05 – return

I’m back to shooting m4/3 again. It’s my *third* return to the format. I’m hoping that the third time is the charm.

I really missed the grainy B&W art filter and no matter how hard I tried to recreate it using Photoshop or Lightroom, I just couldn’t do it properly. So, I sold my NEX-3N kit on Craigslist (along with the Rokinon 8/2.8 fisheye). I also sold my Sigma 30/2.8 for the NEX online. I then took whatever I made and broke even with a return to m4/3 via a new-to-me OM-D E-M5 and a Sigma 19/2.8 ART lens.

Upon getting the OM-D, did I set a Myset to FN1 so I can get grainy B&W jpeg in square format – that way, I can get a B&W picture with a square crop at the touch of a button? You bet!


Ironically, the second-to-last picture I took with my NEX-3N was similar:

081 (Medium)

Yes, we sit around the table a lot. We can’t really help it – four people share a 1,000 square foot house and the only flat surface for homework and activities is the same surface we use for eating our food…

Anyway, this time around with m4/3, I’m not going to go wild with gear. The OM-D I picked up already came with five batteries and the Sigma 19/2.8 is my ideal focal length. I was entertaining the thought of picking up a Fuji X100, however, I don’t think I could live with parallax…

I think I also got the fisheye bug out of my system, so I doubt I’ll get a fisheye again. I did reacquire a 4/3-to-m4/3 adapter so I can use the 14-54 and the ZD 35/3.5 macro on the OM-D. The OM-D has amazing output, a high resolution EVF, and a tilting OLED screen – so macro should be much easier this time around. Let’s not forget the five-axis in-body image stabilization…

I accept the fact that I contemplate pictures and that I’m slow, so I don’t really need my standard zoom lens to focus quickly (though the native m4/3 19/2.8 focuses lightning quick and the touchscreen focus is a lot of fun too). The “standard 4/3” 14-54/2.8-3.5 mk1 lens that I have supposedly takes between 1-2 seconds to lock focus on a m4/3 body. Whatevs.

I’ll keep the E-3 and have the 40-150/3.5-4.5 permanently attached to that body. Shannon really knows how to use that focal range and the E-3 is still quite a capable camera. In a pinch, the E-3 will always accept my 4/3 lenses anyway if I want faster macro or a faster-focusing standard zoom.

I did get quite close to recreating the grainy B&W filter…of all places, using the ‘Black’ app on my phone, though, grain is somewhat subjective:

BLACK_2_27_2015 9_50_17 PM

The recent Windows Phone 8.1 ‘Denim’ update dramatically improved the camera performance on my Nokia Lumia 1520. It’s so much quicker to just press the dedicated shutter button and capture moments as they occur. The ‘Denim’ update also brought “rich capture” which manages to take an HDR-like picture with the ability to post-process to fine-tune the output. The picture below was taken in Newport Beach after a failed attempt to ride around the beach in a surrey (NEVER NEVER NEVER rent a surrey) – we gave up and decided to just play on the beach instead.


Of course, I like to convert to B&W – this conversion is a lot darker and moodier:

BLACK_3_6_2015 8_07_51 PM

However, there are times when having an awesome camera in my phone probably isn’t the best thing to have…like when you’re nine miles into a 10-mile run with record-breaking heat, but somehow, those drying flowers and the rolling hills in the background really required a picture be taken, thus breaking pace and causing you to turn that 10-mile run into a 9.5 mile run…

WP_20150315_17_57_42_Rich 1
Anyway, I’m hoping that new gear will revitalize my waning photography hobby. As great as the NEX was, I just never really meshed with the APS-C format. Also, the E-3…is pretty heavy. Carrying that heavy camera around while chasing the kids around the neighborhood on a scooter is getting more and more difficult – yes, I ride a ‘scooter’ with them: it’s a K2 longboard which is no longer made and I’ll be sad when it craps out.


3 thoughts on “05 – return

  1. welcome back! The Sigma 30 can be found for less than $100 used and would pair nicely with the 19… I loved my 30 until I replaced it with the Oly 25 which is probably the only lens I would have bought had it been available when my E-P1 was made. Have fun! 🙂

  2. I was one of the first people to get the original Sigma 30/2.8 EX DN lens for m4/3 and it paired quite nicely with my EPL1. However, I don’t think I’ll get that focal length as a prime lens anymore because I truly intend on just sticking with the 19/2.8 and the 4/3-m4/3 adapter. I’ve bogged myself down with gear and it’s time that I get back to actually taking pictures and focusing on composition and exposure. In my Crumpler 3MDH, I plan on just keeping the OMD with the Sigma 19/2.8 mounted and the 14-54/2.8-3.5 with adapter. That ought to cover *my* needs. In any case, I’m glad to be back to m4/3!

  3. Big fan of concentrating on one prime… for me it’s always been 50mm (film) over 35… but more people like working with a 35mm so the 19 should be great! I have both the 17/2.8 and 45/1.8, but after getting the 25/1.8 right after being released, I really haven’t used them… good thing they are so small! I just got back from a 3 day shoot at abandoned asylum, and even though I had the other two lenses, I ended up shooting only the 25 – the place was too intense to be juggling FL’s, better to shoot many good photos with my most comfortable FL than try and shoot all possible photos. Best!

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