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Old 06-13-2011, 12:08 PM   #61
RocketMan
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Originally Posted by Bongolia View Post
Thanks, I've looked at that but it is pricey for occasional use.

I'm wondering if an older lens and an adapter could be used?
The Olympus pen can use a micro to 4/3 adapter to mount older 3/4 (non-micro) lens and doesn't add a lot of weight or size, I use it with a 40-150 3/4 zoom lens they had on sale that came with adapter (the lens was essentially free) and Olympus now has 6 lens to fit the Pen line directly. I got the E-P1 when it first came out and love it for traveling, hardly ever use my DSLR for that now, esp. when traveling to warmer climates when carrying a camera and lens around all day can negatively impact your enjoyment due to excess weight.

I may pick up the E-PL2 since it has the built-in flash and takes the VR viewfinder option and some of the features I use most are not buried in the menu but have direct access via controls. the big down side to the E-PL2 rather than the E-P2 is the lack of the second thumb-wheel which I use a lot in manual and overall the layout of controls is not a good in the PL-X line over the P1 or P2, IMO. Both though have a new faster focusing lens and software over the old E-P1. The lack of a good eye level viewfinder mostly limits you in bright light and trying to track action both of which I do a lot of so the upgrade seems really worth it.
Overall I'm very pleased with Pen; its a good investment in light weight quality photo gear.

RM
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:41 AM   #62
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I may pick up the E-PL2 since it has the built-in flash and takes the VR viewfinder option and some of the features I use most are not buried in the menu but have direct access via controls. the big down side to the E-PL2 rather than the E-P2 is the lack of the second thumb-wheel which I use a lot in manual and overall the layout of controls is not a good in the PL-X line over the P1 or P2, IMO. Both though have a new faster focusing lens and software over the old E-P1. The lack of a good eye level viewfinder mostly limits you in bright light and trying to track action both of which I do a lot of so the upgrade seems really worth it.
Overall I'm very pleased with Pen; its a good investment in light weight quality photo gear.

RM
What is the cost differential between the E-PL2 and the E-P2? The E-PL2 came out after I got the E-P2, so it's something of a non-issue for me, I'm more just mildly curious. It sounds as though the PL2 was marketed to appeal more to the P&S crowd who wanted something just a little better, and the P2 to the DSLR crowd who wanted something just a little less bulky!

If the PL2 had been available at the time I bought mine, I might have gone for it because of the built in flash. But now that I've had mine for a little over a year I'm convinced that, at least for my purposes, a flash is very infrequently necessary or desirable, and most built-in flashes are pretty low-output and not that great to begin with. I did buy the little Olympus FL-14 flash, designed for the Pen cameras, after-market, but have used it very little. I'm much more inclined to go with a decent fast lens (I hear that Panasonic is coming out with an f/1.4 prime, but don't know much about it) and perhaps boost the ISO a bit in low-light situations, am not all that fond of on-the-camera flash pics in any event.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:23 PM   #63
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What is the cost differential between the E-PL2 and the E-P2? The E-PL2 came out after I got the E-P2, so it's something of a non-issue for me, I'm more just mildly curious. It sounds as though the PL2 was marketed to appeal more to the P&S crowd who wanted something just a little better, and the P2 to the DSLR crowd who wanted something just a little less bulky!

If the PL2 had been available at the time I bought mine, I might have gone for it because of the built in flash. But now that I've had mine for a little over a year I'm convinced that, at least for my purposes, a flash is very infrequently necessary or desirable, and most built-in flashes are pretty low-output and not that great to begin with. I did buy the little Olympus FL-14 flash, designed for the Pen cameras, after-market, but have used it very little. I'm much more inclined to go with a decent fast lens (I hear that Panasonic is coming out with an f/1.4 prime, but don't know much about it) and perhaps boost the ISO a bit in low-light situations, am not all that fond of on-the-camera flash pics in any event.
i think it is around $100 or so more for E-P2 over the E-PL2 depending on where you get it and if you want the silver body which is more expensive, add another $75 or more to the cost over the black body model.
Other than that, you pretty much nailed it on everything else you said about the differences, built in flash probably not worth it, the control layout is a greater priority, and at 800 ISO the Pen does a decent job of indoor shots with just overhead lighting without having to much grain and still letting you shoot at 1/60 so people don't come out blurred from movement. One thing I did read somewhere is that the Pen has the IS in the body and Panasonic's have it in the lens so I wonder how that affects interchangeability on the Panasonic side since an Olympus lens on that would not have the IS(?). but going with a Panasonic lens on the Pen shouldn't be an issue. The Panasonic pancake lens is the one I want next as well, faster lens and better optics. Besides the 9-18mm the pancake lens is the one I use most for indoors and group shots. Been real happy with E-P1 at just under two years of ownership, well worth the cost.

