Saturday, 12 June 2021

I Did It Again

Olympus E-M5 Mark II, m.Zuiko 17mm f1.8

After a lot of serious thought and plenty of hemming and hawing, I've broken through my analysis paralysis and made a decision.

The Z5 is gone, Olympus it is for the foreseeable future. Knowing me, it's not going to be permanent, but I'd love to finally stick to a system.

There's two basic reasons for the decision.

1. Flip/Twist LCD. I like low-angle shooting. I like shooting portrait orientation on a tripod. The LCD setup on the E-M5II is just WAY better for both of these than the Z5 because the Z's all lack more than one axis of LCD articulation.

2. The 12-40 Pro. This lens is just so bloody good. And the Z 24-50 was always kind of frustrating because it was good, but got in my way at the same time. The key difference isn't aperture, but close focus. The 12-40 Pro is extremely good at close focus, with 0.2m MFD and the crop factor effectively doubling the magnification in 'fill the frame' terms. The Z 24-50 is not terrible with a 0.34m MFD, but it could not even come close to the 12-40 Pro in close focus.

The end result is that more and more I would just grab the E-M5II when leaving the house. I'd barely shot a frame on the Z5 in two weeks and as of right now I've shot 2100 frames in 6 weeks with the E-M5II and 3300 in 14 weeks with the Z5. That really shows just how much more I'm using the E-M5II than I was the Z5.

 Don't get me wrong, I still think the Z5's a great camera, and it's definitely a better low-light & long lens camera than the E-M5II. But I'm more a wide angle guy and the Z5's advantages (better AF, better sensor, better EVF) are less useful to me than the E-M5's advantages (better LCD articulation, better normal zoom, better IBIS)

So I traded in the Z5/24-50 kit, FTZ, 50/1.8G and 70-300E and came home with a 40-150 f4-5.6 R, 17/1.8, 45/1.8 and 75/1.8. That gives me a basic tele zoom for good light that I know performs well (it's copy #3 at least for me, maybe #4), and a fast and compact AF 35mm equivalent (the 17/1.8), I've owned it before and while it's not amazing, it's quite compact. 

The other two lenses I've not owned before, but they give me a truly tiny 90mm equivalent and a nicely sized and extremely good performing 150mm equivalent, both with f1.8. Both have long been on the list of m43 lenses I've wanted to own. 

I will need a second body though, the AF-C of the E-M5II is just not usable. That will no doubt be an E-M1 Mark II or III. An UWA is also needed, as is the 40-150 f2.8 Pro. And I'll probably pick up a fast normal as well.

But for now I have two really usable 2-lens kits with the E-M5II. The 12-40 can pair with the 75 very well, and the 17 & 45 pair well. One for really light carry, one for serious work. And the 40-150 can be thrown in the bag whenever I want a little long-lens coverage. 

Plus the 17 can stay on the E-M5II when using it as a webcam, so when I have that second body I can have a kit ready to go while still having the webcam hooked up.

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