Personal gear review

Observations and ruminations from the airshow today.

I still really really love going to see mil aircraft, especially the old warbirds. I've missed it. I want to continue shooting if the tremors can be dealt with.

And tying into the first thought, I need to continue to work with the docs and do whatever treatments and therapy is needed to keep improving. The airshow today kicked my posterior, and I was in a "premium" area with seats and spent the airshow mostly seated - no roaming the show. I stopped shooting as I became tired. And left shortly thereafter as my back started having small spasms.

Even though I'm not in the shape I need to be, shooting was OK from my standpoint, until I tired. Even with the X-H1 + grip + 100-400.

Speaking of the 100-400. No complaints about the IQ and handling of the lens.

On to the X-H1. I'll have to address this in bullet points.
  • This show was a mix of slow prop aircraft and very fast jets. Lots of very erratic movement. Very little announcement of where the aircraft was coming from, crowd left/ crowd right/ behind and overhead. Some of the arcs around the sightline I had were fast enough I couldn't react quick enough to grab a shot. Some of the jet flybys were just below the speed of sound.
  • The camera did not like Arizona early fall heat. Direct sunlight and temps in the upper 80s (31-32°C) plus heavy use made the camera hot enough it was really uncomfortable to touch certain areas.
  • Possibly related to the heat, there were several times the camera took several cycles of the power switch to power ON, after sitting OFF and in the shade of my body between aerial performances. There were also several times where the EVF went black and took multiple actuations of the back AF and shutter button to recover, almost like the shutter stuck closed. I've never previously had these issues. I'll see how the camera does after resting a day or two.
  • EVF. Wow. Made shooting the show much more difficult. Fuji needs to seriously up their game in this regard. Blackout and lag were pretty bad IMHO.
  • AF and AF tracking. I tried all of the AF Tracking modes, plus the custom mode I had input. After trying all 5, I ended up using the custom setting as it was staying on target much better than any of the others. And it still constantly delivered OOF images, and sometimes would break lock from the aircraft and relock and track blue sky. Other times where there was definite contract between a darker-toned aircraft and light blue sky, the AF system couldn't even lock focus on the aircraft. I don't recall this much of a problem at airshows with my old D700 a decade ago, most of my issues were my technique and lack of knowledge.
  • The one area where the majority of the problem was me, was the slower shutter speed shots for the old warbirds. Just at a cursory glance, it seems that most of those OOF issues are due to deterioration of my handholding skill.
  • edit to add note about battery life. Not too bad, but not great. I was used to shooting all show and changing a battery or two near the end of the show with DSLRs. Today I needed a full set and most of the other, and the third battery in the camera itself is over half drained. MILC, EVF, etc... quite a difference.
The X-H1 is not the camera for this type of shooting. If I am remembering correctly. With the X-H1 you have to use the battery grip and run it with two batteries plus a battery in the camera to get the maximum performance from the auto focus and EVF. The later models are vastly improved. You would be much better off shooting with a X-T4 if you want to stay with Fuji. There is a night and day difference in the improved auto focus capabilities of the X-T3/T4. I recommended the X-T4 because it has IBIS to help with your hand holding. And it has the newer, longer lasting battery. Also, the X-T4 is improved in handling heat. The EVF is also much improved in both the X-T3 and T4 over the X-H1.
 

gordo

Top Veteran
Location
Arizona
Real Name
Gordon
First off, I'd like to thank anyone who offers thoughts and suggestions to my ramblings. Please understand I do read and consider them, even if I have a reason for not considering the suggestion.

Over the years I've spent a lot more money than I like to acknowledge trying to find that gear "sweet spot" with regards to what works best, for me. It's turned out to be a moving target as my health makes twists and turns.

Photography is the last active hobby I can still enjoy, I'm going to keep doing it until I can't. It'll be costing me more money in the next 1-2 years, once I make some decisions. Hopefully those decisions will work as things continue to change (hopefully in a positive way).

@MoonMind mentioned the fact that camera haptics can't be judged by size, and I agree with that. IMHO it is a very personal thing, and sometimes you have to just get the gear and try it. Maybe it's obvious right away what won't work for you, or maybe you have to spend a few months or more to arrive at a decision.

