Four thirds Cake!

I know… this is a street photography site… well mostly it is, but as this is Micro Four Thirds related, Ive published it here too… the downside of having two blog sites running at the same time!

When my pal Ian told me he had booked us onto a free afternoon shooting cake at Olympus Image Space  I was more than interested…. even more so when they said you could eat the models afterwards!!

Hosted by Rob Pugh (see his website HERE ) it was an introduction to food photography, using the fantastic Westcott Ice Light system, these are cool looking ‘strip lights’ that are daylight balanced, giving a beautiful natural light…. ideal for food photography.

Rob was very informative, showing various techniques that he utilises for his own food shoots, and there was as always, an abundance of Olympus goodies to play with. I used my own E-M5 with the very versatile 12-50 ‘kit’ lens, as it has a great macro feature that is very handy in this sort of shooting environment.

So a fun time was had by all, and mucho cake was eaten afterwards!

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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.

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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.

E-M5

London Fashion Week S/S 2014

It has come around quick but this week saw the return of London Fashion Week, I was there on the first day, to grab some shots in the court yard at Somerset House. The weather was pretty awful but that did not deter the Fashionistas from turning out dressed to impress, as usual there was the varied looks, from very smart to the completely outrageous! All good though.

The camera I used was the Olympus OMD EM-5, I set on aperture priority and auto ISO, letting it do all the work, which it did as usual. As the weather was so dull and wet, I used the little pop up flash that comes with the Olly, this was just to give a bit of a lift and set to ‘fill’ mode. I’ve not really used this flash much before as I prefer to use natural light, but I’ve got to say I was happy with the way it worked and produced nice well lit images to which I have not had much to do in the way of post production, other than adding a little ‘punch’ in Lightroom and maybe converting some to black and white.

Lens wise, I did something I don’t normally do when street shooting, and that is bring more than one lens. My OMD is normally permanently attached to the lovely Zuiko 17mm f1.8, this is my ‘go-to’ lens for street shooting, but as there was a chance I might get into a catwalk show, I brought a few options to get some distance covered. I had the 45mm Zuiko f1.8, the Olympus 12-50 kit lens and the Lumix 45-200, which in real terms equates to 90-400!… that should do it.

So after ducking and diving the rain, here’s a few pics of the day….

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