Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kern-Paillard Switar 25mm f1.4

Of the four or five 25mm c-mount lenses that I have, this one is by far the smallest and best made. Despite its petite size, the lens feels substantial in the hand. Typical of lenses made by Kern-Paillard, this one was engineered like a piece of jewel. The focus is so well damped that when turning the focusing ring (or the aperture ring), you can feel the care and consideration the lens designers put into creating this fine lens.

I had high hopes that this one would not vignette, and it does very little wide open, but as you stop down, the vignetting is more pronounced. I think this is common with c-mount lenses in this focal length. The only one that does not vignette is the Kodak 25mm f1.9. However, this could be a positive when you need emphasize your subject at the center. It eliminates the need to Photoshop in the vignetting.

As with most Switars, you can't really find fault in image quality. The one I have is the later RX version that has nice multi-coating. Center sharpness is very good on wide apertures, with blurry surroundings. On the Micro-4/3 cameras, this will create a very nice mood when used as a portraiture lens, especially used at f1.4 to 2.8. The bokeh is smooth and delicious. In fact, it has one of the best bokeh of all the c-mount lenses I have used.

In all, a lens worth collecting and using. It's too bad that the price has been steadily climbing for this and other Kern-Paillard lenses.

We will look at its sister lens, the Kern-Paillard Switar 75mm f1.9, in a later date.


Kern-Paillard Switar 25mm f1.4.


Yamaha Virago defocused -- G1 & Kern-Paillard Switar 25mm f1.4 @ f1.4. Larger Picture.


Daisy -- G1 & Kern-Paillard Switar 25mm f1.4 @ f1.4. Larger Picture.


Wilted -- G1 & Kern-Paillard Switar 25mm f 1.4 @ f1.4 or f2. Larger Picture.


Looking Downtown -- G1 & Kern-Paillard Switar 25mm f1.4. Larger Picture.

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