Hello everyone, I hope you had a great Christmas Holiday (or whatever you chose to celebrate) and that 2014 treats you better than 2013!
A short update – I’ll soon have my first “How-To” post up, which is how to shoot great food shots. This post will be targeted towards beginner photographers, but maybe others will find them useful also. I plan to host it here, and also link it to my wife’s cooking blog for obvious reasons
As for “too many” hobbies? I’ve gotten fairly involved with woodworking and finally built myself a simple-looking bench that was anything but simple for me to build:
I’ve already learned quite a few things so far into my woodworking foray, and it’s interesting how these points figure into photography, too:
- You can read about “it” all you want, but it takes tons of practice to get good
- It’s a lot harder and more involved than it looks
- Things can get expensive, quickly
For instance, that simple bench above? It took me two long days to build it. Yep, a rectangle with a top. And I was following instructions (and even simplified them!) I started to get a little bummed by the difficulty when my wife said “well it was the same thing when you started photography, too — it took a lot of practice and you’ve gotten better”, and you know, she’s right — I guess after all the reading I’d done, I expected just to jump in and be making award-winning furniture and nothing could be further from the truth.
So, my 2014 resolution? Try to practice my hobbies more, regardless of what they are, and improve my skills, not just my book knowledge of those skills. Have a happy 2014!
Well, it’s not completely finished, but I’ve got 4 pages of “stuff” published so far, with more to come. Tell me what you want or need by commenting or using the “Contact me” button!
Jump to it by clicking right here!
Edit – The Review is Done
Click ↑ that link to head to it!
While I slowly trudge along with my E-M1 Survival Guide, in the mean time I’ll be able to publish my Olympus 50-200/2.8-3.5 SWD review.
Now this lens isn’t anything new – it’s been around for a while and was a very useful lens on the older Olympus E-5 (their last DSLR). But how does it fare on the E-M1 using the Olympus MMF-3 adapter? Check back in a day or so to find out!
Post Processing 101 is live! This is a simple intro to what a RAW vs Jpeg file is, what a histogram is, and what contrast, saturation, and exposure can do when editing images. Check it out in the Tutorials section!
So today I received a used Olympus 50-200/2.8-3.5 SWD zoom (regular 43 lens), and an MMF-3 adapter, and I wanted to share some initial thoughts. Way back in my E-5 days, I shot with the 50-200 and really loved it, and now it’s with me again a few years later, but on the E-M1.
Seems pretty good so far, but this is really early testing. Here I focused on a backlit goal and the combo grabbed the netting just fine.
Another shot of some Christmas lights:
IQ of this zoom is very nice. It’s not crystal-clear 75/1.8 nice, but very good indeed. And the nice thing about it is its very useful range (100-400mm full frame equivalent).
Unfortunately, this is where things take a hit somewhat – the lens just isn’t blazing fast like some of the m43 native lenses. Granted, most of my testing was in harsh light, but even in what little bit of daylight I had, the focus speed wasn’t great, but certainly acceptable. More testing needed for this (firmwares 1.1 for camera and lens). I did manage to grab a shot of my pooch snoozing in some dark kitchen fluorescent lighting:
(Updated) – Apparently this guide is taking way longer than I thought. Stay tuned!
I figured hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to complete an E-M1 survival guide for those confused with its menu options.
I fully expect to get at least a few things wrong, so comments, tips and corrections are most certainly welcome Use the Contact links above or comment on the guide pages themselves, thanks! – Smitty
After talking with a helpful DPR reader, I discovered a sorta-kinda workaround for the AutoISO issue, and while investigating this I came upon a quirky “menu memory” behavior also. You’ll find the updates on page 7 and page 9 of the E-M1 review, thanks! – Jeremy
The following are three composite crops from doing a bit of high ISO testing with the above listed cameras. I used 2-second timer, tripod, and tried to match the field of views as best as I could. Lighting was really atrocious incandescent with probably a bit of fluorescent mixed in.
I imported them into Lightroom 5.2, slightly adjusted white balance of the Sony and Panasonic shots, composed them in CS 5.1 then exported the 100% crops as 90% quality Jpegs from in Lightroom again.
ISO 3200 does pretty good here. You may notice a bit of strange splotchiness happening with the E-M1 files – that’s from Lightroom weirdness and/or the lack of the AA filter. Synthetic fabrics are probably the bane of a low-MP body without an AA, so luckily I don’t shoot fashion much
Pay attention to the shadow quality (to the left of the red/pink) and general noise. Do not use this as a sharpness test – the NEX 5N only has the 18-55 kit lens and is completely outclassed by the 12-40 pro!
Here of course everything looks a little worse, but the EM1 and NEX-5N still hold on fairly well, while the GX1 slips a little more than the others and the NEX-5N holding a slight edge. Notice also the shadow characters of both the GX1 and the E-M1: both cameras have shifted the shadows to a slight purple-blue-magenta mix.
I’m almost positive this is a result of Lightroom’s processing, because I used to run into the same thing with the E-M5. I’d then open the same RAW that was “shifted” in Lightroom into something like Capture One Pro 7 and the shift would not be there at all. I have no idea why Lightroom still continues to exhibit this behavior on ISO 6400 shots from these two m43 cameras (and one could argue a smidge of it shows up in ISO 3200)
Frankly I strive to avoid using any of the cameras this high, but you’s gotta do what you’s gotta do:
Here we can see more of the shift happen in the shadows for the two m43 cameras, and now the NEX-5N joins the fray with a bit of blue-magenta-purpleness of its own. Again NEX seems to hold the slight edge here, with the EM1 not too far behind and the GX1 again coming in third.
Frankly I’d feel okay using either the NEX-5N and the EM1 up to around 6400, with reservations, with the little GX1 coming in a little behind, but your tolerance may vary. A little improvement in the rendering of these RAWs (especially in shadow tints) would improve their look someone, and I’ll be investigating some raw converter options in the future.
Thanks for reading! – Smitty