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Of the three lenses I own for my Panasonic G3, the kit zoom (28-90mm FFE) gets most use. The wide Olympus (18-36mm FFE) zoom is a distant second and the third, the Panny long (90-400mm FFE) zoom mostly gathers dust.
I have a strong belief in not owning things I do not use, so the other day I took the long zoom to San Francisco with the sole aim of taking ‘long’ pictures, along with the resolution that if the day was a failure, the lens would be sold. For me anything over 35mm FFE is ‘long’ so when using a 90-400mm lens I really need to think differently. There’s no thought of switching between the long lens and the other two; the visualization process is so different that my tired brain cannot cope with yet another set of variables.
So I set about my task by thinking and seeing ‘long’, and a few good things cropped up on a late afternoon with light to die for. Focal lengths shown are Full Frame Equivalents (FFE).
Guess I’ll be keeping that Panasonic 45-200mm lens for a while longer. Funnily enough, on returning home I found that I had accidentally switched the OIS anti-shake button to ‘Off’ but for the most part lucked out. At 400mm FFE, handholding without OIS becomes something of a challenge. On a related note, the G3’s sensor, some two stops finer grained than the one in my earlier G1, allows the use of faster ISO settings – and shorter shutter speeds – without degrading quality, a significant advantage with longer lenses. 800 ISO is just fine, and 1600 ISO works well at a pinch, both allowing high quality 18″ x 24″ prints to be made.