Category Archives: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75 mm f/1.8

4029 – A Green Line

You may remember that, after having used Android only for years, I’ve bought an iPad Pro two weeks ago. I did it because the tablet market for Android did not offer anything in that class.

I won’t bother you and me with a full review, but I guess it’s a good time to relay some impressions. First of all: I consider it a success. The iPad is beautiful, fast and, with some tweaking, I got it to look as I like my tablets: free of icons. At least on the primary home screen. Basically I’ve moved all icons into folders on the second screen, and while empty screens at the end seem to vanish automatically, an empty screen in between is kept. Nice. This way I see my wallpaper. Other people probably won’t care, but as the photographer, I hate it when my images are cluttered with icons 🙂

Performance-wise I can’t complain. This tablet is as fast as I can imagine. So far I’ve never felt any lag, regardless of what I did.

I’ve installed my usual Google apps, GMail is my mail app, and even streaming to the Chromecast works. Nice again.

Ergonomically the story is different. Believe it or not, today Android is far ahead of iOS in terms of ergonomics. It’s really only one problem that bothers me, but it bites you whatever you do: No back button!

On Android, you open something by touching it, and with the back button you get … back. Not so on iOS. Frequently there is a small back arrow in the upper-left corner of the window. It may be smaller or bigger, sometimes it’s blue, sometimes it’s black, sometimes it’s missing. If you are in a browser, you may have to scroll up a little until it gets visible.

If it’s still missing, then you have opened something in a popup dialog. Conceptually you may not understand the difference (there may be some rule in Apple’s User Interface Guidelines though), but when it’s a dialog, you close it by touching “Done” in the upper right corner of the dialog. At least you do so, unless it’s an “X” in the same place.

Steve Jobs is dead and you feel it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not so much calling for visual consistency here – although Steve would likely have done that as well. What I want is a button that’s always in the same place and always gets me back, regardless of what it is that I have opened. That’s how it works in Android. There may be arrows, X-buttons or “Close” buttons, but even if so and regardless of where they are, you can always ignore them and instead back out with the universal back button.

My Nexus 5 and Nexus 9 had soft buttons, that were always in the same position, regardless of screen orientation. That’s my preferred arrangement. You can’t feel those buttons, but they are always where you expect them and you could use them blindly, if that would make any sense.

My current Android phone, a “BQ Aquaris X Pro”, has fixed buttons on the “lower” short edge, just like Samsung devices have, but at least their order is the same as on stock Android (not reversed like on Samsung devices). I can live with that. I always use a flip cover for protection, and that implies a “natural” way of holding the phone for any of the two orientations. You have to “learn” two positions for the back button, but for every orientation it is consistent and it works in all apps.

That’s not all. The notification system of Android has already been copied by Apple, but they are still where Android was two releases ago.

Funny. I wouldn’t have thought that I’d ever say something like that, but if I could keep the hardware and choose an operating system, I’d choose Android over iOS any time.

4026 – No More Ads, Still A Fence

Across the street from our office there once was a market square with lots of small booths. I never saw it, because when we got there four and a half years ago (not longer, really?), the market was abolished, the booths torn down and the square fenced in.

People in the neighborhood had fought for their market, but to no avail. An office building was planned in that place. Or a hotel. I’m not sure. Still the square is empty and fenced in.

In the beginning the wooden fences were densely covered in adertising posters, but the furious people kept tearing them down. A few times I have taken images of the fence and the remains of the ads. Today almost all traces of ads are gone. At least it’s more honest.

4024 – Pinky

Did I ever say I love the bokeh of this 75/1.8? Well, I guess I did a few times 😀

In the meantime a lot of things have happened. One thing is, that we had general elections. Didn’t turn out well. I may write a few words about it in another post.

The other thing is, that I had found the performance of my Google Nexus 9 tablet lacking, and so much so, that I had searched for a replacement for months.

It’s not so easy. Basically I want a vanilla or near-vanilla Android on a new tablet. This eliminates the Samsung S3, the seemingly best Android tablet in the market. Samsung loves to bundle lots of software that I don’t want or need, and they are bad at keeping their devices up to date. Additionally the S3 is a year old. I think it got Android 7 via an update, but if it’ll ever get Android 8, who knows.

There’s a relatively cheap Lenovo Tab4 10 Plus with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (same as in my phone), 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage (same as my phone), but only 1920×1200 (hardly more than my phone). Performance-wise I’d have been happy with it and it will very likely get the update, but I really, really wanted something with higher pixel density.

It’s not a matter of price. I would have bought everything. It’s only that nobody cares to offer high-end Android tablets. Actually I would even buy a Microsoft Surface, were it not for the weight. When traveling, I always have my Macbook Pro with me. That’s what I use when I need a keyboard and a mouse. No tablet comes close and I don’t need a tablet as notebook replacement. I need it for reading in bed.

Last Saturday I snapped. I’ve got an iPad Pro 10.5 now, 256 GB of memory, tons of performance, the whole German Wikipedia (pictures included) on my tablet, along with all the 7122 images that I’ve processed during the last 11 years. And then I’ve got peace of mind 😀

4023 – Bubbly

After I had bought the OM-D E-M1 Mk II, I did what I always do when I have a new toy: I used it almost exclusively for quite some time. It took not very long though, and I began to miss the light weight and the small size of my PEN-F and the tiny primes.

Well, the 75/1.8 is maybe not that tiny and light, but for an equivalent focal length of 150 mm it is small and light enough. Now it’s October, and in the meantime I have arrived at a simple system. In general I use the PEN-F in Vienna, and in Carinthia and for major vacations I use the OM-D. Except for the exceptions, of course 🙂