OMD as X100

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dixeyk, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I quite like the notion of a single focal length kit similar to the Fuji X100. The idea is to shoot BW JPEGs only. So why not just get an X100? Well, I have an OMD and there is a nagging voice in my head telling me I can do this. I got the OMD as a gift and thought originally I would build a classic 3 lens kit (P14, P20 and O45) but that isn't really in the cards anymore. I have the P20 and I have been able to get some really nice images out of it but I know it's more capable than what I am getting.

    Has anyone tried this and if so do you have any advice? I have seen BW JPEGs SOOC from and OMD that look great (like Monochrom level nice) but I'm pretty far from that at the moment.
  2. flipmack

    flipmack Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 23, 2012
    irvine, CA
    I have been itching for an X100S for a while too, but like you, I have an OMD as well. When I want to sell it all and get an X100S, I just put the Sigma 19/2.8 on for a few weeks and eventually, that itch goes away.

    If I want to limit myself even more, then instead of the 19/2.8, I use the fisheye bodycap lens for a while.
  3. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    well first, i wish you find a way with the omd that makes you happy.

    i have had both cameras. as much of this is subjective, my experience may mean nothing to you. i did not like the b&w images i got from the omd. i felt they lacked the shading nuance that i was looking for.

    on the other hand, out of the literally scores of digital cameras ive used, i can say the b&w jpegs from the original x100 are close to the best i ve gotten. the only other i would put in its class was the rd1. i have not shot with a monochrome, but have shot panny, oly, canon, nikon, pentax and sony.

    the great thing is you can pick up an original x100 very inexpensively. and you get the hybrid vf and analogue controls.

    again, good luck with whatever you decide.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. dwkdnvr

    dwkdnvr Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    Some off-the-cuff thoughts

    The best B&W I've seen is from the Sigma Foveon cameras. Like the Monochrom they effectively sample luminosity without a Bayer mask, and so have a quality that is hard to match. As far as I know though, this requires post-processing rather than providing results SOOC, and the Sigma software isn't the best. A used DP1M (28mm equiv rathe rthan 35mm equiv) might be worth considering, though.

    From your comments, I'm guessing that you want to accomplish this without spending any additional money (if possible). If that's the case, I'd suggest maybe trying shooting Raw + Jpeg, put the camera into B&W filter mode so you compose and visualize in monochrome, but then process the Raw file with Silver Efex or something similar to come up with your own B&W workflow/presets/style. Not as attractive as getting B+W out of the camera, but if you're trying to optimize monochrome output from your OMD this might be worth the effort.

    The Panny 20mm is certainly a well-regarded lens, but if I were trying to replicate the 35mm FOV of the X100 I'd look at the PL 15/1.7 or the Voigtlander Nokton 17.5. Some of the B+W conversions in the Nokton gallery thread are wonderful. This obviously is spending more $$ though. (or $$$$ in the case of the Nokton)
    • Like Like x 1
  5. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    I recently traded a PL25/1.4 + some cash for used X100s (on a total whim, BTW) and I will say that from the little testing I've done with SOOC JPGs from the Fuji, they look really good (B&W or otherwise). That said, I still haven't become comfortable shooting strictly JPG. I have a couple times and there's always that nagging feeling that I can accomplish the same goal pretty quickly in post with RAW. Especially with Lightroom since it has the same film simulations as the camera. The one thing that I miss most when using the X100s is the IBIS of the OMD cameras. I've become spoiled by it so much I get frustrated when I see even the slightest motion blur from the X when the same shot would have been sharp with the OMD :)

    I say go for it if you can. You can always sell it for little to no loss if you decide it's not something you're into.
  6. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I would sell the E-M5 + 20 and get an X100, if you really aren't going to add more lenses to the Oly kit. I say that as a big fan of the E-M5 and the 20/1.7. I just don't think they are in same league as the X100, especially when talking B&W and SOOC.

    While I find the slowness of the P20 to be a bit exaggerated, I have to say I'd be more likely to consider the E-M5 + 17/1.8, as I always found AF on that combo to be instantaneous. So they at least give you a nice advantage vs the Fuji.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I like the OMD and it's really nice for a lot of things but where I am these days photographically doesn't really take advantage of what the OMD does well. Like you I do not seem to be able to get images that have the "shading nuance" as you so eloquently put it.

    The OMD was a gift from my wife so selling it is not something I want to do as she really put a lot of thought into and I don't want to hurt her feelings (it was s big deal for her to buy me the camera).

    That said I may just some of my other gear and get a used X100 at some point if I can't get what I want from the OMD.
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Thanks for the great suggestions. I definitely get better results shooting RAW+JPEG and doing PP in Tonality Pro or Silver Efex Pro. I was hoping to be able to get there with JPEG but it just may not be possible. It wouldn't be the end of the world.

