3735 – Keep It From Breaking Apart

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3735 – Keep It From Breaking Apart
Jan 102017

I took this image from the same spot as yesterday’s, under the sun shades of an outdoor café in Klagenfurt. While the other one was taken wit the wide end of the 40-150/2.8, we see the long end at work here. Don’t look for the detail, it’s not the same subject, by the way 😀

Jan 072017

Most of the pictures you’ve seen lately were still taken with the Olympus PEN E-P5, an extremely competent camera of the same generation as the OM-D E-M1. The optional electronic viewfinder VF-4 has the same magnification and the same overall quality as that of the E-M1. This camera now sits in a cabinet and waits to be sold. I’ve replaced it with the PEN-F, a camera with a built-in EVF of less magnification, but with a higher resolution sensor and overall even more pleasing aesthetics.

The OM-D E-M1 is also waiting to be replaced by the E-M1 Mk II. Sometime last year, mine has fallen to the ground while we were in Aix. I had to replace the sunshade of the 12-40/2.8 and the camera suffered some scratches. No other damage was done, but of course that devaluates the camera.

The new one will cost 2000 €, and when I checked today, I found that E-M1s are currently traded at around 400-500 €. That’s less than a third of what I paid two years ago. Sometimes I think I should not sell it at all and instead use it as a second body. Only that it would actually be the fourth, and that in reality even two cameras are an overkill for my needs.

What I do now is, that I either travel light with the PEN-F and a triple of silver primes, or I use the heavier pro equipment with the E-M1. Would it make sense to carry the E-M1 and the E-M1 Mk II at the same time, one with the 12-40/2.8, the other with the 40-150/2.8? In certain situations, yes. Would I do it? Almost certainly not 🙂

But then: sell such a beautiful camera for almost nothing? Or not upgrade at all? Well, even first world problems are problems 😀

3731 – Tenderly

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro  Comments Off on 3731 – Tenderly
Jan 062017

This is typical for what happens when I use a macro lens for macros 🙂

It’s not that I don’t know how one would theoretically approach those subjects, but it’s the same as with continuous autofocus and sports photography: I’m not really interested in it, I lack any practice and therefore I also lack any skill.

Funnily enough, I always buy macro lenses and of course I end up using them for different purposes. Next time it won’t be so easy though. A week ago I’ve ordered a cheap Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens. Ultra high 4.5:1 magnification ratio, but on the other hand it does not focus to infinity. I have no idea what I will use it for. Heaven knows, I may end up using it for real macros, because that seems to be the only way that lens can be used at all 😀

3730 – In the Church of Kellerberg

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3730 – In the Church of Kellerberg
Jan 052017

“Kellerberg? Kellerberg?”, did I ask myself, “where is Kellerberg?”. I had to ask Google, and they told me it’s north of Villach, maybe 10 kilometers away.

It’s a small village along the old road. Normally when I drive that way, I take the highway, and the few times that I took the old road, I passed through without even recognizing the village.

Not so this time. I checked if the church was open, went in, took a few photos, and in the evening I added “Kellerberg” as a keyword in Lightroom. Then I forgot about it 🙂

3649 – Have a Seat

 Walimex 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye  Comments Off on 3649 – Have a Seat
Oct 152016

I think I’ve mentioned it when it happened: I’ve bought a fisheye. It’s not the fancy over-the-top Olympus 8/1.8, but instead a manual Walimex 7.5mm f3.5 lens that was on sale at Amazon.

These and yesterday’s wall are some of the first images taken with it. I don’t expect to use it very often, but at times it’s funny. The extremely short focal length makes it pretty “fishy” even on Micro Four Thirds. The subject? A forklift in a factory building.

3648 – Convergence

 Walimex 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye  Comments Off on 3648 – Convergence
Oct 142016

This is a little bit odd and actually surprising. Exactly ten years ago I’ve posted “1 – After Grandma Has Gone“. Ten times 365 plus three days from leap years, in my book that makes 3653. Somewhere along the line we’ve lost five posts, have we?

Maybe not. I can’t be sure that I haven’t missed a post or two, although I deem it unlikely. Five posts? No way!

The most likely explanation is, that I’ve re-used the last number five times. It happens. I’ve caught myself doing it, and so far I have assumed that I’ve caught myself every single time that it happened. I may have been wrong.

