New gear trial run

So…EM1 mk2, 12-100 and a new tripod head (Promaster SPH45P) for my old Manfrotto 190.

First field trial run at my usual haunt (Launceston’s Cataphract Gorge).

What worked?

The zoom lens reduced fiddle substantially. 2 filters (Polariser and 9 stop ND), 24-200 equivalent range without changing. Too good.

The EM1 has wonderful, boisterous colour and great dynamic range (highlights recover really well). The two new cameras have the ability to make less than ideal light look good, something the Fuji and Canon are both good at and I have missed. The mono conversions also have taken me back to my happiest times with film.

 24mm (equiv) wide angle,

24mm (equiv) wide angle,

 to 200mm (equiv) semi-macro from the same place, different direction.

to 200mm (equiv) semi-macro from the same place, different direction.

What needs looking at.

The Bokeh from the lens is OK, not spectacular. On the flip side, the lens seems to have a very inclusive transition, ideal for deeper landscape images, much like my 17mm, but less perfect for shallow DOF separation.

The EM1 does not have a silent/electronic self timer mode (or at least I cannot find it*). The shutter is gentle, obviously the height of Olympus’s engineering ability, but no electronic self timer option. I purchased the Pen F to get the electronic self timer and was surprised to find the EM1 does not have it. It does have a custom timer release length allowing an ideal 4 second delay, but no electronic delayed shutter.

Did that matter?

*ed. Found it. Buried in the amazing custom menu, there is an exhaustive range of custom release settings, but electronic shutter self timer was not set as a standard option.

 This…

This…

 ..from this. Not bad considering I forgot to turn off the lens and camera stabilisers and did not use the electronic timer release or high res mode! Bokeh is an interesting mix of coherent to a little rough.

..from this. Not bad considering I forgot to turn off the lens and camera stabilisers and did not use the electronic timer release or high res mode! Bokeh is an interesting mix of coherent to a little rough.

Probably not it seems, but the total lack of sound and vibration (where there is sound there is vibration) of the electronic shutter is reassuring.

The EM1 is the ideal in-hand camera. It has a beautiful operational dynamic for hand held work, be it fast or slow. On a tripod it went well, but the mechanical screw in cable release, electronic delayed shutter and slightly smaller high res RAW files of the Pen F, combined with it’s own less perfect in hand feel have decided me to use that camera for tripod work. I also feel the files from the Pen are a hair sharper head to head, possibly the due to a less AF tweaked sensor or maybe that electronic shutter?

The EM1 will be used for hand held and long lens work with the 75-300 for now but something longer/better soon (150-400 Oly rumoured!).

ed. Back to the one camera, one lens for important work as I found the electronic release option. The Pen will be the portrait and street camera, the older ones reserved for travel and tooling around.

 Much more it’s cup of tea.

Much more it’s cup of tea.

Some more from this morning.

 Colour that reminds me very much of Canon’s lush warm/cool balance.

Colour that reminds me very much of Canon’s lush warm/cool balance.

Mono images process like high grade film. I find myself working contrast in a more retrospective way. The processing trend with black and white from digital has been to pull or punch the broader contrast range, but with these files I coerced the mid tones, generally lowering the overall contrast.

 This reminds me very much of the better end of high res mono film imagery from the 1990’s, something I wasted far too much time trying to perfect. The actual light was very contrasty. This type of mono image traditionally prints well.

This reminds me very much of the better end of high res mono film imagery from the 1990’s, something I wasted far too much time trying to perfect. The actual light was very contrasty. This type of mono image traditionally prints well.

 Even extremely high contrast can be tamed, without loosing texture and detail.

Even extremely high contrast can be tamed, without loosing texture and detail.

 The shadows on the original file were solid black to the eye.

The shadows on the original file were solid black to the eye.

High res RAW’s next.

Happy days.