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Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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30 Apr 2021 7:47AM   Views : 225 Unique : 159


There are sometimes very difficult decisions to make about cameras. Generally, I avoid them by keeping old kit when I upgrade, but occasionally there are problems… Around 2013-14, I was using a Sony Alpha 900 for much of my photography, and it’s a chunky beast by my standards (though it looks pretty slimline and sleek compared with some of Nikon and Canon’s offerings, not to mention a Lumix S1…) And I saw an Olympus OM-D EM-1 in a shop that I had spent a lot of time chatting in.


Long story short: I own an Olympus outfit, with a lenscap fisheye, five prime lenses, and two zooms, bought for travel – small, light and really very acceptable quality by the standards of the time. A year or so later and I was starting to get used to Sony’s Alpha 7 cameras, and by 2017, I usually left the 900 at home. An A7R II is smaller and lighter, shares the in-body image stabilisation, and has 42mp compared with 24: crucially, it doesn’t have an anti-aliasing filter messing with the sharpness of the images.


Over the last year, the EM-1 has been jamming from time to time – I’d take a shot or two, then the viewfinder would go black, and the shutter release stop doing anything. Switching off and on again usually cleared it. Last week, it refused to respond… I decided – belatedly – to have a look through the lens throat, and I saw a sight that you shouldn’t see when you take the lens off a mirrorless camera: I saw the shutter.


A rough estimate is that repair will cost £250. Now, that’s not an excessive price for a new shutter mechanism, but it does pose a conundrum for me, because I have used the camera relatively little for several years. The Alpha 7 is light enough for the whole outfit to travel by air as hand luggage, with a laptop stuffed down the back of my Billingham bag: so I probably won’t have the work done.


My daughter has a Lumix body, so it’s possible that she’d like some or all of the outfit – a decision will wait until the end of the summer term, when she is free of work for a while. If she decides she doesn’t want the kit, I’ll be looking for a buyer or buyers. 12mm f/2, 17mm f/1.8, 25mm f/1.8, 45mm f/1.8, 60mm f/2.8 macro…

The second body in the kit, an IR-converted Lumix G3 is now surplus to requirements, as I have an Alpha 7 with full spectrum capability. Currently in the hands of a friend, it’s a body that cost £100 with a £300 sensor conversion, and also looking for a new home some time soon. I’ve loved both cameras and the jewelled, miniature precision of the lenses, but I don’t feel the need to keep them on forever…



dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1840 England
30 Apr 2021 7:49AM
The lens I've used most in the last year is the 60mm macro - like many macro lenses, it's amazingly sharp, and it's been very handy for quick shots of other cameras to illustrate this blog.

woolybill1 Plus
14 37 77 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2021 10:47AM
Sorry to hear of the shutter problem, John. Having traded in my E-M1 for a Mark II a year ago a rough guess suggests the £250 would be a reasonable trade-in for the Mark I in full working order.
I can vouch for the lightness of weight, optical quality and excellence of construction of all the lenses apart from the 25mm f1.8 (I have the Panasonic/Leica f1.4). Which means unfortunately that I'll not be in the market for them.
Over the past year I have observed that the 60mm appears regularly near the top of every 'Ten Best Macro Lenses', as does the 30mm Panasonic incodentally; so it's not just my imagination.

dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1840 England
30 Apr 2021 11:09AM
Of course, a cheap secondhand OM-D might give the kit a new lease of life...

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