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raven15
08-10-2008, 07:23 PM
Everyone else has one, we need one too. Also, I want to post some things that aren't necessarily regular threads in the gallery.

First, some rules.

Rule 1. I give myself the authority to make rules.

Rule 2. Pictures here may be cross posted, on occasion, in the appropriate photo gallery section, since there isn't too much traffic here.

Rule 3. Pictures may demonstrate the superiority of the Olympus system, the photographer, or be fun but otherwise suck. Or anything in between.

Ok, enough rules... GO!

(I'll start off modestly, then the rest of you can show me how its done).

Moonset over Lake Schmiddel in Desolation Wilderness. E-410, 18-180mm lens at 180mm. f/11, ISO100, 1/13s, rock tripod. Converted to B&W in PP, then contrast increased.

raven15
08-10-2008, 07:54 PM
E-410, 14-54mm lens.

1. At 54mm 100% crop. I almost brought the super zoom, or at least the 40-150.

2. An un-cropped panorama of a sunrise earlier that day.

raven15
08-10-2008, 07:56 PM
3. Um... standard shot down a ditch. It doesn't quite seem as good as it could have been. Any suggestions?

Don Kondra
08-10-2008, 09:19 PM
Uh, yeah..

Pick a better time of day when the light is better :)

But, having said that, sometimes it's just a matter of being there, doing the best you can and learning from the experience...

For me the borderline shots are a good excuse to get better at post processing. That's my story and I'm sticking to it :rolleyes:

Two examples, cross posted.

Bad lighting and shooting south through a window, early morning. But hay, they were there and so was I..

E-510, 14-54mm @ 50ish, f 3.5, 1/500, iso 100

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg202/donkondra/Dancing.jpg

Late afternoon full sunlight on his back...

E-510, OM 50mm f 1.4 @ 1.4, 1/2000, iso 100

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg202/donkondra/HummerReprocess.jpg

Cheers, Don

Don Kondra
08-12-2008, 09:07 PM
Wireless shutter release arrived today....

Shot this from the couch :D

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg202/donkondra/ContestLBFSMaster_filteredMedium.jpg

Manual exposure, Shutter priority AE, 1/1,000 sec, f/4, ISO 800, Compensation: +1/2

Cheers, Don

raven15
08-13-2008, 09:35 PM
The most recent one is very good. I believe you have improved a lot from the first two, I think couch photography should be the new trend based on that.

Don Kondra
08-13-2008, 09:43 PM
LOL...

I like that idea :)

Still a ways to go though, the lighting sucked and my photoshop skills need work...

Cheers, Don

PS. I call this "Goosed"..

raven15
08-13-2008, 10:27 PM
Wildlife beware! I'm gettin' the 70-300 on my doorstep tomorrow :) Just imagine what this chipmunk would look like extra-large... The 70-300 would increase his diagonal length by 80%! (compared to the 18-180)

It'll take care to use the thing on the E-410 though, I'm already getting a number of unsteady shots with the 18-180. I'll have to keep my shutter speed at 1/1000s at all costs. My next purchase may be the upcoming small Olympus camera with improved dynamic range, large viewfinder, weather sealing and (naturally) IS. Unfortunately, that means I'll have to keep my day job...

raven15
08-13-2008, 10:31 PM
And another one, with the 14-42 kit lens, a few weeks ago. This irritating kid ran right through my waterfall picture! Which made it more interesting than the other ones... hmmm, may be I should digitally brighten the kid.

Gary24
08-16-2008, 05:53 AM
Messing around with some depth of field with my E500 50MM f2. These were taken in a park in Battery City NYC July 2007.

E500 50MM f2.0 Lens 1/400 @ f3.5 ISO 100
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3144/2767153683_c52bb74740_b.jpg

E500 50MM f2.0 Lens 1/200 @ f5.6 ISO 100
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3078/2768002352_2938395a19_b.jpg

Gary24
08-16-2008, 09:33 AM
E500 50mm f2.0 1/3200 iso 100

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1137/931020155_6959fbb7a1_b.jpg

Don Kondra
08-18-2008, 09:25 PM
Nice Gary,

This is the sunset out the front door yesterday...

Cheers, Don

kgosden
08-21-2008, 10:03 PM
Here are a couple from a trip to the Adironacks a few weeks ago. It was the first outing with my 12-60 on my E-510. I am hoping to make this my main travel lens for hiking to keep the weight down (although I really like my 11-22). So far it is promising. the focusing feels fast even on the E-510.

Both shots are JPG's straight from the camera, just resized. The water lily was a few feet away leaning way over. ISO 100, F/4.5, 1/400 @ 60mm. While I had to get really close to the salamander I am pretty impressed with the closeup ability compared to the 50mm macro. That was ISO 100, F/4, 1/20 @ 60mm.

Don Kondra
08-22-2008, 10:59 PM
Tried a self portrait with continuous lights and ZD 50mm f 2..

First time I went -1 on sharpening :D

Cheers, Don

raven15
08-23-2008, 12:26 AM
kgosden, those are some really nice shots.

Don, I tried a self portrait once and it came out horribly. The point was it was supposed to look horrible, but it was bed even considering that. I didn't try again.

I'll try to get a few up soon, maybe even tonight. I haven't looked at the pictures I took with my new 70-300 lens yet.

Don Kondra
08-23-2008, 11:39 AM
Greetings,

Didn't care for what the 50 did to my nose and chubby cheeks :D

Tried the 18-180 @ 86mm, 1/6, f 8, iso 200... I can see just about a whole umbrella in my right eye, have to keep that in mind in the future...

Cheers, Don

raven15
08-24-2008, 02:27 PM
1. I didn't go here, just took a picture from across the canyon.
2. Mountain Goat's Hideaway
3. Mountain Goat Escape Stair. It's steeper than it looks, I was pointing the camera up around 20 degrees when I took it. Hard to climb with a camera in one hand.
4. I saw goats! The first time I've noticed them first, we were going to the same small peak on opposite sides of the ridge. I climbed the ridge suddenly, and there they were. Mountain goats are fast and agile but not stealthy, I was made aware of their presence by the avalanche that follows them around.
5. It was a whole train! About 10 goats including 2 kids, moving mostly single file.

Taken with the 14-42 and 70-300 lenses, you can probably guess which are which. I was greatly irritated by the 70-300 lens, until I saw the pictures it made, I think much better of it now. Generally no PP, if so it was done in Irfanview, and was mostly likely contrast adjustment.

raven15
08-24-2008, 02:34 PM
Wild currants, taken from about 3 feet away with the 70-300 on my way back down. I am very impressed. I stupidly didn't bring water, and was so thirsty I ate about 100 of these things on my way down.

My system hasn't learned to autofocus on mountain goats instead of rocks yet.

raven15
08-24-2008, 02:46 PM
Lens comparison: 14-54 vs. 18-180 (pre-replacement) vs. 70-300 (in that order). If you were wondering which is better for mountain goats, hopefully this clears things up!

I like the MF switch on the 70-300. Sometimes the lens gets to hunting on C-AF, so when I have the range on something I am making multiple exposures of, I just throw the MF switch and the lens stops hunting.

Don Kondra
08-24-2008, 05:28 PM
Hi Raven,

Good shooting.. I'm assuming these were straight out of camera???

Took the liberty with your last shot, sharpening, little bit of brighten, contrast, saturation and resize in FastStone Image Viewer..

Cheers, Don

raven15
08-24-2008, 06:03 PM
Yes, they were, and I use sharpness -1 or -2 as well, and that one in particular had a slight crop. So thanks. Next week I will be getting photoshop ("student" discount, $199 lifetime license for Illustrator CS3, Photoshop CS3, Acrobat Pro, and something else) which is a more sophisticated sharpening tool than irfanview, which tens to sharpen like a sledge hammer. Maybe I'll even pick up on RAW...

Don Kondra
08-24-2008, 08:05 PM
Yes, they were, and I use sharpness -1 or -2 as well,

- sharpness??? As in Minus sharpness?

Cheers, Don

Phill D
08-25-2008, 01:29 AM
Looks like you are enjoying that new lens raven. I can concur with you as I also couldn't resist the lens when I when to B&H recently so I got one too. So far I've been pretty pleased with it althought the weight is a bit of a shock compared with the kit lenses. Still brilliantly light for a 600mm zoom though. Yes focus does hunt a bit sometimes but I've found it ok if you give it a contrasty subject to grab on to. I'll have to try the MF trick you suggested. At full stretch the contrast seems a bit lacking to me but having said that I've got some lovely shots with it so I'm not really complaining (& I did have the camera on -1 contrast). Here's one I shot of lady liberty from a boat on a short harbour cruise we did on holiday. It was a fairly bright day but it was the first time I'd really used the lens & I wanted to make sure I didn't get any camera shake on the boat so I used iso 400 to keep the speed up to 1/1000s. Looking at it now I'd like to go back (not much chance of that in the near future!) & try a lower iso as I'm sure the conditions would have allowed it. I know you like to use negative sharpness but I always use +1 as I like sharp images straight from the camera & dont seem to get much time for PPing. Not sure where the sweet spot of the lens is yet I'm still playing about with it. Let me know if you've found it.

jekostas
08-25-2008, 10:53 AM
- sharpness??? As in Minus sharpness?

Cheers, Don

Same here when I shoot - the purely useless Noise Filter gets turned off, and in-camera sharpening goes down to at least -1. Olympus jacked up in-camera sharpening to compensate for the filter

raven15
08-25-2008, 04:59 PM
Nice, I hope your time on the eastern seaboard and your camera gear acquisition trip were enjoyable. I have actually never been to NYC.

It is hard to resist 600mm for under $350, isn't it? No, no sweet spot :) I only use it at 600mm wide open :D. And ISO400. My little E-410 isn't stabilized, so I try to keep the shutter at 1/2000 if possible, 1/1000 if not. Ok, I've done a handful of shots at wider angles. But, not very many.

Is it really possibly to see unsharpness on web sized images? I shrink them to 999 pixels wide, which comes out to under 0.7 megapixel for the whole image on the web. They start out a little over 10MP, so almost 15 camera pixels go into every 1 web pixel. That means the camera has a blur radius greater than 4 pixels wide as a result of using sharpness -2, to produce 1 pixel width of blur for Don to see. Which I don't think is the case. I direct your attention to the mountain goat shots by the 14-54 and 18-180 lenses, which are 100% crops and look acceptably sharp at -2 to me. I think any unsharpness visible must be a result of JPEG compression, or furry subjects. Or, hopefully not, my new lens is very blurry (I'll examine it more closely).

Don Kondra
08-25-2008, 05:41 PM
I'll grant you that there may be slight differences in each camera and lens, also I shoot in RAW almost all the time with all settings at 0, filters etc. off.

But in my post processing I always sharpen and I still maintain it's possible some of your dissatisfaction with your images is to be found in your camera settings.

Cheers, Don

raven15
08-25-2008, 05:45 PM
Dissatisfaction? No, I was only dissatisfied by the one particular 18-180 lens. Now that it is replaced, I am satisfied :)

Don Kondra
08-28-2008, 08:52 PM
Good to hear.

I'm stuck at home so more hummers :D

1/160, F 5.8, iso 400, 18-180mm @ 114mm

"Unlikely Dining Partners"

Cheers, Don

Phill D
08-29-2008, 11:46 PM
Nice humming bird shots Don. It's a shame that your feeder isn't a bit more natural looking though IMHO.

Don Kondra
08-30-2008, 12:17 AM
Yeah, I agree, sigh...

They won't be here much longer so I'll have the winter to think about it...

It really is an ideal situation, I don't have the time to go chasing them around and with this set up I can shoot anytime I'm in the house :cool:

"Just Hanging Around"

Cheers, Don

Phill D
08-31-2008, 12:26 AM
I dont blame you Don I often just grab garden shots through the windows. We don't get anything quite so exotic here though.

faisal
08-31-2008, 12:48 AM
cool shots there Don.....Really like the "Just Hanging Around" one a lot...

Don Kondra
08-31-2008, 12:59 AM
Okay, Brace yourself now.....

It's NOT another Big Red feeder with a tiny bird :D

I present a hollow turned vessel in Maple burl by Michael Hosaluk, a Bronfman Award Winner.

The set up and the piece... the light stand on the far right is not in use.

