Me & My Gear

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by tjdean01, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    List of Current Gear
    (continually updated)

    Black Panasonic GM1 with wrist strap. I wanted electronic first curtain as an upgrade over my PM2's shutter shock problems and useless IBIS. The PL7 has this as well as working 3-axis IBIS and a larger form factor for larger lenses. In fact, if it wasn't for wanting a Sony A7ii or the new one coming in May, I would have a PL7 as well. My new m4/3s kit will look like this: 7.5 fish, 12-32, 15 BC, 20, 42/1.7, 40-150.

    --Micro Four Thirds Lenses--
    Samyang 7mm f3.5 FE - Surprising how sharp and colorful this is! New $200
    Panasonic 12-32mm - Silver looks cool on black PM2. Tiny. Sharp. Goodbye P&S! $280
    -Panasonic 14mm f2.5 - Small, good in low-light. Technically paid $75
    Olympus 15mm f8 BCL - I love this body cap! Mint $35
    Panasonic 20mm f1.7 - m4/3's best lens. Going to buy mk2 version. Used $220
    -Sigma 30mm f2.8 - Very, very sharp. A keeper for $130
    Olympus 40-150mm - Sharp even over 100mm if IBIS is off. $99.

    --Adapted Lenses--
    Fujian 25mm f1.4 - Swirly bokeh, fast, and matches GM1 nicely. Need to buy adapter. $38
    Vivitar 28mm f2.0 - Very sharp even at f2. $150
    Konica 40mm f1.8 - Fun lens. Sharp at f2.8 and up. Used mint $34
    Pentax 50mm f1.7 - Great bokeh. Very sharp at f2.8 and up. $29
    Konica 50mm f1.7 - Similar to Pentax 50. I added a stop at f2.2. $21
    Canon FD 85mm f1.8 - More modestly sized than the Rokinon 85. $150
    Konica 135mm f3.2 -
    Sharp. 1 meter min focus. Paid $65
    Konica 135mm f3.5 - More compact than f3.2 and a joy to use. Made extra f-stop at f4.4. Paid $35
    Pentax 135mm f3.5 - Very compact. Great with PK speed booster. Paid $30.
    m43 - Adapters - Pentax K, PK speed booster, Konica Hexanon, Olympus OM, m39, m42

    --Other Lenses--
    -Olympus PM2 - I have one NIB I need to sell. Still worth $300
    -Oly 14-42mm kit - Will test vs 12-32 before selling. $25
    CPC 28mm f2.8 macro - Lens ok and displayed on a broken OM-1. $18
    Konica 40mm f1.8 - Two spare copies for film and Q. Good lens and too cheap to sell. $34
    -Konica 55mm f3.5 macro - Sharp and 1:1 (with tube). Better than 1:1 with Pentax Q. Paid $75
    -Pentax A 50mm f1.7 - Same as M version above. $60
    Industar-69 28mm f2.8 - Just so small and I want to couple it with the 50/3.5 for a tiny Russian kit on the GM1. I need to modify it before I can use it, however. $50
    Industar-10 50mm f3.5 - Collapsible and should be fun! $50
    Vivitar 135mm f2.8 - Not the macro version. Doesn't seem good wide open. Was great with a speedbooster but I forgot the aperture. I need to test vs my other 135mm lenses. I have 5 and don't need to keep them all! $40
    Vivitar 135mm f2.8 macro - Too big for m4/3s. Hard to find so will keep for full frame. $80
    Vivitar 70-210mm f2.8-4 - Hard to find and huge. Haven't tried it yet. $80

    --Want to Buy--
    Panasonic 42.5/1.7 - Has IS for GM1, a bit lighter, a closer focus. Will get when prices drop. $400
    Canon FD 100mm f2 - I'm loving 50/1.7 on m4/3s so when I get the Sony I might want this! $300

    - = will sell
    + = will replace something

    See my photos on Flickr. Organized by lens.

    * * *

    Photographic History

    I got into m4/3s in early 2013 after 10 years of using high-quality point & shoots, which until recently were very hard to come by.

    My Old Film Cameras
    My first Fisher-Price camera doesn't count, but during my several years of using the Kodak Advantix 4100 that dad bought me one Christmas, two events happened that got me into photography. One was a quote by a friend I met while studying overseas. He was disappointed that I'd only taken a few rolls of film and he had a few dozen. Picture a guy who looks like Jay-Z saying this, "What?! If you don't take pictures...maaaan, how are you going to remember? You might forget, man!" I loved that guy. We had a falling out, but I'll always remember his wisdom. After coming back to the States I saw some photos taken with a friend's 35mm of an alligator in a FL zoo and some from a hotel balcony. They were sharp! So I wanted a new camera. That took the form of the tiny Canon Elph 2. I didn't know that a small zoom lens on a APS camera with a small flash meant poor photos. I used that camera no more than a year then went digital right before moving to Japan.

