If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll know that I have an obsession with compact and lightweight kit for travelling and I’ve been experimenting again and I think that I’ve probably arrived at my best load out yet. My new Olympus PEN-F, M.Zuiko 9-18 mm and 14-150 mm lenses and my Olympus Tough TG-5 as a second camera which is weatherproof and rugged and which can also serve as a backup. I’ve used the 14-150 mm quite a bit in the last few years and it’s very sharp and light. All of this in one of my very small Manfrotto shoulder bags which were bargains at £7 each 🙂 🙂 and which are small enough to just about squeeze into your average hotel room safe.
So coverage from, in full-frame terms, 18 mm ultra-wide angle through to 300 mm telephoto. The TG-5 also has an amazing macro mode which focuses down to 1 cm! as well as USB charging and a useful 24 mm- 100 mm zoom range. Throw in a couple of spare batteries for each camera and spare memory cards and I’m good to go. Another bonus is that this bag is easily small enough for air travel carry on luggage to fit under the seat in front and still allow leg room, I don’t like putting my camera gear in the overhead lockers unless I’m forced to do so.
Another of my obsessions is rain protection so I dug out an Olympus camera wrap thing that I got in with something that I bought as well as a couple of my small red nylon waterproof drawstring bags. Even though the 14-150 mm and especially my TG-5 are both weather-sealed, two lessons that I learned the hard way a long time ago on a boat in Greece is that, prevention is much better (and a heck of a lot less costly) than cure and you’ve got to have somewhere to keep things separate if and when they get wet and my PEN-F and 9-18 mm are not weather sealed so they add an extra layer of protection in transit which is never a bad thing. It’s a snug fit but it works. 🙂 Pull a rain cover over the bag and one has three layers of protection against the elements.
If this all sounds like paranoia and overkill, if you’ve ever been caught out in the open in heavy rain storm or drenched by waves out at sea in rough weather, you’ll appreciate that it isn’t !. I’m not really overly concerned about my TG-5 as it’s waterproof down to a depth of 15 meters which is a part of the reason why I bought it and what makes it a good choice of a lightweight all-weather backup camera but my other gear wouldn’t take too kindly to a soaking.
I decided to quickly pop down to a local park and get some test shots in the rain. It was hammering down by the time I got back home and I got drenched but my gear stayed dry. 🙂 . All shots shot as 5-frame HDR, handheld as usual and using silent electronic shutter.
The pond in the rain, Olympus PEN-F and M.Zuiko 25mm 1.8 @f/5.6
Geese sheltering from the rain 🙂 , Olympus PEN-F and M.Zuiko 9-18mm @f/5.6
Empty bench through the trees. Olympus PEN-F and M.Zuiko 9-18 mm @f/5.6
If your preference is for big heavy DSLR kit and lenses then you are probably reading the wrong post. 🙂 If, one the other hand, you have an interest in small, lightweight, cameras and lenses then please read on…….
Sadly, at my advanced age, I have to concede that the opposite is much nearer the truth, my camera is probably too sexy for me. 🙂 . Rain, rain and more rain and the forecast for the next few days, yes, you guessed it, even more rain, you just gotta love the UK weather. So, frustratingly, after weeks of lockdown, I haven’t been able to put my new camera through its paces yet except for setting it up to my preference and taking some indoor test shots.
I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with my new Olympus PEN-F which I bought “preloved” in near mint condition for a very good price. I’m really looking forward to testing it out and it has some very interesting features and, it IS a very sexy camera, especially in the silver finish and thus puts a huge tick in my “I like retro looks” box 🙂 . It also fits hand-in-glove with my preference for lightweight kit, especially when combined with a few of my fast and lightweight M.Zuiko primes like my 12,17,25 and 45mm lenses and/or small compact zooms like my M.Zuiko 9-18 mm and Lumix 35-100 mm. I can carry this camera and three lenses, plus the obligatory spare batteries and memory cards and my M-CON macro converter, in one of my very compact Manfrotto bags.
Another small, but financially important, plus for me is that the camera uses the same BLN-1 batteries and thus my USB chargers as my OM-D cameras. Don’t be fooled by it’s retro styling though, this camera has a 20 MP sensor, a 50 MP JPEG/80 MP RAW hi-res shot mode, silent electronic shutter modes and just about every other feature that one could expect to find in a modern digital camera as well as Olympus’ great solid build quality. I really like the dedicated exposure compensation dial on the top as well as the highlight/shadow control wheel which puts these controls right where you want them and of course that very interesting dial on the front.
Can’t wait to try it out properly a post some shots taken with it.