Personal gear review

tonyturley

Legend
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
The LX100 is another camera I rented over the past few years. My memory is fuzzy here, but it seems I decided not to buy one because of the power zoom, lack of tilt screen, and intense purple flare in backlit conditions. I also remember the buzz around the LX100II as the announcement approached, and the intense disappointment expressed by many people that it didn't have a flip screen or WR. I wonder if any of those people are looking at the X100V? If you look at the latest generations of those cameras, the X100 is a bit larger and heavier, but not unreasonably so. I would think the two cameras would appeal to a similar demographic.
 
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
The LX100 is another camera I rented over the past few years. My memory is fuzzy here, but it seems I decided not to buy one because of the power zoom, lack of tilt screen, and intense purple flare in backlit conditions. I also remember the buzz around the LX100II as the announcement approached, and the intense disappointment expressed by many people that it didn't have a flip screen or WR. I wonder if any of those people are looking at the X100V? If you look at the latest generations of those cameras, the X100 is a bit larger and heavier, but not unreasonably so. I would think the two cameras would appeal to a similar demographic.
Yes they both do appeal to me at least. One of my biggest issues with power zooms is startup / shutdown. I tend to be good with turning it on and off when not actively shooting to keep the lens retracted for safety and save power. The X70 was really quick on / off.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
I've been away from MFT for a while, since I sold my GX9 and lenses. Years ago I rented a Pen F when it first came out, and it was great paired with the 17mm 1.8, but I just felt the camera was more than I wanted to pay.

Fast forward to this week, and I came across a mint Pen F with only 400 shutter snaps, and it was less than 1/2 its original cost. I grabbed it, along with another 17/1.8. I still have a film Pen F 38/1.8 lens and MFT adapter. That lens rendered really nicely on the GX9 and the Pen F I rented.

For some reason, I keep finding myself drawn back to MFT. Looking through my archives, I find a lot of nice images from the various MFT cameras I have owned. Several of you do great work with your Pen F, and I expect I will like it quite a lot.
 

wee-pics

All-Pro
Sep 13, 2016
Germany
Walter
Since I have the Lumix LX100.2 with the superb Leica lens I've realized that the EM-5 often stays in the bag. Only when I need any of the primes with more focal length or the macro lens I'm carrying the full gear.

As to getting gear reduced I have a simple rule for myself: any clothes in my wardrobe that have not been on my body during the last three years are thrown out. With stretching this a little to five years it might be useful for photographic gear as well.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
Since I have the Lumix LX100.2 with the superb Leica lens I've realized that the EM-5 often stays in the bag. Only when I need any of the primes with more focal length or the macro lens I'm carrying the full gear.

As to getting gear reduced I have a simple rule for myself: any clothes in my wardrobe that have not been on my body during the last three years are thrown out. With stretching this a little to five years it might be useful for photographic gear as well.
I've done a complete turnover in my photo gear in recent months. I sold or gave away everything I had been using except for a single Pen F lens. My kit now consists of an X30, Pen F + a single native lens, and a single film Pen F lens. That gives me a lot of versatility, and even if I stuffed it all in a bag, the weight would be negligible. I have a tiny bar bag for my bicycle, and I'm looking forward to going out on some long bike rides away from civilization and bringing back some nice images.
 
Dec 31, 2013
Louisville, Ky
I ran into a snag, where the normal review of what I’ve done and plan for going forward couldn’t predict. The additional of a constantly changing variable. Because I must subconsciously need to constantly trip myself up. I thought it would be a good idea to start offering portraits and headshots in the comforts of one’s own home. With the switch to AD200’s my portrait kit was fully portable. Having settled on two primes for portraits immediately proved to be a challenge on the very first two shoots. Fortunately, I was able to pull it off. But I came away knowing I was going to have to get a zoom for this. Again, good fortune struck with my Dad starting to look at downsizing. So now I am left completely rethinking what I thought was my final kit. Back to the drawing board 🤦‍♂️
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
My E-PL5, it turns out, is absolutely, royally garbage when trying to focus backlit subjects with the Pana 35-100 f/4-5.6. And I'm not even talking about particularly difficult scenes. :( To add insult to injury, it just didn't do a good job at frontlit subjects either. I think the body has difficulty with this lens at far distances.

