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Give us an update: which M 4/3 camera is "best" these days?
Old 05-09-2016   #1
raid
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Give us an update: which M 4/3 camera is "best" these days?

Specifically, which M 4/3would you recommend based on overall quality (and cost)?
a. $300 or less
b. $600 or less
c. no cost limit


I have the E-P2 and E-PL1, which are now maybe $100 cameras.
Thanks.
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Old 05-09-2016   #2
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The best (for me!) is the Oly E-M1.
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Old 05-09-2016   #3
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Function-wise: Oly E-M5 ii with pro lenses
Portable-wise: Pana GM5 with pancake lenses
Look-wise: Oly PEN F

They are all capable of taking good photos.
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Old 05-10-2016   #4
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I will check out your choices. Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2016   #5
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I have just got myself a Olympus OM D Em 5 which can be picked up pretty inexpensively these days (~$500) especially as mine came complete with the accessory battery grip which adds greatly to its handling. I have not tried anything later in the M4/3 line but have to say I am pretty impressed with it overall. Its built and handles like a baby DSLR but almost handles like a full sized one, especially with the grip). Although I think that its images are extremely good they are still not up to my D700 (which is to be expected) but it is still a pleasant surprise and a lot of reviewers claim them to be on par with APS C cameras (I cant give an opinion on that yet).

One small gripe is that in common with another Olympus I have its firmware is decidely quirky and now and hten does odd things for no discernible reason. For example I like to use the camera in AF mode with MF enabled (which allows the user to fine tune critical focus merely by twisting the focus ring). But for some reason the camera keeps switching from this to MF mode every now and then. I cant yet find out why it does this and its not for any obvious reason like bumping a button. I have looked for this. There are a few other quirks too - tonight in dim conditions in my study I was testing its low light performance and found that as I bought the camera to my eye it was firing the shutter.

Again no obvious reason (LCD touch screen mode was turned off). when I took the camera into brightly lit are it stopped doing this. Other than these weird artifacts its good value as a 2nd hand camera which really performs in the image department.

My lenses are either pro legacy lenses with adapters or the following: Olympus 60mm macro f2.8 (excellent general use lens as well as macro), Olympus 45mm f1.8, Sigma 30mm f2.8, Panasonic/Leica four thirds 25mm f1.4 with four thirds to M4/3 adapter. The latter is big but handles well with the accessory grip mounted. As does the Panasonic/Leica 14-50mm f2.8 - 3.5 from the Panasonic L1 (with of course the same adapter) which I use from time to time. It is akin to a pro lens and can be relied on to turn in great results. All are excellent lenses. The one lens I will one day get is the 75mm f1.8 for this camera. Its rated as top notch by all.

I have the E PL 2 with an accessory finder that works well too (probably $150 for the camera plus $100 for the finder). It also occasionally has a firmware conniption too. I have found with both cameras that its absolutely necessary to turn off noise reduction which is far too aggressive even on low in my view. I handle this in post if its needed and a far better outcome can be assured.
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Old 05-10-2016   #6
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i would check out the panny gm5 because it has an excellent sensor, on board evf, is very compact, is inexpensive, and will work with pannys m4/3 lenses that have aperture rings. as you have 2 ep series cameras, the om series requires a big 'feel' and operational adjustment, while the gm5 does not.
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Old 05-11-2016   #7
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I have both original EM5 and EM5-II with 12-40 2.8 lens, and I can say that - especially the latter - is absolutely superb. Completely happy with selling my heavy Nikon crap and moving over. Brilliant cameras. When combined with the travel pancake, EM5-II becomes a travelling photographer's dream (mind you I don't do pixel peeping but I take photographs instead).

Panny GM5 is sexy, too.
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Old 05-11-2016   #8
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Another OMD fan here....with aftermarket grip.
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Old 05-12-2016   #9
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an interesting choice which falls in the no cost limit category is the new panasonic-gx85. it's essentially a gx7 reboot, with no AA filter and a special monochrome mode. it's interesting that it's based off of the gx7 rather than the gx8, which has been out a while and is the successor to the gx7.
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Old 05-12-2016   #10
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I'll have to look into the GX85.

