Wednesday 26 May 2021

Frustrations and Filters


OM-D E-M5 Mark II, m.Zuiko PRO 12-40mm f2.8

Got out yesterday for another hike, same setup as last time, mostly shooting with the Z5/70-300E and E-M5II/12-40PRO combos. I spent a little time with the Z24-50 on the Z5, but I got frustrated with it quite quickly. I was shooting in bright sunlight and wanted to use my 10 stop ND+ Polarizer, but I could not get the Z5 to give me a workable display. Ended up using the 5 stop instead, which was just barely enough. I was a little surprised, as I've used the 10 stop successfully on the Z5/24-50 combo before, but I suspect I was running into a combination of LCD auto-brightness, limited max shutter speed and LV Settings simulation. 

I didn't yet have any ND filters that fit my 12-40 Pro, so I couldn't swap that in for long-exposure work, although somewhat ironically, I got home to find that Amazon had delivered a 62mm 10 stop ND a day early. Really could have used that on the hike.

I'm using Gobe/URTH ND filters, which are a decent budget option. They do have a colour cast (regardless of advertising, all but the most pricey ND filters have colour casts), but it's a relatively easily corrected warming effect. I do want to get a high-end ND/Polarizer setup, but those are expensive enough that I want to know exactly what set I need before investing, which requires my gear setup to settle down.

That means I really do need to settle on my landscape kit. If I continue down the m43 path there I get a much more mature system, a smaller one and a lot of very useful features available right now. Plus if nothing else the bodies are a lot cheaper, especially once the Z9 ships (which should cost double what an E-M1X costs, that's the closest comparable m43 body).

If I go down the Z path, I'll be waiting for stuff and have to carry more weight, but the basics are in place today, the glass is every bit as good and I can go up to 45 or more MP right now and get a lot of flexibility in terms of cropping that way.

The real challenge is every time I go out with the E-M5II, I'm reminded how good and small the E-M1II setup was, and every time I go out with the Z5 I'm reminded how good the performance is there. But when I carry both I get annoyed at the AF of the E-M5II (seriously inferior to the Z5) and how limited the Z5 is on the tripod (seriously inferior in LCD viewing angles and multi-shot capabilities to the E-M5II)

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