Some thoughts on the Lumix S5 for Adapted lenses

Started 4 weeks ago | Discussions thread
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
Travis Butler
Travis Butler Senior Member • Posts: 1,618
Some thoughts on the Lumix S5 for Adapted lenses
5

Back in April, the Nikon Z5 went on a very attractive sale, and I was curious about trying full-frame, so I rented it for a week. I'm glad I did - the image quality was nice, but I had a lot of trouble with the ergonomics and shooting with the camera was more of a chore than a pleasure for me.

A little while after that, I had a chance to play with a Panasonic Lumix S5 for a few minutes; not enough time for a serious evaluation, but it seemed like it's be a lot more comfortable for me. The S5 was too expensive for my budget, but I was interested in trying it; when LensRentals had a pre-Labor Day sale, I decided to give it a try.

On the whole, while it had some awkward areas, the S5 was a much better ergonomic fit for me. Most of all, the most important controls were within an easy stretch for my fingers, unlike the Z5. For example, the front control dial on the Z5 was on a raised section of the grip, where I couldn't reach with either my index or middle fingers; on the S5, the front control dial surrounds the shutter release, an easy reach. The focus point joystick on the Z5 required an uncomfortable thumb stretch down and to the left; on the S5, it was a short, easy stretch left.

Using the joystick to control focus magnification on the S5 was a relatively smooth and pleasant experience; the main problem was the way bringing the camera up to my face could sometimes reset the magnification point through the touchscreen. If I ever end up buying an S5, I'll probably turn off the touchscreen for shifting the focus point. (A pity; I've enjoyed that feature on other Panasonic cameras.) The S5's focus magnification was picture-in-picture, which I generally liked. Focus peaking was decent; I generally prefer white for the peaking color, but for one really bright shoot I switched it to green for better visibility.

The other serious annoyance for the camera was the eyecup; it didn't protect the viewfinder in bright conditions, and I had to shade it with my hand to keep the viewfinder from being washed out.

The camera was a little heavy, but not too bad. I felt the grip on the S5 gave me significantly more control over the camera than the grip on the Z5.

The Pics

I had the S5 for a little over a week, and ended up doing 5 major and one minor shoots with it: downtown Kansas City, Lawrence KS, Union Pacific 4014 at Union Station, Kansas Cosmosphere, Monument Rocks, and Castle Rock badlands. I'm going to post some pics from each here, and try to do a follow-up post for each main shoot; I'm still sorting through the Monument Rocks and Castle Rock shoots, I hit both of them (along with the Cosmosphere) on Labor Day weekend, and took around 800 pics. <sheepish look>

Downtown KC

Lumix S5, MC Rokkor-PG 50/1.4

The MC 50/1.4 was one of my most-used lenses during the rental, and I thought it performed very well on the S5.

Rokkor-PG 50/1.4

Sharp enough to get false color on the corrugated grey area at the bottom of the building.

OM Zuiko 24/2.8

I also thought it did pretty well with the Zuiko 24/2.8. Though I really think the muralist should have paid more attention to the different angles of view...

Zuiko 24/2.8

Lawrence

Kiron 35-135/f3.5-4.5 Macro

The Kiron was probably my most-used lens when I was testing the Z5, and I wanted to do some comparisons with it on the S5, but in the end the only time I used it much was during the Lawrence shoot.

MD 35-105/3.5-4.5 Macro

Unfortunately, it was grey and overcast most of the day in Lawrence. But since it was a limited rental, I tried to make the best of the time I had it.

MD 35-105

At least I got a few impressive sky moments.

Kiron 35-135

MD 24-50/4

I brought the Minolta 24-50 out of storage for the first time in a while for the Lawrence shoot, and I ended up using it a lot at Monument Rocks and Castle Rock.

Kansas Cosmosphere

Zuiko 24/2.8

The Kansas Cosmosphere has one of the best space artifact collections in the United States, and it has a world-class restoration center (they handled Liberty Bell 7 after it was raised from the ocean floor, restored the Apollo 13 command module Odyssey, and built the sets for the Apollo 13 movie). So it's surprising to visit it for the first time, in a small Kansas town out in the middle of nowhere, on the campus of the local community college. (That's the college football stadium on the right.)

Zuiko 24/2.8

SR-71 Blackbird on the right, full-size Shuttle mockup on the left.

Zuiko 24/2.8

Liberty Bell 7, tucked under the Blackbird's wing.

Zuiko 24/2.8

How many museums have an X-1 in the basement?

Zuiko 24/2.8

What a Lunar Module looks like with its skin off! This is an engineering test model, from earlier in the design stages; the front hatch is round here, while it was square in the final LM.

The main museum interior is a challenging place to shoot - dimly lit overall with lots of spotlit exhibits, backlit displays, and reflective plexiglass. While I was able to tone down the backlit displays to the right here, there was still a fair amount of blooming; I'm not sure if that was the lens or the sensor.

In Transit?

MD 35-105

Ness City, on the road from the Cosmosphere to Monument Rocks, has a rather nice bank building I saw as I was driving through. Rough-cut stone buildings like this are pretty common in Kansas.

Monument Rocks

MD 24-50/4

The sky was cloudless on last year's visit; this year the clouds were a lot more interesting.

MD 24-50

The S5's exposure system was definitely challenged several times during this shoot. The rock pillars were large and bright, and it chose to under-expose the sky instead of blowing out the rocks.

MD 35-105

I wasn't the only one shooting there; I'm not sure if the couple hired the photographer or if the photographer hired them for models, but I saw them several times around the area.

(And that was a very... vivid... flare.

MD 24-50

Sunset through the eye rock is a stereotypical shot, but it's a trope for a reason...

Castle Rock Badlands

MD 24-50

I've struck out twice now at Castle Rock. The first time I visited, last year, I planned to arrive at late afternoon golden hour for the Rock; unfortunately, when I got there, I found the badlands to the south more interesting, and they were in shadow. So I went there in the morning this time - and screwed up twice, because I got there too late, and because I spent most of the time at the top of the bluffs, which I hadn't explored last time - and ended up shooting into the sun. Will try planning better next time...

MD 35-105

MD 24-50

MD 35-105

And that's it for this time! More of the individual shoots coming later.

-- hide signature --

Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_prof67/ Warning: Heavy Learning in progress.

 Travis Butler's gear list:Travis Butler's gear list
Fujifilm X20 Nikon Coolpix A Pentax Q Pentax K-50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 +19 more
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow