Saturday, June 30, 2012

Seven Day Film Challenge - What Film Will You Use?

 
Image Source: http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium/pm.cgi?action=display&login=kodak_film
 
Keith on RangeFinderForum.com has posted a July film challenge.
 
(Click Here) to read the rules.
 
In order to qualify, you must shoot one roll of film per day (any film format), or two sheets of large format film on seven CONSECUTIVE days, between July 1 and July 28. No excuses are accepted - if you miss a day, you are disqualified. I suppose if you start your seven days early enough in the month, you could always start again in the case of catastrophe.
 
You can use any film and any film camera. On August 1, go back to the post (Here), and Keith will announce where to post your three best pictures from your seven day experience. You can also post about any experiences involved in meeting the seven day challenge.
 
I think I will do this. I am going to visit my parents in Oklahoma in early July, which will give me four of those seven days to kick back and shoot some film. I sure wish I had a Panasonic film camera, to keep in my Lumix theme for this blog. So, what's the closest? Well, I suppose since Panasonic and Leica have a relationship, shooting a film Leica will have to suffice. Gosh, what a burden. :)
 
Anyway, join in the fun! Let's see what you can do with analog for a week!
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Will 3D Digital Photography Catch On?

I read about Panasonic's forays into three dimensional imaging with interest. I wonder if this will ever catch on in any big way?
Panasonic DMC-3D1 Three Dimensional Camera
Panasonic DMC-3D1
Image Source: http://www.dpreview.com/news/1111/panasonic/DMC_3D1_slant.jpg

ePhotoZine has published a review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-3D1, a twin lens camera designed for 3D photography.

(Click Here) to read the review.

3D cameras have been around for a very long time, basically since the invention of photography.
 
Kodak Stereo Camera
Kodak Stereo Camera, ca. 1950s
Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereo_camera
 
In the past, they always required some optical apparatus for viewing. I think this is the major limitation that kept 3D photography from taking off.
Stereo Image Viewer
Image Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zB1J_DpaVUs/Tt_eK3dllPI/AAAAAAAAAE8/guqh7_b4gqI/s1600/Graphic2.jpg
 
In the modern digital world, 3D viewing requires a special display. Panasonic builds 3D capability into many of their Viera displays. It also requires wearing glasses to get the 3D effect. Now, this seems like a serious drawback to home use, and it very well may be.
 
However, I can see a day when digital galleries gain popularity, if not overtaking prints altogether. 3D movies sure have taken off. Maybe when we all have new televisions and displays that include 3D technology basically for free, 3D photography will gain popularity. My current Viera display does not have 3D technology.
 
There is a very inexpensive 12.5mm dual lens available for Micro 4/3 cameras. It's got an aperture of f12, which will seriously limit how it can be applied. However, I'm sure that one could make some amazing 3D landscapes with it.
 
There are also techniques using two synched cameras to capture the paired images required for 3D imaging.
 
I am not ready to go into this, but will keep my eyes open. It would be neat to add a third dimension to my imaging, at least once in a while.
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Canals - Glasgow, Scotland and Virginia, USA

 
Glasgow Canal by Kiwi Paul
Glasgow Canals, by Kiwi Paul
Image Source: http://www.mu-43.com/f56/glasgow-canal-locks-27446/
 
Member Kiwi Paul posted a series of pictures of canals and obsolete lock structures on mu-43.com. His images were made with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 and Olympus 14-150mm zoom.
 
(Click Here) to see the rest of the series.
 
If I didn't read it, I would think these may be from right here in Northern Virginia. We have both the old Patowmack Canal on the south side of the Potomac River, which was a project headed up by none other than George Washington, and the C&O Canal on the north side. Neither was a commercial succes, but both offer photographic opportunities for those of us who like old stuff.
 
A couple of years ago, I did a complete photo project on the local canals. It was one of the first projects I ever completed, and I shot it exclusively with Rollei twin lens reflexes (TLRs). Here's an example of mine:
 
 
C&O Canal Lock, by Reed A. George
C&O Canal Lock, by Reed A. George
Rollei TLR, exposure not recorded
 
These inanimate objects can be interesting on their own. However, I'm thinking that they would make a great backdrop for some interesting people pictures. Hmm...
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Underwater Reflection

 
Underwater Reflection, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3, iso 200, f3.3, 1/125 sec
 
We're all used to seeing reflections on the surface of water - the top surface, that is. This picture shows the reflection of a leaf on the bottom of the water-to-air surface. Cool huh?
 
Having a camera that I can easily stick under the water allowed me to discover this. The DMC-TS3 is a lot of fun.
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jordan Steele's Thoughts On The Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 and Olympus 75mm f1.8 Lenses

 
Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f2.8
Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 Zoom
Image Source: http://admiringlight.com/blog/thoughts-panasonic-12-35-olympus-75-18/
 
Jordan Steele, who runs the blog Admiring Light, has posted his initial thoughts on the two new lenses on my mind - the Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 zoom and the Olympus 75mm f1.8 telephoto.
 
(Click Here) to read Jordan's piece on Admiring Light.
 
