Sony NEX-6 and Olympus E-M5 return from a Maine vacation

In a post I wrote before our week-long vacation on the coast of Maine, I remarked how my NEX-6 (with Jim Buchanan accessory grip) just feels more comfortable and fun to use than does my Olympus E-M5.  This preference for the NEX is in spite of the  higher spec (IMO) of the Olympus.

With this preference in the back of my mind, I selected the NEX with kit 16-50 to be my go-to setup for the vacation.  I completely dismissed the thrashing this lens has received on the Internet.

I took the Olympus E-M5, too, and snapped on the reg43 70-300 for long shots. You will see in boat, yacht, and schooner images below why a reach of 300mm (600mm equivalent when mounted on an Olympus) is beneficial.  The Olympus reg43 70-300 is a very useful lens, as it not only has a long reach but excellent close-up capabilities.

These pictures demonstrate the 70-300's flexibility.  (I don't know if the same is true for the Olympus m43 75-300.)  That being said, it is very slow and noisy to focus on the E-M5.

Olympus E-M5 with reg43 70-300

Coneflower shot at 149mm (298mm equiv.)

Focus was on the eyes. Shot at 202mm (404mm equiv.)

Crab spider stalking prey.  149mm (248mm equiv.)

Shot at 158mm focal length (316mm equiv.)

Shot at 300mm (600mm equiv.)

Shot at 239mm (478mm equiv.)

Shot at 239mm (478 equiv.)

 Sony NEX-6 with kit 16-50mm

As I wrote at the top of the post, the NEX-6 and kit lens was my go-to combo.  Other than the few shots above with the Olympus, the NEX was used for all the usual travel and landscape stuff.  I am very happy with the much maligned 16-50 E-mount zoom, though admittedly all but one or two will never be printed.  To me, if just viewing on a HD TV or computer screen is all you are looking for, just about any lens made today will be sufficient.

The 16-50 turned out to be a perfect range 3x zoom for my travel needs.  25% of my images were taken fully zoomed in at 16mm (24mm-equiv) and 25% were taken fully zoomed out at 50mm (75mm-equiv).  Everything else was spread out pretty equally throughout the range.

[If I could design a 5x zoom it would be a 16-80.  Others might prefer a wider angle instead of more telephoto capabilities, but I think a little bit of extra reach (60-80mm range) would be good for all the candid portraits I like to do of my grandchildren.  I am actually very excited about the newly announced (expensive) Zeiss 16-70 F4.]

Below are samples of the kind of compositions you get at 16mm (24mm equiv) and 50mm (75mm equivalent). Note that I tend to compose "loosely", which requires a bit of more exacting cropping in post-processing.

16mm (24mm equiv.)

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

Castine, Maine Post Office

Near Surrey, Maine

50mm (75mm equiv.)

The 16-50 performs nicely for closeups at 50mm.
Do you see the caterpillar camouflaged against
the lichen on the rock?

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