Back in early 2015, I shot a cycling event and used an Olympus OMD EM5 Mark ii and a Voigtlander 25mm f.95 lens as my starting line portrait camera. I had always wanted to try this lens out. I've read about it since it's inception but never given the opportunity to shoot it so when the opportunity was there to get this set up on loan, I took it. This post goes back to April of 2015, but it's part of my overall plan to continue to add content here at Oly All The Time. Hope you don't mind, but I think the content is still both current and relevant as this lens and camera combo are still quite sought after and I've gotten questions numerous times about these photos.
Quite honestly, the EM5 ii and this Voigtlander lens is quite the portrait and low light combination. The EM5ii has the best IBIS to date and rates just a smidge better at high ISO than my EM1. I shot all these pictures in almost complete darkness with nothing but street lights illuminating the riders. You can see in a few of the pictures below that a bit of flash would have been good, but I didn't have that and just did my best to expose the riders faces and not go to slow in my shutter speed.
I shot almost all of these images below ISO 1600 at either .95 or 1.2. I set the top custom function button to magnification for focusing. I did not use focus peaking. The slowest shutter speed of these images is 1/15th of a second and I did my best to focus on their eyes, which is sometimes challenging through their clear glasses. At 1/15th it was also difficult to get the riders to stand still. I shot in short bursts and chose the best ones.
The color images are pretty much straight RAW conversions in Lightroom and the couple of black and whites are quick conversions with VSCO presets. No serious editing or noise reduction. My intent was to just have fun with this combo. Fun was had and I think it was a successful side project.
What I found was that this is truly a great combination of body and lens. I was able to keep the ISO low and get some great portraits. You can see some CA in these and a little softness, but again, overall very pleased. Honestly, as I look back over these images, I love them. The used prices of that original Voigtlander 25mm f.95 are coming in around $500 with occasional mid $400's for folks exiting m43. It might be a good time to pick one of these up.
The slideshow below has about 20 images so take some time and enjoy. The Previous and Next arrows will appear on hover. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.