Previously, I processed most of my B&W images in a higher contrast, darker style; but now, at least for a while, I’m going to try a lighter style some of the time. I am also trying to take my E-P5 with the 20 mm lens that you see on the table with me when I’m out and about.
I recently obtained a Panasonic 20 mm F1.7 lens so I put it on my Olympus E-M10 camera and made comparison images with it and the Fujifilm X-T1 and its 27 mm F2.8 lens. I wanted to see how they compared as walk-a-bout setups when traveling or photographing events.
The Olympus E-M10 camera plus the Panasonic 20 mm F1.7 lens weighs 495 grams, the X-T1 with the 27 mm F2.8 lens weighs 525 grams. The following is a picture of the two setups that I took with my Apple iPhone 6.
For the following images I set the aperture to F2.8 for both and then cropped them both to the same aspect ratio and approximately the same size in pixels. I also set the WB and the white and black settings on both using LR. I used the center point to focus on the center white structure.
The first image below was from the E-M10 and the second from the X-T1. You can click on either of them to view them in slideshow mode and then select an even larger size below each picture.
From looking at these images, at these settings, and at these conditions, I see no practical reason to choose one over the other in terms of image quality … even when pixel peeping at 100%.
The biggest differences are in the weight and handling and downloading of the pictures. The X-T1 has nice external controls and you can see at a glance what the settings are before you raise the camera to take a picture. Both cameras have EVFs and LCDs and these need to be viewed to see the settings after the shutter has been half pressed on the E-M10. Normally the differences in determining the settings isn’t significant. One big difference when downloading the images to a computer when using LR is the time it takes. The X files of the X-T1 take a lot longer than the Olympus files. For this round I am going to declare that the micro 4/3 setup has a slight advantage.
I bought the E-M10 to take longer focal length pictures with the Olympus 75 – 300 mm lens. I went this route since the long focal length micro 4/3 lenses are smaller, lighter, and less expensive than the Fujifilm lenses. I then bought the Panasonic 20 mm lens to carry in a pocket, just in case I needed a shorter focal length when I was out photographing with the 75 – 300 mm lens mounted on the E-M10.
I fully expected the Fujifilm images to be superior based on all the hype on the internet. Based on what I saw here, and in Round 1, I see no reason why I couldn’t use micro 4/3 for all of my photography. Now I have to decide whether I need to keep both systems. One reason for keeping both would be to keep a wider prime lens on the X-T1 all of the time and the 75 – 300 mm lens on the E-M10 all of the time so that I don’t have to change lenses as often. It hasn’t been easy for me to change lenses since I fell and injured my thumb in January. Another advantage for keeping the X-T1 and at least the 35 mm F2 lens is that they are weather resistant and the E-M10 setup isn’t.
The advantages for me to sell the Fujifilm gear would be to regain some of the money I spent on it and have the advantage of only needing to know one system. I find that switching back and forth tends to slow me down sometimes as I remember how to do things differently. Having the money from the sale would also enable me to flesh-out my E-M10 system with additional lenses, especially with small fast prime lenses. I could even obtain an additional E-M10 so that I would have a two-camera, but one-system setup.
I was walking yesterday before the rain started with the E-PL5 and the 20 mm lens in my pocket when I noticed these reflections.
Later after the rain started I took the following from the comfort of our rear porch using the K-3 with the 18 – 135 mm lens zoomed out to 135 mm. The shutter speed was 1/200 sec. but if you look carefully you can still see the rain coming down.
You are probably getting tired of seeing my test shots, but this is another one of my exploratory images to see what I can do with a micro 4/3 camera and a 20 mm prime lens. So far I’m managing and they are fair images as long as you don’t pixel peep.
I am also finding that my new bifocal glasses help since I don’t have to keep taking my glasses off to see the LCD better. I only acquired the bifocals to use when outdoors with a camera, but they are going to take some getting accustomed to since looking down, the ground now isn’t in focus when walking. Getting old is such a pain.
Our power was out for about an hour so I took a walk to check out my latest ideas for walking with a camera. I decided to post these pictures if for no other reason than to document the kind of day it was. These kind of posts may become the norm for me just to document the weather, etc.
It wasn’t a quiet day around the main buildings since the emergency generators were all running to generate some power for them. Those of us living in the independent Villas don’t benefit from them. We have no backup systems. I heard a few neighbors talking about the power outage. I wonder what we would do if the power goes out for a week in the cold of winter. At least then we could put the food from our freezers outside to keep them frozen, but we might be as frozen as the food since we wouldn’t have any heat.
