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sdcs Sep 21, 2010 12:11 AM

EPL1 + $10 70-210mm junk lens
I almost forgot why I bought an EPL1 instead of GF1 or NEX3 - the in-body IS. It really makes old junk lenses to shine, lots of fun for few money. It is a Vivitar 70-210mm 1:4.5 MC Macro Focusing Zoom for Minolta (M/MD mount), found in a junk store for $9.99. The MD-m4/3 adapter was bought on ebay for $19.99.

Except for the 3rd one which was shot at 70mm, all others are at 210mm. No flash, no speciality lights - just everyday energy-saving bulbs, no tripod, fully hand held. You know, hand-held is absolutely impossible for these shots if without the great in-body IS.

These photos are for nothing else, just to show how effective the in-body IS is. I'm counting the days to the full moon!

BTW, the 1st photo was taken with a cell phone (HTC Touch Pro 2) and uploaded directly from the phone over wireless broadband. Its photos and the uploading convenience always amaze me and make me wonder why people still buy and carry a P&S and why camera manufacturers still bother to make P&S. This phone does great 3-in macro too!

sdcs Sep 21, 2010 1:17 AM

Some more photos: 70mm and 210mm, all hand held, energy-saving lights, P mode, f4.5, MF with my $1 "EVF", as above. This lens happens to be a physically perfect match to EPL1, quite amazing small diameter for its age. The 1st photo also gives you an idea about the height of the adapter.

Greg Chappell Sep 21, 2010 12:45 PM

Excellent quality. You picked yourself a winner there. Several top-flight companies made lenses for Vivitar back then, and I always did like the one-ring zoom designs better. The only thing that bettered it in my opinion was when the two-ring design was finally engineered to where the lens did not extend on zooming.

Those images are really sharp and the size looks perfect for the E-PL1.

How did you handle the IS, by zooming and then dialing in the approximate appropriate focal length for where you were zoomed to?

sdcs Sep 21, 2010 2:00 PM

Thank you Greg, without your knowledge I would not have given this $10 a try. So far I only zoom all way out or in, not between, so I just use the Live Control Panel to change focal length for IS.1.

I must admit, MF is a pain, especially without an EVF, but EPL1 handles manual and auto exposure very well though. After more play with this lens I'll have a much better idea on whether to get the Panasonic 45-200 for $266 or not. So far I feel 200mm is still not long enough and, with in-body EIS, it is impossible to do hand-held video even at 70mm.

Before I got this EPL1, I had not done any serious photography in the last 15 years; so such lenses will sure produce much better photos in the hands like yours. And I should do it better after more practices.

These are outdoor shots, the last two used iAuto mode instead of P and they look indeed much more sharp and vivid.

Greg Chappell Sep 21, 2010 2:33 PM

The eyelevel finder works much better for the way I shoot. For the life of me I don't see how anyone shoots with a camera larger than a Panasonic TZ point & shoot beyond a 200-300mm equivalent field of view holding the camera out in front of them and using the back LCD. There's no way I could use my 70-300 Digital Zuiko on my E-PL1 without the VF-2.

The other day I was trying, just to see what it was like shooting closeups of a plant at the office. I had the 70-300 mounted on the E-PL1 with my Olympus FL50R flash in the hot shoe so I had to try and use the back LCD and just the heft of that combination made it pretty much impossible to hold out in front of me for very long, much less steadily.

I would imagine that lens you have is a "true" zoom, meaning as one example if you are something like 10 feet away from a subject, you can set the distance setting on 10 feet and zoom it up and down the range and you'll never lose focus. Modern lenses are varifocal, meaning everytime you zoom, you have to refocus.

sdcs Sep 21, 2010 3:16 PM

Yes, it can zoom in and out without needing re-focusing. I don't have an EVF yet, so all above photos are done with the LCD, very painful.

sdcs Sep 21, 2010 11:00 PM

Got a visitor in backyard.

Mikefellh Sep 26, 2010 3:43 PM


Originally Posted by sdcs (Post 1144431)
Its photos and the uploading convenience always amaze me and make me wonder why people still buy and carry a P&S and why camera manufacturers still bother to make P&S.

1) I don't own a cellphone, I have no need for a cellphone, I don't want a cellphone.
2) A cellphone doesn't have the quality optics my P&S has.
3) A cellphone doesn't have the features my P&S has, being able to use it underwater for instance.
4) A cellphone doesn't have the shooting modes and control my P&S has.

And in a few weeks I may be buying the Fuji 3D P&S if Panasonic's 3D lens can't live up to its claims...your cellphone can't do 3D!

sdcs Sep 26, 2010 4:16 PM

My point was: for what my cellphone cannot do, I'd rather get something like EPL1 instead of a P&S. It is not much larger, more expensive and more difficult to use than a P&S.

It's a pity that owning a cellphone still cost a fortune in Canada. Here in the states, a prepaid cellphone such as PagePlusCellular and Tmobile To Go, cost almost nothing (refill as low as $10 for every 4 or 12 months and calling rates is as low as $0.04/min). If without these great services, I would have been still like you refusing to send my hard-earned money to these greedy sharks each and every month even if I don't make any calls at all.

The nice thing about these PPC and TMO2Go is: they allow me to use any my own phones. So I can use these new phones that take great photos, saving me the hassle of carrying a P&S. With other carriers such as AT&T and Verizon, they force you to add expensive monthly data plans if you want to use these fancy smartphones.

So as long as you carry a cellphone (most people do these days), it does not make much sense to carry a P&S, because it still cannot do what an EPL1 can (such as shallow DOF). New phones like HTC EVO, Moto DroidX and iPhone4, all take 720P HD video in addition to decent stills, making P&S even less desired. Furthermore, newer smartphones are meanwhile true Turn-Turn GPS (no you don't even need a phone service), even more desirable for carrying one.

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