ZD 50mm f 2 @ f 8, 1/30, iso 400

Cheers, Don

jekostas
08-31-2008, 11:06 PM
Lovely pic Don... have you considered using a pair of smaller lights at table level, angled up to get a nice solid white background? It's a matter of taste, mostly, but it's something I tended to do a lot.

Anyways, just something I grabbed today, excuse the odd blurred-out vegetation in the slight foreground, this was taken out of the window of a car going 70Mph down a freeway.

Don Kondra
08-31-2008, 11:08 PM
Today I tried the 18-180mm @ 105mm.

I changed the focus point from the front leading edge to just in front of the opening. With this lens that gave me a cleaner image..

Cheers, Don

Don Kondra
08-31-2008, 11:16 PM
Lovely pic Don... have you considered using a pair of smaller lights at table level, angled up to get a nice solid white background? It's a matter of taste, mostly, but it's something I tended to do a lot.


I've actually found that over the past half year or so I'm now leaning towards a gray back ground instead of white... I have a shoot coming up where I will have to use my white backdrop, it'll be interesting to see how I feel about it then.

Cheers, Don

jekostas
08-31-2008, 11:28 PM
I've actually found that over the past half year or so I'm now leaning towards a gray back ground instead of white... I have a shoot coming up where I will have to use my white backdrop, it'll be interesting to see how I feel about it then.

Cheers, Don

Like I said, it's often purely a matter of taste. For smaller items that aren't on reflective backgrounds, I always preferred a solid white (or grey or black) with no shadows, but for larger pieces sometimes a small shadow can work to your advantage.

Anyways, pic #2 from same said trip. Fun with exposure range.

Don Kondra
09-02-2008, 11:14 PM
:D

Nothing like a free meal...

Don Kondra
09-03-2008, 09:05 PM
And a nice sun tan after all that free food :)

raven15
09-03-2008, 11:13 PM
Nice ones Don. Jekostas, that is remarkably sharp for that speed, you must have been using 1/2000s? I made a whole road trip where my goal was 1/1000s, and they generally were much blurrier. Of course, I consider 70 mph slow! That could be my problem.

I haven't been taking many unofficial pictures lately. Wiith the onset on night classes 3 nights a week (even photography and kayaking) my perceived free time for photography and posting is much less. Fortunately I had a backlog.

1 more of my favorite subjects
2 and two new ones
3 & 4 bees and flowers, the second one was actually a RAW file which apparently irfanview can use to some extent.

All with 18-180 lens, I believe. And E-410 of course.

OK, the backlog is worse than I thought. There are quite a few shots good enough for posting. Later maybe.

jekostas
09-04-2008, 12:23 AM
Nah, 1/640th - I left the EXIF data intact if you want to see (these are all just straight resizes from the camera). I was mostly trying to see how far I could push the dynamic range without getting blown highlights all over the place.

This one I might put through a contrast and color adjustment, just to see what pops out.

Don Kondra
09-07-2008, 12:54 PM
"Moving in for the winter" :rolleyes:

jekostas
09-07-2008, 03:26 PM
And... one more. I'm going to have to remember to stop down that lens in the future...

kgosden
09-19-2008, 03:17 PM
A little local color in central Lima, Peru two weeks ago.

raven15
09-19-2008, 08:44 PM
Now that's a great capture!

At first as I was scrolling down and saw how far I still had to go I was already thinking "he should have cropped off the feet, they won't add anything to the portrait." So I reached the bottom with low expectations, and nearly fell over laughing.

jekostas
09-19-2008, 11:10 PM
A chance to do a little more shooting came today, so I got out and did so. The sky isn't blown out in this picture, that's really what it looked like... kind of what you get for living where I do.

Don Kondra
09-19-2008, 11:18 PM
Who said the sky is blue? :)

Still, good shot. I'd crop the bottom a little... and maybe try f 11ish, the trees are a little out of focus.

Cheers, Don

jekostas
09-20-2008, 12:40 AM
Who said the sky is blue? :)

Still, good shot. I'd crop the bottom a little... and maybe try f 11ish, the trees are a little out of focus.

Cheers, Don

Yeah, grey and drizzly are the order of the day 'round these parts, so I bumped in-camera contrast and saturation.
Unfortunately, there was so little ambient light that bumping to f/11, even with ISO400 pushed the shutter speed to 1/8th-ish of a second. IS is nice, but I have arthritis in my hands - I wouldn't be able to get a clear picture.

Thanks for the C+C, I'll try working on a crop, see if I can find one to my liking and re-post. Perhaps a trip through a light unsharp mask might help a little as well

Don Kondra
09-20-2008, 12:47 AM
Didn't your mother tell you to always use a tripod? :)

jekostas
09-20-2008, 11:02 AM
Didn't your mother tell you to always use a tripod? :)

Not my mother, she wouldn't know which end of the camera to point forward.
I made the mistake of bringing a monopod on this shoot instead.

Don Kondra
09-20-2008, 12:07 PM
Here's Saskatchewan's version of a "drive by shooting" :)

One of my neighbors likes to "decorate" his yard...

Cheers, Don

jekostas
09-24-2008, 02:13 PM
Not my favourite pic out of this set, but I thought it was interesting, at least.

C+C?

jekostas
09-24-2008, 02:14 PM
Gah... resizing did that picture no favours

raven15
09-24-2008, 05:44 PM
Well, it's not bad, but it doesn't particularly do anything for me. It seems like there should be more to the shot, like a person or object. Or possibly shooting the scene from very low to the ground, or something. Maybe early morning light.

I'd be curious about your best shot of the set?

jekostas
09-24-2008, 05:50 PM
Well, it's not bad, but it doesn't particularly do anything for me. It seems like there should be more to the shot, like a person or object. Or possibly shooting the scene from very low to the ground, or something. Maybe early morning light.

I'd be curious about your best shot of the set?

I was trying to get the "dark path leading into the light at the end" thing going, but resizing killed all the fine details in the centre of the picture.

I'm quite happy with the mallard that I posted in the "Birds" thread, actually.

raven15
09-24-2008, 05:56 PM
Ok, since I haven't posted any for a while, a stop sign I was stalking for several days, after taking a not-so-good shot of it with black and white film. Eventually shot with the 14-54 lens around 15mm (30 eq.), f/2.8, at midafternoon, then cranked up sharpness and contrast. And made it black and white. Sharp enough Don? :)

In any case, always feel free to C&C my pictures. No matter what you have to say I'd be interested to hear it, especially if it is negative ;). Always looking for ways to improve.

Gary24
09-28-2008, 04:53 AM
Same here when I shoot - the purely useless Noise Filter gets turned off, and in-camera sharpening goes down to at least -1. Olympus jacked up in-camera sharpening to compensate for the filter

I was going through the menus on my E500 yesterday and did not see a sharpness setting. Which menu is this under and what is the actual name? I have the noise filter turned off as well.

jekostas
09-28-2008, 10:18 AM
I was going through the menus on my E500 yesterday and did not see a sharpness setting. Which menu is this under and what is the actual name? I have the noise filter turned off as well.

Ah, this really only affected the E-510 and E-410. If you have the E-500 don't worry about it.

jekostas
09-28-2008, 04:27 PM
Ok, since I haven't posted any for a while, a stop sign I was stalking for several days, after taking a not-so-good shot of it with black and white film. Eventually shot with the 14-54 lens around 15mm (30 eq.), f/2.8, at midafternoon, then cranked up sharpness and contrast. And made it black and white. Sharp enough Don? :)

In any case, always feel free to C&C my pictures. No matter what you have to say I'd be interested to hear it, especially if it is negative ;). Always looking for ways to improve.

It's an interesting picture... but I'm just not buying the digital sharpening and contrast - you're getting halos around items because of it.
Have you considered a Red filter for B&W photography?

jekostas
09-28-2008, 05:20 PM
The joys of protest hippies (Word on the Street Vancouver 2008)

For those of you who don't know, Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada. I was really trying to figure out what this guy was going on about, but after five minutes it just wasn't working.

Don Kondra
09-28-2008, 06:42 PM
Wonderful composition, from left to right... you cut the window in half, you cut the guys head in half and you cut the side off the girl.

But it's nice and sharp :)

Cheers, Don

Don Kondra
09-28-2008, 06:47 PM
It's an interesting picture... but I'm just not buying the digital sharpening and contrast - you're getting halos around items because of it.
Have you considered a Red filter for B&W photography?

Looks fine to me, how old is your monitor and when is the last time you calibrated it?

Not buying digital sharpening? It's all digital. Can you perhaps be clearer in what you mean?

Cheers, Don

jekostas
09-28-2008, 06:53 PM
Wonderful composition, from left to right... you cut the window in half, you cut the guys head in half and you cut the side off the girl.

But it's nice and sharp :)

Cheers, Don

Oh, I didn't have a choice about the composition, unfortunately. The guy shoved the sign right in front of his face (he thought I was "with the government" and didn't want his picture taken).
I decided on this one because of the half-face, actually - it works with the ever so slight neuroticism.

As to my comments on Raven's shot - I like the shot, but I'm not a huge fan of a lot of post-processing. I think adding a red filter to the lens on the original shot would've given the contrast he wanted without starting to get the halos.

raven15
09-28-2008, 07:49 PM
You're right, there are sharpening halos. How did that happen?

OK, clarification, that happened during resizing somehow. I just tried again using no sharpening at all, resized for posting and tadah! halos came right back. So, you'll just have to use your imagination and pretend they are not there, at least until I find a better way to resize.

This goes back to something I was saying to Don earlier, if there were any halos in the original they should not be visible in this small internet shot. If you ever see any pixel-level flaws, that is almost certainly due to a defect in resizing, not in the original. Any flaw in the original file would have to be at least 4 pixels across to be visible as a 1 pixel flaw in an 800*600 resize, which is pretty unlikely (at least below ISO 1600).

raven15
09-28-2008, 08:06 PM
Two from this morning.

Taken with the 70-300mm lens on the birds and the bees.

I like the 70-300 more the more I use it. It is extraordinary, probably as good as my 14-54 in terms of image quality, and providing much shallower depth of field at 300mm.

raven15
09-28-2008, 08:14 PM
Two more from the morning. Both with 70-300mm lens.

raven15
09-28-2008, 08:22 PM
See? No vignetting on the 70-300mm, even at maximum aperture. And I deliberately cranked up the contrast on my computer to look for it!

The kit lenses don't even come close. Nor the 18-180. In this respect, even the 14-54 is probably not as good I think (well, it might be at f/5.6, but not at f/2.8-f/3.5).

very impressive.

jekostas
09-28-2008, 10:47 PM
You're right, there are sharpening halos. How did that happen?

OK, clarification, that happened during resizing somehow. I just tried again using no sharpening at all, resized for posting and tadah! halos came right back. So, you'll just have to use your imagination and pretend they are not there, at least until I find a better way to resize.


What program are you using to resize?

raven15
09-29-2008, 07:39 AM
Presently, Irfanview. I might be able to continue using that, but drop the compression a little.

jekostas
09-29-2008, 12:06 PM
I've been poking around, and you're right, it looks like Irfanview has a tendency to introduce halos in high-contrast areas on resizing. I tend to use Faststone or Acdsee. Perhaps one of those might work better?

jekostas
09-29-2008, 12:11 PM
Again from Word on the Street, one of the more "colourful" booksellers. I'm sure this guy has had his pic taken a zillion times before, he even had a pose all ready for me (slight crop of one posted in the "People" thread).

jeckyll
10-08-2008, 04:47 PM
Here is a close up of a Scotch Thistle taken on the weekend using the 70-300mm lens. I am very happy with the performance of this lens.

Spookonthe8ball
10-08-2008, 06:48 PM
Nicely done jeckyll. Great exposure using f8 :) Yes, that lens is a keeper.
Spook

Phill D
10-08-2008, 10:32 PM
Yes very nice thistle capture. It looks like there is some spider's web laced in between the spikes too. I agree with the comments here about the 70-300 lens I've been pretty pleased with it too. haven't taken too many macro type shots with it though yet & the ones I have aren't anywhere near as sharp as your thistle although I have been hand holding them. You've inspired me to try more macros with it, just wondered roughly how far away were you from the flower in that shot?

