New camera/lenses coming - I’m excited!

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Nov 22, 2011
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Making a long story short....I sold off all my Pentax gear some 5-6 years ago. I became afflicted with a nasty case of RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and couldn’t even lift my camera with heavy DA* lenses.

I’ve really missed my hobby over the years. Since then thanks to expensive meds - and being so very thankful for their development - I am probably back to 60% of my old self.

My wife is an avid bird feeder/watcher. We live in a very remote area and have scores of different song birds all year round. This year has been exceptional for some reason. This has pushed me over the edge to get started again.

After weeks of frustrating research I finally landed with an M43 system. Only makes sense with my mobility issues. I have a G85 w/12-60 and 45-150 kit lenses coming. Plus I splurged on a PL 100-400. With all I read about the dual stabilization even I might be able to hand hold that lens. If not I am not afraid of a tripod - have used them extensively over the years.

Most shooting will be done from my deck plus some small walks around my 6 acres that borders a small river. 99% of my pics have been shot on my own property all these years.

Now I already have the urge to upgrade the kit lens to a PL 12-60 and also get the 8-18.

I’m excited - and that doesn’t happen too often at all at my age!

Here’s a small album (20 images) of some of my favorite bird captures over the years. I hope I can learn the new setup to produce the same images.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157675054653914/with/14337916538/
 
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Welcome back.

While it is not a pro lens, one of my favorite lenses is the Panasonic-Lumix 12-60, because it is small and light.
I plan to run it through its paces before doing anything. It does get a lot of love from what I’ve read.

Now the 45-150 - can’t find much anything about it. Will be interesting to see what I can do with that also before I move on.
 

John King

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Welcome back to the hobby.

Glad that you have some relief from your RA.

There was a possibility last year that I had that, but tests showed that it was 'just' atypical osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, because I take Warfarin, I cannot take any anti-inflammatories, so just a steady diet of painkillers.

Glad that your new camera system once again allows you to enjoy your hobby.
 

Brownie

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Welcome back. Don't sell the 12-60 short, it's a pretty darn good lens and holds its own against the PL version through much of the range. So much so that many of us don't see the need to make the switch. I think with your medical situation, you're going to find the G-85 and 12-60 a very usable combination.
 

Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
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Curious what your take will be on the PL100-400. I tried a used copy and sent it back—it was more “used” than I felt the price justified. I’m seriously considering getting a new one. Even though I no longer have one, I did enjoy the 45-150 kit. It’s a pretty good butterfly lens.
 

11GTCS

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Curious what your take will be on the PL100-400. I tried a used copy and sent it back—it was more “used” than I felt the price justified. I’m seriously considering getting a new one. Even though I no longer have one, I did enjoy the 45-150 kit. It’s a pretty good butterfly lens.
I’ve only recently started using one. It doesn’t feel premium like a lot of MFT lenses, certainly all the ones at that price bracket. That said, it’s absolutely, utterly sharp and the reach/size is unbeatable. To me that’s worth almost any price, but certainly the ~1000 bucks I paid for it gently used. I do get why people don’t like it, but if you like wildlife or birds I’m not sure what other options you have besides primes. Most of my shots are all the way at 400 so a 300 wouldn’t do. If you’re looking for a decent price, I can’t recommend Lens authority enough. They sell the rental lenses that lensrentals uses, and they bench test each one before shipping it, so I’ve Always just treated it like getting a CPO from Olympus or Panasonic directly
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Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
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I’ve only recently started using one. It doesn’t feel premium like a lot of MFT lenses, certainly all the ones at that price bracket. That said, it’s absolutely, utterly sharp and the reach/size is unbeatable. To me that’s worth almost any price, but certainly the ~1000 bucks I paid for it gently used. I do get why people don’t like it, but if you like wildlife or birds I’m not sure what other options you have besides primes. Most of my shots are all the way at 400 so a 300 wouldn’t do. If you’re looking for a decent price, I can’t recommend Lens authority enough. They sell the rental lenses that lensrentals uses, and they bench test each one before shipping it, so I’ve Always just treated it like getting a CPO from Olympus or Panasonic directly View attachment 825834View attachment 825835
Oddly enough, that’s where I got the one I tried. Mine looked pretty scuffed up and the zoom felt grindy. For the price I payed, I could almost get a new gray market with seller warranty, so that’s probably what I’m going to do. I got my PL12-60 that way, and I have no regrets. Like you, I’m often looking for as much reach as I can get.
 

piggsy

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Couple things:

1) great that you can get back into your hobby!

