Presenting Pai Through the F.Zuiko 38mm f1.8

pai 38m f.zuiko f1.8

Images shot with the vintage F.Zuiko 38mm f1.8

Sitting in the north of Thailand, a hellish three hour minivan-full-of-tourists ride away from Chiang Mai, is Pai. It’s a cool little place.

I’ve always likened it to Yangshuo, a town in China I used to live in. It’s maybe not the most accurate way to go about describing it, but having spent a fair amount of time in both, that’s really how I feel.

Both small towns first made popular quite some years ago by Western hippies, they have slowly but surely been taken over by a more mainstream tourist clientele.

Many say the charm has faded as the independent, rustic shops, cafes and guesthouses are now competing with the more opulent new wave who target the richer visitors.

That’s not to say they aren’t worth visiting anymore, because they absolutely are. And there’ll always be enough of interest to keep you and your vintage lens happy.

The images in this post are what I got with the F.Zuiko 38mm f1.8 on my Sony mirrorless camera.

Pai Canyon and Big Buddha

Should you ever find yourself in Pai, one of the best things you can do is rent yourself a scooter and get back out again.

There are hot springs you can visit, but I’m not really one for pampering.

Instead, I took the F.Zuiko 38mm and went to see a couple of local legends.

Pai Canyon and the Big Buddha.

sign at pai canyon

path at pai canyon

big buddha at pai thailand

fence at pai big buddha

Pai thailand

That final shot is some random countryside scene.

It just shows that pretty much wherever you go in and around Pai, you’ll find something worth getting your vintage lens out for.

The landscape vistas and Pai Canyon were awesome natural sights, but nothing topped the big Buddha for me.

Sitting halfway up a hill, it’s not actually that far that you couldn’t walk there from the town, should you like walking.

I took a scooter, although there is still a flight of steps that needs to be climbed.

Never let it be said that it isn’t worth it though.

Pai cafes and temples

One thing no visitor to Pai can miss is the unreal number of cafes that have sprung up.

Many of them are on the road into the town, meaning they’ll form part of your first impression of Pai.

These establishments have typically been set up to be (Chinese) tourist photo opportunities as much as they are places to stop and get a drink.

That makes them good spots to spend a while with your vintage lens.

Thankfully, coffee and scenery aren’t the only things you can worship in Pai.

Like anywhere in Thailand, the handful of temples in and around town give you the opportunity to both find some peace and to add another piece to your photo set.

flowers at pai cafe


statue at pai temple

buddhist icon at pai temple

pai temple

As the sun set on my day shooting Pai with the vintage F.Zuiko 38mm f1.8, I wondered how to spend the rest of my time there.

Of course, more vintage lens photography was planned.

I’d got two lenses with me and a Sony mirrorless camera to shoot them on.

The Sony Alpha range is brilliant for using with vintage lenses, by the way, small and compact yet with the image quality to make it the only travel camera you’ll need.

If you’re in the market for a new one, you can get the latest and greatest from Amazon.

The other lens I had with me in Pai was the Super-Takumar 55mm f1.8, and that blog post is what I made with it the following day.

For this one, I’ll leave you with a final helpful tip from the 38mm F.Zuiko session.

If you ever find yourself in Pai, go to Burger Queen.

Amazing chips.

Pai and chips.

maya burger queen pai thailand

…p.s. if you enjoyed this post on shooting Pai with the F.Zuiko 38mm f1.8 and think others will too, why not share or pin it?

A small tourist town in northern Thailand, chilled-out Pai made an ideal model for a day shooting with the F.Zuiko 38mm f1.8 - come see the results here!
written by
Hi, I'm Lee - creator of My Favourite Lens and the one whose work you're seeing whenever you read a post on here.
I shoot as much film as I can in as many different cameras as I can, and I enjoy playing with vintage lenses on digital cameras also.

Everything I do and what I learn along the way gets shared on here, to inform and inspire you to get out and shoot as much - and as well - as you can too.

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