First, on the Lumix zoom, Jordan remarks on the common complaints from prospective users: price and lack of shallow depth of field. Keep in mind, none (or nearly none) of these people has had the opportuntiyt to try or even see the lens. Price is what it is. I think $1300 is a lot for a normal range zoom, even at f2.8. However, it's lower than the equivalent from Nikon. Of course, the Nikon lens is designed to cover a full 35mm frame, so there's more glass in the Nikon. Anyway, most people don't get into photography to save money. Second, depth of field. The issue is that with the smaller sensor (compared to 35mm) used in the Micro 4/3 cameras, shallow depth of field requires a wider aperture at any given focal length. In layman's terms, it's harder to get out of focus backgrounds, which is desirable for portraits and other images where you want to focus attention to the foreground subject. Yes, it's true. The Physics don't lie. You can't get the same shallow depth of field at f2.8 that you get on a full-frame lens. However, with the zoom at 35mm focal length (the longest setting), which is what you'll use for portraits much of the time, the depth of field will be plenty shallow in my opinion. In fact, I see an awful lot of portraits where the photographers take shallow depth of field too far - the subject's eyes are in focus, but their nose is not. Too far. Anyway, I understand that it's always good to be able to get shallower depth of field. I'll make that trade for the smaller form factor of Micro 4/3 cameras.
 
Next, the Olympus 75mm f1.8. There will be no problem with shallow depth of field here. At f1.8, it should be very shallow. This is one lens I can't wait to try. I sure wish I could have one this weekend for the music festival I'm planning to attend.
 
These reviews, including mine, from people who have yet to touch the lens, are of very limited value. We can discuss what we can surmise from the specifications (which is actually quite a lot), but we cannot see the more subjective features that are part of loving or hating any lens or camera.
 
I'm still on the fence about the 12-35mm, but fully expect to be able to give a hands-on review and samples from the 75mm f1.8 very soon. As soon as it's available for purchase, that is.
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Is 75mm Really A Useful Focal Length for Micro 4/3?

M. ED 75mm f1.8
Olympus 75mm f1.8
Image Source: http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/images/product/1622/1622_header.png

I have written that I'm very enthusiastic about the new 75mm f1.8 Micro 4/3 lens coming soon from Olympus. In fact, at the moment, I'm more excited about this lens than the Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f2.8, another very promising yet expensive product.

My thought is that the 75mm focal length will add exactly the right field of view to round out my Micro 4/3 kit for shooting live music performances. The super-fast f1.8 aperture will be killer for dark indoor venues.
My 45mm Pana-Leica Macro-Elmarit f2.8 makes a nice short telephoto, but I need more reach. I have been known to carry around a Nikkor 300mm f4, but that's awfully heavy, and can be overkill. So, in order to evaluate whether the 75mm focal length is as good a fit as I suspected, I mounted up my Cosina Voigtlander 75mm f2.5 Color-Heliar lens in Leica thread mount (LTM) on the dual adapters (LTM-Leica M, Leica M-Micro 4/3), and went to a show. This time, it was the Furnace Mountain Band, playing a free concert in Rose Hill Park in Berryville, Virginia.

The Voigtlander lens is a great optic in its own right. It's pretty fast at f2.5, but the extra stop of the Olympus will come in handy. Also, the Voigtlander lens is manual focus - not really an issue, but fast autofocus will be nice.

Here are a couple of shots from the show:
Danny Knicely of Furnace Mountain Band, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Cosina Voigtlander 75mm f2.5 Color-Heliar

Morgan Morrison of Furnace Mountain Band, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Cosina Voigtlander 75mm f2.5 Color-Heliar

My conclusion? Yes, 75mm is a near-perfect focal length for this type of shooting. My enthusiasm for the new Olympus lens as a welcome addition to my Micro 4/3 kit remains very high.

By the way, Furnace Mountain has a great new CD out - "The Road to Berryville."

(Click Here) to support Furnace Mountain and get yourself some excellent music at the same time!

(Click Here) to see more shots from the show at my website (creativeobjective.com)

DMC-365.blogspot.com
 


 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quick Notes to Add to my eBook on the DMC-G3 - Manual Focus Tip, and Still Capture During Video

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
Image Source: http://shop.panasonic.com/dotAsset/1b37230b-19c7-46ef-8f25-c26c03bdf59d.jpg

Two features of the DMC-G3 have recently come to my attention, and need to be added to my eBook.

The first is related to focusing with manual lenses. In my eBook, I indicate that you have to press the left cursor button followed by the menu button to bring up the magnified focus aid. In fact, a much better alternative is to just push in the rear dial in toward the body of the camera. This really is a better way to do it. Thanks to reader martyvis for reminding me that it was not included in the eBook.

Second, someone asked me if the G3 is capable of capturing full resolution still images while capturing video. As I am only a casual user of the video functions, I did not know the answer. After looking into it, I see that it does have that function. Simply press the shutter release during video capture, and you have yourself a full resolution still!

DMC-365.blogspot.com


Check It Out - My Music Festival Report on Cosmic Vibes Live!

 
Cozy Camper, by Reed A. George
Cozy Camper at Shenandoah Riverside Festival, by Reed A. George
Panasonic DMC-G3, Pana-Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4
iso 400, f1.8, 1/1250 sec
 
Last weekend, I attended the Shenandoah Riverside Festival in Berryville, VA, hosted by Earth Korps, an environmental preservation organization.
 
(Click Here) to go to Earth Korps' web page. They do a lot to clean up the river.
 
I was pleased to have the opportunity to write up a review of the weekend for the great live music blog, Cosmic Vibes Live.
 
(Click Here) to read my report on Cosmic Vibes Live.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and shot a lot of images. In general, I used my Lumix kit during the daylight hours, my Nikon D700 at night. I also shot some film while I was there. I also used fill flash quite a lot, especially the Nissin Di466 on my DMC-G3. I used it in manual mode, which worked well to fill in the shadow under the stage roof, which was considerable in the strong sunny light.
 
(Click Here) to see all of the images I've posted so far.
 
