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Thread: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

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    Default Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    Hello everyone,

    I keep hearing all the buzz about the EM5 having superior image quality to the E5 in almost every way. I'm quite happy with my E-5- the raves I've gotten from my posts and "shocked faces" when the response to the typical question from other photographers being,"What are you shooting with, Nikon or Canon" is a simple "Neither."

    That said, I'm gearing up to do some pretty intensive studio portraiture. I'm pretty invested with 4/3 prime lenses (50mm f/2, 14-35mm f/2 and 35-100mm f/2). Is it worth considering obtaining an EM5 with an adapter to accept 4/3 lenses? What are the major pros and cons? Or, should I just keep using my E-5 and wait for the successor?

    Thank you for all of your input. I definitely invite you to check out some of my photography if you have a chance. I simply love my Olympus system but definitely want to weigh my options for a possible upgrade...

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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    The biggest improvements with the EM5 are dynamic range and the stabilizer, neither of which are very important for studio work. On the other hand, focus speed with you 4/3 lenses is. I'd stick with the E5. The EM5 with some good primes is wonderful, and I'd encourage you to try it out, but not with 4/3 lenses.

    Regards,

    Alan

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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    +1

    The focus speed with those lenses will be a killer when you have a model waiting, plus 4/3 lenses are not as accurate focusing on m4/3. IMO, unless you need to shoot fast action stuff the EM-5 is a better camera.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Baxter View Post
    The biggest improvements with the EM5 are dynamic range and the stabilizer, neither of which are very important for studio work. On the other hand, focus speed with you 4/3 lenses is. I'd stick with the E5. The EM5 with some good primes is wonderful, and I'd encourage you to try it out, but not with 4/3 lenses.

    Regards,

    Alan

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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    I would say the nice thing about the M4/3 for studio work is the 45mm and 75mm fast primes. The 45mm will focus a lot faster than the 4/3 50mm, and there's nothing like the 75mm in the 4/3 lineup. The 4/3 lenes you have will focus too slowly for studio work, IMO -- unless, of course, you are going old school and shooting on a tripod with MF.
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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    I'm using the 35-100mm f/2 lens on the E-M5 for shooting low light concerts. The AF hit rate in low light is about the same as PDAF on the E-30 with this lens, getting worse in lower light for both cameras. MF-assist (automagic magnification when the focus ring is touched) coupled with EVF stabilization at high magnification is a wonder, increasing my hit rate to nearly 100% and taking only 1 second or less - twice as fast as AF. Whether MF-assist is fast enough for your studio work is a question only you can answer.

    Same thing with the 14-54mm Mk1. CDAF takes about 2 seconds, whether at a dark concert or outside in the sun, but MF-assist works great. Both AF and MF-assist are too slow for event photography, but will work for studio photography if you don't need instant focusing.

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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    In my opinion the E5 is as good as any camera on the market for that type photography. I would stick with your current line up.


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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by olddigiman View Post
    I would say the nice thing about the M4/3 for studio work is the 45mm and 75mm fast primes. The 45mm will focus a lot faster than the 4/3 50mm, and there's nothing like the 75mm in the 4/3 lineup. The 4/3 lenes you have will focus too slowly for studio work, IMO -- unless, of course, you are going old school and shooting on a tripod with MF.
    I agree with this, which was why I encouraged him to try u4/3 with native lenses.

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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Baxter View Post
    I agree with this, which was why I encouraged him to try u4/3 with native lenses.
    Since we are on the subject and I have been meaning to ask. Also am NOT trying to high jack the thread. Which m4/3rd lens is best for outdoor portrait shot? Really nice bokeh.


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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmonaut View Post
    Since we are on the subject and I have been meaning to ask. Also am NOT trying to high jack the thread. Which m4/3rd lens is best for outdoor portrait shot? Really nice bokeh.
    I have had good results with the 45mm. You need to be careful about key light direction as glare can be a problem. Also, I'd stop down a bit; F4 -F5.6 is very good.

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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    As a working pro off and on all my adult life, I guess my question would be: if the E5 is giving you the results you want, why would you consider switching? Every dollar you spend on gear is a dollar that isn't profit. Even if the IQ of the end products from EM-5 is measurably better (and I'm not convinced that it is,) what is the cost of having to move new equipment into your workflow? When I know the equipment I'm working with inside and out, and it produces perfectly acceptable, saleable results, I really don't care what the latest and greatest is, until my work becomes seriously outclassed by the competition. At that point, the value of upgrading becomes obvious but until then there really isn't much of a need to upgrade until I wear a body out, and I haven't worn a body out in a VERY long time. I may or may not consider buying an E7... the E5 technology is quite mature, and up for just about anything you can throw at it save, perhaps, billboards.
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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    Have been using the 45 more and ran into serious glare last weekend. Found I could block the sun with my hand, sometimes, but the lens does seem pretty susceptible. Need to get one of those knock-off hoods, pronto.

    Must say, people shot with it wide open really pop from the background--it's a fabulous lens for the task.

