I think by now that everyone is already aware of my aversion to slow, variable aperture universal zooms, and it was disheartening to see just how many who picked up the Lumix GH5 decided to go with one of the slow zooms being peddled by Panasonic reps rather than picking up a fast prime or two. The difference between shooting with the Leica 12mm f/1.4 compared to the wide end of the Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 is like night and day, and I haven’t seen any images from the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 that have blown me away as have either the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 or the Leica 42.5mm f/1.2. I’m not a bokeh whore by any means, but I’m not overly fond of the bokeh I’ve seen from some of these variable aperture zooms either – it’s busy and distracting. And I’m not at all convinced that a more moderate 24-70mm full frame equivalent lens is a disadvantage, especially after seeing some breathtaking images of Nepal shot with the Samsung NX-1 and 16-50mm f/2-28 the other day. As a matter of fact, what I am seeing too often by those with longer zooms is a certain timidity, a lack of intimacy, almost a determination not to approach and confront subjects, but to shoot them from afar: and the viewer is relegated to the position of an outsider rather than a participant. I mention in my vlog how scarce good videos shot with the premium primes are: on the other hand, there is far too much footage shot with these variable aperture zooms in harsh daylight where the user doesn’t even bother with an ND filter, so it’s even often difficult to fairly assess the quality of these lenses. I’m also seeing an over-reliance on IBIS or OIS or both, resulting in jittery footage, when at the very least, out of courtesy to the viewer, the poster could have brought along a lightweight yet sturdy monopod for support.
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