@John King @Iron Thanks for the info. I've previously used Oly m43 stuff. Size became an issue when Arthur began causing pain and affecting dexterity. But, this was before the larger body. I might have to look at that again. Although the bigger camera and some of the Oly glass I'd likely get aren't going to save me a huge amount in the size/ weight department.

The X-H1 is not the camera for this type of shooting. If I am remembering correctly. With the X-H1 you have to use the battery grip and run it with two batteries plus a battery in the camera to get the maximum performance from the auto focus and EVF. The later models are vastly improved. You would be much better off shooting with a X-T4 if you want to stay with Fuji. There is a night and day difference in the improved auto focus capabilities of the X-T3/T4. I recommended the X-T4 because it has IBIS to help with your hand holding. And it has the newer, longer lasting battery. Also, the X-T4 is improved in handling heat. The EVF is also much improved in both the X-T3 and T4 over the X-H1.

Thanks Bobby. I shot what I had. And I agree about the X-H1, not too surprised about the EVF and AF performance but it was worse than I thought it would be. It amazes me how many fujifans still defend the X-T2/ X-H1 era AF. The heat buildup was also much worse than I thought it would be. I posted my thoughts because this is the first stress test I've been able to put it through. I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to work for me before spending any more money on gear. I'm still going through images. Once I have the final stats on what ruined an image, how many were OOF and whether or not it was a camera failure or likely me, and how many were just not appealing, I'll post it up if anyone is interested.

Regarding the XT-4. Too small for my hands and fingers. I previously had an XT-1, left it due to size. Have handled the XT-3, still too small for me even though Fuji made small changes in the size of some controls. The X-H1 barely works for me. Funny how Nikon can make an X-H1 sized camera body (Z6, Z7) that actually fits my hand and the controls are sized and placed in a manner they work with no issues. And Fuji's rangefinder-styled bodies work better for me due to control layout, but recent models have all added/ changed/ removed things that make the bodies undesirable (for me).

So I find myself in that spot where I want to call it and start changing systems. But the X-H2 is rumored to be a 2022 camera. Being able to upgrade camera body and keep glass would save me a good chunk of money. Not sure if I have confidence the X-H2 will have the improvements I want to easily shoot airshow.

Honestly, there's no reason the gear should be the reason I miss shots, it should all be me and my skill/ technique (lack of). I regret selling the 7DmkII and 100-400LmkII when I moved, the issues with getting aircraft images at shows were atmospheric/ location specific, or me myself and I.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Real Name
Steve
First off, I'd like to thank anyone who offers thoughts and suggestions to my ramblings. Please understand I do read and consider them, even if I have a reason for not considering the suggestion.

Over the years I've spent a lot more money than I like to acknowledge trying to find that gear "sweet spot" with regards to what works best, for me. It's turned out to be a moving target as my health makes twists and turns.

Photography is the last active hobby I can still enjoy, I'm going to keep doing it until I can't. It'll be costing me more money in the next 1-2 years, once I make some decisions. Hopefully those decisions will work as things continue to change (hopefully in a positive way).

@MoonMind mentioned the fact that camera haptics can't be judged by size, and I agree with that. IMHO it is a very personal thing, and sometimes you have to just get the gear and try it. Maybe it's obvious right away what won't work for you, or maybe you have to spend a few months or more to arrive at a decision.

@John King @Iron Thanks for the info. I've previously used Oly m43 stuff. Size became an issue when Arthur began causing pain and affecting dexterity. But, this was before the larger body. I might have to look at that again. Although the bigger camera and some of the Oly glass I'd likely get aren't going to save me a huge amount in the size/ weight department.



Thanks Bobby. I shot what I had. And I agree about the X-H1, not too surprised about the EVF and AF performance but it was worse than I thought it would be. It amazes me how many fujifans still defend the X-T2/ X-H1 era AF. The heat buildup was also much worse than I thought it would be. I posted my thoughts because this is the first stress test I've been able to put it through. I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to work for me before spending any more money on gear. I'm still going through images. Once I have the final stats on what ruined an image, how many were OOF and whether or not it was a camera failure or likely me, and how many were just not appealing, I'll post it up if anyone is interested.

