Returning to MFT

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by daveproctor, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. daveproctor

    daveproctor Mu-43 Regular

    May 27, 2010
    After various changes I have now found my way back to the MFT fold

    I've always loved the concept if MFT which I think offers the best overall package of Compact System Cameras but have missed the lack of a good selection of AF primes to cover a wide range.

    My friend has recently ordered the Fuji X-Pro 1 (he has more money than I) and was selling his very new MFT outfit. He is a pretty serious photographer and spoke very well of the new Olympus primes.

    Anyway - to cut a long ramble short I now have an Olympus E-P3 with the new 12mm and 45mm lenses plus the 25mm 1.4 and (just in case) the Panasonic 100-300. I have the kit zoom lens but doubt it will be used.

    I am truly amazed by the prime lenses, the 12 and 45 are beautifully made and extremely compact and image quality is superb. The 45mm must be one of the best value lenses on the market. Having used the outfit in London last weekend I believe I have at last found the Holy Grail I've been seeking of a small body outfit with compact lenses of very high quality. I've taken more pictures over the last 10 days than I have for months.

    The 25mm 1.4 is an outrageously good lens and I think all I now need to get (again!) is a 20mm 1.7

    Happy days!
    • Like Like x 4
  2. drp

    drp Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    Real Name:
    Welcome back. I'm still a newbie but I have great lens envy for your collection.
  3. jalex

    jalex Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 24, 2010
    Real Name:
    Glad you found your way back :) I just picked up the Olympus 12 f2 and am quite impressed with it as well. Post some photos from yours when you get a chance.
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The prodigal child.
  5. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Real Name:
    Kelly Gibbons
    Sup hommie:biggrin:
  6. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England
    You didn't say what your previous experience with MFT was. It would be interesting to know.

    I had a previous episode with MFT, or m4/3 as I prefer to call it. A couple of years ago, I bought a Panasonic GF1 and 20mm f/1.7 lens. The lens was nice but I wasn't so impressed with the GF1. The high noise levels were a real irritation and it failed to obtain the best from the lens. I sold it after a few months and continued using a Canon PowerShot I already had.

    After a couple of years I was attracted back to m4/3 by the excellent 16 MP sensor in the Panasonic G3. It took no time at all to decide again on a 20mm f/1.7 and to replace the later 14-42mm kit lens with the earlier, far superior 14-45mm, which is optically better than any kit lens has a right to be. Similar comments apply to the 45-200mm OIS and the outfit is rounded off with the Olympus 45mm f/1.8, a jewel of a lens.

    Where we don't quite agree is on the Olympus 12mm f/2 and PanaLeica 25mm f/1.4. Perhaps you are fortunate and managed to find excellent copies of these lenses.

    I have tried only one 12mm, and it wasn't great. It suffered from decentering and fell well short of being acceptable. Perhaps I was unlucky, but the recent review by the highly respected Ctein on The Online Photographer web site seemed to back up my experience:
    The Online Photographer: Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2 Lens: Review

    On the PanaLeica 25mm, I have carefully field tested three of these and had the same three lenses bench tested. That isn't easy to do but I have had access for some years to an optical lab and a very fine technician who has become a personal friend. Frankly, the results did not impress me.

    I use a Leica M9 (and film M bodies too) and have several recent Leica lenses which are all optically outstanding. I see no resemblance between the performance of these genuine Leica lenses, designed, manufactured and tested in Germany and the PanaLeica 25mm f/1.4, which was designed and manufactured in Japan with minimal Leica input. It is not a bad lens, but it is not a lens that is worthy of the Leica name. Its wide open performance is even some way behind that of lenses that Leica produced in the 1960s.

    Of course it is much cheaper than a genuine Leica lens, but we will begin to see what a huge difference real Leica lenses make on a mirrorless system when Leica launches its mirrorless camera and lenses a few months from now.

    The Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens is a different story altogether. It is delightfully sharp with lovely bokeh. It is strongly reminiscent of the 40mm f/2 Summicron C for the Leica CL and Minolta's optically identical version for the Minolta CL and CLE.

    This is a lens whose performance would fully justify a Leica badge. The fact it doesn't have one means that Panasonic doesn't have to pay Leica a steep royalty for the use of the name.

