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How to match (or get close) to my other kit

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by JohnN, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014

    Firstly I love the size and portability of my OM-D E-M10, a great piece of kit and its made me look at photography in a new light which is great - but now I'm looking for some of the quality I get from my Canon kit and to be honest I'm, not sure its possible but I really would like you guys to prove me wrong.

    Two things I'm really used to that I'm lacking, is firstly almost noiseless high ISO and secondly that "pop" I get from most of my lenses, especially the 135L

    My M43 Kit
    O-MD E-M10 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 Lens & M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 R Lens - I do also have two manual lense, the Olympus Zuiko 50mm f1.4 & Olympus Zuiko 28mm f2.8 that I picked up pretty chapely.

    My Canon Kit
    5D Mark III
    EF50mm ƒ1:8 II - 24-105L F4 - 100mm macro - 135L - 400mm f5.6 - MP-E 65mm (with MT-24EX)

    I know you;re going to ask what sort of pics do I take, so I'll just show you my... ermm really my wifes now hijacked flickr account - link

    I linked up some of the lenses too, but all the starter stuff is usually fairly rough and none are up to date except the 5D3 link anyway.

    Thanks for looking and I'm guessing this'll be a no as my m43 is kit\entry level and my Canon of a much higher grade but I'd love to know if its possible.
  2. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    First pick one: Olympus 25/1.8 or Panasonic 25/1.4. Then the Olympus 12-40/2.8. The Olympus 60/2.8 macro. Olympus 75/1.8.

    The choices for a long telephoto are kind of slim. I'd try the Panasonic 100-300/4-5.6.

    That should get you close to your Canon kit. You still don't have the super clean high ISO, but you have stabilization.

    • Like Like x 2
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    what fred said !!!

    • Like Like x 1
  4. Here's the problem as I see it, and don't worry, I've seen it many times over.

    On one hand you have a ~$3000 camera body, and a brace of lenses with a combined worth of at least that much again if not more. On the other hand you have a camera body costing maybe $6-700 and two kit lenses which probably add less then $300 to the price. They might be decent lenses (I don't own either so I don't know for sure), but they are built to a price. On this basis I don't see how you would be able to make a definitive judgement between the two systems.
    • Like Like x 5
  5. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    EF50mm ƒ1:8 II - Olympus 25 f/1.8
    24-105L F4 - Olympus 12-40 f/2.8
    100mm macro - Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro
    135L - Olympus 75mm f/1.8
    400mm f5.6 - Panasonic 100-300 f/4-5.6, or better yet, wait for the Olympus 300mm f/4 to be released.
    MP-E 65mm (with MT-24EX) - Yasuhara Nanoha Macro Lens 5:1 (w/built in led lights)
    • Like Like x 1
  6. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    I went to your flickr / your wifes flickr account and took at look at the images that you had there. (some lovely images BTW - I particularly liked the silhoette shot of your wife holding the two kids hands)
    Anyway back on topic, the first thing that I noticed about your shots were nice composition - but beween what you are getting out of your EM10 presently and your 5d... there was nothing there that screamed that one shot was taken with a 3k dollar camera and another was taken with a 700 dollar camera. I didn't see any shots on you canon gear that could not be replicated with a m43 setup.
    As already mentioned - moving from small format to 4/3 format at higher ISO you will see more digitial noise / grain (depending on perspective) with the 4/3 format images taken at the same ISO. Not all things are equal however and people's tolerances for what is subjectively lovely film like grain to one person - is noise to another. Different formats also exhibit grain/noise differently. On my canon in the shadows it bands. On my Em1 it's quite fine, but occurs much earlier in the ISO range. Even in film days people couldn't agree on this point. Personally I find the 'noise' at higher ISO's to be attractive on m43 and would not stop me shooting at ISO6400. Many of my shots for m43 and on my 5d I'd add in grain after the fact in PP anyway, even at lower ISO's because I find an overly 'clean' image to be sterile. I love film though so that's my background. I like grain :) 

    The other area where all things are not equal is that you are shooting quite a few of your small format images at F5.6 according to flickr. Either you are stopping down for additional sharpness across the frame in your lenses, for effect, or because you needed more DOF to keep things in focus. Most m43 lenses should more than suffice for you here. You will get an equivalent (hate that word) DOF with greater light gathering capability and sharpness across the frame from wide open so in cases where you may need to shoot ISO6400 on 35mm stopped down you may only need to shoot ISO1600 on m43. Real world high iso differences are not as exaggerated as either camp would have you believe. IBIS also does wonders for allowing you to keep the shutter open longer while still getting a tack sharp image, so you don't necessarily have to ramp up the ISO as much on m43.