I hope my relationship with Cosmic Vibes Live is a long one. It seems like it's great opportunity for me to practice my writing and photography while adding to their already really informative site.
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Just Go Shoot, by Aaron Hardin on Steve Huff Photo

Photo By Aaaron Hardin
Image Source: http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/HARDIN-Ethiopia-2.jpg

I personally need to hear this message, repeatedly, often - "JUST GO SHOOT!" It really helps when it's accompanied by great photos, as it is here on Steve Huff's blog, in a brief, inspiring piece by photographer Aaron Hardin (aaronhardinphoto.com)

(Click Here) to read the post on stevehuffphoto.com

Aaron admits that he also gets his mind diverted by new equipment (the Leica M9, in his case), but is able to pull away and use what he already has to make beautiful pictures. In this case, he photographed in Ethiopia with a single film body (Leica M4-P), 35mm lens, and a bag of film. No back-up equipment.

Personally, I'm hesitant to attend a local event without a back-up camera body on hand. How often do I need a back-up? Very rarely. Especially if I'm restricting myself to a single lens.

I currently find myself strategizing which new lenses to buy for my Lumix Micro 4/3 kit - at the moment I'm fixated on the Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 and the Olympus 75mm f1.8. At the same time, I'm considering whether to broaden the scope of my blog sometime in the future, to regularly include equipment other than Panasonic. I already include other equipment, but try to keep a Panasonic-related theme. If I decide to broaden that focus, Micro 4/3 may not be where I want to add equipment. So, as you can see, I'm preoccupied with equipment. This is nothing new; I'm a self-described gear head.

But, I need to become equally obsessed with shooting great projects. Luckily, I'm persistently pursuing a couple of projects. For example, this weekend will add another piece to my local music project, with a festival on the shores of the Shenandoah River.

Obsession is not a bad thing. In fact, it's a common theme amongst highly successful people. I just need to keep mine focused on the photography, as well as the equipment.

Here's something for me to keep in mind: I have the same Leica M4-P and 35mm lens in my collection. When was the last time I took just that combination out and used it consistently? Well, let's just say it's not my normal mode. I will think about that.

Thanks for reading through my self-counseling!

DMC-365.blogspot.com

And, if you want to spend the same on a single lens that you'd spend on a whole kit:

 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Digital Photography School Reports 37% of Readers Shoot Film

Digital Photography School (digital-photography-school.com) recently ran a survey and found that 37% of respondents shoot film.
Image Source: http://digital-photography-school.com/37-of-dps-readers-still-shoot-with-film?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DigitalPhotographySchool+%28Digital+Photography+School%29
 
(Click Here) to see the original post, and some interesting comments.
 
I am encouraged by the fact that I'm not the only one out there that still shoots film. Funny, now that I think about it, I have three film bodies with me today, loaded and ready to go. Now, to be clear, that's not normal for me. I've just repaired two old Zeiss cameras, and am testing them out, plus I have a new toy to test out. More on that one later.
 
My film usage has dropped a lot this year, mostly because I've been leaning toward my Lumix cameras more, for the purposes of this blog. But, as you've seen if you keep up with my blog, I have been dragging out some good old film gear lately.
 
One commenter asked how many people responded to the above-referenced survey; I would like to know that as well. The high percentage of film users could be due to sampling error, if there weren't very many respondents. It is hard to imagine that 15% of readers of a blog, who must have access to the web in order to read and respond, shoot film exclusively. If they have a computer, digital photography has almost no barrier to entry, including cost. Even if they only read on a smart phone, they have a digital camera in-hand, in their phone, as they read.
 
Potential lack of statistical strength aside, I choose to take the results positively, hoping this will mean continued availability of film and processing for a long time to come. Fingers crossed.
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Landscape Photographer Hans Strand Shares His Story On Zeiss Lens Blog

 
Hans Strand on Zeiss Lenses
Hans Strand - Master Landscape Photographer and Zeiss Enthusiast
Image Source: http://blogs.zeiss.com/photo/en/?p=1785

Hans Strand, Swedish landscape photographer, and I have at least a couple of things in common. First off, Hans is a trained Mechanical Engineer with a passion for photography. Second, he appreciates fine photographic equipment, from the point of view of an engineer.

(Click Here) to read Hans' complete story on the Zeiss lens blog, outlining how he transitioned from Engineering to Photography as his vocation, how he composes his images, and why he enjoys Carl Zeiss lenses.

We also have some differences. Hans is a master of the wide angle, which is somewhat elusive to me (I'm working on it). He maximizes depth of field and ultra-sharp focus in his landscape work. Another difference - he loves cold places. If I were to pick an ideal location to photograph, it would likely be a tropical island (Kauai comes to mind), or the Sierra Nevada Mountains, at the cold end. Hans prefers Iceland. To each his own.

Finally, one more point we share - even though he does a completely different style of photography, Hans appreciates the precision and timing of Henri Cartier Bresson's (HCB's) compositions. In my opinion, no other famous photographer has gotten it as right as HCB. Every time I pick up a rangefinder and head out to shoot a street scene, I wish for some insight from that guy.

I also enjoy Zeiss lenses - especially old ones, like the old Zeiss Tessar f2.8 on my 521/16 medium format folding camera that I used for these two shots:
Snow Dance, by Reed A. George
Zeiss 521/16 Medium Format Folding Camera, Zeiss Tessar f2.8

Waterford News, by Reed A. George
Zeiss 521/16 Medium Format Folding Camera, Zeiss Tessar f2.8

To tie it in a little, of course I enjoy my modern Zeiss Biogon 25mm f2.8, which makes a wonderful normal lens on the Lumix G3, great for street photography.

