Photography with a $20 cctv lens 25mm 1.4

2010 is an exciting year when people started experimenting the possibility of adapting old lenses for cctv, 16mm bolex video lens on the Olympus/Panasonic micro 4/3 format camera. I too bought a China-made 25mm 1.4 for the fun of it, and the result is surprisingly satisfying with the ‘digital lomo’ effects. I paid this lens for less than $20 including the adaptor, not too long after, SLR Magic released a ‘toy lens 26mm 1.4’ for a staggering >$100?! From the look of it the exterior looks extremely similar. It’s a daylight robbery.

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Size omparison with the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 mk I.

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There’s a reason why I like to call this lens a ‘funny lens’.

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Friends always ask me what is this lens when I took it with me on E-P1 or OM-D. Pss, this is an extremely affordable setup. Due to the marketing strategy from Olympus and Panasonic, you can get the 2nd hand of the first generation camera body like Pen 1 for maybe US$100, and an extra 20 bucks there you have an extremely unique setup compact camera.
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So, here’s the samples:

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I realised, there is an no uniform plane of focus, the focusing plane is like, ‘aspherical’. Its either I can get a center focus, or a ‘ring of focus’. Stop down from 1.4 and the sharpness is quite pleasing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The bokeh has a funny distorted circle near the edge, and its extremely fun!

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The 1.4 is also extremely useful when shooting in low-light condition. Photograph of my friend performing ‘really sexy dance’ in an event with E-P1 ISO1600 I think.

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Photograph of my friend’s house.

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It’s also useful for portrait.

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My egg plant with myself in the reflection.

Conclusion:

This lens is a real steal! Extremely fun to play with as an alternative photography if you do not like mainstream. Focusing is quite easy as the depth of field is ‘shallow yet deep’, I don’t know what am I talking about here, perhaps it’s the off-axis focusing plane that make the focusing area stands out and makes it very easy to focus. Note that there’s no such thing as ‘sharp’ unless you turn to 2.8 and smaller.

Go get one and play! And never pay for the SLR Magic’s version!

2015 update:

I published my first lens modification in 2010, received 100’000+ views on youtube, got viral with the DIY tilt-shift lens on PetaPixel and I did not make any money from sharing the reviews and DIYs… not to mention the many failed DIYs that left me with many dead camera/lens corpses.. So please support me if you have the ability! Any amount is appreciated!

$1 – Aah… coffee
<$5 – Mmm… lunch meal
<$10 – Woo… ramen
<$25 – Waa… steak
>$50 – WOW! Thank you!

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