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Olympus E PM1 (by MrSandyvision)

Olympus PEN E-PM1

If you’re looking for a step-up model that’s still pretty compact, the Olympus PEN E-PM1 is a solid, affordable choice.

This is currently my only available “real” camera for digital shooting (the M9 being at Wetzlar due to sensor problems): a 2011 Olympus E-PM1 with VF-3 electronic viewfinder (both bought used around 2 years ago), combined with a 1957 Leica Dual-range Summicron 2.0/50. Yeah, well, and a contemporary Novoflex adapter to couple them. A strange combination, but it suits me well for shooting my preferred prey (plants and flowers).

The 50mm lens acts like a 100mm tele lens (compared to full-frame) on the MFT body. The goggles, which are essential for optical correction of the rangefinder on a Leica M2 up to the M9 (the M Type 240 has live view), are only needed to switch from “normal” distances (1m up to infinity) to “close-focus” distances (88cm down to 48cm) in this combination. I can get even closer with 2 old Minolta achromatic close-up filters, which give a very “dreamy” look when used wide open.

Occasionally I put my Summilux on this camera, but it is too heavy for my liking when combined with this small and lightweight camera. And the shorter focal lengths lenses (a Summaron 2.8/35 and a Voigtländer 4/21) are not that well suited for MFT (results are not satisfying, I did try, but perhaps I’m just over-critical) …