Used the tiniest, supposedly most accurate single point AF point. I circled around different spots that I used, and I tried PLENTY. Not once did the camera achieve focus (which it indicates flashing the gray focus box green).

2020-02-27-17-33-P2270057.jpg

2020-02-27-17-24-P2270047.jpg


I don't expect much of a camera but if it promises autofocus then it should in fact focus automatically. Call me old fashioned or something. :)

What does this mean, then? Not exactly sure. I should try to direct this immense frustration I had this afternoon and decide for sure I don't need to be carrying two bodies with me on my walks, no matter how cheap and lightweight the secondary body is.

(For example today I decided to have a little fun and carry a 21mm on my Leica and the 35-100 (70-200 equiv) on my EPL5.)

Or simply make sure that I carry the external Olympus EVF with me whenever I'm with the whole bag. With the EVF against my eye it might be just barely enjoyable to manually focus the 35-100 when the camera otherwise refuses to do its job.

All in all, I'm glad that this time I wasn't going straight on to look what money can buy me to solve this issue. I'm sure the latest EPL10 would do the mighty awesome Panasonic better justice but it is just not what I need at this point ... an expensive secondary body.


Edit:
And digging into the rest of the shots of my walk, I should realize and mention that it's only these two scenes out of a dozen that the camera failed to handle.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

agentlossing

Top Veteran
Just curious, did your camera give you a green focus box, as if it had acquired focus? And if so, where at? That's highly unusual behavior for a CDAF system, and while I did get a few misfocuses like that with my Panasonic GM5 and the 20mm f1.7, they weren't as out of focus as that, and it was usually bright points of reflected sunlight that I think were fooling the AF system.

Also, manual focusing on M4/3 sucks, the lenses aren't designed for it and the focus by wire system is super annoying. I wouldn't go down that road.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
Just curious, did your camera give you a green focus box, as if it had acquired focus? And if so, where at? That's highly unusual behavior for a CDAF system, and while I did get a few misfocuses like that with my Panasonic GM5 and the 20mm f1.7, they weren't as out of focus as that, and it was usually bright points of reflected sunlight that I think were fooling the AF system.

Also, manual focusing on M4/3 sucks, the lenses aren't designed for it and the focus by wire system is super annoying. I wouldn't go down that road.
The focus would ramp up and down and after a second or so, the camera would give up the attempt. And no green box. The usual standard that I'm accustomed to is a very fast response accompanied by the green box.

It could be a firmware issue too. I'm planning on asking about this on the sister site, mu43.com.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
I had an EPL5 many years ago and I just wasn’t satisfied with it. It had that old 2 axes ibis and some bad shutter shock. I now keep an EPL7 around and it just performs so much better. It has the first curtain shutter option which reduces the SS and the three axes ibis is much better.
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
The focus would ramp up and down and after a second or so, the camera would give up the attempt. And no green box. The usual standard that I'm accustomed to is a very fast response accompanied by the green box.

It could be a firmware issue too. I'm planning on asking about this on the sister site, mu43.com.
Yeah, sounds like the focus is timing out for some reason.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
I'm more in line about what I want from my photography hobby: it's got to be fun. Leica M is most fun. Sadly it's still expensive and sometimes I want to experiment with TTL. And I want some options regarding close focusing.

Df?!

Keeping with the rule of "new gear resales at 50 %, used gear resales at 75%", if I try out the Nikon Df and I don't keep it for any reason my loss will be around 25 % of the money I pay for the body, let's say roughly 150-200 €. And of course any lenses I might get for it. Because this approximate loss is so little, it doesn't make sense for me to rent the body.