    The Olympus 45mm f/1.8 is another lens that could wear a Leica badge with pride. When I use my default two lens outfit - G3, 20mm and 45mm - it is as though I am once again using a Leica CL with the 40mm f/2 and 90mm f/4 Elmar-C. Two fine cameras, four fine lenses. Excellence on a budget!

    This is the holy grail of m4/3; a lightweight, compact outfit delivering low noise, high quality images - an outfit that also happens to be very affordable indeed.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, this is the tendency I find with Micro Four-Thirds as well! :2thumbs:
  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I got an EP1 in 2009 right when it came out. Sold it to go back to DSLR. Rebought another one. Sold again, and rebought again (that third EP1 I kept for 2 years). Got a NEX then sold that. Now shooting an EPM1.

    m43 has a couple of challenges, but nothing is as complete and compact.

    Welcome back, and what a kit to get started with!
  9. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    What an enviable kit!
  10. daveproctor

    daveproctor Mu-43 Regular

    May 27, 2010
    I've tried LOTS of the MFT cameras (Olympus and Panasonic) but I've always had a love of the E-P1/2/3 series - I really liked the EPL2

    Where I have always felt the concept was compromised was the high ISO performance which, allied to a lack of fast lenses, gave me an issue I struggled to accept

    My friend who sold me the outfit is a VERY serious photographer and uses Phase One and Alpa outfits. He had always scorned MFT on the basis of the small sensor but picked up this kit when he was going on holiday and wanted to travel light. He was extremely impressed by the camera/prime lens combination and he is VERY hard to please. I was fortunate in that the new Fuji is ideal for him as a travel outfit and he let me have his MFT set up for an excellent price - for which I am very grateful

    I took a couple of hundred pictures in London as a good test for the camera and all the prime lenses and must say I was delighted with all three.

    At last I have a set up which, for me, really delivers in terms of the best possible combination of relatively compact size and excellent image quality. I can comfortably carry around the camera, 5 lenses and accessories all day long

    I am interested in the other posters issues with the 12mm and 25mm lenses. I am extremely fussy about image quality having previously owned numerous top quality Nikon and Canon lenses in addition to a Leica M8 with several superb Leica lenses. Whilst my current lenses do not match those from Leica (and for the price I would never expect them to) I think they do finally provide a very good challenge to Canikon at a very reasonable price and in MUCH smaller form
  11. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."
  12. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2010
    Tulsa, moving to Houston
    Real Name:
    I don't know what the comments about the 25 are about, it's a great lens that is at least as good as the 20 in every way but size. It's probably the sharpest lens I've ever shot (or at least pixel peeped at) and on my G3 there is good detail at 200%! My only problem with it is that it has too much CA.
  13. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Welcome back! and great kit!
  14. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Welcome back, Dave! What an awesome kit to return with - congratulations.

    I have the 12/2 and have read Ctein's review. My non-technical and nearly-amateur take is that you need to have some caution with your background when running wide open. I accidentally was running f2.0 a couple weeks ago (myset overwrite mistake) for a landscape shot with lots of trees and grasses. The edges looked pretty ugly when I got home. But... When I am running f4-5.6, I am extremely pleased with the output, corner to corner. I think that is consistent with Ctein's results... his first lens appeared to be an issue and the second behaved much better.

    I don't think I have seen anyone dislike the PL25, other than for its size and price. I have it and the 20/1.7... I think the 20's advantage is that it is nearly as good for half the size and weight. Enough justification to own that one, I think.
  15. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    But then you could just use the 9-18mm.
  16. flaxseedoil1000

    flaxseedoil1000 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 10, 2011
  17. flaxseedoil1000

    flaxseedoil1000 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 10, 2011
    We took a vote, it was close....but you made back in :)
  18. daveproctor

    daveproctor Mu-43 Regular

    May 27, 2010
    I'm honoured and humbly thank you all :)
  19. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    I remember u sold your gh-2 preferring the Ep-2's form factor...
    And now you have the ideal street shooting lot.

    Good to see someone with similar ideals find their way back to mft. Welcome man!
  20. vmaniqui

    vmaniqui New to Mu-43

    Jan 30, 2012
    if i have that kit, i would be returning too. honestly i am a dSLR shooter (and prefer it more than the mft - unless i have your kit) but i have an Olympus ePL1 (2 kits in our household) for my easy on the pocket everyday photo shoot.