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Old Nov 4, 2010, 9:22 AM   #1
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Default How important is having a VF-2 for E-PL1

Hi all,

I've had the E-PL1 for a week now. At first, I really didn't like framing and composing a shot using the LCD. Now, I think I'm beginning to get used to the it. Although, on a sunny day, I'm still having fits with it. I'm looking at getting a 40-150mm M43 Oly lens or the 45-200mm Panny. But, I'm wondering if it doesn't make more sense to get the VF-2 viewfinder first.

Just asking the user community who have had a chance to use the VF-2, what your experience has been and how important the VF-2 is to you.

Any responses would be much appreciated.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 10:16 AM   #2
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You'd never take the VF-2 off the camera once you've used it unless you needed to plug a flash in to the hot shoe.

After I had been playing with the E-PL1+VF2 finder for a while and picked up the E620 I was shocked how bad the E620's finder was or, probably closer to right, how really good the VF2 finder is. The view is pretty spectacular. I have used the finders' ability to be flipped out to shoot direct overhead subjects and really like being able to do that and yet still hold the camera up to my face, no more neck strain when shooting straight up, and unlike the flip out screen where you have to hold the entire outfit away from your body. I have not yet used it that way, but it would be a great for low angle shooting as well.

It also makes manual focusing extremely easy with the high resolution image. I'd have to go back to when I used a Leica rangefinder to think of a camera that has been as easy to manual focus as the E-PL1 with the VF-2. The 20/1.7 Panasonic and 12-60 Zuiko, which I have never manually focused on any DSLR, is extremely easy to use in manual focus mode. With the very short distance you have to move the ring to get from 3 feet to infinity with the 12-60, the image really pops into and out of focus very clearly.

The 40-150 micro Zuiko is extremely light. It's thinner than the 4/3rd's version and a little longer...about as long as the 4/3rd's version with the MMF-2 adapter added, and the zoom ring is not as free flowing as the 4/3rd's model. A little over-dampened, but it is a better quality feel than the 4/3rd's version, it is smooth in action and does not bind anywhere along the travel.

More important to me and unlike my 4/3rd's version, this micro model is sharp across the entire zoom range. My 4/3rd's model has a blurring issue on one side of the frame the last 15mm or so at the long end. Probably a tiny decentering issue you can't see until you get to those higher magnifications.

Not the case with this micro version. The overall feel of the lens to me is, it's a little better quality optic. It focuses really fast and as quietly, if not more so, than the SWD equipped 4/3rd's lenses. The weight is so....non-existant, I will probably use shutter speed priority and keep the speeds up to at least 1/320 or 1/400 if not faster. Even with IS, the combined outfit is so light I would rather keep the speeds up when the light allows instead of keeping the camera in program and letting it select something like 1/250 second and f10. I'd prefer having something more like 1/500 sec and f7.1. Some of the images posted below were shot at shutter speeds as low as 1/160 second after work yesterday during the last hour and a half of daylight.








Last edited by Greg Chappell; Nov 4, 2010 at 10:23 AM.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 10:47 AM   #3
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Hi Greg,

Thanks. Your responses are always cogent and very complete. But, I was hoping you'd tell me it wasn't that important. I was really hoping I'd be happy just getting the 4-150mm m43 but you've just confirmed what my suspicions were.

Looks like I'll have to dig a little deeper into the pockets.

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Old Nov 4, 2010, 10:59 AM   #4
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Zig, I would second everything Greg said, & just reiterate I have never used any viewfinder in any camera electronic or optical that was as clear & bright as the vf-2, the e-3 doesn't even enter the same leauge for manual focus precision as Greg had mentioned, IMHO it should be first on your list. it just makes the camera 500% more usable. I know you previously mentioned using legacy manual lenses, you will be blown away as to how fast you can focus with a little practice with the vf2. That's my 2 cents take it as you will.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 11:04 AM   #5
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I don't doubt the camera can be used effectively without the finder. One thing I used to do with my Panasonic FZ digicams when I wanted to use the tele zoom and back LCD was, I would use the strap to brace the grip by holding the camera out far enough the strap was tightly against the back of my neck...helped stabilize the camera when using those longer focal lengths. As long as you can see the screen well enough to compose you should be OK.

The one thing I often see these cameras do when using a telephoto lens, if I want to shoot a small object against a background the camera often focuses beyond the small subject, even with the narrower focus box selected. That's when I will always go to manual focus and that's where the VF-2 really comes into its' own.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 12:54 PM   #6
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One minor, but retrograde move on Olympus' part with the 40-150 micro Zuiko....they dropped the internal-pinch lens cap. The spring-loaded locks are, again, on the outside rim of the cap vs. being placed on the inside like the Zuiko 4/3rd's lens caps, making it impossible to put the cap on and take it off when the hood is mounted.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 1:53 PM   #7
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How about the 'pincher' 58mm cap from the 70-300? Maybe swap them or find yet another? ....just sayin' as they say
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 1:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cshanaberger View Post
Zig, I would second everything Greg said, & just reiterate I have never used any viewfinder in any camera electronic or optical that was as clear & bright as the vf-2, the e-3 doesn't even enter the same leauge for manual focus precision as Greg had mentioned, IMHO it should be first on your list. it just makes the camera 500% more usable. I know you previously mentioned using legacy manual lenses, you will be blown away as to how fast you can focus with a little practice with the vf2. That's my 2 cents take it as you will.
Charles
Hi Charles,

Thanks for your input. Looks like it's a no brainer. Now, the only thing left is to see who has the best price and where is it in stock.


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Old Nov 4, 2010, 2:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boBBrennan View Post
How about the 'pincher' 58mm cap from the 70-300? Maybe swap them or find yet another? ....just sayin' as they say
Yeah, the cap from the 40-150 4/3rd's lens is also the same size. I'll check them out tonight when I get home and may just switch the 4/3rd's cap over.

I can see why they included the type caps they did. They are very thin and streamlined/cool looking on the micro lenses. The rear lens caps are even around 1/2 the depth of the regular 4/3rd's rear caps, and the micro lenses are sold wirhout the hoods so many users will never know the difference unless they spend the money to buy the hood.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 2:14 PM   #10
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shooting a long zoom it really helps out allot.
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