Tagged: Panasonic Lumix LF1

Country Breakfast

Nice place to eat breakfast if you want to reminisce about the old days.  Most who eat here are either bald or have gray hair and don’t worry about coronary heart disease.   J

For those who are interested, I used my pocket Lumix LF1 to make these pictures.  I even took advantage of its zoom lens.  There isn’t a better smaller camera that has its features and capabilities.  I’m keeping it to supplement my Fuji X-T1 … at least until smart phone cameras catch up with it.

LF1 Thoughts … It’s Pocketable

As I reduce the number of my cameras, I keep evaluating the pros and cons of the remaining ones as I slowly reduce the number and decide whether I need another camera other than the Fuji X-T1.  Yesterday I sold all of my Canon gear (70D and five lenses) as well as my Leica X2 camera.  This morning I started thinking harder about my Lumix LF1.

The advantages of the LF1 are that it fits in any pocket, takes pretty good macro images, and has great depth of field.  When I walked Misty this morning I had it in a hip pocket of my jeans.  The disadvantage can be the image quality, but that depends on how the camera is used and how much light is available.

I took the above pictures while walking this morning as the sun was starting to clear the trees on the horizon.  The light was just adequate for the camera.  My preference is to use the camera for small details like with the small feather, but it even works for distant photographs like this morning’s moon.

Based on the above images and my ability to carry the camera in a small pocket, I am thinking harder about keeping the LF1.  Since I am trying to get down to one or two cameras, I now have to decide whether to keep the LF1 or the Nikon J5 which is larger, has a larger sensor, and theoretically should have better image quality.  As it looks now, I am thinking that the LF1 will make a better compliment to the Fuji X-T1 and prime lenses, but the final decision will depend upon how and when I decide to use a second camera.

Small Sensor Advantages

There are three advantages for me keeping and using my small sensor Lumix LF1 camera.  Number one, it is small and fits in a pocket … a small pocket, and is very easy to carry.  Second, it has lots of depth of field … more of the scene, from front to back, is in focus.  Third, it has a pretty good macro focus capability for taking pictures of flowers, etc. up close.

I have worked on developing a preset for processing my pictures.  I used it in the last two posts and the other evening I remembered that I hadn’t yet tried the preset (development style for use with LR6 on raw images) with my little Lumix LF1.  The images above are a set of test images that I made to try it on.  I treated these images exactly the way the pictures in the last two posts were treated and sized for my blog.  I was amazed in how well the images turned out considering that the camera has such a small sensor.  Just so you realize, the lamp and the flower pictures were taken at the maximum equivalent zoom of 200mm.

Someone needs to remind me to use this camera more often.  I have had times, when my back or hands were really bothering me and I had trouble carrying and using a heavier camera, that I thought if necessary, I could manage to make images just with the LF1.  It is an excellent little 12 MP camera that can take jpeg or raw images, fits in my shirt pocket, has an equivalent focal range of 28 – 200mm, and focuses at real close distances (1.2 inches).

Chance Encounters

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My favorite camera hasn’t always been my latest acquisition.  I have found that one way of determining what my favorite camera was, is to notice which cameras I keep going back to.  Which one gets picked up, put aside while I’m trying a new one, and then gets picked up again.  Thinking about them are my happy memories … well at least for the purposes of this post.

It turns out that my favorite cameras have been the light-weight, small, pocket-able cameras.  My type of photography usually relied upon seeing the chance image and then taking the picture quickly before I moved on.  I found that this was often done with a pocket camera like the one I used to grab the above image … the Lumix LF1.  It is a small camera with the best image quality that I have ever gotten from such a small sensor.  I highly recommend it if you want to shoot in raw and then process your own images on your computer.  I have never looked at its’ jpeg images.

My problems with the very small cameras are their limited image quality in low light and their small control buttons, or lack of controls.  I keep hoping that someday I will find a better compromise, but someone has to design and make one.  It would need to be larger than the LF1 and have more dial controls and a larger sensor, but then it wouldn’t be small.

My main problem now is that I haven’t been going to new places or seeing new things to photograph.  This situation has negated the need for me to have a small camera in my pocket.  I need to be more proactive and take a better camera out with specific ideas in mind.  I need to move past relying upon chance encounters.

