The itch: trying different cameras (from a G85)

ac12

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
3,588
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I understand all that. But what I can never understand is how Danny in New Zealand can be so wonderful at BIF with his manual glass. sigh.

LOTS and LOTS of practice.
Back in the day when I started 35mm shooting, it was only manual focus lenses.
So you practice, and practice, and practice. And you gradually get better.
You find out what works and what doesn't work.

Study the subject.
In the case of BIF, a few factors are: behavior, the way they turn, flying pattern, etc.
If you can figure out some of this, you start to develop a "sixth sense" for their flying and can get more hits than me, with zero knowledge of the bird.
Same as you shooting pics of your daughter playing tennis. You know the game and her, and so can get better pics that I could.

The lens matters.
Some of the manual lenses, like Nikon, the focus ring is very light and smooth, so "follow focusing" is easier to do.
vs. some where the focus ring is stiff or sticky, and "follow focusing" is hard to do.
An old lens may need to be cleaned and relubed, if the old 30+ year old grease has dried out, as the focus ring will become stiff from the dried grease and lack of use.​
This is the same beef that I have with zoom rings on today's zooms.
A stiff/sticky zoom ring is hard for me to use for "follow zoom" when shooting action sports.

Muscle memory
Which way do you turn the focus ring when the bird turns towards you?
If you have to think, it will be too late.
When you see the bird turn towards you, your hand has to turn the focus ring in the correct direction, WITHOUT your brain telling it turn left.
This is like driving a manual transmission car. If you have to think when to shirt from 1st gear to 2nd gear to 3rd gear, you can't drive well. The shifting has to be WITHOUT your brain actively telling your feet and hand to shift.

Finally, the old Hollywood saying, "no one sees what is on the cutting room floor."
You don't see how many frames Danny culled, to get his good shots.
When I shoot a high school game with the EM1-mk2, I will sometimes shoot over 2,000 frames. Shooting at 19fps results in a LOT of frames. But only about 100-150 get uploaded to the school's web site. No one sees the 90+% that got culled out.
 

ac12

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
3,588
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
One thing I've learned - Nikon's use their own, unique way of approach and control! I've had to learn about AF and even ISO control. It's so different from my experience - which is Canon, Panaonsic, Olympus and a little Sony. Nikon is crazy different than all the rest!

No one method is best.
I think it depends on specific use.
Then you get used to it, and adjust to work with it. And accept that you will get some missed shots.

Example: For sports, and how I shoot, I prefer the Nikon AF on the D7200 to the Canon AF on the T7i.
The Canon zone focus uses "closest subject" logic. That does not work for tight multi-player shots (like football and basketball). There are often other players between the subject and me. So I had to switch to SINGLE AF point to be able to get that one player in a mass of other players.
But where it is hard to put a player on the single AF point, Canon's zone works better than Nikon's Dynamic AF, where I have to start with the subject on the AF point. I've often missed the subject and focused on the background.
So no ONE best method.
 
Last edited:

doady

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
595
Location
Canada
I never understood the point of a superzoom lens for a full frame camera. Even the tiny little Micro Four Thirds sensor is arguably too big for superzooms. Even at 8x zoom instead of 10x zoom, the 12-100mm F4 is already pushing the limit in terms of size and weight. Back in the day, all the superzoom cameras had 1/2.3" sensors instead of the usual 1/1.8" sensors, and there was probably good reason for that. If the detail and low-light performance of full frame sensor is really so important, then maybe don't waste it with a slow, low-quality superzoom lens.

And I have to say, generally speaking, the best camera for anyone is probably the one they already have. Learning a new camera is probably more an obstacle than a benefit. More second nature a camera is, the less you think about the gear, the more it will help the photography. After using the same point-and-shoot camera for 15 years, I love what my new E-M1 II + 12-100mm F4 has to offer. But did it really improve my photos? I think if I posted all my photos here and there was a vote, some people would actually prefer my lowly C-7070 photos over my E-M1 II photos.
 

frankmulder

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
503
I never understood the point of a superzoom lens for a full frame camera.
For me, the reason to get a superzoom would be because they have no other compact options. I would be totally happy with semi-professional-grade fixed aperture f/5.6 zooms for landscape photography, but all the 'serious' zoom lenses are f/2.8, or f/4 if you're lucky, and even the f/4 zooms are not compact. I mean, you can get compact options until about 100mm, but if you want to go up to 200mm, there are only big and heavy options (as far as I know). For instance, take the Sony 70-200mm f/4 and the Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8, and compare them to the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6:

