Feb 242017
 

Souvenir markets in touristically overloaded places, they’re all the same. But still, from a photographer’s point of view, they are ripe with sights.

By the way, this is out-of-camera white balance at night under very yellowish light. It’s pretty good what Olympus delivers and it has been so for all Olympus cameras that I’ve had. It’s not that I always go with the camera’s choice, but I definitely and consistently could. That’s a lot more than what I could say about my past Nikons.

Feb 232017
 

It’s interesting, the PEN-F has a few really prominent flaws, arguably more so than the E-P5 had, but I love it more than any other camera before. Why?

The built-in view finder is quite OK, but compared to the VF-4 on the E-P5 or the E-M1’s viewfinder it is tiny. It also lacks a proper eyepiece. The result is, that light from the sun in your back is often not blocked out and it reaches the sensor for the automatic switch between viewfinder and LCD. When this happens, the viewfinder turns off. It’s annoying, or at least it should be.

Then there is the mandatory grip. It looks quite good, has excellent ergonomics, but it makes it impossible for me to remove the SD card without resorting to pincers. Really, I have pincers in my photo bag for pulling the SD card out of my camera! How ridiculous is that?

Then there is this function button Fn1. I can assign “Mulit-Function” to it (like on all my other cameras), but in picture review mode, while all my other cameras have “Zoom” in that position, the PEN-F has assigned “Lock Image” to it. I can configure every button’s function in shooting more, but in review mode I can’t change anything. It’s annoying, or at least it should be.

Then there is this useless knob on the front. I could use it to quickly switch between various JPEG modes. Only I don’t. It’s a perfect dial in a perfect position, perfectly wasted.

And it all doesn’t change a thing. I love this camera. Much of it must be connected to its aesthetics. While I hardly cared about the looks of my lenses on a camera before, I almost never use this camera with a plastic lens. Shiny, silvery primes made of metal, that’s what this camera deserves. Crazy, huh?

Feb 222017
 

Not long ago, during the Yugoslavian War, Rovinj was almost empty – shunned by tourists. Yes, this was 25 years ago (really? oh my!), but you wouldn’t believe it when you see it today.

This has been taken a bit off the night tracks. It’s one of the streets leading up to the church, and most people at that time of the evening are busy finding a table in one of the countless but hopelessly overcrowded restaurants.

Feb 202017
 

A lot of people hate science fiction or are at least completely unmoved by it. I keep hearing complaints about sci-fi’s speculative nature and that it does not relate to anything “real”.

That’s true in a way, but when the same people read crime stories and historic novels with gusto, I begin to feel doubt 🙂

Anyway. The Image of the Day strongly reminds me of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. This is what his mars looks like after terraforming 🙂

The Mars trilogy is also a good example for the not-so speculative nature of “Hard Sci-Fi”. It was written in the first half of the 1990s and it is basically the blueprint of all current efforts to reach out for Mars. I’m afraid it’s also a blueprint of what awaits us on our way there politically, and I am not sure that KSR’s resolutions are more than desperate hope. It may turn out much worse.

If you haven’t read the Mars trilogy, and if you do enjoy science-based fiction, and if you are interested in where we go as a society, I can hardly recommend anything better. A mostly optimistic and non-dystopic look into a not so unlikely future.

Feb 182017
 

Blog-wise we are still in E-P5 territory. These images are half a year old and in the meantime I have upgraded both cameras. The E-P5 and the E-M1 share a shelf in a closet, the PEN-F and the E-M1 MkII are what I use these days. Or rather should use, I might say.

In reality I rarely take images at all, and if I do, I use the PEN-F. Last time I went to Vienna, I decided to take the E-M1 with me. Maybe with the 7-14/2.8 and the 12-40/2.8 only?

I grabbed an old, small Sony shoulder bag that I had originally bought for the E-P2, and really, I could pack the 7-14 and E-M1 MkII with the 12-40 mounted into that tiny bag. Even the 40-150/4.0-5.6 fit in. Cool!

But still too heavy. I replaced the 7-14 with the 9-18 and kept the 40-150. Nope. Off went the 40-150.

Didn’t make much of a difference. The 40-150 is a featherweight anyway. Basically the culprit was the 12-40. Dammit!

The next idea was a small kit with 12-32, 9-18 and 40-150. That’s what I had on the E-M5 when I was at Lago Maggiore a few years ago. In terms of weight this was much, much better, but neither the Panasonic 12-32 nor the Oly 40-150 focus particularly fast. Much more the opposite. They are hardly the right lenses to use on one of the fastest cameras on the planet.

9-18, 25/1.8 and 45/1.8? That’s what I finally packed. Mission accomplished, although in a somehow unsatisfying way. So unsatisfying in fact, that what I went out of the door, I found the other bag with PEN-F, 12/2.0, 17/1.8 and 75/1.8 hanging from my shoulder 🙂

Feb 082017
 

Now that’s the same church as yesterday, only not molten 🙂

The image of the bird is unfortunately not sharp enough to qualify for its own post. Still, the scene is too perfect to throw the image away.

Granted, I’ve used an unnecessary f9.0, but the focal length is only 100mm (200mm eq.), taken at 1/250s. I should have been able to easily hold that, even without stabilization. Fact is I couldn’t – and this is only one out of three images. All were taken with the same technical parameters within seconds and under the same light. I wasn’t in a hurry either.

This may be one of the odd combinations of camera body, lens, focal length and shutter speed, where some weird resonance renders the stabilization ineffective. The E-P5 normally has the same stabilization as the original E-M1, but I can’t remember ever having seen this with the E-M1 or with any other lens. I think this is what “Anti-Shock” was introduced for. I believe the E-P5 should already have had it, but I may be wrong.