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Author Topic: Considering OMD 1; couple of questions  (Read 12758 times)
lensjack
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« on: January 20, 2014, 01:12:56 PM »
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Michael's field report and review plus other evals have me leaning towards this little Oly as the core of a travel kit suited to my needs. (Good IS is essential.) But I've got questions still, and would be grateful for feedback from users:

1) I've read that Oly service and repair cannot compare to Canon's (my primary system), and routinely takes four to six weeks. Anyone have experience with this? I'm in Los Angeles. Where would I send or take Oly gear for service?

2) I'm looking at the (back-ordered) 12-40 f/2.8 as my primary travel lens, with maybe the 75mm f/1.8 as a companion. Traveling light is key, so it's unlikely I'd want more than two lenses. Has anyone traveled extensively with this combo? Thoughts?

Thanks for whatever insights you can offer.
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bcooter
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 03:23:37 AM »
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Michael's field report and review plus other evals have me leaning towards this little Oly as the core of a travel kit suited to my needs. (Good IS is essential.) But I've got questions still, and would be grateful for feedback from users:

1) I've read that Oly service and repair cannot compare to Canon's (my primary system), and routinely takes four to six weeks. Anyone have experience with this? I'm in Los Angeles. Where would I send or take Oly gear for service?

2) I'm looking at the (back-ordered) 12-40 f/2.8 as my primary travel lens, with maybe the 75mm f/1.8 as a companion. Traveling light is key, so it's unlikely I'd want more than two lenses. Has anyone traveled extensively with this combo? Thoughts?

Thanks for whatever insights you can offer.

I don't know about Olympus repairs, but a dealer would.

The 12-40 is a good lens but doesn't out perform the panasonic 12 to 35 and that's cheaper and more available, though I know of multiple places the 12-40 is sold.

Personally, I'd look at oly primes and a small messenger bag.  The 12, 17, 45 are all very small, probably in total the size of the 12-40 zoom.  The 75 is larger, heavier but very good.

Another option might be the em-5.  It's now selling below $700 which is about 1/2 the price of the em-1.  I think it produces as good if not a better file and it only lacks a little higher iso, and by some peoples measure track focusing, though I'm not sure of that.

Then you would have two bodies that are light weight and the ability to mount two lenses.

just a thought.

BC
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billy
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 11:11:18 AM »
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Another option might be the em-5.  It's now selling below $700 which is about 1/2 the price of the em-1.

BC

Thats great, but where ( in USA )? I searched online and only saw it for $799 at BH Photo etc, if you can share your source that would be appreciated.

Also, has anyone used the Olympus 25mm f2.8 pancake lens? Is it sharp wide open? ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/549015-REG/Olympus_261059_25mm_f_2_8_ED_Zuiko.html ) or the Sigma 30mm F2.8 lens? ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/918900-REG/sigma_30mm_f_2_8_dn_for.html )
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 12:16:31 PM by billy » Logged
lensjack
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 01:18:24 PM »
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Thanks, BC. This morning Olympus replied to my direct query, saying all U.S. service goes to El Paso and turnaround currently runs 7-10 days from receipt. Bit of a change from my Canon experience -- two service centers within driving distance; faster turnaround -- but not a deal-breaker.

I appreciate your lens recommendations. I'll look at those primes more closely now, especially the 17. I do not want to carry two lensed-up bodies. That would almost defeat my intention to travel lighter and simpler than my full-frame gear allows.

