May 012017
 

This is the famous Charles Bridge, where you see tourists all through the day and most of the night. It’s the most famous and most beautiful connection between Old Town and Lesser Quarter.

I really like the colors in this image. Of course they are completely faked, but they look natural nevertheless.

What I did was to go down with the color temperature all the way until the wall of the tower in the middle looked good. I can’t remember exactly, but I must have taken out a lot of blue, though that still left me with a lot of greenish ghostly yellow. A drastic shift of the yellows towards red did the trick. DxO’s PRIME noise reduction took care of noise and color purity. Again, I think the result looks vivid and natural. Not at all the fake that it is 🙂

3798 – The Soldier

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3798 – The Soldier
Mar 142017
 

The 45/1.8 is a lens that I very rarely use. It’s not that it does not perform well. It does, and it does extremely so. It is also not the angle of view. In fact the 90mm (eq) focal length is what I find most satisfying for street photography. At that focal length the size of the frame best matches my area of attention. Seeing with the 45/1.8 is completely effortless.

No, it’s the same reason why I tend to prefer the 17/1.8 over the 25/1.8: metal over plastic. Stupid, huh?

3781 – A Ship Awaiting Us

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3781 – A Ship Awaiting Us
Feb 252017
 

ISO 3200 on an Olympus camera is noisy. It’s not unusably noisy, but if you pixel-peep, you undeniably see noise.

It’s not really worse than the noise of a high-end Nikon or Sony camera with between 30 or 45 megapixels, it’s just that you have only half of the pixels and are more likely to peep.

The current trend is to keep pixel size constant and to produce sensors with the same density and different sizes. After all, in most cases we talk about variations of the same Sony technology.

In the end we look at our images at the same sizes, regardless of the camera they’ve been made with. At least for screen view, we downsize radically. While downsizing, we also downsize the noise. More pixels means more downsizing of noise and therefore less apparent noise. That’s why the essentially same sensors in “full frame” cameras get better noise ratings than their Micro Four Thirds counterparts.

Of course you can also have big sensors with a small number of pixels. Sony tried that with one variation of their A7 line. Theoretically the noise should be lower, but if you look at DxO test results, the high pixel count sensors still lead. After all, downsizing seems to be the better strategy and it is more versatile in any case.

Speaking of DxO, this image has been converted with DxO Optics Pro. The algorithm is much too slow for in-camera processing. For each pixel it looks at 1000 neighboring pixels. I’s applied math and it works extremely well, even with half the pixel count 🙂

3780 – Wanna Be A Captain?

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3780 – Wanna Be A Captain?
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.

3779 – Tiles

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3779 – Tiles
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.

3659 – Goin’ Home

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3659 – Goin’ Home
Oct 252016
 

This image has been taken three minutes after yesterday’s. The sky may have been slightly darker if at all, the street lights had the same color. I could again have played off orange against blue, but with the strong light fall-off from top to bottom, I figured I would need more violent manipulations to make that image sing – if it could be brought to sing at all.

In that situation I normally go B&W. It’s easier, because when you raise extreme contrasts from shadowy corners, you often have to struggle with color casts. You can get the tonality that you crave for, but the colors betray you immediately. It’s not something that can’t be fixed, but for one it’s hard, and then, it may not even be worth it. There are scenes that cry for B&W, and in my opinion this is one of them.

3658 – Blue Lights

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3658 – Blue Lights
Oct 242016
 

This is not a church, it’s the town hall or HĂ´tel de ville as the French say. I don’t know how old it is, but in any case the lights are pretty new. Of course their color cycles through the whole spectrum, a fancy and tasteful effect never seen before 🙂

My camera and I preferred blue.