Pen’s Looking at You, Kid

The 20 mm f/1.7 Panasonic Pancake Lens on the Olympus E-PL1

The 20 mm f/1.7 Panasonic Pancake Lens on the Olympus E-PL1


As promised in the previous post, here are some more impressions from getting used to the Olympus E-PL1.
One of my favourite photo hunting grounds is the “Thüringer Wald”, a hilly wooded area that is right adjacent to the town I live in. Hiking has a long tradition here, and it’s one of my pastimes.
The weather today is not ideal, it’s the hottest day of the year yet with afternoon temperatures well over 100°F.
So I started early in the morning with only the E-PL1 in a belt bag and a water bottle. Not having to carry so much was a boon today.
How was the camera doing? As the lead photo emphasizes, it sure looks strange with the flat, wide barrel of the Panasonic pancake lens. Kind of goggle-eyed. There is no hood, and a lens cap is essential if you stuff it into a pocket.
From Above

From Above


Seen this way, my fear to smudge the lens with a careless grab vanished, the bulge at right provides a sure grip. One-handed operation is not only possible, but also suggests itself. There’s not much to hold onto with the pancake lens, unless you want to fine-tune focus.
Screen etc.

Screen etc.


The back side of the camera provides standard digicam fare, I didn’t run into snags with the exposure modes or the menus.
And how were the pictures?
Grass and Fallen Fenceposts

Grass and Fallen Fenceposts


When I read through the manual this morning, I did eventually find the proper black & white mode and put that on the function button. The camera produces top-notch JPEG files.
100% Detail of the Shot Above

100% Detail of the Shot Above


The .orf RAW files look fine, too, but for web and e-mail use, I’ve yet to find an occasion where I had to start with them. In the nature shots I did today, the RAW files’ lack of automatic lens correction didn’t bother me.
For the intended use, I’m quite content with the Olympus E-PL1 and the Panasonic 20 mm f/1.7 pancake lens.

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5 Responses to “Pen’s Looking at You, Kid”

  1. agplatt Says:

    As a matter of interest, what did you you use to take the images of the E-PL1 as they are so crisp.

  2. chammann Says:

    Those were taken with the Ricoh GRD III in Macro mode. The second one with fill-flash through an improvised diffusor.

  3. agplatt Says:

    Thanks for sharing that. I thought I read that you got the PL1 because you gave away the GRD III 🙂

  4. chammann Says:

    Not yet, it’s for a birthday in September. But give it away I will, also because the Olympus is the better camera. Selfish, eh?

  5. agplatt Says:

    Perfect response for me though. I have been thinking about the GRD III as I see a lot of images from it which I like, but then the E-PL1 also caught my eye. Interesting for me to hear that you prefer the E-PL1.

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