HG & SHG lenses on a new camera & Olympus News

Started Jul 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
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dave gaines
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HG & SHG lenses on a new camera & Olympus News
Jul 26, 2013

I hope you'll forgive me for posting this news here instead of the m4/3 forum. I also have news about the next camera release from Olympus.

The Olympus sales rep for the Southwestern US was presenting Olympus's latest offerings at Samy's Camera in Pasadena, CA today (So Cal, LA area). They're having a big party for the grand opening of their new location. They moved from the center of Old Pasadena to a bigger space near Pasadena City College. On Saturday they have free lunch and live music if you can make it by there.

So as I was saying, the SW area sales rep was there. I've known him since before I bought my first DSLR, the E-3 in 2007. I met him at Olympus sponsored seminars and presentations by visionary photographers like John Isaac and Magnum photographer Eli Reed. Today he was promoting the new E-P5 and OMD E-M5 along with all of the micro 4/3 lenses.

Yesterday I asked him to bring a 4/3 to m4/3 adapter and I brought in what I thought would be some of the more challenging 4/3 SHG lenses for the E-P5 and E-M5 to focus. I tried the 14-35, the 35-100, the 50-200 mm mkI and the 4/3 Pan/Leica 25 mm f/1.4. In a well-lit room full of high contrast gear with plenty of sharp lines the 14-35 mm f/2 snapped into focus in about twice the time it focuses on my E-5 (maybe 1/4 second?). I did not get to try this lens in a dark room where the 14-35 often struglgles on the E-5. The 35-100 mm f/2 took a little longer, 3/4 to 1 full second to focus - occasionally faster. The 50-200 mm mkI was abyssmal, as you can imagine, about 2 to 3 seconds or longer. Lots of m4/3 owners have said as much about this lens on m4/3. The Pan/Leica 25 mm f/1.4 was very responsive. The focus speed was better than I expected and very usable for portraits and moving subjects. It was not as fast as the E-5, but the difference is very slight for my style of slow, methodical shooting. I didn't time any of these with a stop watch, it's just my estimation of how quickly they focused in comparison to the E-5.

The rep said his reading indicated the E-P5 would focus the 14-35, 12-60, 50-200 mm mkII and 50 mm f/2 faster than the E-P3. The first 3 are SWD lenses and it would be hard to be slower than the E-P3 with the 50 mm f/2.

My overall feeling is that neither the E-P5 Pen or the OM-D are good enough for use with my 4/3 HG and SHG lenses. As soon as you mount the lens you're holding it by the lens, not the camera, due to the weight balance. At one point I tried to adjust the electronic viewfinder diopter. I pre-focused on a good location and then tried to contiue looking at that spot while I adjusted the diopter to the sharpest image. I found I could not do it because I had to hold the lens and let go of the camera to operate the dial. It was very awkward and in the end I could not adjust it. Maybe with some practice I could, but it pointed out the awkward balance of a large lens on a small camera with a small grip. The E-P5 has no grip option. the WiFi is located in the small grip of the body.

The focus is too slow to be useful with at least two of my best lenses on the Pen and OM-D. That excelllent, umatched 50-200 mm lens becomes a slow tube, better used in manual focus. The 35-100 is too slow to use for catching expressions in portraits. I didn't try the 50/2, the 14-54 mm mkI, the 11-22 mm or the other fine HG and SHG lenses I have.

So the news: Olympus will have new releases about the first or second week of September. People here have already stated the timing so that may be old news in other circles. Olympus is coming out with a new OM-D upgrade that will be better than the E-M3 and cost more (from the wya he said it I read lots more). There will be new m4/3 lenses released about the same time that will improve on the zooms that are available (not hard to do, IMO). As far as a new release in the DSLR line, he was not sure. He said, "Olympus will tell me/us in a sales meeting around the end of August". We can expect a press release a week or so later. By then we'll probably all start to hear rumors of what's coming. And it will be official news by September 15th or thereabouts.

Since the E-P5 was just released with almost the same features and functions as the E-M3 I have a hard time imagining the next OM-D will have any big improvements over the E-P5. I told the rep I wasn't interested in using my HG and SHG lenses on a Pen or OM-D sized body. I want the same instantly fast focus I have on the E-5, or better. Also, I have a $1500 minimum invested in an underwater housing that can not be transfered to a new camera. That UW system uses 4/3 lenses and only the E-330. I have the FP-1 flash power grip, SHV-1 battery pack, FL-CB02 and FL-CB05 cables, the Oly cable remote, SRF-11 ring flash and adapter tube, 5 of the FL-50 flash with DIY mono terminals that I installed for off-camera radio triggered flash. The remote flash can be used with any system via radio triggers, but the FL-50 is also useful for any of the 4/3 DSLRs. I told him I'm looking for a new DSLR to be released.

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Dave

 dave gaines's gear list:dave gaines's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Olympus E-330 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +7 more
Olympus E-3 Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-P3 Olympus PEN E-P5
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