Monday, August 15, 2011

Olympus E-P3 incoming!

If all goes well, the Olympus E-P3 will be landing in my grubby mits any day now. I'll be doing the traditional unboxing and a full review when it lands.

As this blog's name goes, I'm just a poor third world nerd, but I do hope to buy a kick-ass camera system one lens at a time (now that the kick-ass camera body is on its way to our banana republic).

Here's my dream setup. It's decidedly retro, with three (or four) fixed lenses when most of today's photogs are happy to shoot with one high quality zoom lens. But I find that fixed lenses really do deliver on the image quality front. Here goes...

Normal lens: Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 and/or Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4

I'm a happy owner of the Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7. Absolutely love this lens to bits. I've said it before: I'm not a photographer. But this lens taught me to love photography. I think I've managed to capture some good shots with it. At the very least, I have some great photos of my kid!

I am a bit of a gear-head, and because of that, the Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 looks mighty tempting. Truth be told, I probably don't need it, and anyone who owns the Panasonic 20mm will think the same. I wrote a bit about it here. The only advantage I can see that this has over the Panasonic 20mm is that this is better suited for portraits (as it's a 50mm equivalent on M43 cameras), and it has a wider aperture, which I dig because flash photography's not my thing.

The question really is this: if you have a 35mm (or close to that), do you really need a 50mm? Some people prefer the 35. Some use only the 50. Some find there are advantages in both.

Wide-angle: Olympus M. Zuiko 12mm f/2.0 

Olympus recently released this baby, which the reviews say is blazing fast on the E-P3. And with an aperture of f/2.0, it's incredibly bright for a wide-angle lens. They say it's sharp too – probably the sharpest lens Olympus has for this system. 

So what's not to love? The price! At $800 on Amazon, it costs almost as much as the $900 E-P3. Jeez.

Short telephoto and macro: Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/2.0

I'd snap up this $500 beauty in a heartbeat, except Olympus said they will release a macro lens by the end of this year -- I'm guessing it will be a micro four thirds version of this lens.

This is actually a lens for the four thirds system, but it's one of their best. (You'll need an adaptor to make it work with micro four thirds bodies.) It does macro, and it also doubles as a short telephoto lens. 

In the past, four thirds lenses have been painfully slow on micro four thirds bodies. Some reviews on the internet say that the E-P3 speeds things up considerably, even for four thirds lenses. So this should be usable. At any rate, macro work doesn't require speed. And I plan to use this for macro work because I have some toys begging to be shot with a proper lens...

Okay, back to the grind. Must make more money to buy this stuff!

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