It’s Cyber Monday: Want a New Lens?

The term “Cyber Monday” was created by marketing companies to persuade people to online shopping. shop online. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005, in a Shop.org press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year.”

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

In which I submit for your approval, along with some opinions, a couple of lenses for your on-line shopping spree.

nifty-fiftyIt’s become a trend and not just in flippy-mirror SLRs to produce premium-priced, fast large aperture and high-priced lenses. This trend is being driven by, I think, by several considerations: First, there’s the perceived (real or not) demand by some photographers for the fastest, highest quality, and most expensive lenses they can buy. Secondly, by camera and lens companies who are struggling to survive in a post-smartphone, post head-stuck-up–their-keisters world. Unlike Ray Kroc who sold 15-cent hamburgers to billions of people and made lots of money, some camera manufacturers seems to think that selling fewer, higher priced items will help them survive the campocolypse.

But who am I to judge, especially when Olympus unleashed the M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO lens ($1199) on the world. For some reason, the ‘nifty fifty’ has become the white rhinoceros of the mirrorless world. Maybe it’s the whole depth-of-field issue that’s part of Micro Four-thirds’ baggage and there’s no doubt that shooting wide open at f/1.2 will overcome that.

The lens features Big Oly’s Movie & Stills Compatible (MSC) AF with a manual focus clutch. Heck, it even has a depth-of-field scale on the barrel for pre- and hyperfocal focusing. Lens design uses one Super Extra-Low Dispersion element, two extra-low dispersion elements, one Extra High Refractive Index element, three high refractive index elements and one aspherical element to control chromatic and spherical aberrations. It’s weather-sealed against dust and moisture and has a nine-blade diaphragm for pleasing bokeh.

lumix-42-5It’s not just fast lenses that are hot but also extreme lenses, like the  unicorn 8-18mm new Leica DG Vario-Elmarit f/2.8-4.0 lens that I would love to try but am awaiting its official arrival. In the meantime, why not another ‘nifty 50’—this time the Lumix G Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH Power OIS lens ($1,397.99) that will make Panasonic happy when you order it today.

The lens has Nano Surface Coating to minimize reflections and combines with two aspherical elements to suppress spherical aberration and distortion. There’s an Extra-low Dispersion element to increases contrast and sharpness. There’s even an external aperture ring and nine circular diaphragm blades for smooth bokeh at large apertures. One of our contributors, Barry Staver owns and uses one of these lenses and loves it.

Don’t me wrong, for all my sniping I would gladly add any one of these lenses to my gear closet. And I’ll make sure to e-mail a copy of this post to Santa just in case he thinks I’ve “been good for goodness sake” this year.

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If you’re interested in shooting portraits, make Mrs. Farace’s oldest son happy by picking up a copy of “Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from your favorite book or camera stores as well as Amazon.com, where your purchase helps this blog.