A couple of years ago I switched from a full-frame Canon camera to micro four thirds largely because I had become tired of humping around heavy kit. Lenses like the Canon 500mm f/4 are frankly hard work and increasingly difficult to travel with. In general I am pleased I made the change and for my long focal length wildlife photography the Olympus m43 cameras with the 300mm f/4 (600mm full-frame equivalent) still make alot of sense.Continue reading “New Year – New Camera”
An important aspect of my photographic interest is wildlife, an interest that requires long lenses and good field craft. The field craft I am ok with but my relationship with long lenses is a long story.
Stepping back a few years my go to wildlife kit was the Canon EOS 7d mk ii and the venerable Canon 500mm f4 big white. On the Canon APS C crop body this gave me an effective focal length of 800mm a good focal length for birding and coupled with the Canon 100-400mm zoom on a Canon 5d mk iii a good all around wildlife kit, all be it with one major problem, well actually 2 major problems, size and weight (those 4 items alone weighing in at 6.43kg).Continue reading “£6,499 too far”
Following on from my post yesterday regarding getting extra reach out the excellent Olympus M Zuiko 300m f/4 Pro lens where I concluded that the MC14 and MC20 teleconverters do produce better image quality than simply cropping the image in post production, I thought it would be useful to look at the fifth option for getting extra reach namely not using the 300mm at all but replacing it with something longer.
As primarily a wildlife photographer my most used lens by some margin is the excellent Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 Pro. For a 600mm full frame equivalent lens it is light and compact these being the key reasons why I use m43 cameras. It is as sharp as any lens I have ever owned, including Canon’s big whites, and the optical image stabilisation combined with the IBIS of my OMD EM1 mkII is nothing short of astonishing.
Safari is a Swahili word that means journey. In the “bad old days” a Safari was all about big game hunting, fortunately to a large extent those days are past and now Safari has come to mean a vehilcle based wildlife watching/photography trip and whilst the concept of a Safari orginates in Africa, Safaris can now been indertaken in many parts of the world often in search of specfic species, for example Tiger Safaris have become huge business in India.
For many years I had wanted to visit Sri Lanka – the alluring prospect of a mixture of birds and mammals (Elephants, Leopard & Sloth Bear) make this small island nation off the southeast coast of India a potentially ideal destination for a wildlife photographer and so during February off to Sri Lanka we went.
After an absolutely dreadful period of rain here in the UK I finally managed to galvanise myself to actually get out and take some photographs. On various facebook forums that I subscribe to there has been much much talk about the new MC20 2x tele-converter that Olympus have launched that works with the 40-150 f/2.8 and the 300mm f/4.0 pro lenses.
Something a little different for a change.
Panasonic recently issued a new firmware update for the G9, one of the supposed changes was to the autofocus algorithms to improve the performance in continuous mode.
So how is the bokeh with the little 12-32 on the GX9 – well its never going to be a bokeh master with a maximum aperture of f/3.5 at 12mm – all the same if you get close enough to your in-focus object you can still throw the background out and actually the highlights don’t look too bad.
I mentioned one of the things that I don’t like about the GX9 is the location of the tripod socket, I was concerned about how close it is to the front of the camera.
So here it is the Lumix GX9.
I opted for the silver version, that is to say, the top plate is silver rather than black, that said in the metal I would describe it more as gun-metal grey rather than silver, still, I think it is rather a handsome fellow. As an aside what is the fashion for all cameras being black ? They never used to be, all my early cameras, Olympus’ and Canons had at the least a silver top plate and were all the better for it IMO, so well done to Panasonic for giving us the choice on this camera.
Well not for me at least !
As I blogged yesterday I have been very pleased with the G9 over the last 7 months and have no desire to return to a heavy-weight DSLR format, I recognise that there are some shortcomings with the m43 format but for me they really don’t amount to much and where they do I have easily found workarounds that get me where I need to be.
7 months ago I made the decision to give m43 a try, I won’t rehash the reasons for my move from Canon FF & APS-C suffice to say that size and weight had a lot to do with it.
I was busy photographing the Oyster sheds at La Baudissier when I noticed a Barn Swallow shooting in and out of a gap in one of the sheds, presumably feeding some nestlings. Up for a challenge I thought this might be a good opportunity to once again test out the 6K functionality of the G9.
Still getting to grips with the Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye Lens – this time in the old part of Tavira. One thing I have learnt is that the fisheye loves cobbles and Portugal is great for cobbles.
I recently splashed out on a Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye lens, I say splashed out but really compared with a fisheye for a full frame sensor camera it was an absolute bargain. It’s a manual focus lens and you have to set the aperture on the lens rather than with the camera so in addition to the fact that it is a fisheye, which in itself is new territory for me, it is all a bit of a learning curve.
Diffraction is an optical effect which limits the total resolution of a camera — no matter how many megapixels the camera sensor has. It happens because light begins to disperse or “diffract” when passing through the small opening that is the lens aperture. The smaller the aperture the greater the diffraction.
There have been a couple of reports online of a magenta colour cast appearing when G9 raw files are exposure lifted in Adobe Lightroom. I have to date not noticed this myself although I have to say I am not wholly convinced by Lightroom’s raw conversion of the G9 files. It may well be that I have not noticed this reported issue since I tend to ensure that I do not significantly under-expose images and therefore tend not to have lift exposure significantly in post processing.
So yesterday I decided to do some more long exposure photography and push the boundaries a bit with really long exposures of several minutes, so with my Lee Super Stopper in hand I trotted off to the Faro de El Toston (Lighthouse) which I thought would make a good subject with the clouds skudding overhead.