Monday, June 27, 2011


My Curious Cat

Today's photos were brought to you by the number 28. The OM-System Zuiko 28mm 1:2.8 to be precise. Adapted for use on my E-P2 with the Olympus MF-1 OM-to-4/3rds adapter and the Panasonic DMW-MA1 4/3rds to µ4/3rds adapter.

Photographing cats is a bit like herding them; you go where they want you to go, not the other way around to find a spot to photograph them. When I want to photograph Lucy I grab my camera, set it up in advance, go where she happens to be at the time and then wait for the right opportunity to present itself. The photo above was taken with the 28mm at maximum aperture, hand held. According to the EXIF data the shutter speed was 1/10 of a second, which accounts for a little softness in the photo; motion blur on Lucy's part as well as mine. But hey, that's life.

What's interesting about the 28mm is that the magnification factor of 2 due to the 4/3rds sensor size makes this the equivalent, in focal length, to a 56mm, or slightly longer than a "normal" lens. A normal lens on a 4/3rds camera (regular or micro) is 22mm.

Colorful Oak

The second photo was taken with the same 28mm lens, except this time I was using the pop art filter. In post with Lightroom with the JPEG I set exposure to -1, recovery to 50, blacks to 50, and cropped it 1:1. The initial colors came straight out of the E-P1. I suppose if I'd worked a bit, such as setting EV -1 then I may not have needed any post processing at all.

I used to work exclusively with JPEG all the time because when I bought my E-300, my first Olympus DSLR, all I had for post processing was Olympus Master. I continued to work exclusively with JPEG when I purchased my E-3. Then in 2009 my sister announced she was getting married in October of that year and she wanted me to be the wedding photographer. That's when I decided I wanted to use raw from my E-3, so I'd better learn another post-processing application.

I downloaded a beta copy of Lightroom 3 in early September and started intensely practicing with Lightroom. The wedding was tough because I don't do weddings. Raw plus Lightroom saved me. It was an inflection point for me. From that point forward I switched from JPEG exclusively to RAW exclusively. It's only been recently that I've even considered using JPEG out of the camera, and only occasionally. Lightroom just does a much better job converting Olympus raw (ORF), especially with noise in the midtones and shadows of an image. And at higher ISOs LR produces a much more pleasing "grain".

Right now I'm pushing myself to use the camera and ignore the manufacturer. I'm not happy with Olympus, rumors or not about impending new gear. Not using the gear I've got because I'm unhappy with the manufacturer is cutting off my nose to spite my face. I can certainly continue to use it all and lord knows I need the practice. So until such time as I have enough money and I've made a decision about what to buy next, I'll continue to use Olympus. Just don't let my use of Olympus be construed as some sort of ringing endorsement of the brand anymore.

1 comment:

  1. Good read....and I think you made some good decisions.

    I know Oly isn't going where I want them to, and I have an investment in gear that I'd like to see supported and expanded upon. But I don't think it's going to happen. And so like very few Olympus users I see on Flickr, I myself am staying out of the complaining bickering camp and just continuing to enjoy what I have and to make myself better.

    I know there will come a day in the future where my Olympus gear will be shelved and I'll be using a Nikon or Canon...But until then I just keep on clicking.


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