Panasonic G6 14-140mm kit - Part 10 - More 'real world' shooting

After a few dull, rainy days the sun finally came out again. Somewhat surprising since it was August Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK, which usually means bad weather. I was able to get out with the G6 and 14-140mm again to take something other than test pictures.

I was particularly impressed with the picture below. There are huge numbers of these butterflies this year, I imagine because of the good weather. When they land on the flowers they tend to 'fold' up their wings and open them occasionally for a fraction of a second. I waited and hoped I could get this one when that happened. I did as you see get that at the first attempt, thanks to the almost instant reaction of the electronic shutter. You might also be as impressed as I was with the sharpness of the image.

Its interesting how one set of changes to a lens can open up all sorts of possibilities. In the case of the 14-140mm lens, those changes are pretty significant for me. To upgrade the lens so that its smaller, lighter, sharper and cheaper, is, as I've mentioned before, no mean achievement and its certainly given me something to think about. The first result of this is that I've ordered a Panasonic 7-14mm zoom (My fourth I think!!) as it occurred to me that since the G6 and 14-140mm outfit is so light and such good quality, it wouldn't be a problem to go out with both lenses and have a 7-140mm (In approximate 35mm terms 14-280mm) set of focal lengths at my disposal. 

The last time I had something like that was hauling a Canon 1dsMkII plus Sigma 28-300mm and 12-24mm lenses around. I never worked out the combined weight, but you can imagine what it felt like. I remember climbing a path to the top of a cliff with that lot (Very Slowly!) and it wasn't something I cared to repeat. Its experiences like that that explain my enthusiasm for smaller, lighter mirrorless cameras and the new 14-140mm, which is I'm pretty sure the smallest and lightest interchangeable superzoom ever produced, is a real godsend to me. Last year at this time I was using a Nikon D800E + 28-300mm most of the time, and while I appreciated all those pixels and the quality of the images, it wasn't a particularly pleasureable experience and 'the best job in the world' turned out to be more 'job' than I was happy with.

There is of course a compromise on quality by using the G6. It obviously isn't the D800E in terms of the images it produces. However, I'm upsizing them to a pretty impressive 27MP at the moment (around 77MB) which is about as far as I can push it. Again this is something that has become possible only recently. Adobe have come up with these excellent interpolation options that avoid many of the problems of quality loss of the past, so there isn't really that much of a difference. I'm happy that the images I create by doing this are capable of large-scale reproduction and so are the picture libraries who market them, so the 'loss' is a lot less than you might imagine.

All of this adds further weight to my growing feeling that this G6 / 14-140mm combination is probably the best travel / location outfit I've ever used, when all the factors, ease of use / versatility / speed / quality / size / weight are taken into consideration. It doesn't come out top of any of those attributes but the combination of advantages is pretty compelling.

I'll also going to see how the camera and the focus peaking work with the Nikon lenses I have left via a Metabones Speed Booster. I tried to buy one of these before but the company on ebay I bought it from, didn't actually have any stock, so I got a refund. I have however found one from an AV company here in the UK and that should be arriving tomorrow. Its an intriguing idea and most reviews seem to indicate it does work well. I'm thinking of video use primarily but its going to be fascinating to see how it works for stills. My Nikon lenses will give focal lengths similar to those on APS-C cameras so thats going be interesting. I have a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 which with the speed booster crop factor and speed increase should give me something approximating a 43mm f/1 in 35mm terms. Sounds fun!!

Further to my renewed m4/3 exploits, I've also ordered myself a GH3. I explained in a previous post why I regretted selling the first one I had, and the combination of not feeling great, plus the need to raise money for a tax bill, meant that I never really gave it a proper go. Plus not shooting any video with it at all has always been something I feel I've missed out on. Things being what they are, I'll be re-buying it at pretty much the same price I sold it for (and I did sell it pretty quickly after it was released) plus Panasonic have an offer on at the moment which means I get the battery grip for free. So in terms of my finances, a good deal.

Lots of stuff has been departing, including my entire Nikon 1 outfit, which though I liked using it very much has been made somewhat redundant by other cameras. The Nikon DSLR's went some time ago. I may yet come to a decision as to whether I want to keep both the Leica X Vario and Fuji X-E1. I would dearly love to keep both, as indeed I always want to keep virtually everything I use, but the economics of that don't make much sense. However, I'll see what I decide. 

Someone once described my buying and selling activities as akin to a soap-opera, but my experience of those is that this is much more interesting!!

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