RM
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:31 PM   #64
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What lens did your camera come with? I'm guessing the 14-42 m.zuiko which is a decent, versatile lens, but not as compact as a pancake by a stretch, even in the compressed "carry" mode. The two commonly available pancake lenses for m4/3 cameras seem to be the m.zuiko 17mm f/2.8, and the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. The Olympus lens is less $ and maybe a millimeter or two 'shorter', but from the reviews I read they were really raving about the Pana lens, so that's the one I got. I've only had it a couple of weeks and haven't had a lot of opportunity to shoot with it, but preliminary impressions are very positive. If you're going to do indoor family gatherings, and not use a flash (I personally don't like most amateur flash pics), the extra speed of the 1.7 is a big plus.
Thanks for the suggestions. Really looking forward to putting it through its paces..
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:36 PM   #65
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hey Hardcase-

sorry i didn't answer before- no i don't have the nokton lens, it's on the wishlist. I've heard nothing but good things about it.

but.......

you already have the 20mm/f1.7 , isn't the nokton basically in the same class? With the pany you give up one f-stop but you gain AF. But both lenses are basically low light portrait type lenses. I'm just not seeing a need for both and was wondering your rationale.

I dunno your situation but after the 20mm i'd be looking at either the long 100-300mm zoom or the ultrawide 7-14mm
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:45 PM   #66
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hey Hardcase-

sorry i didn't answer before- no i don't have the nokton lens, it's on the wishlist. I've heard nothing but good things about it.

but.......

you already have the 20mm/f1.7 , isn't the nokton basically in the same class? With the pany you give up one f-stop but you gain AF. But both lenses are basically low light portrait type lenses. I'm just not seeing a need for both and was wondering your rationale.

I dunno your situation but after the 20mm i'd be looking at either the long 100-300mm zoom or the ultrawide 7-14mm
Yeah, you're right. I have given it more thought and realize all that you say is true, no auto-focus, only about one f-stop faster, and a considerably bulkier lens whereas the 20mm/f1.7 is a very compact pancake. I think I was just momentarily smitten/dazzled by the idea of a big piece of glass out front with under f1.0 speed. I also think that, assuming you're even able to find one, it's going to set you back a grand. A shop in NYC was offering some for $1200, scalper prices, presumably because they are hard to find. So I've changed my mind. But I still think it's a very cool lens.....
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:51 PM   #67
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..........One thing I did read somewhere is that the Pen has the IS in the body and Panasonic's have it in the lens so I wonder how that affects interchangeability on the Panasonic side since an Olympus lens on that would not have the IS(?). but going with a Panasonic lens on the Pen shouldn't be an issue. The Panasonic pancake lens is the one I want next as well, faster lens and better optics. Besides the 9-18mm the pancake lens is the one I use most for indoors and group shots. Been real happy with E-P1 at just under two years of ownership, well worth the cost.

RM
I believe this is correct, that Panasonic lenses work fine on Olympus cameras, but the reverse is not always true. Thus, it seems to me that if you are basically okay with the Pen series they might be a better or more versatile choice than the Panasonic m4/3 cameras, even though I do know that people who have the latter seem to be quite happy with them. I have purchased three aftermarket lenses for my E-P2, all Panasonic, and they all work just great on the Pen.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:35 PM   #68
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Yeah, you're right. I have given it more thought and realize all that you say is true, no auto-focus, only about one f-stop faster, and a considerably bulkier lens whereas the 20mm/f1.7 is a very compact pancake. I think I was just momentarily smitten/dazzled by the idea of a big piece of glass out front with under f1.0 speed. I also think that, assuming you're even able to find one, it's going to set you back a grand. A shop in NYC was offering some for $1200, scalper prices, presumably because they are hard to find. So I've changed my mind. But I still think it's a very cool lens.....
the nokton is very, very sexy

like lottery winner sexy.

but for that price i'd grab the wide angle 7-14mm which is very cool too.

Grand Central Station, NYC. Steadicam Merlin Test w/ Panasonic GH1 7-14mm @7mm from syuji honda on Vimeo.

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Old 06-15-2011, 11:12 AM   #69
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the nokton is very, very sexy

like lottery winner sexy.

but for that price i'd grab the wide angle 7-14mm which is very cool too.

Grand Central Station, NYC. Steadicam Merlin Test w/ Panasonic GH1 7-14mm @7mm from syuji honda on Vimeo.

