I was pleasantly surprised by the file above. It's nothing special. The subject matter is banal. The composition is boring and the lighting is nothing special. But....
I shot it with an odd combination of gear that most would hardly expect to render anything technically decent. Let's start with the lens. I'd brought along a 150mm f4 Pen F lens that was built around 1970. It works on the micro four thirds cameras with an adapter. The lens is all metal, the focusing is smoother than marbles in Vaseline and the aperture ring is so well damped it suggests clicks instead of pronouncing them. But it's over forty years old. We've all been subjected to marketing messages that try to tell us that only with the latest supercomputers have any lenses been designed that have value.... Tell that to Zeiss and Leica and Olympus. They've been making keepers for a long, long time.
On a micro four thirds camera this lens gives one the same field of view as a 300mm lens on a 24 by 36mm framed camera. That means there's a lot of magnification going on. I'm not the steadiest shooter; I presume that most habitual coffee drinkers aren't either. So I'm not sure why I ended up shooting with this lens handheld.
I brought it along with me when I met my friend, Frank, for coffee at Trianon Coffee House last Tuesday. He's a big fan of the new OM-D and I wanted to show this relic to him because Olympus's first small frame camera system was an ancestor of his new camera system. I'd been thinking about the excitement concerning the announcement introducing the new Olympus 75mm 1.8 lens and I have owned and used the older 70mm lens, designed for the Pen f system for many years. My 70mm lens is a f2.0 and it's slightly shorter so I question why Olympus had to make their new lens so much bigger. I think their roadmap forward is largely a reflection of the previous lens line. I can feel a 60mm 1.4 coming up soon, as well as a 100mm f3.5 macro and maybe a few 38mm f1.4's.
But the whine on the forums is about the lack of longer lenses. And I wanted to show Frank the 150mm because I'm sure that we'll soon get an upgraded version for the m4:3 cameras. I had no real intention of shooting anything.
I brought the lens along glomped onto front of my Lumix G3. It's a from a camera family that seems stained by the idea that their jpeg files are substandard. Color impaired. Bad DR.
At some point I turned around and handheld the camera and lens and shot the image above while seated at the table. The camera was set at ISO 1600. Standard Jpeg. The lens was wide open at f4.0. There's no image stabilization anywhere in the system or, for that matter, anywhere in my system either. But I was able to hold this long lens (the same magnification as a 300mm lens on a Canon 5Dmk3) and lens steady enough to get an image in which I can see small type clearly rendered from 30 feet away. Amazing.
There's only one reasonable explanation: Clean living. Because it can't possibly be the gear...
Panasonic G3. 150mm E. Zuiko Pen lens.