Sunday, February 19, 2017

No image, for images too deep

The photographs were taken on January 28th at Velskola.

The LX100 dust problem appeared again, with the new LX100 which I bought in July 2016. So far I have taken 34,000 photographs with it, and the problem first appeared two weeks ago. Below you see the dust particle in the right upper corner of the photograph (taken at f/16). With the old LX100 the problem appeared much later, when the camera was no longer under warranty.

When the old LX100 got broken after 100,000 photographs taken, I decided to get a new LX100, but now it is apparent that the dust problem is quite widespread. I'm planning to send the camera for repairs at some point, but I'm loath to be without a camera for any longer period.

It seems that changing the shooting style didn't help with the LX100. I thought that shutting down the camera and starting it up again would be the reason for getting dust inside the lens, and thus I have been keeping the new LX100 on all the time when using it. But I guess the dust still gets inside, via zooming, when dust particles get stuck to the lens barrel and bit by bit travel into the lens.

At some point I thought about getting the Panasonic GX80 with the Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, but it would be a bit limited choice. And much less bokeh in closeups... Another possible choice is the Panasonic LX15, which is however quite limited in the controls compared to the LX100. And apparently there is no 1:1 aspect ratio available. Another choice would be yet another LX100, which isn't that impossible to think as the price has gone down to 550 euro. But then there is the dust which would kill the LX100 at some point.

(Posting title is from the poem The Lake by Daryl Hine.)


Markus said...

First of all: Fine images - these meet my personal preferences for overcast sky and fog, I like this much more than blue sky... Admittedly our winter is not as long as yours, so it is probably much easier to forego beautiful weather.

Sorry to hear about your repeated trouble with the LX-100: You were my source of reference when others asked me about this camera. I do remember that I had problems with my Sony DSLR, but what I thought to be dust having entered the camera during lens changes turned out to be oil droplets from the metal shutter. But what you show is certainly dust, and I am somewhat astonished that Panasonic could did not solve this well-known problem of all zoom lenses. My Olympus 12-40mm zoom does not show any dust inside the lens, but of course this dust would not deposit on the sensor and cause such clearly visible artifacts.

Your consideration of the GX80 sounds reasonable from this point of view - first of all dust would remain inside the lens, and the sensor could be cleaned. (but I had never had to do this with my Olympus bodies)

Juha Haataja said...

I must admit that I'm somewhat surprised about the dust problem. I took over 200,000 photographs with the Panasonic LX3 and almost 200,000 photographs with the LX5, and neither had problems with dust getting inside the camera.

There must be something fundamentally wrong about the design of the LX100. However, all other aspects of the LX100 are optimal for my purposes, so more's the pity.