Shanghai Dispatch #14: Where I Ramble On

The Kandidate
The Kandidate, Shanghai Midi Music Festival 2012; Takumar 200mm f.3.5 adapted to EOS 60D

My last post was about testing a much needed DSLR upgrade, and now, well, now I’ll start first with the weekend.

I went to the Midi Music Festival again this year (here’s last year’s post), despite the grey skies earlier in the day. This time, I was armed with my late 50s design and built Takumar 200mm f3.5 lens (which I used before here and here), and despite not having the best view, had a handful of decent shows to show. Decent is the fair word, since I’m actually struggling constantly to get the shots I want and never achieve. The full set is here.


Despite how much I appreciate the 60D, I had to buy an easier-to-carry National Geographic camera bag knockoff (at 1/10 of the price of the original), so I could carry my already minimal -but still heavy- gear. The sometime bike rides I did with it weren’t at all inspiring, too.

Go back to film cameras, you say? No, despite my access here in China to satisfy the film photography workflow. And my having my own bathroom. What’s primarily bogging me down is a required scanner purchase. I’d rather get myself a printer, and have a run with it using old photos.

I guess it was my unearthing the old M42 screwmount lenses that lead me to consider a new, uncharted format: micro four thirds cameras. Light? Check. Adaptable to my old M42 AND FSU LTM (FSU = Former Soviet Union; LTM = Leica Thread Mount) lenses? CHECK.

Two major caveats: the x2 sensor factor, and the cost of getting one with a viewfinder. The first was easy to accept, the second, not so much. No camera with an electronic viewfinder (as an added accessory or built-in) fit my meager (and ‘surprise money’) budget.

But NO hotshoe?!


Yep. Decided on the Lumix GF3, after sleepless days on Taobao checking the prices. No hotshoe, which dismisses the chance of ever attaching an accessory viewfinder – but that thing cost as much as a NEW camera anyway. Why didn’t I settle for the more settled older Panasonic models (GF1, GF2)? Homework said: better feature-set, and improved JPEG processing. Why not the Olympus line? I only wanted a wide prime, no kit-lens, and the Lumix 14mm pancake lens instead of the Olympus equivalent; the latter has been reviewed rather badly. Ultimately, the GF3 also came out to be the cheapest from the micro four thirds lot available locally.

Not even twenty-four hours old, I’ve already treated the thing with a leather case, and M42 adapter, and a very pogi Leica-style lenshood.

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