I have the GX7 and with the 20/1.7 II I can't think of a better Lumix m4/3 camera. Really reminds me of the L1. The original GF-1 was a great camera as was the GH-2. I couldn't get past the Oly look so never tried them.
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Old 05-12-2016   #11
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same for me, the gx7 is my favorite m43. i was disappointed that the gx8 is larger so i was happy to see the gx85 released. as far as i can tell the sensor is the same one as in the gx7 but without the AA filter - too bad they didn't upgrade it to the gx8 sensor. but it has new 5-axis IS and 4k video too, nice upgrades from the gx7.
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Old 05-12-2016   #12
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I've tried several different cameras since m4/3 first appeared, but my current favorite is the Lumix GX-7. I also still shoot with my original GF-1. I tried the first Olympus OM-D but did not like the menu system.
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Old 05-12-2016   #13
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Wonder if the Panasonic GM5 is discontinued some time back!
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Old 05-12-2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Specifically, which M 4/3would you recommend based on overall quality (and cost)?
a. $300 or less
b. $600 or less
c. no cost limit


I have the E-P2 and E-PL1, which are now maybe $100 cameras.
Thanks.
$300 EM5 hands down, i shot one for almost a year and it is an amazing camera especially for the price
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Old 05-12-2016   #15
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Personally, after shooting m4/3 exclusively for about 5 years, when I moved up to the Fuji XE-1 and APS-C sensor, my Panasonic began gathering dust. I hardly EVER use m4/3 now. Everything I did with it, I can do better with the XE-1, and the crop factor doesn't make my legacy lenses so long they are like telescopes. I like cine lenses on m4/3, but otherwise, I'd just get a good APS-C.
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Old 05-12-2016   #16
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Quote:
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Personally, after shooting m4/3 exclusively for about 5 years, when I moved up to the Fuji XE-1 and APS-C sensor, my Panasonic began gathering dust. I hardly EVER use m4/3 now. Everything I did with it, I can do better with the XE-1, and the crop factor doesn't make my legacy lenses so long they are like telescopes. I like cine lenses on m4/3, but otherwise, I'd just get a good APS-C.
the Fuji X-E1 is just too slow, AF is somewhat unreliable. perhaps if you like MF lenses it works better.

i use my GX7 most of the time these days, although i sacrifice *some* image quality, i really like the more responsive performance and slightly deeper DOF. i can also handhold the GX7 much better than the fuji cameras which helps with the image quality as well by using lower ISOs.
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Old 05-12-2016   #17
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It's strange how we all differ in our shooting style and our approach to the right equipment to use. I tried the Fuji gear and hated it. I loved the rangefinder styling but found using the cameras to be tedious and slow. I have friends that use Fuji and absolutely love it. I am sure that a lot of it has to do with what you shoot.
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Old 05-12-2016   #18
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I bought a Lumix GX1 when Amazon was selling them new for $250, and it was and is a great bargain.

Although more expensive, I also like the Olympus Pen series. I think you get great images from the E-PL1, although the AF is very slow. The E-P5 shares the same AF as the recent OMD models, and is lightening fast w/ the latest m4/3 lenses and not too shabby with older lenses. I'll take an E-P5 with the Zuiko 17/2.8 over a Fuji X100* any day, even though the Fuji produces some beautiful images.
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Old 06-05-2016   #19
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I have an A7II that I use now, but only because of the image quality.
If it wasn't for that I would grab my Olympus any day of the week.
I always carry an E-PL7 with me in my car, coupled with the VF4 viewfinder. Everything works like a charm, the AF is fast, the battery lasts like 3-4 times the one on the Sony, the menus and operating the camera is intuitive, plenty of good quality lenses at fair prices, for every taste and need.
After working with Nikons, Fujis , Leica and now Sony, one thing is for sure: I will always have a m43 camera around, they just work, no questions asked.
I prefer Olympus because of the in-body stabilisation.

I would have preferred a single system to invest in but I have given up on that, it seems now like a pipe dream. You just can't have the best IQ in a small sensor and you can't have a compact system with a big sensor. So, I'll take both, and use them depending on the situation.
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Old 06-05-2016   #20
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I used to shoot with E-P2, after I returned to Nikon due to image quality and lens selection (things that have been fixed in m4/3 camp nowdays, at least it feels like it).

Currently I do use one m4/3 camera and I love it, it's Panasonic LX100. It seems to be about perfect combination of image quality, portability and amazing lens performance. Besides I love the wide 24mm equivalent on 16:9 mode

But it's not for everyone. For me it's the companion of choice when traveling with film gear. When carrying dslr gear on top of LF / MF film gear would be bit too much.
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Old 06-05-2016   #21
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Let's not forget video. I just picked up a used GH3 from KEH. What a great camera that is! Solid build quality. Big batteries. My only gripe is the LCD & EVF are slightly lower res than my G5. But since I have no interest in 4k video, the GH3 was top-o-the-line of 1080P in its day.

