Archive for June, 2008

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Nightwind

June 23, 2008

Panasonic LX2, f4, 4sec, 6,3mm, iso100, B&W JPEG Processed in PS

Unfortunately an unexpected business trip has kept me away from taking pictures and blogging..I was looking forward to be back!! I am still in the works for a new setup that will allow me to use my LX2 as a regular workhorse in my job. Part of the equipment is still in the post, but as soon as it arrives I will be putting it through it´s paces to good end (this is going to be fun, and it´s as much as I can tell you for now..)  🙂

Best, Erik.

 

 

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Skylined

June 18, 2008

Panasonic LX2 & Nikon WC-E68 (0.68X), f4, 1/1000, 6,3mm, iso100, B&W JPEG Processed in PS

I haven´t managed to keep up this past week. I need more discipline (and time..). Will try not to fail. But I have been doing research and I might have just discovered a new way of using the LX2, a new use for which it was definetely not intended when in the design board..I will (hopefully) surprise you in a week´s time (or two the most..). I am excited about this (the donkey needs that juicy carrot hanging in front of his furry head to keep trotting..)

Erik.

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Human versus Natura

June 14, 2008

Panasonic LX2, f4.5, 1/1300, 6,3mm, iso100, B&W JPEG, Cropped to 1:1 & Processed in PS

“..Humans want peace, brotherhood and welfare, that is not the case with nature; nature wants discord, confrontation and blood…”

  Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Unfortunately it has been impossible to keep up this week..Meetings, running and the unexpected have kept me running like mad all week, while the very little nature that still surround us has been still, silently watching my moves, shaking her laves with incomprehension..

Though I nearly never crop my images, today I felt the urge to do so with this one. It´s the first time ever , if I recall correctly, I have produced a square image, a format that I find difficult and that has remained untameable..

Wish you all good light while I try to climb in a beam of it (to continue rushing..)

Best, Erik.

 

 

 

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First Love

June 11, 2008

Panasonic LX2, f2.8, 1/320, 6,3mm, iso100, B&W JPEG, Processed in PS

Who has never written his or her name besides another in stone or carved a heart in wood in the deep belief that it would be forever…?

 

 

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Knocking on heaven´s door..

June 9, 2008

Panasonic LX2, f2.8, 1/30, 6,3mm, iso800, B&W JPEG Processed in PS

Back to my LX2… Shot handheld in quite low light,(plus I was trying to focus with the lens as close as possible to the fence), so much that I couldn´t get the camera to focus (it´s the first time I encountered this problem), so I manual focused this one. The panny has a nice way of enabling you to manual focus: Toghether with the focus scale (in meters or feet and that is also a very clever DOF indicator), you get an enlargement of the screen for critical focus, but there are two types of MF assist:

 

  • The center area of the picture is enlarged, so you can focus considering the overall composition of the picture:

 

Use the joystick up/down positions for focusing, (see DOF indicator in the bar)


  • The whole picture is enlarged, so you can fully zoom on just a portion of the image to ensure critical focus.

 

In both cases, the selected focus area can be shifted in any direction so you can choose which point of the overall image you wish to place your focus in:

Use the 4 way controller to move the focus area to any wished point in the image

 

Needless to say that the MF assist can be completely turned off to make composition easier. All in all, a very nice and straightforward way of using manual focus, in my opinion. The DOF bar is really cool, and considering the enormeous depth of field this camera produces, it really speeds things up when shooting in the street. A real joy!!

 

 

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A room with a view..

June 7, 2008

Canon 20D, f16, 1/6, 24mm, iso200, RAW Dev. in LR and Proc. in PS

Today you are going to allow me a little cheat..Yes, you read correctly, this is indeed a Canon 20D image, let me elaborate. In 2005 I replaced the Canon 10D I had (my first DSLR) with a Canon 20D. For months I shot everything in RAW, but for a number of reasons for a long time I didn´t do any editing. The images simply got stacked in a hard drive..

Not long after, the dissaster that I had been expecting for a while happened..I went through a painful divorce. To make a long story short, sold my house, sold my share of the company I was running at that time and changed island to put some sea in between to start a new life from scratch..

Today, still some of my things are in boxes..And that is where this image comes into play. It has been a couple of years in a hard drive that was forgotten in a box in a storing room..with hundreds of images that I had never worked on and that were completely forgotten!!

As I have been experimenting with RAW in the last weeks, and I have had no time to shoot at all this last days, I thought I would share this image with you so I wouldn´t leave you empty handed for the weekend.. 😉  After all, it is in a way a creation from today…

Back on Monday, have a nice weekend!!

Erik.

 

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Panasonic LX2 & Nikon WC-E68 (0.68x)

June 6, 2008

Here it is, the Nikon WC-E68 wideangle converter. For those of us wanting more.. And I finally managed to get a bit of time to write about it. Please note that I am not a professional photographer or reviewer. Take my findings with a grain of salt, I am just a guy who actually uses his gear, and who is not too hooked with quality, sharpness and 100% crop reviews…I just post this in the hope that you will find it interesting or helpful.

The converter fits the panasonic LX2 via a filter and converter adapter. For those who didn´t get the chance to read it or that may be interested in such an adapter, I discussed the why, how, where and how much here.