Phill D
10-08-2008, 10:36 PM
Raven I liked the sharpness of your stop sign shot & didn't see any halos. Is it something you have to blow up to see? I just use the microsoft program picture it (it came free with works ages ago I think) to shrink my shots & haven't seen any problems with it. Mind you as I couldn't see your halos maybe I'm not looking hard enough.

jeckyll
10-08-2008, 11:09 PM
Phill I was at the minimum focusing distance for the lens for the shot I think about 3 feet from the thistle. Also I find that using a monopod with this lens helps heaps with the sharpness of the photos. I took 4 photos of it with different apertures but I like this one the best.
I used a Manfrotto 3 piece monopod and find this to be fairly stable. I know that a tripod would give better results but I find that I move around too much for that.
Regards, Jeckyll

Don Kondra
10-08-2008, 11:41 PM
I am very happy with the performance of this lens.

Very nice capture.

Crisp, good color, composition, balance, great bokeh.....

For a standard grade lens it does perform well in the right hands :cool:

Cheers, Don

Gary24
10-09-2008, 11:08 AM
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/125/339114553_c62aa74a5c.jpg

I have to wait to get home to give the details. Pretty sure it was the 40-150 since I was shooting across a lake at one point. Taken at a retriever show in Easton MD.

raven15
10-09-2008, 05:49 PM
Yep, that is a great thistle shot. That lens is very good for that sort of thing. I confess that I should use a tripod too, but I can't convince myself to carry one. I don't even carry a camera bag, just keep my camera wrapped around my hand and my lenses in my pockets.

PhillD, don't look too hard. I don't see it unless I am very close to the screen, and I am not bothered by that.

Don Kondra
10-11-2008, 08:09 PM
Greetings,

Just a couple of lens test snap shots, out the dirty window on a cloudy day :)

Upgraded from the 18-180 to the old version 50-200. So far very pleased with the results...

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg202/donkondra/SeedinBeak-1.jpg

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg202/donkondra/Mmmmgood.jpg

FYI iso 400 and noise filter to high in Master.

Cheers, Don

Don Kondra
10-16-2008, 05:23 PM
Geeez you guys, I gave you a free shot and no one took it :)

A successful bird shot, as in portraiture, has the eye clearly in focus.

Unfortunately this location is facing south, the "eye" is in shadow and that's probably as good as it will get, sigh..

Cheers, Don

raven15
10-16-2008, 08:12 PM
Sorry Don, been busy lately. For the past few days I've skimmed a few places but haven't posted anything, and I didn't even use the internet for the last 48 hours. (afterthought, its sad that seems like a long time). I thought about that lens, but then I'd want the new version for full time manual focusing which I frequently need for wildlife, then the range wouldn't be long enough, so I might want the 1.4 teleconverter, and then the price would be pretty high. I wouldn't care about that even, but the resulting combination would be so large and heavy* I would not want to use it very much, so I decided I will stick with the nice but slow focusing 70-300 which I do use. It sure is slow to focus though, and I need IS.

How much does stepping the aperture down help? The 70-300 has such narrow depth of field at f/5.6, I can only imagine f/3.5.

* According to my lens comparometer, which compares lens sizes and shapes to common household objects, it is the size of a large can of spaghetti sauce but 50% heavier.

Don Kondra
10-16-2008, 09:07 PM
I was expecting the lens to be large but... this is the first time I've mounted the "lens" to the tripod and not the camera :)

We'll see if that is a deterent to taking it for a walk. I've considered trading the 70-300 for the EC - 14 but I'm going to wait and see, I love the reach and size of the 70-300 and the image quality is no slouch either...

What it may come down to is the upgrade was for image quality and you use what you have to to get that.

So far I've only had time to shoot a few test shots, aperture mode at f7, wide open it did seem to have a pretty narrow dof.

Long story, short. I was recovering from carpal tunnel surgery this past month or so and now I'm back to work, less time to play, sigh...

I did go crazy and bought a 12-60, now the LONG wait for it to arrive. And my 4' x 4' x 4' light tent was in the mail today. Soon to arrive are some larger CF bulbs from Alzo and they will go in two new soft boxes I built.

More fun to come :)

Cheers and have a good trip, Don

Don Kondra
10-17-2008, 10:30 PM
Greetings,

More lighting fooling around...

First test of my new home made soft boxes ( 2 - 4 x 26w 5500k), I still need to make a boom light for the backdrop, had to use 2 - 65w 4100k with shoot through umbrellas from the side for the test...

One shot is with the 50mm and the other the 50-200mm, can you tell the difference :)

41185

41186

Cheers, Don

Don Kondra
11-11-2008, 12:11 PM
Greetings,

A piece "made" during an introduction to glass blowing workshop.

Shot in a 28" light tent with one 26w CF boom light, white foamcore clipped to the sides of the tent, black paper backdrop.

41807

Cheers, Don

jekostas
11-11-2008, 02:55 PM
Nice start Don, but you're getting reflections of a goodly bit of your studio equipment there. Can you set up the tent with an enclosed front and a lens slit?

Continuing the studio trend for a bit, I was trying out a new suction-cup tripod with my standard lenses. For the fact that I was using a $5.00 tripod/ballhead with my E-510, it actually worked out rather well (yes, that's a Zeiss optical zoom on a phone).

Don Kondra
11-11-2008, 03:31 PM
Nice start Don, but you're getting reflections of a goodly bit of your studio equipment there. Can you set up the tent with an enclosed front and a lens slit?


Didn't help.

This particular shape was impossible not to get some reflections, I chose that shot for the "interior fire".

In comparison, this is a 15 second exposure with no lights, tent opening facing north, south is blocked with the backdrop, east side is open and west side is covered with white foamcore..... mid afternoon on a very cloudy day.

41811

Cheers, Don

Ken.
11-11-2008, 07:05 PM
We were talking about shooting glass and lucite objects the other day. I used to light them from the bottom, sometimes with light coming through a hole in a solid back drop, other times on a sheet of glass, sometimes with a focusing pin spot. It was always a challenge and there were all sorts of tricks.

raven15
11-12-2008, 10:46 PM
Does this count as studio lighting?

Don Kondra
11-13-2008, 05:24 PM
One last shot before transitioning back to making sawdust :rolleyes:

50mm, brand new chain, 26w CF boom light in 28" light tent.

41889

Cheers, Don

jekostas
11-15-2008, 08:10 PM
Bad Bunny!

Don Kondra
11-15-2008, 08:27 PM
The focus on the "grass" doesn't work for me, I'd like to see the bunnies nose/eyes.... :rolleyes:

I must admit I never got past that to consider the images other attributes.

Cheers, Don

Don Kondra
11-15-2008, 08:37 PM
More fun :D

Images developed from raw, resized, some brightness, contrast and sharpness. No work on the back ground.

Glass sculpture shot on a light table.... 2 1/2" high, 2 1/2" wide and 1 1/4" deep.

41952

And then on a gray backdrop....

41953

Cheers, Don

Ken.
11-16-2008, 10:10 AM
Actually, I ilke the bunny shot. It works for me because it breaks "the rules". I'd crop it tighter, take it down 1/2 stop and up the black levels a tick and it would become a fun photo.

Phill D
11-16-2008, 10:23 AM
Using a circular polariser seemed to accentuate the colours.
41958

jekostas
11-16-2008, 10:35 AM
Thanks for the C+C guys. I haven't really edited it much, just posted it resized. I'll probably play with it a little.

Don, the crystal on the grey backdrop I like.

raven15
11-16-2008, 06:19 PM
I'll agree with Don, I think the focus would have been better on the rabbit. On the other hand, I like the skew because it seems to emphasize the "bad rabbit" part.

Don, I like the grey and textured bottom much more than the previous white ones.

PhillD, Niagara Falls?

My own shot: taken before I went to China to test my new 9-18 lens and ND grad filter. They are a killer combination!

Ken.
11-17-2008, 06:22 AM
I downloaded the rabbit picture and played with it a bit. A tighter horizontal crop, darkening down the rabbit and background and highlighting the single grass blade makes the shot work for me. The white box on the floor, upper right, is a problem, though. But overall, it has potential to be a fun picture.

Phill D
11-17-2008, 11:33 PM
Yep Raven Niagara it was. Here's a long shot to confirm. I took this with my polariser on at wide angle & it does show some vignetting that I hadn't noticed until I got home. I was also suprised that the polariser Knocked down the light so much. This was on iso 400 at 1/200s & f9. Although I wish I'd used a lower iso the original is actually pretty sharp & has good resolution. It seems to have lost some of this in downsizing to post.

jekostas
11-20-2008, 03:40 PM
What lens and polarizer are you using to get that bad of a vignette at F9? Considering the falloff, I would've almost said you're actually getting some of the polarizer in the picture, but it's far less pronounced in the bottom left corner than the others.

Phill D
11-20-2008, 10:35 PM
jekostas yes I wondered about that too. It's a 58mm Tiffen circular polariser that I bought from B&H. It fits on all my lenses at the moment so it seemed like a good buy. The fact that it seems to be off set was a bit of a concern too. Makes me think something isn't quite right with some alignment somewhere. Maybe I should have gone for a stepup ring & got a larger diameter?

raven15
11-26-2008, 01:14 PM
I have recently become fond of this one. Looks better the bigger it gets too :)

Phill D
11-26-2008, 11:19 PM
Yes that's a very interesting shot. In fact the more you look the more interest there is. I can see why you said you had recently become fond of it. It would make a good large poster. What did you take it with?

raven15
11-27-2008, 12:28 AM
It was with the 9-18mm, an incredibly useful lens, not least because of its size. I was almost standing on those fountains, but you can still see a long way into the air, and more importantly a large view to each side.

raven15
12-02-2008, 10:03 PM
I took this one a while ago. Dredging my files for landscape shots for my photography class, I came across it and thought it was interesting. All light is provided by the full moon. I am using a bush tripod, which is visible in the picture.

kgosden
12-03-2008, 08:32 PM
Kind of makes me think of alien abductions.

kgosden
12-03-2008, 08:45 PM
I got a 70-300 for my birthday while out in Phoenix. Spent a while hunting at the in-laws feeder from about 8 ft. Managed to catch this one mid approach.

So far the lens is promising; especially at $300.

raven15
12-04-2008, 12:50 PM
It was pretty close to the right part of Nevada for that sort of thing to happen too!

Most humming bird shots seem to show blur at the tip of the wing, I suppose they must be moving their wings really quickly. What shutter speed is that at? I agree that the 70-300mm is a great lens, especially for $300.

kgosden
12-04-2008, 07:09 PM
1/3200 sec, F5.6, ISO 400. While I don't think so, it could also be that the wing tip was not quite in focus at that DOF.

e_dawg
12-05-2008, 09:52 PM
More fun :D

Images developed from raw, resized, some brightness, contrast and sharpness. No work on the back ground.

Glass sculpture shot on a light table.... 2 1/2" high, 2 1/2" wide and 1 1/4" deep.

41952

And then on a gray backdrop....

41953

Cheers, Don

That's some good lighting technique with glass, Don!

e_dawg
12-05-2008, 10:29 PM
http://scpublicgallery.smugmug.com/photos/398249290_i4ARi-XL.jpg

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, July 2008
E-520 + 11-22

Phill D
12-07-2008, 01:06 AM
Nice shot e_dawg - was that with a star filter or just the aperture & sun combination?

raven15
12-07-2008, 01:37 PM
Is that your first picture here? Nice one.

Did you use an ND grad? If not, it sure looks like one to me.

Don Kondra
12-07-2008, 02:05 PM
e_dawg, liked that shot the first time I saw it :cool:

I managed a few mediocre shots of my little buddy today and thanks to LightBox Plus there are kinda, sorta useable :rolleyes:

42500

42501

Cheers, Don

Phill D
12-07-2008, 10:27 PM
Very cute Don. Just curious, what did you have to do in Lightbox?

Don Kondra
12-08-2008, 01:40 AM
In both images, the sun was behind the squirrel.

I used the Pro Quick Edit tab to adjust the brightness, highlights and fill light sliders.

Even if I was a little better with using Master, I don't think I could have got the colors as close and lightened up the front of the body.

Cheers, Don

raven15
12-08-2008, 10:34 PM
Don, I especially like the first one, like peaking out of a fox hole or something. At first I thought the second one wasn't as interesting, but thinking about it, is there glare or something over his eye? I think was my reason for thinking it was less interesting, I just couldn't see the eye as clearly.