I checked out the Panasonic 7-14 which is an f4. I've never really felt a need for extreme wide-angles, at the lower end of the range this one would be almost a fish-eye. My kit lens which is a 14-42 has about as much wide angle as I feel that I need, but I note that a lot of serious photographers seem to really like wide-angles and to use them more than they do telephotos. On the later score, I've been eyeballing the Panasonic 100-300mm, thinking that would be great for sporting events and also for nature/wild-life.

I still would not mind having the Voigtlander 25mm......maybe someday if they become readily available and turn up for a good price. I was surprised to notice on Amazon that my camera (Oly Pen E-P2) with the 'kit' that I got which included the EVF and the 14-42 lens is now more than $250 more than what I paid a little over a year ago, and many of the lenses have gone up in price as well. Is that a function of the declining dollar versus foreign currencies?
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:47 AM   #70
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I checked out the Panasonic 7-14 which is an f4. I've never really felt a need for extreme wide-angles, at the lower end of the range this one would be almost a fish-eye. My kit lens which is a 14-42 has about as much wide angle as I feel that I need, but I note that a lot of serious photographers seem to really like wide-angles and to use them more than they do telephotos. On the later score, I've been eyeballing the Panasonic 100-300mm, thinking that would be great for sporting events and also for nature/wild-life.

I still would not mind having the Voigtlander 25mm......maybe someday if they become readily available and turn up for a good price. I was surprised to notice on Amazon that my camera (Oly Pen E-P2) with the 'kit' that I got which included the EVF and the 14-42 lens is now more than $250 more than what I paid a little over a year ago, and many of the lenses have gone up in price as well. Is that a function of the declining dollar versus foreign currencies?
I have the 9-18 in regular 4/3 but in practice I don't go below 11-10 and hit against 18 all the time. The 11-22 seems like the perfect compromise.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:01 PM   #71
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I have the 9-18 in regular 4/3 but in practice I don't go below 11-10 and hit against 18 all the time. The 11-22 seems like the perfect compromise.
When I was a high-school kid and got interested in photography, I remember that very few zoom/variable-power lenses were available, and the quality or clarity of those was often suspect. Most SLR lenses were fixed power/prime lenses. In those days a "standard" lens was a 50mm, sometimes 55, and a wide angle was either a 28 or a 35mm, so the equivalent of a 14 and an 18mm m4/3 lens. Anything wider than 28mm was tough to find and expensive. Portrait lenses were 105mm, and 135s were sometimes used for that and for a mild telephoto.

I agree, though, that an 11-22 would be a good wide angle lens. I notice that most prime lenses for m4/3 would have been considered "wide angle" back in-the-day, i.e., the 17mm Olympus and the 20mm Panasonic. But in those days cropping was a much more difficult and expensive proposition.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:06 PM   #72
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I have a 28mm F2.8, 50mm F1.7, and 100mm F2.8 on a film Pentax.

I am working on building a setup with 15mm, 35mm, and 70mm primes for my pentax DSLR, which is roughly 23mm, 53mm, and 105mm. Should be beautiful.

Wide angle is useful if you are willing to get CLOSE to your subject. Just putting a bunch of shit in the frame doesn't accomplish much.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:49 PM   #73
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I have a 28mm F2.8, 50mm F1.7, and 100mm F2.8 on a film Pentax.

I am working on building a setup with 15mm, 35mm, and 70mm primes for my pentax DSLR, which is roughly 23mm, 53mm, and 105mm. Should be beautiful.

Wide angle is useful if you are willing to get CLOSE to your subject. Just putting a bunch of shit in the frame doesn't accomplish much.
Yup, a 23, 53 and 105 would have been a great versatile setup on a 35mm film SLR and ought to be no less excellent on a DSLR today. I remember that I had a 135mm lens that was great, crystal clear and excellent for people pictures.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:34 PM   #74
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Yup, a 23, 53 and 105 would have been a great versatile setup on a 35mm film SLR and ought to be no less excellent on a DSLR today. I remember that I had a 135mm lens that was great, crystal clear and excellent for people pictures.
The beauty part is that the 35mm is a true 1:1 macro and makes for wicked handheld flower shots like this:





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Old 06-15-2011, 08:05 PM   #75
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The beauty part is that the 35mm is a true 1:1 macro and makes for wicked handheld flower shots like this:



Macro is definitely not something I'm up to speed on. What's the meaning of the 1:1 ratio, and what's its appeal?

The other big macro mystery to me is the purpose of extension tubes...

Nice flower "portraits," btw.
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