Last weekend, I was working in Malacca, probably the oldest and most the historical city in Malaysia. I was giving talk on stage at Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall on both Saturday and Sunday evenings, and on Sunday morning there was an official photography outing organized by Olympus Malaysia, which was headed by me. I knew very well that I would not have much time to shoot on my own if I were to be there bringing a group of photography hungry people walking on the beautiful streets of Malacca. I would be too busy answering questions, sharing some shooting tips and composition techniques, as well as making sure every one was ok. Not having shutter therapy, especially street shooting for several consecutive weeks will turn me insane!
Therefore, I decided to travel to Malacca a day earlier, on Friday evening, staying over a friend's place, and started my Saturday extra early, roaming the streets and attacked whatever subjects that I came across. I had with me, the trusty Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, and I used the much underrated M.Zuiko 17mm F2.8 Pancake lens as my main gear for this session. It was a fruitful, enjoyable session and I managed to grab quite a few good shots which have become my personal favourites.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@Shutter.Therapy) and Facebook Page, you would have noticed my "What's In The Bag" post.
A glimpse into my bag:
1) The bag was a Honx, made in Indonesia. They have an official Facebook Page here (click). They make awesome camera straps too.
2) My own E-M10 Mark II, with 17mm F2.8 pancake lens as my primary lens.
3) M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 Fisheye lens, just for some fun shots, if I want to
4) M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 lens, for tight portraits, just in case. 17mm F2.8 remained as the main lens.
5) Two spare batteries with colorful soft pouches
6) Think Tank Pocket Rocket with plenty of SD cards
7) ECG-2 external camera grip for the E-M10 Mark II
8) Powerbank for my phone, as I was out the whole day
9) Small, foldable umbrella for unpredictable Malaysian weather
10) The new book from Saharil Hasrin Sanin, "Cerpen-Cerpen Underground" to accompany coffee breaks
The much underrated 17mm F2.8 lens
I know the 17mm F2.8 pancake lens is not a popular choice. It received mediocre reviews, is sufficiently sharp, but not critically sharp, and at a decent F2.8, instead of the updated brigher F1.8 widest aperture opening. The AF speed was painfully slow (by today's standard) and honestly, there was nothing to shout about, and I would not recommend this lens to anyone.
However, I just soooooooooo love the pancake design of the lens. So small, so slim, so compact! I used to own the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 which I also simply loved so much, though I gave that away as a gift to a friend, I miss the lens a lot. I wish Olympus and Panasonic would create more of such small, compact lenses, I am ok with the widest aperture of F2.8 (no more narrower), but make them super compact and slim, with superbly fast AF. Most importantly, MAKE THEM CHEAP! I want a 25mm F2.8 panacake, I want a 35mm F2.8 pancake. I know it may be difficult to do longer lenses, but you know, pancake lenses are just so, so awesome. I can live with the few compromises in image quality, if the lenses were not expensve, and just super fun to bring around and shoot with.
Sometimes, the fun factor is the main thing photography hobbysts look for, not technical perfection.
What is the point of shooting if we are not having fun? Seriously, I was having soooooo much fun with the old 17mm F2.8 pancake lens on Malacca streets.
The Red Door
Man on the cart
The Red Truck
Signature Malacca Red
Five Foot Way
Morning Paper 2 (shot with silent shutter)
At the Flea Market
A little bit of selfie on the mirror
Coffee is a MUST after each shutter therapy session
Selfie with the bunch of street shooters on the following Sunday morning! Thanks to all who came, some from KL/PJ travelling to Malacca just to join this outing. I hope you all have enjoyed yourself, grabbed some beautiful shots and learned a thing or two about shooting with Olympus cameras and lenses, as well as some photography tips in general.
Olympus TG-Tracker has been released recently, entering into the Action Camera market. I may not necessarily be the best person to test and review the TG-Tracker, since I am pretty much an indoor person, a city-safe, homely kid. I do not climb walls, jump off planes, swim with sharks or do exreme sports like surfing, skating or biking. Not sure if I can do anything useful for the TG-Tracker, but my initial posting on my Facebook Page indicated that there is still interest in me doing something with this TG-Tracker.
If I can figure out what I want to do with it, maybe I will do a short, rather basic, photography-driven review for TG-Tracker. You will not see Robin Wong swim with sharks, not in this lifetime. We shall see what happens!
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