As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been looking for a smaller travel camera that can still deliver quality photos, and I’ve thought of trying the Olympus E-PM1. I have used one before and have published photos here that I thought looked pretty good. I still need to make some large prints to see how they look but, from what I have researched, I don’t think that will be a problem.
So the image quality should be capable, but one thing I wanted for my travel was the option of a wide-angle lens. Olympus (and Panasonic) have a good selection of highly capable wide-angle lenses and ultra-wide zooms available that would fit my needs – IF I didn’t have a budget to think of. After booking a vacation I don’t have much I want to spend, just yet ,on more camera gear. That’s when I remembered that Olympus offers some converters that snap on the front of the kit lens. From what I’ve read they do a remarkable job with no apparent loss of quality. Besides a macro and fisheye converter they also offer a wide-angle converter (WCON-P01) that takes the kit lens from 14mm at its widest setting to around 11mm (28mm>22mm (35mm equivalent)) to around 20mm. That’s a pretty significant increase.
Unfortunately, since I don’t live in a wide-angle kind of place it was difficult getting any kind of wide dramatic view shots to try it out with. I rode through the city park and, even though the weather has been exceptional the past few weeks, the park still has that post winter look to it – dull and dirty. But I did manage to find one tree that still had some blossoms remaining even after the recent freezing nights. So I did something I’ve never done before when shooting blossoms. Instead of taking close-up detail shots like I normally, almost automatically, would, I shot with up close but used the wide-angle lens instead. Shooting that close you still get the background but not enough to truly distract from the subject. And sure they are distorted but it’s not as noticeable because there aren’t any distinguishing straight lines.
So it looks like, after my initial tests, that the camera should work out well for me. Plus I also ended up looking at a same subject, that I’ve shot numerous times, with a different perspective and getting some successful shots. I call that winning.