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Friday, 05 June 2020


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Once we were young.

Ctein is writing science fiction now 😂.

One of my favorite and treasured issues of Like magazine is one featuring a photo essay by John Loengard of Georgia O'Keeffe. Enough said.

The film on Elsa, 'The B-Side' (on Netflix), is worth watching. Here's a short trailer, assuming ok to post...


I wholeheartedly agree regarding the Loengard book. I also occasionally pull out his book,

    As I See It

Panasonic has a very inexpensive 45-150/4-5.6 lens that is less than half the price of the 45-175 and is usually a bit better than the 45-175. The 45-150 is of similar quality to the VERY tiny 35-100/4-5.6, but is a lot less expensive and of course a bit more versatile. The 45-175 is the price it is because it is a PZ (power zoom) which is focussed on video use. So that45-150 tends to be the 'basic' telezoom. The 50-200 is indeed exceptional, and is in a completely different league to the other zooms. It is the best telezoom in the m43 field according to my experience and only a few primes are better. It also works very well with the 1.4x converter.

As far as primes are concerned, Ctein is correct. The Panasonic 42.5/1.7 is a better lens than the Olympus 45/1.8 if resolution, contrast, bokeh, etc. are important to you. Not by much, but it's better.

Thank you for mentioning John Loengard who was also one of my heroes. Thank you, John.

I agree with Mr. Holmes.
If a person wants to move out of a city full of attractions like NY just because those attractions are temporarily affected, it is because that person ALREADY wanted to be somewhere else.

Your comment about the lack of F4 lenses...I've just about given up on my Nikon Z6 because of the lack of a 70-200 lens in F4. I have an excellent f2.8 70-200 lens for my F system, that can be adapted to the Z, but it's the size of a bazooka. When Nikon first came out with its Z system, the first zoom was an f4 24-70 zoom, and I assumed that it would be quickly followed by the other lens in the usual set, a compact f4 70-200. Wrong. Nikon next produced an f2.8 70-200 bazooka for the Z, which completely defeats the idea of a small, full-frame camera system. I think perhaps I was wrong in assuming that's what Nikon had in mind with the small Z bodies. I now believe they didn't think of them as being small at all -- small is just the size that they happened to come out. Otherwise, no change in the thinking -- keep cranking out the bazookas, effectively no different than the big F lenses.

In any case, I'm tired of carrying the bazookas around with me, and I'm thinking of dumping the Z system (although it has a brilliant 85mm portrait lens.) I hardly use it anymore, having mostly gone back to my Panasonic GX8s. Panasonic, by the way, has a really very good Leica-branded 12-60 zoom, which does reasonably well almost everything I need for street and portrait, and it a great combo for hiking. It's expensive, at about $800 on Amazon. (Panasonic actually has two 12-60 lenses; the Lumix lens is slower, less sharp and cheaper.)

I just wish Panasonic would upgrade their m4/3 sensor, which is really getting long in the tooth. There are rumors of a GX10 out there...

I think about LIFE magazine almost every month, it's hard to believe a magazine with that type of impact, and successful. I remember waiting for my high-school girlfriend to get ready and sitting in her families front room, and paging through their latest issue of LIFE!

Hard to believe the magazine published it's last weekly issue in 1972, when I was a senior in high-school. Financially, it went from successful to not-so-much, in a very short period of time. The power of television news on the rise (and the televised Viet Nam war. I'm afraid the country traded the reflective and compelling photo essay for getting instant news; regardless of quality.

One of my fave lenses in Panasonic 3.5-5.6 14-140mm II. The range is supremely useful, it's sharp, and it's really compact and light.


In later years, per her website, Elsa Dorfman charged $15k for a 20x24 Polaroid portrait, (and worth it IMHO). Also I recall, probably from 'Pictures Under Discussion', that Mr. Loengard liked to use a 65/3.5 Elmar lens, with a Visoflex reflex housing on a Leica M. Then and now, I thought that a quirky choice of gear, but who could argue with his marvelous photographs? The world is a smaller place now, without the two of them.