1624647826534.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


If you want small and reasonably light, the superzoom seems to be the only reasonable option. And even that is a bit larger and 200 grams heavier than the Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8:

1624647938442.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


I'm also sometimes looking if the grass is greener on the other side (like @WT21, I also have a G80/G85), but there simply isn't anything like the G80 + 12-35 f/2.8 + 35-100 f/2.8. Well, the Sony a7c pictured above is a 500 grams full frame body with a flippy screen (but arguably with worse ergonomics and controls), but there are no light and compact lens options for anything beyond 200mm, and not even beyond 100mm if you do not want to go for a superzoom.
 

Attachments

  • 1624647918977.png
    1624647918977.png
    191.3 KB · Views: 17

Brownie

Thread Killer Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
4,159
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
For me, the reason to get a superzoom would be because they have no other compact options. I would be totally happy with semi-professional-grade fixed aperture f/5.6 zooms for landscape photography, but all the 'serious' zoom lenses are f/2.8, or f/4 if you're lucky, and even the f/4 zooms are not compact. I mean, you can get compact options until about 100mm, but if you want to go up to 200mm, there are only big and heavy options (as far as I know). For instance, take the Sony 70-200mm f/4 and the Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8, and compare them to the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6:

View attachment 895076

If you want small and reasonably light, the superzoom seems to be the only reasonable option. And even that is a bit larger and 200 grams heavier than the Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8:

View attachment 895078

I'm also sometimes looking if the grass is greener on the other side (like @WT21, I also have a G80/G85), but there simply isn't anything like the G80 + 12-35 f/2.8 + 35-100 f/2.8. Well, the Sony a7c pictured above is a 500 grams full frame body with a flippy screen (but arguably with worse ergonomics and controls), but there are no light and compact lens options for anything beyond 200mm, and not even beyond 100mm if you do not want to go for a superzoom.
I would also argue that superzoom doesn't necessarily mean low quality, and that will continue to improve with technology.
 

frankmulder

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
503
I would also argue that superzoom doesn't necessarily mean low quality, and that will continue to improve with technology.
I hope it will improve, but so far it seems that there is always this relationship of "more professional = wider, fixed maximum aperture = better build = bigger and heavier = less optical flaws". The only exception I can think of are the Olympus f/4 zooms (because they have everything on the list except for a wide maximum aperture). But usually, if you want pro quality, you have to go with big heavy lenses that might have a wider maximum aperture than you really need. (Think having to go from an f/1.8 prime to a f/1.2 prime.)
 

ac12

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
3,588
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I never understood the point of a superzoom lens for a full frame camera. Even the tiny little Micro Four Thirds sensor is arguably too big for superzooms. Even at 8x zoom instead of 10x zoom, the 12-100mm F4 is already pushing the limit in terms of size and weight. Back in the day, all the superzoom cameras had 1/2.3" sensors instead of the usual 1/1.8" sensors, and there was probably good reason for that. If the detail and low-light performance of full frame sensor is really so important, then maybe don't waste it with a slow, low-quality superzoom lens.

And I have to say, generally speaking, the best camera for anyone is probably the one they already have. Learning a new camera is probably more an obstacle than a benefit. More second nature a camera is, the less you think about the gear, the more it will help the photography. After using the same point-and-shoot camera for 15 years, I love what my new E-M1 II + 12-100mm F4 has to offer. But did it really improve my photos? I think if I posted all my photos here and there was a vote, some people would actually prefer my lowly C-7070 photos over my E-M1 II photos.

To me, superzooms are primarily for convenience.
Especially for travel. You only need to carry one lens, rather than two or three.
And the superzooms are normally lighter than the pro lenses.
Example, I have the Olympus pro lenses, but I use the Panasonic-Lumix 12-60 non-pro lenses, for travel. That is when I don't want to carry the bulk and weight of the pro lenses. And I have been thinking about the 14-150 or 12-200, for more reach than the 12-60, rather than also carrying the 40-150R.

Generally, a superzoom only needs to be "good enough."
It does not have to have pro level optical and mechanical quality.