    I am trying to do this without spending much. I don't mind the P20 as I actually prefer the 40mm EFL over the wider FOV on the X100. I also like that the P20 close focused pretty well (like the X100) as I often like to get close to things.

    There are things I really like about the OMD like the flip down screen and the IBIS so at least for know I want to see what I can do with what I have.
  9. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Real Name:
    For OM-D in camera results there is the in-camera Monotone shooting mode where you can adjust contrast, sharpness and other parameters, along with the Highlight Shadow Adjustments to tune to your liking. Then there is the Color Creator that will effect how a B&W image is produced directly in camera, and even more in Art Filters.

    Of course you could always add numerous filters to change how the B&W image appears so you would not have to make changes in post processing.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. DennisC

    DennisC Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    I have both the X100 and X100S and an OMD camera with the 20mm lens mentioned.
    Get yourself a cheap used X100 with a serial starting 23xxxxx and you'll not regret it. The IQ is in a different league from M4/3.
    Contrary to much popular opinion I prefer the X Trans sensor of the X100S but either camera is a joy if you can work with one focal length and the quirks of the lens ; Olympus kit is just not the same experience.
    BTW the Fuji's offer in-camera RAW processing to make a variety of B&W shots on the hoof.

    Someone mentioned Sigma...I have a DP3M and that's a magnificent B&W machine... another cheap used buy.
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Thanks and if I decide to go wth the X100 I know I would be tempted by the newer X-Trans versions for a variety of reasons but I find something about the output of the original Bayer sensor X100's very appealing.

    That said, I will probably still try to get there (or as close as I can) with the gear I have now. The prevailing wisdom is that the OMD isn't in the same league as the X100 for BW (and I tend to agree) at the moment however I am convinced that the OMD is capable of much better BW than I am getting out of it.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  12. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Real Name:
    I've owned the X100S and now the T, but like you find the look of the photos from the original X100 very appealing. That said, the operating quirks of the X100 and the better high ISO performance of the X-trans sensored cameras led me to go with the newer models. For the record, I shoot exclusively RAW and process in camera using the built-in RAW converter to get the Fuji JPEGs.
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yes, I have been tweaking the various image parameters such as contrast, sharpness as well as the tone curves and so far I have not hit on any combination that delivers in-camera BW that I am completely satisfied with. It's not bad mind you, I have been able to produce some very nice images with it but they are not quite what I am looking for. It could well be that the OMD simply won't give me the look I want (although I would be surprised) and that wouldn't be a huge deal. Sometimes you just need to work with what you have.
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I used to shoot an X-E1 so I'm sure I would like the Trans-X versions of the X100 as well. I also know a bit about the quirks of the original X100 so I completely understand why someone might choose to go with on the other models.
  15. mcumeda

    mcumeda Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    I just got an X100T. I also have an OM-D. I think I like my OM-D more, but I also really really like the X100T. The OM-D's autofocus is fast AND accurate. I get a lot more misses with the X100t, but it could be user error as I am not used to it yet. I love the essentially silent leaf shutter, analog controls, and when it nails focus, the images are fantastic on the X100T. I also like the size better. It is a little bit bigger than the OM-D. I think the OM-D feels more solid, but the build quality on both are great.

    I do shoot some monochrome on both. I don't notice a huge difference, but I am not a monochrome junkie. I think both are pleasing enough for me.

    What are you going to shoot with the X100?
  16. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    The original X100 is a classic and is still my main camera when I care enough to try to create something better than just a snapshot.
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I tend to shoot static objects at close and middle distance, although I am starting to play with more landscapes. I rarely do images of people.
  18. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 19, 2013
    Hereford, UK
    Real Name:
    Martin Connolly
    I owned an original X100 for a while. I really, really liked the feel of the images, but I found it an absolute pig to use. The OVF gave an excellent view but not necessarily of what the final image would be. The menu system was a nightmare. And swapping the wide-angle lens on and off (and telling the camera it was attached or not) was also a pain in the posterior. Despite all that I got some nice results out of it, but I didn't keep it long. But I actually made money on the deal so it wasn't a disaster!
    I also had a DP2M for a while. Same kind of deal really - superb quality and a nice focal length but it's slow (in time taken between shots, not optically) and the X3F and TIFF files ended up taking huge amounts of disk space on my PC. However I do miss that one more than the X100.
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yep, I suspect that eventually I will find myself with some version of an X100. ProbblY not at the moment but the more responses I get the more I am starting to think that I simply cannot get where I want with the OMD.
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That's interesting, part of what I like about the OMD is how nice it is to use. That said, I don't find the images (mostly BW) quite to my liking, but the nice usability and controls are so nice that I would like to figure out a way to get there.