09 July 2016

retro move

In an attempt to step back to the CCD era and continue use of some of my Pentax primes, I picked up a gently-used Olympus E500. The Four-Thirds standard produced some very nice gear and Excellent lenses, but failed to convince users that a large camera with a small sensor was worthwhile.  It spawned the micro-Four-Thirds era which is going quite nicely, and which I now use.

Back in 2008 my tests showed the E500 to be as good as anything I tried in the store - at least at whatever settings the previous user tried. It definitely bettered the E510, which was sad because image stabilization was important to me. I left the E500 two-lens kit on the shelf, but always wondered about whether that was the right move. I went with the Sony-α A200 which I used for a year before shifting to Pentax, which I've used until the past few months when the EM10 joined me.

Four-Thirds lenses are not greatly sought after, so a few attempts to pick up good copies of well-reviewed lenses paid off. The curious zoom pairing of 11-22 and 18-180mm will arrive next week. Both zooms cover rather odd ranges; the 22-44mme is not a common range from other brands and the 36-360mme clearly abandons the more complex wide end while still achieving superzoom status. Most folks would go with the traditional 14-45 and 40-150 zooms but I can go both wider and longer with these two - and the 11-22 is weather protected as well.  I also picked up the 35mm f/3.5 1:1 macro that should serve nicely. All three are generally well regarded - and with an adapter all can be used on µ43 systems and retain electronic connections! Some Four-Thirds lenses focus very slowly when adapted, so it may not prove worth doing.. but it will be interesting to try. At the very least the 35 macro will be a nice addition to the micro kit.  A Pentax K to Four Thirds adapter is already here (K to µ43 too!) for the K primes that I already own.