It's the lenses ...
It's the lenses ...
Aug 26, 2013
It's generally not wise to invest in a camera system that's been discontinued and/or no longer being serviced by the maker ... particularly a camera system that never really managed to keep up with the worthwhile improvements in noise control, dynamic range, pixel count, etc. that other makers built into their offerings without so much as a blink.
And so, even some of the most die-hard, Olympus enthusiasts have been known to guide purchasers of new cameras in the direction of other, more "modern" makes and models like the Pentax K-5 II.
But then there's the matter of lenses.
In my search for a weather-sealed, quality camera I could take on my upcoming 1-month-long sailing trip, I took a long hard look at that Pentax. Weather-sealed. 16MP. Really well built. Exceptional high ISO performance. Very, very good ergonomics.
But, in the end, the Pentax lenses simply were no match for the stunning Olympus 12-60 and 50-200 combination. Not even close. Add a TC-14 extender and those two, relatively compact lenses provide an easy 24-560mm range, with the long end being nearly as sharp as the wide end. To my mind, the virtues of the Pentax and all its up-to-date internal goodies simply could not make up for the image quality that those Olympus lenses provide.
So I decided to mate my two favorite lenses to a used E-5, which I'll take along with my E-1 and just work around the slight limitations of both bodies in order to reap the rewards of two of the best lenses ever made by any maker. I mean, what's the benefit of great high ISO performance if the sharpness is lacking, the color is off and the corners are soft or distorted?
It's the lenses alright. The lenses should take the lead in most camera purchases. This seems so obvious and elementary. Yet it took much, much going back and forth between staying with Olympus or moving to another body before coming to my senses about what matters the most.
Let me repeat: it's the lenses.
'When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.'
— Found in a Chinese Fortune Cookie