Tell me about your kit

Started Apr 8, 2014 | Discussions thread
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PARANO1A New Member • Posts: 3
Tell me about your kit

I've been a Nikon shooter for about five years.  It was my first DSLR, and the first non point-and-shoot camera I've owned, and I've enjoyed it as a learning experience.  Over time I just slowed to the point of stopping taking out my camera due to it being too cumbersome for times when I wasn't planning on going out shooting.

A few weeks ago I cut over the an Olympus E-M1 after seeing a mirrorless camera for the first time over Christmas.  The two factors for cutting over were size and the ability to see a true representation of the image I was taking before hitting the shutter.  Learning to photograph was really disheartening when you get home and see that your pictures just don't look as good as you'd hoped.  I'm hoping as I get my head around the E-M1 that my 'keep rate' increases dramatically.  I also have been spoilt by the good value of different lenses.  When compounded with the drop in size and weight, having what I would have considered superfluous in a DSLR becomes more worthwhile.

I'm interested in hearing what pieces of gear members here have picked up or added over time to their kit, and why you've made this decision.  You don't need to limit this to lenses or cameras - I'm mainly interested in how you made your decision, why you value your gear, and whether you think it's a worthwhile pick-up.

For me, I've gone a bit gear crazy so far.  I haven't had much of an opportunity to use any of it too extensively just yet but I'll tell you where my head is at for everything so far.

Olympus OMD E-M1 - picked it up after reading it was the 'top' mirrorless camera due to great size and weight, along with fantastic image stabilisation allowing for great low-light shooting with generous shutter speed performance.

Olympus 12-50mm 3.5-6.3 kit lens - firstly, this was the only way to purchase the camera locally.  I read a lot about this lens before purchasing and thought it was a solid 'all rounder' for day to day use... jack of all trades, master of none.  The zoom range is great compared to my Nikon gear in 35mm equivalent, effectively going from 'fairly wide' to 'decent zoom'.  I've seen some great photos on this, mainly from places people seem to snap 'just because I had my camera on me'.  I see this lens getting panned on this forum, but it produces photos that I just love to look at and have the feeling wouldn't be taken if people didn't have it available.

Olympus 45mm 1.8 - portrait lens.  The closest thing I had to this would have been a 50mm 1.8.  Probably my least used lens so far.

Olympus 60mm macro - macros have always been out of my price range, particularly when they're not the most useful for anything other than special purpose shooting.  I've taken some great 'around the house' shots with this so far, and I'm thinking this will really open my eyes in the way I shoot.

Olympus 75mm-300mm - tele zoom with a 35mm equivalent up to 600mm... mind blowing given the longest lens I've previously had went to 300mm.  Used at a sports game recently and it was just so nice being able to effectively have full scene shots of players in the action from back in a corporate box.

Panasonic 20mm 1.7 - the 'close to 35mm' walk-around.  I envisioned this being the lens I'd have permanently attached to my camera in my bag due to being tiny, light and pretty much a 'normal' FoV.  I've read amazing things about this but I don't feel creative enough to make good use of it just yet.  Oh - and it's perfect for having on you for low-light shooting just in case a day out turns into drinks with friends into the evening.

Panasonic 14mm 2.5 - purchased because it was very cheap and recommended as a good street shooting lens.  It's tiny and inconspicuous, and captures a nice wide view without being too distorted.

Yeah, I've gone a bit over the top.  The only things I really feel like I'm missing are:

- An ultra wide angle, which I may pick up with the sale of my old gear.  Leaning towards the 9mm-18mm, though it's not super wide compared to the 10-24mm Nikon I'm used to and have taken some of my favourite shots with.  The plus side being I'm more likely to have it on me given the weight.

- A polariser and ND grad suitable for a m43 setup.  I currently have good quality 77mm filters with step-downs.  I really, really, really hate dealing with step-downs.  I still have a step-down attached to my CPL that I have just about given up on.  I've spent hours trying to separate combinations of filters from step-downs while out shooting, and it really kills my concentration and creativity.  Grrrr.  Having said that - there's nothing like beautiful colours produced with grads and a polariser.  Looking at the Seven5 system which is very pricey, but I can't see myself needing anything else for many years to come.

So let me know what you have and why you have it.  Really looking forward to comparing the thought process that you've put into building your gear, and where you think you have made great decisions, bad decisions, and still have holes you want to fill.


 PARANO1A's gear list:PARANO1A's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro +2 more
Olympus E-M1
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