Costa Rica - Mu43 gear Myths Busted

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by siftu, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    I recently returned from a very short trip to Costa Rica. I'm going to make this post a little different than the ones I normally do and include more gear talk. A lot of the pics I took broke a lot of the rules you will read when using m43 gear. Don't use the p20 for moving subjects, high iso is super noisy, the o12-40 is soft at 40mm, the fl-600R is under powered, the o75-300mm is soft at the long end. My point is there is some truth to these but they are not hard and fast rules, if the shot requires you to push the limits, do it and you may be surprised.

    Gear I used E-m5 II, E-m10, p20, o75, o12-45, o-75-300, fl600r, Haida 10 stopper. I purchased the Oly 75-300 II specifically for the wildlife on this trip and sold it on my return. I found it a great lens, super light and I could get consistently sharp (not super tele sharp) photos with it handheld.

    22588247235_94fc083565_h.jpg Street Walking by Siftu, on Flickr

    Taken with the p20 while my son was walking along. I was also walking along and quickly shot this when I noticed the interesting footpath. Focus is slow on this lens but you get used to it quite quickly and the size more than makes up for it.

    22260040830_8e8bd6c8e3_h.jpg La Fortuna Falls, Costa Rica by Siftu, on Flickr

    I used the O12-40 and Haida 10 stopper for this shot at f10 (oh no the diffraction!). I really love the 12-40 for landscapes. When you go into manual focus and find that hyperfocal with peaking and magnify it really does shine.

    22713337182_b86310207c_h.jpg Proyecto Asis Animal Rescue by Siftu, on Flickr

    This was at an animal rescue. This spider monkey was raised by humans and likes to hold hands. I used the o75 to get the bokeh I wanted for the cage.

    22458759911_4c8b0f158e_h.jpg Fulvous-vented Euphonia by Siftu, on Flickr

    The o75-300mm at 228mm and 1/400th according to EXIF.. I really did not have a problem hand holding this lens when mounted to the e-m5 ii. I never once used it on a tripod and could consistently get sharp enough photos at 1/250th or even less.
    22374944079_2fecc4c8b4_h.jpg Walk Amongst Giants by Siftu, on Flickr

    In camera HDR1 mode taken handheld. Sure not the sharpest but prints perfect.

    22768846596_ee42c384bb_h.jpg Green Violet-ear Hummingbird by Siftu, on Flickr

    My favorite hummingbird lens is certainly the o75 at f1.8. I was able to shoot wide open and get a shutter speed of 1/2500th. I have taken pictures of hummingbirds using this lens many times. Check out my flickr feed for the Violet Saber Wing Hummingbird shot taken at iso 3200.

    22254700090_c33a947ba5_h.jpg Side-Striped Palm-Pit Viper by Siftu, on Flickr

    This snake is poisonous and was in the wild. I was trying not to be bitten when taking this so didn't look at my settings too much. I got back and realized I shot it at iso 3200. This is a sooc jpeg cropped with NR set to OFF in camera.

    22390378630_87b1419fb8_h.jpg Some Rain by Siftu, on Flickr

    Rain with the o12-40 on the em5 ii. No problem.

    22387234219_4af1fcc8c7_h.jpg Manuel Antonio by Siftu, on Flickr

    Another shot with the o12-40 and the cheap Haida 10 stopper. The only thing I need to do in LR is a slight color correction. I use the circular ones for travel as it's a lot easier than the cokin/lee square ones.

    21954131024_23bdef6800_h.jpg Howler Monkey by Siftu, on Flickr

    Not a great photo but just demonstrates what can be done which a fairly cheap lens. It was raining, it was dark and the monkey was a good 20 meters away. The o75-300 at 270mm and the fl-600R at full manual power combined with iso 2000 made this shot possible.

    22390601699_9af574b278_h.jpg White Faced Monkey by Siftu, on Flickr

    This was a super high dynamic range image with the very bright background and the dark monkey. I pulled back the highlight and recovered the shadows a lot in post. Yep, you can see halo'ing if you look for it.

    22392101759_7facaa82e1_h.jpg PA240762 by Siftu, on Flickr

    o12-40 @40mm. I have no issues with it's sharpness.

    What do you think, am I wrong?
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
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  2. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    Stunning set. Thank you for posting
  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Very nice!

