The Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens — a user experience review

I recently picked up Olympus‘ new pancake kit zoom lens (formally, the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens) and its automatic lens cap. Rather than boring you with test charts and such, I thought taking it out on a walk would be more interesting (and help give everybody a better idea of its benefits and limitations).

OM-D compared

For starters, the lens’ big benefit is size (naturally, for a pancake) — at least for the time being, it’s the shortest pancake zoom for the micro-4/3 system, extending just 22.5mm from its mounting flange. Above, you see my E-M1 with an Oly 12-40mm f/2.8 lens mounted, next to my E-M5 hosting the 14-42mm EZ lens.  Even with the grip attached, the E-M5 is pocketable (well, in a decent-sized coat pocket) in this configuration.  The automatic lens cap isn’t exactly cheap, but that extra $30 buys you an impressive bit of engineering in a small slice of plastic — and makes this combo a potent and quick-to-use street shooter.

But on to the walk…

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The Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 10 — a pictorial review

I own some fairly roomy camera bags — but some trips just don’t allow me space for much photography gear.  For situations like that, and for trips when I need a protected way to carry a second camera body (with a lens or two), I purchased a Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 10 camera bag.

The Mirrorless Mover 10 is advertised to hold one medium size mirrorless body (e.g., the Olympus OM-D EM-5) along with one to two lenses and additional accessories. So since my photo gear is increasingly EM-5 based, I thought I might as well put one of these bags to the test, and let you come along for the ride.

Mirrorless Mover 10

To get the specs out of the way, the Mirrorless Mover 10 measures 5.3″ (13.5 cm) wide, 6.1″ (15.5 cm) high, and 4.5″ (11.5 cm) deep on the outside; 4.9″ (12.5 m) wide, 5.3″ (13.5 cm) high, and 3.7″ (9.5 cm) deep on the inside. It comes in two color combinations — I bought the black / charcoal one, you can also get it in black / taupe. As is usual for these folks, the bag is sturdily made and while being water resistant, also comes with its own rain cover.

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Sievers Mountain South

Captured from the trail to / around Maroon Lake — near Aspen, Colorado:

Sievers Mountain South

On our “fall colors” road trip through the mountains, we only made it to Aspen in the late afternoon — so the lighting was much better for shots on this side of the lake (vs. the more traditional / popular shot of the Maroon Bells themselves). I just love all the color in this frame!

Presiding

Another shot of Mt. Rainier — this one from the southeast:

Presiding

It was so hazy on this particular day that I had to use 5 images and heavy use of HDR in order to get any separation between the sky and mountain. I’m fairly happy with the results — at least it doesn’t seem as unnatural as HDR images can sometimes turn out.

Morning comes to Victoria

Another shot from our Puget Sound air-/road-trip. This one’s looking back toward Victoria, BC from the ferry headed south to Port Angeles, Washington.

Morning comes to Victoria

This shot would have looked about as nice if the sky had been clear and blue. Still, I like the smooth background light that the light overcast gave the scene. For those of you taking notes, I made this image with an Olympus E-M5 camera with the 12-50mm “kit” lens.