(Click Here) to see my recent post of a triptych shot with that combination.

DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting For The New Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 To Become Available, and Thinking..

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 X lens
Image Source: shop.panasonic.com
 
 
I am watching daily (obsessively?) for the new Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 zoom lens to become available for purchase. And, the wait is making me think more about it.
 
 
I have always preferred shooting with prime (fixed focal length) lenses. It's been said many times that primes are smaller, lighter, and generally faster than zooms. It is often argued that they produce better image quality. However, I think this is largely a holdover from the past. Lens technology is so good now that a state-of-the-art zoom is extremely capable.
 
(Click Here) to read a current post on mu-43.com where others are discussing their reasoning for wanting or not wanting the new 12-35mm f2.8 zoom.
 
One of the questions in the post above is whether a kit zoom like the 14-42mm lens minimizes the need for a fast zoom like the new 12-35mm. I say emphatically, no. The kit lenses really are the cheapest lenses out there, and don't fall into "state-of-the-art" in my opinion. Their variable, slow f-stop is a showstopper for all but the very best lighting situations.
 
(Click Here) for a post of one of the rare times I have used my kit zoom. I was not displeased with the results, but the lens was certainly limiting in which scenes I could record. For example, inside the mill, it was nearly useless without a tripod.
 
So, since I have a great set of prime lenses, why am I considering the new 12-35mm zoom? Well, to be honest, it's because I get tired of changing lenses in the field. And, especially at events, I do occasionally miss a shot while I'm fumbling to change lenses. This is why I now regularly carry two bodies - two identical Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3s. One is usually attached to a normal lens (Pana-Leica 25mm f1.4 Summilux, most commonly), and the other has either a short telephoto (Pana-Leica 45mm f2.8 Macro-Elmarit) or wide angle (Panasonic Lumix 14mm f2.5). I even find myself changing between wide angle and telephoto on the second body more often than I would like.
 
Right now, I am working on two long-term projects - 1) the Civil War Sesquicentenial and 2) local live music. Will this new zoom help me in those?
 
Well, I can honestly say that the 12-35mm f2.8 will be great for the civil war project. The majority of that project involves shooting in daylight, outdoors, and at events where things change reasonably quickly. Sometimes in working around crowds of spectators, or composing carefully to not include modern elements around re-enactors, for example, the flexibility of a zoom would be great. And, back to the example of the mill, I could have gotten by with f2.8 (not the f3.5-5.6 of the kit lens).
 
For shooting live music, I cannot see relying on f2.8 to be fast enough for shooting inside dark bars and music venues. I'm sure I'll stick to my Pana-Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4 for that. This is where the other lens I'm waiting on, the Olympus 75mm f1.8, comes in. Many times, I'd like more reach than the 25mm can provide.
 
I also enjoy travel photography a lot. The 12-35mm would be very helpful for that.
 
So, will the new 12-35mm stay on my camera all the time? No. But, I think it will certainly fill a gap for event and travel photography. How's that for rationalizing? :).
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Think I Got My Fisheye Fix - On The Cheap!

Fisheye!  by Reed A. George
Distorted Metal and Structural Glass, by Reed A. George
Lomography Fisheye, iso200, f8, 1/100 sec.
 
Well, if you've followed my blog, you will know that I've toyed with fisheye, even ordering and then subsequently cancelling a fisheye attachment for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3. I knew that I wanted to play with the effect, but that it would not be a mainstay of my photography. At $200 for an attachment (the DMC-GF1) that only goes to 120 degrees field of view, to three times that much for a dedicated Panasonic fisheye lens (the Lumix H-F008, 8mm f3.5), I just couldn't justify it, even to myself.
 
So, when I saw the Lomography fisheye camera come up, I had to have it. Now, be warned, this is no high quality equipment. It is a 35mm film camera with 170 degree field of view. The body is very cheaply-built - think disposable camera. There are no adjustments - it is fixed focus (everything is in focus anyway), fixed shutter speed (1/100 sec.), and fixed aperture (f8). The only thing you can control is the iso of the film you use. I learned from my first two rolls that I should be shooting iso 400, as many of my iso 200 shots were underexposed. All those qualifications notwithstanding, this is a FUN little camera!
 
There is a newer version, the aptly named "Fisheye 2," which includes an improved viewfinder, 180 degree field of view, the ability to do timed and multiple exposures, and some additional flash capabilities. It costs about $60. Anyway, I went with the cheaper first version.
 
You will likely see some more images from my Lomo Fisheye. In fact, I have one or two from a music festival this weekend that I plan to share.
 
So, I didn't go Lumix for my fisheye solution. However, I'm thinking - since it's got such wide depth of field and is focus-free - I wonder if there's a way to remove the lens from the plastic camera body and attach it to an adapter for use on my Micro 4/3 bodies? It would crop the view quite a bit, but the distortion would still be there. Hmm... Maybe a future project.
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shooting Rangefinder-Style With Micro 4/3

 
kdixey's RF Shooting Emulation
dixeyk's Emulation of Rangefinder Style Shooting on Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
Image Source: http://www.mu-43.com/f35/how-approximate-my-old-compact-rfs-27412/

dixeyk has written a post over on mu-43.com about recapturing the shooting style of classic rangefinder cameras with Micro 4/3 gear.

(Click Here) to read the full post.

I have referenced dixeyk's posts before. We seem to have similar interests in our photography. The goal was to set up a modern Micro 4/3 camera to allow a shooting style similar to a classic film rangefinder. Of course, the best way to get that is to have a digital Leica (or perhaps the Fuji XPro 1?), but that was not available.

