I'm a sucker for new lenses but sometimes I come across images from unappreciated lenses which make me stop and wonder why I keep looking. Here's one...


An Actor from Zach Theatre. On Halloween 2019.

In October 2019 I was still halfway into one system and on the way out with another system. I'd been shooting with Fuji XH-1 cameras, and some of their (optically) really good lenses but the Panasonic S1 system caught my attention and just seemed to make so much sense. 

I started out with one S1 camera and the 24-105mm f4.0 zoom and on my first week out with the new camera I shot the image above, hand-held and in low, mixed light, with the lens wide open. A few days later I was at the Day of the Dead celebration, downtown, and I shot a bunch more images that I liked right way. In fact, there were dozens and dozens of keepers. I wrote a blog and showed a bunch of the images here: D.O.T.D.

The upshot of these two sessions was my wholesale abandonment of one system and my embrace of the new system (which I should note is still my primary photography and video system with nothing new on the horizon). 

I bought a number of amazing lenses, probably motivated by the "idea" that an "all in one" zoom lens like the 24-105mm couldn't possibly be as good as, say, a Sigma prime Art lens. But as I look back through everything I've shot I have to say that the zoom is just perfect. On almost every level. Just perfect. 

If I could go back to early October 2019 in the VSL time machine I'd convince my younger self to just buy the 24-105 and the 70-200mm f4.0 (which is also superb) and then I would snatch the credit cards right out of my past self's hands and declare a buying embargo for either five years or until such a time as one of the lenses experienced a catastrophic failure. They are both that good. 

If I were to recommend a "system" to an aspiring professional on a limited budget is would be to just buy the 24-105mm lens and an S1 body and then add to that inventory only as needed and when the work paid enough to cover the additional costs. 

I recently bought a Leica SL2 and have been using it as much as possible so I can become familiar with it. I have an embarrassing admission to make. Embarrassing since I spent $6000 on the Leica.... But at this point in time I still like shooting with the S1 a bit better. Might be a case of being more confident with a camera one is most familiar with but...there it is. 

Heading out the door to walk and think about all this. After having written of my high regard for the 24-105mm lens you'd think it's a "no brainer" that I would take that lens along with me but---no. I'm walking out the door with the 70mm Art series macro and the S1. Trying to get comfortable with that lens right now. Later on I'll slip the 24-105mm onto the SL2 and see if I can learn to love the camera through my familiarity and respect for a great lens. All conjecture at this point.