As I mentioned in one of my recent posts, I was intending to have a photo walk with prime lenses and travelling very light. So I chose to take with me my Olympus PEN-F camera, Lumix 14mm f/2.5 and 20mm f/1.7 prime lenses and my Lumix 12-32mm and 35-100mm zoom lenses. I really wanted to have a “prime” lens day and try and constrain myself to using only primes and that’s what I did. I love my 12-32mm, it’s probably become my favourite all-round walk about lens but I left it in my bag and fitted my 20mm instead for most of the trip only swapping it for my 14mm for a few shots.
Whatever bag I take I’m going to suffer pains in my neck, arm and shoulder and yesterday sadly was no exception but my Think tank sling bag goes part way to mitigating that, certainly not perfect but the best that I’ve come up with. So, back to the lenses, I really like the 20mm focal length it suits me well, not so wide as my 17mm which I find too wide and not so tight as my 25mm, its got that “standard” lens FOV and perspective which I enjoy. Like the 14mm and 12-32mm lenses it’s a really light and compact pancake type lens, it’s also very sharp.The auto focus can sometimes hunt in low light which is, at worst, a minor inconvenience and it does make a noise but, as someone that doesn’t shoot videos, the later isn’t of any importance to me.
On to my 14mm lens, like its slightly larger 20mm sibling its a nice small and sharp little lens, not quite as fast but as someone who doesn’t give a jot about bokeh and doesn’t habitually shoot in very low light that doesn’t bother me at all. I took it to give me a wide angle prime option and it fits the bill nicely. I didn’t use my two zooms yesterday, deliberately so and there were a few shots that I’d have framed differently with the 12-32mm fitted but I did enjoy the discipline of restricting myself largely to one lens. My 35-100mm never got used, again, 🙂 , When deciding on whether or not to take a telephoto lens option I had a look at my other choices before deciding to pack it. I figured that if and when I rarely need a telephoto then it makes sense to take a zoom rather than my 45mm or Sigma 60mm prime lenses. Both of these lenses are very sharp but the 35-100 is lighter than the 60mm and about the same weight as the 45mm so it went into the bag. It’s also a very nice compact, lightweight and sharp lens and, on the odd occasions when I have used it, I’ve been suitably impressed with the results. I won’t mention my 12-32mm as I’ve waxed lyrical enough about this great little gem of a lens, suffice to say I wouldn’t be without it.
For me pancake lens designs are the way to go, small, light and sharp and that’s all I require, my only wish is that there were more. Yesterday was as far as I remember, the first time that I’ve not carried at least one Olympus lens with me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a big fan of their cameras and lenses since I bought my first Olympus film camera in the 70s but I really like the Panasonic Lumix lenses for their low weight and compact size. Optically the Olympus lenses are very good and well made but they’re heavier and bulkier and I simply cannot carry their weight anymore. I also think that, when married to a small MFT camera like the PEN-F the pancake lenses are much more in keeping with the spirit of the MFT system.
You’ve seen the shots from the trip in my previous posts but I’ll post them again here, first four taken with the 20mm lens and the last one with the 14mm. All-in-all a thoroughly enjoyable experience, walking around in the late Autumn sunshine conjured up fond memories of my 35mm film cameras and a small prime lens or two. Put in the simplest of terms it was “fun”. 🙂