The characteristics that dixeyk went for, as far as I can interpret, were a compact kit, fast (wide aperture) lenses, and fast focus (as one can achieve through manual focus on a rangefinder camera). For this, he chose to use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 and the Lumix 20mm f1.7 as his normal lens. He also used Lumix 14mm f2.5 and Olympus 45mm f1.8 lenses, approximating a 28, 40, and 90mm field of view on a classic rangefinder. So far, I would have made similar choices, using my Lumix DMC-GF1 (another Lumix body without an internal viewfinder) and Lumix 20mm f1.7 lens.

Now here's where we go different ways. In dixeyk's case, he decided to shoot with the LCD and autofocus, utilizing the camera's ability to touch focus and shoot. This allows the user to pinpoint where in the field of view they want to focus by touching the LCD screen. As soon as focus is achieved, the camera automatically releases the shutter, capturing the image. I can see how this would feel similar to the fast focus and capture capability of a classic rangefinder.

For my own approach, especially in street photography, my favorite use of a rangefinder, I go in a completely different direction. I turn off the LCD, mount a 35mm optical finder (an old Russian version in my case) in the camera's flash shoe, and use hyperfocal settings to give a lot of depth of field. For information on that,

(Click Here) to see my previous post on setting hyperfocal distance on Panasonic Micro 4/3 cameras.

I find that the 35mm finder closely approximates the field of view of the 20mm f1.7 Lumix lens.
 
I use the exact same finder on my smaller Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, which provides for directly setting zone focus in the manual focusing screen. In actuality, the LX5 does a better job of emulating a rangefinder than the GF1, in my opinion. It has a great scale to show the focus distance and depth of field, will allow you to lock the zoom at any focal length and the f-stop at any setting. It is a super-quick little camera for street photography.
 
(Click Here) to see my post on my LX5 street kit.
 
I will give dixeyk's approach a try. I think the main differences are in what each of us is trying to achieve. He's working toward quick response pinpoint focus and capture, while I'm working toward large depth of field, quick response street photography with a rangefinder camera.
 
Fun stuff.
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Enter To Win at Lumix FZ48 Camera at photographyblog.com

 
Panasonic FZ-47
Panasonic FZ47 (FZ48)
Image Source: http://shop.panasonic.com/dotAsset/a811ea10-19e7-4457-bed6-c6747e3191f2.jpg
 
The nice folks at photographyblog.com are holding a drawing, giving away a Panasonic Lumix FZ48 (aka FZ47).

(Click Here) to enter the drawing at photographyblog.com

The deadline for entries is July 2, 2012.

The hosting site is in the United Kingdom (UK), but I don't see any limitations on who can enter. Also, you do automatically sign up for an email newsletter by entering, so make sure that's okay with you.

Good luck! Let me know if you win!

DMC-365.blogspot.com

 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Olympus E-PL1, 14-150, and Lumix 20mm f1.7 Go On A Trip

 
Image Source: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1896778&posted=1#post1896778

User ywenz on Rangefinder Forum posted a gorgeous series of pictures from a recent trip.

(Click Here) to look at all of them. You owe it to yourself to see the other shots, in addition to the one above.

One interesting thing here is that all of the images are jpegs (not shot in raw format). There is a group out there of the opinion that Panasonic Lumix Micro 4/3 cameras don't produce acceptable jpeg images. Therefore, many (most?) shoot in raw format.

I always use raw, just in case I screw something up, like forgetting to change my white balance settings. It has happened. As I have written before, however, I don't like to spend more time than necessary post-processing my images. So, I've been trying different jpeg settings, in the hopes that when I shoot both raw and jpeg together, the jpeg will be acceptable for use, and the raw file will be there just in case.

I have posted a couple of others' ideas for ideal jpeg settings in the past. My latest post on the subject yielded settings that I'm now quite happy with.

(Click Here) to see the post with my favorite jpeg settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, contributed by dixeyk on mu-43.com. These are now my standard jpeg settings, and are set up as a custom profile on both of my G3s. They're pretty good, in my opinion. Give them a try.

When I was primarily a Nikon shooter, I always chose very neutral jpeg settings (easy on the contrast, saturation, and sharpening), figuring that I could add all of those things back later, but cannot subtract them. The settings suggested in the post referenced above are very similar. Here's an example, pretty much right out of the camera.
Manassas Memorial, by Reed A. George
Panasonic DMC-G3, Lumix 14-140 f4-5.8 at 95mm
iso160, f5.8, 1/640 sec

I find that there's plenty of saturation here, contrast is well-controlled, and sharpness doesn't suffer.

DMC-365.blogspot.com
 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer Shares Some Lumix DMC-GF1 Shots of the Abandoned Pabst Brewery

 
Abandoned Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee, by Mike Johnston of the Online Photographer
Image Source: http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2012/05/the-abandoned-pabst-brewery.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2FZSjz+%28The+Online+Photographer%29

Mike Johnston of the Online Photographer has posted some great images from an abandoned Pabst beer brewery in Milwaukee, WI, USA.

(Click Here) to see Mike's post on the Online Photographer blog.

Mike's images were shot with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 at iso1600 - a real stretch in terms of image quality for that camera. Of course, at the resolution of small online images, they sure look great. Mike reports that the noise would make printing of them pretty tough.

Mike toured the building with photographer Jack MacDonough, and includes a shot of Jack working with his Leica S2 on a tripod in his post. That's Mike's favorite of the bunch; it's my favorite, too.