Don Kondra
12-09-2008, 01:21 AM
The first shot was pure happenstance.

I just happened to be walking by the window when I saw him coming.

I leave the camera on the tripod, cap off and hood on, pointed at the ground.

He was bounding towards the house at an angle. I turned the camera on as I repositioned the tripod to get the angle, swung the camera up, framed, focused, shot....... and he was gone :)

On the second shot if you look closely you will see a slight streak across his right paw and cheek. Pretty sure that's moisture in the not so sealed anymore pane of the window, sigh... I was following him from branch to branch and didn't notice I was shooting through a "bad" patch of the window, sigh...

Or, it's simply that he was munching on something and it's motion blur.

There's also an out of focus branch that crosses his body almost up to his ear, doubt if I will bother cloning it out....

Thanks for the comments.

Cheers, Don

e_dawg
12-09-2008, 10:59 PM
Nice shot e_dawg - was that with a star filter or just the aperture & sun combination?

Thanks, Phil. It's the latter: aperture + sun.


Is that your first picture here? Nice one.

Did you use an ND grad? If not, it sure looks like one to me.

Thanks Raven. It's possible it's the first pic I posted in this thread. I've dropped by the Olympus forum at DCRP many times over the past couple years only to find no activity for weeks at a time (so I stopped coming)... I only discovered this thread recently.

Yep. GND. I use GNDs a lot when traveling. It's basically welded to my lens when I'm outdoors.

e_dawg
12-09-2008, 11:16 PM
Don: the second shot is good, but would be great if the squirrel were sharp and clear, but it looks like something was obstructing it or it was washed out and blurred from a branch / flare / something. ... but yep, like your first shot, sometimes the best shots are the ones where you're caught unprepared and only have time to grab the camera, turn and fire.

The shot I posted above was the second shot in about a minute where I just grabbed the camera, lifted it to my eye, turned and fired. You see: i was lagging way behind my girlfriend and her sister while we were walking through Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. You know how it is: most non-photographers have little patience stopping at every photographically interesting thing along the way and taking a picture that usually involves a bit of setup time. Since i was lagging pretty far behind at this point, I only had time to take literally "snapshots" where I put the camera up to my eye and fired.

I actually have 6-7 of these turn and fire shots like these from Berlin, and IMHO, they are among the very best shots from the 1000+ that I took that vacation.

Phill D
12-09-2008, 11:27 PM
I relate to the laging unsympatheic family bit and yes some of my best shots are the quick grab ones. Thank god for P mode!
I see in your sig you have a G1 as well - how do you like it & how's it compare to the Oly?

raven15
12-10-2008, 12:15 AM
Hahaha. I've noticed that my rate of good pictures plummets when I am in a group, even of two. As soon as there is a group of people trying to go somewhere (backpacking, vacation, walking), it is difficult to justify walking in circles in the 100 yard vicinity just because the light is good and you like the foreground or background. But yes, I've noticed many of my good shots in those cases were on-the-spot with no time for thought.

I started this thread after analyzing other forums on this site, when I decided that the reason they had higher traffic was because they had photo threads. Photo threads apparently give a sense of continuity in the face of sporadic posting. I figured since this was the best camera forum around, it would be nice to have some Olympus shooters around too.

Let's save some time and make a list of the cameras e_dawg doesn't have!

speaklightly
12-10-2008, 08:16 AM
Raven-

Here's one from yesterday afternoon. This is the guy that came to fix the cable installation. Taken with an E-520 with the ZD 18-180mm and the FL-50 flash to fill in the facial features in the late afternoon light (4:30pm).

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-10-2008, 10:18 AM
Here is the second photo from the Cable Lineman series. Again it was the E-520 with the ZD 18-180mm lens and the FL-50 flash to fill out the shadows due to the darkening light at 4:30pm. This second one may be the better of the two. What do you think?

Wow! I would love to have a ZD 70-300mm lens. That Scotch Thistle was great. But it will have to wait until the Christmas expenses are down the road a ways.

Sarah Joyce

e_dawg
12-11-2008, 12:49 AM
I see in your sig you have a G1 as well - how do you like it & how's it compare to the Oly?

It's good. The IQ is okay, but I prefer the E-520 and E-3 better. I find I like the Oly colours better than the Panasonic's, and the Oly JPEGs are better overall. The G1, however, is great for B&W and the EVF and contrast-detect AF Live View is excellent.

The manual focus assist on 4/3 lenses is good (most 4/3 lenses do not autofocus on the G1), but it's better on old school MF lenses from the film era because those lenses usually have a much longer-throw focusing ring and it's easier to adjust the focus that way instead of the "focus by wire" stuff with non-SWD 4/3 lenses.

Bottom line: it's a game changer IMO (not for IQ, but for everything else), and paves the way for other EVF / Live View dSLRs.

If you want to take a look at a couple B&W pics with the G1, PM me and I will send you a link (I don't like to post portraits on public forums for privacy reasons).

speaklightly
12-11-2008, 08:58 AM
E dawg -
That is a great photo. I like the drama of it.

Don- the photos of your good buddy in the snow are cute.

Some of you may know me, as I have been on the Forum for a long time. However, I am new to the E-520, so I am attempting to determine what the camera can do, as the last Olympus E camera I used was an E-300. So please excuse me if my first postings have the look of a newbie, but I will get there. I teach digital cameras for our state university, our local Community College, and on cruise ships.

Today I have two High ISO Setting test shots. There were taken this morning (11 Dec) at about 0630 when our great room was pretty dark. I shoot a lot of existing light stage photography so that is why the high ISO tests.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-11-2008, 09:00 AM
Here is the second photo taken at 1600. Both photos were taken on a tripod.

Sarah Joyce

Phill D
12-11-2008, 01:48 PM
With over 3000 posts Sarah hardly a newbie even with a new camera. Those two shots look fine to me. Did you PP noise etc at all? Nice clock too.

speaklightly
12-11-2008, 02:44 PM
Hi Phil-

No, all I did was to adjust the levels so the two photo had the same overall tone level so that they could be reasonably compared visually. No noise stuff like Neat Image orf Noise Ninja.

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
12-11-2008, 04:50 PM
Hi Sarah,

Shot in raw or jpeg and what level of noise filter?

Cheers, Don

e_dawg
12-11-2008, 05:08 PM
Thanks Sarah.

The E-520 is a great camera. It is the Olympus body that got me to stop worrying about 4/3 sensors, noise, DR, etc. and just enjoy the Oly colours and the high quality JPEGs out of the camera.

I have to say, however, that IMO, the images are too small to get a proper sense of the noise level. Any image reduced to that size will not reveal much noise unless it's *really* noisy.

speaklightly
12-11-2008, 05:48 PM
E-dwag-

Thanks very much for the very experienced input on the E-520 body. What do you feel about the E-510 camera body??

Sarah Joyce

raven15
12-11-2008, 09:54 PM
Hi speaklightly! I guess now we have crowd?

I like the first picture. I've worked in the west coast construction industry a bit, and he looks exactly like a cable lineman, or some sort of electrician. It is funny how the different trades develop their characteristic looks, just by looking at him I can tell he could never be a carpenter, laborer, equipment operator, mechanic, or painter. I guess you really captured his essence!

e_dawg
12-12-2008, 05:33 AM
E-dwag-

Thanks very much for the very experienced input on the E-520 body. What do you feel about the E-510 camera body??

Sarah Joyce

It's... disappointing. It's not that different from the E-520, but somehow it manages to disappoint while the E-520 manages to impress. Most of it is down to the in-camera processing with JPEG files, and the rest of it due to the sensor, the metering, and AWB.

Olympus chose to use ridiculously steep tone curves (high contrast) in processing images in-camera. With the sensor's DR already limited, they recklessly apply a tone curve that simultaneously crushes the shadows to black and clips the highlights to white. You have to set the camera to Muted Picture Mode, -2 contrast, -2 sharpness, and +1 saturation to get any DR out of its JPEGs IMO*. Add to that the propensity of the meter to overexpose in certain conditions and not do enough to protect the highlights, and you get a slightly frustrating experience (with JPEGs and DR, anyways).

The Noise Filter was also a generation behind. You could reduce the noise enough to get a moderately clean picture, but with reduced detail. Or, you could turn it off and get your detail back, but at the expense of increased noise. You couldn't win with JPEGs. If you wanted good noise/detail trade-off, you'd have to shoot RAW and process on the PC with a NR program like Noise Ninja, Neat Image, or Noiseware.

* - the settings I recommend for the E-520 are Muted picture mode, -2 Contrast, +1 Sharpness, and +1 Saturation (in conjunction with the Noise Filter set to Low, Auto ISO set to 800, and Auto Gradation for "regular" shooting). You may have to bump up the vibrance / saturation and clarity (midtone contrast) in post-processing a bit, but at least this way you have the option. You can always increase the saturation and contrast in PP, but you can never get clipped highlights / crushed shadows and clipped / out of gamut colours back, especially once it's saved to JPEG in-camera.

-------------

BTW Sarah, haven't I seen you before on the Nikon forums? Have you added Olympus to your kit or switched away from Nikon?

e_dawg
12-12-2008, 05:43 AM
Here's another one from Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany, July 2008.

http://scpublicgallery.smugmug.com/photos/398251175_Qny9N-XL.jpg

E-520 + 11-22

e_dawg
12-12-2008, 05:45 AM
Raven, love the "water fountains" shot btw. Nice B&W post-processing. Wonder if it might look better had the verticals been straight as opposed to the "wide-angle shooting upwards at an angle converging verticals" look? I do that all the time too, as I don't have a tilt-shift lens or bother with correcting for this in post-processing. But I sometimes wonder: "would this have been better if my verticals did not converge?"

KG: nice grab of the birdie... not easy to do when they dart around quickly.

speaklightly
12-12-2008, 08:10 AM
e dawg-

As a digital camera instructor, I have experience with Nikon and Olympus DSLR cameras. Because I do a good deal of my instructing on cruise ships, I am not as active on the forums as I could be if I was at home all the time. Generally speaking, I am away 8 to 9 months of the year instructing on cruise ships.

For example, we are at home for a month currently, and then we join the ship again on January 14th for the annual world cruise.

I asked about the E-510 versus the E-520, as I found an E-510 body at a very low price on E-Bay. Just in my short experience with the E-520, it does seem to be "tweeked" a bit better to give it more DR.

Just for fun I pulled out the E-300 yesterday and snapped a few photos of my husband. The IQ is good thanks to the use of flash, but you can easily see how far Olympus has come between the E-300 and the E-520.

Further Edit: I won the auction on E-Bay and got an E-510 body for $(US) 304.00. When I receive the E-510 body, I will return the E-520 body as I am still within the return period. So yes, I saved some money, but based on e dawg's comments, I am going to have to live with the lesser qualities of the E-510 body. Darn it!

Sarah Joyce

e_dawg
12-12-2008, 01:04 PM
As a digital camera instructor, I have experience with Nikon and Olympus DSLR cameras. Because I do a good deal of my instructing on cruise ships, I am not as active on the forums as I could be if I was at home all the time. Generally speaking, I am away 8 to 9 months of the year instructing on cruise ships.

For example, we are at home for a month currently, and then we join the ship again on January 14th for the annual world cruise.

Hmm... that sounds like fun! Know any ships looking for an instructor? ;)


Further Edit: I won the auction on E-Bay and got an E-510 body for $(US) 304.00. When I receive the E-510 body, I will return the E-520 body as I am still within the return period. So yes, I saved some money, but based on e dawg's comments, I am going to have to live with the lesser qualities of the E-510 body. Darn it!

Well the E-510 is okay if you use the "right" settings as I suggested earlier. And if you shoot RAW and are willing to do some post-processing for those shots that have high DR or low-light shots at high ISO, you will be taking the weak link (the in-camera processing) out of the equation and will have just as good images as you would get from the E-520. The difference then becomes the amount of PP work required. And if you're willing to put in a bit of time, you can automate your RAW conversion and processing workflow enough that it is only a minor inconvenience.

