I guess this is a continuing review of the Meike 25mm Cinema lens that I wrote about two weeks ago. At least it feels that way. Yesterday I wrote about the importance, for me, of having friction in the photographic process if I was to both enjoy it and also feel as though I guided the picture taking process rather than being led by the nose through the routine by a smarty pants camera. I was thinking of this lens while I was writing about the 90mm Elmarit R because more than most lenses the Meike Cinema series is an unalloyed ode to total manual control.
When used on a micro four thirds camera like the Lumix G9 the 25mm lens has the equivalent field of view of a 50mm lens on a 35mm sensor camera. It's a nice focal length for me because I can never figure out what to do with the rest of the stuff on the edges of images made with wider angle lenses.
Because of a more restricted schedule at our pool I can only sign up and swim four days a week. As a consequence I'm at loose ends now on Saturdays and I figured that after my neighborhood walk with Belinda I'd have some extra time this morning to grab the camera and head downtown for a brisker walk and spells of dalliance with the camera gear. It didn't hurt that we've broken the oppressive heat wave, at least for today. Our high temperature is predicted to be only 97° and the humidity is mercifully lower too. It was a perfect morning to stroll with the G9 and the 25mm.
I set the camera to manual exposure, ISO 100, daylight/sun WB, standard profile, with a starting shutter speed of 1/640th of a second which led me to an aperture range of t 5.6-8.0 in full sun and t 2.2 - 2.8 in open shade. Just right for my appraisal of my most used settings. We had nice, bright sun diffused by high, thin and only occasional cloud cover. It worked well both for my comfort and the camera's performance.
With the G9 set to M/F you can get full time focus peaking even with non-communicative lenses. It makes manual focus fast and accurate. I have found that either my vision is improving or camera finders are getting better because it seems easier and easier to focus most lenses on the G9, even without the focus peaking. No glasses required.
I could write a bunch of stuff about my impressions of this lens but I think the photographs will speak for themselves. I will say that there is some small amount of barrel distortion that's easily corrected in Lightroom but there is no vignetting that I can see in the photos. I'm also not seeing chromatic aberrations anywhere. The colors are nicely accurate and the lens has a transparent quality to it that's unique. It makes photographs that seem clearer and cleaner than many other lenses.
One more note: I'd forgotten how much I liked the feel and sound of the G9 shutter mechanism. I'm also pleased with the incredibly long battery life of that camera. It may be the current best, all around photo tool on the market. And the I.S. Even with non- I.S. lenses the stability of the system is so good I'm sure other camera makers are green with envy....
This is my morning view from the dining room table.
Today I made coffee and sourdough bread toast.
Thick slices that I slathered with peanut butter and
blueberry preserves. A wonderful treat.
I keep trying to get this mural right.....
I thought this frame would be a good test image on which to try Adobe
Lightroom's "Detail Enhancer" feature. The image above is the full frame
while the two images below are, first 100%, followed by 200% crops.
The G9 raw files, aided by the Meike lens performance, resolve plenty of detail.
See the distortion at the roof line?
Of course it could be quick and shoddy building construction instead...
I looked up during a quiet coffee break to see the steam stacks from a different perspective.
Another perfect cappuccino from Intelligentsia.
I'm always curious to see how sharp and detailed a lens is.
I expect them to be sharp in the center and I'm happy to see them sharp at the edges.
For the Meike test I used the lens at f5.6 and a half and focused on the
machine in the center of the frame. See below for crops at 100% and 200%.
Remember, you can click on the frame to see it full screen...
I think the detail in the grass is quite nice.
OT: Today is the first day since late February that Belinda and I got hamburgers and french fries from out favorite Austin burger chain: P. Terry's Hamburgers. Of course we ordered our favorites online and I dropped by to pick them up. I'd forgotten just how tasty the fries are. They don't use nasty, industrial oils to fry them; they use canola oil. All the produce is locally sourced and the beef is organic, grass fed. For an inexpensive lunch they just can't be beat.
It was a lovely break from our usual, healthy homemade fare. You don't miss your water till your well runs dry! Into every life a little junk food must fall. The happy familiarity of a good burger is not just delicious it also produces happy endorphins. Mustn't discount those!