    The take away point is that based on the settings that you and your wife use for your images on your 5d , you should be well served by the m43 format.
    If you need shallow DOF, you can go nuts with fast glass like the 45mm 1.8, 42.5 Nocticron F1.2, Oly 75, Oly 60, Pana Leica 25mm F1.4, Voigtlander 17.5mm, 25mm and 42.5mm F0.95 lenses etc... Zoom lenses let you focus pretty close ...

    Finally take a look at the RAW processing engine that you are using to process your images. Quite a few canon owners that I know have been disappointed when they have moved to Nikon D800's, Sony A7r's, EM5's, EM1's , Fuji XT1's... largely because Canon's sensors are not capable to producing the same dynamic range as most modern sensors. An end result ironically of having less dynamic range is more contrast punch in your out of camera image which often looks better to most people. But there should be more range available (at low ISO's) in your EM10 relative to your canon to massage the files nicely in the RAW processor of your choice.
    On that note, try using different RAW processors - I find LR does not get skin tones as well as what I can get out of my canon files in LR. However Olympus Viewer 3 does a much much better initially interpreting skin tones. Your mileage may vary and this is entirely subjective BTW.

    These days the biggest technical limitation that I can see with most digital cameras is the person behind the camera.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    Those replies are brilliant, exactly what I was looking for - both in exact replacement and in general advice - thank you all - although my wife may not when I start looking at how much all this good glass costs :eek: 

    I was surprised to read that alot of my images were at F5.6 as usually I'd tend to think I went wide most of the time - except on the rare occasions when I use flash (I don't like the weight or result that much so don't use them unless its a play at studio/product or macro on the 65) and thanks for the kind comments.

    Regarding noise\grain I have a friend - a teacher who also does photography classes and we disagree alot, he's like you Tom, adds grain after - I on the other hand sold a Canon 7D because the noise annoyed me too much, so guess which side I'm on.

    I have a few major failings:
    • Firstly I pixel peep - not a good thing at all and I'm really trying to stop but its hard but thats where the hatred of noise comes from - this has a knock on effect of making me either delete the image or drop it to black and white and "art" it up - I know its not art just because its black and white, but something about swapping to BnW (to me) makes it look better when theres nothing I can do about the noise - perhaps in my mind I change noise to grain :rolleyes: 
    • Secondly - I'm a bit of a perfectionist - even on images I know will go no further than Flickr/500px - which frankly none of mine ever have - I want something I could sell to a magazine or ad agency.
    • Thirdly - I like movement - but sharp and narrow DoF - You won't have seen it for a while as almost none of the images I've made pass issues one and two, but I have had a few bird in flight shots with the background lovely and smooth and a few of my kids like that too.
    These things are not a great combination!

    As was pointed out (and I fully agree) comparing an entry level body with almost a top of the line one isn't fair - but as you can imagine my next step would be to sell the Canon kit to fund this no doubt very expensive upgrade so I wanted to test the water before moving on - mirrorless was an itch I just had to scratch and while at the moment I'm far from 100% sure I can see that as technology marches on this is the way things are going (well unless we all just film at 4K and take stills from there)

    BTW when I looked around I opted for the M10 because its new kit with the latest tech (which I suspect is very important with mirrorless, especially for high ISO and AF) and had a good viewfinder, so may have trouble with older bodies even if they handled high ISO better.
  8. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    All of the lenses that have been mentioned have dedicated sample threads here. Look to see what others have been doing with them.

    If you can come up with the funds without selling anything get a used 75/1.8 and try it out. Finally, try looking at your images at the resolution and on the medium they'll be presented.

    There's a lot of commercial work being done with m43 these days. It's still a drop in the bucket compared to the whole industry, but it's out there.

