A first for me to be on the other side of a camera, done in one take 🙂 and shot with my E-M5 Mk II and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lens. This is why I love the Micro Four Thirds system cameras and lenses, so small and light. As to the “why”, all this gear is extremely compact and light and chosen to suit my photographic interests which specifically include travelling. The bag is so small that it easily qualifies as carry on luggage on aircraft and fits at one’s feet under the aircraft seat in one’s front or on a tray table on a train etc. and carrying it around all day I hardly notice that I’ve got it with me, which, for me, is the Holy Grail.
Obviously, as the saying goes, “you mileage may vary” it depends entirely on your photographic interests but, personally, this combination of kit gives me a super lightweight and highly flexible travel setup. If I’m sacrificing anything in the way of image quality and I believe it to be debatable and at worst, marginal, it is easily outweighed in importance by the super portability of the equipment. Heavy, and this usually also means bulky, gear that habitually ends up getting left at home isn’t of any good when one’s out and about!. I’ve reverse engineered the idea of “I’ve got lots of heavy, bulky gear and now I need a big (and probably relatively heavy) bag to carry it all around” into “I’ve got a small bag and I want to find the best compact and lightweight gear to squeeze into it”. 🙂 . I already had the gear what I needed and, after lots of experimentation, ultimately found was the bag!.
Why these lenses?:
- 12-32 mm Lumix. A very sharp and ultra-lightweight pancake zoom which covers my most frequently used focal lengths. I’ve been very impressed with this tiny lens. I have the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 and also the Lumix 12-60 mm both of which are excellent lenses, especially the 12-40 mm but they’re both quite large and somewhat heavier and there’s no way that I could accommodate either of them along with a camera body and still have room for other lenses in a bag so small.
- 25 mm f/1.8 Olympus. This 50 mm equivalent focal length is my absolute all-time favourite. I’ve really tried to get to like my 17 mm f/1.8 (35 mm) and my Lumix 20 mm f/1.7 (40 mm) both of which are excellent sharp and small lenses but they’re both just too wide for my preference as I’m not into street photography. The 25 mm is fast and sharp and good in low light and for me it is a better all round option especially as one can get closer to the subject without distortion.
- 14 mm f/2.5 Lumix. A tiny super-lightweight pancake lens that is fast, sharp and light and gives me a wider (28 mm equivalent) F.O.V especially useful in tight, often poorly lit, spaces, indoors etc.. I also have the Olympus 12 mm f/2 but that’s bigger and heavier and it’s a bit too wide for most of my shots however it is another great small sharp lens but the 14 mm wins out both in terms of size and weight and ultimately, all round usefulness when travelling .
- 9-18 mm Olympus. Ultra-wide angle zoom really handy for scenic landscapes, and covers a good focal length range (18-36 mm) as an alternative walk-about lens that I can sometimes leave fitted.
- 35-100 mm Lumix. Although I don’t often need a telephoto lens option this one is such a small, light and sharp lens which I occasionally find useful when travelling and it compliments the 12-32 mm very nicely. Most useful to me in the 35-50mm (70-100 mm) focal length range. If I choose to carry a telephoto lens with me, which almost inevitably doesn’t get used, then its got to be very compact and light and this lens fits the bill perfectly. I might be tempted to swap this over for my Olympus 45 mm f/1.8 which remains my favourite telephoto lens or maybe my 60mm f/2.5 Sigma ART which I think is sharper, but, when travelling the zoom offers greater flexibility for the occasions when I need a telephoto focal length.
- 9 mm Olympus body cap lens. Certainly not the best fisheye in the world by a margin but great fun and so tiny and lighter-than-light that it commands a place in my bag even though I don’t very often need a fisheye lens. At a fixed f/8 aperture it’s not that good in low light but, given good light, it’s capable of producing some quite acceptable images if one remembers to get one’s fingers and feet out of the shot. 🙂 . Along with my 14 mm and 35-100 mm lenses it’s a “just in case I need it” type lens.