3450 – Frosty Situation II

 Mitakon Speedmaster 25/0.95  Comments Off on 3450 – Frosty Situation II
Mar 302016

It’s already early Spring around here, but image-wise we are just diving into Winter. Rest assured, it won’t last very long.

Actually I had already wondered whether my lust to take images was gone. Then last Saturday I made 20 images on one short walk through Villach. This is not 20 exposures taken, this is 20 images processed and ready to be used on the blog. Not all of them are first rate, but, well, neither is everything I’ve published so far. In any case, I seemingly need just a lazy hour from time to time 😀

2956 – Sunny Misty Morning

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 2956 – Sunny Misty Morning
Nov 212014

I’m repeating myself, but what consoles me is, that everybody does 🙂

I don’t exactly know how many variations of this image I have made during the last three years that I’ve lived here. I loved this spot even more while the fence was still broken. Now it is still a wooden fence, but it’s ugly and I have to omit it 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Sunny Misty Morning” by Simon Klein. Hear it on YouTube.

Dec 312012

When I finally got out today, it was almost too late to go anywhere. Thus I decided to try my luck with frost at the edge of a meek forest a few hundred meters away.

It is almost midnight, people have been burning fireworks for hours and there is no end in sight (Crisis? What crisis?) and I am happy to be done with blogging for today. Let me just wish you a happy New Year, health and peace, freedom and democracy.

Thank you for visiting!

The Song of the Day is “Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?” from Nick Cave’s 1997 album “The Boatman’s Call”. Hear it on YouTube.

Dec 222012

I really would have liked to take some images today. Even weather was passable, the only problem was my total lack of time.

Therefore all you get is another image made on Thursday. It was taken at the frozen shores of river Gail, right around the corner 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Song Of Sand” from Suzanne Vega’s 1992 album “99.9 F”. Hear it on YouTube.

Dec 212012

Today I didn’t take any images. I couldn’t because the world ended. Thus you get one more image taken on yesterday’s frosty morning 😀

What I did do was something that I had intended to do for a long time now: quit Facebook. This is the last status update that I posted:

Here’s a notice to all my friends and contacts. Not the world is ending today, but I am going to quit Facebook – and I won’t ever come back.

Facebook is creepy, and many people say so is Google. That may well be, but Google offers enormous value for free. Facebook is just a useless application monetizing its users. They provide no value to me.

I am still on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/106239921622450982113) where I post summaries of my blog posts and also share other things, and of course the best way to follow me is to just visit my blog


and to subscribe to the feed with a feed reader. Google Reader is what I use and what works for me.

Thanks to all my friends, be assured: it’s not you, it’s simply the fact that I have grown so tired of the daily SPAM that Facebook delivers to my inbox, tired and disgusted of the way Facebook conducts their business and treats their users. The recent Instagram (now a Facebook company) attempt at usurping the rights of photographers has just nailed the coffin.

The End.

Then I deleted my account. At least that’s what I intended to do, but as always, Facebook let me down on this as well. The account is not deleted, it is only deactivated. The actual deletion is scheduled for in 14 days. At least that’s what they say.

Fine, I thought. At least people will see my final message. According to Facebook’s description of the deactivation process, people can’t find a deactivated account any more, but messages from that account will still be visible to their friends. Or that’s how I interpreted their vague language.

Not true either. A friend checked for me and confirmed that my status update never appeared on her timeline. Oh well 🙂

Like yesterday, the Song of the Day is “Frosty Morning Blues”, but this time I’ll direct you to a different video: The Riverside Carnival dixieland jazz band live in 2011. See it on YouTube.

2256 – Frosty Morning Blues I

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 2256 – Frosty Morning Blues I
Dec 212012

I promised that, as part of my review of the Olympus 17/1.8, I would look into how this lens fares in bright sunlight, especially with the sun in or very close to the frame.

Thursday was perfect for that. We had a clear blue sky, bright sunlight and frost all over the landscape. It was brutal to the eye, it was a worst case for the lens. And here is how it fared.

The first four test images all have the sun in the frame. All four images are JPEGs straight from the camera. Like all test images, they also link to full size versions hosted at Flickr.

In the first three images, if you look closely, you can see a tiny colored speck, a flare, basically the image of the sun reflected on the sensor and then back from one of the glass surfaces in the lens. The fourth image seems free of any flares, or at least I can’t see any.

This is good. Very good. In fact it is one of the best results that I have seen so far. I am impressed. This lens’ anti-reflective coating obviously works.

The second thing that I wanted to know was, whether the lens would show purple fringing under extreme conditions. Actually the 20/1.7 showed excessive purple fringing and it did so regularly. My first tests in Vienna had hinted at much better behavior here, but I couldn’t be sure until I had extreme contrast on a sunny day.

Images #1 and #2 in this group are JPEGs straight out of the camera, #3 is what I made of the RAW version of #2 in Lightroom. #1 is the exposure chosen by the camera, #2 is a strongly overexposed variant.

In #3 you see that Lightroom got rid of lateral CA (automatically on import) and that I was also able to eliminate the remaining mild purple fringing. Additionally I’ve recovered the highlights. This expresses me even more. This is irrelevant as an image, but technically it fills me with awe.

The last two examples show bokeh at f1.8 and at f4. This is not the creamiest blur you can get, it gets much creamier when you get nearer to the shortest focus distance, but in many cases bokeh is not your foremost concern. Your subject is, but with a given subject you nevertheless want bokeh as good as it gets. Note also please, that twigs in winter are pretty much a worst case scenario. If anything will relentlessly expose bad bokeh, this certainly will.

This is really not an example of how good bokeh on this lens can get, rather it is an example of the worst you have to fear. And as such, this is also very good.

Well, here we are at my conclusion: The new Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 lens is a wonderfully crafted lens, every bit as beautiful as the 12/2.0, and although it may be slightly (if at all) less sharp than the Panasonic 25/1.4 or even the Panasonic 20/1.7, it behaves marvelously. It focuses instantly and precisely, it has only mild lateral CA (which can be corrected losslessly), normal vignetting for a fast prime, is remarkably resistant to flares and exposes almost no purple fringing. It is a completely reliable lens with no bad surprises. I had the 20/1.7, now I have this one and I would decide just the same again.

The Song of the Day is “Frosty Morning Blues” by Betty Smith. Hear it on YouTube (beginning at 19:35).