However, you don't need to return the E-520 and stay with the E-510 if you don't want to. Why not re-eBay the E-510 and just keep the E-520? I know you'll lose a few bucks and it's a bit of work to do that, but these days, I feel that the less time I have to spend in PP, the better, and that it's worth it to pay for things that enable that type of photographic lifestyle / workflow.

Just my 2 cents...

Phill D
12-12-2008, 02:23 PM
e_dawg now I'm depressed as I don't really want to shoot RAW all the time and I can't afford to change my camera. :( Mind you if I get rubbish pictures I can always blame the camera now ;) Seriously as an E510 owner I'd be curious to see images to show the differences. There has been a lot posted especially on dpr about the differences between the two cameras, most people agree with you but some actually say the 510 is better. Sarah if I was in your situation I'd probably stick with the newer camera and re ebay the 510 as e_dawg suggested. Mind you, you could always do some back to back comparisons while you have both.

speaklightly
12-12-2008, 02:24 PM
e dawg-

Thanks a lot for your input about just e-baying the E-510. I just might do that. But getting into RAW is something that I promised myself that I should do to be a really effective digital camera instructor. So that would be a good challenge to pit myself against during the upcoming 6 month long contract. Do you like the RAW processor that is packaged with the Olympus cameras? I believe that it is a stripped down version of Silkypix? So the E-510 could have a use that way too. So there are several alternatives available.

I will apply your suggested settings and use RAW when I receive the E-510 camera and give it a try. Before making a decision. So perhaps we have found a silver lining in that e-bay mishap. I appreaciate your input a lot.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-12-2008, 02:29 PM
Phil-

As soon as I receive the E-510, in most probably about a week, I will be happy to post side by side E-510 and E-520 comparisons. It also gives me the perfect opportunity to get into shooting RAW which is a bonus. As you say, I have some beautiful E-510 shots over on the www.dpreview oly forum.

Sarah Joyce

e_dawg
12-12-2008, 04:46 PM
e_dawg now I'm depressed as I don't really want to shoot RAW all the time and I can't afford to change my camera. :( Mind you if I get rubbish pictures I can always blame the camera now ;) Seriously as an E510 owner I'd be curious to see images to show the differences. There has been a lot posted especially on dpr about the differences between the two cameras, most people agree with you but some actually say the 510 is better.

Well it's not as bad as it sounds, especially if you are not the type who regularly prints 8 x 10's (inches) or larger (that's what, 20 x 25 cm?) or crops and enlarges frequently. Most people display images on-screen or on the Net, and image sizes are often pretty small... a typical image is, what, 1024x768? Downsizing from 10 MP to 1 MP is a 66% reduction in image size... it's hard to tell the difference there. And when most people print, they usually just get 4 x 6's (10 x 13 cm). Again, can't really tell the difference at smaller sizes.

Unfortunately, I no longer have an actual factory spec E-510, so I can't really compare the E-510 and E-520 in a fair comparison.

e_dawg
12-12-2008, 05:06 PM
Thanks a lot for your input about just e-baying the E-510. I just might do that. But getting into RAW is something that I promised myself that I should do to be a really effective digital camera instructor. So that would be a good challenge to pit myself against during the upcoming 6 month long contract.

Sure, but you could still shoot and process RAW with the E-520, no? You don't need an E-510 to do that. If you want more "challenging" RAW files to work with, just be more reckless with your exposure, shoot in backlit conditions, and use higher ISOs while underexposing. That should give you plenty of crappy pics to work on in PP ;)


Do you like the RAW processor that is packaged with the Olympus cameras? I believe that it is a stripped down version of Silkypix?

No, don't really like it. It comes with Olympus Master as the RAW converter. It's okay, but I don't think anyone would say it's a pleasure to use.


I will apply your suggested settings and use RAW when I receive the E-510 camera and give it a try. Before making a decision. So perhaps we have found a silver lining in that e-bay mishap. I appreaciate your input a lot.

No problem Sarah. It's always a pleasure chatting with mature and well-adjusted photographers like yourself. As you know, it's not always like that on discussion boards these days. I'm sure you know what I mean, seeing as you mentioned dpreview's forums, which tend to have an element of... let's call it "teenage angst" ;)

raven15
12-13-2008, 12:17 AM
E-dawg, good question. I wanted to know the answer too so I asked photoshop, and It looks like this. ??? Hard to say. My new-found knowledge of composition says it is less dynamic but more powerful with vertical fountains. My older sense says it has greater impression of height with them converging up, and is more interesting. I suppose both have their merits. It does reveal my shooting habits though, I like angling the lens up, and I loooove shooting into backlighting. This is the unprocessed version, except for distortion. As you can see, I didn't have much to do in the B&W conversion.

Phil, if you haven't had a problem with your pictures I wouldn't worry about it. I had a problem with clipped highlights (I am now shooting RAW), but I also live in a very dry climate and high altitude, and as I just said I like contrasty lighting. I think the lighting in England would be much less demanding, with so much air and water between you and the sun.

Phill D
12-13-2008, 02:21 AM
Blown highlights do happen even here ;) but I see what you mean looking out of the window at the moment :(.
42622

It most annoys me when I get white skies when I'm sure it should do better. Much of this is probably me though getting the exposure wrong. As I get used to the camera it's becoming less of a problem. Plus in many cases the contrast difference is so great any cam would struggle & only a GND would suffice. I might try RAW though over the Christmas break just to experiment.

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 09:11 AM
Good Morning, Phil-

I see that you are experiencing the very same problems and feelings I experienced when shooting with the E-410. Some shots would be perfect, and then, "bang" the white skies would begin showing up again. I found that very discouraging and now the E-410 sits on the shelf.

Raven seems to do very well with the E-410. Perhaps he has some hints to get rid of those white skies that are seen on the E-410 and E-510. The other thought that I had been toying with recently was that perhaps RAW was the better and more workable solution for those white skies.

Here is a nice E-410 example where everything worked well for me.

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
12-13-2008, 09:20 AM
Raw files will let you adjust the exposure after the shot, if you have a lot of "sky" in the viewfinder it helps to use +1 or +2 exposure compensation.

Correction - "Other way around, I was thinking about snow when I wrote that"

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 10:47 AM
Good Morning, Don-

What am I missing here?? I would think that you would want to use -EV setting such as EV-0.7 or EV-1.0. to get rid of those white skies. Am I going the wrong way??

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 10:52 AM
Here is another example or reason why the E-410 sits on the shelf. This photo was taken quickly with the E-410 equipped with the ZD 40-150mm lens and the FL-50 flash.

The weight of the bigger lens and the Flash makes the E-410 hard to hand hold for a quick shot. And this is a typical "product shot" type of photo. Notice that camera movement blurred the focus.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 10:54 AM
Here is the same "product shot" taken a minute later with the E-520 using the very same lens and flash.

Notice that the shot is now sharply focused.

Sarah Joyce

e_dawg
12-13-2008, 01:03 PM
Here is another example or reason why the E-410 sits on the shelf. This photo was taken quickly with the E-410 equipped with the ZD 40-150mm lens and the FL-50 flash.

The weight of the bigger lens and the Flash makes the E-410 hard to hand hold for a quick shot. And this is a typical "product shot" type of photo. Notice that camera movement blurred the focus.

Sarah Joyce

Hmm... to my eyes, a good part of the blur you see is actually due to focusing behind the product (see how the carpet is sharp both behind and to the left and bottom-right of the Lindor box?). As well, the DoF looks a bit narrower with the E-410 shot, allowing for a bit less margin for error with the focus.

Does anyone else see that, or is it just me?

Phill D
12-13-2008, 01:32 PM
I must admit the change in focus position was what struck me too on the truffle shot. Maybe your E410 is focussing behind where it should Sarah?
Yes the white sky thing is annoying but as I said I'm sure much of it is down to the photographer, it's just a shame the camera isn't more forgiving. You need to get confident with a camera & I'm not there yet. Can you remember how you metered that crane shot Sarah?

Don Kondra
12-13-2008, 01:40 PM
Good Morning, Don-

What am I missing here?? I would think that you would want to use -EV setting such as EV-0.7 or EV-1.0. to get rid of those white skies. Am I going the wrong way??

Sarah Joyce

Quite right, I was watching it snow as I typed, the camera underexposes white to try to make it look 18% gray. For a bright sky you would go the other way, ie., minus exposure compensation.....

I shoot in raw so I've always adjusted the exposure after the shot and not really paid much attention to the amount, I just took a shot and needed to go +1 to change the color of the snow from gray to white :)

I would have done a sky shot to see what the number is but it's another gray day here, sigh....

As to your comparison shots, check your exif data, they are not even close so it is not a fair comparison.

ie., 410/520, iso 100/1600, pattern + AF/ESP, 51mm/43mm.

You need to take your 410 out for a nice supper and apologize, he, he..

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 02:13 PM
Thanks, Don for the very astute observations. I will boost the E-410 up to 1600 ISO and re-shoot it to get a "fair" comparison. I guess, down deep, the problem is me, and my "too quick to make a decision" attitude that I adopted on the E-410. I am beginning to realize that it is more capable than I ignorantly thought.

By the way, as a form of tribute and apology I fed the E-410 a nice big chocolate truffle. It is storming here along the Oregon coast as well. Today we have had mixed rain and snow even on the coastline.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 02:43 PM
By the way here is the weather report: We have had mixed rain and snow all day, even right here on the Oregon coastline. Here is what our backyard looks like right now. I shot this with the E-410 through a window so I could stay dry and warm.

I am sorry, E-410! please note that my attitude about you is changing.

Sarah Joyce

e_dawg
12-13-2008, 03:18 PM
I am sorry, E-410! please note that my attitude about you is changing.

So does that mean you're going to re-eBay the 510 and return the 520, giving the prodigal 410 a chance to carry the mail? ;)

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 03:41 PM
e dawg-

I have yet to receive the E-510, but it will go immediately to E-Bay for re-sale. I am going to return the E-520, and Yes Sir! The E-410 since I already own it and have all the necessary, lenses and flashes will carry the mail, even to Russia! See attached

It good to hear from you, I hope that you are enjoying a great weekend.

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
12-13-2008, 04:26 PM
Thanks, Don for the very astute observations. I will boost the E-410 up to 1600 ISO and re-shoot it to get a "fair" comparison. I guess, down deep, the problem is me, and my "too quick to make a decision" attitude that I adopted on the E-410. I am beginning to realize that it is more capable than I ignorantly thought.

Hi Sarah,

Why are you pushing the iso so hard? You do gain some speed but at the expense of IQ/noise.

Without using a tripod, the only thing you are testing is your handholding abilities :)


By the way, as a form of tribute and apology I fed the E-410 a nice big chocolate truffle.

Mmmm, that would do it for me, he, he...


It is storming here along the Oregon coast as well. Today we have had mixed rain and snow even on the coastline.

Sarah Joyce

Now that is a nice shot of a not so nice day.

Shot out the window????

Must be tough living with That View, sigh...

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 04:54 PM
Thanks for your observations, Don-

I started with the highest ISO to overcome the lack of in body IS and will be gradually backing it down to lower levels. This one, still at ISO 1600 was taken with the ZD 14-42mm so called kit lens on the E-410 while I experimented with some bounce flash.

Yes, that view is sort of addictive, isn't it.

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
12-13-2008, 05:16 PM
LOL....

I couldn't figure out how you were getting away with iso 1600, I tried three different programs to read the exif data and they all say they were shot at iso 100 :)

When using a flash you shouldn't have to up the iso much, IMHO.

Hope you don't mind I did a little photoshopping to your image?

You tell me if this looks more natural...

42640

Used the color and saturation sliders in LightBox Plus, some brightness, contrast and sharpeness in FastStone Image Viewer, all free downloads.

Cheers, Don

Don Kondra
12-13-2008, 05:27 PM
PS. I'd keep the 510 for the IS and sell the other two :)

I believe all the accessories are interchangeable, lens, flash, battery, cards...

Especially if you do a lot of hand held shots the IS is invaluable.

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 08:01 PM
Hi Don-

As you might have already guessed, I am determined to get the very best photos. And I am also quite willing to experiment with almost anything, and the I am a HUGE Olympus fan.

So here is another photo from the E-410 with the ZD 14-54mm lens this time. It is the same bounced hand held, bounced flash.

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
12-13-2008, 08:26 PM
Okay, I'm with you....

