2598 – Change Of Heart

Remember my pragmatic statement regarding the OM-D E-M1 in “2530 – Right Now“? The elegant and succinct conclusion that “I won’t buy it”?

Well, John D. Linn had his doubts, so should I have had. Ladies and Gentlemen, here’s the first Image of the Day taken with the OM-D E-M1 and its kit lens, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO πŸ˜›

Now you may ask, what the hell made him change his mind? And not only the camera, also the big and heavy kit lens!

The problem is, I held it in my hands. The camera, I mean. I saw it in a local store of a big electronics chain. It was locked behind glass and it had the other, the cheaper kit lens mounted, the slow 12-50, that has been released along with the OM-D E-M5.

I liked the look of the camera, but the long and narrow lens looked ugly on it. I was already turning around when the devil tempted me, disguised as a pretty, young woman who asked me if I wanted to try it. Sure, I thought. Let’s get over with this. I turned the camera on, looked through the viewfinder and … was shocked. Utterly shocked. Shattered.

I simply had not been ready for the size and quality of the viewfinder image, and now I knew I had a problem. I wouldn’t be able to get that view out of my head. And not only that. The E-M1 just feels like a precision tool. You know, I am an engineer. I write computer programs, but in school I have learned all kinds of metal works and mechanical engineering. Not that I was ever good at it, but at least once I have cut a screw and filed a piece of iron for an exact fit. I know mechanical quality when I see it. And now I saw it.

To my defense I can proudly say that I didn’t give in for another day or two, but checking my bank account didn’t reveal any solid obstacle, and it was also clear that the craving would not go away.

I was not interested in the kit with the 12-50, as I don’t need it, and I am sure that lens does not sell well either. Too much has the market been flooded with kit lenses from E-M5 kits. Now I could just order online, wait until next week when I’m back to Vienna, or drive to the nearest dealer who has it in stock.

Waiting was out of the question, the delay of ordering online and waiting for the delivery sounded like torture as well, thus I drove the 150 kilometers to Graz. A dealer there had it, and now there was the next question: body only or the kit with 12-40/2.8?

Actually I don’t need the lens, but then, it has a stellar reputation, reviews tell only superlatives, and in a way it would be cool to have a weather-sealed fast pro zoom as an option for travel or just for rainy days. And finally, as part of the kit, the lens is so much cheaper, that I could easily sell it with profit, and when I keep it for a while, I can at least sell it without loss after a year. Here you have it, that’s how it happened πŸ˜€

The Song of the Day is “Change Of Heart” from Willy DeVille’s 2004 album “Crow Jane Alley”. Hear it on YouTube.

7 thoughts on “2598 – Change Of Heart”

  1. Hi Andreas,
    I own the same lens since about 3 weeks and I’m sure you will be very happy with it. I’ve postet a short review with my findings here: http://lensblues.com/articles/gear-reviews/olympus-m-zuiko-ed-12-40mm-f2-8-review/.
    It would be great if you could also give a short resume of your experience with the lens in some days on your blog. I’m really courious about the opinion of someone who’s using mainly primary lenses πŸ˜‰

    Best regards and have a nice day,

    Btw: the ‘Night Vision’-shot from monday is very nice – great colors – luck was with you πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks. It will take me a while to come to a conclusion. One thing that I can say though: Wow, that lens is heavy! At least for MFT πŸ˜€

  2. Congratulations Andreas. I am sure you will be having a lot of fun with your new camera. I admit that I am interested in trying the EM1. I didn’t like the feel of the EM5 at all, as much as I wanted to like it but it looks like the EM1 has had some serious work done to its ergonomics so I would be interested to know how I react to it when I hold it. That first sensory perception is everything for me. If it’s not there then it doesn’t matter how good the camera is in terms of photo quality. But by the sounds of your experience, this camera might just have the whole package πŸ™‚

    1. It greatly depends on how many lenses you want. APS-C based systems like Fuji or Sony may have nice bodies, but take a few primes and the body almost doesn’t count. Just from the looks I suppose Fuji must be gorgeous. I’ve heard they can even reliably and quite quickly autofocus now πŸ™‚

      1. Absolutely right Andreas. It’s with the lenses that MFT systems win out big time. These days I only ever go out with whatever lens I have on my camera but someday when I have more time to dedicate to making photos that may change and any benefits gained by small APS-C bodies (or even 35mm bodies with the A7R & A7) are instantly negated as soon as you need multiple lenses. But the body still needs to feel right and try as I might the EM5 just doesn’t. Maybe the EM1 will.

  3. I look at your posts daily, Andreas, especially since you started using the EM-5 and associated Olympus lenses. Mostly because I have the same camera and lenses and I love to compare your results with what I’m seeing (and with my Canon 5D MK II). So I look carefully at your images in the X2 display mode you offer (a little bit of pixel peeping, I guess). In any case, I come away with the same conclusion that I’d drawn with my own results – which is that, generally speaking, the EM-5 is just as good as the Canon. And a whole lot easier to handle.

    I’ve also been watching the EM-1 reviews for quite a while. But I must say that when I looked closely at your image today I was very impressed. Of course I don’t know if it’s the camera that’s making the difference, the lens, or a combination of the two. But it’s very, very good.

    Bottom line, I’m thinking about it. Time to finally sell the Canon stuff, I think, before everyone else gets the same idea (to switch, that is).

    1. Paul, I suppose it’s the treatment in Lightroom that you like in this particular image. By the way, if you have a Flickr account, you can follow my photostream. All my images are on Flickr in full size.

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