If anyone here has had direct experience with Olympus service, I remain grateful to know. And though I've read many lens reviews, I'm still eager to hear feedback from anyone who has traveled with an Oly E-M and a couple of lenses. Were you happy with the results? Wish you'd chosen differently, etc.?
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 02:36:12 PM »
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If anyone here has had direct experience with Olympus service, I remain grateful to know.
you shall visit hoi polloi forums (dpreview - both m43 and 43 subforums, etc), there are reports about Olympus service experience there, many.
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ned
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 02:56:34 PM »
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Olympus repair is now farmed out to Presision Camera. I  have had both excellent service and service that took a bit of follow up to resolve. In the latter case it was resolved to my satisfaction. Just like your car repair sometimes things go smoothly sometime not but in the end it works out.
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bcooter
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2014, 04:48:37 PM »
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Thats great, but where ( in USA )? I searched online and only saw it for $799 at BH Photo etc, if you can share your source that would be appreciated.

Also, has anyone used the Olympus 25mm f2.8 pancake lens? Is it sharp wide open? ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/549015-REG/Olympus_261059_25mm_f_2_8_ED_Zuiko.html ) or the Sigma 30mm F2.8 lens? ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/918900-REG/sigma_30mm_f_2_8_dn_for.html )

That 43 rumors site shows deals under $700. Now whether they are legit or not I don't know, but I'll bet you can buy one lightly used from KEH for a good price.

IMO

BC
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lensjack
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2014, 07:33:16 PM »
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you shall visit hoi polloi forums (dpreview - both m43 and 43 subforums, etc), there are reports about Olympus service experience there, many.

Thanks. I avoid many online discussion sites because of rampant incivility and thread hijacking. Michael sets a higher standard here, which is why I've followed this site for years. But I did find helpful insights where you steered me. Much appreciated.
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lensjack
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2014, 07:36:04 PM »
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Olympus repair is now farmed out to Presision Camera. I  have had both excellent service and service that took a bit of follow up to resolve. In the latter case it was resolved to my satisfaction. Just like your car repair sometimes things go smoothly sometime not but in the end it works out.

Precision Camera in Austin, Ned? Is Olympus sending stuff there from El Paso for repair? (If you know.) Thanks.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2014, 04:39:34 AM »
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Thanks, BC.
I appreciate your lens recommendations. I'll look at those primes more closely now, especially the 17. I do not want to carry two lensed-up bodies. That would almost defeat my intention to travel lighter and simpler than my full-frame gear allows.

I spent a morning yesterday with the EM1 and really enjoyed it.  I used the 12-40 2.8 plus my own 25mm Voightlander, Pan 14mm and an Oly 45mm 1.8. My main purpose was to try it for the video as I assume the Image quality for stills will be excellent.  Unfortunately I shot in RAW and of course when I got home my version of Lightroom would not open the files!  Need to upgrade....
However I do agree with Cooter that these cameras really are good with the small light prime lenses, and for me shooting with two bodies really does work - especially in situations where you have to react quickly.  You did say the camera was for travel photography and of course that could mean a day out or a longer trip.  If the latter, surely you would take a spare body anyway.  That also gets round any waiting for servicing.

Jim
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brandtb
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 07:57:25 AM »
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I bought an EM1 recently to use with Zuiko 12-60 SWD and a 50-200 mm SWD. It is a really fantastic camera...the IQ with those lenses anyway is quite amazing. The autofocus with these lenses is not quite a good as with earlier 4/3s cams - but it is VERY good. On servicing. I've used Olympus for a number of years and their repair work/dept. is very good. They had to close (temporarily?) one of their repair centers (don't know if it was Cypress, CA loc. - didn't ask) a couple of years ago...so it takes a little longer.  I used to get routine things like sensor cleaning/focus checks returned in about a week and half...now prob. about 3-4. I live in NYC so sometimes I would just drive out to Hauppauge repair center and drop off...sometimes they do diagnostic while I was there. Based on my experience - Oly is very good. If I were going to buy a basic zoom travel lens - I would most definitely get the Zuiko 12-40 PRO...I'm not sure about the 75mm (??) as the companion lens...for traveling would most likely get the Panasonic 35-200mm f2.8 at link.  /B

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/892457-REG/Panasonic_h_hs35100_35_100mm_f_2_8_Lumix_G.html


« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 09:30:02 AM by brandtb » Logged

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ned
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2014, 08:52:56 AM »
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Precision Camera in Austin, Ned? Is Olympus sending stuff there from El Paso for repair? (If you know.) Thanks.

