BY MARK FULLER
Editors’s note: This is an extract from a blog post by photographer Mark Fuller which he posted a little while ago; you can find a link to the full article at the end of this piece. Mark’s photography covers everything from architecture and wildlife through to commercial products shots and here he considers whether changing systems was the right move.
It’s now over 4 months since I made the big decision to switch systems. I made a decision that I would keep my Canon kit for 6 months, just to be sure it was the way I wanted to go. Well, after just 4 months the Canon kit has gone and I have also just added a second body: a new and shiny OM-D E-M1 Mark III.
To say I am happy I made the switch would be a massive understatement. I feel my photography has gone to a new level with this kit. My images feel so much better, sharper, more vibrant. The M.Zuiko lenses are so good. The system is lighter and much easier to hand carry all day, even with the 300mm f4 and an MC-14 fitted.
I have been out a lot with the Olympus kit. Even through the restrictions I took the chance of early mornings for my daily exercise and made the most of every minute. Most of my time has been at the local nature reserve as it is a 10 minute walk away…So lucky to have it on my doorstep. When things permit, RHS Wisley is a favourite for a visit and also recently getting the chance to go to Richmond Park. The most used lens is without doubt the 300mm F4 PRO. The image quality is amazing and at f4 constant it makes it really usable in most lights. Honestly, it struggles a little in blue hour and you will need to bump the ISO up a bit. In golden hour and daylight though, you can easily pair it with the MC-14 or even MC-20 in better light. With the MC-14 fitted you get f5.6 constant, and the AF is still really accurate and fast. I noticed with the MC-20 my keep rate is a bit lower, but could be just me, and the sharpness doesn’t seem quite as good, (again could be I need more practice). Using the lens without the extender is my personal choice where I can. It’s really fast and the image quality is outstanding. Couple that with the IBIS and I rarely miss a shot.
I tried out Pro Capture after about 2-3 weeks of having the system…WOW!! I filled my card up in about 2 hours and also got some great shots, but it does have a downside. Unfortunately, your usual editing time will multiply considerably. I found using different software made a big difference but not sure that is for everyone. I got a 90 day trial of Photo Mechanic. It made it a lot easier to scroll through the shots and decide on the keepers. It’s quite expensive at just over £100 but for the time it saves it’s probably worth the money. I haven’t moved away from Lightroom/ Photoshop yet, although I have a full copy of Capture One Pro but not had the time to sit and change my way of doing things. I have read it is better with .ORF files than LR/PS, so time will tell.
The image above is taken on the 40-150mm F2.8 PRO, another outstanding lens for focus speed and image quality, I’m not the most patient so it was hand held as I, (as usual), didn’t take a tripod out with me. Could have done with a higher shutter speed too maybe…
I use this lens as my walkaround, (it is so adaptable), and throw the MC-14 or 20 in your bag and you have huge options, 40-300mm. Being an f2.8 you get plenty of light at most times of day, and a reasonably wide angle for some landscape photography.
Early morning in not much light, the lens easily picks the colour out still and gives a great feel to the photo. This was with the MC-14 fitted and taken at f4, 56mm and ISO 800. I could of removed the extender to keep the ISO down but really…Who does that? You just shoot with what’s in your hand normally I find.
The image had a little noise reduction, but nothing major and was purposefully kept a little soft.
The level of detail achieved by these lenses is really good, The three PRO lenses I have are the 12-40mm F2.8, 40-150mm F2.8 and the 300mm F4. The quality and feel of the lenses are great and the image quality is some of the very best I have seen. I also own the 60mm f2.8 macro, and although not one of the pro range, the image quality is excellent with this one too. I haven’t used it as much as the others so far and it is quite different to use compared to the Canon 100mm 2.8L that I owned previously, but that was an exceptional lens. I find with the 60mm I have to work a little harder to get everything just right. That’s no bad thing though as it never hurts us to put a little extra effort in.
Another image taken on the 40-150mm and as you can see, great background blur and amazing sharpness on the subject. Taken at f8, 1/125 and ISO 100. The light captured on the flower is excellent and the depth of colour shines through. The Olympus image quality surprised me when I got it. I had been used to using Canon L lenses which are considered extremely highly amongst Canon users and the camera industry generally, but almost immediately I noticed the image quality seemed better. The depth of colour achieved and the sharpness were incredible.
It was such a big decision changing systems completely from one brand to another and I had so much money invested into Canon, but it was without doubt the right decision for me.
I will try and get more regular with these blogs so please check back regularly to read more on how I find the equipment and what beautiful images I am getting from it.