Sunday, September 18, 2011

Get Over It Already

Teddy Bear Focus Test
Teddy Bear Focus Test (Dining Room Table Photography)
Olympus E-P2 w/ZD 50mm 1:2 and MMF-2 Adapter

On occasion I tend to get really peeved when a blog reader shows up on a blog post trolling for reactions. For example, this trollish post from Kirk Tuck's second E-P3 usage posting:
Not to be argumentative, but even a small sensor phone camera can create a blurry background when the subject is up close. Most people who make the "m4/3 can't do blurry backgrounds" argument are referring to portraiture when the subject is one to two meters away (emphasis mine).
OK, I'll bite. The teddy bear you see above you was taken with my E-P2 and the regular 4/3rds ZD 50mm macro lens. The distance from the camera to the teddy bear was between three and four feet (the minimum one meter lower limit). I used the 50mm as a stand-in for the newly announced M.Zuiko 45m 1:1.8 portrait lens for the µ4/3rds system.

I don't normally use that lens that wide open. I normally like to stop down to f/4, which gives me enough depth of field and the kind of acutance I look for in a lens. If you pixel peep you can see where the focus plane landed, right at the eyes, where you can see the dust and a few dark hairs from our chocolate Lab Babe, who left us in December 2007.

That big black out-of-focus blob in the back about two feet behind the teddy bear is my E-1 with the ZD 50-200mm zoom mounted on it.

So what does this tell us? That given something as "slow" as my ZD macro, and a proper subject and setup, that you too can have bokeh out the wazoo just like everybody else, and  more power to you.

Technical

Olympus E-P2, ISO 200, ZD 50mm 1:2 opened up to f/2. ISO 200 (base ISO). Exposure 1/10 sec. Available light, adjusted slightly to 3000° K in Lightroom. Camera was resting on Ruby's Pumpkin Puppy stuffed toy, on the same table as the teddy bear, to minimize handshake. Ruby directed.

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