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:










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:
















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:


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:


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


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:



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:


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:


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:


New neighbours – not only in the garage


Jasitl – just another selfie in the lift…

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


Universitäts Klinikum Frankfurt
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:


Tuna and Wolfgang, October 2017


“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:


Tuna the cat, October 2017


Carpet on wooden floor


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:


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.

Some more photos from this weekend

Starting with that new bird feeder you might have seen in the video already:


Tuna, looking at the door grip (she wants the door to be opened when she does that):


Some calluna vulgaris (Knospenheide) which Mitchie bought:


My film camera on my computer desk (using it more at the moment):


A portrait of Zuleikha, outdoors:


And three portraits of Tuna, out- and indoors:




And finally, a toy which Mitchie made a long time ago for Zuleikha – now photographed with Mitchie’s manual OM Zuiko 50mm/3.5 macro lens at f/8:


Thanks for the fave on Flickr, sayang.

And all others: as always, thanks for viewing/reading.

Some crops from today, in black and white

Let’s talk gear a bit.

When Kirk Tuck lately mentioned “My lens of choice today was the older, Contax Y/C Zeiss 50mm f1.7 lens, with an adapter. I shot almost everything at f2.0.” (that was in his blog article I mentioned already), I thought of course of my old and manual OM Zuiko lenses, which are quite wonderful. Of course I thought of using them, but didn’t. Until today.

On my Olympus OM-2N camera I have the G.Zuiko Auto-S 1:1.4 f=50mm lens, and in the camera I have Kodak 400TX (“Tri-X”) black & white film. So my plan for today was to take and to use that camera and lens, but if I’d taken only that one, I wouldn’t have anything to show right now – film still needs some time for development and all.

So I decided to also use my second lens from the OM System, the Zuiko Auto-S 50mm 1:1.8 “made in Japan” lens, adapted to my digital OM-D E-M10 (so I would have something to show right now).

Like Kirk did with his Contax/Yashica/Zeiss lens, I let my 1.4 Zuiko on the film camera on f/2 most of the time, but you can’t use the 1.8 Zuiko at f/2 – so I used that one fully open (also most of the time, when I set one camera to f/8, so I did with the other as well).

And since I had black & white film in my film camera, I set the digital one to black & white as well, and also to a 3:2 aspect ratio, just like my 135-type film has (it’s “full frame” in modern terms, meaning it has the Kleinbildfilm format of 24x36mm – which is 2:3).

So – the title says “crops”, and that is what today’s images from the digital camera are. I framed (and “composed”) everything using the film camera, then using the digital one I took another image from the exact same position, only with f/1.8 instead of f/2. So from the digital camera I have a crop of that “full frame” of the film – the sensor of (Micro) Four Thirds cameras is ca. 13x17mm, which is about the quarter area you have on 135-type film. So the crop factor is about 1:2 (or the angle from the lens looks a bit like a 100mm lens would have on the film camera). Depth of field is almost identical using that technique of course (in fact my digital “crop” camera at f/1.8 has less depth of field that the “full framer” film camera at f/2), but the digital doesn’t show the full image – or the film shot is much wider. Name it as you will; this is what I did today.

So here are some of these “crops”:




The next one was taken with the lenses at f/8:


And this one was at f/2.8:


Nice and sharp – like all Olympus lenses (the 1.4 version is a bit better than the 1.8 one). Back to f/1.8 (or “fully open”):


And one last one which I took with the digital camera only, just to show you my camera of choice of today – the Olympus OM-2N, photographed using one of its own lenses:


I’ll show you the film images as soon as I have those films developed.

Thanks for viewing.

Lens: fully open

Today I went almost the same way like yesterday. But when deciding on which lens to take, I thought that with my 25mm lens I’ve paid for f/1.4, so I could as well use it. My camera doesn’t go faster than 1/4000s, so I also mounted a polarizer and an ND4 grey filter in front of that lens. So here are some photos of the same objects, buildings etc. like yesterday, and some different ones:






Just noticed my typo in the filename of the airport photo…

Thanks for viewing.

The right camera, the right lens

There are a few other photographers whose blogs I follow; one of those I read since years is Kirk Tuck, a professional photographer about my age from Austin, TX, USA. In his latest blog post he wrote about a walk with his Panasonic G85 (which is here called G80, its successor is the G81), married with an old and manual focus Contax/Yashica/Zeiss 50mm/1.7 lens.

And yes, nice results. My main and now only camera is the Olympus OM-D E-M10, which is comparable, and like Kirk I wanted to take a walk with that camera today. I could have used one of my older and manual Olympus lenses from the OM system – I have the 50mm in both versions, with apertures of 1.4 and 1.8. Or I could have used the Zuiko ED Digital 50mm/2 Macro which I also love and which gives me autofocus with the right adapter. But instead, I just used the 45mm/1.8 from the newer Olympus Micro Four Thirds series of lenses, and like Kirk, I let it on f/2 almost all of the time.

So here are some impressions from my walk around noon today:








Thanks for viewing.