Saturday, 19 October 2019

A Breath of Reality

Fall Pasture 
Farm on Golden Beach Rd, west of Bracebridge

E-M1, m.Zuiko 12-50 EZ

For all the systems angst I've been having lately, it doesn't mean much in the field.

I got up to the Muskokas yesterday for some fall colours. 15 hours of driving and shooting later I came home with a lot of images, around 750 on the E-M1 and another 100 or so with the E-M5II. Usually things are more balanced but I was working with subject matter that best suited the 12-50 rather than the 9-18. I normally have the 9-18 basically glued to the E-M5II, while any other lenses end up on the E-M1, and that means if the other lenses are mostly used, the E-M1 gets all the work. Spent the day with the 12-50 EZ mostly welded to the E-M1 and most of the other shots were with the 40-150R on the E-M1.

While I was out, I noticed 2 real gaps in my system, and only one was body side. The first was I really do need a better telephoto than the 40-150R. It's a great little lens, but it's only 150 at the long end, is f5.6 at the long end and focuses fairly slowly. I ran into all 3 as issues yesterday trying to shoot Chipmunks & Squirrels in the woods. The second was AF performance in low light/low contrast situations. The E-M1 + 40-150R combo struggled to lock on at times. These are two separate issues, as the former kept driving me to ISO6400, while the latter caused lost shots from misfocus or failure to lock.

In both cases the first solution is to get a 50-200 SWD. It's longer (400mm equivalent before TC), supports TC's (1.4 for 280mm at f4.5 effective, 2x for 400mm at f7 effective, both at 200mm), focuses faster than the 40-150R and gives more light for the AF system to work with. I already have the weather-sealed adapter (MMF-3) so I'm good overall. The second issue would also be helped by getting an E-M1.2 or E-M5III to get cross-type PDAF instead of the line type that the E-M1 has. In neither case do I need a non-m43 solution.

I also could really have used a stop or two more on the 12-50 EZ as well, but that didn't result in lost shots, unlike the 40-150R.

On the drive back, I spent some time thinking. I can spend money Chasing the Dragon again, or I can just buy glass that solves the problems in question. I know there's good reason why I keep coming back to m43 (and also what draws me to Fuji) and I need to run with it rather than chasing capabilities in other systems that don't actually solve needs I have. I can't justify going full frame, and if I don't I'm pretty much stuck with m43 or Fuji, and as much as I do like Fuji, m43 covers my needs a touch better (and definitely for less money).

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