Popular Posts for the Month
It is not often you can get a sense of affection from an inanimate object. To get that affinity, the object must have a soul. That is exactl...
The last time I tried to use the E-P1 with this long lens turned out to be a disaster. This is simply because of the ergonomics that was tot...
. As promised, I picked up the Olympus E-5 test unit from the Olympus Malaysia office at Mont Kiara during lunch. Weather-proofing legacy ...
. Take a peek outside... the window. There's nothing much to see actually from my room. Just the neighbor's house, a mirror view o...
It is very interesting to note that the E-P1 supports Contrast Detection Auto Focus, aka CDAF with all Zuiko Digital lenses. Since I have 4...
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The taxi cab was making a turn, and I figured this added a good element to the image.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This image is the typical classic couple wedding shot. With the E-3, Zuiko Digital 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 and FL-50R. The focal length was 54mm with aperture of f/3.5 and shutter speed of 1/100s. The sensitivity was set to ISO400.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
If we understand the Zone System, a HDR image should be able to capture up to 11 stops from Zone O to Zone X. Thus, the image will have tonal gradations of up to 2048 shades. This is quite high for a sensor to capture, and in most cases, if the image is shot in JPEG, only 8 stops are captured. As such, to get HDR image, it is imminent to use multiple images to stretch the dynamic range.
E-3 with Zuiko Digital 11-22mm f2.8-3.5
11mm, f/5.6, 1/640s, ISO200, -0.3EV
This is a shot of Tanah Lot in Bali, Indonesia. The sun was setting, and the landscape struck a chord for an HDR scene. Click on the image to see a bigger picture.
I used the E-3 with the Zuiko Digital 11-22mm f2.8-3.5 lens and captured in RAW format. Knowing that the E-3 is able to capture up to 9-10 stops of dynamic range, I opted to use 1 RAW file to make a composite of 3 JPEG files in different exposure compensation. Then, I processed the JPEGs in steps of +2.0EV, +0.5EV and -1.0EV.
Using the GIMP software, I merged the 3 JPEG files using contrast masking procedures, and VOILA!!! A bit of advice: Watch out for color shifts. This can be very difficult to correct if got it wrong in the first place.
What I like most from the specifications are:
- 7 AF points, with 5 points being cross-hair sensors
- Flippable LCD screen
- External White Balance sensor
- HLD-5 battery grip
What I am bit disappointed are:
- Smallish Optical Viewfinder
- Not weather-sealed (hey, Pentax can do it!!)
- No dedicated DoF preview button
- Only one command dial
In all, this is a good range for the E-system.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Water is a powerful addition to a composition. The globule effect creates additional story to the image, similar to an insect perching on the flower petals. Another beauty lies in the reflective behaviour that adds another dimension to the image. In essence, there are two images in the single frame!
A common problem with shooting a simple subject is what is the best composition. If shooting a difficult subject is more on the technique, shooting a simple subject is more on the depth. In creating depth to the image, the subject must convey multidimensional qualities!
Okay! I already have a flower with a water droplet as my subject. Which is the best way to capture this beauty?
First of all, what I really liked was the lighting. The strong sun created a nice shadow and light effect to the flower that I did not really require a fill-in flash or a reflector.
Next, to get very close-up, a macro lens was used. With the Zuiko Digital 50mm f2.0 Macro attached to the E-30, the setup was complete.
I shot a couple of images, both with different angle and aperture. One thing in common, though; both the flower's top opening and the water droplet were in focus!
If you are careful enough, the droplet reflection in itself is an additional composition.
The first image I used a smaller aperture of f/5.6 to get most of the flower's top opening in focus. Because of this, I had to move higher at angle angle to isolate it from the yellow background. The flower bud and water droplet were also in focus.
Shooting a simple subject is actually difficult. Making a multidimension image out of a mundane subject is definitely tricky. The only way to improve is to continually shoot in various angles and apertures to nail the shot. Once you get it, it is very satisfying!!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
This morning, I made a few shots with this combination. Although I was using a prime lens, there were certain aspects that prime lenses can be more advantageous opposed to varifocal lenses. I had noticed at least three aspects. One aspect was the size; small and nimble. Second aspect was the speed; large f/2 aperture value. Third aspect was the close focus; macro capability at least up to 1:2 reproduction.
E-30 with Zuiko Digital ED50mm F2.0 Macro
50mm, F2.0, 1/100s, ISO320
Looking at the current lens lineup, it is easy to pinpoint the gaps. I can straight away list 3 lenses that are a must for Olympus to manufacture.
Zuiko Digital 12mm F2.0 wideangle lens: This wide-angle lens should be a favorite with many photographers. It covers both size and speed. With the 4/3 mount, 12mm requires a retro-focus design. This design is complex and requires many exotic optical material and configuration. Thus, it is acceptable to have the speed limited at F2 since wides do not require much speed. But, the advantage is the design can be more compact. It is possible to have it in 50mm-lens size with a larger diameter front element.
Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.7 normal lens: Normal prime lens should be a flagship lens; that is how I feel. Sadly, Olympus has none of it. However, 4/3 shooters can opt for the Leica D 25mm F1.4 ASPH lens. For me, I will pass this lens. It holds only one of the aspects that I had outlined. Instead, there should be a Zuiko with F1.7 aperture value. This flagship lens can hold all three aspects in terms of size, speed and close focus capabilities. At 25mm, it will not be retro-focus, and the design should be as simple as possible to meet all three criteria. I am hoping for 50mm-lens size with a close-focus down to 20cm.
Zuiko Digital 42mm F1.2 portrait lens: I have to confess, I like portraiture. Most of it actually is capturing the human condition; in my case, my children. What a great bonus if Olympus make such a lens. I always find the 50mm is a tad long for casual portraiture; especially due to the nature of being in close proximity. Focal length of 42mm should be perfect for it. Indeed, such fast optics is highly complicated to construct. The speed justifies for the loss in size and close-focus advantages. The shallow depth-of-field should be the strongest seller and should also the bokeh. With delicate design decisions, I expect this to be a bit smallish size of the 14-54mm lens with 62mm thread. This should be fair enough.
Rightly so, these lenses can easily be slotted at the High-Grade/Pro-Grade lens range along the 12-60mm and 50-200mm lenses. The optical qualities and robust weathersealed build related to this grade should be the strong factors to add to the already established aspects for each lens.
These prime lenses will quickly fill the gap for the photographer to capture the most demanding photographic situations. I can guarantee it.
Then again, these are my hopes. Hoping for the best....
Friday, February 6, 2009
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.