Tuna from yesterday, Arno from today. Both toned.

Here are two photos I made yesterday and today, and both are toned using the Lab curves in RawTherapee. Arno’s photo was converted to black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro2 (with the 019 “Fine Art” preset), Tuna was more or less out of camera (and Olympus Viewer could do the same).

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Oh, almost forgot: Tuna was lit with two of my studio strobes (both simply reflected over the walls), while I took Arno’s photo in natural daylight in the company.

Another difference: I photographed Tuna with the 25mm/1.4 Panasonic Leica DG Summilux lens at f/2.8, and Arno with the new, old, and manual OM Zuiko 135mm/2.8, also at f/2.8.

As always, full resolution photos are on Flickr – you get there if you click on the pictures here.

Also as always, thanks for viewing.

Some more digital monochromes

Here are a few more photos which I made with my camera set to black & white:

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Tuna the cat, November 2017 (Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm/1.4 fully open at f/1.4)

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Tuna the cat, November 2017 (Olympus OM G.Zuiko 50mm/1.4 fully open at f/1.4)

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Tuna the cat, November 2017 (Olympus OM G.Zuiko 50mm/1.4 at f/2)

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Arno, November 2017 (Olympus OM Zuiko 135mm/2.8 at f/4)

Thanks for viewing.

“Black and white are the colors of photography” (Robert Frank)

Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.”

Robert Frank

(got that quote from here, after reading it elsewhere several times by now)

At the moment, I’m using my digital Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera in black and white. In camera, I simulate a slightly increased contrast, and also a yellow (sometimes orange or red) filter, but I also save it as a raw file so I can do whatever serves the image best still afterwards.

For the first of the images here, the camera was still on colour, but I decided against colour later on my computer. So here are some photos, a last one from October, and some of November already:

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Mitchie’s camera, with which I took the photo of my own one, was also set to colour internally, and even to a RGB colour space (I use AdobeRGB). But like I said, these in-camera settings are what they are for me – just previews of what to expect. For that last photo I also wrote a ‘howto’ which you can read on Flickr if you click on that image.

As always, thanks for viewing and reading.

A walk with the 40-150mm zoom lens

Mitchie & me both have the Olympus Zuiko Digital 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 lens; the “old” one from the Four Thirds line, not the newer Micro Four Thirds version. I got mine together with the E-520 DSLR, and Mitchie got hers with the first Pen E-PL1 camera, as double zoom kits. So Mitchie also has the original MMF-2 adapter, and I have a third party “Viltrox” one. Both allow these lenses to autofocus on Micro Four Thirds cameras, albeit slowly (only the top-of-the-line E-M1 camera has phase detect AF like the old DSLRs had).

Yesterday I thought about the zoom lens since it also covers the 135mm range of my new old OM Zuiko lens, although not at an aperture of 1:2.8 – our variable aperture zoom lenses are almost 2 stops slower at that focal length. The newer 40-150mm/2.8 PRO would do the job but costs a dozen times more, and weighs much more than what we have.

So today I had that zoom on my camera, and took a walk with it. Here are some photos I made, one even before leaving the house:

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It’s a very versatile lens. I used it at 79mm for the cat, and at 114mm for the step counter on my mobile phone. All outside photos were taken at 40mm (and all are wide open at f/4), which seems to be a “normal” focal length for me.

You get the newer Micro Four Thirds version of this lens for about 150€ (or $) – a very good value. Highly recommended.

Thanks for viewing.

135mm on (Micro) Four Thirds

So today I took another one of my Sunday walks. Or rather, two – I had to interrupt after 2647 steps to get some rain protection. For my electronic camera, not for me. So here are some pictures I made today:

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I used the lens wide open at f/2.8 whenever that was possible. Only when my camera complained that even 1/4000th and ISO 100 was still too bright, I stepped it down to f/8 if necessary.

Thanks for viewing..

First (test) photos taken with my new old lens

I’ve spent all my breaks and free minutes both yesterday and until noon today with my new old lens – on my film camera, where it belongs to. And again, which looks like this when paired:

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My new old lens again. I used it with film today.