The one in El Paso. Just Google camera repair El Paso TX and it will come up.
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2014, 09:02:35 AM »
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These are the two Oly repair centers listed at bottom of PDF - Oly doesn't send cams to El Paso as far as I know??...

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/repair_pdfs/checklist.pdf
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 09:09:04 AM by brandtb » Logged

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bcooter
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2014, 12:53:14 PM »
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I spent a morning yesterday with the EM1 and really enjoyed it.  I used the 12-40 2.8 plus my own 25mm Voightlander, Pan 14mm and an Oly 45mm 1.8. My main purpose was to try it for the video as I assume the Image quality for stills will be excellent.  Unfortunately I shot in RAW and of course when I got home my version of Lightroom would not open the files!  Need to upgrade....
However I do agree with Cooter that these cameras really are good with the small light prime lenses, and for me shooting with two bodies really does work - especially in situations where you have to react quickly.  You did say the camera was for travel photography and of course that could mean a day out or a longer trip.  If the latter, surely you would take a spare body anyway.  That also gets round any waiting for servicing.

Jim

The olympus  12-40 is a prettier design than the panasonic 12-35, though I couldn't really tell the difference between the quality of the two and since I own two of the 12 to 35mm 2.8 panas I didn't buy the oly version, but one reason is I don't like zooms and 2.8 is just too limiting on these 4/3 cameras.  The slowest should be f2 and everybody has their own style, but I firmly believe zooms affect the way you work.

It's a hassel but I'd much rather just use primes and that's pretty easy in the size fo m43 lenses, though somebody really, really, really, really needs to make a 100mm f2 or faster lens for this format.

As I've said before the em-1 is a better camera than the em-5 but the em-5 shoots prettier, though I haven't explored the em-1 as much as i would like.

One thing the em-1 does fairly well is video.  Much better than the em-5, much better than the sony A7 and A7r, though not as good as the panasonic gh3 and the em-1 is still locked in 30 fps and 60 hz which means flicker in practical lights in europe.

A lot of photographers raised in the digital age don't know how film looked.   To them the standard look is Canon on nikon dslrs which are somewhat overly smooth and somewhat global in color.  Also digital tends to pick up a great deal of ambient color.  In other words a brown room makes for a brown photo, even with specific lighting.   The olympus look more like film, in the fact film was kind of dumb.  It saw what it saw and didn't usually pick up ambient color.  Also with film, once you learned a specific film you knew how it would react regardless of setting.  (That one is hard to explain but you know it when you see it).

As I mentioned I'm now processing a thousand stills mostly from the canon 1dx some for the em-5 and get to a olympus file it's just a few seconds of corrections and the color is not global it's specific.  The 1dx file in the same setting takes more work, if your deceserning in the look you want to achieve.

Now this one blows me away.  i'm usually not one to say this camera costs less than that camera, but for a $1,200 camera (the em-5 I bought new) vs. a $6,000 Canon there should be a difference titled towards the higher price and in image quality there isn't, it's the other way.   maybe the Canon has a fraction more noise reduction and a fraction more detail (on this I'm really not sure), but the look is not near as nice or specific . . . or film like.

Obviously olympus is on to something good, because Sony and Fuji have tried to emulate the look.   I don't think they'll hit the built quality, but the looks like a camera style seems to have caught on.

I hope Olympus takes this another step forward, staying with m43 but upping their lens offerings and more controllable video.  

I'm sure there is pressure to go full frame, but so far I haven't seen anything to suggest the full frame cameras have anything on the olympus, but if they do, I think they should go all the way and go larger than 35mm for a super omd, something like a Leica S2 size.

