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Optical Plan C Kicks In Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

26 July 2019

After grinding out our review of Topaz Studio yesterday, we launched ourselves out of the old swivel chair to take a walk around Edgehill Mountain. We call that a break.

July Apples. Captured at f6.3, 1/200 second and ISO 200 on the 12-200mm Pro at 100mm. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

But as we were leaving the confines of the property, we saw a small cardboard box at the top of the stairs leading to the tower where the princess reigns. Dare we investigate?

Sure. There's no Ring video doorbell up there. Just a handful of mosquitoes summering at the browned Christmas wreath we leave up all year.

We snuck up, snagged the box and read the label to see who sent it. Ah, our Optical Plan C has just kicked in.


A month ago in We Concoct an Optical Plan B, we discussed our predicament. After 7,192 photos the 14-42mm kit lens on our Olympus had died. Using that lens had been Plan A.

Not that we didn't take advantage of an adapter to mount our Nikkors and other Nikon F mount lenses on the Olympus E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds camera. We did. A lot.

But Plan B was to find one we could live with while the kit lens was being mourned. We settled on the Rexatar we acquired in the 1980s because its range (25-50mm, 50-100mm Micro Four Thirds equivalent) was as close as we could get to the 28-84mm equivalent of the kit lens.

Oddly enough, we hereby disclose that wasn't such a great idea.

Close observers of Photo Corners will note we started shooting with our Rebel XTi recently. It's nearly as small (not quite) and quite light, with a good zoom range at 18-55mm for street shooting.


Plan C, we can now tell you, was to borrow some current Olympus lenses from the company to have something brilliant to write about.

And the first of those arrived yesterday.

That would be the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS Pro (24-200mm equivalent), which closely duplicates on a Micro Four Thirds platform our Nikon DX setup with an 18-200mm Nikkor (27-300mm), complete with image stabilization and our polarizer. We talked admiringly about the 12-100mm zoom after using it at a briefing so we thought we would admire it at length.

And we will, just not yet.

First, we took it out of the box, put it on the E-PL1 and immediately went into the garden to take a few shots. We're showing you just one of them here. The very first image we captured.

How do you like them apples?

We liked the zoom range right away, not surprising since our Nikkor has ingrained that range in us. The exposures seemed a little darker, we noticed. And we were perplexed by the difficulty autofocusing close-up after making a mental note at the briefing about how unusual that was in a zoom with this range. With no documentation, a function button also mystified us.

We thought about taking it on our walk but the package is too big to hang around our shoulders under a coat (the kit lens was perfect for that). And we didn't think about dropping it into a holster for some reason. So we left it behind.

It's easy enough to see even from this one image that this is an upgrade in optical quality. Now we have to see if we can live with it. Stay tuned.

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