Anyway. This blog is ten years old and I pretend it has been daily. I’m not going to look for the errors and renumber a few thousand posts 🙂

When I began, I found my numbering scheme a little pretentious, but I decided to do it anyway. I saw it as kind of motivational, and really, it was. Next target: 4000 in little less than a year.

3631 – The Flash

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3631 – The Flash
Sep 272016

I have not yet sold my E-P5. When the PEN-F arrived, I removed the battery and the SD card, and then I put the camera into a closet. Today I took it out for a comparison.

What can I say? I miss the big viewfinder! Yes, the VF-4 sticks out from the E-P5, it mars the beautiful design, it just doesn’t look that classy. Looking through it makes a world of a difference though 🙂

It’s really like the difference between APS-C and full-frame. You notice the change and it’s a big one.

I’ve tried the same with the E-M1, and of course as it shares viewfinder specs with the VF-4, the result is the same.

Then I noticed something interesting: both the E-M1 and the E-P5 were pretty much off colorwise and they were also darker. The PEN-F on the other hand was incredibly accurate in reproducing what I saw.

There was also another change. Exposure parameters blended into the viewfinder image had some amount of transparency. Or had they? Now that I try to reproduce it, I find that I can’t. That’s funny, because I’ve already noticed it another day. I don’t think I’ve just imagined it.

Yes, indeed, I’ve just checked, there is an slight amount of transparency in the overlay. It’s still fully readable, but it is slightly less intrusive.

Another slight annoyance is, that with the position of the eye sensor on the PEN-F, stray light easier enters the sensor, especially when the sun comes from the back. If that happens, the EVF blanks out. This doesn’t happen when I hold the camera properly to my eye, but sometimes I don’t. I suppose it also may happen when you wear glasses.

Basically this all boils down to the fact that I like the new viewfinder better (if it is indeed the viewfinder and not just changes in metering and white balance accuracy), but that the lower resolution hurts. I’d like to call it a draw, but it isn’t really.

Is this a reason to switch back to the E-P5 and sell the PEN-F? No. If there were no other advantages but the better design and the convenience of the integrated viewfinder, I’d say yes. Fortunately there’s more to this camera. We’ve already discussed the exposure compensation wheel, and tomorrow we’ll talk about image quality.

3626 – Gamer, Today Wearing Silver

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3626 – Gamer, Today Wearing Silver
Sep 222016

From time to time an image of our cats simply must be acceptable 🙂

Oh yes, silver! Reminds me of my new PEN-F. I write this Sunday evening on an overly crowded train to Vienna. The weekend was rainy, and when it didn’t rain, I was working at my father’s house. Insted of retiring, he began building it at 60 years. He never finished it, my mother never wanted to change places so late in their life, and therefore it has been standing empty for years. We’re currently trying to find a tenant, but there are still a lot of things lying around all over the place. You wouldn’t believe how many creative ways there are to stow away tools 🙂

Therefore, instead of taking lots of photos with my new toy, I spent the time sorting other people’s stuff, and when I didn’t, I looked out of a window into the rain.

Still, I have some first impressions. Remember that I recently complained about having to tag images taken with a lens without electronic contacts? Remember the manually maintainable “list of lenses” that I wished for? Well, that’s exactly what the PEN-F has 🙂

The other big difference to any Olympus camera so far is the dedicated exposure compensation wheel. It’s a big change, and here’s why:

Normally I use aperture priority mode and have the front wheel set for aperture. The back wheel is set to exposure compensation. In manual mode, the only other mode that I regularly use, the back wheel is set to shutter speed. In aperture priority I use auto-ISO, in manual base ISO. If light is too low, I manually increase ISO, for instance via Olympus’ “Super Control Panel”.

Now, with a dedicated wheel for exposure compensation, I have the back wheel set to ISO. This is awkward (because I am not used to it) and relaxing as well. It’s relaxing, because as soon as I use the back wheel, the manually set ISO overrides the automatic, and basically what was aperture priority, becomes kind of a manual mode, where I can easily dial ISO for an acceptable shutter speed.

On my E-M1 (and all other Olympus cameras) I can’t do that. The best thing I can do is to switch a mode lever and then the two wheels change to ISO / White Balance. That’s not the same though. I always tend to forget the state of the lever, and while theoretically I could be faster, I end up being slower than when I take the camera off my eye and do the adjustment via Super Control Panel.

So, that’s a fine thing, but I am not sure how much I want to rely on it. After all, the E-M1-MkII may not have that extra wheel, and then switching between cameras will be awkward, and besides, the E-M1-MkII is a few months away anyway.