Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Hilariously Unbalanced!

Have a look at the photo to the left! Just have a look!

If it didn't make you laugh then your sense of humour must have been surgically removed at birth. Go speak to your mum or the delivery staff.

No, I have not conjured up a silly camera/lens combination. This is a perfectly valid and working Micro Four Thirds setup.

What you are seeing, if you haven't recognised it yet, this is an Olympus E-PM1 camera body attached to a Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 lens. Yes, you read it right: a camera body attached to a lens. To say that this lens is attached to this camera would be ridiculous and, I'm afraid, factually incorrect.

Now, tell me: how is one supposed to shoot with a setup like this? I have tried, and I have to say that - after I have stopped laughing - it felt utterly ridiculous. I just meant to say that the balance was all wrong, but in all honesty I couldn't detect any balance to speak of in the first place. And that is with the lens at the widest 100mm position, too!

Now consider the photo on the right, the lens now at 300mm.

How ridiculous is THAT?!

Can you even imagine how it felt in the hand? No, I guess not. You're probably a sensible person and wouldn't try this in the first place.

Ah, I hear some of you asking why did I not just use a tripod?

But you see, the tripod mount is on the camera body. How sturdy and wide legged would a tripod need to be to not topple over, or at least not allow the lens to sway around freely like a candle in the wind?

A tripod collar! Use a tripod collar! I hear some shouting...

But the Panasonic lens doesn't come with one, you see. And nor does the similar Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 lens which is of comparable size, if not weight.

So, here we have what one gets when one chooses to go for as small a Micro Four Thirds camera one can find (and same goes for other compact system mirror-less cameras) - a monstrosity. I actually wouldn't mind if this was just a visual monstrosity. I could live with that. But this monstrosity is totally unusable in any reasonable sense of the word.

Luckily, I have my trusty OM-D which is just about usable with this lens, and there are other Micro Four Thirds bodies available which could make more sense than the E-PM1. But, now I have the body and the lens to hand, I just had to show you what was I talking about when I first griped and moaned about this issue.

So, now you have it, all nicely illustrated - and in colour. A couple of thousands of words worth, eh?