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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fanboy...ism


Fanboy...ism

Fanboy. It's a bit of a derogatory term for someone defending something to the bitter end. These people can often be found on Internet forums where everyone is anonymous. Nobody is allowed to criticise or speak-up for another product or they get slammed. Personally I don't like the word, but like most things in life you can't have everything and so the word is here to stay I fear.

Me? Yes, I suppose I'm a bit of a fan of the Olympus m4/3 cameras but not really of their 4/3 system. It was expensive and didn't really offer anything more over the other APS-C or FF systems. Back then when Olympus introduced the system I was really into Canon and their huge and heavy lenses. Things change. I used to carry a rucksack full of gear, leaving no room for anything else. If I wanted to take some water (which every normal person would) my wife would be pressed into service. Thinking back on those days, how ridiculous it all was. Did all that gear make me a better photographer? No it did not. On the contrary, by the time I got to where I wanted to go I had no energy left whatsoever. Be a minimalist, carry only what you require to do the job. In many cases, one camera and one lens will normally do the job. Get to know your camera and that one lens and learn what you can and cannot do with it. Then, and only then, think about acquiring another lens, and ensure it fits your needs.

This was at a time that Panasonic brought out the GF1 which was and is, in my mind, one of the best cameras they made. It was solid, small and produced great images. I was immediately impressed by the possibilities a system like this afforded. It was exactly what I needed. Smaller cameras, smaller lenses and, last but not least, smaller tripods to support that system. My back will be forever grateful to Panasonic. I still have that camera and yes, I still use it. Although the EVF isn't the best out there today, it was the best at the time and it is useable...still.
There are better cameras out there with better sensors, better functions and faster focusing etc but we all know that's not everything, right? I'm also a fan of the Fuji system as well as m4/3. They have some wonderful lenses and the cameras aren't too shabby either. But Panasonic's lenses such as the 12-35 f2.8, the 35-100 f2.8 and especially the Nocticron 42.5 f1.2 can hold their own against the best in the business.

I'm also a fan of the Sony Alpha cameras. Excellent sensors and with the use of adapters you can use almost any lens on the planet. I love using the manual focus lenses on them, it's fun and there are some superb lenses that can be bought at a fraction of the price of the native Alpha lenses. But I don't like the way the native lenses handle, apart from a couple like the 35 f2.8 and the 55 f1.8. These lenses handle very well and produce some stunning images. Now that I can prove because I have a few images that just amaze me. One lens that doesn't get a lot of love is the 24-240 f3.5-6.3. It's a 10x zoom and maybe the image quality isn't the best but for my needs, it's pretty much perfect. It's my holiday lens when taking the Sony system with me. Or to put it another way, I just hate changing lenses while I'm on the road. Image quality isn't bad, it's just not as good as the two primes I just mentioned.

But...nothing gives me the joy of handling and using an Olympus camera gives me. I think the m4/3 system offers all I really need from a system. If I was looking for a camera for casual snaps I would look no further, but that doesn't mean they don't offer themselves for professionals. Many professional photographers are slowly changing their systems for the smaller format. It's not that the DSLRs of this world are bad, it's just that the m4/3 system offers what they need. But being a bit of a freak when photography is concerned I like using and experimenting with different systems. You could say I'm a fan of the system I'm using at the time.

Reading that Pentax have just announced their first FF camera the K-1 brought back happy memories on my Pentax days. I don't care what people say about them but the first few cameras they produced (*istD etc) were really good cameras. Only 6MP but each pixel was a good pixel. I loved using them and still have a few of those cameras in my collection. I hardly use them anymore, not because the image quality isn't to my satisfaction but because I much prefer an EVF to an OVF. The *istD  with the right lens on it records wonderful images, and Pentax do have some great lenses, especially the Limited series. I'll be watching the early users of the K-1 to see what the resonance is. It has some interesting functions. I hope it takes off for them as it would be a real shame if Pentax were to give the game up. As an afterthought here, I remember clearly printing a 120 cm x 80 cm from one of those 6MP images. You really couldn't tell from which camera it came from.

I really dislike the term "Fanboy" and I do see it being used quite a bit. This actual rambling of mine was brought about by me reading a post in a very well known photography forum and trying to find out how much of a fanboy I am. Well, as you see I'm quite a fan, but of all things photographic. Hope you enjoyed the piece.


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I'm an enthusiastic photographer who likes to tinker with manual lenses on most camera formats.

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