This started out as a post which was designed to re-run my comparisons with the 35-100mm and the E-M5 with the G5.
First impressions with the E-M5: http://wp.me/p2wMAg-g9
Further images with the E-M5: http://wp.me/p2wMAg-ge
I thought I could do that quickly over the weekend via a trip to the park. Of course the weather and life intervened, the weekend seemed shrouded in perpetual darkness after lunchtime on Saturday and my son was sick all Sunday night (I have matchsticks in typing this). So my quick and easy comparison rapidly became a bit of a nightmare to get finished.
Nonetheless, I was able to take some shots yesterday and in terms of the handling I was impressed with the combination of the G5 and the 35-100 lens. My gripe about the E-M5 combined with the 35-100 feeling a little unbalanced simply doesn’t seem to apply here. It may come down to superior G5 ergonomics rather than actual weight, but I’m not sure G5 users will care (E-M5 users may well care!).
As to the performance of OIS vs IBIS, I was unable to draw any initial conclusions on Sunday. It was so dark that at a pixel level the shots were too noisy to draw any conclusions from. I’ve posted a few shots here and it is possible to say that the performance in such conditions is adequate but not much more than that (but to be honest the IBIS in the E-M5 was struggling in slightly better conditions on Friday).
All of which lead me to today. After a quick flit to the Royal Exchange I had to drop off a parcel (an item I had sold on Amazon Marketplace) to a collect+ shop to ship it.
I was wondering what these girls had found on the internet that disgusted them so much – perhaps whatever made them laugh in the above photo had gone too far… This shot shows very good sharpness and bokeh though.
Unfortunately, collect+ is a courier service that seems to operate exclusively through newsagents and off licenses (liquor stores to non-uk readers) such that I had to trek past the edge of the City (the financial district) to find a newsagent that would take my parcel.
In a happy accident this was on Whitecross street, which is the site of a large openair food market that would provide a useful street workout for both the 35-100 and the 12-35 on the G5.
I headed off armed with both lenses and was very happy with the results. Now able to compare results with OIS and IBIS I think they are similar with a slight edge to the OIS. The biggest difference is the light level at any given moment. Nothing I saw changes the conclusion I came to the other day, that the 35-100mm is too long (focal length wise) for sensible street photography.
Having said that and having ditched the hood, the lens didn’t seem to get as much attention as it had on my E-M5. On that basis, if smooth bokeh wasn’t my priority, I would probably happily take the 35-100 with me to cover candid street portraiture.
A couple of observations. The 12-35 and 35-100 are (obviously) well suited and complement each other nicely. At no point did I wish I had another lens with me. Both work well with the G5 (as you might expect).
The electronic shutter of the G5, while handy for candid portraiture, is a PITA for real, quick, street photography at wider focal lengths. It’s too easy to get the rolling shutter effect. I turned it off rapidly.
For such a crowded location (in OK light) I (much) prefer these two lenses to 2-4 primes. You can basically compose (zooming in and out) while walking into the crowd while not needing to worry about this and that being in the way.
On the basis of today’s experience I’m willing to assert both that the 35-100 is sharp but also that it provides shooting opportunities that wouldn’t arise with primes. Clearly the price for that is a limited low light performance (relative to the Oly 45 and 75) and (subjectively) inferior bokeh.
Another note on the G5. I cannot tell you how irritating the focus point adjust selection control is. Every other time I use the camera I hit the edge of the button with my hand. This may be user error, so if anyone knows a work around for this they should feel free to submit a comment and make me feel dumb…