We have all made the mistake of going to a great location without a tripod. Mike made that mistake (admittedly), but pulled through pretty well with his GF1, if you ask me.

I've written in the past about the photographic allure of abandoned places and things.
(Click Here) to see my last post on the subject.

The subject still intrigues me.

DMC-365.blogspot.com
 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Products - Micro Lens Pouches for Small Lenses (e.g. Micro 4/3)

Micro Lens Pouches
Image Source: http://www.microlenspouch.com/

Member LightingLeica (Todd) on the getdpi forums has announced that his company is making small, padded lens pouches, well-fit to Micro 4/3 lenses. In fact, they have an excellent page to tell you which pouch you need for your specific lenses. It includes all of my Lumix lenses.

Just to be sure you know - I have no connection with Todd, other than I'm trying out his new product. However, if you buy yours through my Amazon links below, I'll get a small commission to support my blog.

(Click Here) to go to the Micro Lens Pouch site.

Please purchase yours through the links to Amazon below. You get the same price, and I get a few pennies to help keep my blog going!

The prices are very reasonable. I am planning to purchase a set of three (small, medium, large), once they're in stock.

I've ordered the two-piece set (small and medium), and will get a large later (assuming I like the first two). It's great to have them available through Amazon, as my Amazon Prime membership covers the shipping cost!

I'll report back on how they work!

UPDATE 6/13/12: I received my small and medium pouches. My initial impression is that they are well-made, and likely to be durable. The material is very nice, and provides a lot of padding in a thin material. They are lightweight. So, I think I am going to be pleased with them.

Always happy to help out a photo-entrepreneur.

DMC-365.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pairing the Pana-Leica 45mm f2.8 Macro-Elmarit With the Olympus E-M5

 
Olympus E-M5 and Pana-Leica 45mm  by Frank B on dpreview
Image Source: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=41605970
There has been an enormous amount of buzz about the new Olympus E-M5 Micro 4/3 body. It is a very attractive camera, with retro styling sure to appeal to the Olympus film SLR user, and superb image quality.
 
(Click Here) to see the Olympus E-M5 review on dpreview.com
 
I found the following post by Frank B on dpreview's Micro 4/3 forum, pairing the E-M5 with the Pana-Leica 45mm f2.8 Macro-Elmarit:
 
(Click Here) to see the original post and one more macro image.
 
Right now, I'm planning almost the opposite - pairing my Panasonic body (Lumix DMC-G3) with Olympus lenses. In particular, I'm very much looking forward to the new Olympus 75mm f1.8 becoming available for purchase.
 
(Click Here) to see a preview of the Olympus 75mm f1.8 on dpreview.
 
I think that handful of fast glass will be great for my low light concert photography, giving me a combination of more reach than my Pana-Leica 45mm and faster aperture than my Lumix 100-300mm f4-5.6. By the way, the 100-300 works pretty well if the stage lights are bright enough. But, the new Oly lens will do fine in near darkness. C'mon, Olympus, ship those lenses to the US market!
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reptile and Amphibian Thread on mu-43.com

 
Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridus), by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1, Lumix 14-140mm f4-5.6 zoom at 140mm
iso100, f8, 1/500 sec

I have always been a fan of snakes and other reptiles. Growing up in Oklahoma was perfect for that.
I came across a nice post on mu-43.com, where people are starting to submit their reptile and amphibian images:

(Click Here) to see the thread on mu-43.com.

I came across this lovely fellow above on a hike in Roman Nose State Park, while visiting my parents last year. On my return hike out, I noticed what looked like a new branch laying across the path. Then I saw it was moving. I ran up, and captured a few shots of him. He was not too interested in me, which was fine by me. We both went on our merry way.

I have a good friend, Larry Mendoza, who's President of the Virginia Herpetological Society. Recently, I participated in a survey with him, where we found a few snakes, frogs, and several box turtles. I posted a box turtle image a few days ago.

It's a shame that snakes are so poorly understood. They are critical to the environment, and do an excellent job of keeping pest populations under control. And, to me, they're just plain cool.

DMC-365.blogspot.com

 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kirk Tuck of Visual Science Lab - Olympus Pen F 150mm f4 on G3 - Well, It Works Quite Well, Thank You!

 
Kirk Tuck's G3 and Oly 150mm f4
Kirk Tuck's Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 and Olympus Pen F 150mm f4
Image Source: http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2012/05/panasonic-g3-meets-lens-from-another.html
 
Kirk Tuck recently wrote about the experience of using a very nice legacy lens on his Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3. This is the 150mm f4 made by Olympus in the 1970s.
 
(Click Here) to read Kirk's post on Visual Science Lab.
 
By the way, if you don't read Kirk's blog regularly, you should. Here's the address:
 
http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com
 
Kirk's contention is that Olympus is following its own footsteps, introducing new Pen lenses for the Micro 4/3 line that represent equivalents to those of the past. The Pen F lenses were made for the original Olympus Pen system, which was a half-frame 35mm format - the same field of view as Micro 4/3.
 
Kirk also makes the point that without all of today's gadgetry built into the camera, great optics can still produce great results. I agree wholeheartedly. After scanning film for a couple of hours last night, I had a couple of examples that remind me how sweet old glass can be. For example, this is from my Leica Summar 5cm f2 lens from the 1930s:
 
 
Stand-Up Bass Taking a Rest, by Reed A. George
Leica IIIC, Leica Summar 5cm f2
 
The Leica Summar is a very early 35mm rangefinder lens, and is known for "soft" glass, which is easily damaged by cleaning or otherwise. In fact, it took purchasing three different units before I found an undamaged one. But boy, does it have character.
 
