De PEN-F a Barcelona

_5312153-copiar.jpgFeriado em Portugal, dia de trabalho em Espanha. Reunião de consultores do Olympus Professional Program na sede ibérica da marca, em Barcelona.

_5302034-copiarPorque o voo era de madrugada, jantar na Taberna do Xisto em Santa Maria da Feira, dos meus amigos Fernando e Ana Paula – delicioso com sempre… Esta malta sabe como confeccionar iguarias à séria._5312068-copiarPelas cinco e meia da manhã filas intermináveis no Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro… Este já não é um país só para velhos!

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_5312102-copiarTítulo muito curioso nesta notícia, sobretudo para quem vai viajar de avião. E eu não sou nada supersticioso.

_5312107-copiarPEN-F com lente M Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.8 – lente kit que é vendida em conjunto com a câmara. Modo selfie das Olympus é um mimo.

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_5312130-copiarPartiu-se pedra, de muita coisa se falou (meus amigos, de nada posso falar), almoçou-se in situ e pela tarde dentro continuámos.

_5312156-copiarBarcelona e os seus icónicos edifícios….

_5312190-copiarMenos bem instalado, já se sabe, mas a vontade de regressar já era alguma… There’s nothing like home…

_5312193-copiarBoarding flight FR4545…

_5312196-copiarDe volta a casa… Porto, Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro.

_5312216-copiarMais uma hora e pouco e estaria sentado à frente de uma das melhores omeletes de camarão de que há memória, no Casablanca, em Viseu.

_5312222-copiarConfort food – I’m happier now…. Hmmmm….

Todas as fotografias Olympus PEN-F black, Olympus M Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.8 – ISO 200 a 3200. ACR and Photoshop to taste.

 

Anúncios

Mythbusters… Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II at ISO 20000… And fine bokeh…

_4250403-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @110mm (35mm equiv. 220mm). 1/80s@f2.8 ISO 20000, handheld.

One of these days I was asked if I was using Olympus professionally, if Olympus was my gear on the field. “Yes” I replied. Unfortunately some minds are still full of misconceptions and prejudice, stuck in a Canikon world where size, weight, noise and backache were synonyms to professional photography.  The pictures published today reflect the extreme quality, sheer performance and reliability of the Olympus Micro Four Thirds system. Image quality is second to none – in extreme situations, this is what this article is about – image stabilization (IBIS) is probably the best one can have and although there is the myth (another one) that with Micro Four Thirds it is not possible to have bokeh “layers” in any given photograph, these images prove otherwise.

_4250387-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @150mm (35mm equiv. 300mm). 1/160s@f2.8 ISO 20000, handheld.

Yes, all facts and distances, aperture and focal length being the same a smaller sensor will produce images with more depth of field. But how much more? For an image produced with a short telephoto lens (85mm FF equivalent), with the subject standing 2,5m away from the lens and background at a distance of 5,9m from the lens, Full Frame cameras will have a total of 6.8 centimeters of DOF, while APS-C will have 8.9 centimeters and Micro Four Thirds will have 10.6 centimeters. Peanuts, I dare say. Comprehensively, rendering is quite different. And bokeh “layers” will be rendered differently by any of aforementioned systems. Do you know how different they will look from each other? Do you know which one is softer/more or less feathered/more or less pleasant in any given scenario? No, you do not, neither do I, because the variables are so many that one cannot anticipate a specific result.

_4250286-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @150mm (35mm equiv. 300mm). 1/320s@f2.8 ISO 8000, handheld.

Micro Four Thirds systems offer what any other system cannot offer: considerable size and weight reduction, in a system capable of performing at a true professional level. Olympus cameras are absolutely remarkable – I believe that Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is a true benchmark, a beast regarding performance, build quality, reliability, with resources and functions to spare, infinitely configurable to taste and capable of pleasing anyone looking for a truly professional camera. Olympus Pen-F is one the most, if not the most beautiful camera available on the market today. And yes, it is also a beast.

_4250166-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @85mm (35mm equiv. 170mm). 1/160s@f2.8 ISO 3200, handheld.