Why Df exactly? I disliked DSLRs when I shot them in 2015 but could be I just love them now that I've seen the direction these mirrorless cameras are taking. All computers and very little mechanical craftmanship to the picture taking. Maybe all I want is to be bound by the physical realm of photo taking.

Leica focuses and meters via mechanical (physical) means; most DSLR cameras do too for the most part. It may not be any different to how a good PDAF mirrorless camera does but I think there's a tiny charm to it. The OVF and especially TTL composition is the big thing I really would like to witness again, TTL OVF. Sure I can TTL focus my Leica from a push of the LV button but it's not the same.

So the upside to all this, if I should find out that Df is most fun indeed, equal to M, that could mean some great things. Sure the lenses are bulky unless I go for manual focus vintage. But they'd be affordable, the camera would have good AF and the TTL is something. Nikon moving to the Z means every day the F lenses are getting discarded and sold.

Secondly,
An alternative option I should entertain.

I just love the attributes of M4/3 systems but the bodies are too computer-y -- as they are modern mirrorless cameras. But I have only explored Olympus' side of things. What if I bought a semi-serious (this is because Panasonic hasn't made an entry-level body in a long time and there's hardly any out in the markets) Panasonic body, GX80 (GX85 in some sides of the globe) for apprx 70 € resale loss or a GX8 for 110 € resale loss. The cost of the experiment remains reasonable even though I swore that my 'second system' can't cost more than 100 € (that logic went out of the window with that Df desire anyway).

Panasonics sure are computer-y gadgets just like Olympus but maybe they at least do the things I expect a digital camera to do. Mirrorless CDAF cameras have the potential to focus accurately within the focusing square so who knows, maybe Panasonic actually does it? Not to mention Leica Q, the absolute nicest piece of "digital" gear I've shot, has Panasonic DNA in it to some extent.

Likewise, the minute chance that Panasonic has an answer to my wildest dreams, could be very big indeed. Very affordable, lightweight lenses (so no breaking the bank nor the back) and capable bodies and all that good stuff. Huge potential, but again the chances are not the strongest. Then again the ticket to enter the "lottery" isn't prohibitely expensive either. These computer gadgets may not be the fun M or Df are but affordability and lightweight is also fun.

---

Do you think this is a very good way to lie to myself, "try the Df, it's only going to be a 200 € loss if you don't like it"? :)
 
Last edited:

Mike G

All-Pro
Oct 7, 2016
West London
Mike Gorman
I have gone through this activity twice now, and implementing the the results of my particular reviews! Both time's due to faulty camera bodies which rather forced me to change system and as it happened different sensor sizes, Fujifilm - Lumix - Nikon, I sincerely hope this will be the last time I have to review my camera system!
Sadly I somehow doubt it. There is an excitement when one gets a new system, but of course that feeling doesn’t last forever does it, hey ho.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
Pretty much the same.

Canon 5D is of course a cult camera by now, being so affordable and durable, but that's that... Maybe with a nice focusing screen?

There is Leica Digilux 3 that's an interesting 4/3 DSLR but I don't think that's very reasonably priced for what it'll do :)
 

Mike G

All-Pro
Oct 7, 2016
West London
Mike Gorman
The DF is the only DSLR which still interests me.
They must be getting quite rare by now?
I once handled a black DF at a Nikon school, the thing that stopped me getting one, was IMO the awful viewfinder(not big enough) and at the time I was smitten by a Nikon D810. In the 1980s? Nikon did woefully in the VF department, which was a shame! I got shouted at a lot for saying so.:blush:
 

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Jan 27, 2012
Los Angeles
John
My last dslr was a Pentax K70 a few years ago. The little Pentax primes were on my bucket list.
Was fun and now done. ( :

I think an older Nikon FX body with F1.8G primes would be something I might try again - then again probably not.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom