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Personal gear review

Jan 28, 2014
717
Helsinki, Finland
I did review my photography and gear I used and didn’t use.

I’ve told this already: GAS: Please Share your Latest Acquisitions Big and Small

Few excellent lenses and cameras still waiting for new owner.

But story goes on, we added two lenses for our (with my wife) tool set: m.Zuiko 12-40 f2.8 Pro and Pana LEICA DG Summilux 25mm f1.4. And I strongly believe I’ve found my “home” now. With OM-D E-M5 Mark II and these latest, I can shoot what I usually do. And experiment new.

I seem to be middle hump shooter, so E-M5 MarkII is the right one, weather sealing with 12-40mm Oly is for our latitudes and compact enough for travel photos as well with minimum gear, camera + 1 lens. ISIS with f2.8 will help in low light, and I’m not usually shooting extreme low light, so u43 system restrictions doesn’t touch me.

I’ve found out, or actually known that “normal” focal length is my cup of tea. So PL 25mm f1.4 will it be then. For occasional need to express myself in B&W and to feed urge to be manual, I’ll keep adapted CV 35mm f1.4 Nokton.

For aesthetics and “more casual” shooting Pen E-P5 with m.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 will do more than nicely. Of course PL 25mm makes good couple with Pen.

Now left overs m.Zuiko 45mm and 75mm are on danger zone. Probably 45mm will go and 75mm will stay, just because it’s so great performer as a lens.

Good news for the wallet is that selling Fuji and left over lenses nicely covers these latest acquisitions. And now the camera cabinet is just nicely packed and organised which adds the extra satisfaction from the photo hobby. And it only took 6 years to reach this point, from Canon Rebel through Sony, Olympus, Fuji back to Olympus. But hey, can you call something for a hobby if it doesn’t take all your money and free time :D
 

Bobby Tingle

Super Moderator
Dec 31, 2013
3,202
Louisville, Ky
+1 Fuji gear flies out quicker than anything else I found.
That's made it so easy for me to shift gear when I needed to. For the times when my what or how I'm shooting has changed. Especially with my most recent, and start of my final shifting around. With the rebates driving down prices on some lenses. I was able to sell the Fujicron trio for enough to fund a 16-55 2.8 with no money out of pocket.
 

Bruce McL

Regular
Dec 18, 2016
140
This turned into a bigger project than I first thought. This year I made new camera profiles for just about every raw photo I have, even from cameras I no longer own. I’d been putting off reloading the newly processed images to the website. This was a good time to do that.

A few more conclusions:

I go through phases in what I photograph. Doorways were big a few years ago. Right now Black and White is on the increase.

What I want in a camera when I’m at the computer and what I want when I’m using the camera are two different things:
Indoors, at the computer: Increased dynamic range
Outdoors, in use: Light weight, good EVF, more telephoto
This was discussed a bit earlier in the thread, but using indoors/outdoors as a way of looking at it is helpful to me.

The more photos I take in a year, the more photos end up in my best of the year folder and on the website. This is obvious, but seeing the numbers makes me want to get out with the camera more often. Going out and taking photos has long term rewards - getting myself in the photography habit takes some doing, but it’s worthwhile.
 

Bobby Tingle

Super Moderator
Dec 31, 2013
3,202
Louisville, Ky
I have been doing a far more in depth review of my work over the past few weeks. Going back more years. And looking not just at lenses, but specific focal lengths. Especially from using zooms. This is due to me knowing I will need a telephoto of some sort for shoots coming up.

This lead to yet more unexpected results. First, as I mentioned in another thread recently. That what is my favorite work, and what is my best work are not always the same. Another thing which surprised me was how much of my people shots, especially portraits, were in the 35mm(50mm effective) range. If I was working with a 35mm prime, f1.4 or f2, that seemed to be my goto. When working with zooms, both the 16-55 and 18-55, I shot mainly in the 31-38mm range. Which was me using the zoom instead of foot zooming. This was surprising because when I shot Canon full frame, I shot 85mm/135mm the majority of the time. I never got along well with 50mm(35mm on Fuji). This may reflect me growing/changing as a photographer. Or it could be Fuji prime magic. I did shoot a good amount of portraits with the 56mm. And at 55mm on the zooms. But still not as many as with the 35mm primes.

