The Olympus EM-5.2 and the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 lens. A very nice combination to shoot with everyday.

The beauty of owning several camera systems, one big and super high res, the other nicely sized and brilliantly portable, is that you can select the one you feel aligned with in the moment and leverage both the emotional connection to the camera as well as the technical attributes you feel you need in the moment. 

I've owned a couple of the Olympus EM5.2 cameras for many months now and find them to be wonderfully compatible with my nature when it comes to ambling around aimlessly, waiting for unexpected images to fall into my lap. I use the camera with the optional battery grip and find the combination just right. Without the battery grip parts of my right hand just don't fit anywhere and hands hate to exist without good operational boundaries. The grip with the extra battery also provides that existential calm and reassurance that one's camera won't become useless halfway through a walk, presaged by the orange, blinking battery symbol. 

You may have noticed that I don't like to carry multiple lenses with me on these unstructured walks; usually I select an normal focal length, which for me is a 50mm to 90mm equivalent, but I am equally happy with wide to short telephoto zooms. On the day I took the image above I intended to walk into downtown to see what was happening in the streets around the SXSW conferences and musical stages. A light rain had been falling all day and I decided to use the 12-35mm Panasonic lens on the camera to take advantage of the weather sealing provided by the pair. 

The camera function perfectly and, when I was immersed in non-photographic moments, hung almost transparently by my side.

Emotionally I love the little Olympus and Panasonic cameras most of all my gear. Intellectually, I like the Nikon D810 and the 85mm f1.8 best of all my gear. I'm sure people who have reconciled the two sides of their brains, and the emotional versus intellectual frisson can be happy with one well researched choice. But it certainly is fun to order up something a little different every day. 

After shooting the flowers I trudge downtown and shot on the slick streets. But that's the next blog...


Dennis Elam said...

Emotionally I like my fuji X 30 with its fine 2.0-2.8 4x zoom lens. Like you I don't like carrying the array of senses I have accumulated for my Olympus Em 5 mark I. Reading about your experience with the FZ 1000 I am considering selling all the Oly stuff and going with the FZ 1000, I have accumulated several Oly legacy lenses, made in Japan, great optic but require manual focus.

I am no pro photographer, I doubt I would fell the difference in the shots.

Any comments?

Kirk Tuck said...

HI Dennis, the thought of using one camera for everything is seductive but for me, two weeks later, the idea of being able to try a new lens or upgrade to a new body is even more seductive. The fz 1000 is a great "take everywhere" camera but I think it makes more sense as a second camera in the way that having a lake house or vacation home sounds good as long as you've also got a convenient, comfortable home base in the middle of a thriving city. :-)

Rohith Thumati said...

As much as I love prime glass, the E-M5 II (and the original E-M5 before it) + Panasonic 12-35 has been my go-to combo for everyday, decent-to-good light photography for years. It just is a nice, compact, versatile combo. I can (and have) filled books and my walls with photos made with that combo.

That lens is the core of my travel kit, as well, rounded out by the Panasonic 35-100 f/4-5.6 and either the 15mm f/1.7 or the 25mm f/1.4 (and maybe the 42.5mm f/1.7 if I think I may use it). It's a pretty complete kit for my needs: the 12-35 for the majority of situations, the telezoom if needed, and the primes for lower light or to get a specific effect. It's a pretty versatile kit, and I've missed very few, if any, photos. And it packs all in a tiny, unobtrusive bag that gets by security more times than not, which is quite the bonus.

Well - that used to be my core travel kit. My wife and I had a boy 4 months ago, and given the baby gear we now need to carry, even a tiny camera kit has often become a burden: one more bag to keep track of isn't a simple thing if I'm focused on an infant.

So I bought a Panasonic LX100 a few weeks ago, and I'm really happy with it. Panasonic knows how to make lenses that make people look good, and the lens on the LX is no different. It's already fixed itself as my everyday, life recording camera, but it doesn't embarrass itself when pressed into service as a "serious" camera. It's not going to replace my Micro Four Thirds kit any time soon, but is a great complement. And it fits in the diaper bag a lot more comfortably than the E-M5 + 12-35 did. :)

Craig Yuill said...

Your thoughts echo my feelings about my DX-format DSLR and CX-format mirrorless camera. The DX camera with the larger and better sensor allows me to create better overall pictures. But I was saddened when I had to send in the mirrorless camera for repair, and be mirrorlessless (new word I created, TM) for a week.

Nigel said...

Agreed - though for me, the 35/100 is on the camera most of the time.
Love that lens.