I’ve been taking pictures for close to 50 years now. I started seriously shooting with a Pentax Spotmatic and soon moved to a Leica M2 that I bought as a demo unit from a small camera shop while traveling in the Austrian Alps. Unfortunately as much as I enjoy buying cameras I also tend to sell them to fund new purchases, so the Pentax and Leica M2 are long gone.
A few years ago I started experimenting with a Sony A7 and some adapted lenses. Looking for some creamy out-of-focus areas, I looked for a fast standard lens. Since I already had some Olympus gear I ended up getting a used Zuiko 55mm f/1.2 lens. I really liked the creamy rendering wide open, the lens definitely produces some nice “Zuiko glow”.
However, I couldn’t get used to the EVF of the Sony camera and the adapter pushed the lens out so far that the camera became very front heavy. I sold the A7 and added an Olympus OM-4T instead. I took the OM-4T and the Zuiko 55mm f/1.2 for a spin around the town of Exeter, New Hampshire with some Kodak Ektar 100 loaded in the camera. It was nice late autumn day with soft light from the overcast sky. Wandering around town and taking pictures of the shops and the old historic houses I gave the lens a workout. All shots are taken with the lens wide open and show some nice glow.
I really liked the results. The lens is reasonably sharp wide open with a very dreamy glow look due to what I assume are residual spherical and chromatic aberrations. Stopped down to f/2 it gets much less “glowy” and sharpness improves notably. The Zuiko 50mm f/1.2 that replaced the 55mm lens is a bit smaller and supposed to be sharper wide open, although I have not tried this lens yet.
I’m not really sure that I will stick to this shooting style, the blurry “bokeh” shots seems too be a bit overdone these days and I personally never quite got the importance of the out-of-focus areas. I tend to look for more depth of field and overall more even sharpness across the image. But for some types of photos like up-close head shots etc. I can see the value of a nice out-of-focus background, but that to me is a secondary concern. Having said this, I did like the results I got with the Zuiko 55mm f/1.2 and I still have it after 3 years, so it seems to be a keeper.