    Did you take any precautions with using the FL-600R in the rain?

  4. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Nicely done siftu. Good stuff.

    In terms of the gear, and some of the "known weaknesses" with m4/3s format, I think it gets twisted a bit. The reality is that m4/3s is not the best choice for many things. I also think the reality is that it is a very good to great choice for most things, and is highly versatile (both in size and price).
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  5. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    I agree its not the best choices for everything. But I also think it's quite beaten down by reviews etc for that last 5%.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
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  6. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Hi Barry,

    Luckily this guy was right outside my hotel room and I was under cover.
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  7. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Can't argue with results! :)
  8. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 10, 2012
    Great shots.

    This is a good point, which gets lost sometimes in a gear forum. The photographer makes his or her own rules. Personally, I am happy making and breaking all the rules but I also like to spend time learning the general rules. That way you have more knowledge at hand, helping to realize your vision.
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  9. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Some fantastic shots and interesting observations. Thanks for sharing!
  10. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013

    You are not wrong..

    Fast forward the video from Gene Ho (very talented wedding photographer) to 47:00 mark and listen.. And that goes to all.

    The faster you ignore whoever tells you to follow rules, the faster you'll become the greatest photographer. And that's goes for everyone because we are almost and always so enthralled by gear and limitations imposed by others, that we had forgotten that our vision has the most power..

    By the way, this dude has some fantastic ideas how to use the fisheye lenses and that I learnt a lot from him!
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  11. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    a perfectly fine set of shots

    but I think you are preaching to the converted. Those of us who are competent photographers recognise the advantages of the platform and will work round the over exaggerated limits of the format to create compelling images

    The less competent who only read specifications and pass on the responsibility of the image making process to the camera... well thats a harder sell.. Its hard to learn that cameras don't take photos, photographers do

    Thanks for posting the images... sharing images and enthusiasm is never never a bad thing

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  12. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Some are converted. But I read a lot of those gear limitations in this forum. Thanks for the compliment.
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  13. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Wow, great stuff! The color and processing on the landscape shots is to die for.
  14. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Gear limitations are imposed by those who, like what Gene Ho described, are people who artificially inflated themselves as being greater than you and me as though, they are high up there with the greatest gear and that you are down below that needs to work on yourself and upgrade gear to match. What Gene Ho and a lot of capable photographers (not those self-made bloggers wannabe) will tell you is that, it has always been your vision. But too much of that had been focused on lens sharpness, lots of megapixels, more DR stops and perfect noise free images that we had forgotten what we are trying to do. Create images as photographers. What those people who go on forums to espouse gear and have their own perfectly exposed photos are the modern day brick and wall measurebators. You'll see the images, but they are copies of others. It is not their vision. Siftu; your photos are your vision and while it may not be made by a full frame camera or with a super duper Zeiss Otus or Milvus lens, it is still your vision which others with better gear can not reproduce unless they go to Costa Rica and be right there. And how many people have enough money left to travel after spending a ton on expensive full frame gear?
  15. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Great set of photos, and thanks for sharing your shooting experiences! Definitely it is always about making best use of what you have with you and not sweating what gear tested what way. I've got a E-M5II and 12-40 at the moment but it in no way allows me to take "better" photos than my G1 and 14-45 did. Whether the photo is any good is a function of who is standing behind the camera. Looks like your camera has got someone competent behind it ;)
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  16. pzlo

    pzlo Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Thanks for providing a solid example to counterpoint huge investments into gear (ff), and to instead invest in skills.
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  17. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Ideally we should only get new gear when we have a problem to solve which we can't do with our existing gear. In reality I think we all have a little G.A.S :)

    I was shooting side by side the other night with a guy who just got his brand new a7ii. We looked at the pics when we got home and couldn't see much difference at all and I think he was a little bummed about that. He still has much to learn about the new gear (He last shot 30 years ago) but I have no doubt he has the vision and the equipment to realize it.
  18. pzlo

    pzlo Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    I went down to Florida last month with a coworker. He had just purchased a FF camera and we had a similar experience as you. I do have to give him kudos though as he was also studying styles of photography and methodology.
  19. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    Well said.
    Well done.
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  20. James23p

    James23p Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 25, 2015
    What a great series well done! :D

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