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Old 06-05-2016   #22
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Another GH3 fan. Solid camera, good stills, top-notch 1080p video (very sharp). If you stick with ISO 1600 or below, it's a hard camera to beat.
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Old 06-05-2016   #23
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around 300 you can find the E-M10 or with some luck the E-P5
around 600 I would go for an E-M10 II
over 600 the new panasonic 80/85 looks very good
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Old 06-05-2016   #24
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I still have the Olympus E-M1 I bought in 2013 and the E-PL7 I bought in 2014. The E-M1 is a superb piece of equipment, the most delightful pro-grade miniature camera ever made IMO, and I'm very reluctant to sell it. I don't use the E-PL7 very much ... It performs beautifully but I find it almost has too many features.

I haven't kept up with all the latest because I'm shooting mostly with Leica SL and M-P these days. These work fine for me.
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Old 09-13-2016   #25
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The Pen E-P series (PEN-F lately) is still the most beautiful. If I want a "hump" I can shoot any DSLR.
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Old 09-13-2016   #26
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I went through this not too long ago. Never pulled the trigger but here's some impressions.

Top pick based on practicality and functionality: EM5-II
Cute, sweet, excellent files within it limits: GM5
Drop dead gorgeous, best ergos for me: Pen-F

Decided to remain with Fuji.
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Old 09-13-2016   #27
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I'll endorse others remarks, and say the EM5-II. Many features such as IBIS are very useful. Image quality from the sensor is much the same as the original EM-5, though.

Glass available on sale frequently. The primes such as the 25mm 1.8 and 45mm 1.8 are well thought of. They are small and light and well balanced on the camera. The 12-40mm pro is extremely good, constant aperture of 2.8. Replaces a suite of primes. It, too, is very well regarded. I find it slightly front heavy on the EM-5 II, but not excessively so.

I can't speak personally to other cameras, but for size the Pana GM5 gets good review. And there are a couple of zoom lenses for it, that although slow, are said to make it an ideal travel system.
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Old 09-13-2016   #28
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The only camera I was able to find with 4/3 sensor and picture quality is Lumix LX100.
It has Leica lens for quality over all.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pan...umix-dmc-lx100

It is in c new, b used.
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Old 09-14-2016   #29
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I'm just back from a vacation to Scotland - took a GX80 and Leica M-A.
The GX80 was such a blast to use I shot 2000 images and 4k video clips with it ; the M-A only 20 shots total.

The EVF is small, but the red focus peaking and white zebra warning make focus and exposure so easy - that and the RF style ergonomics are a great step up from my OMD E-M5.
( Used only the 15/1.7 and 25/1.4 lenses )
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Old 09-14-2016   #30
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Really loving the Pen-F. I think pretty much all the m4/3 cameras have been pretty good, though. The Pen-F is the only one, I think—one of the only cameras, period—that lets you close the screen completely, something I really love both aesthetically and ergonomically, and in terms of shooting technique.
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Old 09-14-2016   #31
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Quote:
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the Fuji X-E1 is just too slow
The run of firmwares on the Fuji XPro 1 and the X-E1 solved that problem and added focus peaking for those legacy lens users. My X-E1 with the latest firmware 2.6x has almost all the same features as the X-E2s and the XT10. It also focuses very much faster than when new.

And easily bought used for $200.

I too am using Fuji. I am thinking about picking up another EM5, to replace the one I sold, although I like the idea of the sensor shift High Resolution feature.

In the meantime, I am focus peaking on my X-E1.
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Old 09-14-2016   #32
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Glass available on sale frequently. The primes such as the 25mm 1.8 and 45mm 1.8 are well thought of. They are small and light and well balanced on the camera. The 12-40mm pro is extremely good, constant aperture of 2.8. Replaces a suite of primes. It, too, is very well regarded. I find it slightly front heavy on the EM-5 II, but not excessively so.

I can't speak personally to other cameras, but for size the Pana GM5 gets good review. And there are a couple of zoom lenses for it, that although slow, are said to make it an ideal travel system.
Bodies as well, plus kits and refurbs. Hardly a week goes by when I don't get a special price email on both lenses, bodies and accessories from GetOlympus.com
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Old 09-14-2016   #33
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I currently shoot with an E-P5. It is a beautiful, well made and surprisingly solid little camera. Has a bit of heft to it. Very nice quality.

Lenses - I shoot with a 17/1.8 on it much of the time. The 25/1.8 is actually a better lens and I use that form time to time. Have a 40-150 zoom as well - used on occasion. All auto focus quickly. 45/1.8 is an excellent lens and a great walk around for a change of pace. Will acquire soon. These lenses are reasonably priced.