Regarding the XT-4. Too small for my hands and fingers. I previously had an XT-1, left it due to size. Have handled the XT-3, still too small for me even though Fuji made small changes in the size of some controls. The X-H1 barely works for me. Funny how Nikon can make an X-H1 sized camera body (Z6, Z7) that actually fits my hand and the controls are sized and placed in a manner they work with no issues. And Fuji's rangefinder-styled bodies work better for me due to control layout, but recent models have all added/ changed/ removed things that make the bodies undesirable (for me).

So I find myself in that spot where I want to call it and start changing systems. But the X-H2 is rumored to be a 2022 camera. Being able to upgrade camera body and keep glass would save me a good chunk of money. Not sure if I have confidence the X-H2 will have the improvements I want to easily shoot airshow.

Honestly, there's no reason the gear should be the reason I miss shots, it should all be me and my skill/ technique (lack of). I regret selling the 7DmkII and 100-400LmkII when I moved, the issues with getting aircraft images at shows were atmospheric/ location specific, or me myself and I.
I’m sure the X-H2 will have the best Fuji AF when it comes out.
 

Iron

Top Veteran
Location
New Zealand
Real Name
Tímo
@ironI can't speak for the modern Epson printers, but my R3880 is a ripper. 32 bit, and covers most of the visible part of the ProPhotoRGB colour space. It's a pigment ink, so no fading ...

Schewe & Fraser speak highly of it.
I found one here at a good price and realised that GAS is actually kicking in. I might have to wait it out a bit as the shipment cost may be a bit too high for me.

Which inks are you using at the moment? There are plenty of 3rd-party generic ones but I don't use them, at all. I know there is a proper ink lab in Australia similar to those found in the US and if I am going the pigment ink route, I might have to getting ink from over there.
Regarding the XT-4. Too small for my hands and fingers. I previously had an XT-1, left it due to size. Have handled the XT-3, still too small for me even though Fuji made small changes in the size of some controls. The X-H1 barely works for me. Funny how Nikon can make an X-H1 sized camera body (Z6, Z7) that actually fits my hand and the controls are sized and placed in a manner they work with no issues. And Fuji's rangefinder-styled bodies work better for me due to control layout, but recent models have all added/ changed/ removed things that make the bodies undesirable (for me).
Ah, I understand now why you used to shoot Pentax. Even my K200D (body only), although weighing much more than my MFT EDC kit, feels like it merges with my hand.

Do you consider using a monopod just for extra stabilisation?
 

gordo

Top Veteran
Location
Arizona
Real Name
Gordon
<snip>

Ah, I understand now why you used to shoot Pentax. Even my K200D (body only), although weighing much more than my MFT EDC kit, feels like it merges with my hand.

Do you consider using a monopod just for extra stabilisation?

IMHO Pentax is still king of ergos.

I have and use monopods and tripods on occasion, unfortunately some locations do not allow them.

If I had media credentials or paid for a permit to shoot, monopod/ tripod usually isn't an issue.
 
Location
Finland
My shifting style of photography has introduced an interesting side effect. I should heartily welcome the phenomenon but in the back of my brain I still somewhat want to stick with the old habits.


Namely because I moved from the eye of the metropolitan area to a quieter town nearby, photography has ceased being an everyday activity and it's much more concentrated to dedicated trips that I take maybe once or twice a month.

Such a style has killed most of my GAS. I frankly feared it'd be the opposite -- all that time not doing actual photography would leave me plenty of time to obsess over gear. But luckily it's not the case here.


To be sure, in 2021 I've tried new cameras out of curiosity and opportunity. In February I got myself the Panasonic G9 to check out, then in June, the Leica M9. Neither stayed in my stable. Both were also very low-cost experiments as I could recoup the purchase without any loss. I plan on continuing forward in the same fashion.


edit: fixed grammar
 
Last edited:

Iron

Top Veteran
Location
New Zealand
Real Name
Tímo
@Iron Timo, I only use OEM inks. Expensive as, but a new print head for the R3880 costs about AUD$ 1,000+ ...
I agree with genuine ones only. One of our offices overseas has a fully functional OfficeJet 8600 from 2012 and it has only used genuine inks. Plus, HP already disabled the use of 3rd-party cartridges a few updates ago.
I bought a new set about a year ago from a local company here in Melbourne. I could dig out their name if you want it.
If you have the contact of that store, it would be somewhat helpful. I buy some materials from Australia just because, oftentimes, they are cheaper there.
 
