Nice Day for Photography with a 60mm 1.5.

Olympus Pen F 60mm 1.5 used at f2.8 to photograph chairs at Congress Ave. Restaurant.  GH2 Jpeg.

I'm slowly getting the whole process of shooting with manual lenses on the Panasonic GH2 dialed in.  First things first.  You set the preview to "constant."  That will show you exactly what happens, vis-a-vis color balance and exposure, when you shoot in "M."  When you shoot in any other mode the GH2 ignores the constant setting and gives you what it thinks it the correct exposure.  Good to know.  Now I can walk around an use manual exposure and when I bring the camera to my eye, with my favorite shutter speed already set I can quickly fine tune with the aperture ring (or vice versa).  The Pen F 60mm 1.5 has a lot of throw between f-stops and you can actually make adjustments in tiny increments and see them with feedback in the EVF.   Perfect.  And once you have the settings figured out you don't have to change anything until you shoot under different light.

Next up is the manual focusing routine.  Since my adapter rings don't give me a correct infinity focus with Pen lenses I generally want to zoom in and look at the focus integrity before I shoot.  I'll skip this step and squint a lot if the action is moving quickly but, in most situations like the chairs and door above, the subject isn't moving so fast that I don't have time to double check exact focus.  With the camera at my eye I put the little dial that controls shutter speed and aperture.  It sits on the top right of the back of the camera.  You can push it straight in and it will increase the live view magnification to 8X, which is perfect for fine focusing a fast, moderate telephoto lens.  One quick, slight touch on the shutter button and you're back to full frame in the EVF.  Couldn't be easier and it's quicker to do than to read.

GH2 and Olympus Pen F 60mm 1.5 @ f2

My goal on today's walk was to dial in and learn the focus technique and the exposure technique forward and backward until I could do it without thinking.  I worked hard on it and I think, in another few weeks, I'll have it nailed.  We've talked here about time in the water so many times that I'm sure you're getting tired of hearing it but....part of good photography is being fluid with the tools in your hands.  You can't let ineptitude and lack of practice rob you of opportunity.

I'll have my next practice session on Tues. night at Zach Scott Theatre when we do another dress rehearsal for a play that opens later in the week.  Feels like an  all m4/3rd's project to me.

While I was downtown I ran into Stephen N.  An accomplished photographer.  He was so skinny I hardly recognized him.  He's been biking all over the place.  Love the way I get a little control of DOF with the 60mm. f2.8

minimum focus distance. 60mm 1.5

For some reason I was looking for close up images this afternoon.  Here a glass vase I found in a window on Guadelupe St. between 2nd and 3rd.  This is as close as the 60mm will focus.  I think it's adequate.  And the performance is still very good, even close to wide open.  And hand held.

The glass vase.

It must have been vase day for Kirk's blog because I kept running into them all over town.  This one was in one of the retail shops at the bottom of the Monarch Residence Tower.  I like the blue facets.

All manual.  All the time. 60mm.

Love the satanic glow from the building that overlooks the Whole Foods HQ.  Nice with the sky.  WB set at daylight right after sunset.  That makes the sky more blue saturated and accentuates the warmer lights on the buildings.  You might be able to find noise if you peek "hard" but then I'll just call you a nerd and insist that your can "smooth it out" in post.  

It was a wild day downtown from 4-6pm.  I saw no fewer than 20 photographers out with bags over their shoulders, monopods gripped in their hands.  Appears there was an organized "photo walk" happening.  Looked like an engineer's convention to me.  Meant in the nicest way possible.  Loved seeing people out and shooting and sharing the experience.  I hope that means more in the future.

The Panasonic has been officially pressed into service for a real job and it did just fine.  In fact, it was easy to use and quick.  The raw files were splendid.  I lit the entire job with LED panels as well.  It's one thing to write about them, it's an entirely different thing to put their money where your word processor is... The proof is in the pudding.  Or on the web galleries.

If you don't like reading about Olympus and Panasonic stuff, don't despair.  I'm sure some other shiny object will capture my attention, sooner or later....

note: I am now a member of 500px.  My address is: http://500px.com/kirktuck
It would feel more like home if you would follow me there.  Thanks.  Lots of fun.


Marino Mannarini said...

The Gh2 is such a solid camera. I've had one for over 6 months now, and i love it. Very rational, very photographic approach. But, Kirk, wait to shot some video on that. I am using one of the fast bitrates hacks from personalview.com, and what you get is simply fantastic.

Colsteel said...

Great post Kirk, I am really fascinated at the possibilities of using legacy (and modern) lenses on small mirrorless cameras. This an aspect of photography I have never really been into until I bought an FT1 adaptor for the V1 and had great fun messing around with a few of my favorite Nikkor's on it today. I have to say though that the pen lenses look so cool on the GH2. Do you have any old OM lenses you intend to try? better dust them off if you do for the arrival of the OM-D :)




Peter said...

Liked the pictures. As usual, you show a great ability to 'see' and to discover the world about you visually.

Interesting lenses that you are using. There seems to be more and more interest in manual focus, metal built lenses. I recently bought a Zeiss Macro-Planar 100mm for my Nikon D7000, together with a Katzeye split prism screen – It's like 1970 all over again! The lens looks great, is fun to use, and gives excellent results. So much so that I ordered another Zeiss, and am considering the Voigtlander 25mm for my m43 camera (G1). Perhaps now that the manufactures have automated everything that can be automated, they are becoming aware of a market for these types of lenses and we will see a resurgence in thoughtful, considered photography? Lets hope so.

(Welcome to 500px btw. See you there.)


Tony's Vision said...

I was only part way through the first paragraph in this piece when my mind took me back to my first experience with a "real" camera. The camera was an Argus C-3 and year 1956. The idea of previewing exposure, focus, and depth-of-field through a bright viewfinder would have been absurd. I'm glad I have that experience to better appreciate what we have now.