgeous Yellowknife photos from Ctein, and I'm waiting impatiently for a major post on the trip with, preferably, a link to some full-screen examples. Is that coming?

Mike, just wondering, since this was about your meeting with Ctein, the origin of his name. I am just curious.

[It's shrouded in mystery and wrapped in enigma, that is unless he cares to relate the tale. But he's traveling right now and not on top of reading comments. --Mike]

Dear ShadZee,

What Mike said. I'm going to have to make this pair of glasses work for as long as I can. Lenscrafters is supposed to introduce their version of adjustables Real Soon Now, and at some point I will check them out-- I can’t imagine tolerating going back to fixed-focus glasses.


Dear John,

New columns for TOP are on hiatus for at least another month. I have this other writing project I'm endeavoring to stay focused and disciplined about. Something crazy, a novel or some such nonsense.

I thought the JPEG's I sent you were pretty high resolution. I can send you full-, if you care, but I'd not likely link to them in a column.

pax / Ctein
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

The 12-35mm X zoom on a GH4 body is photographic heaven for me. And I always thought I was a longer lens fan.....

Am I the only one who doesn't like the 12-35. Distortion is gross - or was with mine. Had to correct it manually all the time when shooting RAW. Sold it.

Example: http://www.photoallsorts.co.uk/post/52444117817/a-reason-to-shoot-jpgs-following-on-from-the

Same as Peter Robinson: I didn't like the 12-35 either. Possibly because Aperture is not as good as Lightroom at automatically correcting raw files for lens defects such as distorsion. I have exchanged it for the Olympus 12-40 which I am much happier with: this and the addition of those precious 10mm-e more on the longer side of the focal range.

Mike, if the prime lens lover in you fell for the fast focusing rather than the zoom range, there are a lot of nice prime lens that will be faster than the 20mm!

Dear Peter and Vinck,

You guys have to be talking about a different lens. I just checked the geometric distortion in this lens at all focal lengths, and it doesn't look anything like what Peter has on his website. At the shorter focal lengths, there is negligible distortion. It gradually increases and is at a maximum at 35mm… but it's PINCUSHION distortion, not barrel, as in Peter's example. That's not sample variation; sample variation doesn't do that.

Also, the degree of distortion is not enough to degrade the image quality when it's corrected in software -- I checked that, too.

A blanket objection to correcting aberrations in software rather than glass is simply an unjustified prejudice. Many aberrations can be corrected as well in software, some even better, then they can in physical glass. The time to object to a software correction is when it is so extreme that it degrades image quality, as I complained about in the Olympus 12 mm f/2 lens. But holding it against the lens designer, in general, makes exactly as much logical sense as it would be to criticize a lens designer for using, say, aspheric surfaces. All lens designs involve compromising and balancing off corrections for aberrations. It is always a trade-off; the more tools (or degrees of freedom, if you prefer) that you can throw at the problem, the better the results. Insisting that lens designers not use software tools to correct aberrations at all simply will result in poorer (or much bigger / more expensive) lenses.

My complaints regarding the Olympus lens were that the designers did NOT do a good job of balancing aberration correction; they let geometric distortion go so badly to hell that it compromised the final result. The Panasonic 12-35 zoom that Mike and I played with does not have that flaw.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

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