Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Team Meetings

Team Meeting 1 (708, EM5)

We had a request from one of our grandsons the other day; he wanted, he said, to head down to Stony Brook SP.  In spite of my “bad wheel”, it seemed like a reasonable request.  Besides, it would give me a chance to do some additional testing with the new 9 – 18 mm Olympus lens.  So off we went.  Turned out to be a pretty good trip.  The foot did fine and we all got to play in the water for a while.  And take some pictures.

The image above is a 9 mm shot of a sports team (baseball, I think) visiting the park in between events.  I think the coach wanted them to go sit under the very cool waterfall in the background (the “published” water temperature was 60 degrees).  He said it would help them loosen up.  Having been a member of a number of baseball teams, that usually means that the coach thinks everybody is playing a little too “tight”.  Which means that they’re probably losing too often.  In any case, this is a very wide view of both the team and the falls.  I’ve photographed here a number of times and have never gotten anything as wide as this, although the widest lens I had used previously was 24 mm.  The comparison, of course, would be an effective 18 mm using the Olympus lens.  So in this range 6 mm definitely makes a difference.

I caught up with the same guys a little while later near the front end of the park.  There’s a kind of natural pool there complete with a small bathhouse, snack shop, and lifeguards.  As I said, the water was only 60 degrees so I was surprised to see anyone in the pool.  But there they were.  Most of them were on one side of the pool while one or two others would rotate to the other side and dive into the water.  It seemed to be some kind of Olympic – style contest.  If it was a good dive, everyone yelled and clapped.  If it was bad, the offending diver was loudly ridiculed.  Kind of like a reality TV show……….

Team Meeting 2 (725, EM5)

This image, however, was not taken with the 9 – 18 mm lens.  That would have looked silly, I think.  These guys would have appeared to be about a mile away (in reality, the distance was about 40 yards or so).  So I put on the Olympus 75 mm f/1.8 lens.  As many others have said, this is one of the finest lenses you’ll find for an MFT system.  It’s solidly built and image quality is nothing short of spectacular.  If you examine this photograph closely, you’ll find every part of it, every corner to be tack sharp.  My only complaint about the lens is that it’s kind of an odd focal length (an “effective” 150 mm).  It’s good for shots like this and it can be used as a portrait type lens if you only want to include the head and shoulders of your subject.  It can also be used as a medium telephoto for landscape work.  But it’s not what I’d call an “everyday” lens.  I wish it was.  I wish I could just put it on the camera and leave it there.  It’s that good.

In any case, I think I now have a reasonable range of focal lengths for the EM-5.  With the 9 – 18, I’ll have no problem getting decent images in any narrow slot canyon I might find myself wandering around in a few weeks.  My only question now is: How much will I use the Canon?  I won’t miss the weight, that’s for sure.


4 Responses to “Team Meetings”

  1. Earl

    Paul, it sounds like you’ve built a nice kit of 4/3’s lens. It’s hard to argue with the light weight and small size of the EM-5, especially since there is only a small penalty of image quality.

    • Paul Maxim

      You’re right, Earl. The weight, of course, is the big advantage. And I have to say that image quality – especially when you’re using the 75 mm lens – is really very good. If you print them, you really can’t see any difference. You have to be a serious “peeper” to see the difference on a computer screen.

      I’m still not a big fan of the Olympus menu system, though……..

  2. Paul

    I’m finding that I’m really enjoying my EM-5, even with just using the kit lens, 14-28mm. You do make that 75mm look tempting, too. There have been a few times that I wished that I had had a bit wider lens, but for some reason, I just don’t want to do down the lens buying route.

    • Paul Maxim

      I have the 12 – 50 mm kit lens, Paul. It isn’t bad, but it was the lens I used when I first compared the EM-5 to my Canon 5D MK II. I could definitely see a difference (on the computer, at least). The Canon was better. But that difference completely disappears when you use the 75 mm lens. It has two disadvantages, though. It’s a little heavier and it costs a little more.

      I agree with you – I didn’t want to invest in new lenses, either. It was a hard choice. I finally did for a couple of reasons. First, I needed the lighter equipment for some of my planned hiking excursions coming up in a couple of weeks. I didn’t want to lug the Canon around, especially if there was a risk of getting it wet (like in the Narrows). Second, I think there’s a chance that I might – at some point – switch to Micro 4/3 completely. Not sure about that, but it’s possible. A lot will depend on how things turn out on this trip. I’ll be using both cameras some of the time, so I’ll be able to make comparisons.


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