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Observations

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by swampduck, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    After a hiatus from this site due to moving back to another format to be unnamed, I have a few personal observations. Keep in mind this my own personel OP-ed

    I got into :43: because I wanted a lighter but competent alternative to my DSLR gear. I purchased an e-pl1 with 14-42 kit and was happy with the IQ, but not the performance. I set it aside, but didn't sell and continued to use DSLR. I eventually sold my DSLR gear and bought my wife some nice jewelry with it.
    After a couple of years I picked up the e-pl1 again and discovered that since I wasn't really shooting anything more then snaps and scenery it was fine. Then the I had som GAS (excuse me). At first it was all good, it caused me to purchase a 14mm...great lens for cheap! Then a huge wave of GAS hit me, and I found myself purchasing a 100-300 for BIF photography. That was when my the stomach pains from GAS hit me. I grew frustrated, search my posts here, you will see. I eventually convinced myself that is what I wanted to do, so I sold my :43: gear, at a bargain basement price and went all out with DSLR again.
    Guess what, I did BIF outings twice, and both times they were lackluster. I got out my e-photo album to figure out what went wrong. I was shocked to discover that someone had stolen all my BIF photos from over the years and had only left me with about 10 that I thought were great! What happened to all those wonderful BIF photo's :eek: . We all know what actually happened, I puffed myself up in my memory a lot more then what actually happened. Perusing my albums, I discovered that almost all of my shots were 50mm-100mm with most of them being 50mm or shorter focal length. That's right, all of them that I kept, thousands good or bad.
    I had a come to Swampduck moment, and decided that since it had been over a month since I even took my camera out, never mind BIF's, that it isn't what I needed. I took my :43: everywhere, it fit in my center console, or slipped into my backpack and I took lots of pictures, truthfully, mostly bad ones, but still a lot.

    I am selling my DSLR equipment, and re-purchasing :43: . I have purchased another G5 from a user here, and a Sigma 19mm from ebay. I will add a flash and either the Sigma 30mm, or the Oly 45mm and a small travel tripod, and that will be it.

    The point here is, take time to stop and smell the roses, and guess what, you're close enough to take a photo without the need for big long glass and expensive setups. And you will probably come out a few dollars ahead.
     
    • Like Like x 9
  2. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Steven
    Thanks for sharing!! That's quite an expensive lesson you had there.
     
  3. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Great story. My favorite part is where you looked back at all your favorite photos and realized they were taken at FL between 50-100mm, which was a surprise to you. I think most of us don't go through this exercise--to our great disadvantage. We think we know what we like to shoot, but examination of what we like to keep tells a different story.

    Personally I've found that almost all of my favorite images were taken between 18-50mm FF-equivalent. I'm just a wide-angle/normal* guy, and no matter how great that long telephoto is I just won't take many pictures with it. This revelation forced a big decision in my approach to legacy lenses.

    Thanks for sharing!


    *my children would surely argue this point, but would mean it in a different way
     
  4. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    773
    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Ron
    There are a lot of threads discussing what lens to buy. I think many people would find it useful to run an EXIF analysis program on their photos: there are quite a few freeware ones out there.

    Not only will you get a feel for the focal lengths you use (as opposed to those you think you use), but also for the ISOs you need. Lots of folks think they need great high ISO performance, but hardly ever shoot above 800.

    Sent using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  5. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    Agreed with the ISO statement. I also noticed that a majority of my pics were between 200-400 ISO, with decent amount of 800 ISO scattered in. So yeah, what we think we want/need, isn't always what we actually end up using.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Great post swampduck. It hits home for me and a lot of other folks too, I'm sure.

    From my perspective, I've owned and sold three Pan 25/1.4s. I keep buying them because I love the IQ I get out of that lens. I keep selling them because that FL is just too much "in the middle" for me. Have the 17/1.8 now, and it hardly ever comes off the camera. When it does the 45/1.8 takes it place.

    I'm not sure why it is so difficult to see and understand what we actually need.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    773
    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Ron
    Dean, that matches my experience. When I had Nikon APS cameras, I used my 35mm a lot more than my 'nifty fifty', even though the IQ of the 50 was very good.

    When I had the P20 and the O45 - based on 'must have' recommendations, I thought I would need something in the gap. Tried the Sigma 30: it was a good lens, but I hardly needed it, so out it went.

    I've since swapped the 20 for the new 17, but don't really miss the so-called 'normal' focal length.

    The only luxury I indulge in is the 75mm: I don't 'need' the focal length, but the photos are so wonderful that I go out of my way to find subjects for it, usually candid portraits.

    Sent using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  8. daimos

    daimos Mu-43 Veteran

    288
    Jun 23, 2010
    Ottawa,Ontario,Canada
    richard
    trivia :
    two epm2 with 17mm and 45mm is the same weight as
    t3i with a kit lens.
    somebody correct me if i`m wrong.
     
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Ron, I think you and many others do that same dance with the 75. I keep telling myself I don't need it, but I'm sure some day I'll give in.
     
  10. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    773
    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Ron
    You won't regret it: your wallet might :)

    Sent using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  11. solidsnake

    solidsnake Mu-43 Regular

    107
    Sep 23, 2013
    Bay Area, CA
    thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

    so, back to lens, which one.... :wink:

    i have to admit tho, similar to any hobby out there in general, when and how do we know when we've crossed the line, or better yet, determine when or where we place it? when does our objectivity become smeared by our subjectivity to what we want versus what we need?

    great opening point tho, kudos mr. swampduck.
     
