Year Zero.... continued - The KIt

2009 was a year of change, it was also the year of the test! Testing lenses, testing cameras, testing lens/camera combinations. We've all been involved in this.
A few days ago I suddenly realised that this might be at an end. In terms of cameras and lenses the basic "shape" of the system was sorted. Much has been discarded, much has been bought and then sold on again, sometimes very quickly. What is left is a system that I'm happy with and also one that has tremendous versatility.


canon-5dm2-1


Canon 5D Mk II
Used for Events, Weddings and commercial shoots. Stills and HD Video
Canon 28-135mm IS lens.
Canon 20mm F2.8
Canon 28mm F1.8
Canon 50mm F1.8
Canon 85mm F1.8

plus via Nikon F > Canon EOS Adapters

Nikon 50mm F1.2 MF
Nikon 85mm F1.8
Nikon 135mm F2.8 MF

Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flashgun

canon-5dm2-2

GH1-7-14-2

Panasonic GH1
Used for Events, Weddings and commercial shoots. HD Video + Stills backup.
Used for Travel, Location and Stock Photography.
Lumix 14-140 OIS Zoom
Lumix 7-14 Zoom
Olympus 14-42 Zoom
Lumix 20mm F1.7
Lumix 45mm F2.8

Plus via Leica M > m4/3 adapters

Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Heliar
Voigtlander 35mm F1.7 Ultron
Voigtlander 50mm F1.1 Nokton
Voigtlander 75mm f2.5 Heliar

Plus via Nikon F > Leica M > m4/3 adapters

Nikon 50mm F1.2 MF
Nikon 85mm F1.8
Nikon 135mm F2.8 MF
Nikon 55-200 DX VR Zoom

Metz 48 AF-1 Flashgun

Panasonic DMW Stereo Microphone.

GH1 45-200 zoom

GF1-20mm-1

Panasonic GF1
Used for Travel, Location and Stock Photography. HD Video Backup.
Lumix 14-140 OIS Zoom
Lumix 7-14 Zoom
Olympus 14-42 Zoom
Lumix 20mm F1.7
Lumix 45mm F2.8

Plus via Leica M > m4/3 adapters

Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Heliar
Voigtlander 35mm F1.7 Ultron
Voigtlander 50mm F1.1 Nokton
Voigtlander 75mm f2.5 Heliar

Plus via Nikon F > Leica M > m4/3 adapters

Nikon 50mm F1.2 MF
Nikon 85mm F1.8
Nikon 135mm F2.8 MF
Nikon 55-200 DX VR Zoom

Metz 48 AF-1 Flashgun

Panasonic G1
Used for Travel, Location and Stock Photography.
Lumix 14-140 OIS Zoom
Lumix 7-14 Zoom
Olympus 14-42 Zoom
Lumix 20mm F1.7
Lumix 45mm F2.8

Plus via Leica M > m4/3 adapters

Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Heliar
Voigtlander 35mm F1.7 Ultron
Voigtlander 50mm F1.1 Nokton
Voigtlander 75mm f2.5 Heliar

Plus via Nikon F > Leica M > m4/3 adapters

Nikon 50mm F1.2 MF
Nikon 85mm F1.8
Nikon 135mm F2.8 MF
Nikon 55-200 DX VR Zoom

Metz 48 AF-1 Flashgun


E-P2 Voigtlander 15mm super wide heliar

Olympus E-P2
Used for Travel, Location and Stock Photography. HD Video Backup.
Lumix 14-140 OIS Zoom
Lumix 7-14 Zoom
Olympus 14-42 Zoom
Lumix 20mm F1.7
Lumix 45mm F2.8

Plus via Leica M > m4/3 adapters

Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Heliar
Voigtlander 35mm F1.7 Ultron
Voigtlander 50mm F1.1 Nokton
Voigtlander 75mm f2.5 Heliar

Plus via Nikon F > Leica M > m4/3 adapters

Nikon 50mm F1.2 MF
Nikon 85mm F1.8
Nikon 135mm F2.8 MF
Nikon 55-200 DX VR Zoom

Metz 48 AF-1 Flashgun

e-p2-50mm-nokton-1

leica-M9-2

Leica M9 - Used for Travel, Location and Stock Photography.
Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Heliar
Voigtlander 35mm F1.7 Ultron
Voigtlander 50mm F1.1 Nokton
Voigtlander 75mm f2.5 Heliar

leica-M9-1

I must admit I've never had a system before with so many interchangeable options. For example 3 of the Nikon lenses fit on all cameras, including the Leica, though I would have to guess the focus on the M9. They were all bought S/H and have proved extremely useful. The Voigtlander M-mounts work on Leica & m4/3. Both the Nikons and Voigtlanders become very useful fast telephotos on m4/3.

This has all been put together after much trial and error, and is far from typical of what similar photographers and/or companies would use. The m4/3 cameras and lenses, are not something many, or even any, of our competitors would use. In pitching for jobs we usually take the cameras along to demonstrate what they do. The quizzical looks when these are produced gives way to smiles of relief when they see the results however.

One obvious question is how the m4/3 gear will stand up to prolonged commercial use. One GH1 is currently being tested in some pretty demanding conditions at the moment and getting some heavy duty use. It is so far standing up well.

As has been said in these posts many times, the size, weight, quality ratio is very important. This system fulfills much of what I hoped for when I made the decision to substantially reduce the bulk of my equipment. For the future I will upgrade, as and when alternatives appear.

Update 28/01/2010

Due to a lack of interest on ebay (or me wanting too much money!) - I still have a G1 and a 55-200 DX VR zoom. I tried the lens on the camera, there's no aperture ring so I had to use a piece of card to jam the aperture wide open. Boy was it sharp! Its a lens I used on my D3X in 5x4 crop mode & I've always been impressed with it. Have decided to keep it & get one of the Novoflex adapters that lets me change aperture.
I'm not unhappy about keeping the G1 either. I actually never really want to sell anything but do when I find something better or am not happy with the items performance. Thats not the case with either the lens or the camera here. The G1 is a bit surplus to requirements but I will keep it for a while anyway.

Words - D
Images - D, A & B