Now be honest, how would you rate the accuracy of the "color" of that shot ?

On my monitor his skin tone appears on the reddish side, but not having met the gentleman in person this is an assumption...

No comment on the iso discrepancy? :)

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 09:41 PM
Thanks, Don-

The color is just about right!

I am going to put the same effort into getting good photos out of the E-510, just like the E-410.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-13-2008, 09:46 PM
Don, I owe you a great deal!

Thanks very much for your personal support. It means a great deal. As soon as I receive the E-510 we will move over to getting the most out of the E-510. In the meantime, I will also keep the photos going with the E-410, as I believe that it has real potential.

Sarah Joyce

e_dawg
12-14-2008, 12:53 AM
PS. I'd keep the 510 for the IS and sell the other two :)

Sarah, as much as I was pulling for the little E-410 that could, I'd actually keep the E-520 and eBay both the E-410 and E-510. I feel the E-520 is just about perfect and is like having an E-3 for less than half the price from an IQ perspective. It has essentially the same sensor as the E-3 and almost the same image processing algorithms and menu system -- a generation of refinement over the E-510.

But like Don said, if you have already decided that you are returning the E-520, I would rather keep the E-510 over the 410 for the IS.


Especially if you do a lot of hand held shots the IS is invaluable.

Agree with you 100% Don. I might suggest reading an article by Erwin Puts (of Leica Compendium fame) where he tests the resolution of the Nikon D3, the Leica M8, and the Olympus E-3 systems and how camera shake from hand holding reduces the effective resolution. He also tests the effect of VR on the D3 and IS on the E-3 against hand holding to see how much of a difference they make on the effective resolution.

His conclusions?


Hand holding results in a serious drop in effective resolution unless shutter speeds are very high.
He scoffs at the old 1/focal length rule, and found you needed something like 1/200 sec for a 50 mm lens on the E-3 and 1/180 sec for a 105 mm lens on the D3.
Basically, that's 1 / (2 x 35 mm focal length) -- or 1 / (4 x nominal focal length on 4/3 systems like Olympus!)
He found that VR and IS were extremely effective in maintaining effective resolution while hand holding (although the in-body IS of the Olympus was deemed to be a bit less effective than Nikon's in-lens VR).


Bottom line: Image Stabilization is very important, and I wouldn't buy a camera or lens without it if I had the option.

http://www.imx.nl/photo/technique/technique/page40.html

raven15
12-14-2008, 01:43 AM
I fed the E-410 a nice big chocolate truffle

Ha ha. My E-410 was feeling abused, so I took it to Lake Tahoe this afternoon and doused it in water, which promptly froze all over. It was still feeling a little abused, so I did a few lens swaps in a snow storm, then let it play in traffic.

I'd go with the E-520 as well, unless a) I shot RAW, in which case the E-510 would be almost identical, or b) I thought it was too big to justify IS, in which case I'd stick with the E-410. Both apply to me, so I'm waiting for an E-430 with IS (and watersealing).

raven15
12-14-2008, 01:53 AM
Don, I believe your version is too pale. Speaklightly's husband is her most commonly posted subject around here, and most cameras seem to render him towards the red side of your version.

speaklightly
12-14-2008, 08:39 AM
Good Morning All-

OK, today the drill will be to use a tripod, reduce the ISO settings, and to shoot with both the E-520 and the E-410. I will post samples as the day progresses. BTW, my tripod is a Quick-Set brand tripod that I paid $(US) 37.00 for in 1951, and I am still using it as it is so sturdy and reliable.

I just washed my hair, so I have to go do something with it, like drying and rolling, so I will be back later. That huge Pacific storm is still raging outside. We were even treated to a lot of thunder and lightening overnight.

Bye for now!

Sarah Joyce

e_dawg
12-14-2008, 08:50 AM
Don, I believe your version is too pale. Speaklightly's husband is her most commonly posted subject around here, and most cameras seem to render him towards the red side of your version.

... but could it be that they are consistently a bit too red and overly saturated? If that is an accurate rendering, I have to wonder if he loves suntanning ;)

Seriously, though... could it be a monitor calibration issue? It's very common these days with LCDs and laptops having wildly differing colour response characteristics.

(I also find that colour spaces and profiles tend to create compatibility and consistency problems as well (Adobe RGB, sRGB), but that is a whole other discussion on its own...)

speaklightly
12-14-2008, 12:25 PM
Well, this time we have the E-520 set at ISO 100 with a weather report using the ZD 40-150mm lens. It is raining heavily, as you can see from the really dark clouds overhead. In the far distance, just above the horizon line you can see a bit of blue sky. So, perhaps there is some home that we are getting toward the end of the massive cold front.

Impending cold front passage is also presaged by the very measurable drop in surface wind speed. But I guess you did not want a weather lesson. Its just a part of my past. I flew for 32 years as a Boeing 747 Captain for Trans World Airlines, and I have been retired since 1991.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-14-2008, 01:45 PM
OK here is the next one. This was taken with the E-520 and the ZD 50mm F 2.0 lens, using existing light (window light). This photo was handheld.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-14-2008, 01:46 PM
Now using the same setup we take the photo using by 57 year old tripod.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-14-2008, 02:30 PM
This time I used the E-410, the ZD 50mm f 2.0 lens, and my veteran tripod.

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
12-14-2008, 05:36 PM
Hi Sarah,

I don't use flash so I can't help you with this one but perhaps it's time to venture into setting a white balance for your shots ?

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-14-2008, 06:10 PM
OK, Don-

Do I have it right: you mean that I should be setting a custom or manual WB. I agree that is probably the best answer as I seem to be getting inconsistent colors. Or perhaps would it be better to shoot RAW and adjust the WB there??

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
12-14-2008, 07:00 PM
Hi Sarah,

If you continue to shoot in jpeg, a custom white balance will help with the color issues.

Or, shoot in Raw and have the option to correct it later.

In general, I would rather process the image the way I want it vs relying on the camera's jpeg engine and/or whatever settings you have applied in camera before taking the shot and remembering to change the settings when shooting under different conditions.

With raw you have just that, a raw file with no adjustments, you make the adjustments during processing.

Very generally speaking, you have a lot more leeway processing a raw file than you do a jpeg.

So I guess what it boils down to is whether or not you are willing to spend the additional time to process raw files to achieve the maximum image quality or save the processing time but learn what settings result in the best jpeg images.

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-14-2008, 07:40 PM
Thanks a lot, Don-

That is another vote for going to RAW. I am going to give it a try.

Sarah Joyce

Phill D
12-14-2008, 11:00 PM
Sarah which one was the best likeness to the actual colours your window light produced? Also just curious did you use the IS for the 520 hand held shot & turn it off for the tripod shot?

speaklightly
12-15-2008, 07:56 AM
Good Morning, Phil-

The E-410 shot was the most accurate color. The E-520 appears to my eyes to be a bit blue toned. I am sure that you saw the discusssion that Don and I had yesterday about the different color tones. It is either use a custom WB or go to RAW.

So, since I have been draging my feet on RAW, there is another excellent reason to go to RAW. And thanks, to e dawg I, once again have more respect for my tripod, even as old as it is. Visually, the differences between the handheld and the tripod shots were less dramatic with the E-520. However, you could really see the difference in the E-410 shots.

Have a great day, Phil! I will check back again later.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-15-2008, 11:41 AM
Well, since I last posted I needed a photo of a Panasonic TZ-5 equipped with a slave flash to answer so questions in the Forum, so I pulled out the E-520 set-up with the ZD 40-150mm lens and the FL-50 flash and took this photo.

And interestingly enough, these colors look spot-on on my computer screen.

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
12-15-2008, 12:31 PM
LOL

They may look spot on but I'm not sure if they are flattering :) :)

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-15-2008, 12:43 PM
Hi Don-

My comment about the colors was made only with regard to the accuracy of those colors versus how I view the product subject with my eyes, and how those fairly accurate colors were reproduced on my computer screen.

You used the term "...not flattering..." does that pertain to the colors as viewed on your computer screen, the lighting, the contrast, etc? I ask in an effort to determine if the colors displayed on my computer screen are inaccurate, and to understand how that photo might be functionally improved.

Thanks for your help, Don. Have a great day!

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
12-15-2008, 01:12 PM
Hi Sarah,

Just teasing, not a big fan of a pink background :)

On a purely technical note, if you are striving for a traditional product shot, the most used background seems to be light gray.

It's attractive or at least pleasing to the eye without being distracting, the focus, no pun intended, should be on the object.

And a paper backdrop won't suck up the light as much as a coarse fabric...

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-15-2008, 03:28 PM
Thanks a lot, Don-

That is excellent input. I just wanted to be sure that is was neither my computer monitor or some glitch in the way I post processed the TZ-5 and slave flash photo was at fault.

Have a great day!

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
12-15-2008, 10:06 PM
Just for fun, this is my dogs personal trainer :)

42707

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-18-2008, 04:00 PM
Well Folks-

There has not been much activity on our Olympus DSLR thread lately. I did receive delivery today (12/18) of an E-510 body that cost me $(US) 286.00 fro Olympus Auctions. There was no charge for deliver and it arrived in 2 days via FedEX. Wow!

And while the E-510 body was pretty well cold soaked on arrival, within 2 hours I was happily snapping away with a refurbished E-510 camera that is absolutely pristine. My gosh! It looks brand new, all for well less than $(US) 286.00.

Here is the first photo our of the newly arrived E-510 camera body. I hope that you are enjoying a great day. Christmas is just a week from today!

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-19-2008, 05:11 PM
I snapped up a FL-36 flash to use on the E-410. When used with the ZD 14-54mm lens and the FL-36, the E-410 is nicely balanced. But at least no pink towel, Don! Here is my situation. My husband is disabled and unable to walk so his site, when at home, is pretty much right there in that chair. So I really cannot vary the background much.

BTW the Stofen Diffusser from the FL-50 flash will also fit the FL-36 flash as well. That's a bonus!

Sarah Joyce

Phill D
12-19-2008, 10:30 PM
Sarah was the flash from Circuit City I heard they were selling them of really cheap. Shame no one over here is doing the same:( I have been a bit busy lately hence not posted much mind you this Oly forum has got much better recently, there used to be hardly any traffic at all. Looking forward to Christmas & my new tripod as my old one broke some time ago. Nothing fancy just a light weight Velbron but it should be much better than nothing. I also joined the Olympus Safari Group run by Brian Mosely (check out some of his posts on DPReview). I went to their exhibition recently and was absolutely blown away by the shots that other enthusiasts had got with Olympus gear. I'm looking forward to getting the exhibition book for Christmas too. Anyway hope you & your husband and everyone here on DCRP have a wonderful Christmas & I look forward to exchanging posts with everyone over the holidays.

raven15
12-20-2008, 01:42 AM
I have been meaning to post these for a while. The day after Thanksgiving was opposite day, I took a landscape photo at 300mm (read 600mm) with my 70-300, and a wildlife photo at 9mm (read 18mm) with my 9-18mm, and here they are. Both lenses rose to the occasion remarkably.

However, looking at the ram, you start to think, at 18mm he is only about 12 feet away. And then you realize at 12 feet it is apparent that even a pretty little girl bighorn is much stronger than I am. And this isn't the pretty little girl sheep that ran through a minute earlier, this is a big strong guy sheep, with huge rippling muscles. And then you notice... hmmmm... those horns looks pretty hard... and that's not even saying anything about the hoofs, and he's looking nervously right at me... At that point I switched to my wide angle lens. The ram was intrigued by the motion of me doing this, he had never seen anything like it before. And he realized that if I was moving about in such a random, innocent manner I wasn't about to pounce.

...So moral of the story is, I spent the next few minutes changing lenses to keep him intrigued and avoid having myself squished like a ripe tomato. Seemed fair, but this was the only picture I took during that time. In conclusion, I recommend the 70-300 as a landscape lens much more than the 9-18 as a wildlife lens.

They are both uncropped.

raven15
12-20-2008, 01:45 AM
And I usually dislike traffic :) I wish I had found the FL36R, I would have gotten it for that price. But you do have an Olympus Photo Safari Group over there, which we do not have over here.

Speaklightly, that is unfortunate.

speaklightly
12-20-2008, 07:46 AM
Raven-

Both shots are very good. Yes, you were indeed closer to that Big Horn Mama than I would care to be. It is good to see activity in this thread, especially since it is less than a week before Christmas.