  12. Great post Dan, and nice that you have had your "revelation" with regards to your photography gear. I wonder if chasing telephoto gear with no real need for it is a common occurrence. In my time shooting with Canon DSLRs I either owned for a while or briefly tried a Sigma 50-500mm (the Bigma!), three different versions of the 70-200mm L series lenses, a Sigma 100-400mm, and a Canon 300mm f4L. It turned out they were all big, they were all heavy, to varying dgrees they were all expensive, and I didn't use them anywhere near enough to justify owning them. The telephoto DSLR lens I got the most productive use out of was a humble Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 Macro.

    In Micro 4/3 my telephoto lens is my Panasonic 14-140mm superzoom which gets by far the most use at 50mm and below.
     
  13. flipmack

    flipmack Mu-43 Veteran

    252
    Mar 23, 2012
    irvine, CA
    Ha! I think every registered user here will suffer from GAS eventually.

    Sounds like my trip. I actually keep an excel sheet with a color-coded timeline of all of my gear...and I've bought and sold/traded the same things several times...in a seemingly endless attempt to find that 'perfect' kit. I've owned THREE Olympus E-1's. I don't think I'm selling my last one - I'm stuck with it.

    Anyway, once I started culling my gear and actually *selling* items (and not using the money to buy new gear), I was left with a kit that's just right. I actually used the money to buy things for my family and invest in my other hobby (cycling).

    Unfortunately, I fell into a bit of a gear rampage a few weeks back and I'm now furiously trying to find a buyer for a legacy macro lens that just didn't work for me...and if I can't sell it, I'll trade it for an older m4/3 body.

    ...and the cycle begins yet again...
     
  14. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    I'm so in that boat Nic. I don't know why I keep a long telephoto, because the number of times I use it each year I could probably count on one hand. Thing is, sometimes it's the only lens that will do--e.g., wildlife from afar--but it sure seems silly to own a lens that gets such little use. My justification for owning one at all is that I got it at a great price which should allow me to sell it for no loss if money gets tight.
     
  15. If I ever do that African Safari I'm making sure I take a nice telephoto lens with me, but until then...:smile:

    Thankfully most of telephotos were purchased under the same circumstances (don't think I would have bought them otherwise) so it thankfully was never a money-down-the-toilet exercise.
     
  16. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    In the end I ended up purchasing, all yesterday and this morning,

    G5
    Sigma 19
    Sigma 30
    Oly FL36

    That fufills my want/need list and I am all set. I am now never reading another post here or anywhere on the internet in order to avoid temptation :rolleyes:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    Yeah, I think it is for the most part. There is only a handful of people that are lucky enough to need all the equipment. For the rest of us I fear it is purely GAS. I have spent some really stupid money on glass and camera bodies in the past. I have owned a Canon 300f4, 400f5.6, 500f4, and like I said, looking back at all my pics, there wasn't one that stood out and justified the cost I paid. Looking back at my photographic past, I honestly feel like I have squashed the desire to ever want to do that again. Now, camera bodies and primes could be an unfortuanate issue :biggrin:
     
  18. solidsnake

    solidsnake Mu-43 Regular

    107
    Sep 23, 2013
    Bay Area, CA
    Hahaha! why thank you for answering Mr. Swampduck, as much as a rhetorical question as it was, i appreciate your response.

    I was going to get the sigma 19 at one point, but still reconsidering everything before i venture buying more glass.

    Nonetheless, i think thats the thing right? where and when do we draw the lines, boundaries to consider our hobby to become an obsession (sorry, might be the poor choice of a word, but its the first that popped in my head)

    cest la vie. :wink:
     
  19. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    I've done a quick EXIF on my favourite photos, to find some with the 10mm fisheye (& even wider), some heavily cropped from the 500mm tele, but NOTHING at all between the 17mm fisheye & the 18mm rectilinear (a surprisingly large gap as adding a 1.4x TC to the 17mm doesn't quite get to the 18mm. However the gap is something I can currently only fill using the TC so thats probably why I have nothing in this region.
    When it comes to ISO hardly any of my shots are over 800. But that not because I wouldn't find higher ISO useful - its because with all my cameras the noise gets significant above 800 (often even an issue at 800).

    In the last 3 years I've photographed subjects ranging from stars, to microscopic subjects, with a good range of stuff in between. Used shutter speeds from several minutes to 1/8000s and apertures from f/1.4 to a pinhole ~f/180, and tried infra red and ultra violet imaging as well as the normal visible...
    Some of these efforts have produced nothing of any use, but I do find my hardware restricts me for many of the images I want to capture.

    I haven't sold my DSLR, and I don't expect to in the next 5 years. I brought into µ 4/3 for the benefits it offered from the start - light weight and flexibility with Legacy lenses. I didn't expect to get much native glass, but no doubt will be tempted occasionally. It might just be possible these days to get a single camera system that will do everything my current collection stretches too but it would cost >£20,000 (actually the underwater housings aren't likely to be available yet) which is WAY out of my budget!
     
  20. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Oddly enough, I find myself using the 100-300mm as often as all of my other lenses combined. Partially because I prefer longer lenses, partially because of the types of things that I like to photograph.