Wednesday, 3 July 2013

New Best Friends...

...or how to shoot like a pro for £600.

Having now played even more with the Olympus E-PM1 and various Micro Four Thirds lenses, I can announce that, apart from the already mentioned Panasonic 14mm/2.5, there is one more lens that is a very good, if not exactly perfect, fit for this camera.

As you cannot see in the photo to the left, but should be able to see in the photo just below, this is the Olympus 45mm/1.8. In itself, this lens is a great choice for portrait work. Of course, you may prefer the Olympus 75mm/1.8 one for that - if you can afford it, but it also falls way out of my proposition of a £600 kit combo. And, the 45mm lens can also be quite handy for street photography, too.

So, in my kit combo, you now have the E-PM1 body - currently £220 new, including the 14-42mm kit lens, the Panasonic 14mm/2.5 wide angle lens - currently £200 new, and the Olympus 45mm/1.8 - currently selling at £220 new. Add this all up and you end up with £640 - and a spare lens. Now, you can either sell the 14-42mm kit lens and recoup anywhere from £40 to £60 (if you're lucky), or you can keep that one, too. Who knows, you may decide at some point to take the E-PM1 out as point-and-shoot with just the kti lens on. You won't get any depth of field control to speak of, but at least you won't have to carry a spare lens in your pocket, and will have the convenience of a medium zoom.

If you wanted you could now claim that 28mm equivalent of the Panasonic 14mm lens is not exactly what a pro might choose to shoot as either wide angle or a standard prime, but for me that's both close enough to the lovely 35mm equivalent, and at the same time gives that little bit of width to play around either with cropping or wider composition. If you now tell me that for a pro the only true standard prime is 50mm equivalent, and that thou shalt not crop - I'll tell you to go away and continue being a pixel peeping Tom hung up on numbers and lore. Same if you tell me that the only true portrait lens is neither 150mm nor 90mm equivalent, but 120mm or 180mm or whatever you may like in between. After all, we're talking £600 worth of kit "pro" pro (and even less if you go for second hand or just shop around).

Finally, to illustrate what kind of quick and dirty winners you may be able to score with this combo here's one I took with just a second's thought and mostly because the E-PM1 with Olympus 14mm on was to hand while I was lying down on the floor playing with my 15 month old. The photo has not been edited in any way, and the scene wasn't staged. This is straight after a 15 month old left the scene, and straight out of the camera (and no flash - of course). Enjoy!

Will I be abandoning my Olympus O-MD for this combo? Of course not! But it is a viable alternative for when you want to travel even lighter or you have concerns someone may steal and/or damage your kit.