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
I agree with genuine ones only. One of our offices overseas has a fully functional OfficeJet 8600 from 2012 and it has only used genuine inks. Plus, HP already disabled the use of 3rd-party cartridges a few updates ago.

If you have the contact of that store, it would be somewhat helpful. I buy some materials from Australia just because, oftentimes, they are cheaper there.
Kayell Australia Pty Ltd
108 Johnston St
Collingwood
Victoria 3066

P: 61 3 8412-2800
W: www.kayellaustralia.com.au
E: info@kayell.com.au

A set of 8 cartridges plus maintenance tank was AUD$610.80 in May 2018.
 
Location
Finland
In the other thread, John raised an important point which I was quick to dismiss, perhaps due to some denial on my part?

When I look for new cameras or lenses, is my current gear limiting me or is it just I that limits my gear?

I'll leave lens considerations for another time to avoid rambling off the main point I'm trying to compose here.

With cameras it becomes an interesting balance between the system (lenses that go with the camera) and the camera operation itself.

Leica M is a camera body that really fits me but due to the mode of operation the lens selection is geared towards wide-normal. And things like macro photography is clumsier than what I like. That's why I pursue another system that I can use for telephoto purposes. But the perfect system is out there, I haven't found it just yet.

Work is distracting me too much right now. :) Can't really make my point here so I'll just cut it short and post this as-is.
 
Location
Finland
Fujifilm X-T3Panasonic S1
➕ Cute, compact, available in Silver.➕ Balances way better when used with heavier SLR lenses as I intend to.
➕Buttons and controls are supposedly terrific.
➕ Silver X-T3 is quite the match with a silver Nikon Df?➖ A big black lump of gear doesn't look terribly appealing in any angle.
➕ A simple adapter switch offers a free teleconverter.➕ IBIS will most certainly help shooting the telephoto lenses.
➕ Some native telephoto zooms are both cheap and lightweight to carry, and offer good reach.➕ A Bayer sensor is easy to demosaic, the 24 MP full frame aesthetic vs small-pixel look of the Fuji.
➖ Each adapted lens mount requires its own speedbooster, which will raise the threshold of experimentation to unnecessarily high?➕ Cheap pieces of metal are all we need to adapt lenses. Optics-free adaptation means the microcontrast of the original lens is retained about 100%.
➕ Nice tools to focus manual lenses: dual view keeps the entire frame visible while you can magnify on a detail to focus. Cool retro aides that may perhaps be more gimmicky than work but would be cool to see again in action.➕ A big and sharp EVF. Panasonic generally does a good job with focus aides.
➕ Put a compact native lens on it and enjoy a lightweight strolling camera with WR.➖ Not too many lightweight, weather-sealed or cheap native lenses available. Besides, CDAF autofocusing is not going to perform all that well.


And things where both are roughly equal:
  • Cost of ownership. Fuji and the Nikon F speedbooster can be acquired for about 1000 € and the Panasonic requires quite a bit more investment at 1500 € but both will hold their value somewhat and I estimate I can sell both somewhat quickly at 100-150 € losses.
  • Both may very well have a comparable high-ISO performance if Fuji is given the extra stop advantage due to intended speed booster usage.
  • Both have excellent back screen implementations, top-notch.
  • It is unknown for both cameras, about how they feed the screen in dark conditions, will it get choppy or not.
 
