My Olympus PEN E-PL2 plan ... any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by fcampbell48854, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. fcampbell48854

    fcampbell48854 Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 7, 2011
    I am considering jumping into Micro 4/3rds as follows:
    Olympus Pen E-PL2 kit with 14-42 lens $550
    VF-2 viewfinder $280
    Fotodiox Pro adapter, Nikon Lens to MFT Micro 4/3 Four Thirds System $35

    1. My primary uses will be documenting my home town on my Photo Walks. I currently use a Canon G-11. See my web page at:
    Franklin Campbell's Information on Mason, Michigan (USA)

    2. Family photos.

    3. Close-up coin photography. Samples of the types of photos I want to take are at my web site. I'm planning to rephotograph everything to provide better images.
    Coins of British India

    My thoughts on this system: I would prefer the higher quality of 4/3rds over my current P&S, and I find I just don't use my big, heavy Nikon D200. The kit lens would cover a good part of my needs at minimal expense, while lenses like the 9-18 would come later. My coin photography would be with my Nikon macro lenses via adapter where I could use the 14x MF aid of the PL2 for critical focus. The VF-2 would be convenient for tabletop use with its 90degree tilt available. In general I like a viewfinder and would probably use it most of the time in general photography. I'm never really used video.

    I see lots of fans of Panasonic cameras. Perhaps the GH2 with its built in VF would be a better choice with its higher resolution and tilting screen. The reviews have been good.

    Honestly, I'm very tempted by the E-PL2 red body and the much mentioned excellent JPEG images straight out of the camera. The Olympus pricing is pretty good, but the VF-2 certainly adds a lot to the cost. I'm assuming I'd get good results without too much inconvenience using my MF Nikons via adapter. Any comments and/or recommendations would be most welcome!
    • Like Like x 2
  2. mach330

    mach330 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 19, 2011
    The OC
    go for it. i think the vf2 is a must on adapted lens. it's much easier to manually focus. staples had a big sale a couple of weeks ago. got the vf2 for $180 shipped!!!
  3. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Real Name:
    Although I've not used the Panasonic bodies, I am very partial to Olympus. So I say, go for it! Don't forget you get in-body stabilization with your manual lenses. This is the thing that prevents me from considering the Panasonic bodies.
  4. m43dex

    m43dex Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2011
    This sounds very very familiar.... I too had a D200 with some great Nikkor lens. When I bought an LX5 last year and noticed that I was carrying the D200... less and less. I got some decent pics from the LX5 but I wanted something better. I started looking at the Panny GF2 based on my experience with the LX5. I liked the menus and size but didnt really care for jpeg images or the resolution of EVF.

    I eventually started looking at the Olympus line. I use to have an Olympus about 8 years ago and I liked it. The buzz was that jpeg image quality was great and everyone raves about the VF2 (its really good) and a must have for manual focusing. I took the plunge and ditched the entire Nikon system. I only kept my 50mm f1.8 due to the compactness/sharpness of the lens. I do have to admit .. I do miss the 17-55 mm f2.8 that I had but it was a hefty lens (M43 is yet to produce a bright pro zoom). My wife and friends thought I was kidding when I first suggested the size downgrade.

    So far the experience has been ok... I am excited with the camera's capabilities considering the footprint. Video is impressive but I am more of a photo guy. My first few shots are looking like my first shots... but so did the first shots on D200. I am using the E-PL2 with the 20mm & my Nikkor 50mm and I am enjoying it (learning to manual focus all over again has been cool). There is much to learn but its no D200. No dedicated ISO button or custom user options on mode dial for b&w, slower focus (however I rarely shot action and no auto focus assist.

    Anyway I chose the E-PL2 and I think it was the best chose available for me... Hope your transition suits you well. Last thing... I went with the Metabones adapter.... good build quality... better than expected. I picked it after reading how many members were not happy with the quality of the cheaper adapters. I figure the Nikon pieces I had rarely felt/were cheap so I've kinda gotten use to things working and fitting well ... did not want that to change if I could help it.
  5. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    If you are using IS with adapter primes, it is super easy. It gets a bit more complicated when using zoom. You need to enter the focal length you are shooting with, especially with longer lenses. I would only shoot long zooms on a tripod, much simpler no IS needed. But big zooms on a tiny body makes for awkward handling.

