My E-M5 eagle has landed (accessories and lenses talk)

Started Jun 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
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RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 25,414
My E-M5 eagle has landed (accessories and lenses talk)

I'll be leaving for Sicily tomorrow very early, so it was just in time that I could go pick up my E-M5 this morning in my brick-and-mortar store.

I will give the E-M5 a very thorough exercize in Sicily and report back when I return.
The battery is now charging...

A few words on what I did in the store.

1. I played around with some HLD-6 grip combinations. I think that the first part will hardly ever leave the camera. The extra battery pack will be used when I am balancing heavy lenses. I still need to test my heaviest SHG glass because I did not have any of it with me.

2. I bought the E-M5 in kit with the µFT 12-50 lens , because it seems like a good deal. Focus speed is incredible and while the lens is slow, it seems a solid alround performer with also macro and video capabilities.

3. The main accessory for me was the splashproof MMF-3 adapter , that I tried out with quite a number of Zuiko ZD lenses. Focus speeds was respectable on most lenses : not fast but workable. Actually better than I had anticipated, especially in the dimness of the indoor shop. The ZD12-60 did not bad, but I am used to instant AF with that lens on FT bodies, so anything else feels like a bit of a let-down. I'll get over it.

4. I wanted at least one good low-light lens. The µFT 45mmF1.8 lens was on my list of lenses to consider, but it was not in stock so I could not give it another try. But I think I will pass for the time being, because the ZD50mm macro worked quite well, so that will be my lowlight lens for that range. I will reconsider the µFT45mm lens when it reappears in black and weathersealed... if I still need it.

5. Very good and ergonomic combinations are with the ZD25mmF2.8 pancake and the ZD8mm FE . That is excellent news, 'cuz I love my fisheye. The pancake will see more use on the E-M5 than it ever saw on the FT E-cameras.

6. My biggest surprise ( I surprised even myself ) was my decision to buy a lens for telephoto purposes . And the actual choice was maybe even weirder, but I still think it makes sense.

I brought my old ZD40-150 (Mk1) with me, and it was OK, but focused very slowly.

The ZD50-200 is of course a better lens, but AF speed was only just acceptable, and the lens feels quite heavy on the camera. I've been logging the ZD50-200 with me for years when traveling, and it will remain a favourite, but now I really wanted a solution that could fit in a small shoulder bag.

I considered a µFT40-150 lens but felt it would not really give me enough extra range for the money. Maybe I give that lens not enough credit, but it just did not feel optimal to me.

The µFT 75-300 lens was also in stock, but it is kinda slow (aperture-wise) and also kinda expensive. Probably excellent if you are in the position where µFT is the only consideration in the equation, but that is not the case for me.

But then my eye fell on the fact that they still had a regular FT ZD70-300 lens in stock, and that lens, upon consideration, actually ticked quite a few boxes :

  • focal length range above 200mm (for which I always had to turn to my Sigma);

  • a very good feel and build and not really that much bigger and heavier than the µFT 75-300, nor the ZD40-150 (while the ZD50-200 is huge in comparison;

  • lens hood included (yes, a minor issue, but still);

  • over the entire range a bit faster (aperture) than the mFT 75-300 (4-5.6 is better than 4.8-6.7; who can argue with that);

  • from what I read and hear, the lens is a solid performer in good light and that is what I intend to use it for;

  • not unimportant (and probably one of my major considerations): that FT 70-300 costs less than half of the price of the mFT 75-300;

  • AND... that lens is also CDAF enabled ( apart from the pancake I have no other CDAF enabled FT Zuikos ) : the difference in AF speed was really noticeable, as compared with the ZD40-150 and also with the ZD50-200.

  • and of course the final bonus : that ZD70-300 is a lens that I can also use on my FT bodies, not just on µFT.

So I decided on the spot to bite that bullet and make the ZD70-300 my (odd but for me quite logical) choice to be used as telephoto lens on my sicilian adventure.

I can't wait to try it all out.

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Roel Hendrickx

lots of images :

my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara:

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