I never heard of the Oly 12-45 either until I read it here. When it comes to light, of course, f/4 is f/4, but when it comes to depth of field, if you use the "one f/stop per format" loosely inaccurate theory,(i.e f/4 on Micro 4/3rd's, is like f/5.6 on APS-C, and /8 on FF), you are basically walking around with a lens where the depth of field, wide open, would be like walking around with a FF 35mm that didn't open wider than f/8!

I'll be the first person to say I shot a fair amount of stuff on 35mm at f/8 back in the day (the old adage "f/8 and be there"), but I sure shot a lot of stuff wider than that too! I'm a big proponent of M4/3rds, for the multi-format settings, and it's ability to autofocus on faces anywhere in the field; but the depth thing is why I stick with the f/1.8 primes.

Still, the lens looks tight and well made, and if it meets a persons needs, it's getting good quality reviews!

Please do test the Panasonic 12-60 f/3.5-5.6 with the GX-9 so I don’t have to rent it :-). Thank you.

The Panasonic 3.5-5.6 14-140mm II pretty much stayed glued to my E-M5 when I was shooting m4/3s. Good lens, extremely useful range.

On 10-Apr-2017 you wrote "Twenty-five years ago I liked smaller format (35mm) and faster films (Tri-X and P3200) because I liked a little roughness. Pictures had a little bite and grain, a certain clarity. I see some of the same qualities in images from the IMX 269 sensor. They have that lovely "bite." I even love the quality of the noise, when you can see it." Please do let us know if the GX9 exhibits this "bite" quality.

That you Steve C. for the kind words!

And thank you Mike for digging into Sara's photo advocacy. As a former lawyer, she's been successfully working behind the scenes to get parole and clemency for several of the women in her photo projects.

Mike (and Nicholas):

Mike, don't be knocking the Panasonic 12-60 f/3.5-5.6 with the GX-9. I did rent that combo before buying and the 'kit' lens is plenty good enough when used carefully (I shoot in aperture priority and generally stop 2 stops down from wide open at a given focal length). Excellent sharpness, at least in the copy I had. And perfect weight, size and balance on the GX-9 body. In the end I succumbed to gear greed and bought the Panasonic/Leica 12-60 f/2.8-4, which is very nice optically but not as nice in terms of weight and balance - get an add-on grip for that lens/body combo.

Ok. I bought the Oly 12-45, thankyouverymuch. Was on the fence before and you just pushed me over. I needed the shove: I had run out of reviews, having read several of them at least twice each. Oh, and its 58mm thread means it accepts the filters I have for my Bronica RF645, another MJ-endorsed purchase from several years ago.

I guess you are, in today's parlance, an "influencer," dagnabbit.

Many thanks for the link to The B-Side, the Errol Morris doc about Elsa Dorfman. I just saw it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

For a short time in 1967 my parents had a subscription to LIFE magazine here in the UK.
The January 23rd issue was a double issue on Photography.
It was full of amazing images especially to a nine year old, and was one of the catalysts that set me on a career in photography.
I still have that copy in my collection.

I enjoyed watching The B-side.
I own the Panasonic 45-150 lens, the cheap, light version. It doesnt have a large fanbase, you’ll find next to nothing photos made with it, neither raving reviews. In my opinion it is a fine lens, light, cheap, easy to operate, no frills.

Mark Sampson is correct. John Loengard did, at least for a time, use the clunky Visoflex to convert a rangefinder Leica to through the lens viewing. Only a guess, but perhaps because the Visoflex could be used with a vertical viewfinder/magnifier, like the Nikon in your photograph of him. My memory is convinced he used the Visoflex to make the picture of the cowboys hand holding a rope, with a triangular chunk out of his thumbnail. Whether my memory is to be trusted is another matter.

I picked up a new copy of Loengard's 'Life Photographers: What They Saw' when it was first published 20 odd years ago. I've now pulled it off the shelf and started re-reading his interviews - highly recommended for anyone interested in photojournalism, or Life magazine.

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