This week’s post will be a relatively quick one. After the comments I’ve had about the photos, and a couple of questions about what I use to take them, I think it’s only fair to show you what I’ve been shooting with.
This is my trusty steed. It’s an Olympus PEN E-P5, which is one of the noteworthy options in the Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera market at the moment. It uses a Micro FourThirds sensor which is half the size of a full frame.
In practice, what that means to me is smaller, lighter, cheaper lenses that perform as well as their larger APS-C or full frame counterparts in many situations. The noteworthy downside is that it gets image noise as early as ISO800 in night time shooting, whereas a full frame is typically still looking great at ISO1600 and perhaps beyond. I know I won’t lug around a ‘proper’ DSLR though, so these trade-offs make it the ideal camera for me.
This is my spare body; an Olympus PEN E-P3. It’s the model before my main body, but a whole raft of improvements really set them apart in real-life shooting. This body is usually attached to a lens I rarely use but might want with short notice. In this instance, it’s a FourThirds 75-300mm telephoto with an adaptor. It’s a cheap and cheerful lens that has seen me catch a few reasonable wildlife shots.
In most cases, these are my go-to lenses. It’s a really top trio of primes made by Olympus. They are, from left to right: 75mm f/1.8, 45mm f/1.8 and 12mm f/2.0. Keep in mind that you double these to get their ‘full frame equivalent’ focal length. Nearly all of my shooting is done with the 12mm, which is equivalent in viewing angle to 24mm in full frame and about 18mm in APS-C.
This compact little performer is a 9-18mm f/4-5.6. For a wide angle (18mm full frame, around 14mm APS-C) it’s especially compact and weighs next-to-nothing. The distortion is reasonable and there’s a fair amount of chromatic aberration. As with the body, however, it’s an especially compelling set of compromises in a usable package. I really do covet the Panasonic 7-14mm wide angle though…
Last, but certainly not least, is my very special piece of glass. This is a Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95. It’s razor sharp at f/1.4, but the real reason I have it is for taking aurora australis photos. The extra light and the sharp focus makes for some nice shots. And the focus mechanism is completely manual, but the most amazing build quality I’ve come across in a lens.
The final piece of the puzzle is how I move it around. I bought a second-hand Pelican case while I was in Hobart. It took $10 worth of foam and an hour or two with a Stanley knife to have all of this cut and ready to go. Despite some rough travel everything is working and in great shape.
Thanks for reading, and for the photography buffs among you, I hope you get a little something out of seeing what equipment I’ve been using to share my experiences 🙂