Packing Photo Gear for Barcelona, Spain, and the French Countryside

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Just when I have the most time for and interest in photography is when I’m most limited with the gear I can take. That’s the quandary facing me now that I’m about to leave for five weeks in Europe.

Part of the trip will be spent with my family in my hometown. The other part will be a road trip from Holland via France to Barcelona, Spain, and back. I’m spending about a week driving, with stops for photography, and a week in Barcelona.

So, it’s a great time to try new gear that doesn’t get much use at home.

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An Overload of 50/55mm Lenses – from Good to Awesome

It’s an old cliche, with the forest and the trees. But it applies here, cliche or not. I’ve been on a 50mm diet for a while and I’ve used way too many 50mm lenses for my own good.

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The diet wasn’t for fun or meant as a useful exercise to optimize shooting with just one lens. No, it was to compare a bunch of lenses for this site.

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Battle of the 50s: Olympus 25mm f/1.8 versus Panasonic 25mm f/1.4

A few weeks ago, Olympus launched a 25mm f/1.8 lens for the Micro Four-Thirds format, finally kind of catching up with the existing Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens. Kind of, because the Olympus doesn’t have that magical f/1.4 aperture that seems to be the distinguishing feature between low-end f/1.8 50s and higher-end f/1.4 50s in the DSLR world (25mm is the MFT equivalent for 50mm in full-frame format).

With the new Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 coming out at the same time, though, and that lens being lauded as one of the best normal lenses ever, f/1.8 might just have a chance to be taken seriously. Even better for Olympus, its lens comes in at $400, compared with the Panasonic at $529 and the Sony at $1,000. [Read more…]