    Cheers,

    Rick
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Baxter View Post
    I have had good results with the 45mm. You need to be careful about key light direction as glare can be a problem. Also, I'd stop down a bit; F4 -F5.6 is very good.

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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by roger h View Post
    As a working pro off and on all my adult life, I guess my question would be: if the E5 is giving you the results you want, why would you consider switching? Every dollar you spend on gear is a dollar that isn't profit. Even if the IQ of the end products from EM-5 is measurably better (and I'm not convinced that it is,) what is the cost of having to move new equipment into your workflow? When I know the equipment I'm working with inside and out, and it produces perfectly acceptable, saleable results, I really don't care what the latest and greatest is, until my work becomes seriously outclassed by the competition. At that point, the value of upgrading becomes obvious but until then there really isn't much of a need to upgrade until I wear a body out, and I haven't worn a body out in a VERY long time. I may or may not consider buying an E7... the E5 technology is quite mature, and up for just about anything you can throw at it save, perhaps, billboards.
    Roger,

    Now this is the sensible approach.

    However, how many photographers are sensible, me included? For the studio work I do, my E-5 is more than satisfactory but I still would like to have the extra dynamic range, and more pixels so I can crop more. Seeing I don't really make any money on my photography anyway, there is no reason for me to want the E-7, but I still do. I don't know that I will switch, but it is highly likely that I will if the E-7 gets great reviews.
    Lawrence

    All of the images I post are open for critique. Feel free to modify one of my images if it helps the critique.

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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by lkeeney View Post
    Roger,

    Now this is the sensible approach.

    However, how many photographers are sensible, me included? For the studio work I do, my E-5 is more than satisfactory but I still would like to have the extra dynamic range, and more pixels so I can crop more. Seeing I don't really make any money on my photography anyway, there is no reason for me to want the E-7, but I still do. I don't know that I will switch, but it is highly likely that I will if the E-7 gets great reviews.
    Thank you, Lawrence. I've always tried to minimize my investment in equipment to maximize my profit, yet maintain the appropriate amount of gear necessary to get the job done, whatever may walk through the door. Frankly, I even struggled with buying an E5 for a very long time, and I'm still not sure that the E5 offers enough to warrant buying it over the E3s I had, but I certainly understand the itch for the 'latest and greatest.' In my case, as a long-time bright-line VF/RF camera user (Leica M series film), and being used to shooting in that style, I recently sold my E3s and some of my Oly deep-coverage lens lineup to spring for the Fuji X-Pro1. It's currently getting most of my shutter actuations, but I haven't really figured out how to make it work in a studio setup. The E5/14-50/35-100 will remain the workhorses there.
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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick_D View Post
    Have been using the 45 more and ran into serious glare last weekend. Found I could block the sun with my hand, sometimes, but the lens does seem pretty susceptible. Need to get one of those knock-off hoods, pronto.

    Must say, people shot with it wide open really pop from the background--it's a fabulous lens for the task.

    Cheers,

    Rick
    The hood helps a bit, but not as much as you'd suspect. I guess they went for inexpensive blooming on the elements. Quite a shame really.

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    Default Re: Studio Photography with EM5 and 4/3 lenses- pros/cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by roger h View Post
    As a working pro off and on all my adult life, I guess my question would be: if the E5 is giving you the results you want, why would you consider switching? Every dollar you spend on gear is a dollar that isn't profit. Even if the IQ of the end products from EM-5 is measurably better (and I'm not convinced that it is,) what is the cost of having to move new equipment into your workflow? When I know the equipment I'm working with inside and out, and it produces perfectly acceptable, saleable results, I really don't care what the latest and greatest is, until my work becomes seriously outclassed by the competition. At that point, the value of upgrading becomes obvious but until then there really isn't much of a need to upgrade until I wear a body out, and I haven't worn a body out in a VERY long time. I may or may not consider buying an E7... the E5 technology is quite mature, and up for just about anything you can throw at it save, perhaps, billboards.
    Thank you everyone for all of your insightful perspectives and opinions. After careful consideration as well as a couple email responses from the folks at Olympus America, I have decided to just stick with the E-5 outfit and lens portfolio that I have. In a perfect world, the E-5 could stand to do much better with high ISO IQ (and less noise). And, in a perfect world, there would be no issues with AF combining a 4/3 lens with an OM-D body. I've been able to take some incredible photos with the E-5 that I have, and the 50mm f/2, 14-35mm f/2, and 35-100mm f/2 are pretty much second to none when it comes to glass and amazing IQ. It does appear imminent that the E-5 successor is not too far off.

    The main issue that I have with going with an OMD system is the necessary investment in a new set of primes that aren't really that prime compared to the 4/3 lens offerings. I don't have issues with size and "bulk," and, if I were needing to go to a new system, I would probably consider a Canon or Nikon. But I really like what I have, and I take pride in being asked by others "do you shoot with Canon or Nikon?"

    So I'll just keep my 4/3 system working the best way I know how, and I'll look forward to upgrading when the new pro-level body does come out. I'll get the best of both worlds- continuity with my existing lens set, better IQ and higher ISO, and better resolution.


    Kind Regards,
    Ramon

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