No images today, but an answer to a question I have asked in quite a few blog posts over the past year; should I keep trying? I've stopped dithering and made a decision.
I've put in too much time struggling to get Olympus to work for me, as much as I like the concept, the design and using the camera, I have to make a change. The final key was a reminder of something that I had said in the past. The equipment has to fit to you, and the way that you work. If you don't enjoy using it, you will not use it. In this case it was actually; if you don't like the results, you won't use it. The issues I have had with the noise, ISO, image quality and low light usage was taking away the enjoyment, and the fun and the excitement I get from photography.
Although photography in my view is not just about taking pictures, it's about the experiences, emotions and feelings of being outside in nature. Hearing the birdsong, catching a glimpse of a fox passing by, seeing the tracks of a hare in the snow! But, when I do find a composition and decide to take an image, I want to know that the image will be what I expect, and this was no longer the case. I want to know that when I get that glimpse of the fox in the dusk light that the image quality at 100% will be printable. I've been on several trips and returned with images that I really wasn't happy with.
I think that it's clear where this is going. The title image of the post has more than likely given it away anyway! I've decided to use Sony as my main system again. I have recently also been trying Fujifilm, but I had a problem with the use of the dials, in particular the ISO dial while taking pictures as well as the size; the x-T is too small for my hands. This may not have been a problem with the x-H1, but there would still have been my problem with the ISO dial. Moving to Fujifilm would have also required replacing all lenses and getting a second camera body. This is nothing against Olympus, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with it, I am still convinced that it is a great system. It's just not the one for me. Ideally I would like a combination of the two. The level of customisation, the form factor, pro capture, and definitely the screen from the Olympus combined with the image quality, low light capability and dynamic range from the Sony A7.
When I made the decision to try Olympus, I sold several lenses to fund the change. As I wasn't completely sure and as any system change is a big costly change, I went through the stats and sold the lenses that I didn't use much or those that I wanted to replace with better quality lenses should I decide to move back to Sony. This means that I'm not quite starting from scratch as I would have had to with Fujifilm. I still have
24-240mm f/3.5 - f/5.6
What I'm missing at the moment is a long lens. The 24-240mm is okay as a universal travel or photo spot search lens, but it's not one which I would use for wildlife. After doing a lot of research and reading numerous reviews, I narrowed this choice down to two options, the Sony A-mount Tamron 150-600mm using the EA-3 adapter, or the Sony e-mount 100-400mm.
- Shorter reach
- Higher price
+ Native mount
+ Higher Image Quality
+ Lighter Weight: 1395g
+ Longer reach
+ Lower price
- None Native mount
- Lower Image Quality
- Heavier weight: 2010g
I decided for the advantage of IQ and weight. The reach of the Tamron was outweighed by the reduction in weight and the higher Image Quality of the Sony lens. From what I have read (and I have read a lot) there is also very little reduction in IQ with use of the x1.4 or even the x2.0 tele-converters. With the x2.0 it will give a 200-800mm reach.
I also have a second Sony body in the form of an A6000. As it has an APS-C sensor, it gives a x1.5 extra reach on this lens to bring it to a 150-600mm equivalence (with the x2.0 tele-converter it's 300-1200mm). Since I wrote this entry the 100-400mm was ordered and has already arrived, as did an A7 mkIII ! The next entry or two will be about this combination.