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.

3627 – Open the Door

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3627 – Open the Door
Sep 232016
 

My new PEN-F has a 20 megapixel sensor, and while I can’t complain about its quality, it is only a very incremental change up from the E-M1.

On the other hand it is incredible how much of a game changer DxO is. This image has been taken with the PEN E-P5 (same sensor as the E-M1) at ISO 6400, f4 and 1/6s. I’ve shot it at night in a very, very dark part of the street. It looks like, well, maybe ISO 800. And it’s not only the lack of noise, it’s also the purity of colors. Buying DxO has given me the equivalent of maybe eight years of sensor development. That’s incredible.

OK, that’s just to put the improvements of the PEN-F into relation 🙂

3504 – RS at Night

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3504 – RS at Night
May 232016
 

F3.2, 1/13s, ISO 6400. Dark again, but not only is the blue in the image much cleaner than it was from Lightroom, this time you have to look at the red fringe in the background. It’s clean and vivid, while in Lightroom it was completely washed out.

Can you improve a correctly lit daylight image using DxO PRIME? No, you can’t. To the contrary, it will cost you detail. Not much, but it will.

Above ISO 800? Seems like a safe bet on Micro Four Thirds. At ISO 1600 pretty much every camera will profit, and at any higher ISO it will work pure magic. You see me impressed.

3503 – The Circus is in Town!

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3503 – The Circus is in Town!
May 222016
 

F1.8, 1/13s and ISO 6400? I suppose you agree: it must have been dark there 🙂

By the time you read this, the image should already be on Flickr in full size. Look at it at pixel level.

Not impressed? Ok, now look at the small red inscription on the green glass in the upper left corner. Look at the small yellow reflexes on the chrome against the dark sky. That’s what I mean when I praise DxO PRIME’s color purity. I’ve never seen anything like that before.