I’ve been playing with a 25mm CCTV Lens on a Olympus OMD-EM5 for video. Last night Brittney dropped by to hand deliver a Christmas card for Carmen and I. (She also included a ceramic coffee mug for me to take to the corner store, where I go every morning, a gift card to Starbucks, for when I want be more elegant than the local convenience store, and some ground coffee, because she knows that Carmen brews her own). We are pretty lucky to have had this beautiful young woman find her way into our lives.
OK, back to the lens. We were sitting in my office when I realized that I had the 25mm on my EM5, and a 50mm on my Nikon D700. The Olympus has a x2 crop factor, so the 25mm is a 50mm equivalent. I’m not, in any sense, pretending that the two lenses can serve the same functions, but the comparison is interesting. From the photo, below, you can see the size difference. Another difference is price. The Nikon (Nikkor) retails for just over $400, while the 25mm CCTV is available for about $30, including a c-mount to MFT adapter, and a macro ring. While the Nikon is a modern, precision lens with auto-focus, the 25mm is of considerably lower construction and operational quality. It is completely manual, with poor ergonomics, and with no aperture click stops, very difficult to set an accurate exposure.
I picked up the Olympus, manually focused on Brittney, and this is what I got.
I don’t know the exact exposure, but the lens was probably close to wide open (f1.4) and the ISO was 12,800. Shutter speed was 1/500 sec. I did some noise reduction and desaturated in Lightroom.
Picking up the D700, f1.8, 360,1/60 and this is the result, straight out of camera, except for the b&w conversion.
While the 25mm is very soft at the edges, there is a sweet spot in the center. Stopped down, I expect it would be even sharper, but you don’t use this type of lens for crispness. Wide open is where its character resides. It is a fun lens, both for stills and video, and for $30 — you can’t beat it.
Feliz Navidad, Nollaig Shona, vrolijk Kerstfeest, Joyeux Noël, Frohe Weihnachten, God jul, Mutlu Noeller, Maligayang Pasko, and if I missed you, Merry Christmas — and a very healthy and happy holiday season!!