Zuiko 25mm Lens

I had (somehow) ended up with another EM-5 body, I intended it to be used as a spare but it has sat unused in the box. So I’m thinking what do I need that would be used, and could I do a swap for this body? I have been lusting after a 25mm in black for sometime but they are so pricey, I couldn’t justify the outlay. Ker-ching! lightbulb moment!

I am a member of a group on Facebook that is for buying/selling of Olly kit, so I stuck an add on there for anyone interested in a swap, lens for a body. It took a while, but eventually I struck up a dialogue and the deal was done.

The lens arrived a day late thanks to Royal Mail, (to be honest I have done lots of mailing lately and it’s the first time I’ve had any problems). Anyway I was due to be out and about in London the next day so it would be a good time to take it for a test ride.

The lens is light, compact and in black it is nicely discreet fitted to my EM-5. the focus ring is smooth and is quick to focus. The only downside for me is the lack of zone focusing distance scale markings, something which is on the 17mm and is very handy for street photography.

On AF it is lightning fast and super quiet, it’s also very sharp and gives a nice bookeh, although I’m an f8 kind of guy so not too interested in this.

Overall I’m very pleased with my swap, it will be a well used addition to my Olympus street kit.








Olympus Legacy lenses

I recently discovered Olympus legacy lenses to work on my E-M5. Ok I’m a bit late to the party here and some photographers have been using them for years, but if you shoot Olympus micro four thirds and you fancy trying something a bit different that won’t cost you a fortune, this is the way forward.

I was snooping around on ebay looking at my latest photography dream purchases when I stumbled upon the Zuiko 50mm f1.8 lens. I looked into it and thought I’d give it a go, along with an adapter to fit it to my camera. I managed to snag it with a bit of ebay sniping, for a £14…. bargain!, and the adapter cost around £9. So effectively I got a 100mm equivalent lens for a great price and if it didn’t work out I could easily recoup my outgoings.

After checking it out online, apparently my lens is a very early model, there are 3 variations on this lens, mine is what’s known as a ‘silver nose’ and serial numbers look to be quite early. I’m not into pixel peeping and so this is not a technical review (there are loads out there if you want to read), I just wanted to share a bit a of a bargain, if like me you are on a budget for lens purchases.
As a portrait lens it is the perfect focal length and this is mostly how I will use it .

Anyway, as I mainly shoot street candid, and 100mm is not my usual go-to focal length, I thought I’d try another lens and go for the 28mm which effectively gives me 56mm in the Micro four thirds world. So once again the search on eBay was on!…. a bit more difficult this time, as the prices on the 28 are so varied and tend to be more expensive the the 50…. sniping skills were going to be put to the test here!
Eventually, after a couple of weeks I had one in my sights, and nabbed it for £25…. nice!

The 28 is a f2.8 and is simply stunning to use, I think my one is sharper than my 50, but with these lenses being around 30 years old, some variance is to be expected. Physically the lenses are the same and the sit nicely on the E-M5 with the adapter. The 28 (56) is a good street photography focal length, although I do like to use 35mm more, I think but for this money I’ll use it.

So there you go, if you are looking for something for something a little different to try, don’t want to spend your mortgage money on lenses, give these beauties a try, you won’t regret it.


Olympus OMD Event

I recently went to a ‘hands on’ event organized by Olympus UK, at Brick Lane in East London. It was good to meet up with people I’ve only met via twitter, and to have little play with the Olympus OMD EM-1 the latest micro four thirds camera.

First impressions are size, it’s a little bigger than my EM-5 with the side grip on, and the button layout seems less fiddly to use and better laid out, the usual rapid AF was ultra fast but that’s what we expected from this one, Olympus set the bench mark with the EM-5 and this didn’t disappoint. This model also has focus peaking which works well if you prefer manually focusing and wifi, which was very impressive to see in action although a bit gimmicky for me, no doubt it will have it’s use for others.  The lens on it was the new 12-40 f2.8 which is apparently freeze proof! and will be a great walk about lens, with the pull back ring for manual focus mode.

For me I won’t be upgrading my EM-5, it does everything I need, and I can’t justify the cost. For someone contemplating moving to Micro 4/3 this would be the first choice, and as more pro’s are now seeing the benefits if lighter kit bags and smaller, less obtrusive cameras, I think Olympus have brought out another winner.

The event its self was well organized and had lots of photographic opportunities with urban performers putting on great demos to try out the new kit. I used my EM-5 with the Zuiko 17mm.

21st Sept 2013-5

21st Sept 2013-4

21st Sept 2013-1

21st Sept 2013-2

21st Sept 2013-3

Slowing Down

Recently,on the 2 out of the last 3 trips out shooting in London i’ve been getting frustrated with my results. Ok some days are better than others, but lately no days seem better than others!

What could be so wrong? I know the streets down there really well, was I to familiar? stuck in a rut? or just walking around missing the obvious? Hmm… I put my feelings out there on ‘tinternet looking for suggestions, it was suggested that I should slow down, take more time  and observe. I must admit that I don’t tend to hang around, I don’t know why, it’s just how I walk…. fast (ish).

So was my objective this time out, slowwwww down take more in and observe the area I was in for a while. It was made easier to do due to the pissing down rain, so I was seeking shelter and staying around to see what came along.

I gotta say, it did make a difference, I got a couple of results. It seems that as I stuck around, ideas for different angles etc. popped into my thick head and the creative side got explored a lot more than if I was operating at my usual speed. So I think I will carry on exploring this technique, it is worth a try.

24th may 2013-6

24th may 2013-2



I am an avid Twitter user, tweeter, tweeb… whatever you like to call me!… obviously being an Olympus user, I follow most things connected with the brand. So one day I came across a tweet by Olympus UK asking for submissions for an upcoming feature in the Olympus User Magazine… why not, I thought.

I am predominantly a street photographer, I walk the streets and take photographs of things/people/situations/objects that interest me. I’m not into deep heated discussions about what is and isn’t ‘street’ apart from when it obviously is not!

I try to set myself small projects when out, this way it makes things a bit more interesting for me. One of my longer term ‘projects’ is that of the ‘off duty chef’. These guys nip out between services for a quick smoke or a phone call, often in shop doorways, often on the back streets out of sight of customers. So I started to build up a body of images depicting them, and pretty soon it turned into a bit of a fine art, predicting where I would bump into them, and what times they are out. I really respect them, they are hard working, often long unsociable hours, often miles from home.

Anyway… this what I presented to Olympus, and it did get published in their magazine on about page 9 here… http://content.yudu.com/A20gyv/OlympusMagIssue5/resources/index.htm?referrerUrl=

Here’s a couple of pics.

ps. @bobrhodesphotos is my twitter handle…. feel free to follow!