I will admit that while I am still in love with many of my old lenses, including attached to the latest Lumix bodies, I for one cannot wait to try out the new Olympus 75mm f1.8.
 
Thanks, Kirk, for sharing your thoughts!
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
Notice: As of today, 6/1/12, this lens is only available for pre-order. It is not in stock.
 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Final Two Chapters of My Free G3 Settings eBook Available For Download! Get the Whole eBook Here, Free!

 
Lumix DMC-G3 by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 and Nikon Nikkor AIS 28mm f2.8 Lens
by Reed A. George
 
Well, since I'm expecting the announcement of a new Panasonic Lumix Micro 4/3 body (the rumored DMC-G5? DMC-GH3?) any time now, I figured I had better wrap up my ebook on how I use the DMC-G3. In fact, I use two of them.
 
The final installment includes a chapter on setting up custom configurations, and a short chapter on my conclusions on the camera.
 
I learned a lot by working through every detail of how to set up this camera. And the best thing is, now that I've done it, and saved some custom configurations, I can forget about the details of what many of those menu settings actually mean. This camera has so many options, it's amazing. But, I want to set most of them once, and forget them. Custom Modes help a lot, as does the Quick Menu.
 
(Click Here) to download the final two chapters of my ebook, in Adobe pdf format.
 
For ease of navigation, I'm including links to the previous chapters below:
 
(Click Here) for Chapter 1 - Introduction and External Controls
 
(Click Here) for Chapter 2 - Menu Settings
 
(Click Here) for Chapter 3 - Focusing
 
I hope that you'll find them useful.
 
I recommend that you download and save all of them; I will consolidate them into a single file, but cannot guarantee that it will remain available for free forever...
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 

Final Two Chapters of My Free G3 Settings eBook Available For Download! Get the Whole eBook Here, Free!

 
Lumix DMC-G3 by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 and Nikon Nikkor AIS 28mm f2.8 Lens
by Reed A. George
 
Well, since I'm expecting the announcement of a new Panasonic Lumix Micro 4/3 body (the rumored DMC-G5? DMC-GH3?) any time now, I figured I had better wrap up my ebook on how I use the DMC-G3. In fact, I use two of them.
 
The final installment includes a chapter on setting up custom configurations, and a short chapter on my conclusions on the camera.
 
I learned a lot by working through every detail of how to set up this camera. And the best thing is, now that I've done it, and saved some custom configurations, I can forget about the details of what many of those menu settings actually mean. This camera has so many options, it's amazing. But, I want to set most of them once, and forget them. Custom Modes help a lot, as does the Quick Menu.
 
(Click Here) to download the final two chapters of my ebook, in Adobe pdf format.
 
For ease of navigation, I'm including links to the previous chapters below:
 
(Click Here) for Chapter 1 - Introduction and External Controls
 
(Click Here) for Chapter 2 - Menu Settings
 
(Click Here) for Chapter 3 - Focusing
 
I hope that you'll find them useful.
 
I recommend that you download and save all of them; I will consolidate them into a single file, but cannot guarantee that it will remain available for free forever...
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 

Final Two Chapters of My Free G3 Settings eBook Available For Download! Get the Whole eBook Here, Free!

Lumix DMC-G3 by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 and Nikon Nikkor AIS 28mm f2.8 Lens
by Reed A. George
 
Well, since I'm expecting the announcement of a new Panasonic Lumix Micro 4/3 body (the rumored DMC-G5? DMC-GH3?) any time now, I figured I had better wrap up my ebook on how I use the DMC-G3. In fact, I use two of them.
 
The final installment includes a chapter on setting up custom configurations, and a short chapter on my conclusions on the camera.
 
I learned a lot by working through every detail of how to set up this camera. And the best thing is, now that I've done it, and saved some custom configurations, I can forget about the details of what many of those menu settings actually mean. This camera has so many options, it's amazing. But, I want to set most of them once, and forget them. Custom Modes help a lot, as does the Quick Menu.
 
(Click Here) to download the final two chapters of my ebook, in Adobe pdf format.
 
For ease of navigation, I'm including links to the previous chapters below:
 
(Click Here) for Chapter 1 - Introduction and External Controls
 
(Click Here) for Chapter 2 - Menu Settings
 
(Click Here) for Chapter 3 - Focusing
 
I hope that you'll find them useful.
 
I recommend that you download and save all of them; I will consolidate them into a single file, but cannot guarantee that it will remain available for free forever...

 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 

A Shot I Just Happen to Like

Small Town At Dusk, by Reed A. George
Small Town at Dusk, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Pana-Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4
iso800, f3.5, 1/40 sec
 
 
I'm not in the mood to search the news this morning, so I thought I'd just share a shot that I happen to like. You know how sometimes you take an image, think nothing of it, but then it keeps popping up in your mind? Well, this is one of those for me.

I was with my daughter in Winchester, Virginia, and we showed up a little early for a music event. So, we walked the pedestrian street downtown, and I convinced her to pose for this shot.

How's that for using leading lines in composition? I like how the line of lamps on the brick wall mirrors an imaginary line from the vanishing point to her face. The line to her face is an implied line, one that's not really even there, but it leads the eye to her. I also like the vertical line of the painted sign on the brick wall. It puts her at an apex, a center of attention. So, I feel that it brings the viewer's focus to her, without having to make her a major fraction of the area of the image. No closeup needed. And, it will always remind me of a pretty carefree evening, walking hand-in-hand with her in smalltown, America.