This lens, with a conversion factor of 0.68, is a very solid piece of gear, as I supose one could expect from something branded “Nikon”. Solid metal body, with a beautiful black finish. The front element is a chunky piece of glass. No way to get around it, the converter, compared to the Leica little lens is BIG.

And it is big not only compared to the leica lens, but also if you compare it with the camera…

The mentioned adapter has a diameter of 52mm, so the Nikon lens, with a thread of 46mm, needs to be mounted via a 52-46 step down ring. The one concern I had when I got the adapter was werther it would stay in place with the heavy Nikon lens mounted. I can happily confirm that, even when the adapter is not mounted in the camera via a thread , it stays firmly in place and has not threatened with getting loose so far. Nice one!

You will inmediately notice that this combo eliminates any trace of “compact” or “pocketable” from the camera. Some people may even think that it defies the whole concept of compact cameras. And you might be right..

 

So exactly why would one want to do this to a beautifull LX2? What do you win (it is obvious by now what you are loosing) by adding this converter? Well, for those planning on doing some nice landscape or some architecture & interior photogaphy, what this lens does for you is bringing an effective field of view equivalent to 19mm..

And as an image is worth a thousand words, I have done some tests to show what you get. The following pictures have been shot with the LX2 at it´s widest setting without the converter (28mm Equiv.), with the converter (19mm Equiv.) and for comparative purposes I have added a shot in every sequence with the Canon 30D and 10-22 lens @ 10mm ( roughly 16mm Equiv.) As with all the images in this blog, you can click on them to see them in my Flickr photostream and view a bigger version.

INTERIOR (MY MESSY WORKSPACE)

EXTERIOR (REALLY OVERCAST DAY..)

I don´t think I need to comment on the coverage difference with the converter, I believe the images speak for themselves. Regarding the Canon, 16mm gives a slight advantage, but as you can see clearly nothing really too critical. You do apreciate a clear advantage for the Canon on the vertical axis, but that is due to the 3:2 aspect  ratio of the Canon against the 16:9 of the Panasonic. Enough said (and shown..).

The good thing about doing the test in an overcast day is that the very bright/white corners are a perfect test for vignetting. Many have expressed their concern (the GX100 seems to vignette badly with this lens mounted at it´s widest setting) regarding the vignetting issue. As you can see there is not the faintest trace of it. Nothing. Strike 1 for the Nikon..

Just a note regarding th GX100 with the converter: because of the 24mm coverage of the Ricoh, the field of view once you mount the Nikon on it is about 16mm. It does vignette badly unless you have the nerve and  decide to do this. Now if you step-zoom once, the vignetting dissapears and you are left with an effective field of view of 19mm…So not a real issue, I guess.

Oh! Now that I mention zooming in with the converter mounted in the LX2:  DON´T!!! On my first day, I mounted the Nikon, and when framing a picture I zoomed in as normally..My heart skipped a beat when I heard the loud “CLACK, CLACK, CLAKC…”. The lens in the Panny recessed completely and left me with a circular image in the screen similar to those fisheye lenses images…I thought I had broken the motor in the lens of the camera. Turned the camera off and everything went back to normal. Suggestion. don´t try it..

The other real concern I had when I purchased this lens was what kind of beheaviour it would have shooting against strong light sources, as normally ultrawide lenses tend to struggle with flare (something I hate and try to avoid as much as possible). Again let´s leave the images speak for themselves..

Flare is not absent, as you can see in the photos, but it´s definetely not one of the worse cases I have seen..Actually not bad at all for an ultrawide. But even worse than flare and ghosts in the image is the “veiling” and loss of contrast. Many lenses give you “washed” images with very low contrast when shot against a strong light source. As you can see, the Nikon remains quite contrasty when shot in this circumstances (even when there is the obvious glare surrounding the sun).This images are RAW´s, processed in Lightroom with no correction applied (no sharpenning, no contrast and just a little of recovery for the highlights). I have not spent enough time with the lens, and worse beheaviour might arise, but I have posted this two images because they are the worse examples I have managed to get so far..Strike 2 for the Nikon!!

Another issue in an ultrawide of this characteristics is distortion..I have done some tests in my kitchen shooting  the glazed tiles from very close: You obviously are going to see visible distortion under those circumstances. But in real life situations, well, have a look at the last two images..really not a bad beheaviour at all. The extremes of the lens might be a bit of a problem, and I plan on doing some interior shots with vertical lines to test it. But it seems that the Nikon is holding up to it´s reputation of high quality lens with probably the lowest distortion you can get in a lens of this complexity and characteristics..

I am not going to comment on sharpness and image quality for the moment. I have spent too little time with the lens, and honestly, I´m not too concerned about it. You are allways going to get some loss when attaching a converter of any kind to a lens. So far all I can say is that images are contrasty and very sharp. Might comment with more detail when I have some morte experience with it..I got this lens for 35$, and that seems to be the price around in “Evil-bay”, so if you are into wideangle photography, for that money all I can say is: Highly recommended!!

Well folks, I hope I managed to make this essay “readable” and not more boring than necessary..I have covered the issues that I believed more interesting and that would be most helpfull. Comments are, as allways, wellcome. If there is anything else I could add to this review or you need to know don´t hesitate in asking, I might even answer..;-) I will start adding pictures with this lens soon and will be commenting on it as things happen..so, stay tuned!!

Thanks for taking your time and have a nice day!!

Erik