Thursday, April 26, 2012

Infatuation?

Classic LinesThat's the only way to describe it. This is my second M.Zuiko 17mm µ4/3rds pancake lens. The first one, a silver model, was used until the front cosmetic element fell off somewhere in Boston.

Before that time I had a rather extended honeymoon with that lens. But when it lost its front bit I felt somewhat annoyed with it and thus put it in the bag, where it pretty much stayed until I sold it to a friend of mine. Of course he felt he'd gotten the bargain and he's put it to good use himself.

Along the way I picked up three new primes for the E-P2; the M.Zuiko 45mm and the Panasonic 20mm and 14mm. All three of those lenses are stellar performers.

But I felt guilty for having abandoned my first love, the 17mm. It never did anything to me, and quite frankly, it never stopped working as a lens. It was my very silly reaction to the cosmetic blemish that developed on the front edge. So when the price dropped down to a 'mere' $200 for the black version, well, I snapped it up and put it back in my bag along with all my other µ4/3rds lenses.

I pull it out now and use it along with the other lenses. It has a field of view (34mm equivalent) I appreciate and can work with quite well. And I've started using it with a method I'd long forgotten; hyperfocal focusing. I set the lens to manual focus, set the aperture to f/8, and let the camera pick the shutter speed and an ISO value between 200 and 800. Now, when I want to do street photography I focus out about eight feet (estimating, really) and I have a depth of field from about 4 feet out to infinity. Without having to wait for the E-P2 to focus I can get an exposure off as fast as my arthritic shutter finger can react to the 'decisive moment'. To be honest I can do the same thing with the Panasonic 14mm, but for whatever reason that all-black 17mm on that all-black E-P1 with its all-black leather holder is, well, just a sexy little combination in the hand.

2 comments:

  1. Awww you're cracking me up - this is just too tempting to resist :-) Today I borrowed that sweet 20mm Panny from my wife again to take some indoor photos in the company, but I sooo crave for just that bit more wide angle sometimes. I should just get this second affordable "kit lens" for my E-PL1 and be done with it. Plus maybe an adapter 4/3rds to µ4/3rds, so that I also can use my old and manual OM Zuiko 1:1.8 50mm on the Pen. That would be quite the combination...

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  2. Well, I followed in your footsteps yet again, and now I have my own brand-new black E-P2, and matching black 17mm lens to go with it, both from Cameta Camera out of NY.

    I already own the Panny 20mm, so I wasn't expecting much out of the 17mm, but I was very, very pleasantly surprised -- it's just a tiny bit less sharp than the 20mm, not anywhere as bad as the testing sites would leave you to believe.

    I tested the two lenses on my Lumix GH1, which easily out-resolves any other camera I own, and found them to be nearly identical for image quality...I could only tell them apart in A/B comparisons where I could zoom in to the digital file, otherwise, the optical differences are fairly minor.

    But one thing really shocked me: the 17mm performed far quicker and far, far, more accurately than the 20mm on the GH-1! The 20mm is very accurate in regards to focusing--in terms of it choosing what to focus on, not you. But the 17mm almost always nailed the proper subject in the frame to photograph.

    Anyway, I'm having a blast using the E-P2 and 17mm combo. It's a lot of fun.

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