Ctein and I had our annual meet-up in Madison this afternoon, which was great fun as usual. We went to our now-traditional Italian restuarant lunch spot along with his S.O. Laura, and then, back at the hotel where his conference is taking place, looked at cameras and pictures in equal proportions. I took this shot with the Olympus E-M1 and the Panasonic 12–35mm, one of several fancy lenses Ctein brought along to show me—I gather he had this one on loan from John Camp.
So, can't teach an old reviewer new tricks? Can't teach an old reviewer old tricks, hardly. Seems I keep having to learn this over and over again: you don't really know a thing until you try it yourself. I've read many times on Ye Tubes of Ye Internets that the older Panasonic 20mm lens (my "normal" on this camera) is slow-ish to focus on the newer Olympii and that a number of alternatives are faster. Well, I had no idea how much faster. The Panasonic 12–35mm zoom is blazingly fast on the E-M1; really surprisingly fast. Almost I-didn't-know-how-fast-autofocus-could-focus fast.
The bar keeps being raised. I loved the way this lens handles on this camera.
Ctein showed me a number of 17x22" prints, all taken with the E-M5 Micro 4/3 camera and all utterly putting to the lie the idea that Micro 4/3 is not capable of superb results on paper. Some of the new aurora borealis shots from Yellowknife are wonderful, and I particularly liked a delicate and incredibly sharp landscape taken from the plane. Almost hard to believe.
He showed me some B&W work, too, but something was seriously wrong with them—the tones were just not right. Maybe he has some sort of explanation for their weird and "off" look. Some sort of mystery if you ask me.
[UPDATE: Okay, I'll come clean—they were all infrareds. Ctein cheerfully accused me of having an antipathy toward infrared, and I guess I have to concede that.]
I got to try the Olympus 75mm lens, too—another beauty, although it's a bit too long for the way I see.
I'd sure love to have that zoom, though. (And no, those words from my lips are not actually a sign of the Apocalypse.)
*In case you might not know, it's pronounced "kuh-TINE" and it's his full legal name.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Stephen Scharf: "I have that 12–35mm zoom, and it rocks. It's on my E-M1 90% of the time. Pricey but worth it."
Nicholas Condon: "We'll know it's the Apocalypse when you use said zoom to take a color photo of a cat with flowers."
David Wilson: "The Panasonic 12–35mm ƒ/2.8 X zoom has become my go-to lens for Micro 4/3. Works great on all the Panasonic and Olympus bodies I have. It's almost like having a bunch of high performance primes in one lens, which I guess is the point."
ShadZee: "I'm still waiting for his final review of those glasses ;-)"
Mike replies: I don't think that's going to happen now, as the company that makes them went out of business. To Ctein's great chagrin.
Richard Alan Fox: "When using that lens on Olympus bodies do you use camera IS or lens IS?"
Mike replies: I had the body stabilization on and the lens stabilization off for the handful of shots I made with it. My understanding is that with Panasonic bodies that have IBIS (is it just the GX7, or are there more?), the lens IS always take precedence, but with Olympus bodies with IS, you can use either (or none). If that's not right I hope someone who is more intimately familiar with the issue will fill us in.