    I would go for it, it is a very nice camera, and has pretty good high iso performance. So with a nikon 50 1.4 or 35 1.8 it makes for a really good low light package. The VF2 does make shooting MF allot easier with the nikon lenses.
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    It sounds like a good plan. I have a few bits to add...

    I have an EPL-1 (functionally and IQ wise very similar to the EPL-2). It does indeed produce amazingly nice shots straight OOC. In all honesty I don't see a need to use RAW when using one of the Olympus Pens as RAW doesn't seem to get much better images. Sadly, I am not a huge fan of the Olympus 14-42 kit lens. The version II that comes with the EPL-2 is nicer than version one (although doesn't focus as close) but it's not particularly fast and while I think it's a good kit lens I think the 14-45 from Panasonic has better IQ and is sharper. If it were me I'd probably sell of the kit and use the proceeds to buy the Panasonic 14-45. It would probably be a wash interms of cost.

    If you are going to do anything with manual focus the VF2 is a necessity. I was really hesitant to spend the money but when I finally did I was amazed at how nice it is. I'd look around, they go on sale on the boards quite a bit and you should be able to pick up one in good shape for under $200. I have yet to see an EVF that is in the same league as the VF2 (of course I haven't seen them ALL).

    I am not particularly brand loyal. I have an Olympus but I could just as easily have a Panasonic. The cameras are very nicely built and have a very good UI and controls (and I have come close a few times to buying one) but in the end the IQ coming out of the Olympus cameras just looks better (sometimes a lot better). Also, the lack of IBIS on any of the Panasonic bodies is an issue as I have some nice manual focus lenses and it's nice to have that when I want/need it. Where Panasonic really shines for me is their lenses. The 20/1.7 is a terrific lens and while I think the Olympus 17/2.8 is also very nice (for the money) it's not in the same league. I have an EPL-1 (soon to be an EPL-2) with a Panasonic 20 as my walkabout camera and I find the nice fast/sharp lens combined with the better OOC images and IBIS to be a really enjoyable combo.

    As far as something like the GH2...It's a great camera but it's also a LOT more expensive than something like the EPL-2. I do think the rotating LCD is nice but I'm not a big fan of touch screens so I have been able to resist it's charms thus far.
  7. BrianK

    BrianK Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 20, 2011
    Lansing MI

    Im a Panasonic user, close by up here in Lansing, I think your plan looks excellent from what you described you want to do.

    FYI if you can go ahead and visit .

    Mid Michigan Photography Meetup (Lansing, MI) - Meetup

    Meetings are held once a month in Old Town, on the 3rd Wednesday.

    And stop by if you get a chance with your new E-PL2 : )

  8. sparkin

    sparkin Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    I have been very impressed with the E-P2, and I'd expect the E-PL2 to be excellent too. The 9-18 is a lovely little lens, but you may want to grab the Pana 20 for when the light gets dim. I also enjoy the Oly 14-150, which is very versatile. Best of luck.
  9. fastcar888

    fastcar888 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 2, 2011
    Based on what I see in your photos, I would think you would enjoy the Panny 20mm/ 1.7. Good luck!
  10. BrianK

    BrianK Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 20, 2011
    Lansing MI
  11. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Real Name:
    For the price (inexpensive), add the MAL-1 Macro Light.
  12. fcampbell48854

    fcampbell48854 Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 7, 2011
    I'll be at the June meeting. I went ahead and bought the Olympus E-PL2 with kit 14-42 lens. I also got the VF-2 viewfinder and Fotodiox adapter for my old MF Nikon lenses. Putting it on my macro stand with either the Nikkor 55/2.8 micro lens or Panagor 90/2.8 lens gives excellent results. Using the MF lenses is a bit slow but the quality is worth it. It may take some time to be effective using MF in Street Photography. Guess I'll give it a try at the next club meeting!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. BrianK

    BrianK Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 20, 2011
    Lansing MI
  14. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 9, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
    hey! guess what... me too, uses the g-11;
    got my e-pl2+1442mm kit+evf2 today and
    at about the same price too!

  15. As long as you're going to have the new 14-42 kit lens anyway, you may want to investigate using the macro adapter that Olympus makes for it (works on the 14-150, too). It slips onto the front of the lens with a sort of bayonet mount: easier than screwing on diopters (although I suppose that is what it really is), and safer than changing lenses (no need to open up the body to dust, etc.). As someone else also mentioned, the macro light might also be helpful for that as well. I believe they are both just under $60 list.