Don't know if it's any different in the X-T3, but I get noticeable EVF and/or screen lag sometimes if I am shooting in low light conditions with my X-T2. It is not a huge issue that causes a problem, but it's there.
The X-T3 EVF works great in low light conditions. In the X-T2 it has to be in boost mode for the evf to function better in low light. And it only gets to its best performance with the battery grip and the two extra batteries the grip allows for.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Another follow-up post on where I am with the Z system:

First up, the Z 24-70mm f/4 S: I tried it again on the Z 6 a couple of times, and it basically *is* a fine lens, it's the "right" size and everything - but: It doesn't have enough of a clear advantage compared to any other option if (and that's not such a big "if", considering the overall quality of the Z lenses) the Z 24-120mm f/4 S can compete with it optically. It's neither especially small nor light (it's smallish and chunky collapsed - extended, it's more or less the same size and weight as the Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3), nor are its - very good! - optics so extraordinary as to turn it into a must-have in the context of the Z system. Moreover, the key thing I found out is that I actually *don't mind bigger lenses on the FX Z bodies as long as they're well balanced* (like the Z MC 105mm f/2.8 S or the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S). Long story short: If the Z 24-120mm f/4 S doesn't turn out to be a failure, I'll swap the Z 24-70mm f/4 S for its more versatile, only slighty bigger and heavier sibling as soon as possible.

And now, for the Z 40mm f/2: This is a much more complex lens than I expected - one might even call it a bit controversial. First off, it's small and light as advertised, and its optics are actually pretty good. So, it turns my Z 6 into a package small enough to fit neatly into my daily bag (instead of the Z 50 or Z fc), and you can rely on it to deliver on the whole. However, there are quite a few quirks I didn't expect after the pleasant surprise the Z 28mm f/2.8 SE has been - the rendering from the Z 40mm f/2 is a bit harsh and inconsistent overall, and neither easy to predict nor to control because it changes quite a bit, depending on aperture and subject distance.

So, at a second glance, this is not a worry-free lens (like the Z 28mm f/2.8 SE or the Z 35mm f/1.8 S - both not completely flawless, but absolutely dependable). At or near its closest focusing distance, spherical aberrations are obvious, sharpness is reduced, and you get distinctly "feathered" (fuzzy, one might even say "smeared") bokeh; howeever, at twice the minimal focusing distance and beyond, things smooth out quickly, at least if there's a wide transition zone in the image, not distinct layers.

I need to mention here that this isn't the first lens that exhibits a comparable behaviour - both the Fujifilm 23mm f/2 WR and one of my favourite lenses of all time, the Sigma 45mm f/2.8 Contemporary, showed similar tendencies; however, on the Z 40mm f/2, they're far more obvious (well, at least more so than on the Sigma - the Fujifilm can have its own funk going at very close distances). You can mitigate the problems by stopping down two stops at close-up, but this means losing the subject isolation capabilities the fastish aperture offers. In all fairness, this isn't something to make everyday photography impossible or even particularily difficult - not at all. But the Z 28mm f/2.8 SE is really quite a nice performer at close distances, as is the Z 35mm f/1.8 S, so it's kind of a let-down that the Z 40mm f/2 clearly isn't. You can't just move in and expect everything to be okay.

Another word about bokeh: It can look quite harsh - because the overall rendering is bold rather than smooth, contrasty and gritty. For everyday reportage, this might actually be considered a bonus (it is for street photography!), but the lens is less of a creative tool than its f/2 aperture would suggest, at least on the Z 6 (or FX); the 60mm-e FoV on the Z 50 made for a more satisfying experience overall, as today's result with that combo clearly showed.

It's still early days for me with this lens, and the Z 40mm f/2 certainly gets a lot right: basic attributes like size, FoV and aperture, quiet and quick AF, good handling (well, it's hard to get a minimalist tool wrong, but still) and a build that's much less plasticky than looks (and facts!) might suggest. But I'm less taken than I had hoped with the lens as a "brush", so to speak.