Phil-

That Olympus Safari Group exhibition must have been very impressive. They seem to be doing a lot based on what I read over at dpreview. Enjoy your tripod and Safari Group book for Christmas.

We will be out of here and on the road again, before you know it. We fly to Fort Lauderdale on 01/13 to board the Tahitian Princess for the 2009 Princess World Cruise. We will do 1/2 of the cruise this year, Fort Lauderdale to Osaka, Japan. Then we immediately head for LAX and another contract.

Happy Holidays to all!

Sarah Joyce

Phill D
12-20-2008, 11:36 PM
Sarah your "work" cruise sounds like a fantastic holiday to me, have a good time. Yes the exhibition was very enjoyable only regret was not being able to get to the group get together on the last day. I'm pretty sure that anyone can view the book photographs on line if you join the group and it's open to anyone anywhere Raven so you could join too. Just look up Brian Mosely on DPReview's Olympus dslr forum I'm pretty sure he posts a link to the group in his posts.

speaklightly
12-21-2008, 01:21 AM
Hi Phil-

You are very correct. It is a really great retirement "gig." My husband and I teach on cruise ships some 7 to 8 months each year. When we are home we teach for our local Community College, and our state university. Every day is a real challenge. Because we have to cover a wide variety of camera applications in our teaching, we are active in both the DSLR world and the Point and Shoot world.

For example, we worked most of the day today (20 December 2008) on smoothling out a well balanced exposure with a rather powerful slave flash (the DigiSlave 3000) and a rather typical point & shoot camera, the Kodak Z1012. We think that the results are rather amazing. So take a look at the attached, Phil. It proves that you can do a rather complex flash photo rather easily with a run of the mill point & shoot camera: the Kodak Z-1012 and some run of the mill flash accesories. The result is a well balanced flash photo from a point & shoot camera that you might never suspect could produce it. Please tell me what you think, Phil?? Yep, that is yours truly in the attached photo

Sarah Joyce

e_dawg
12-21-2008, 09:39 AM
Sarah, you are definitely right there... lighting plays a huge role in the quality of flash pics. The tiny direct on-board flash is the main reason IMO a P&S produces horrible flash pics. But using an optical slave flash in a bounced / reflected setup like you did there is just the ticket!

Your students are lucky to have a teacher who is so willing to keep refining her technique and open to experimenting with new ideas. Myself, i don't know if I would have the patience to teach ;) But I definitely respect those who do... it speaks of a contented and generous soul.

BTW, the World cruise aboard the Tahitian Princess sounds fantastic. I have been on a couple Princess cruises in the past, and I know my parents love cruising in general.

speaklightly
12-21-2008, 10:18 AM
e-dawg-

Many thaks for the nice comments. My husband and I have a little pact. We have agreed that as long as teaching and cruising is fun we will continue to do it. However, when it is no long personally rewarding and a lot of fun, we will enjoy our home.

We enjoy perfecting and working out techniques that P&S users can use to get better photos. In our television and internet driven civilization, people today want you to present a proven techniques and to show them exactly what quality of photos can be obtained using any technique. Also they want you to validate the technique right before their eyes, just to be sure.

We teach a rather diverse group of people both age-wise and photo experience-wise so you have to make your presentation as simple and as understandable as possible, while still maintaining a high interest level.

After all, at the end of their cruise, those same passengers actually comment on and grade your presentation and how much they learned on their Passenger Comment Questionaire. In turn, the cruise line uses the passengers comments to decide if they will ask you back to lecture/teach again. Luckily we have also received great comments and high grades.

Happy Holidays!

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-22-2008, 09:29 AM
Good Morning-

Here we are, just a few days before Christmas, and our winter storms have hit us one after the other for 2 weeks. December, especially here along the Oregon coastline is usually mild. It is at the end of January and in early February that we usually see these strong winter storms. And then we have them for 2 or 3 days with a 2 or 3 day break of good weather.

Here is what it looked like this morning. We had one break in the storm where we got a glimpse of some blue sky momentarily. Notice the angry sea below that bit of blue sky.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-22-2008, 04:10 PM
I was working with the E-420, the FL-36 Flash, and the ZD 14-42mm lens today. Here is a handheld shot that looks pretty good.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-22-2008, 04:59 PM
Here is the second E-420 photo sample. This photo was taken with the E-420 equipped with the ZD 40-150mm lens and the FL-36 flash. And yes, once again it was taken handheld.

Sarah Joyce

kgosden
12-22-2008, 10:02 PM
I thought it was time for some bright colors. I just upgraded from the E510 to the E520 thanks to Circuit City's local exit. Since the Christmas cactus was in bloom I slapped on the 50mm macro. This was under the low voltage halogens ISO 100 using custom white balance.

Phill D
12-22-2008, 10:08 PM
Crusing sounds great but I'm afraid it wouldn't be for me, I get sea sick on the Dover to Calais ferry ;( When I retire I'll have to find something on dry land.
They look good flash pictures Sarah. I've only ever tried the built in flash & the results wern't good so I tend to avoid it. Looks like you've convinced me to look through the sales after Christmas & see what I can find.

speaklightly
12-22-2008, 11:39 PM
22 December 2008

Hi Phil-

Well, you really should not feel badly at all! When someone mentions the very word flash, most photography folks, they sort of draw back and slowly become rigid with the non- knowledge of how to use a good external flash effectively to get great photos.

In the final analysis, an external flash is one of the best photographic tools available to any photographer. You just have to get them over the fear and trembling portion of it when you speak the word: "external flash!."

Phil, I have made a huge success out of the Olympus E-410 and E-420, thanks to the use of a very efficient external flash: the Olympus FL-36 Flash. that solves nicely the IS problem faced by both the E-410 and the E-420 cameras.

And please, let's not just pass my the Olympus FL-36 flash by without mentioning that its biggest advantage is NOT as a direct flash, but as a bounce flash. Bounce flash is what encouraged you to like the photo effect of particularly the second photo sample that I posted today (12/22). And, thanks to E-Bay I managed to snag that FL-36 flash for just $(US) 100.00.

We must leave on the 12th of January to head for the Princess World Cruise, but I am willing to run an external flash clinic on line before we depart if anyone is interested.. The light provided by a good external flash is very worthwhile indeed if you know how to take advantage of it.

Who, out there, is really up for a slam bang flash clinic? Please think a bit about that. I don't mean to press anything or anyone. I guarantee that anyone can opt out, and there will be no hard feelings. So, please give it a think, won't you?

Sarah Joyce

Phill D
12-23-2008, 12:41 AM
Sarah I'm not sure I know what you mean when you say a "flash clinic" Sounds like you should start a new thread with that as the title, you may get a better response.

speaklightly
12-23-2008, 11:18 AM
Good Morning, Phil-

Well there is no real request for something on shooting with flash. So we will just let it lie fallow for the time being. I am in complete agreement with you that if it happens, it should be in a separate thread.

Happy Holidays, have a great day!

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-23-2008, 11:21 AM
kgosden-

That is a very nice photo. The color is very rich, though I would have liked a bit more DOF. Happy Holidays!

Sarah Joyce

kgosden
12-23-2008, 02:25 PM
Just grabbed a few of the blossom to test out the E520. Wasn't really trying anything too critical. I can never decide if I will like the shallow DOF abstract look or the more completely in focus. I always feel that if you cannot get the majority of the flower in focus, then it is better to drive the viewer to a single feature. Christmas cactus blooms are rather deep front to back and at my focus distance i would have needed to stop down to f16 or so to get it all. This was a quick set of hand held shots under kitchen lighting and I did not want to push the ISO. I did a few from the side where there is more detail, but I couldn't decide on one I liked. Hoping to get some play time with the new camera and the also new FL36R. Looking forward to trying the 'R' part.

speaklightly
12-23-2008, 03:06 PM
Kgosden-

It is always fun to experiment a bit. Your photo is a very effective one.

I owned the FL-50 flash for about 4 years, and then just recently picked up a used FL-36 flash. I like the size of the FL-36 flash a lot better, especially when I am using a small body like the E-410 or E-420.

So I have been doing a good deal of experimenting as well with the FL-36 flash. Here is a photo my husband took of me this morning using the E-420, the FL-35, and the ZD 40-150mm lens. It was handheld, and as my husband very rarely takes photos, I was surprised when he told me he want to use the E-420 to take a photo of me. All in all, he did a good job taking this photo handheld.

Sarah Joyce

kgosden
12-23-2008, 08:32 PM
Sarah are you using full power on the flash when you are bouncing? Too many of the houses here have high or sloped ceilings in the rooms where we gather to get a decent bounce setup. That was one of the appeals of getting into the Ex20 series. With the remote off camera capability of the FL36R I expect to be able to experiment with lighting a bit.

Here is an alternate take of the Christmas cactus. I ran this through the CS3 RAW converter and decided to try a different color balance.

speaklightly
12-23-2008, 09:40 PM
Kgosden-

That is a much more impressive photo of the Christmas Cactus. I can be much more at ease with that type of photo. Now we have a great view of the whole blossom. Did you use the FL-36 to get this view? Good for you!

Sarah Joyce

kgosden
12-24-2008, 06:03 AM
No flash, just unnatural kitchen cabinet under counter halogens.

speaklightly
12-24-2008, 08:08 PM
Well folks-

More than a few people have been looking for a simple inexpensive flash solution for our favorite Olympus DSLR cameras. Tonight I attached the DigiSlave 3000 to the E-420 camera. Deploying the E-420's built-in flash I was ready.

The E-420's built-in flash would act as an "optical trigger" for the DigiSlave 3000 Slave Flash. The results speak for themselves, just look at the attached photo!. So now you have the potential of an external flash costing just $(US) 100.00, that really works well. However, with the price of the FL-36 falling rapidly, the DigiSlave only has a very limited application to Olympus DSLR cameras. A Slave Flash is much more adapted to point and shoot cameras that are not equipped with built in hotshoes.

Happy Holidays!

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-28-2008, 01:01 PM
Today (12/28/08) I decided to do some tests on the two ZD 40-150mm lenses that I owned. For clarity sake the one I call the "short" ZD 40-150mm is actually the newer version of the ZD 40-150mm lens that is now manufactured in China.

All of the photos were taken with my E-420 and the FL-36 flash with diffusser. Auto ISO was used to be sure all the parameters would be the same. The first photo was taken with the new, short ZD 40-150mm version of the lens that is manufactured in China.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-28-2008, 01:05 PM
OK, here is the second photo, the camera, the flash, and the settings are all the same, all I did was change the lens. The short ZD 40-150mm lens made in China came off, and the older, longer, ZD 40-150mm lens made in Japan went on to the E-420.

Here is what that lens produced. I believe that you can see a qualitative difference between the two photos. The old lens is better! What do you think?

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-28-2008, 01:12 PM
To be completely fair, I also did comparison shots at ISO 1600, with the FL-36 dismounted from the E-420 camera. This is the short ZD 40-150mm lens made in China

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-28-2008, 01:16 PM
OK, this is the last one. This was taken using the ISO 1600 and the older ZD 40-150mm lens that was made in Japan.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-28-2008, 01:18 PM
OOps! here is the missing photo. Again I believe you can see a photo quality difference. What do you think?

Sarah Joyce

Phill D
12-29-2008, 12:31 AM
There is definately a difference Sarah I agree but are you sure it's all down to the lens. The two shots with your newer lens look terrible & just seem out of focus to me. Surely that lens can't be that bad.

Phill D
12-29-2008, 12:57 AM
Sarah I was so dissapointed with the lens performance on that first shot of yours I thought I'd check the exif info and there seem to be several differences between the shots. This is what I think you used.
New lens (with flash)
f5.1, focal length 106mm, shutter 1/20s, iso 1600, exp comp +0.3.
New lens (without flash)
f5.1, focal length 106mm, shutter 1/30s, iso 1600, exp comp -0.3.
Old lens (with flash)
f4.3, focal length 123mm, shutter 1/180s, iso 400, exp comp +0.3.
Old lens (without flash)
f4.2, focal length 118mm, shutter 1/40s, iso 1600, exp comp 0.0.