IMO

BC
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lensjack
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2014, 02:28:25 PM »
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Thanks, all, for your invaluable insights. I appreciate your help. I just took the plunge on an E-M 1 plus the 12-40 and the 75 because Olympus has a promotion going where you get $200 off on each of those lenses if you buy the body. Lucky timing.

BC -- As a fellow 1D X shooter, I will be fascinated to compare out-of-camera looks as you suggest. I really appreciate your insights.

Brandtb & Ned -- I'm wondering if that form is out of date. Cypress, CA, would be great for me, but the email I received from Olympus when I asked about service options said: "The address for the service center for all the USA is:

Olympus Service
11500 Rojas Drive, Suite J
El Paso, TX 79936"

And Ned seems quite certain about Precision. In any case, I'm hoping I never (or at least rarely) need to find out.

Jim -- I will indeed take a second body on long trips, but it's unlikely I'd spring for a second Oly. I'll be traveling on vacation with my wife. When I've carried a full-frame body, she has kindly lugged a G1 X for backup, and I'll still rely on that if the Oly goes south because we're just looking to stockpile memories, not capture for anyone but ourselves and our friends. On long trips, I'm hoping to scale down the size and weight of my gear. I think (hope) this new kit will do the trick.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 02:52:30 PM by lensjack » Logged
brandtb
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2014, 02:48:54 PM »
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Wow...a bit surprised about the Oly service shift...haven't used them in a while....loved the people in Long Island facility...hope as good in TX if I need them
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2014, 11:52:49 PM »
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Personally, I think the 12-40 makes prime lenses in that range redundant.  The edge-to-edge sharpness is well documented but the whole look is really nice (colour, contrast, highlight control, rendition of out of focus areas etc).  F2.8 is absolutely ample for most needs but there are those people who want extreme out of focus blur, who will maybe only be satisfied by the 75/1.8!  Actually, out-of-focus rendition is really nice with the 12-40 and, surprisingly, the other lens in my "travel kit", the 75-300 zoom.  An EM1, the 12-40 zoom and a longer lens to taste make an excellent, portable, high quality travel kit.  If you want a second body, for whatever reason, there are now many cheap m4/3 bodies to choose from, some of which are tiny.

Don
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Don
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2014, 01:55:15 AM »
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Personally, I think the 12-40 makes prime lenses in that range redundant. 
except there are many people who prefer sometimes/often/always to use just one small prime on camera instead of big (big in our m43 world) zoom (now I use hoods always, do you ? that adds sizewise - I do not like to have that 12-40 + hood schlong hanging from my neck ready to be used)... that's a matter of preferences, so here is mine.
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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2014, 03:19:10 AM »
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except there are many people who prefer sometimes/often/always to use just one small prime on camera instead of big (big in our m43 world) zoom (now I use hoods always, do you ? that adds sizewise - I do not like to have that 12-40 + hood schlong hanging from my neck ready to be used)... that's a matter of preferences, so here is mine.
Size all depends on your frame of reference.  Compared to the Canon 24-70 I used to use, the 12-40 is tiny.  Compared to any SLR I've had hanging off my neck, the combination is very light.  Compared to my EP1 and the 17/2.8 I regret selling, or my Canon G1X, sure it's bigger and won't fit in the same bag but it doesn't feel worse after a day around my neck.  I do fully understand your preference in terms of size/weight, in which case the EM1 is probably the wrong m4/3 camera anyway.

I'm not sure I understand you hood schlong comment.  The hood never comes off my lens because it is so compact and light it doesn't matter.  Plus, carrying cameras around ready to use, I have found the physical protection of a hood great insurance!
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Don
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2014, 03:44:44 PM »
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I have the 1240mm, Pana/Leica 25/1.4 and Oly 75mm in my E-M1 bag (a Domke F803 satchel). That's all I need for travel. (At least I'll finally be putting this to the test in the near future.) Substitute the E-M5 for the E-M1 if you like...I keep going back & forth.

-Dave-
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