My next surprises involved the 16mm 1.4. Which, given my love for that lens really shouldn't have been unexpected. I have shot way more portraits with that lens than I realized. Mainly because wide/ultra wide angles are not the norm for portraits. But there they were. And some really good ones, in my opinion. Also unexpected, was how much of my favorite, and some of my best work were done with the 16mm/90mm combo. Zombie walks, beach stuff including scapes, general walk around, portraits, and family.

I found that, when shooting primes. Especially if I went out with only 1 or 2. I took much better photos with a higher keeper rate. With the zooms, I shot a lot more photos. Due to the ease of zooming. Although not necessarily a better keeper rate. But, there are times in which the versatility of a zoom makes the job a lot easier.

For things like landscapes or oceanscapes, I prefer the images from the 16mm 1.4 over those from the 16-55. This is one of those photographer/personal preferences things. Non photographers couldn't tell the difference between which image was shot with which lens.

All of the unexpected findings changed the scope of why I originally started this far more in depth review. It expanded from which telephoto would best work. To which lenses would best work for me. And the winner is.........not my wallet 😂

I am keeping the 16-55. It is an incredible lens which fills a few roles. Including being an excellent studio portrait lens. I will be getting a 90mm in the next couple of weeks. I will also be getting a 16mm 1.4. There were just too many times the 16/90 pairing worked incredibly well for me. Plus the weight savings. Beyond that, there is a high probability that I will get a 35mm 1.4 sometime this year. And lastly, I am considering selling the 50-230 we have in favor of a 55-200 sometime later this year. My wallet is breathing a bit easier despite all of this because as of Friday, I finally have a raise after five years. And I am getting a killer deal on 90mm and 16mm from my Dad's collection. Then I have to be done for a while with camera gear as my beloved Jeep needs some attention from my pay raise. Thank goodness for overtime.
 

Bobby Tingle

Super Moderator
Dec 31, 2013
3,202
Louisville, Ky
The 50-140 is an amazing lens. It was a frontrunner. Ultimately for me, the other discoveries in my work. Combined with wanting to stay with the 16-55 as the heaviest lens I carry swayed my decision the way it went. But you can not go wrong with the 50-140. It produced many of my best and favorite photographs.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
3,358
Scott Depot, WV, USA
I'm sort of in the same boat. I have a G80 + PL 12-60, and I've gotten very comfortable with the combination. I picked up a Sony A7II to use with a few legacy lenses, but I'm not sure I'm getting the best from the camera. I muffed a couple of compositions yesterday, and I'm not sure using legacy lenses is something I want to keep doing, although I used to really enjoy that process. My keeper rate with the MF lenses seems to be gradually decreasing.

With retirement looming, I'm thinking perhaps one more lens this year. I thought of the PL 50-200 for the G80, but at $1400 minimum, it's way beyond anything I've ever spent for a lens. Still trying to puzzle it out.
 

rayvonn

All-Pro
Jan 19, 2015
1,495
I'm sort of in the same boat. I have a G80 + PL 12-60, and I've gotten very comfortable with the combination. I picked up a Sony A7II to use with a few legacy lenses, but I'm not sure I'm getting the best from the camera. I muffed a couple of compositions yesterday, and I'm not sure using legacy lenses is something I want to keep doing, although I used to really enjoy that process. My keeper rate with the MF lenses seems to be gradually decreasing.

With retirement looming, I'm thinking perhaps one more lens this year. I thought of the PL 50-200 for the G80, but at $1400 minimum, it's way beyond anything I've ever spent for a lens. Still trying to puzzle it out.
Hey, early days Tony, I'm sure the different system and focusing issues will be ironed out.
 

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