In all my busyness that has fallen upon me lately, I sometimes lose track of my reader base around the world. A sizable chunk of the unique views to this site are from a non-native country, from New Zealand to the many countries in Europe. When some of those readers reach out to me with an e-mail sharing their side of photography in the world and how my website has helped inspire them, I always get a little happier inside. Recently, one such reader, Mr. Norbert Lümmen (click here for blog), sent me this encouraging email:
During summer, when I did some research on mirrorless cameras, I stumbled across your blog and have been following ever since. I rarely comment blogposts but now I thought it was time to give you some feedback on how your series on old Nikon lenses on your NEX-7 has inspired me.
In the end of my research on mirrorless cameras my choice fell on the Olympus OM-D EM-5 together with a 17mm/2.8 and an adapter to be able to use the Canon EF-glass I already have before investing in more specific micro-4/3-lenses. There I thought especially about the EF-50mm/1.8 because I wanted to mainly use large-aperture prime lenses with the OM-D to use it in a way different to what I have done for the past few years with my Canon 50D, which had almost exclusively zoom-lenses with different focal length intervals attached to it.
So recently it was time for the first outing with the OM-D/50mm-combination and it was to a Jazz-concert on a Saturday afternoon in a local cultural center. I had to get used to the manual focusing first and it was not always easy to get it spot on. The EF-lenses don’t have an aperture ring, so the aperture was always wide open. After a lot of missed shots I got it (almost) right, at least somehow used to it. Fortunately the musicians did not move too much and if there was movement it was a good thing to try and capture it like, for example, the drummer short before hitting the cymbals or the pianist’s fingers flying over the keys in a solo.
I have attached some pictures from that concert and you can find more in my own blog and the most recent post there: http://blog.norbertluemmen.com/#post32
Best regards from Bergen in Norway
Thanks for being a follower on my blog, and I’m very happy to hear I inspired you to join the mirrorless “movement” that has swept the world of photography by storm in recent years.
Fast 50s from almost all manufacturers are usually the standard in a good-quality lens. It used to be that if a system didn’t have a good 50mm, it wasn’t a system worth looking at. I’m not at all familiar with Canon EF glass, though I’m sure your 50 1.8 is just fine. From the pictures attached, it sure looks it. 🙂
You noted that you are wanting to use your EF glass until you invest in specific m4/3 lenses. That’s a good plan, and might I recommend that you stick to m4/3 lenses for anything wider than 50mm. Due to the crop factor, it doesn’t make any sense using something like a 35mm f/2.5, since it just converts to a slow 70mm equivalent lens. Telephoto lenses are where m4/3 cameras (and other crop-sensor cameras) shine, ESPECIALLY your EM-5 with its active sensor shift stabilization. Lenses such as my reviewed 100mm f/2.8 Series-E would turn into a fast and extremely compact long telephoto. Bigger ones like my 180mm f/2.8 ED would give you stunning performance wide open, with a ridiculous super telephoto field-of-view of 360mm. With the relatively big body of the EM-5, you should be just fine even with a lens that big. Just make sure you get a sturdy adapter, should you choose to go that route.
For an indoor jazz concert being your first outing doing manual focus/exposure/etc., you did a great job. You’ll only get better the more you do it. I’ve gotten to the point now that the only reason I would ever get (and keep) an autofocus lens would be if I had an “ultra” DSLR that had blazing-fast and accurate autofocus, like a 5D Mk III or a D4. In most all situations, I’ve gotten to where I can manually focus as fast as I ever need to get a shot.
I really like the attached shots and the others on your blog. It seems you have a real knack for black-and-white photography, something I haven’t really gotten into as much as I would like.
All the best up there in Norway, and good luck with your EM-5 endeavors!