To wrap this up, at least for now, I want to put my observations into perspective: While in the context of the Z lineup. this lens might not excel, it's *still* a technically better lens than any comparable lens in the Nikon line-up I know of; it clearly beats the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D and older, and in terms of optical problems, while it has clear and distinct ones, in reality, they're *much less obvious and intrusive* than those I put up with with "good" lenses of the past, like the 35mm f/1.8G DX or 50mm f/1.8G (the latter remains one of my favourite "cheap" lenses; I moved it on when the Z 50mm f/1.8 S came along because I wanted to keep the 60mm f/2.8G Micro, but 50mm f/1.8G was a nice tool nevertheless). So, please, take my somewhat critical view of the Z 40mm f/2 with more than a single grain of salt. My "disappointment" is rather mild - and mainly triggered by the fact that I really, really like the Z 28mm f/2.8 SE, especially on the Z fc (at 42mm-e!); I thought the Z 40mm f/2 would turn the Z 6 into a "carry all day" alternative, but it probably won't; I guess I'll continue to favour the Z fc with the Z 28mm f/2.8 SE - which isn't a bad thing at all, because I intend to keep that camera anyway, and love the combo.

The Z 40mm f/2 will become part of my Z travel kit centered around the Z 6, alongside the 24-200mm f/4-6.3; it'll play the "small carry-along" part that's simply indespensable when on the road. However, contrary to my hopes and - unreasonable! - expectations, I'm thinking about adding another, less temperamental lens as well. I'll have to see about that - because there's no obvious candidate among the lenses I currently own (curse the versatility of the 40mm FoV! ;)).

So, yes, the Z 40mm f/2 is a keeper, but it's not the do-all, end-all solution I wished it to be. Honestly, I would have been surprised, but also elated, had this been the case. I'll continue to explore the lens for the next couple of days - it's definitely worth getting to know it even better before deciding whether and what to pair it up with for travel.

M.
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
A brief post about my ongoing (sometimes it seems endless) search for the right camera for nature excursions and occasional long-distance bird photography. Over the past year or two, I've used a few Sony 1" bridge cameras, the RX10 III and IV, which are truly capable tools, in no small part due to their Zeiss-branded zoom lenses. The downside: the Sony's aren't exactly lightweight. That doesn't bother many DSLR veterans, but after several hours navigating uneven terrain on long hikes, I found myself yearning for something lighter. Enter the Olympus 75-300mm zoom (I got the improved v.II), a good 'consumer' lens (smaller, lighter, and waaay less expensive than the bulkier, heavier but optically superior 'Pro' MFT lenses), and it took nice pictures. But the lens (f/4-5.6) was s-l-o-w-e-r than the Sony's fixed f/2.8, it didn't have the blinding focusing speed of the RX10's, and I found myself missing the Sony's Swiss-Army-knife range of zooming from wide to extreme telephoto. Long story short, that wasn't the right solution for me either.

But as the poets say "hope springs eternal, in the breast of the obsessive photographer" - and that irrational glimmering has led me to a new camera that, in spite of its limits, deficiencies, and demonstrably inferior optical quality, may be the right solution for me: Olympus's (discontinued) small bridge camera, the Stylus 1S.

One just arrived on my doorstep (acquired from a fellow photographer on our sister site, mu-43.com). It looks promising. It's beautifully built and in hand feels like a smaller version of a camera I've always loved, the E-M5. Better yet, the Zuiko engineers managed to give it a fixed f/2.8 aperture (how cool is that). The big theoretical drawback (for things like birding) is the telephoto zoom reach - 'only' 300mm instead of the RX10iv's 600mm equivalent. But some research and advice from a few hardcore Stylus aficionados ("stylisti"?) has revealed the existence of some tiny, lightweight, and supposedly excellent teleconverters (which don't add much bulk or weight to the overall package).

Here is one of my first pictures taken with the telephoto end of the zoom, a random 'grab' shot of some deer who wandered into the garden. Obviously the Stylus's much smaller sensor isn't on the level of its predecessors, but for the kinds of pictures I'm going to be using it for, I think I can live with that.

Stylus_Nov14_21_visiting_deer#1.jpg
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The other downside is, it seems like such a nifty small travel camera - it may wind up replacing my former semi-pocketable travel camera of choice, the G1x MkIII. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but I have a feeling that that train may be metaphorically leaving the station soon...

Stylus_Nov14_21_TinTin@Karlsruhe.jpg
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Iron

Top Veteran
Location
New Zealand
Real Name
Tímo
Here's the PGR for my MFT lenses.

All MFT lenses I have tried/used have very good to really strong peaking.

