My Pen-F Love Story - or the long awaited delivery on the Panasonic L1 concept

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BrianY Regular Member • Posts: 259
My Pen-F Love Story - or the long awaited delivery on the Panasonic L1 concept

Man, is it a good time in photography! I've generally stayed behind the bleeding edge as it is smarter for my pocketbook and I'm glad to let others sort out the headaches on the new stuff. I like to see real word experience from others before I smack down my hard-earned dough. Picking up lightly used gear is how I roll, and I was hanging out here and learning so much when the Oly forum was dominated by the effusive curmudgeon Bill Turner! I even think I sold some pieces of kit to Bill back in the day.

My first DSLR was the Oly E-500 which then led me to buy a used E-1. That camera was an ergonomic masterpiece and opened my eyes to the joy of photography. I later bought the Panasonic L1 and had great hopes for it, but it simply was a design before its time. The rangefinder concept was novel, but the bulk defeated the design in practice. I sold it to someone year's ago who was teaching their daughter photography. The manual controls would be good for that, but it failed to deliver on the promise of four thirds with respect to size.

Fast forward to a stent with the Canon 5D and 7D, which were amazing tech, but big bodies with even bigger lenses! Then came the Oly E-P1. One of the few things I have bought brand spankin' new. It was a strong move toward the right form factor, but no built in EVF and poor AF left me handicapped. Then I picked up a GX1 with it's external EVF (which I still have and use with the still amazing LX7). Better still, but not there yet.

Finally, prime time arrived with the E-M5 and the E-M1. I still have and use both, as my skill set is well matched to these cameras and they continue to generally do everything I need. I took two E-M1 bodies on a photo safari to Yellowstone and was absolutely thrilled at their performance. I honestly lacked for nothing. But the E-M5 shows its age a little these days and I've been waiting all along for that rangefinder concept to be fulfilled. The promise of the old Pana L1 still tugged at me. The E-M1 is practical and utilitarian in design and will do anything I need, but If photography is art, then I guess I've been waiting for the tool to become an inspiring part of the art itself. I've been waiting for the heir to L1.

Enter the Pen-F. I wanted one the second I saw it, but could certainly not justify the ambitious price tag when I already had great equipment and no intentions of selling my current gear (I regret selling my original E-1 to this very day!) So I patiently waited. And waited. And waited. And last week I found it. Lovingly used. Black. Pristine. Dials and buttons abounding. It called to me and I finally answered.

Everything feels right to me with this camera (while plenty of others would disagree - that's why this is such a wonderful time, as there are abundant options for every budget and taste). I first played around with the 17mm f1.8 and took a few pics. So far, not much luck with subject matter. Then I pulled out my forlorn 45mm f1.8 from the bottom of the bag. I rarely use it, as I have always favored the fast zooms on the E-M1. And there it was - a match made in heaven. And here are my kids, frozen in a fleeting moment. A memory for a lifetime. It really is a wonderful time in photography - and I look forward to making my own art with this gem. We are just getting started...

Tempus Fugit.

 BrianY's gear list:BrianY's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Olympus TG-5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 +10 more
Canon EOS 7D Olympus E-1 Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN E-P1 Olympus PEN-F Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1
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