I didn't get any flash info at all but that may be just the way I read the exif although I don't think your flash has fired properly on the first shot otherwise why would it pick a shutter speed of 1/20s and iso 1600?
The differences between old & new in the without flash shots seems more reasonable to attribute to the lens althogh still worse than I would have liked to see as I have one of the new versions myself :(.

Don Kondra
12-29-2008, 06:36 PM
Greetings,

This is a quick and dirty product shot for the classifieds on another forum :rolleyes:

28" light tent, light grey backdrop, 10" reflectors with 45w CF bulbs on each side and a 26w CF from above.

Talk about a short memory, sigh...

I first set up with just the backdrop and of course the lights were reflected in the lens, duh... :)

43177

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
12-30-2008, 12:02 PM
Hi Don-

That is very nicely done! Everytime I study your photos, I learn a lot. Thanks!

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
12-31-2008, 05:08 PM
Hi Phil-

I took your comments to heart and re-shot another test photo with the E-510 equipped with that short made in China ZD 40-150mm lens. I went in very tightly, being very careful to allow the E-510 focus in the critical central area of the frame. This time we got much better results that I wanted to share with you.

I don't want to discredit the new ZD 40-150mm lens needlessly. Tell what you think? Thanks!

Sarah Joyce

Don Kondra
01-01-2009, 11:22 AM
Greetings,

Snowed in for New Years Eve, sigh...

Made the best of it though, started by making egg noodles.

Sauteed rib eye with brown mushrooms flavored with ground pepper and sprinkled with a secret seasoning (onion soup mix) :rolleyes:

Black tiger shrimp and the noodles wallowing in a bath of honey garlic white sauce, topped with grated mozarella cheese and baked till bubbly and starting to brown.

Toasted sourdough bread with butter, ground pepper and garlic lightly sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

Ahhhh, no time for anything but a snap shot...

43235

Happy New Year :D

Cheers, Don

speaklightly
01-01-2009, 05:47 PM
Yum-Yum!

That sounds good to me Don and the photo looks good too. Happy New Year!

Sarah Joyce

Phill D
01-02-2009, 12:49 AM
Yes that sure does look juicy Don bet you enjoyed your meal.

Sarah thanks for running the extra tests that shot with the newer lens looks a lot better. There are obviously compromises in the lenses but it looks like the newer one is still OK as a kit lens. I haven't tried mine out at portraits much, looks like the depth of field is pretty narrow at these settings.

speaklightly
01-02-2009, 09:05 AM
Hi Phil-

Thanks for your post. Yes, I agree the DOF is fairly narrow. That was what probably provided some focusing challenge in the first test. The size of the lens is great, and as you say, Phil, we have to understand that this is a kit lens not a ZD 35-100mm lens. Have a great day! Just 10 more days and we will be off to work again.

Sarah Joyce

Phill D
01-02-2009, 10:29 AM
Unfortunately it's just 2 days & back to work for me Sarah :(

speaklightly
01-02-2009, 11:49 AM
Phil-

We have been chatting about the drop in prices. Well, B&H, one of the biggest and most reputable online photo dealers, dropped the price on the E-410 two lens kit to $(US) 399.95 with free shipping. That is arount 267 UK Pounds.

Sarah Joyce

e_dawg
01-03-2009, 11:32 PM
Sauteed rib eye with brown mushrooms flavored with ground pepper and sprinkled with a secret seasoning (onion soup mix) :rolleyes:

Black tiger shrimp and the noodles wallowing in a bath of honey garlic white sauce, topped with grated mozarella cheese and baked till bubbly and starting to brown.

Toasted sourdough bread with butter, ground pepper and garlic lightly sprinkled with parmesan cheese.


Drrooooollll... oh man, that sounds and looks so good. Drool.... Thanks a lot, Don. I gotta get something to eat now!

Phill D
01-04-2009, 02:13 AM
That sounds pretty cheap to me Sarah.

speaklightly
01-04-2009, 07:57 PM
Well, we sort of have two threads running in parrellel right now. There is of course this thread and the Ravens thread about testing the "waterproofness" of his E-410.

My goodness, after reading the Raven's thread about "waterproofness" it scares the stuff out of me. I treasure my cameras more than that! But then perhaps he has some kind of "bullet-proof" insurance on his E-410 and lenses.

Sarah Joyce

kgosden
01-08-2009, 08:18 PM
I have wanted to play with the 7-14mm zoom for a while so I decided to rent one for a week. Just stuck it on the E520 for a few shots when it arrived today. It should be an interesting experience. The field of view is difficult to comprehend. I can capture an entire 8x10 print from about 6 inches away (photo 1). Not a great shot, but it shows the extreme. Sitting in my driver's seat taking a photo is almost like the actual field of view (photo 2). It does exhibit a tendency to flare with that big front element.

raven15
01-09-2009, 04:16 PM
Don, it's a good thing I'm not hungry. I was supposed to visit my grandmother in Spokane, Washington around that time. But because of the same weather as you, Spokane received several feet of snow and all the passes were closed for days. Hopefully I will post some pictures soon.

Phill D
01-10-2009, 01:43 AM
kgosden - interesting I'd have expected more distortion than that with that range. It will be interesting to see how you get on with your trial.

Don Kondra
01-10-2009, 03:55 AM
Greetings,

A different kind of "work" :)

Made myself a reflector stand out of an old tripod, the "reflector" is a 4' x 4' sheet of hollow core plastic panel.

It isn't pretty but it's sturdy, he, he..

I don't think it will be very reflective so I'm considering painting it gray, I'd have a reflector and a gray card all in one :rolleyes:

43516

Cheers, Don

PS. this is the first test shot with the B1600. I think I'm going to have fun with that....

kgosden
01-10-2009, 09:43 PM
A few quick shots with the 7-14 at the NY Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show. All the buildings are made with plant or vegetable matter.

raven15
01-11-2009, 04:43 PM
I am not sure how you even handle that lens. I have frequently thought my 9-18 was too wide for my own good, many of my pictures look distinctly odd because of the perspective. OK, I take that back, I have done many things with it that look great (or hilarious) that I would not have been able to do otherwise.

Don Kondra
01-11-2009, 10:48 PM
Greetings,

Spent this evening making a speedring to use a Cowbay Studio softbox on an Alien Bees B1600 strobe.

Test shot, softbox immediately above the camera...

43588

Cheers, Don

kgosden
01-12-2009, 06:02 AM
Raven, I rented it just to see if I could learn how to use the extreme view. I almost rented the 9-18 instead since it is one I can actually afford to buy, but I own the 11-22 already and not sure if it would be extreme enough. So far I don't think I can get a handle on the 7-14. I walked around Manhattan and Brooklyn a bit with it (I will post a few photos when I get a break from work). It is strange to get entire buildings in view from across the street. You have to be very careful when looking through the viewfinder at nearby objects since you can practically see around objects that are nearly touching the lens.

raven15
01-12-2009, 11:56 AM
I can imagine :eek:! I was surprised at how close I can stand with just the 9-18. People are always wondering what exactly I'm trying to do, with my camera seemingly missing the obvious target. And the 7-14 makes the 9-18 seem almost telephoto. Really, I couldn't use it, the more I think about it. The perspective hardly even gets normal. I have been thinking about the 8mm fisheye though, I decided beyond a certain point the curved perspective looks more natural. Plus, I like taking shots of landscapes with few linear features. Sometime when I'm rich I'll add that.

Don, that is quite good. The neutral gray background blends together as if it's not there, and the entire thing is perfectly exposed.

kgosden
01-14-2009, 09:11 PM
Here are a few samples from my cold weekend with the 7-14mm. Of course, I left just before it got really cold. These are all at 7mm with only a little tweaking of contrast or shadow recovery. It was hard to avoid flare in the second shot. I had to hold one hand up out of the frame to shade the lens.

raven15
01-14-2009, 10:59 PM
Alright, that statue shot in particular almost has me wanting a 7-14.

I haven't posted a shot in a while, this tree I posted in the "tree" thread looks as good in black and white as color.

Don Kondra
01-15-2009, 11:04 AM
Just some quick snapshots of a new mounting bracket to use a Cowboy Studio softbox on a Alien Bee head :rolleyes:

This is the original parts of the softbox..

43680

New mounting bracket...

43681

The completed mounting bracket test fit on the Alien Bee head...

43682

And softbox assembled...

43683

This was my first time setting up a softbox and I can tell you, the second time went a lot smoother ;)

FYI the Cowboy Studio 24" x 36" softbox is ~$35, the Alien Bee is ~$100 and the Alien Bee fold out box is ~$120. Both have the interior diffusion panel and of course the Alien Bee has the proper speed ring for their heads.

Cheers, Don

Phill D
01-17-2009, 12:30 AM
Don I'm not sure what you are making it looks like part of a satelite or space ship to me. Plus "Alien bees" are you planning some sort of extra terrestrial wildlife safari ;) Taking shots of the reflective silver material must have been pretty difficult though with flash.

Don Kondra
01-17-2009, 12:58 AM
LOL, yeah, gotta love the name though...

Pretty sure I had the brolly on for the shot, considering the shiny nature of the material not too much of the image is blown :)

In this case the "brolly" is a shoot through umbrella with a black back and an opening for the strobe head. Could have used a softbox to take a picture of the softbox.. hmmm, maybe for the next conversion I'll try the continuous lights, he, he...

Cheers, Don

Phill D
01-17-2009, 02:55 AM
How about showing us a wide angle shot of the whole setup when you've finished it.

Don Kondra
01-17-2009, 09:54 AM
Nothing quite so exotic as you imagine ;)

The mounting bracket that comes with the Cowboy Studio softbox won't fit the Alien Bee strobe without removing metal. Hence the new wood bracket.

Here it is installed on the strobe head...

43736

A side shot...

43739

And from the front....

43740

Cheers, Don

Don Kondra
01-19-2009, 06:12 PM
Just spent the better part of a whole week snowed in.

Never again :D

43778

Cheers, Don

raven15
01-20-2009, 01:34 AM
Ok, Don, here's my set up. I pioneered it a few years ago with my point and shoot camera to sell things on eBay, and I haven't changed it much since. The only real difference is I now shoot RAW to adjust the WB later. It's pretty effective for the price of a few sheets of paper. A couple years ago I did a study on four items I sold on eBay and discovered mine were getting a 15% higher price than my competitors. Chalk that up to better pictures and better (smarter, more manipulative :D) writing. Now it's time to sell a few more things, including a return of my 18-180 to whence it came

And here are the results. These conversion lenses suck, even on a point and shoot. I almost feel unethical selling them to someone, even at half the price I paid for them. But the only bidder so far seems to already have one (???) so I guess they know what they're doing.

Don Kondra
01-20-2009, 08:23 PM
Not bad but.... :D

Perhaps I can share how my system evolved... and is still evolving.

When I started shooting smallish stuff for sale, I used two pieces of foamcore, after all the image didn't need to win any awards. It just needed to clearly show the item.

I quickly became irritated with the line where the boards met, that was enough of a reason for me to change to a large enough paper backdrop so there were no seams. 2' x 3' is plenty big enough for small stuff.

Started out trying and quickly abandoning my 500w quartz shop lights and bought some CF bulbs. No more WB issues.

Basically a bulb and reflector on each side at about 45 degrees. Clamp on work light reflectors work fine and are ~$10.

Better. But I started to notice the color of the backdrop changed from the top to the bottom of the image.

Added a top light. Much better. With a few test shots I could see if I should be angling the light just on the backdrop or catching some of the object.

I've always preferred shooting the objects on a table, I don't bend as well as I used to :rolleyes:

In reality, what that means is, the table is ~32" high, the camera is no more than ~50" high and I would adjust to suit from there.

As a maker I think it's important to have the whole object in focus and that means I start shooting in Aperture mode between ~ f8 and f11.

Depending on your lighting, you will have a slow shutter speed but with a tripod it's not an issue.

Nuff rambling for now, hope you find some of this useful :)

Cheers, Don

raven15
01-20-2009, 08:48 PM
Oh yes, I found the whole thing useful. But since this is only the second time I have done this I don't think it will change: too late now, several years before the next time. Well, maybe I'll do more next time. I can think of a few things, for instance I am hand holding which makes large depth of field impossible. Obviously I could make my back drop more seamless, and my white balance isn't the greatest.

Did you sell your 18-180 as well?