    Ten Years of Digital Point & Shoots
    My friend was the guinea pig and I soon followed him buying the Nikon CoolPix 775 in 2002. This is the only camera I don't still have as I sold it to a friend for $200. Next, I wanted smaller so I bought the world's smallest zoom: Minolta Dimage X. Horrible image quality. I used those only about a year each but boy did they get their use! Next was the Canon s400 for $400 with an $80 128MB CF card. This camera, IMO, is one of the most important cameras ever made. Great image quality. I used it from '04-07. In the meantime, I also bought a camera that equaled it in image quality, the tiny Canon sd20. Great also in its underwater housing. Next I wanted even better image quality. I bought the DSLR-like 8x zoom 8mp Canon Pro1. The 28mm lens was super sharp and really did take epic photos. However, I never used the thing. Too big. Sold it in 2013 for $400 in pristine mint to someone whose broke and wanted another.

    Yearning for Quality
    In 2006 P&S reached new heights with the release of Fuji's F30. IMO this is the camera of the decade (or the F31fd). These put most DSLRs of the day to shame at all ISOs and the price skyrocketed after they were discontinued. It has after all these years been beat by Canon s110, Sony RX100, or Nikon P330 or now the Panasonic LX100. My F31 was stolen from a hotel room when I was poor. Best quality for the price was the pink Fuji Z3 for $30 (silver was $90!) Beats Canon s400 for quality in jeans pocket camera. I got a clearance Panasonic FP1or $30 but it was garbage so I sold it.

    Transition to Micro Four Thirds
    After finding work in 2009 I bought the F200exr. Image quality was not as good as the F31/F31fd, but it had IS, wide angle, SD, etc., and at the time there wasn't anything better. Besides a trip to Europe, etc., I didn't take many photos during this time. At the Grand Canyon in 2012, however, I took a shot out the window and got image-affecting dust in the lens (which has mysteriously disappeared). Time for a new camera! I planned to get an Olympus XZ-2, Canon s110, or Panasonic LX7, all featured here. But, for the time being I wanted to try a camera with great quality so I bought my first interchangeable lens camera: Olympus PL2 with the 14-42 kit lens. Noise was horrible at ISO 400 (gradation was on), camera was too heavy, lens was crap, I hated the neck-scrap, sensor had dead pixels, etc. Everything camera-related I've ever gotten from Amazon has had issues so I returned it.

    16 MP m4/3s
    A couple months later I realized I could buy the brand new Olympus PM2 with a 14 or 20mm pancake and have all the benefits of a P&S as well as have the benefits of a better, larger sensor, so goodbye enthusiast compact! I got the PM2 with the 14-42 lens for $424. Much better than the PL2. Lenses I've used the most are the Pentax 50/1.7, Sigma 30/2.8, Panasonic 14/2.5, and Vivitar 28/2. I'm enjoying it! The 12-32, 14, or 20 can be used when I want something on my belt.

    My PM2 was stolen and I replaced it with a Panasonic GM1. No shutter shock problems like the PM2 so I gain about 2 stops at slow shutter speeds. I'm not liking the ergonomics of the small camera on any of my adapted lenses but am doing well with the 12-32 and 20. Throw in my fisheye and 40-150--and maybe get the stabilized P42/1.7--I'll have a great, tiny kit. I'm also thinking of getting the grip. I was going to get the Olympus PL7, and still might, but for now, as far as my secondary, larger camera capable of accepting my adapted lenses, I'm thinking of buying the Sony A7ii; or whatever they are planning on releasing in May. It's the GM1 until then!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  2. BadKarMah

    BadKarMah Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 20, 2012
    What's the 35mm FOV equivalent for your Pentax M 50mm f1.7 on a M/43 system? Is it doubled like a native M/43 lens?

  3. BadKarMah

    BadKarMah Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 20, 2012
    Also, how do you know if the old lens are clean, free of mold, etc...
    What adapter do you use?
  4. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Real Name:

    Welcome aboard!

    Glad to have you with us.


  5. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Thanks, Jim! Beware, I'll talk your ear off about lenses! But that's what we're here for, right? I've been on DPreview for a decade but here is better for m4/3-specifics.

    It's 100mm f1.7. I try to keep it at f2.8 and above, however, because it's sharper. I've found that even with IBIS it's hard to hold this steady anywhere under about 1/160 of a second. But since I can use f2 and ISO 800 and still get a nice shot I'm satisfied. You can see a few in my gallery for this lens above.

    I only buy it if it says, "No fungus. No haze. No dust. No yellowing." If it doesn't say that I don't want to buy it. Because if it says that, it must be true or else I'm either going to A) demand a return or price reduction or else B) give them negative feedback. I've been screwed a time or two but I've always contacted them and they worked with me (once they shipped me a used camera but labeled it "new." He gave me 25% back and I kept the camera). I've only actually given one person negative feedback. Actually I got him kicked off of Ebay for being a scammer. Luckily it was only like $10.

    As for the adapter, I got the one labeled "Prost" on Ebay. I chose that because it doesn't have a gigantic release button that can accidentally be pushed. Plus it has better grip than most. Not loose at all. They all focus "past infinity" so I don't see that as as problem.

    I did, however, buy this Olympus OM-m4/3 adapter and it was loose. I put some tape on it and it pretty much fixed it though.