Building a m43 kit...

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by mattia, May 3, 2012.

  1. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Hi all,

    I've been a Canon shooter since the 300D came out, and my main 'rig' has been a Canon 5D mark II since it came out, with a pretty full bag of glassware. I love the quality it gives me, and I'm not getting rid of the kit for most of my traveling (when I'm shooting nature/landscape I'm willing to pay the weight penalty of traveling with a 5D, 24-105, 100-400 and one or two small manual focus primes). However I increasingly find myself leaving the camera at home for less 'exciting' or unique destinations, or just for everyday shooting. It's too big, too heavy. On top of that, I was recently burgled and my LX3 'backup' cam that went everywhere with me. Still waiting on the insurance payout.

    I recently sold my second 5DII (bought as backup for my last big vacation to Antarctica) for a couple hundred less than I paid, and picked up a red GF2 with 14/2.5 panny lens as a kit (at 300 euros it seemed like a no-brainer). I'm planning on getting the E-M5 with the liberated funds once it becomes a little easier to get a hold of and building a moderate lightweight kit. If all goes as planned, I'll be taking the lightweight kit on the backpacking/camping vacation to Italy and Morocco later this year. Priorities for me are compact size when it comes to glassware.

    Thoughts on lineup:
    - 14/2.5 (have it)
    - 20/1.7 (I like fast 50's on full frame)
    - Oly 45/1.8 (fast, cheap, portrait length)

    What I'm debating is the 'zoom' option. I love shooting my primes, but when traveling I do sometimes prefer having the option of shooting with zooms, particularly good light where speed is essentially irrelevant. Right now, I'm drawn to the Panny 14-42X zoom, maybe the Oly collapsible kit zoom. The OM-D's 12-50 looks decent on paper, but makes for a non-pocketable combo.

    I'll probably also get some adapters to try out the Zeiss (Planar 50/1.4 and Distagon 35/2.8) and Leica R (28/2.8, 50/2.0, 70-210/4.5), maybe Pentax (50/1.7 and 50/2.0) for interests' sake, but my primary goal is lightweight and compact and maximum quality within that scope, for a reasonable budget.

    Any comments or thoughts on the lineup? I'm not a huge telephoto shooter, so 90mm for equivalent should be plenty for the majority of my shooting, although a 'cheap' telephoto for vacationing purposes may be a fun add-on eventually.
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    I'd recommend either the 14-42X or the 14-45. The 14-42X gives the best pocketability. The 14-45 gives the best IQ of the kit lenses. The collapsible Olympus zoom isn't much smaller, so I wouldn't bother.

    I think adapters make sense for lenses you already have, as long as the focal lengths are interesting (i.e. the lenses will be used). I wouldn't buy additional legacy lenses though, unless there was simply no native equivalent.

    I'd also consider a telephoto zoom if you have any interest in the 80-300mm range. The 45-200 is a reasonably compact, reasonably sharp lens, and it covers a lot of ground.

    Another question is whether you want the EVF or not. The LVF1 not a great EVF, but it's a heck of a lot better than nothing, and secondhand they're pretty cheap as these things go.

  3. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for the feedback. I don't see a big need for an EVF for the GF2 - I plan to treat that as more of a 'take it out to the bar' sort of camera, or for other situations where I'm mostly going to be taking snapshots rather than 'real' photographs.

    I absolutely love my Zeiss stuff on the 5DII, and I shoot a fair amount of portraiture, so I figure at least giving the glass I have a shot will be worth it. I'm used to stop-down metering and manual focus with the stuff.
  4. TDP

    TDP Guest

    I have a 5DII and a mix of Canon and Zeiss glass as well and I agree, shoot it through Zeiss glass and it makes getting killer results so easy....

    Once you try your CZ glass through an adaptor I would love to see results.

    This is my travel kit from 2 years ago, I've been trying to thin it out:

    Gear by Photos by TDP, on Flickr

    The goal is this and the E-M5

    Travel Companions by Photos by TDP, on Flickr

    I bought the E-M5 when the sales person said "RAW" "weatherproof with the 12-50 lens", "Internal 5 axis IS". That was it for me, I was sold.

    Next week I leave for Phuket, I will take some shots of my carry on kit once I figure it all out.
  5. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I'm still slightly torn on whether or not to get the 12-50 kit sealing is a big draw for those occasional moments I need/want it, but it is long, defeats any potential for pocketability and the reviews seem to tend towards 'it's OK'. On the other hand, a mere 200 euro upcharge for a 12-50 with weather sealing seems absurdly reasonable. Although pretty much all the m43 glassware falls into the 'affordable' camp compared to Canon L :)
  6. TDP

    TDP Guest

    I think Voigtländer's offerings are appealing, well until CZ releases a 43 mount. The only reason I grabbed the 12-50 kit is because of the seals. A fast 35 equiv is more to my suiting.

    I haven't seen any Voigtländer's here unfortunately.
  7. garfield_cz

    garfield_cz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2011
    Czech Republic
    Real Name:
    Completely true, EVF is needed only in very bright days. Further more LVF-1 has low resolution so it is even worse when used in combination with wide angle lenses. I like my GF2 very much with attached 14 mm or Samy7.5 fish-eye, it is very compact yet capable travel option. I can always put EVF on, but it is usable much more for framing than for focusing :thumbup:
  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands I was traveling through Schiphol yesterday, and happened to snoop around the Duty Free area. Given most prices there for camera gear are terrible I was not expecting much, so color me surprised when I saw the E-M5 kit, with 12-50 zoom, for 1169 euros (list here is 1300). I could have gotten it in the US, maybe, but getting it through customs might have been tricky and I prefer local warrantee. Initial impressions are very positive, although I'm still exploring the best presets/setup for my shooting style and getting used to finding my way around the plethora of menus. I'll likely get the 45/1.8 soonish and the 20/1.7 eventually (the 45 is quite a bit cheaper, 225 euros).

    Haven't had much of a chance to play with it (the GF2 is coming out and about with me for now with the 14mm prime...Vegas by night partying is not where I want to drag a 1000+ dollar gear kit...)