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Friday, February 6, 2009

Zuiko OM 50mm F1.4 Silvernose

E-3, Zuiko OM 50mm f1.4, FL-50R
50mm, f1.4, 1/100s, ISO100, RC TTL Ch1A -0.3EV

I came back from work one day, and my kids were playing in a small tent in the bedroom. There was this little window that I saw my kids like to peer out. It seemed to be a very good photo opportunity.

In deciding the lens, I opted for the old manual lens. I did not know why. But luckily the result was very satisfying. The room lights were not bright enough, I estimated around 7EV. Also, with the kids' rapid movement, I needed fast shutter speed to freeze motion to get sharp image. I needed additional light. Instead of attaching the Flash on the camera, I set up the remote flash. All done less than a minute. The flash lighting was tamed by bouncing up the wall with a 60-degree angle.

With the flash located at the bottom of the camera, directly into the tent's window, I just waited for my kids to peer out. I took about 4 to 5 shots, and settled with my daughter's image. The facial expression was just subtle, with a hint of curiosity. The little fingers at the bottom added more dimension as if she was about to peel out of the opening.

Another tough part was to get the accurate focus, as this was done using a manual focus lens with a very thin depth-of-field. I pre-focused on the tent's blue rim and abruptly did a quick fine-tune adjustment to get the eye in sharp focus within an instance. I have to confess, it was very difficult in such a dim environment. Kudos to E-3's bright viewfinder, I managed to manual focus without much problem.

A little story about the lens. This lens, the Zuiko OM 50mm F1.4 "silvernose" was part of the original kit lens launched with the revolutionary OM-1 SLR camera back in 1972. My father bought this lens with the OM-1 in 1973, and it still works!! Not bad for a 36-year-old optical gizmo. Though covered with fungus, the rendition is still acceptably sharp; I would add with a slight hint of "soft focus" effect.

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