    Good luck

    • Like Like x 1
  9. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    I put a couple more up I took yesterday and I have to say the more I look even with my current kit the more I wonder if I could just use the M10, with a couple of those listed I'm really going to loose little more (if any) IQ than the change from crop to full sensor and having gone through a few pages of the 75mm and looking at flickr too and some of those shots are amazing.

    Scary as it seems I could see me selling up my Canon!! I just need a few more people who have switched from the 5D3 to allay my fears.
  10. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    I'm still scared to part with the 5DIII, but I'm figuring I could part with the 24-105 as I do tend to think blugh whenever I go to it.

    So I'm thinking I could sell this and go for another lens and as they seem to going for around £390 at the moment second hand so I guess around that would be my budget.

    What do you guys think - with around £400 what would you go for?
  11. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Go for the 75/1.8. Once you use that for a while I think you might be more comfortable letting go of the Canon kit.

  12. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Another vote for the 75. It is a great lens.
  13. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    I had thought that might be the one, but I'd have to find another £300 which I'm not sure I can do (trying to get rid of the mortgage so putting most spare cash in that).

    I had considered the 60mm macro as it may dual purpose as a decent portrait too, or perhaps the 45 1.8

    Edit: or the Sigma 60mm? Certainly socred well at DXOMark (link) - but stats aren't everything. Only just found out about it and have seen one person say they sold the 75mm once they got it! That said I have seen people say all sorts of things ;) 
  14. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    go for olympus 45 1.8.
    portrait fov but i guess the dof is similar to your ef 50 1.8.

    another advice is to move attention to make interesting photos instead of interesting dof capabilities.
  15. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    lol, you're right - to much worrying and not enough doing - I think I'll start with the Sigma - lots of reading says its a great and at £124 (plus I've £30 in my paypal) its worth a punt and if its not great I can always move it on at not much of a loss.
  16. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    75mm by far is the best lens in the telephoto prime range for M43. Saying that, I've also owned the Sigma 60mm and it's just as sharp, focuses faster at closer distances and is an excellent value. Where it lacks is in subject/background separation that the 75mm just does beautifully. If portraits are your thing, than the 45mm might be better suited for that task.
  17. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    (sort of :rolleyes: ) good to read - I'd just pressed the buy button after my other reply - to be honest the 75's out of my budget at the moment, even selling the 24-105, but with a kindly smile to my wife I got the go ahead to get the Sigma without the need to sell anything, which is something of a bonus.

    I did really consider the 45 (or even the Oly 60 as I do macro too - but may just use the 100mm or M65 in manual for that) but the extra money was a bit limiting - all that said I also prefer a longer lens and without going to the 75 a 60 takes me to a focal length I'm very comfortable with.

    If this works out I suspect I'd be looking at something longer again for street shots as I'm not one of those people that feels comfortable getting in people faces.
  18. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    You have such a Great Stable of lenses with the Canon, have you looked into the EF - µ4/3 Speed booster from Metabones?

    It lets you use all the Beautiful Canon L lenses that you already have, on a µ4/3 body. Yes I know its not the best solution and there is that size weight issue, but if finances are straining right now, you don't have to spend all that money to buy new lenses when you can spend a little (comparatively) to use some great lenses that you already have (and they would be faster too, so you can use lower ISOs).

    I am not discounting what anyone else advised you in this thread, nor am I saying this is your best solution, I am just saying its something to be considered, in the interim before you buy all that great glass that was suggested.
  19. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    I had considered it, but the draw for m43 for me is portability and I found its the lenses that are big and weighty, not so much the body, but thank you all the same.
  20. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    The Sigma 60 is a fantastic lens. There is far far more to IQ and the composition of a good photo than shallow DOF.
    I suggest that you go to the native lens sample image archive and check out Vin's work (spatulaboy).
    He also did a review of the lens recently.

    It's a funny lens - completely underrated and yet incredibly sharp with a lovely colour rendering for skin tones. You can get ample separation of subject to background wit this lens to give a nice 3d effect. I suggest that you shoot the lens and try it out before being disappointed. Sigma have a classic on their hands - it really does have an old school colour rendering to it but with modern sharpness. I own both the Sigma 60 and Oly 75 myself and sometimes I find it to be a little clinical. Optically its close to perfection but the 60 has a character to it that I really enjoy.
    • Like Like x 1
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