Shooting with an Olympus OMD EM5 and a Range of Lenses

On Sunday, I went out shooting with an Olympus OMD EM5 and a range of lenses.

You may remember my post on Brittney, when Carmen and I visited her new studio apartment. We haven’t seen much of her, since her move. Seriously, her boyfriend keeps asking her out, and her boss sent her to Chicago for a week. I may have to ask her to ditch the former and then quit her job! 🙂

The first lens that I used was the OMD EM5 with Fujian 35mm, f1.7 TV lens. This is a c-mount lens and they were developed for CCTV, 16mm movie cameras, and surveillance cameras. C-mount lenses are becoming very popular with micro four thirds shooters for several reasons. First is price. A Fujian 35mm is available, on eBay for about $20 and the adapter is another $5. Of course, price is unimportant if the lens has no functionality. Most of the c-mount lenses are very small (perfect to MFT) and fast. My Fujian has an f1.7 to f16 aperture range. The Olympus OMD cameras have a sensor crop factor of 2x, so a 35mm lens has an effective focal length of 70mm, making it an excellent portrait lens. At f1.7 if gathers a lot of light and exhibit very nice bokeh. The lens has no click stops as you transition through the f-stops. This makes it great for movie making, but causes the aperture settings to be slightly imprecise. Pictured below is the Fujian 35mm on an Olympus OMD EM5.

OMD EM5 with Fujian 35mm, f1.7 TV lens

OMD EM5 with Fujian 35mm, f1.7 TV lens

This image was made with window light and an ISO setting of 25,600. Of course, I expected it to be grainy, but I wanted to see how the EM5/Fujian 35mm combo handled the very high sensitivity.

ISO 25,600, f1.7, 1/4000

ISO 25,600, f1.7, 1/4000

The other lenses that I used during the day are, front row, l-r: Olympus 9mm Body Cap, Zuiko 17mm f2.8, rear: Sigma 60mm f2.8, Zuiko 40-150mm f4-5.6.

9mm Body Cap, Zuiko 17mm f2.8, Sigma 60mm f2.8, Zuiko 40-150mm f4-5.6

9mm Body Cap, Zuiko 17mm f2.8, Sigma 60mm f2.8, Zuiko 40-150mm f4-5.6

Next, we switched to the Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN. With an effective focal length of 120mm, and a relatively wide f 2.8 aperture, this is another good portrait lens.

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

Sigma 60mm, f2.8 DN

.

While the Sigma 60mm is perfect for portraits, it is a prime lens (fixed focal length), so the photographer must zoom with their feet. Sometimes, there is sufficient space, or other factors prevent this. Th M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6 is good alternative. Certainly not a pro lens, it is very functional, under many conditions.

Having just moved into her new studio, Brittney is still decorating. She has a cool, but empty frame, so I decided to fill it with something beautiful!!

M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6

M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6

M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6

M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6

I worked hard, making these photos, so I was rewarded with a nice musical concert!

M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6

M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6 @ 78mm

M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6

M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6 @ 40mm

M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6

M. Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6 @ 40mm

Since we were about to go for a walk, around the neighborhood, in search for some frozen yogurt, I switched to a M. Zuiko 17mm, f2.8, and grabbed on more shot, in Brittney’s studio. Please excuse the errant tripod, right in the middle of the picture!

M. Zuiko 17mm, f2.8

M. Zuiko 17mm, f2.8

Recently, I’ve been reading, on photography forums, a great deal of criticism, from self-described experts, about over post-processing, primarily as the mark of ‘amateurism” among newer photographer. OK, that is a good point, sometimes. However, my view is a bit different. Yes, you should know how to capture a proper exposure, and have a grasp of all the other things that make for a good photographer. If you are working for a client, then you have to understand how to meet that client’s needs. However, if you are taking pictures for your own enjoyment, and some post processing makes you happy, AND no one is paying you, then those critics can suck it! Certainly, photography sometimes must balance the subjective and the objective, but, ultimately, photographers must satisfy their own vision.

All of the above images are SOOC (straight out of camera) with the exception of desaturation (converting some images from color to black and white). The next two are not. They were captured with the M. Zuiko 17mm, f2.8, but then a 19th Century Film filter was applied, to give a certain look. Would I want to post 26 images, processed in this manner? No. Can two of them make me happy? Yes. I hope some of you will enjoy them. 🙂

19th Century Filter

19th Century Filter

19th Century Filter

19th Century Filter

Finally, our intrepid search, through the mean streets streets of Long Beach, was rewarded with the discovery of a Pinkberry’s. Obviously, Brittney realized that I was trying to take a picture of my own reflection, but she just had to get in the way!!!

Pinkberry's

Pinkberry’s

19th Century Filter

Pinkberry’s

Having very good taste, Brittney decide to capture a candid photo of … me. For some reason, she deiced not to share it!!!

With 17mm. f2.8 M. Zuiko

With 17mm. f2.9 M. Zuiko

I’m not going to pretend that the 17mm is the perfect portrait lens, but, on an OMD, with a 2x crop factor, it is, effectively, a 34mm lens, and makes a great ‘walking-around’ lens. It is small, non-intrusive, and of very good quality. Of course, it you get too close, expect a little exaggerated perspective. Near elements will look larger than they actually are.

With 17mm. f2.8 M. Zuiko

17mmf2.8

With 17mm. f2.8 M. Zuiko

With 17mm. f2.8 M. Zuiko

With 17mm. f2.8 M. Zuiko

With 17mm. f2.8 M. Zuiko

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