My life in cameras: Part 7 Olympus M5 Mk2 and M.Zuiko 25mm/F1.8 review

An unfortunate demise

I was actually quite happy with my Olympus M10. It was a small lightweight and full featured camera. To my dismay one day it simply slipped out of my hand when I took it out of its bag. And this even right at home. I never dropped something valuable like this. It just happened and I was shocked. It did not turn on and the sensor inside was ripped loose. There were ominous rattling sounds coming from the inside.

I was not going to pay half the cameras price to have it fixed. Instead I sold it as scrap on Ebay and bought the shiny new Olympus OM-D E-M5 MkII. Camera manufacturers really go overboard with their naming schemes.

The Olympus M5 Mk2

This camera was again bigger and better than the one before. When did my goal of keeping a small and lightweight camera setup left behind? Instead I was fascinated by features and technology instead of creativity. I won’t bore you with technical details. My old camera would have made pictures no less good or bad than the new one.

The Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm/F1.8

The lens on the other hand was again a great purchase. I came to like small prime lenses and this one was like a standard 50mm lens on an old SLR camera. A perfect focal length for walking around the city, the countryside, portraits, documentary and journalism work. There was a good reason that this focal length was the most widely used before the advent of digital photography (and they were cheap to make as well).

Olympus M5 Mk2 and M.Zuiko 25mm examples:

Minced Meat

Olympus M5Mk2 Minced Meat
Minced Meat (2015) Olympus M5 Mk2 / M.Zuiko 25mm/F1.8@F2.8 1/80s ISO 800

One of my favorite museums is the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. It is a museum for modern art and even though modern art rarely moves me emotionally (that would be Romanticism) it still intrigues and fascinates me. These boxes were supposed to contain minced meat in various states of decomposition. By further inspection every box was fake but one emitted a strong and pungent smell. I guess that was the real meat. Don’t ask me what it was meant to symbolize. Probably something critical about capitalism or consumer culture if I had a guess (which half of modern art is about anyway and probably right about too).

Ferry at Warnemuende

Olympus M5Mk2 Ferry at Warnemuende
Ferry at Warnemuende (2016) Olympus M5 Mk2 / M.Zuiko 25mm/F1.8@F2.2 1/25s ISO 1600

We took a short trip up to Warnemünde and I liked to watch the ships enter the harbor. It somehow soothing. This ferry travels to Sweden. I’d never want to do a cruise on one of those horrible swimming hotels and shopping malls but I would like to do a ferry crossing again. Watch the little sailboat in the foreground.

Leipzig Train Station

Olympus M5Mk2 Leipzig Train Station
Leipzig Train Station (2016) Olympus M5 Mk2 / M.Zuiko 25mm/F1.8@F4.5 3/4s ISO 200

A rare moment were I actually used a tripod. I am big handheld shooter because it gives me the flexibility to take pictures quickly wherever I want. I also do not want to lug around a tripod. For this case I used a small Gorillapod. You might think these are cool and practical little tripods but they are not. Those things are impossible to level out.

Winter Trees

Olympus M5Mk2 Winter Trees
Winter Trees (2016) Olympus M5 Mk2 / M.Zuiko 25mm/F1.8@F2.5 1/1600s ISO 200

Snow. Something that becomes rarer and rarer here. This just looks like a magical winter forest. It was only the park nearby.

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