Which Camera, Depends on What I Do

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Which cameras I keep and use depends upon what type of pictures I plan to make and how I use them.  As much as possible, I would like to downsize relative to weight and number of cameras, but I don’t want to go too far down relative to image quality.  The question is, how far is too far.  As an example I was out walking Misty early on a cloudy day and had the Lumix LF1 in my pocket which I used for the above image.  It was at an effective 200 mm and then cropped severely and resized up to this full size.  I then worked with the raw image to create this painterly effect using Light Room.

The LF1 might work for images like above, but it doesn’t work to get good, quick pictures of events around here.  I also don’t use it on the streets.  It is certainly small, easy to carry, and discreet, but it isn’t easy to change settings and shoot quickly.  It takes too long to zoom the lens.   For most events and on the street and for better quality landscapes I hope to use the Canon SL1 with both the 24 and the 40 mm prime pancake lenses.  I won’t know for sure until the weather improves and I take a lot more pictures with it.

I still have my Olympus E-PL5 with many micro 4/3 lenses which I think work OK for travel since they pack small and are light for international travel.  Since I am not doing that kind of travel anymore I am not sure how I will use them or even if I will keep them.  I did use it a lot for my most resent indoor project here at Homewood, but that was before I got the Canon SL1.

I also still have my Pentax K-3 along with three lenses.  At the moment it is the most unused of the lot.  I might keep it and use it with a smaller but still weather resistant lens for photography in bad weather.  Since I find it too heavy to use but for short periods with long focal length lenses, I might just give up that type of photography.  As an alternative, I might try a long zoom on the Canon SL1.  I don’t think it is a good camera for such use due to its size but it might work better than I think.  It also depends upon how good I get at using the controls on the Canon SL1 to get the effects I desire.  I might also just use a micro 4/3 camera with a long lens for long-range photography.

One of the least costly ways for me to downsize is to limit what I photograph and use the cameras and lenses I have.  If I stop photographing with long zoom lenses, and outdoors in rain or snow, I could possibly shrink down to just three cameras, or maybe even less.  At the moment I am considering using only my Lumix LF1, my Ricoh GR, and my Canon SL1 (with both pancake lenses).  But I still entertain thoughts about limiting what I photograph to what I can make with one camera and one lens.

All of my trials are to determine what I want to photograph with what type of camera and focal length lens, and then, if necessary, buy a higher quality camera-lens combination and sell the rest.

Simple but Colorful Dilemma

Since I haven’t been taking many pictures lately, I have been using my time to try to decide what I’d like to do when it warms up next spring.  I am thinking about what I would like to photograph and what camera I would prefer to use.  I thought that one element of this process should be to look back through some of my older pictures and pick out what I liked and so I did.  The above are one set of results.  I liked their simplicity and color and that they all had black in them.

I deliberately didn’t look at what camera I used or any other details about the pictures until I was done.  Looking back later I noted that a different camera was used for all four of the above, but that they were all taken with a long focal length lens.  Probably the only thing significant about the different cameras is that I have used many different ones; but another possible factor is that it indicates that the particular camera didn’t matter.

The long focal length is more troubling for me.  I have liked long focal lengths since they enabled me to extract details from around me while blurring out the backgrounds.  The troubling aspect is that I have had more problems with heavy camera-lens combinations.  As a result of that, I have been carrying around and shooting primarily my Ricoh GR with a fixed effective 28 mm lens.

The problem that I need to resolve is that I prefer small light-weight cameras with prime lenses like the GR or a Leica X2 or the Fujifilm X100T while at the same time I preferred images made with long focal length lenses.  This presents a real dilemma for me.  Should I use a camera I like to hold and carry and seek out new compositions that I might like, or choose a camera with a long lens and shoot images like above?  If I use a long lens, I might need to use a light-weight camera lens combination with a smaller sensor and lower image quality to keep the weight lower.

Small Camera … Rich Results

I am coming to the conclusion that some smaller sensor cameras are being over-looked and under-used.  I have been on the look-out for another small pocket camera rather than using and working with my small Panasonic LF1.  It is one of those small cameras that were jointly designed and developed by Panasonic and Leica.

I am finding that for most situations that as long as I capture the images in raw format that I can get very usable pictures from it, and it is so small that it fits in my shirt pocket.  Don’t be surprised if you start seeing more pictures from this camera on my blog.

I took the above images in my dark garage.  It was raining outside and not much light was coming through the garage door windows, but I noticed that what light there was created some interesting patterns and colors and I wanted to see how well the LF1 captured them.  I am not saying that my other cameras couldn’t do better but I am saying that they don’t fit in a shirt pocket and that you probably wouldn’t notice the image differences as shown in this format.