Having said that, I love my 12-100.
Because I don't have to switch lenses, like when I use the 12-40, and need more reach. Or when I'm using the 40-150, and need wider.
And it has pro level optical quality.
But it is heavier than I would like to carry, all day long for a couple weeks. So I do not intend to take it when I travel.

In my book, regardless of format, the variable aperture superzooms are really for daytime or moderately lighted scenes, NOT low light.
Although, the additional high ISO performance of the FF over m4/3 will offset the slow lens, to some degree.
And as sensor technology keeps moving, in the future, it will be common to shoot a superzoom in light levels that are impossible today.
My old Nikon D70 from 2004 has a max ISO of only 1600, my D7200 goes up to 25600, and I think there are a few cameras that have cracked the 100,000 mark.​
 

Michael Meissner

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
843
Location
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
I never understood the point of a superzoom lens for a full frame camera. Even the tiny little Micro Four Thirds sensor is arguably too big for superzooms. Even at 8x zoom instead of 10x zoom, the 12-100mm F4 is already pushing the limit in terms of size and weight. Back in the day, all the superzoom cameras had 1/2.3" sensors instead of the usual 1/1.8" sensors, and there was probably good reason for that. If the detail and low-light performance of full frame sensor is really so important, then maybe don't waste it with a slow, low-quality superzoom lens.

And I have to say, generally speaking, the best camera for anyone is probably the one they already have. Learning a new camera is probably more an obstacle than a benefit. More second nature a camera is, the less you think about the gear, the more it will help the photography. After using the same point-and-shoot camera for 15 years, I love what my new E-M1 II + 12-100mm F4 has to offer. But did it really improve my photos? I think if I posted all my photos here and there was a vote, some people would actually prefer my lowly C-7070 photos over my E-M1 II photos.
Well my Stylus-1 has a 1/1.7" sensor and constant f/2.8 lens, with an equivalent focal length of 28-300mm on a 35mm film camera, or 14-150mm on a micro 4/3rds camera. I still often take out the Stylus-1 if I know it is going to be sunny weather.

But unfortunately, the Stylus-1 is not weather sealed, and it has a TFT LCD viewfinder instead of OLED.

So instead I take out the E-m5 mark III with the 12-200mm lens. It allows me to concentrate on the image, and not on juggling lenses. Beore getting the 12-200mm lens, I used the 14-150mm lens (both mark I/II), and it was my second favorite lens after the 12-40mm f/2.8.

I like photographing renaissance faires, and often I find myself going between the wide angle for close up shots, and the telephoto when I'm in the crowd in a large stage or stadium and I want to capture shots of the actors/jousters/jugglers/etc. Particularly if you are trying to capture a decisive moment, you may only have a second or so while the shot is perfect.

Another example is doing a whale watch, where you never know whether the whales will be near the boat or further away. Most times I have been lucky, but 2-3 times I got splashed (I always carry distilled water to clean up in case of getting splashed). Having non-splash proof gear can be problematical. Sometimes the whales are in the same position for long periods of time, but often times not. In addition, changing lenses when you are on a rocking boat in the ocean is challenging.

A third example is the Safari ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. In this ride, the animals may be near your 'jeep' or much further away. You typically only have a few seconds before the 'jeep' moves on. Being able to go wide to telephoto without changing lenses is very useful. And note for Disney, I often go on the Kali River Rapids water ride in the same park, and I want camera gear that can survive getting drenched.

Depending on my need to get the images, I will often carry a second body with the 12-40mm lens on it for lower light situations. But a second body adds to the weight and it can be unwieldy if you are trying to carry 2 or 3 cameras on neck/shoulder straps ready to shoot (BTDT).
 
Last edited:

ac12

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
3,588
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I hope it will improve, but so far it seems that there is always this relationship of "more professional = wider, fixed maximum aperture = better build = bigger and heavier = less optical flaws". The only exception I can think of are the Olympus f/4 zooms (because they have everything on the list except for a wide maximum aperture). But usually, if you want pro quality, you have to go with big heavy lenses that might have a wider maximum aperture than you really need. (Think having to go from an f/1.8 prime to a f/1.2 prime.)

What do you consider pro quality attributes: optics, fixed aperture, lens construction or ?

Optics has been changing.
Reports of some of the Nikon AF-P zooms like the 70-300, have been that the optics are GREAT, and rivaling some of the older pro lenses. Computer assisted lens design has come a LONG way from the slide rule and mechanical calculator of the 1960s. What was considered impossible in the past, is common today. The Tamron 18-400 is a crazy 22:1 zoom ratio, and is so far beyond what we could even dream about, that it was science fiction.

