Hmmm. This thread reminded me of a (apologies, it's quite chaotic) little write up i did elsewhere a few years back, regarding the PL8-18. I post it again here in hope that it's of some use to the OP. Or anyone else considering the PL8-18. Or maybe it should be it's own thread to avoid clogging this one, lol !? I'll leave that to the mods.
G85 and PL8-18 Go Motorbicycling.
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The call rings loudly in deep sonorous tones, like the fateful portentous tolling of an ancient bell and my head hangs in shame at the word, unable to mount a defence against the accusation levelled both against, and by, my most pitiful self.
Yea, verily, it is a cold, hard Truth. ( A brief aside: Whether or not there is a warm, soft truth, or even indeed how temperature fluctuations and/or random viscosity values effect such Truths, is a mystery best to be tackled another time, perhaps). I have neglected several loved ones. Over many months. I've known it, and so too most likely do they.
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Above: G85/8-18mmPL. 8mm @ F/5
You see, its been nearly 11 months since my Trusty Piece of British Iron- more colloquially known round here as "Triumph"- vanished into the dim recesses of my shed, and into the even more dimly illuminated recesses of my mind. Oh sure, I glimpse it occasionally lurking down the back there, a pleading glint in the elliptical eye of its headlights and I turn away hurriedly. Next time, old girl, next time.
And then there's the G85. She's a jealous type if I know anything about the thought processes of camera's - which of course I don't, but really who does? Ever tried to decipher the focus proclivities of an Eos M? Sheesh! Err, anyway, lets just go with the decidedly unpoetic license here. Right, so, if missing out on the trip to Sydney for the PenF wasn't bad enough, salted wounds most surely ensued when the Gx8 won my favour for the southern sojourn to Hobart Town. And then when MR 8 got the nod for a family trip to Batemans Bay.... well, i'd rather not go into details. Hell hath no Fury. Suffice to say, I could almost hear the scornful wail from the cupboard as I headed for the taxi "But it doesn't even have REAL Ibis!". Well, yeah, she's nothing if not truthful , though be it of the cold hard kind or otherwise is less clear. And, thusly, Miss 85 was left behind on the shelf, presumably brooding and mulling on her predicament with the -mercifully -happily retired Em5 and a few film bodies.
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above: G85/8-18PL. 9mm @ F/3.2
Finally, there's the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm Lens. Here, Your Honour, I can at least mount some sort of defence to the charges brought agin me. This uptown lass arrived more recently, and she got an outing to NSW a month or two back. As a consequence, we would put to the court that its more a matter of insufficient resources - err, read "time" - than outright neglect.
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Above: G85/8-18mm. 10mm @F/5
Ok, so lets cut to the chase. By a serendipitous confluence of intersecting happenstance - if you've ever read a more ludicrous and self indulgent grammatical abomination I'd be mildly surprised - a property of some Historical Significance was to be open for inspection in preparation for the Auctioning off of said property in the very near and foreseeable future. Not of any Historical Importance to the world. Or even to that part of the world that surrounds it. Oh no, but rather a property of some meaningful meaning to me. For you see, dear reader of this shambling account, it was none other than the former abode of my Great Grandfather. For clarity and education, lets take a brief detour. It is – and was - said by those who should- and did – have suitably appropriate recourse to know such things that Great Grandfather wasn't actually overly great at all. Nor even close. In fact, the appendage "a mean hard old bastard" may have been thrown in his direction in my hearing. Thus is the danger for the unwary of Capitalised titles thrown about willy-nilly and the importance of spotting such nuances. Very often, in my experience, you may find a Right Royal Ass mislabelled as a Sir. Here endeth the detour.
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Above: G85 / 8-18PL. 18mm @F/5
Err, where were we? Ah yes, the old buggers house. I hadn't been inside for nigh on 30 years - his house that is, as opposed to the Big House, where happily, I've never been or even His House which apparently is owned by the Almighty and an entirely different thing altogether. See what I mean about those damn capitals? Figuring this may be the once and final chance to break said drought, I decided to proceed to the locality henceforth. At speed. Lots of speed. And the solution clearly lay at hand. Well, once i'd shifted half a tonne of detritus in the Shed and fought my way through to the battery charger in order to restore life to the British Steed, it lay at somewhat hand. As did the prospect of killing off two other birds with a stone or two. Depending on my aim.
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Above: G85/8-18mm. 18mm @ F/8
For in a moment of inspiration, I did decree that the G85 and 8-18mm would accompany me on the journey to the former family estate. Preparations made then, all aboard and loaded up, the British Stead did look rather fetching, even resplendent in her freshly dusted off Red livery:
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Above: Gx8/ 15mm PL.
That contraption perched atop the fuel tank is one of the new Givi Tankloc Tankbags. It’s a great device and I’ve always loved tankbags for touring about the area. Possibly because I’ve also always loved maps. And Tankbags – well, the good ones – allow a map viewing pocket on top so that you may have some vague notion of where you are going. If you can read them. I have always found it very cool to go all Magellan into the unknown and ride off the edge of the “known” map! “There be dragons” and all that stuff.
