For my third and final post about this year’s Kuhio Beach Hula Show, I feature some pretty pictures and a test of the versatile Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6 lens. I unofficially call it the “travel zoom” because its compact and very usable range makes it perfect for light-weight travel. Mounted on my OM-D E-M5 Mark II, it’s a very capable setup.
I’ve shot this show many times. I go to it at least once, on every visit to Hawaii. Something about the warm tropical sunset, smooth island music and colorful dancers make it irresistible. I’ve captured the show in different ways with a variety of gear, too. Back in the day, I even used my large Canon 7D DSLR with a big 70-200mm white Canon lens.
Since then, I’ve gone wide-angle. In 2016, I created my fanciest image, with lots of dynamic range and much post-processing. But this year, I wanted versatility. The option to shoot close or wide. Hence the 14-150mm lens.
The first photo is at 150mm which is equivalent to 300mm, full frame. I was hoping the depth of field would be shallower, but at f5.6 on micro 4/3, that wasn’t meant to be. Something like the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 lens would have worked better. But, that lens is a lot bigger, heavier, more expensive and, inconveniently, I don’t own one. The 14-150mm travel zoom is not perfect, but does a great job given its size and weight.
Standing from the same spot, I created this photo with the same lens and camera but at 100mm, which is equivalent to 200mm, full frame.
For comparison, here is the scene at 14mm, the widest setting, which gives a 28mm view. I was standing by the side at the very back, not to disturb anyone else. You can see why the Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6 is such a versatile lens. Given its compact size, on a micro 4/3 camera, it’s the lens I pack for my travels. Optically, it does a good job, though of course, not as perfect as the Pro lenses.
At around $499 on Amazon, it’s the lens I recommend for travel. I own the Mark II version which sports an updated aesthetic design and even has dust and splash resistance.
Finally, I wanted to end with an Art-ish touch. I’ve recently talked about the creative fun I’m having with Topaz Studio. I really like this abstract and romantic version of the hula show. It more accurately reflects my feelings of the event.
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