M.Zuiko Digital lenses, PRO and Premium range deliver stunning performance – Olympus has a very strong reputation regarding lens quality and this new collection, developed for the Micro Four Thirds system is outstanding. Looking carefully at some of the images published here easily we get to conclusions: at full aperture, extremely high ISO, resolution (MTF) is outstanding in the center and extremely good if not extraordinary towards the edges. Some of Olympus’ lenses so sharp that you’ll be hard pressed to see any difference in sharpness across the frame between f/2.8 and f/11 (https://www.ephotozine.com/article/olympus-m-zuiko-digital-75mm-f-1-8-lens-review-20557#Performance)

_4250361-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @142mm (35mm equiv. 284mm). 1/250s@f2.8 ISO 8000, handheld.

_4250450-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @40mm (35mm equiv. 80mm). 1/160s@f2.8 ISO 20000, handheld.

I use this zoom (M.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO) extensively, not only because of the covered focal length range (35mm equiv. 80-300mm) being very, very useful, but also because of outstanding optical quality.  The Olympus 40-150mm lens is not only stunningly sharp by zoom lens standards, but also sharp by prime lens standards. And this is wide open at ƒ/2.8 at practically every other focal length. Corner-to-corner sharpness is also tremendously good, with almost no change in sharpness from center softness at every focal length. The blur characteristics are very flat. For all intents and purposes, this lens is sharp, everywhere, all the time from ƒ/2.8 to around ƒ/11-ƒ/16, where we see minor diffraction softness coming into play (https://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/olympus/40-150mm-f2.8-pro-m.zuiko-digital-ed/review/)

And this is one of the biggest, although many times forgotten, advantages of Micro Four Thirds – given the size of the sensor light gets to the the extreme corners of the CMOS almost perpendicularly, as opposed to full frame cameras (specially DSLR’s) where light reaches the corners of the sensor with much less perpendicularity, therefore resulting in much less possible resolution in the image’ borders, and in the corners/extreme corners of the photograph. The practicality of this? I can compose and frame as I want, without having in mind that bigger apertures mean less resolution as a rule of thumb, or that “cornering” my subject will affect tremendously the resolution and the quality of the final image and therefore perception viewers have when they see my work in any given media, especially when enlarged significantly for exhibition. My artistic expression is not fenced by technical shortcomings.

_4250224-2-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @150mm (35mm equiv. 30mm). 1/200s@f2.8 ISO 8000, handheld.

To be continued (…)

 

All images Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO. RAW (ORF) files ACR converted and Photoshop CC 2018 to taste.

 

Porto, many, many years ago… With a stunningly fast Canon EOS 1V-HS…

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Porto, many, many years ago… With a stunningly fast Canon EOS 1V-HS… 10 fps…

Ainda mal se falava do digital, tínhamos slides, grandes lentes e grandes câmaras… e 36 fotogramas em cada rolo…

Produzida com uma Canon EOS 1V- HS… despachava um rolo de 36 fotogramas em 3,6 segundos…

Review aqui, para os nostálgicos: http://stephanbednaic.com/blog/post/canon-eos-1v-hs-review/

 

Metro do Porto, 15 anos depois

Estamos a produzir um ensaio e um documentário sobre uma das maiores obras de sempre realizadas em território nacional.

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Não, não estamos focados na obra, estamos focados na relação dos utentes com a infraestrutura, nos laços que se criam, nos momentos efémeros vividos a bordo e nas proximidades do Metro do Porto. Este é um dos meus cenários favoritos, a urbe.

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O Metro do Porto comemora 15 anos dia 7 de Dezembro. 15 anos e milhões de passageiros transportados, é seguro afirmar hoje que há um Porto maior, embora mais ligado e mais próximo, desde que o Metro chegou.