2) the main advantage you're getting for using m43 for birds is in terms of reach for weight, not necessarily in terms of stabilisation. The kinds of shutter speeds you tend to need for birds will, for the most part, take care of user-induced motion blur, although you can shoot at high frames per second and press your luck on getting sharp ones at 1/400 or lower if you like. Don't be afraid to bump the ISO up to 1600-3200 in order to get higher shutter speeds for moving subjects, there are many programs around these days that can denoise and sharpen images or blow up a cropped high ISO image without it looking weird.

3) the kit lenses can actually be quite good - I don't shoot conventional ranges and wide enough to justify replacing it, and if I did it might be different - but still, the 14-42iir Olympus I have does a fine job and you need to look really quite hard at images from it to pick up on anything ugly or wrong. Again don't underestimate the potential to use software to get around other issues - one decent 25 or 50ish prime with good panorama/stacking software may do better for you long term than a very wide prime or zoom, if you're shooting stuff that doesn't move much.
 
Joined
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Curious what your take will be on the PL100-400. I tried a used copy and sent it back—it was more “used” than I felt the price justified. I’m seriously considering getting a new one. Even though I no longer have one, I did enjoy the 45-150 kit. It’s a pretty good butterfly lens.
I will be putting it through its paces - will likely be my most used lens.

When I had my Pentax system the longest lens I had was the DA* 300 f4 (APS-C 450mm equivalent). Just a beautiful lens. However it just didn't have the reach I needed and I got very frustrated. Where I live the wildlife is truly "wild". I live a long a small river which is 100-150 yards away from my house. Shooting from my deck is where I am at especially because of my immobility issues. The 300mm just didn't cut it. Once I step off the deck - no matter how stealthily - whatever I am shooting is gone. I have high hopes for the 400mm being 800mm equivelant.

Don't be afraid to bump the ISO up to 1600-3200 in order to get higher shutter speeds for moving subjects, there are many programs around these days that can denoise and sharpen images or blow up a cropped high ISO image without it looking weird.
I am going to do a lot of testing in my environment. Not only trying to stop action - I have some low light issues at times living in the Big Woods. I am hoping to keep my ISO as low as possible to get the "crispest" images I can. It will be fun to see what combination of ISO and shutter speed works.
 
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Let the fun begin! The 100-400 won’t be here until next week - gives me time to get the batteries charge, firmware checked, and an initial menu go through.

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When I had my G85 I purchased 2 additional PowerExtra batteries, they were pretty cheap and worked 95% as long as the OEM one I had.
I got a free Watson battery from B&H along with a SanDisk Ultra 32gb card free with my order. Don’t know how good it will be but the price is right!

In the past for aftermarket batteries I bought Wasabi brand from Amazon and had very good results with them with different cameras.

99% of the time I am shooting here at home on my own property anyway.
 

Brownie

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Have had good luck with both Powerextra and Wasabi.

@coaltrain, let me suggest something that may help with your subjects. Up above you said:

Once I step off the deck - no matter how stealthily - whatever I am shooting is gone.
Hunters have been dealing with that for years. For a nominal investment, I would suggest a deer blind and a decent chair. Set it up and leave it. Once they get used to it they won't give it a second thought.

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This will also give you some shelter from light rain. You may even find you want more than one for setups in strategic locations. The blinds pop up with spring frames and can be staked down. If you shop you can get one for under $50.

Seems like since most of your shooting is done on your own property and you don't mind short walks, this would be a perfect way to take full advantage of your setup. I am going to make an educated guess and state that your bird-watching wife would use it as well! You can get blinds large enough for more than one person.
 
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Have had good luck with both Powerextra and Wasabi.

@coaltrain, let me suggest something that may help with your subjects. Up above you said:



Hunters have been dealing with that for years. For a nominal investment, I would suggest a deer blind and a decent chair. Set it up and leave it. Once they get used to it they won't give it a second thought.

View attachment 825985

View attachment 825986

This will also give you some shelter from light rain. You may even find you want more than one for setups in strategic locations. The blinds pop up with spring frames and can be staked down. If you shop you can get one for under $50.

Seems like since most of your shooting is done on your own property and you don't mind short walks, this would be a perfect way to take full advantage of your setup. I am going to make an educated guess and state that your bird-watching wife would use it as well! You can get blinds large enough for more than one person.
That's an excellent suggestion!

I have thought about this some in the past. I have a pavilion right at the creek - it's used mostly for parking my tractor and storing my implements now. I thought I could get a camo mesh type thing - like a tarp but camo mesh - and string it up on the creek side. I could cut holes in it where I needed to for the lens.

You can see my chair already in place.

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