First impression: The lens is solid, well built and has two rings – one to zoom and one to focus. What makes here stand out from other lenses is a small lever which can also be used to zoom.
It looks like it was thought for videographers: The zoom lever for video, the constant aperture of f/4 through the whole zoom range and finally: The length does not change its length when zooming, which makes it easier to use with matte boxes.
As a photog it was the constant aperture and zoom length which draw me to this lens. From what I have seen until now it could be a good travel lens or even used for portraits.
Actually it is a really big lens. And by big I mean long and wide. Although the filter thread is 72mm the lens feels balanced on the Nex-7. I would say that it is definitely not heavy.
The lens has a wonderful circular aperture which produces the kind of bokeh I like.
I also like the tele end of the lens at f/4. I am curious how the HDRs will work out.
If you want further images you can find them on my flickr stream in the album SELP18105G-sooc.
Contact me, if you want to buy me a coffee ;-) or leave a comment and tell me and the other readers why you would or would not buy this lens.
So I made some further observations after the first review yesterday. I also got a message telling me that other and more detailed shots are needed to see. So here we go. Below you will find the corner and center crops from shots I took today in the morning. The shots were made handheld and the ISO was limited to 100. First the center shots of a street scene using apertures 2.8, 4 and 8 As you can see, the center gets sharper at f/4 to soften up at f/8. Next you will see the details in the upper right corner. As you can notice there is a slight purple fringing which gets softer when the lens is stepped down. Strangely enough the shot at f/4 is not sharp. I think the branch has moved in the wind, but the wall looks sharper.You can find the full SOOC shots here. As a conclusion I have to say, that for me the lens is very fine wide open. I haven’t considered if I prefer f/8 or f/16 for my night cityscapes. What still is strange to me is that the lens falls in to a resting position when turned off with a hearable soft *tock*. What I have not tested by now is the fact, that the lens seems to take long to “boot” – the Iris is closed and opens wide only to get stepped into positions. I will save this for the next blog entry. If you have questions you can also leave a comment. @Edit20120420: A reader mentioned that he thinks the blurriness at f/4 in the corner could be due to the exhaust of the truck you see. This sounds reasonable as everything is a little bit blurry in that corner.
When I first took it out of the packaging I thought it was broken. But the lens element is not fixed if the lens is not “on”, aperture is closed.
Size is smaller than the 18-55 kit lens, I would say it is as if someone cut the kit lens between zoom and focus ring. Build quality is high and solid plastics. It feels good and I like the smooth focus ring. I tried some shots, could not find any odd things. I doscovered some very soft magenta streaks in very high dynamic regions when pixelpeeping. Concerning the quality I would say that this is a no-brainer for Euro 199,-.
For those of you who like pixelpeeping I have some testshots in f/2.8, f/4 and f/8 at my ge.tt acount, for all the others: A wallpaper in Full-HD.
I recently bought a manual lens on ebay. I saw some pictures taken with a manual lens on flickr and got curious. Some minutes and EUR 88,- later (USD 125,-) I was the owner of a Revuenon 55mm f1.4, an adapter for the M42 screw mount to EF and a lens hood.
The first impression was heavy. This glass is built like a tank. Metal everywhere. Great! And the aperture is 1.4 so it is fast. The DOF is shallow. So the first tests were on how the glass reacts to bad lighting and how to operate the little gem.
So the first thing I learned: Take your time.
In some light conditions it is fairly easy to focus with the view finder, but especially if you are close to the object it is better to us the liveview. The DOF is so shallow that it can be the trickiest part of the whole procedure to focus.
Once I knew the signature of my glass I took it for a walk. And I had fun!