An (almost) good recommendation from Michael

Mike Johnston aka “The Online Photographer” has found his perfect lens for the APS-C sized sensor cameras, and wrote about it on his blog. Together with the new Nikkor DX 24/1.7 he recommends a Z-50 as the perfect camera to do about everything, or, as he wrote:

You can do 85% of anything you’d ever want to do photographically with a Z50, and you can do 85% of anything you’d ever want to do with a Z50 with the 24mm ƒ/1.7 lens.

Well yes he’s right. Kind of.

What brought me into the µ4/3rds camp was the Panasonic 20mm/1.7 lens which I had bought for my wife. She still has the first version of it which isn’t available anymore, but here’s the second one:

That would be *my* perfect angle of view in a lens if I could have only one; the one Michael recommends and favours is a bit wider, like this one which I also have:

This little Olympus lens focuses much faster (on Olympus cameras at least) than the Panny does, but the Panny is a bit sharper. Just one of them would be fine.

The point where he actually recommends the camera is a bit controversial. The Nikon Z-50 doesn’t have IBIS (in-body image stabilisation) which is why I would still prefer my own Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mk2 or its newest version, the Mk4. Controversial because Olympus sold its camera/lens business, which is now called “OM System” – and my E-M10 doesn’t have a successor yet. The E-M5 is a lot more expensive, like the E-M1 as well, so…

… yes, in a way and if you can live without in-body image stabilisation (I couldn’t, drink too much coffee for that), then the Nikon Z-50 would be a good recommendation. If not, you could go for an OM-D E-M10 Mk4 as long as they’re available. The Nikon APS-C sensor is slightly larger than the µ4/3rds one (crop factor 1:1.5 instead of 1:2), but both have 20 Megapixels, which is more than enough – and the Olympus one is even stabilised. My 2 (Euro-) Cents…

Like always, thanks for reading.

The only one left alive…

After Ricoh/Pentax announced a new monochrome-only DSLR camera a few weeks ago, and after the first reports, photos, and tests about it, I’ve been thinking about a camera which only has a black & white sensor – the only other readily available model being a Leica for almost 10,000$/€ without a lens.

That Pentax camera with a sensor of APS-C size seems to be very popular at least in Japan where it sold out immediately, twice in a row. Meaning that Ricoh/Pentax just can’t seem to make enough of them, and that people seem to like black & white – who would have thought?

Anyway – when I was shopping lately, I went into a local drugstore to look for film – and all they had left was a single brand and version of a black & white film. Looking online later at home, I saw the same. The only other film in their online store, a color negative one was marked as “not available”. So out of nostalgia, I bought one:

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The only one left alive…, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

Of course, looking at price comparison sites, I’ve found some more, but way less than in the past, and at the same time more expensive than ever. Well, that answers one question as it seems:

And maybe that also saves me from this one:

That’s a joke of course. Like Michael Johnston wrote lately, I also won’t be “shooting” film anymore, so this roll is for “special occasions”, and I’ll treat it like the last one. The photo of the film in front of my camera above has been treated with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2, using an Agfa APX 100 film simulation just as a demo for what you can do with a normal mirrorless camera.

Would I buy that Pentax? No. Would I buy an Olympus Pen-F with a black & white only sensor? Probably, if it were under 1k€. Otherwise, I’m perfectly happy with what I have.

Like always, thanks for reading, and for viewing.

Edit, from two days later (Saturday, 27th of March 2023):

Found another one in a second drugstore chain, same brand but different ISO/ASA of 400 instead of 100. I’ve looked on their webpage but haven’t found it there, but in the store it was the only one available. So here’s a pic of both of them together:

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A second film, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

Both films are made in UK, so I wonder who makes them – probably Ilford?

Oh, and the photo this time is straight out of camera, cropped in-camera to a 3:2 format, and with the contrast set to +2 (on a scale from -2…0…+2). No filters set, uploaded to Flickr as is.

Like always, thanks for reading/viewing.

Whisper to the heart

Took a photo of our sleeping neighbours’ cat “Cookie” again two days ago:

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Whisper to the heart, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

Reminded me of Studio Ghibli’s wonderful movie from 1995 which was called “Whisper of the heart“, at the beginning of it:

Like always, thanks for viewing.

Cookie from today, with the help of several tools

I took this photo with my 50mm macro lens from the 4/3rds system today:

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Cookie, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

I had the camera set to black & white already, but converted the raw file using the OM System raw converter on Windows without changing anything yet. Then I loaded the .tif file into Silver Efex Pro 2, also on Windows, and applied a preset called 015 “Full Dynamic (Harsh)”. Back in Linux and using RawTherapee 5.9 I still applied an own contrast-enhancement curve and some blacks to the image. The format is the camera’s full 4:3 this time, so here we have 16 Megapixels. No further enhancements.

And that was that. Like always, thanks for viewing.

P.S.: the camera and lens used, taken with my mobile phone:

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My camera, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

Thanks for viewing.

Black tulip

Here’s one from our garden from today:

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Black tulip, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

I used an Ilford HP5+ film simulation in Silver Efex, and a light vignette in RawTherapee. Like always, thanks for viewing.

So peaceful…

Wilma was already here and sleeping at that exact spot when I got up:

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So peaceful…, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

Couldn’t resist, had to capture that peaceful scene… and like always, thanks for viewing.

First Wilma, then myself…

Today I took two photos, with the same camera and lens, but with slightly different settings, and also cropped differently.

The first one was of Wilma, in 3:2. She was very alert because of the always love-sick Cookie who was also around, so there was a lot of hissing and warning to keep him at a safe enough distance. Understandably, she had no eyes for me:

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Wilma, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

Later – long after the two cats were gone – I took a self portrait, with having my camera on a (microphone) table stand, remote-controlled by a mobile phone. I cropped this one into a 5:4 format and used a Kodak Tri-X film simulation in Silver Efex to achieve this:

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Selfie at the computer desk, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

The camera was my Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mk2, and the lens was the 17mm/1.8 from Olympus, with f/4 for the cat, and with f/1.8 for myself (it was getting dark already). And like always, thanks for watching.