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Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 day out to Brighton with the E-PL2

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by Ghosthunter, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 Review inc Olympus E-PL2

    This is mainly a review of the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 pancake lens but the camera can not be ignored here so I will add a little info about using the E-Pl2 with this lens.

    I received the lens during the end of this week and was due to have a day at the coast today so I thought what better opportunity that to take the 14mm Pany out with my favorite camera the Olympus E-PL2. So with family in tow we headed off to Brighton which for those overseas is a very famous seaside town on the south coast that was made famous when people had longer paid holidays in the 50’s and then the clashes with Mods and Rockers in the 60’s.

    The E-PL2 is a joy to use. It’s just the right size for me and I love using it. With the 14mm Pany lens attached the camera was very light and easy ho take shots one handed if necessary. The menu system is pretty quick to get used to and I had no problems taking shots without camera shake due to the in build stabilization.

    The 14mm f/2.5 pancake lens from Panasonic was a joy also. It is very small, very light and super fast to focus. It locked onto subjects almost instantly even on such a dull grey day that we had. The only gripe about the lens is that it’s not quite as sharp as the 20mm f/1.7 but that lens is an exception and the 14mm in real life is more than up to the job of producing sharp images.

    One problem I found when I got home was that I took all the shots in Jpg rather than RAW. This was only because adobe has yet to launch RAW support for Lightroom and PS for this camera. This proved that in some cases I was limited to how I could process some of the images but I think I got away with it. I should have taken the GF-1 really but too late now!!

    I did wonder if it was worth having the 14mm f/2.5 as well as the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED Mk2 lens and I can now say for certain that it was well worth it. The day was very dull and in town I had to open the aperture to get a reasonable shutter speed. Also having a prime makes you think a bit more and work a little bit harder for the shot.

    So all in all a great day, a great camera and a great lens.

    Example images:

    1: Brighton Pier
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/5462018039/" title="Brighton Feb 2011 Brighton Pier by andywest1, on Flickr"> 5462018039_f9f7a31504_b. "1024" height="683" alt="Brighton Feb 2011 Brighton Pier" /></a>

    2: Food for thought
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/5462015809/" title="Brighton Feb 2011Restaurants by andywest1, on Flickr">"1024" height="696" alt="Brighton Feb 2011Restaurants" /></a>

    3: I wonder what they are looking at? Used the grainy Black and White Art filter on this one.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/5462014769/" title="Brighton Feb 2011 What looks good? by andywest1, on Flickr">"1024" height="683" alt="Brighton Feb 2011 What looks good?" /></a>

    4: Brighton Pavilion. This was taken from the car while in a traffic jam!!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/5462010621/" title="Brighton Feb 201 Brighton Pavilion by andywest1, on Flickr">"1024" height="683" alt="Brighton Feb 201 Brighton Pavilion " /></a>
     
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  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Andy my friend, it appears to me that you have found your camera.
    I see you in the images..nuff said.

    Congrats as that is never an easy chore. One may go thru many cameras untill the right one shows up.
    This is your time....
    Don
     
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  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Hey, Andy, I wouldn't worry about them only being jpegs - they're beautiful! I don't know how much you had to do to them but the color and detail is really great. That first one is stunning and in my opinion the "dullness" of the day only underscores the architecture, the lines of the pier, that beautiful almost glowing greenish blue sea and that multicolored pebbled beach. I also love your description
    Paid holidays...sigh... But "Mods and Rockers", now that's even better than a paid holiday for my memory banks.:biggrin: Anyhow, I love that picture. If you did shoot RAW, too, it will be interesting to see if you feel it allows you more leeway in the sense of making it an even better photograph.

    The color and light quality in the interior shot "Food for Thought" looks perfect, the black and white grainy art filter worked out really well for that shot inside the little restaurant - really like that framed mirror reflection, the father with the balding head looking down...and the two in the forefront (your wife and son, perhaps?)...my eye travels in and out, around and back. As for your traffic jam shot - is that a mosque? It's beautiful... You should see my traffic jam photos.:rolleyes:

    Very nice write up and I think that just maybe you're going to end up with one camera and lots of lenses.:drinks:
     
  4. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Very nice shots, Andy!

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  5. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Many thanks Don.

    Do you know what.......I think i have found 'THE' camera!! It just suites me so well. I will still play with the others for now but the E-PL2 is staying! Nuff said!
     
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  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Nice shots Andy. Particularly that first one, which is just loaded with simple understated beauty... Really nice. Glad you like the camera and the lens. I've really enjoyed the lens as well. I shot a bunch at an "invention fair" in my wife's 4th grade classroom on Friday and I started shooting with the 20, but everything was so close and I had to shoot from such close quarters that I quickly switched to the 14. Low light, quick focus, everything worked out well. They're just snapshots for the most part, but the lens did its job. This was the first time since I've hat it that I specifically needed both the wide angle and reasonable low light capability and it really came through. Just for the heck of it, here's the ONE shot out of about 70 I took that was a bit more than a snapshot. Good little lens with whatever camera you happen to have handy!

