A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I enjoyed taking photos just for the sake of capturing my family life. I would also grab any opportunity to jump on a plane to Melbourne, or head to Hobart and do some street photography for a couple of days. Now I wasn’t amazing at either, but I enjoyed it, and it also did benefit my day to day work. It sharpened my ability to see and know light, to be attuned to my surroundings and the people around me.
Somewhere along the way, the flame went out. I felt empty and stopped doing any personal photography. I sold my Fuji X100s and put my Canon AE1 and A1 away, with a fridge still full of film to shoot and to develop.
Then not so long ago, I discovered a little glowing ember of inspiration to start shooting again, I will go deeper into that at a later date, but for now, all we need to say is that I wanted to shoot again. Now I have a cabinet full of the best cameras money can buy, but none of them really felt right for what I wanted to shoot. I started looking at options that felt right in my hand and would be the right camera to take everywhere with me. After a lot of looking, testing and holding, I found myself trying out an Olympus Pen F with 17mm f1.8 lens. One local Tasmanian photographer, Cam Blake talked it right up, and one of my favourite wedding photographers ever, Bradley Hanson in Minnesota suggested I try it out (having had a similar journey as I had with Fuji). On paper it ticked most of the boxes, but I was hesitant to go down to a M4/3 sensor. IT seemed a huge step backwards from my D850, especially with Nikon now offering the Z series (my thoughts on them at a later date).
Well, as soon as it hit my hand I was smiling, and with a couple pf settings tweaked (from advice and my own digging) I was in love with the SOOC Jpegs.
Now I am jet to hit the streets with tis camera, but for the last 6 weeks or so, it hasn’t left my side. I’m finding my feet again in personal shooting, and for me, right now, this is the perfect tool.
So whats in my Everyday/ Personal/Street bag?’
Well, for a start, my bag of choice is my absolute favourite camera bag, my Think Tank Signature 13. This bag is overkill for the camera and lenses, they all fit in one single compartment, but it gives me room for other bits, and to maybe add some other things later.
In it, I carry:
Olympus Pen F
Olympus M. Zuiko 17 1.8- This stays on my camera 90% of the time at the moment, I kinda like the 34mm “equivalent” focal length.
Olympus M. Zuiko 25 1.8- Sometimes the old “standard 50” is whats needed.
Olympus M. Zuiko 45 1.8- for when I want to get a bit closer with a 90ish mm look.
JJC lens cloth
Kawa Pro Gear memory card case with spare 64gb cards
Think Tank DSLR Battery Holder 2
Olympus Flash (teeny tiny thing that will burn your retinas)
Spare headphones (in case I forget my good Bose ones)
This is my everywhere everyday kit. I’ve been using it to record family stuff and even taken it to a couple of weddings and put it to use for a few photos. Now this isn’t a camera review, its just me saying what I carry everyday, so don’t expect photos of brick walls for pixel peeping.. you can find those on someone esle’s blog.
So, instead, below are a few SOOC jpegs from my first outing with it, a trip to visit my parents.
You will be wondering whether I like this camera? Did the M4/3 sensor feel like a backwards step? Well, while this isn’t a review as such (Deeper dive to come), I will answer that. Yes. I love it. It fits my need perfectly, with very very surprising performance… and yes, there are compromises with the smaller sensor, but I feel more free with this camera and it may or may not have influenced me to look deeper into what Olympus can offer… but thats a story for another day.
Shot in Camera Mono 2 (which has a pretty contrasty curve and a touch of grain)… it might not be to your taste, but it is mine.