The beef from many quarters against the Pen series is the lack of a built in viewfinder. But the E-P5 has a tilting screen and with the 17 and 25 that is pretty much what i use. With the 5-axis stabilisation you can get away with shooting the camera from the belly or hip. It has touch screen - shoot directly from the screen. Thought i'd never use it, but I do sometimes. I have a auxiliary electronic finder also that can be attached when needed. Put it in your shirt pocket and attach if needed. Remove before putting camera away in your bag.

Money. Two years ago, I paid $440 for this camera new; it originally retailed for well over twice that price. I don't like to pay a lot of money for electronic cameras - they are constantly changing - and I also have rangefinders to maintain and film costs to worry about.

If money were no object I'd go for the recently released Pen-F. Not as nice looking as the E-P5, but it has real nice built-in finder (reportedly) and allows you more control over your .jpgs - film "simulations" for b&w and colour, which are not as good as film but it does give you variation.
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Old 09-14-2016   #34
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I believe that, now, the best (m)4/3 camera is the one in your hands. Provided that it's completely operational, of course.
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Old 09-14-2016   #35
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This is good for me, Gabriel. I like using my (outdated) Olympus E-P2 and E-PL1 cameras with Leica and Zeiss lenses. The built-in IS and 10x magnified focusing aid are great for photography.
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Old 09-14-2016   #36
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PEN-F is really sexy camera, liked it even better than Fuji XPro2 when fondling both recently in a camera store.

(no doubt both take great photos also )
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Old 09-16-2016   #37
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PEN-F is really sexy camera, liked it even better than Fuji XPro2 when fondling both recently in a camera store.

(no doubt both take great photos also )
You have to hold the Pen-F to understand how great it is. I really liked the chunky dials. Downside, it´s well over 1000 € new currently.
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Old 09-16-2016   #38
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Pen F is super sexy, I only tried one in a shops few minutes, and I think with the new Oly 25 f 1,2 (should be announced at the Photokina) I imagine it should be a great small camera!
Now, the money...
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Old 09-16-2016   #39
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Originally Posted by traveler_101 View Post
I currently shoot with an E-P5. It is a beautiful, well made and surprisingly solid little camera. Has a bit of heft to it. Very nice quality.

Lenses - I shoot with a 17/1.8 on it much of the time. The 25/1.8 is actually a better lens and I use that form time to time. Have a 40-150 zoom as well - used on occasion. All auto focus quickly. 45/1.8 is an excellent lens and a great walk around for a change of pace. Will acquire soon. These lenses are reasonably priced.

The beef from many quarters against the Pen series is the lack of a built in viewfinder. But the E-P5 has a tilting screen and with the 17 and 25 that is pretty much what i use. With the 5-axis stabilisation you can get away with shooting the camera from the belly or hip. It has touch screen - shoot directly from the screen. Thought i'd never use it, but I do sometimes. I have a auxiliary electronic finder also that can be attached when needed. Put it in your shirt pocket and attach if needed. Remove before putting camera away in your bag. ...

If money were no object I'd go for the recently released Pen-F. Not as nice looking as the E-P5, but it has real nice built-in finder (reportedly) and allows you more control over your .jpgs - film "simulations" for b&w and colour, which are not as good as film but it does give you variation.
Agree on both counts. I've been using the E-P5 for a little over a year now, and think it's a great camera. I don't miss a vf; the tilting screen allows me to look down while shooting, which attracts less attention, and the screen is usable in bright sunlight. The AF is lightening fast with the most recent lenses, and still pretty decent with older native lenses. I've grown very fond of the little 17/2.8 lens. The E-P5 and 17/2.8 more than satisfies any desire I may have had to get a Fuji X100*. The IQ overall is very, very good. I also have the 45/1.8, which is stunningly good and very compact.

I've been tempting by the Pen F, and would probably rank that now as "the best" m4/3d camera given my preference for a rangefinder style, but I'm not yet convinced it's that much of an improvement over the E-P5.
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FS: Zeiss-ZM Planar 50 plus hood, Pentax MX, Voigtlander Ultron 40/2.0 SLII in Pentax K-mount, Takumar 100/2.8 and 35/3.5 lenses: See my ads in Classifieds

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Old 09-16-2016   #40
squirrel$$$bandit
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squirrel$$$bandit is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,260
Tell you what: to my surprise I actually constantly use the film dial on the front of the Pen-F, the one that's supposed to look like a slow speed dial. I usually shoot monochrome jpegs with some fake film grain. Love the results.
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