The zooms like the DX AF-P are in a non-pro package; variable aperture (going down to f/5.6 and smaller), and non-pro construction.
You do not get pro lens construction in these lenses.
And that variable aperture can get kinda small.

FF f/4 lenses have been made.
Example, Nikon:
Nikon DX 12-24/4​
Nikon FX/FF 16-35/4, 24-120/4, 200-400/4​
The 70-200/4 by both Nikon and Canon are popular for the same reason, smaller and lighter than the f/2.8 lens. I own one, for that reason.
In fact on the Nikon forum, the Z guys are anxiously waiting for a Z 70-200/4, for that same reason, smaller and lighter than the Z 70-200/2.8 lens.

For comparison, I will use the Nikon 70-200 because there are both f/4 and f/2.8 versions.
From my perspective the f/4 zooms are a compromise.
Weight. The Nikon 70-200/4 is about HALF the weight of the 70-200/2.8.
Cost: The f/4 zoom, is about HALF the cost of the 2.8 zoom.
I wanted lower weight, so I compromised on lens speed, to get the weight reduction.
I have used a 70-200/2.8, and am very glad that I got the lighter 70-200/4.

As for the pro f/1.2 primes, I agree. I would like a reasonably priced f/1.8 pro grade prime, to upgrade my 17/1.8.
I do not NEED a f/1.2 lens.​
I could care less about the shallow DoF that some of the FF guys pontificate about. Because for what I shoot, I usually want MORE DoF, not less.​
As the Olympus lens landscape gets filled, the gaps are being filled. Just as with the pro f/4 zooms, I am hopeful of pro f/1.8 primes.

As for pro lens attributes, Olympus has their own list, some of which I do not agree with.
  • All metal construction.
    • IMHO, Olympus took this too far. Even the surface of the zoom ring surface is slippery metal (it may be knurled but it is still slippery), not a functional non-slip rubber grip. Both Nikon and Canon have rubber grip surface on their zooms. So why not Olympus? Form over function.
  • Well finished surface
    • Looks good.
    • But a functional problem. Smooth metal = slippery to grip. Again, form over function.
  • Wide fixed aperture
    • f/1.2 primes and f/2.8 zooms.
    • At least now they have some f/4 zooms.
    • Having used both fixed and variable aperture lenses, there are times when I much rather have a fixed aperture lens.
      • In low light.
        • With a variable aperture lens, at max aperture, the aperture would be varying as the lens changed FL, thus affecting the exposure.
        • Or you fix the aperture by using it at it's smallest max aperture, which is f/5.6 or smaller.
        • Pick your poison.
  • Heavy
    • This is not an Olympus advertised attribute, but a result of the all metal construction and wide aperture which results in larger glass elements and larger metal barrel.
    • Can some of the barrel be made of high strength composites, to reduce the weight?
  • EXCELLENT optics
  • Weathersealed
Contrast this with Panasonic.

For me, the most glaring comparison is the Olympus 40-150/2.8 with the Panasonic-Lumix 35-100/2.8.​
On the long end, the 35-100/2.8 is 50mm shorter than the Olympus 40-150/2.8, but it is significantly shorter in length and lighter in weight. In fact this lens has been on my want list, specifically because it is significantly smaller and lighter than the Olympus 40-150/2.8.​
If Olympus came out with a 40-150/4 that is close in weight to the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 that might work. Otherwise I will still be looking at the Panasonic lens.​
 

WT21

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
7,397
Location
Boston
The G95 and the EM5.3 are out of contention. I don't see what the G95 adds and the EM5.3 just feels ... delicate?? Also, in my informal tests, high ISO was no better (and perhaps not as good) as my G85, and neither was pixel sharpness. I wonder if the on-sensor pdaf delivers a hit to that? Any rate, IMO, it's not a $1,000 camera.

I did toy with the announced Nikon Zfc, as it's a beautiful camera, but as there is no IBIS, no IS with the 28, and no animal detection. That momentary infatuation has passed.

So now it's down to the G9, Z5 or staying where I am (G85).