Native Mount

Lumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 (Kit metal mount)
  • Tiny
  • OIS is very handy, especially at the long end
  • One of the quickest AFs in the Lumix lineup
  • Has the best AFC that I have used among the consumer lineup. It has to be because there is no MF ring.
  • The collapsing feature can be quite a bother sometimes, but that's OK.
  • Sharp at all focal lengths
Lumix G 35-100mm f/3.5-5.6
  • Tiny for a 70-200mm EFL
  • OIS is responsive but not too intrusive at all focal lengths.
  • No complaints
Lumix G 25mm f/1.7
  • Ridiculously affordable
  • The MF ring is handy and fat but one must practice with the speed-sensitive feature.
  • The focus-shift can be annoying at 3m street focal distances and at f/2.8 to 4.0.
  • Very handy for videography
  • Generally sharp
  • Minimum shutter speed (SS) recognised by the camera is 1/60sec. When the ceiling ISO is reached, the SS starts to go down from 1/60sec.
Lumix G 20mm f/1.7
  • Sharp
  • I find it has that certain warmth
  • The tones are muted
  • Next-level contrast
  • Makes the GM5 pocketable.
  • The AF is old-tech and will need some adjustment/getting used to.
  • The minimum SS is 1/60sec as with the 25mm f/1.7.
  • Strongest peaking amongst all MFT lenses I have used
Lumix G 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6
  • Sharp
  • It also has that rendering close to the 20mm f/1.7.
  • Room-sized lens hood - at least, it's included
  • Very well-made
  • Good peaking for a kit lens
  • The rendering is very similar to that of the 20mm f/1.7.
Lumix 45-200mm
  • Good enough AF and OIS after the v1.3 update
  • Sharpest at f/8.0 so it's way deep into the diffraction zone in the GX9
  • Longer than the Pentax 50-200mm WR when collapsed
  • Heavier than the Pentax 50-200mm WR, haha
  • Increased EVF lag
Olympus 14-42mm EZ (metal mount)
  • Trademark Olympus colours
  • Can work as a prime with lens memory ON
  • Sharpness is near the Lumix G 12-32mm level
  • Unstabilised but that's not a problem, at all, as I work with unstabilised primes with the GM5.
  • Includes a manual focus ring.
Olympus 40-150mm kit lens (plastic mount)
  • Trademark Olympus colours
  • Annoyingly sharp even at f/4.0
  • Relatively light for its reach
  • Unstabilised but when birding, I use SS of at least 1/2000 anyway.
Olympus 45mm f/1.8
  • A perfectly sharp portrait lens
  • Olympus colours, of course
  • A must have for bokeh lovers
  • The minimum SS on the Panasonic bodies is 1/100 sec before the ISO is cranked up so it doesn't really need stabilisation. I may consider the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 because of this.
7Artisans 25mm f/1.8
  • Saturated colours
  • Very contrasty
  • DoF/focus dial needs adjustment as it's way off
  • Not as flare resistant as the Panasonic and Olympus lenses, even with a lens hood
  • Does not need a lens hood because the front element is recessed, just like older manual lenses.
  • Sits flush on the GX1 mount bezel so it looks stock on it.
  • The focus to infinity is off.
  • Peaking is strong but not at the same level as the Panasonic/Olympus ones.

Adapted Lenses

Sigma Zoom 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 MACRO for EOS

  • Good film-like rendering
  • Peaking is rather weak
  • Macro is usable but there is no aperture control the MFT bodies
Pentaflex Auto 50mm f/1.8 M42 mount
  • Peaking is present but rather weak
  • Great for portraits because of the 2x crop
  • Very easy to clean/maintain
Tamron Auto 35mm f/2.8 Adaptall
  • I treat this as a character camera because the adaptor is just manually adjusted/skimmed.
  • Built like a tank
  • The aperture ring is so fun to use
1976 Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (Valdai Plant)
  • Classic swirly bokeh
  • Sharp even at f/2
  • Peaking is strong even at f/2 on the GM5
  • Sharp...
I haven't yet received my PK to MFT adapter so I haven't tested the K-Mount lenses on the MFT bodies yet.
 
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