Panasonic LX7 Goes to Lunch
Went to lunch recently with a group of folks from SeriousCompacts.com and had a fun time chatting about gear. I haven't done a lot of meetups with people that I know online, but the ones that I have done have been generally good. Having a common interest always helps to get semi-strangers talking.
Here's what I wrote about the meetup on SeriousCompacts.com. I'll plagiarize myself to make it easier!
What a total disappointment. With the name "Serious Compacts", I was expecting some serious brow frowning discussions about the zeitgeist of photography, perhaps even a dash of schadenfreude. DiLorenzo's was closed for lunch, so tomato pies were off the menu. And it was clear from the get-go that this gathering wasn't going to be "serious", and after the generous tray(s) of appetizers shared by John (Entropic Remnants), it was clear that none of us were going to walk away "compact."
Things started in earnest as Jay (Jloden) immediately threw down about a million dollars of camera gear on the table - RX1, X100s, GH3 with 12-35 F2.8 and screamed, "take that b*tches!" Ok, he didn't say that, but that's what he's going to say in the movie version of the day. I thought I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket, but it was actually my credit card, quivering in nervous anticipation. Around that time, Steve (Biro) sauntered in, walking in slow motion with dramatic music and cars exploding behind him (more special effects for the movie) and we all got into some serious gear fondling, in public no less. As an owner of a GH1 and GH2, the GH3 is in another class altogether in terms of build, and with the 12-35mm F2.8 looks like a serious piece of kit. The X100s was quite nice too (although Jay wasn't in love with the AF), and the RX1 was like holding a baby Ferrari. I didn't hold it too long though because I just knew that I'd start stroking it, calling it "My Precious" and losing my hair.
Faster than you can say, "huge trays of appetizers" we're all talking about cameras we've owned, cameras we've bought on impulse, how tolerant our significant others are of the endless packages from the man in brown shorts, and cameras we want. John brought along his M43 kit - G5 with Panny 7-14 (right?) and the silver OM-D with the Oly 75 1.8 mounted. Damn, that thing looks like something James Bond would use, and I'm not talking about the weedy 80s Roger Moore Bond but the proper hairy-chested Sean Connery. I could see Bond with his silver Aston Martin in Monaco, leggy French spy in the passenger seat, and the silver OM-D in the ThinkTank Retrospective bag in the boot. Poor Steve didn't bring any cameras into the restaurant, but he told us of his OM-D envy, and reminded us that he's got a deposit down on the Ricoh GR; I've put out a Craigslist ad for a hitman in the Central Jersey area.
Generous John regaled the table with some seriously funny tales of youthful and not-so-youthful adventures, including some great urbex tales. He's got a pretty good English and Russian accents if you need that. And throughout this all, John's sister Sheila (she of the Grounds for Sculpture comp passes!) sat there with a look that was half "these guys are speaking Klingon" and half "I think that i need a new camera. Or four." Collectively, we've probably owned more gear than HCB and the other Magnum photographers did. Were HCB alive today, he might have mugged JLoden in the parking lot.
To bring us down from the GAS stratosphere, I threw the diminutive Pentax Q on the table and there was a lot of furrowing of brows as it was fondled. If you could put thought bubbles above everyone's head, you'd see the words "Honey, I Shrunk the Camera". I've seen this look before; people expect a toy at that size, but when the feel the magnesium shell and the photographers controls, their head's need a moment to wrap around a new paradigm.
A not-so-serious time was had by all!
I brought the Panny LX7 and Pentax Q but the Q stayed in the bag except for show and tell. That's been happening a lot lately; I'm really enjoying the fast zoom of the LX7. So much so that it's making me rethink my adulation of primes. Having a fast zoom really helps me frame the shot just like I want it. And with the LX7, the handy photo ratio switch (4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1), aperture ring, and quick AF makes working a snap. The first two photos had strong backlighting, and I had to push and pull a little in post to get it right. BW is my preference for people as it helps remove distractions and let the view focus on the person. All-in-all, the LX7 is proving to be a potent companion. Now if it would only slip into my shirt pocket...