I took this picture with my 45mm/1.8 Micro Four Thirds “portrait lens”, and with the modeling light of one of my studio flashes (with a socked beauty dish mounted to it). Didn’t use the flash since I didn’t want to kill the background light from the kitchen.

When I had filled my third roll of Tri-X at noon (approximately half of these using this new lens), I brought the films to the local drugstore for development, and mounted the lens to my digital E-M10 camera, using an OM/µ43rds adapter. I took lots of photos already, but nothing serious or worth to be shown. What I can tell so far is that the lens is indeed sharp. It can show a bit of “fringing” when shot wide open against lights, which is to be expected – there’s no automatic correction since the camera doesn’t even “know” which lens is mounted to it. Otherwise, there’s no big difference between using it wide open and stopping it down, and it shouldn’t – on Micro Four Thirds, you’ll be using only the middle quarter of the area of film.

Here’s our bookshelf from a few minutes ago, with the lens wide open at f/2.8:

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And here’s the same two stops down at f/5.6:

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Really not much of a difference – even at 100% I can read the description on the pack of HP ink just fine, and everything else looks good as well. And it stays this way until at least f/11 – if you stop down any further, you’ll notice some beginning diffraction at f/16, and more of it at f/22.

I’ll use it more over the coming days, and show more photos as soon as I have some. But the real proof will of course be the films, which should be ready in 10-14 days. If I see some good results from those, I’ll scan the negatives and show them as well.

Thanks for reading and viewing.

A wide angle lunch walk, and a new old tele lens

Today during my lunch break, I walked what Arno and me call the “Autobahnrunde”. I had the Panasonic Lumix 14mm/2.5 lens on my camera, and the field next to the Deutsche Bank buildings was freshly cut, so I got a few rare and unhindered perspectives:

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When I was much younger, I had a Canon A1 camera, with a set of three lenses: a 28mm/2.8, a 50mm/1.4, and a 135mm/2.8. For my Olympus OM-2N I only had 50mm lenses until today, but when I saw a 135mm/2.8 Zuiko in excellent condition for a very good price at KEH, I decided to get it. It got picked up by FedEx on Monday, and made it here until today even with their “standard” shipping option.

So this is how it looks on the camera:

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And this is how it performs on the digital E-M10 camera (where the angle of view is more like from a 270mm lens on film) – this is wide open at f/2.8, and without any CA or other “corrections” applied:

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Of course I will test this lens extensively over the next few days on both the film and digital cameras, but what I can see so far is that this should be a nice “people” lens. Let’s see if I’m correct.

Thanks for reading and viewing.

Photos from October 23 to 25

On Monday, I took these:

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New neighbours – not only in the garage

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Jasitl – just another selfie in the lift…

Yesterday I went to a check-up in a hospital:

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Universitäts Klinikum Frankfurt
Goethe-Universität
Haus 23 (Zentralgebäude), von innen

University Clinic Frankfurt
Goethe University
House 23 (Central Building), from inside

When I was back at home, Mitchie took some photos of Tuna & me:

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Tuna and Wolfgang, October 2017

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“Ja, ich lieb Dich auch!” – “Yes, I love you, too!”

And since I’m using my film camera again, I also tried the “grainy film art filter” of my digital E-M10 camera yesterday and today:

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Tuna the cat, October 2017

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Carpet on wooden floor

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Frankfurt, with cloudy sky

What I see is the following: these last three pictures may look ok or even good here, maybe even on the preview on Flickr. But when you see them in their original size (also on Flickr if you’re interested), you’ll see that there’s indeed a lot of artificial “grain” – which doesn’t look like film grain at all.

Which means that when/if I want a film look, I should probably use film, and not any of my “digicams”. Don’t know how realistic a digital Pen-F would be, and maybe a Fuji with their Acros simulation is way better – but this here ain’t film. Even Silver Efex Pro2 is much better, tho with that one you also have to tweak the output to come close to film on paper.

This was Sfx with an Ilford HP5+ simulation, from 11 days ago:

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Tuna the cat, October 2017, resting after a walk out in 20 degrees, with black & white film simulation

Also no real film, but much closer to it.

Anyway, thanks for reading and viewing.