Sometimes it is worth having a small camera in your pocket, and I have been wondering whether I should look for a better small camera. At the moment I have been using a Panasonic LF1 which has been excellent for its size. It only has a 1/1.7” size sensor so it is limited, but makes up for it with an excellent zoom lens and the ability to shoot in raw format.
But, the above images pushed it to its limits. The sunlight breaking through a cloud was difficult to get because of the light extremes. I had to dial the exposure back to keep from burning the highlights too much and then I still had to work on the image with LightRoom. It worked OK, but it isn’t the fastest camera to use. The zoom is slow and the exposure adjustment is done with the small dial on the back. It works fine when you have time, but I would like something easier and quicker to adjust. The other picture was taken in the restaurant which was on the dark side. I took this image at ISO 1600 and then had to use a lot of noise reduction using LightRoom.
The LF1 is better than a camera-phone but the phones are catching up quickly. Some of my thoughts recently have been to just keep using my LF1 and wait until the phone cameras improve some more. If I go somewhere and don’t wish to take my larger heavy Pentax K-3 and lenses, I can take my Olympus E-PL5 and a prime lens or two to keep the size & weight down … but it still needs a large jacket pocket or a small bag for carrying. It would be nice to have a camera-lens combination smaller than my E-PL5 that is easier to quickly take out of a pocket and take a few pictures in raw format with quick exposure and zoom adjustments … with better image quality than the LF1 or a camera-phone. I’m still looking, but my K-3 continues to spoil me. I love the controls and ease of making fast changes with the ability to get great images.
The new Canon G7 X looks promising. It has a 1” 20 MP sensor, 24 – 100 mm equivalent zoom, tilting touchscreen LCD, takes raw format pictures, is about the same size as my LF1, etc. But, a larger sensor would be even better. The major disadvantage of a larger sensor, like APS-C size, is that the lenses are a lot larger and heavier. The only way around them is to go with a built-in, fixed, prime lens like on the Leica X2. The X2 is a lot faster to turn on, make adjustments, etc. and is only slightly larger and 13% heavier than the G7 X but a lot more expensive. The similar Fujifilm X100T is larger and 45% heavier than the Canon G7 X, is similar in quality to, or better than the Leica X2, and is less expensive than the X2.
But, I decided the best compromise based on size, weight, image quality, and cost is using my Olympus E-PL5 with a prime lens as a jacket pocket, or small bag camera. I have the Panasonic 14 mm f/2.5 pancake lens but is a little on the wide and slow side. It has an effective 28 mm focal length and is great for many uses but I decided to get the Panasonic 20 mm f/1.7 lens (effective 40 mm) to supplement it. My only decisions left are to decide whether to carry it on a neck strap under a jacket or to use a wrist strap and carry it in a jacket pocket this fall and winter, and when to take it rather than my K-3 or my LF1.
“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
— Joseph Campbell
This even applies to my photography. It is my practice, when using prime lenses, to make a judgment before I go out as to what lens I will use and then stick with it. I rarely take multiple lenses with me or change lenses in the field. I let the chosen focal length guide me to the composition and images I make. For the above image I was using a 20 mm lens on a micro 4/3 camera so the effective focal length was 40 mm. Maybe it is blissful ignorance in that later when I get the image up on my computer screen I don’t remember, or miss, what might have been out of view.
Note the different style/shape/size windows/doors/openings in a very small area in a very old structure in the above image.
While I have gone back through my older pictures taken a few years ago in Ireland, I discovered that all the best images (my preference) were taken with a micro 4/3 camera with one of two prime lenses. Those lenses were the Panasonic 14 mm or 20 mm pancake lenses. They had effective focal lengths of 28 and 40 mm. Looking at the images made with these two lenses brought back memories of how much I loved using these small pancake lenses on a small camera. If we were in town and walking the streets or touring inside buildings I used the 14 mm lens and if we were out in the country or traveling in the van I used the 20 mm lens. I found these to be near perfect focal lengths in Ireland. As I often do, I have decided to go back to the future … get something new & better that replicates one aspect of a previous capability.
I now have the Fuji X-E1 camera which is even better than the micro 4/3 camera that I used in Ireland. Since it is also small and of the same rangefinder style and since I already have the 27 mm pancake lens with an effective focal length of 40.5 mm, I decided to order the Fuji 18 mm, effective 27 mm focal length, lens. Using these focal lengths on the streets in Hanover, PA will not be the same and may not work as well, but I will also be able to use my 35 mm prime lens (effective 52.5 mm) here if needed on the wider streets.