Re: [OM] Systems Rationalization

Subject: Re: [OM] Systems Rationalization
From: Philippe <photo.philippe.amard@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2020 21:25:58 +0200
Just a question Ken, 

Worth pondering over during the weekend’s hike.

Is there such thing as reason in photography, be it taking (or making them as 
per the famous American Yosemite photographer) or viewing them? And of course 
in selecting and using gear that allow to catch the light, whatever their make.

You later wrote that you’re good at finding motives or reasons, and you aptly 
do so my friend :-)

Enjoy that weekend, and forget about the gear, follow your instinct ;-)





> Le 8 sept. 2020 à 20:50, Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx> a écrit :
> Now that I've augmented the Four-Thirds system to a point of
> sufficiency, there comes a point where I need to rationalize the kit a
> bit and determine "what next" or "what goes". The problem with "what
> goes" is that most Olympus gear is priced in the "scrap metal"
> category, so it really is a matter of just gifting others that are
> even more mentally disturbed than I am. I have done quite a bit of
> rehoming, especially with all of the darkroom gear, and duplications
> of OM stuff. There is still a lot of rehoming to go, but the majority
> of the kit actually has some purpose in life.
> I purchased the Sony A7 Mk2 to best utilize the OM Zuikos. That is a
> decision and kit that serves a fantastic, but limited purpose. The
> image quality from that kit is second to none, and absolutely superb.
> However, it isn't for all applications, and the kit can get quite
> heavy. I do enjoy hiking with it with just a pair of lenses. The 28/2
> and a 100/2 or 100/2.8 makes a good walk-about kit. However, I know
> that it won't make a good winter kit because of battery life and
> weather-proofing. It's a great camera for working from around the car.
> It's basically like a medium-format camera system for today. What is
> weird about the Sony is that it's a wonderful camera, but it just
> lacks something. You would think that the Sony would be the first
> camera I would grab when I'm heading out the door, but it really
> isn't. Part of that is the EVF which is nearly impossible to
> comfortably see when shooting outdoors. However, indoor, low-light
> photography? Lock on that OMZ 28/2 or 50/1.4 and Bob's Your Uncle. The
> focus-peaking is extremely good and with those lenses, there is
> nothing I can't photograph handheld indoors. THAT is the absolute
> sweet-spot for that kit. My enjoyment with the Sony and the F2 lenses
> for indoor photography has never been greater. (And the Sony with the
> OMZ 300/4.5 is bonkers good for mountain landscape photography).
> All year, I've been going back and forth on the Four-Thirds system. I
> was set to completely abandon it, then I augment it, then I go to
> abandon it, then I augment it again! At this point, I am convinced to
> keep it going and tag a couple more items to the kit before calling it
> capped (for now). It's big, heavy (except for the E-400 kit), and
> doesn't have the latest/greatest sensors, but honestly, this system
> "delivers the mail". I've got bodies and lenses for all occasions. For
> portraiture, there really is no equal to Olympus
> Four-Thirds--especially with the CCD sensors. (Some exceptions do
> exist, with caveats). The addition of the SWD lenses and an E-3 not
> held together with duct tape (literally) really brings the system up
> to a level of usability that I was lacking, but overcompensating for.
> I would like to add one more camera to that system, being either the
> E-5 or an E-M1 Mk2 with battery grip. Or both. No hurry, I'll be
> patient. For winter photography, The E-system is the best as it not
> only is weatherproof, but it actually functions at -20F temperatures!
> I'm usually getting an hour out of a battery regardless of how many
> pictures are taken. Best of all, the viewfinders of the E-bodies are
> generally visible and usable in any condition, with the E-3 having a
> rather gloriously large viewfinder. Resolution, even with the E-1, is
> not much of an issue as I do a LOT of multi-image stitching in
> Lightroom. Ultimately, I'd like to have this kit upgraded/reduced down
> to an E-1, E-5, E-400, and E-M1 Mk2.
> The Micro Four-Thirds system is rather interesting. Honestly, I
> absolutely love that little GX85 with the Lumix kit lenses and 25/1.7.
> My total investment in that kit is next to nothing. It's so small and
> lightweight it can go anywhere and everywhere with me. It's been my
> primary hiking partner this year. (The E-400 with 14-42 and 40-150 is
> also a great hiking system). I've thought about augmenting this
> system, and doing a whole bunch of lens upgrades and additions, but
> have realized that it would defeat the purpose of the system--which is
> to be light and small. I'm not particularly interested in a slightly
> smaller/lighter version of the Four-Thirds system that is essentially
> a duplicate. When I want serious glass, I can always put any of the OM
> or Four-Thirds lenses on the GX85. The GX85 kit goes everywhere
> precisely because it is what it is. If I start swapping out lenses,
> and buying a whole bunch of lovely primes and better bodies, it will
> no longer be that "go everywhere" kit.
> The question is whether or not to abandon two of the systems and
> consolidate into one. If one, which one? Obviously Four-Thirds is a
> dead-end, and Micro Four-Thirds is highly likely to be one too. Sony?
> Panasonic? Canon? Nikon? Fujifilm? Eventually, I will abandon all and
> settle in on some new-shiny 100% native kit, but I don't see that for
> a while yet. In the meantime, all three systems actually work
> together, with the only real exception of the Micro Four-Thirds
> lenses. But my investment in those three lenses is tiny. I've got $550
> tied up in Micro Four-Thirds between the GX85, 12-32, 45-150, 25/1.7,
> and extra battery. That's it. All purchased brand-new! What an
> incredible bargain! That 25/1.7 was on sale for something like $100
> and is actually a VERY good lens. I was able to justify the 4/3 SWD
> lens additions because of the compatibility with m43. I can put a big
> honkin lens on the Panasonic when I want to, but only when I want to.
> A lot of the "indecision" really involves my current unique living
> situation. I'm essentially on an "extended paid vacation" in one of
> the most beautiful places on earth. I get to experience all two
> seasons here (Winter and Tourists) which complicates matters quite a
> bit. If I was planning a two-week vacation in Alaska in summer, I'd
> settle in on a kit that is best for "from the scenic turnouts"
> photography that covers all the expected bases. Give me a couple of
> bodies, and lenses to cover from extreme-wide to extreme-telephoto, a
> big tripod, and several hundred GB of cards. I want maximum coverage
> with a kit that fits in that high-intensity "drive, shoot, drive,
> shoot, drive, shoot" environment. I'd spend a fortune on cameras and
> lenses to capture the "Great American Landscape" photograph to hang on
> my wall. But living here means that I get to do the same pursuit as
> any other photo-tourist, which requires a similar kit, but I get to do
> the other things that tourists can't generally do, and that's spend
> time on the trails, climbing mountains, hiking into ravines that may
> or may not yield anything exciting, and just take the time to let the
> clouds and light do their thing. The preferred kit MIGHT be the same
> as the road-trip kit, but it might not either. I'm not afraid to say
> "hey, let's go for this day hike up a mountain and only bring a 28/2
> len on the Sony". A two-week vacation photographer would never allow
> him/herself that luxury. Winter photography has entirely different
> requirements too, when you're out in -20F temperatures (heat wave)
> drudging around on snowshoes, wearing thick gloves and eye-protection.
> And I do shoot (well, not in 2020, but that's another story) events
> and portraits, so there is the need for a competent kit there.
> So, for now, I'm satisfied with the triple, but interactive systems.
> It really is an embarrassment of riches. I get to choose what is best
> for a given situation. In the past two weeks, I've actually hiked with
> four distinctly different systems. Which one was my favorite and
> yielded the best results? All of them, but for different reasons.
> AG Schnozz
> -- 
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