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GFX 50s First Impressions

_DSF0283Unlike the vast majority of texts I’ve read over the last month or so this is not an article to let you know how awesome the GFX files are when it comes to detail, dynamic range, low noise and the lot – we already know that and to be honest it is a bit silly to discuss if at ISO 102400 this (or any) camera is better than the competition. I am a photographer and I’m much more interested in getting to know if the tool is going to help me produce great work; I am not a lab rat and I think one has to be pretty much distracted to compare the advantages of three cameras against one, finding silly excuses not to buy the GFX- yes I am referring to that appalling article published by DPReview where a lab geek, not a photographer, is flooding the page with technicalities that, although accurate, do not translate into the real world per se much less have the power to define your work as a photographer. If the Nikon D810 is the camera for you, that is absolutely fine.

_DSF0496What we need to know is if this, or any camera, adds value to your work, if the investment and resources you need available to start using a new system will have return, not only financially but also artistically.Yes, the camera is a brush, a tool, not the brain, the camera doesn’t create, you do. And to be honest, photography is not about cameras, is about pictures, emotions, stories, art, reality, fiction – concepts are developed in your brain, ideas come to mind, the system you use is just a tool, a very good one for this purpose, preferably.

_DSF0500Over the past two days I’ve been using the GFX as a street camera, alongside the 63mm f2.8 and the 120mm f4 Macro. The pictures published here are just a small fraction of what I’ve produced over the past 48 hours. It has been overcast, the grayish tone is not the camera’s fault and even if I had three in the bag (those that are marginally better at doing some sort of meaningless stuff) the grayish tone would have been there, still.

_DSF0499What I tried to do was simple: get out on the street with the GFX same way I do with the X-Pro2, realizing in due course if the GFX is a good tool to do so. As an inspirational gizmo, the camera excels. The touch and quality of the dials is paramount, ergonomics are quintessential – everything falls naturally in your hand. I miss the exposure compensation dial and probably the Q button should have been placed elsewhere. The grip is substantial and even after a full day walking around Porto the weight of the camera with any of the lenses attached is acceptable for the task at hand. I love the secondary LCD (you can assign and reorder information on it), the tilting screen is a must and the viewfinder is absolutely brilliant – extraordinary piece of engineering. I did not use the accessory that allows the viewfinder to be tilted up, down and/or sideways but probably it will end up on my shopping list.

_DSF0501Shutter lag is negligible for street photography and Fuji has done a pretty good job damping the internal impact of the first curtain – the shutter sounds always slower than expected, probably because of this.The refresh rate of the viewfinder is good enough, it never got in the way of a good photograph. Auto-focus is contrast detection, 425 points if you wish – works under almost every circumstances, but if you want to take pictures of Valentino Rossi riding at 200 mph there are better options on the market usually paired with lenses with longer focal length and cameras with much higher fps. At only 3 frames per second one cannot say this is a fast camera. But it is just enough for street photography, and of course studio work, fashion, boudoir, landscape, portraiture…

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_DSF0502Battery life: nearly 400 shots with the 63mm f2.8 using the viewfinder most of the time and 270 shots with the 120mm f4 lens with OIS on and a lot of LCD use, chimping like crazy… you know.

_DSF0282All the images I’ve posted are in camera converted RAW uncompressed files – reflecting shooting conditions and Acros film simulation. No correction has been applied, whatsoever, to any of the files.

One of the main reasons medium format is so addictive is the ratio and the feel of the images – bigger pixels, less noise, some sort of creamy like effect smaller sensors cannot provide mainly because they are crammed with pixels. Other tremendous advantage is the option to produce bigger prints without compromising quality and probably one of the most cherished characteristics is the extended dynamic range that allows post production miracles, rendering beautiful images with detailed highlights and deep shadows retaining an enormous amount of information.

_DSF0284The GFX is a pure medium format camera – quintessentially. Feels smaller, like a DSLR, follows the X series brilliant ergonomics and disappears from your hand after a couple of hours letting you focus on photography. And this is probably one of the best attributes of the GFX. It is not an extremely desirable object like a X100F or a X-Pro2 from the design point of view but it is highly functional, specially because it produces MF files, from a huge sensor – full frame sensors are 864 square millimeters in area, the GFX sensor is 1441 square millimeters in area.I guess this gives you an idea of how big the sensor is, although it doesn’t translate into camera size – the camera is completely usable on the streets, just like a D810 or a 5D Mark IV. Do not get lost in translation here, the APS-C based X system is the tool if you want to disappear into the crowd.

