Dadism – “Don’t do guilt…”

“Don’t ‘do’ guilt.  No good is ever accomplished by getting stuck and languishing in guilt. Evaluate the situation honestly. If you have not done wrong move on. If you have done wrong, apologize, make amends as much as you are able to, adjust, improve then move on.” – RLW

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Unscientific lens shootout: @Rokinonlenses /Bower/Samyang vs. Panasonic M4/3 fisheye @SEC_Carrboro

Stopped by my favorite camera shop (Southeastern Camera Carrboro) to compare two fisheye lenses I am thinking of buying. My obsessive research (,, and among others) led me to the Bower/Rokinon/Samyang triplets (one lens of many names evidently) 7.5mm fisheye which runs for as low as $239. That being said I was concerned that it was manual focus. Manual focus itself is not scary as I enjoy shooting with my father’s old school Pentax ME Super. The issue, or so I thought, is that I have become quite spoiled by my little E-PL5’s touch screen focus and rely on it heavily. Enter the Panasonic 8mm fisheye. Autofocus?: Check. Price of $638… Wait. What the heck? All of a sudden a twist of the wrist to focus seemed more reasonable. But can I take a clear picture while pocketing $400? To Southeastern Camera! When online shopping just won’t do. Contrary to common practice for many, researching in store and buying online, I tend to start research online and then do final comparisons and buy in store (if available in stock for the same price that is) mostly due to an utter lack of patience. Your results may vary, but I found the Bower (the triplet in stock) to be a match in photo quality and fisheye-oscity, but (duh) more effort to focus up close. Distant shots were a match since set just below infinity the Bower rendered my camera a point and shoot. This would be resolved if I purchased an EVF. Perfect since I have been looking for any excuse to buy an Olympus VF-4 anyway. So if I buy the Bower and a VF-4 I am actually saving about $130? Wow. Justification is an expensive slippery slope. Below the Panasonic 8mm autofocus shots are on top and the Bower 7.5mm manual focus shots are below…

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Here is a shot of it on the camera that I took with my Lumia920:

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While I was there I also checked out my planned next lens purchase, the Olympus Zuiko 45mm f1.8. Below is a shot I took of it looking all handsome in black on my E-PL5, and a few sample shots after that…




Update: Olympus E-PL5: 90% OM-D goodness for half the price


This update is perhaps long overdue, but I purchased the Olympus E-PL5 in March about a month after writing the post found below and I must say I have been very happy with it. So much so that I went on to purchase a sweet retro case from Kaza, and 2 lenses. The Panasonic Leica 14mm and an Olympus Zuiko 40-150mm zoom both purchased for a steal second hand at Southeastern Camera in Carrboro, NC.

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To say I am happy with the decision would be an understatement. So much so I am now eyeing a Olympus vf4 EVF as an early Christmas gift. Even with purchasing that I would have body, flash, 3 lenses, case and EVF for less than I would have paid for many cameras w/o a kit.

Since then I have had a great time snapping pics every day as well as on a DC field trip, a family trip to NYC and upstate NY, local museums and more. Photo sets of all can be found at my Flickr page below:


Olympus is still at it and has released or announced some great cameras since, like the OM-D E-M1 and EP-5, but I am still quite happy with the little E-PL5. And the great part is that if I do ever decide to upgrade one day I can still use all of my accessories. Here are my original ramblings from February below:

Short version:

My camera wish list has been answered (great photo quality/auto & manual controls/compact size/flip screen/reasonable price) w/ one camera, and this is it. Click picture to see Robin Wong’s review w/ some great sample shots.

Continue reading “Update: Olympus E-PL5: 90% OM-D goodness for half the price”