Someday soon, she'll be too cool to be seen in public with her old man. But, I've got this image to help remember these days.

DMC-365.blogspot.com

 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Their Worlds Were Turned Updside Down - Horseshoe Crabs, That Is

 
Horseshoe Crabs
Image Source: http://www.mu-43.com/f54/bizarre-beach-behavior-26033/

Poster penfan2010 posted on mu-43.com about some "bizarre beach behavior," experienced on a morning walk. Shot with an Olympus EPL1 and Olympus 17mm f2.8 lens, the pictures show horseshoe crabs (bizarre enough on their own), lying on their backs on the beach.

(Click Here) for the whole story, including a closeup of the nice sand pattern made by the one in lower central in the image above.

It turns out that horseshoe crabs come ashore in multitudes in late May, early June (at least along the US East Coast) to breed. These are the unlucky ones that got flipped over in the process. The night before must have been quite a sight!

If you're interested in these creatures, or others that have remained relatively unchanged for a very long time, you may like the book I link to below (at Amazon, of course). It just so happens I am about halfway through that book myself, right now. Horseshoe crabs, or creatures that look very much like them, have been around for hundreds of millions of years.

DMC-365.blogspot.com

 
 

Friday, June 8, 2012

How About Nepal?

 
Nepal, by phrenic at mu-43.com
Kathmandu, by user phrenic on mu-43.com
Image Source: http://www.mu-43.com/f56/golden-nepal-25259/
 
In another edition of my "traveling vicariously through the lens of other photographers" series, user phrenic from mu-43.com takes us to Kathmandu, Nepal.
 
(Click Here) to see the whole set. Some lovely shots there.
 
All of these shots were taken with first-generation Micro 4/3 cameras (Olympus E-P1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1), one fisheye lens, and the rest zoom lenses. I had a G1 for a couple of years, and absolutely loved it. It now lives with my friend James, who continues to put it to good use. I think this speaks to the capability of Micro 4/3, even at the time of its market debut. Things only continue to improve, especially with all of the nice prime lenses now available.
 
I need to stop looking at all of those lenses, and save my own money for a trip to Nepal!
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Diversion From Lumix - Pentax MX, Spotmatic Cameras Go To The Car Show!

 

'57 Chevy Wagon, by Reed A. George
'57 Chevy Wagon, by Reed A. George
Pentax Spotmatic, Pentax 35mm f3.5

Last Saturday, I loaded up my Pentax Spotmatic and MX cameras with iso 200 film, and headed out to meet my friend James McKearney at the annual car show in Leesburg, VA. I also took along some Pentax lenses, the 35mm f3.5 and 105mm f3.5 for the Spotmatic, and a 50mm f1.7 for the MX.

As I've mentioned, this is a repeat event for me, so I was challenged to find something new and interesting to bring back. To start with, I decided to shoot some of the cars as they rolled into town. The shot above attests to the beautiful weather we had, and I think has that classic car and small town feel to it.


Classic Traffic Jam, by Reed A. George
Classic Traffic Jam, by Reed A. George


Cobra Corps Arrives, by Reed A. George

Cobra Corps Arrives, by Reed A. George

How often do you get to see a line of Cobras like that? Not often.

The locals seem to love the show, for example this restaurant crew that came out to see the cars...

Spectator Sport #1, by Reed A. George
Spectator Sport #1, by Reed A. George


Spectator Sport #2, by Reed A. George
Spectator Sport #2, by Reed A. George

... or anything else that may have caught their attention.

This young lady decided to get her nails done on the spot:
Car Shows Mean Different Things To Different People, by Reed A. George
Car Shows Mean Different Things To Different People, by Reed A. George

This guy had some on-site repairs to do:

Minor Tweaks? by Reed A. George

Minor Tweaks? by Reed A. George

I will finish with a few more favorites from the day:


T-bird, by Reed A. George
T-bird, by Reed A. George


Small Town Reflections, by Reed A. George
Small Town Reflections, by Reed A. George


Classic Boots, by Reed A. George
Classic Boots, by Reed A. George


(Click Here) to go to the full set of images on flickr.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed pulling out these two old film cameras for this event. Those Pentax lenses are really something. I even enjoyed waiting to see "how they came out." I hope you enjoyed seeing them.
 
All Up In My Grille!, by Reed A. George
 
All Up In My Grille!, by Reed A. George
 
DMC-365.blogspot.com
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More Great Car Shots by littleMT on mu-43.com

 
GTO by littleMT
GTO, by littleMT on mu-43.com
Image Source: http://www.mu-43.com/f42/my-2006-twin-turbo-gto-shot-e-pl1-27130/

I've been on a little diversion with car photography lately. Poster littleMT on mu-43.com has been a great source for me. littleMT posted a few intriguing images of the 2006 GTO shown above.

(Click Here) to see the others on mu-43.com.

You saw a post a while back from the same source:

(Click Here) for littleMT's other work I posted here.

I'm heading out to a car show myself this afternoon (which will be some days old before you read this), after getting a little work done at the office. It is one I've been to before, so I'm struggling to think of ways to do something different with my photography there. The people are always fun. Here's one from 2009:
 
 
Car Show Attendee, by Reed A. George
Car Show Attendee, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, Lumix 14-45mm Kit Lens
iso100, f8, 1/125 sec

Here's another, trying to do something a little different:
Jag on Glass, by Reed A. George
Leica M8, Leica 35mm f1.4 Summilux
iso640, f-stop not recorded, 1/250 sec

So, wish me luck. I'm hoping for some inspiration this afternoon. Will report back :).

DMC-365.blogspot.com