Gregmironchuk's Blog

My 4/3 Life…

Posted in Uncategorized by gregmironchuk on August 13, 2012


My 4/3 stuff… Two Panasonic Lumix L1 bodies, an Olympus E-300 body, a 58mm f/1.4 Minolta Rokkor, an 8mm Russian Fisheye, and a 20mm f/2.8 Nikon AF lens. In the back row, a 60mm Rikenon Macro, and a Pentax Takumar 85mm f/1.9. The disparate lenses are mounted by means of adapters… bought anywhere from $8-12, on eBay.


I originally acquired the Lumix boxes, because they were so “Leica-ey”… I was missing The Leica Thing, since becoming a largely digital photographer… I wanted small bodies, and small lenses… gear that would allow me to roll along with a story… not being singled out as a “photographer”, with all the baggage that people bring to that label.

I got the bodies, the very nice 14~50 Leitz-branded (but Panasonic manufactured) lens… the awesome Olympus 11~22mm, and Olympus’ 40-150mm lens… but the small primes, that the 4/3 companies promised, never really materialized. Yeah, there was the freakyexpensive 25mm f/1.4 Leitz branded (and Panasonic manufactured normal lens, and the 50mm f/2 Olympus macro… but no fast, wide primes… no fast prime telephoto primes.

The 4/3 companies later introduced MICRO 4/3… Pen Olympusses, and G Panasonics… and they have a variety of fast prime lenses for THOSE (my lenses will work on the Micros… their lenses won’t work on mine… backfocus)… my cameras are orphans. There won’t be anything newdifferentgreat for them.

Perhaps one day, I’ll move to the newer cams, and get their VERY nice lenses… but, for now, these are what I have, and I’ll work with them.

Olympus E-300, with a Nikon 20mm f/2.8 AF lens, mounted via a $12 adapter, bought from eBay. The camera will manual or autoexpose with the lens, but there’s no autofocus, and you need to work at “shooting aperture”.

I’ve been walking around with the Olympus E-300… partly because I like the look of the file (it seems more ‘filmic’ than a lot of files from my other digital cameras. I don’t really know what that MEANS, but that’s how it looks, to me), and it synchs electronic flash, on ‘Manual’, to 1/320th of a second.

I am using the 20mm AF Nikon lens… the size of the sensor is half the size of a 35mm frame, so the equivalent focal len shape of the 35mm frame)gthe is doubled. This lens is equivalent to a 40mm lens, on a 35mm camera… wider than normal/not very wide. I had been using an 18mm f/3.5 AF lens… but I didn’t like the rendering, and the shape of the frame (a square-er aspect ratio than the 2×3 of 35mm and standard digital frames) ‘feels’ better, at 20, than at 18.

I also take either the 60mm Macro Rikenon, or the 58mm Minolta lens. I keep the 11~22, and the 40~150 in a small bag, with a flash, and some batteries, and I’m Good.

This stuff about the half-sized frame, and the nearly-universal ability to mount all sorts of lenses, is what makes these things exciting. On the wide end… the round 8mm fisheye becomes a full-frame fisheye…

Ann Romney enjoys a cup of ice cream, scooped by her husband, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, at “Memories” Ice Cream Shop, in Kingston NH.

On the long end of things… the small sensor turns smaller, more prosaic lenses into nicely long, fast lenses.

My niece, Abigail, picture made with the E-300, and a 50mm f/1.4 Pentax Takumar lens…

Democratic Presidential Contender John Edwards ponders his progress, exiting the arena at The Pinkerton Academy, in Derry NH… photo made with a Lumix L1, and a 135mm f/2.5 Takumar lens.

The 135mm Takumar, with the half-sized sensor, is equivalent to a 270mm f/2.5… but, unlike an equivalent lens, for a 35mm camera… the 135 is four inches long, and fits in a jacket pocket.

Boston’s Back Bay, photographed across the Charles River, The Longfellow Bridge, and the Cambridge Yacht Club, from Cambridge. Another 135mm shot…

Portrait of my son, William… natural light, with the 58mm f/1.4 Rokkor…

So… I’m happy with this stuff… in spite of its “orphan” status, I’ve managed to raid the closet, and put together a good, lightweight, not-very-intimidating bag of gear… IQ is There, handling is There… flexibility is There.