    -Ray

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5456837239/" title="P1010020 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"647" height="854" alt="P1010020" /></a>
     
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  7. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    BB What can i say but thank you for such a nice reply. Getting people to like what you do really makes all the swapping about and expense well worth it. I used to take pics for others to comment on but i have learned to take pictures for ME and no one else but ME! If anyone else likes them enough to comment then that's just the icing on the cake.

    THANK YOU ALL!!!:grouphug:
     
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  8. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    That's a VERY nice image there Ray. I love the sense that she had no idea you were taking the shot so it's all very natural. I am getting to like natural snap type shots more than staged shots the more i do this. I have become an opportunist photographer rather than some one who plans everything. Grabbing the moment is so much more fun!
     
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  9. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Andy, these are a terrific set, no wonder you are pleased! The first is so smooth and film like, I love it :) The inside shopping centre pic looks great and the colour balance is good too. I like the grainy b & w shot and your last shot of the Pavilion is pretty impressive for a grab shot (although I know what the traffic's like in Brighton!!!). I have family who live on the sea front at Brighton and am hoping to get down there for a weekend this month (fingers crossed the weather cooperates). I don't think I will better your shots though.
     
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  10. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    There was a point when i thought we would have to try somewhere else as there was a half marathon going on in the morning so rather than park in town we had to park near the marina and get the bus in!! At least we saved a bunch of money on parking!!!! Last time we parked in town it cost us £17 to park!!! eeek!

    Brighton is such a wonderful and interesting place, always buzzing with people and lots of interesting places to shoot. I love it down there and your family are very lucky to live there! Fingers crossed for some decent weather.

    Oh and by the way that's my wife and youngest son in the restaurant. :smile:
     
  11. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    A few more from Brighton:

    1: Stacked
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/5462019023/" title="Brighton Feb 2011 Stack by andywest1, on Flickr">"1024" height="530" alt="Brighton Feb 2011 Stack" /></a>

    2: Broody Sky
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/5462610162/" title="Brighton Feb 2011 Old Pier Wreck by andywest1, on Flickr"> 5462610162_3cf8deb6ef_b. "1024" height="578" alt="Brighton Feb 2011 Old Pier Wreck" /></a>

    3: Sails
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/5462011283/" title="Brighton Feb 2011 Sails by andywest1, on Flickr">"1024" height="696" alt="Brighton Feb 2011 Sails" /></a>
     
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  12. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    These are also very, very good but I think it's your "eye" too. Some of us struggle to "see" the picture in the first place :rolleyes: Excellent work!
     
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  13. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Shucks!! thank you :blush:

    It's funny but i 'see' more with these small cameras than i ever did with the DSLR. I think i have also found my niche as a 'very' amateur photographer. I'm an opportunist. If i see something I'll snap it rather than spend ages creating a shot. I will be doing that soon when i get my garage back and build a little studio in there.
     
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Yeah, its your eye - those are spectacular, particularly the first two.

    I've had exactly the same reaction to shooting with large vs small gear. I haven't had an SLR since waaaaaaay back in the film days. I got back into photography with m43 last spring after many years of just shooting family shots with a P&S. As much as I love m43 I always wanted something that could do DSLR AF speed for both action and long lenses - I've missed way too many shots of those shots with my pens and gf1. So I tried a Sony A33 for a few days. And its an incredible camera - I don't have a single negative thing about it. With a Zeiss 16-80 zoom I was getting some of the most stunningly clear and sharp photos I've ever taken with anything. I'm not a pixel peeper by a long shot but even I could see the difference in IQ. But after shooting with it for a few days I realized that I was shooting a lot of very pretty photos of very obvious stuff but I wasn't shooting at all creatively with it. As good as the camera is, I just somehow couldn't see with it very well. With the gf1, ep2, LX5, or Nex, the cameras just seem to get out of the way and let me capture what I see. There's a real difference. I've settled on a GH2 as the DSLR "type" camera. With the 100-300 on board, it too is a BIG camera compared to anything I'm used to (right there with the Sony). But for the kind of shooting I do with long lenses, it doesn't bother me. And its performance is close enough to the A33 to please me. Pretty much instant AF and very very accurate even with long lenses. My hit rate with this camera and long lenses is probably about 75% - with the same lenses and the other m43 cams, it was probably closer to 25% with LOTS of misses. But with the GH2, I can use all of my other smaller m43 lenses and I can still seem to "see" with it just fine. It doesn't get out of the way quite as well as the smaller cameras, but its not a problem at all. So I'm glad to have it for its technical capabilities without losing too much of the creative part. And I'll always have one or two of the little guys around for most of my shooting.

    Which is my typically long-winded way of saying "I agree with you completely!" on the benefits of small cameras in terms of getting out of the way and allowing the creative impulse to come through...

    -Ray
     
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