_DSF0498All images published in this article were shot handheld – even the night shots. The fact of the matter: this is a completely usable tool for street photography, no doubt.

_DSF0531Depth of field: every photographer knows that MF lenses were never as fast as full-frame lenses. This is not the point for MF. Regarding depth of field the 63mm f2.8 is on par with a 35mm f1.4 on an APS-C system, generally speaking. I’ve done test shots with both systems and the aforementioned lenses and I would say the images produced by the GFX have a bit more bokeh, or maybe the bokeh is smoother and looks better. But this is not scientific and although the maths are simple, this is not point here.

_DSF0533How do you perceive images, what sort of relationship you establish with the camera, with the system, how it reacts to your inputs, how long and how difficult or simple it is to fiddle with the dials and change parameters, what sort of feedback you get from the camera and how good the images look like, are some of the main features you should look for. Photography as an art form is about passion, about interaction, not about physics.For photographers, photography is a canvas, a medium to express themselves, their feelings, not an integrated circuit or a special coating on the lens. Yes, gear is fundamental, but it is a tool and you should buy the tool you LOVE the most, the tool you get the best pictures out of, not the sharpest ones. A tool helps the creative process, it does not imposes it on you. A tool is designed with passion in mind by skilled craftsmen, dedicated engineers. By the end of the day, your photographs must make the difference, specially for you. And that is not about noise, dynamic range, sharpness or depth of field – it is mainly about how you see the world and how you interact with it, what you choose to frame, how you put different realities in context. Bresson became famous because of his photographs, the legacy he left, the composition techniques – Bresson was not the only one using Leica at the time. Many did before him, many more have used it and plenty are using Leica nowadays. The vast majority will not become famous. When your pictures are exhibited and the public looks at them from a certain distance, spending enough time watching and decoding the message you tried to convey, no one really thinks or cares about the camera behind it. You do, you have to, because to get to a point you’re producing art, no matter if you’ve followed Ansel Adams of Bresson’s footsteps, your camera has to be part of you.

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_DSF0286We have plenty to choose from nowadays. For me, this is – alongside the X-Pro2 – the tool to create great photographs. If you want to know the technicalities and all that weird stuff, browse the Internet – there are plenty of articles detailing all that. If you want to know if you can fall in love with this camera and use it as an extension of your brain, of your body, I can tell you that it is; this a fabulous camera, that will disappear from your hand quickly, letting you focus on your work.

Is it better than a full-frame DSLR? It is DIFFERENT and not comparable. Put your shoes on, get out on the street and test both systems, bearing in mind what you are looking for. Let your heart decide, after all photography comes from the heart.

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I am in love and extremely happy with my options. Are you?

John Gallo

 

All photographs shot handheld, night shots at 8000 ISO (plus), other well below the reciprocity law. In camera conversion from RAW files, Acros film simulation, no editing.

 

 

 

 

P3 – A festa dos cinco no menos três (da Casa da Música)

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O P3 fez cinco anos e a festa foi no piso -3 da garagem da Casa da Música – festa de garagem, com cerveja artesanal Letra, Licor Beirão e Bulldog com Castello Tónica à pala, street food e música, muito boa música a ilustrar, com os Equations, Jibóia e um DJ Set do Alfredo dos Sensible Soccers.

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Infelizmente não pude ficar até ao fim – compromissos profissionais na manhã seguinte – mas fica aqui o testemunho de X100T na mão, belíssimo set para a festa de uma das mais importantes publicações portuguesas, no que à cultura diz respeito.

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Muitos parabéns  – que haja mais para o ano e durante muitos anos e sempre do melhor. Tudo de bom, mesmo muito bom, para a equipa do P3, agora dirigida por Luís Octávio Costa e boa sorte para o Amílcar Correia na sua nova aventura no Público.

Photographs: Fujifilm X100T Black