Initial Feedback: Panasonic 12.5mm F12 3D lens

In a word - meh. Now I know why they have been discounted so steeply. Here's a JPG still:

Sample of Panasonic 12.5mm F12 3D lens

It's only 1080HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). This is not the most exciting shot, admittedly, but I've never shot 3D before so this is a new thing for me. At this resolution it's not really useful to discuss image quality. You can't really pixel peep.

And here's a grab of the 3D file (.MPO format):


You may have to click through to get to the Flickr page. You can then try to free view it, but it's not really all that impressive. I'll take some of the blame for that, because I suspect that composing for 3D is different than regular 2D photography. With regular photography you can use depth of field to influence the viewer's focus and create depth cues. With this lens (and with all 3D I think) you've got to keep everything in focus otherwise you'll give people headaches. That may explain the F12 aperture and lack of a focus ring. The lens is kind of like having a pinhole camera with two pinholes.

A word about the 12.5mm Focal Length - it's doesn't feel like a wide angle. The manual says that it behaves like a 65mm in 16:9 mode. I guess that's what happens when you do the math (only using half the sensor, only outputting HD1080 resolution, etc...).

One of the things that gets me is the close focus distance is nearly 2 feet. And the manual says that the 3D effect is compromised along the edges when subjects are between 2 feet and 3.25 feet (approximately). So there goes any chance of having a subject fill the foreground with the background pushed way back. At least I haven't been able to get it to work.

I'm going to try it some more - I suspect that shooting 3D really is that different - but I suspect that this will end up with the Micro Four-Thirds pinhole lens and the Pentax 10-17 Fisheye zoom in the Drawer of Forgotten Lenses...

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