Tuesday, July 23, 2013

San Diego Comic Con with the Olympus OMD - Another User Experience with the Panasonic 20mm

Important Notes:
1. This is a user based review with no lab or scientific testing
2. All images are post processed in lightroom 4 according to personal taste/preference
3. Images were taken in Raw and converted to JPEG
4. Feel free to ask questions in comments

Comic Con, in short, was simply awesome.  Although I am extremely tired from the pop culture event of the year, I do miss the people and being surrounded by all things nerdy.  

Tuesday Night - The Calm Before the Storm - 45mm @ f1.8
I may have mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to keep my system rather small and compact.  First of all, I knew I would be on my feet all day long and the last thing I need is a heavy system to weigh me down.  I opted to bring just three lenses with me: the Panasonic 20mm f1.7, the Olympus 45mm f1.8 and the Rokinon fish eye lens.  The fish eye had limited use save for panoramic shots of the marina. I still haven't mastered the ultra wide angle, but more on that another day. Because the 45mm performed like a champion, I want to focus on the Panny 20mm as a follow up to my initial user review.  

Walking Dead booth - Panny 20mm @ f2.0
Walking Dead Booth - Panny 20mm @ f2.0

In my previous user review, I had mentioned that the 20mm worked pretty well in bright conditions (specifically during an outdoor hike).  Not to say that the convention hall had terrible lighting, it was not always ideal for the 20mm.  In fact, I noticed on several occasions the glass hunting to lock on to the subject even when shooting wide open at f1.7.  At times I opted to manual focus when my subjects were patient and/or did not seem in hurry.  Luckily, most cosplayers were super cool.  They never complained (outwardly that is) when I took more than one photograph.  

Black Sails booth - Panny 20mm @ f1.7
For the most part, I was shooting at aperture priority mode and limiting my ISO range from 200 to 2000.  I could have gotten away with a lower ISO max, but I purposely wanted to test the alleged banding issues reported by some OMD users when shooting above 1600.  Most of my indoor photographs were taken at the max ISO range and I can fortunately report that not a single shot suffered from any banding. I would like to note that all the shots were taken in RAW and later converted to JPEG.  

Black Widow cosplayer - Panny 20mm @f1.7
I refuse to disclose what this is =) - Panny 20mm @ f1.7
There is nothing much to report on image quality even at ISO 2000.  In short, the lens produced sharp images with a little bit of noise at the high ISO range (easily fixable in post). In fact, I would say this lens was ideal for my daily walk-around-the-con lens, though a fast wide angle zoom would have made life a bit easier for composition. Despite my complaints in the beginning, the 20mm ended up working pretty well.  I am, however, excited to see how the second version of this lens stacks up.  Will they improve autofocus speed? Mitigate banding issues when using Olympus bodies? I certainly hope all the answers are YES.  

More Zombies in the Gaslamp Distrct - Panny 20mm @ f1.7

Is it obvious I like zombies - high ISO example @1.7
Below are a few more sample shots taken at the Con.  Thanks for stopping by and for all of those who went to San Diego, I hope you had a fun/safe time.  Hope to run into more micro four-third users at the next con.

So say we all,
Sifting through comics - Panny 20mm @ f1.7

Lord of the Rings Nazgul - Panny 20mm @ f1.8

More Walking Dead - Panny 20mm @f2.2

Venom - Panny 20mm @ f2.2

Gaslamp rails - Olympus 45mm @ f1.8

Padres Zombie - Olympus 45mm @ f5.0


  1. Great shots, it nice seeing someone take the time to do Black and White photos

  2. Thanks a lot, Jim. I fell in love with photography because of B&W.