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Above: 8mm @ F/2.8
Be that as it may, the bag under discussion contained some spare clothes for a night away, the G85 and the 8-18PL. The intention being to give it a run and put it through its paces as an “I can do anything” allrounder in order to report back to a (very likely long gone) audience here. But then I second guessed myself, worried that a situation may arise that called for a totally different lens. What if, hypothetically, Kate Beckinsale were to burst into my intended watering hole and declare that the future of the world did dependeth entirely on the outcome of a boudoir portrait session in which only one eye could be allowed to be in focus and does anyone in this forsaken town have such equipment!? I couldn’t risk it, could I? Imagine the recriminations from the world at large? So I threw in the 30/1.4 Sigma as an Armageddon avoidance device. Alas, Kate never appeared, but it does mean that most images here are from the Leica wide angle. So that’s probably nice. At least for those who are wanting to see some photo’s from the 8-18/G85 combo. I wouldn’t have minded saving the world though. In an entirely altruistic and entirely-not-self-interested way, of course. Oh, and I cant help but think that the world is a poorer place without a thread entitled “saving the planet with a Beckinsale photo shoot”. Maybe that’s just me.
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Above: G85/8-18mm. 9mm @ F3.1
And then we were off, amidst much fanfare, pageantry and blowing of horns. Sans the fanfare, pageantry and horns. No matter. I did get a kiss from the lovely wife and an admonishment as we parted ways to “be careful and don’t get yourself killed”. “No fear”, quoth I. “The weather’s grand, the pub is hospitable and the open road an old friend”. I should have known better than to tempt such fates as govern the motorbicycling universe. We’ll get to that later. Perhaps.
Oh yeah. I also had a new helmet to debut with the new Tankbag. The old helmet was beaut. But it was pretty ancient, the padding was compressed and the lining smelt like a wet dog had wintered in it. For each of the last twelve years. So like most old things, it eventually had to go. Which reminds me. My wife has pointed out recently that I’m getting old too. Hmm. That’s troubling.
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Be that as it may, the new Helmet is beaut too! Its made by Shark. Well, you couldn’t expect me to wear one that was made by Sloth, or Daffodil or some such could you? No Sir-Ree. At any rate, it’s quiet, it has wide vision and it has a really nifty feature that negates an age-old problem. Countless are the times back in my now overly-distant youth that I would be caught on a night ride with a tinted visor and thus faced with the awkward decision of near-on blindness due to the dark tint, or near-on blindness due to being struck in the eyes by various members of the insect kingdom. But this one, well this one solves that problem by providing a flip-down internal visor. Like So:
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It’s a ripper of a solution to a troublesome issue. Good thinking by Messrs Shark and Co. Which brings me in an altogether circuitous and utterly contrived manner to the Leica 8-18mm lens. You knew I would! Eventually. Otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered with this garbage for this far. Nor, let the record show, Your Honour, would have I. Assuming anyone has. “Stop it, get Back to the Leica! Or Ms Beckinsale”. Quite right, a fair point. It too (the lens, not Kate) has relatively wide vision. And it too has a neat feature that users should value that rivals may lack. By the simple expedient of lengthening the lens case beyond the front element, they have not only protected said element but provided a threaded section that can take filters even on an Ultra-wide zoom lens! Here’s a really poor photo of a really good idea - i'm rather good at the really poor:
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Praise the gods of Optics and Lenses! Ok, sure, I suspect careful selection of thin filter rings may be required or the wide angle may ‘see’ the filter, but its surely a better thing to have available than to not have, umm, available. The Olly 7-14 requires an engineering degree, a lathe and possibly a milling machine to install a filter kit. With the PL, just walk into a store and buy one that screws straight in! Easy Peasy, err, Japanesey? All Praise Herr Leica-San! And whilst we’re on THAT little topic, I’m not overly bothered by how much input Leitz has into the Panasonic lenses. The fact is – lets term this one as luke warm and slightly spongey, just coz we can- that Leica have allowed their name on this lens without suing the pants off Panasonic. That’s good enough for me, we all know that “Leica” on anything immediately makes it 4.7 times better than it otherwise would be. And possibly makes it invisible too, apparently. Which could, incidentally, be an issue if I ever un-mount it from the body and place it down absently…..
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Above: 8mm @ f/3.2
Back to the road! By gaw, I love travelling by motorbicycle. There’s nothing else like it. The first section of the sojourn was a seemingly endless combat with peak hour traffic that could have brought unmentionable curses to ones lips if so inclined. As indeed I was inclined. On several and varied occasions. The second section was a high speed jaunt on open highway into the North West that swapped the curses for a joyful song of , err, joy. It’s like I was in one of those road-trip ad’s with The Hollies playing Air That I Breathe over my left shoulder. Strange huh? Almost ‘Weird scenes inside the Goldmine’ strange. Almost.
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Above: 9mm @ F/5.6
I arrived at the small Victorian town with plenty of daylight, but not plenty of time before Meals closed at the Watering Establishment of Choice. Ok, not that there’s exactly a torrential flood of choice. It’s the only show in town, really. But I made it, enjoyed a very decent meal and an Ale. And then another Ale. And then……. Well, you get the picture.
Dawn broke bright and cheerful. More so than I did if truth be told, and as indeed it should be told. The “And then” ‘ s of the previous night may have stretched on a bit, but I deemed The Good Publican eminently deserving of my patronage and he in turn seemed exceedingly willing to ply the weary and brave traveller with restorative elixirs at journey’s end.
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Above: 18mm @ F/4.0
And now, (“Finally you dithering fool”! Yea, surely can I hear it coming through the ether) we reach the part about Photographing that which needed to be Photographed in order to post on a Photography website. For the Open House was not to be open until after the Morn. As a consequence, the Morn was spent wandering aimlessly (though not so aimlessly as this laughable “review” has probably become) about the locale with G85 and Leica in hand in hope of taking a nice picture or two and finding a beverage of caffeinated content to imbibe. The aforementioned pictures are scattered as seem fit amongst this wreckage of grammatical indecency. I make even less claim on being a decent taker of quality pictures than I do of being a decent and coherent wordsmith. Which is to say, precisely none.
......to be continued