I am drawn to the G9's animal and human detection, as well as face. I am hoping to test the G9 extensively the next couple of days. The Z5 was just dealt a major blow, as I thought (it seems incorrectly) they were releasing a compact 40mm this month, and that was a huge part of my plan. Now it seems end of year. The Nikon primes that are available today are too big for what I want. If the G9 AF w/the new firmware is "all that" then I am pretty sure that's the direction I'll head.
 
Last edited:

Brownie

Thread Killer Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
4,159
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
The G95 and the EM5.3 are out of contention. I don't see what the G95 adds and the EM5.3 just feels ... delicate?? Also, in my informal tests, high ISO was no better (and perhaps not as good) as my G95, and neither was pixel sharpness. I wonder if the on-sensor pdaf delivers a hit to that? Any rate, IMO, it's not a $1,000 camera.

I did toy with the announced Nikon Zfc, as it's a beautiful camera, but as there is no IBIS, no IS with the 28, and no animal detection, that momentary infatuation has passed.

So now it's down to the G9, Z5 or staying where I am (G85).

I am drawn to the G9's animal and human detection, as well as face. I am hoping to test the G9 extensively the next couple of days. The Z5 was just dealt a major blow, as I thought (it seems incorrectly) they were releasing a compact 40mm this month, and that was a huge part of my plan. Now it seems end of year. The Nikon primes that are available today are too big for what I want. If the G9 AF w/the new firmware is "all that" then I am pretty sure that's the direction I'll head.
I don't think you'll be disappointed with the G9.
 

Brownie

Thread Killer Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
4,159
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
This is an example of the G9's low-light capabilities. This was made with the 8-18 so IBIS only. The EXIF is 8mm, f/2.8, S-1/4, and ISO 200. This was handheld, no flash, no monopod and in really low light. I may expect this @ ISO 800, but it's pretty doggone good for native ISO.

51273631839_afd76e5dfe_b.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Warning Star 05 by Shotglass Photo, on Flickr
 

Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,998
Location
Tanagra (not really)
I took the move from the G85 to the G9 years ago. The G9 will feel a little bigger, but not necessarily in a bad way. My first impression with the camera was that if feels very eager to take pictures. It definitely won’t feel delicate. It’s a logical upgrade from the G85, since it moves up a level on resolution, has more customizable buttons, and is just faster overall. The firmware updates keep it feeling more new than it is.
 

WT21

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
7,397
Location
Boston
This is an example of the G9's low-light capabilities. This was made with the 8-18 so IBIS only. The EXIF is 8mm, f/2.8, S-1/4, and ISO 200. This was handheld, no flash, no monopod and in really low light. I may expect this @ ISO 800, but it's pretty doggone good for native ISO.

View attachment 895818 Warning Star 05 by Shotglass Photo, on Flickr
That's a good demonstration of IBIS + user skill! Tack-sharp at 1/4 second (about 2 stops under what it "should" be for shutter speed)
 

WT21

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
7,397
Location
Boston
I took the move from the G85 to the G9 years ago. The G9 will feel a little bigger, but not necessarily in a bad way. My first impression with the camera was that if feels very eager to take pictures. It definitely won’t feel delicate. It’s a logical upgrade from the G85, since it moves up a level on resolution, has more customizable buttons, and is just faster overall. The firmware updates keep it feeling more new than it is.
Yeah, I'm already carrying around the G85 + PL12-60 as my kit in a small shoulder bag. I don't think the G9 is going to change that equation at all. I still might want to source a GX85 or GX880 again perhaps. I looked at the EM5.3 as the "one camera" but even then, no way I'm comfortably holding the 100-300. The G85 grip helps a lot with that lens.
 

frankmulder

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
503
The Nikon primes that are available today are too big for what I want.
Have you considered Sony? Their lens lineup seems to have something for everyone (except for lightweight super telephoto). (Not saying you should switch; just curious whether you have considered this option in your quest to find an upgrade for your G85.)
 

WT21

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
7,397
Location
Boston
Have you considered Sony? Their lens lineup seems to have something for everyone (except for lightweight super telephoto). (Not saying you should switch; just curious whether you have considered this option in your quest to find an upgrade for your G85.)
Trying not to. I really don't enjoy their body design, controls feel and colors out of camera. But their lens options and size are pretty solid, especially in the more "normal" range (like 24-85). They get weak (or big and expensive) in telephoto and it's hard to find a "budget" UWA zoom, IIRC. But the options in the middle are many, good, and compact, and some affordable.
 

Latest threads

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom