As I’ve now fitted my VF-4 electronic viewfinder to my PEN E-P5 I thought I’d have a look around and see if I could find an LCD shade for my PEN E-PL5. I bought a JJC shade that seems to fit and work pretty well. The shade incorporates a screen protector and the shade part clips on and detaches if not required. They come in silver or black, I chose the silver one to match the camera. I don’t like LCDs and don’t want to have to keep moving the VF-4 from camera to camera so this look like a fairly good compromise. I’m nor sure how it will stand up to the rigours of time but it’s quite well made and cheap. 🙂
PS. It also helps if you increase the LCD display brightness in the control menu just like you would on a mobile phone. Of course this will drain the battery faster but at least you are in with a better chance of seeing what you are shooting in bright light. 🙂
A while back I bought one of those Dymo labellers to label some household items and it has come in really handy for labelling various photographic gear items and I’m sure that I’ll keep on finding new uses for it. 🙂
For years now I’ve steadily been pursuing my quest for my own Holy Grail, that is to get my gear down to the lightest and most compact setup that I can achieve. In addition to my small camera bag and small sized camera gear such as my PEN-F camera and a few lenses, my Lumix 12-32mm, 35-100mm zooms and two faster Lumix prime lenses, my 14mm f/2.5 and 20m f/1.7 there are other items that I like to carry that can’t all be accommodated in such as small bag such as one of my small dual-port USB power banks, a couple of USB charge cables, one of my small USB camera battery chargers, my USB data logger and a small USB rechargeable pen torch (surprising how often this comes in useful) 🙂 and other somewhat bulkier items that I feel “obliged” to carry such as my mobile phone. Normally I stuff these into various jacket pockets but this isn’t ideal for a hot day, like yesterday, when I want to go out dressed for the weather wearing a T.Shirt and a pair of shorts and not encumbered by extra clothing worn solely for the purpose of accommodating these items. I don’t want to be a slave to my camera gear, I want it to serve me and not vice-versa!.
Some while back I bought one of those small MOLLE pouches, intentionally to house a small camera such as my TG5 and a couple of spare batteries. The camera bag has a grab handle on the back and I hit on the idea of putting these items into the pouch and attaching it through the grab handle on the back of the bag. It works very well, of course the pouch is still detachable and could be put onto a belt if one wished or even hang from a lanyard or suchlike as it has a loop on the top. The MOLLE pouch has two good-sized zip up compartments each with a separate smaller pouch pocket, a front compartment with a buckle clip into which I have put a 2-port USB power bank and also a pen sized pocket for my torch.
Thanks to the beauty of USB charging I can charge a camera battery and/or my torch, my phone or my datalogger in-situ, on the go, perfect!. 🙂 I’ve also almost finished standardising on small rubber collapsible screw-in lens hoods for some of my lenses as they’re so compact can be left fitted and take up less room in the bag. The 14mm, 20mm and 35-100mm lenses all share a 46mm filter thread which is also useful for interchanging filters.
I’m very impressed with my JJC pistol grip. It really is extremely useful for handheld HDR shots with longer lenses (for me that is) like my M.Zuiko 14-150mm when at maximum telephoto. Cheap, cheerful and effective, makes 300mm equiv. focal length shots easier. 🙂
I like to organise my gear into different loadouts to suit my preferences, mood and different occasions.
First off there’s an ultra lightweight day out, “I don’t want to carry anything” kit comprising of my Olympus E-PL5 camera and two zoom lenses. A Panasonic Lumix 12-32mm and an Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm which together weigh next to nothing, you don’t know that you’ve got this one with you. The camera accepts my Olympus EV4 viewfinder so I can fit this and thus avoid using the LCD screen as I’m not fond of these screens especially in bright light.
Next, a one camera, one lens weather-sealed setup comprising of my Olympus E-M5 mk 1 and Olympus M.Zuiko 14-150mm. A great all-weather travel combination.
For a fun day out with manual focus lenses my Olympus E-M5 mk II, TT Artisan 17mm and 35mm prime lenses and my Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO zoom lens which, along with the camera body, gives me a weather-sealed option in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. This is my heaviest loadout because the 12-40mm is, by far, not my lightest lens but these lenses are all very sharp and a lot of fun to use.
For the times when I like to just go out with a camera and all prime lenses. My Olympus E-P5 camera with EV4 electronic viewfinder and Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm, 30mm macro (which is tack sharp and doubles as a very good all-round “street” lens) and 45mm lenses. I chose the 30mm over my M.Zuiko 25mm and Panasonic Lumix 20mm lenses for it’s macro capabilities as it focus down to an amazing 1cm!.
Lastly, probably my favourite day-to-day loadout, my Olympus PEN-F and three zoom lenses, Panasonic Lumix 12-32mm and 35-100mm and Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm lenses.
All of these loadouts except, where noted, are lightweight and very portable, versatile and fit in a small camera bag. Maybe it’s given you food for thought.
If you have a quick release plate fitted to your camera and you’re like me and never seem to have a coin handy, let alone a screwdriver 🙂 when you need one to fit it or remove it then this tip might be handy. Find yourself a metal washer that fits the screw and attach it to your camera bag. I’ve done this with all my bags, shown here attached with a small locking carabiner, job’s a good ‘un!. 🙂
A small free plug for Brian, the maker of these Cordweaver camera straps. I just took delivery of two more neck straps and they came next day in the post. Excellent quality and first class service as usual. I now have five of the neck straps and two of the wrist straps on my cameras and I can thoroughly recommend them.
Original Post July 23rd 2019:
I’ve standardised on these great camera neck and wrist straps by a company called “Cordweaver” – https://www.cordweaver.co.uk/ . The straps are very light and strong and are available in a choice of two colours, red and black and various lengths, the leather ends are hand-sewn with strong polyester waxed thread. Connection to the camera is via the fitted 16mm diameter split rings and the wrist straps are made out of Type III 550lb Paracord with 7 internal strands.
Great service, very quick dispatch and very high quality merchandise. I used one on my EM-1 and one on my TG-5 for my recent trip to Porto and it was great, so good I’ve since bought another three, 🙂 very comfortable to wear and strong and it would be very hard to cut through should someone try and grab the camera.
Additional: The wrist straps come in two types, with Peak Design style connectors (as fitted to my EPL-5 on the top left) and, without, (as fitted to my TG-5). It is also supplied with a spare Peak Design connector, a nice touch.
Lastly, I really like how flexible they are and tuck in nicely in my camera bags unlike some of the stiffer and more bulky neck straps I’ve used. The wrist straps act like slip knots at either end so they tighten at both the camera end and the wrist end should the camera slip from your grip, the addition of a rubber grommet is another nice feature.
Just for fun I thought I’d do a quick image quality comparison between my £85 TT Artisan 17mm f/1.4 manual focus MFT lens and one of my all time favourite prime lenses the £450 M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 lens, list prices from the company’s official web stores not including any promotional discounts and shipping charges. In fairness there are reasons other than price why one may prefer the M.Zuiko lens over the TT Artisan lens such as auto focus with manual focus clutch, considerably smaller size (without lens hoods fitted), weight, build quality? etc. but it’s interesting to see how they stack up against each other. Both 100% crops taken in quick succession shot with manual focus, the camera mounted on a tripod, self timer, same lighting, same ISO and same aperture f/5.6. The two lenses have a very slightly different FOV. Identically processed with no sharpening or other corrections applied in post processing.
First the M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
Now the TT Artisans 17mm f/1.4
There is, I think, a slight difference, the M.Zuiko is perhaps a tad sharper overall but is it £355 sharper?, but with a little sharpening applied in post then that’s easily counteracted, the choice, as always is yours. 🙂