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Old Mar 20, 2011, 9:22 AM   #1
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Default A camera for my lens?

I at last have the time and patience to go looking for a new camera but am a bit information overloaded.
I have three lenses from my old setup with an OM20: the original 50 mm zuiko, a Vivitar 28 mm and (my pride and joy of the day) a Vivitar Series 1 70-210 mm (series no.28# etc).
I moved to Greece in 1990, and along with most other hobbies, I slowly but surely abandoned photography mainly because of frequent **** processing and even more frequent selective printing ("x, y, z, were not printed because too dark", and the like, DOH... it was a shot of stars!).

In 2003 I spotted an Oly 2100UZ which I immediately fell in love with and have since taken thousands of photos with. We also have a Pentax M20 (or 30, can't remember) which I got for my other half because of its 'Muppet menu' as I call it LOL. In the summer I kept borrowing my Dad's TZ7 and am really feeling the need for something to take me back to my old days of going out specifically with the purpose of taking photos.

I bought the Series 1 zoom in 1987 or 89, can't quite remember. I still have the receipt in my wallet -it was my first 'big' purchase as an adult! I would so love to be able to use it again. I came across some fantastic pictures someone had taken with a Pannie GF1 and the Series 1 zoom. So it is possible -yippee! But what body (or kit) to go with?

I love taking macro shots, wildlife, landscape and the like (also possibly with my telescope too). I am not that interested in video capability and I guess really I am not after quick snapshots. Even the 2100UZ spends most of its time on manual. I am more interested in good image definition, reliability, colour rendition and the like than the modern bells and whistles (GPS etc). Having said that, I do love the IS on the UZ. I don't even mind going for an olderish model, providing I can find it (old models don't hang around long here).

I believe any system is only as good as the piece of glass you attach to the front of it so I don't really want to go too high budget-wise for a body. Just something that would let me feel like I had my old OM20 again but in digital form and let me use this (I believe) brilliant lens. E-520? or the PEN? Doesn't have to be Oly either - just something <400 euros (I did see an Oly kit for about that I think).

What would be a good combination? Are these newer plastic bodies OK with such a hefty piece of glass on the front?

Has anyone else experience with such a combo?
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 3:02 PM   #2
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G'day Dr Z

Some nice memories here & lots of great ideas

I think that I would do a bit more research - who makes adaptors for Oly film SLR lenses for which current bodies??

This might limit you to one or maybe two camera types - and they might be very different from forum members recommendations

The other side of this coin [that all us ex-film slr users have faced] is that today's lenses are often sharper than the old lenses, now cheaper due to production methods etc etc, and it becomes easier to put the old lenses on the memorabilia shelf

Regards, Phil
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 4:47 PM   #3
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Cheers Ozzie
Yeah ... guess I am a bit at that age where the memories start to kick in - and it was such a big investment at the time. Trouble is I tend to be someone who researches everything to death as if what I buy will have to last me until my days' end! (All comes from when I was a kid if it was old-fashoined or out of date, hard cheddar, and if you broke it, tough, there wouldn't be an automatic replacement.) At the present I am still a bit hesitant to invest a huge sum in digital - afraid of dead pixels and the like. It took yonks for my OM20 battery to die (of course at a vital moment). But that was really all that could go wrong with it. As long as you didn't actually really mistreat a camera back then it was hard for much to go wrong (more likely to damage the lenses), whereas these days there is so much circuitry and electronics to fail even if you do take the greatest care.

I will keep reading (stuck between what difference there is between micro 4/3 and ord 4/3 at mo, why has it all got so complicated? LOL)

I think I am hoping I can use the old gear but secretly well aware it may not be worth the bother and will just have to build it all a nice display cabinet!

Thanks for your tuppence!
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 12:23 AM   #4
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G'day DrZ

From experience - it seems that 3 years is the mechanical /electro life of the digital cameras of today - get more than this & buy yourself a lottery ticket

Regards, Phil
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Old Mar 22, 2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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There are adapters that will let you OM lenses on the current 4:3 bodies but you give up a lot to do so. First is the lens is would be completely manual, aperture, focusing, everything which somewhat defeats the benefits of a modern body. Second all of those lenses were designed for full frame and really don't have the resolution required for a 4:3 sensor. Even the 50mm Zuiko doesn't fare all that well on a 4:3 body, I'd rather use the fairly decent Oly kit lenses on a Oly DSLR. The 14-42 and the 40-150 give you full frame equivalent focal lengths from 28mm to 300mm which is greater than what you had before.

I'm not pushing Oly (even though that's what I use) because there are a lot of good entry level and higher DSLRs on the market. I'd suggest getting any of those with the lenses you need based on your photo requirements and then seeing if you can adapt the old lenses just fun. Just don't pick based on being able use your old lenses.

A. C.
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Old Mar 22, 2011, 6:07 PM   #6
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Thanks A.C. and Phil, I think I am coming to the same conclusion; I was looking about for an E520 kit, but no luck yet (or at least not at a price I am willing to pay for a relatively 'old' model!).

I was playing about with my beloved C2100 and remembered the manual metering you can do on it. As well as spot and centre weighted metering, the Oly lets you meter up to 9 points of your choice (one by one) and it will average them. I used to find it quite useful, but I haven't seen such a feature in reviews of new models. Can modern dSLRs do this? I guess with such advanced metering these days it might not be required. I just thought it was such an advanced, practical feature back then.

It's so hard to choose! So many models, so many features. Despite having two Olys, I am not brand loyal as such - I just choose what fits my needs and pocket best. (But I am rather disinclined towards Sony!) Oly does seem to get generally good reviews of kit lenses. And I generally like the Oly button and menu layout. I also quite like the layout on one of the Pentax Ks

My prime concern is image quality. I know it only has 2.1 Mp (LOL sounds so lame today!) but a difficulty we had with the Oly, and also with the Optio 30 (6 Mp), is making areas of trees and foliage look sharp - they always seem to me to be rather soft. I seem to notice it in many images from current dSLRs I look at even on the net. I don't know if that is because of poor focus or just from me approaching 'pixel peeping', although I see the softness way before I get to pixels. But why do I only notice it on trees and leafy areas? (I shoot a lot of trees for my other half - he's a fruit specialist.) Having said that though, I haven't actually printed many to see how that perception translates into a physical image.

It has even made me think of returning to film, but there are fewer places than ever to do that reliably here. Am I crazy to expect real sharp definition from entry dSLRs? Is what I am seeing just because I am looking at a >21" screen?

Any particular model recommendations or ones to avoid? I hope Phil the 3 year mark is a bit of a low estimate ... you really reckon things fail by then? Having paid 350E in 2003 for the Oly I guess I would be happy around the 400-500 mark. But not really happy to go over that if things don't last. I love gadgets but I am really not a must-have-latest person, too tightfisted I guess!
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