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

Será que o Verão vai chegar?

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No campo tosquiam-se as ovelhas, preparam-se os animais para o calor que se adivinha. Está frouxa esta Primavera, tímida, com altos e baixos, cheia de pólens que nos enchem de rinites, “coceira” que não nos dá descanso.

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Neste país encantado há recantos em que o tempo parece ter parado – pastores tosquiando ovelhas, algumas negras, com a calma de quem nunca teve pressa para ir a lugar algum.

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Em Gouveia, concelho de Alfândega da Fé – no coração de Trás-os-Montes – este bucolismo enfeitiçou-me. Dizem os mais velhos que este país era muito pobre – nem vale a pena duvidar da sua palavra – mas há momentos do passado que, no presente, nos enchem de saudosismo.

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De tesoura em punho se desfaz um casaco, para fazer outro, aliviam-se as ovelhas antes do Verão para que o seu calor nos abrace em pleno Inverno.

Todas as imagens © Município de Alfândega da Fé (Turismo de Portugal). John Gallo/Chappa – Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f1.2 PRO e 40-150 f2.8 PRO

Shortcutz Viseu #97

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E mais uma… Edição #97 do Shortcutz Viseu. Como sempre, valeu bem a pena. Ficam as imagens, de rabo sentado no meio da assistência, como sempre.

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Parabéns ao Carlos, ao Luís ao Museu Nacional Grão Vasco e ao Município de Viseu.

Todas as fotografias Olympus PEN-F black, objectivas M.Zuiko Digital 17mm, 25mm e 45mm f1.8. ISO entre 2500 e 5000.

ACR converted, Photoshop to taste.

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.

 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II – Performance excepcional a ISO elevado

Um dos mitos mais frequentes com que me tenho deparado desde que me tornei utilizador Olympus é a alegada performance da OM-D E-M1 Mark II em ISO elevado. Diz-se, lê-se, que este é o Calcanhar de Aquiles do sistema. Nada como testar, em situações reais de trabalho, quais os resultados que o sistema produz quando selecionamos um valor ISO elevado. Os exemplos publicados abrangem o espectro entre os 2500 e os 20000 ISO. O link no final do texto permite efectuar o download de 10 fotografias originais – de que foram extraídos os JPEG publicados – em formato TIFF, 350 dpi/16 bits (120MB/ficheiro).

Disponibiliza-se, igualmente, o ficheiro de configuração de todas as Mark II que utilizamos na Chappa (utilizado nas fotografias que ilustram este texto).

1 . M.Zuiko PRO 45mm f1.2, 1/320 @ f1.6 ISO 3200_3090061-copiar

Para muitos utilizadores de sistemas diversos ISO 3200 já é um valor “muito elevado”. Eu consideraria 3200 um valor médio, talvez médio-alto para os padrões actuais.

2. M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8, 1/320 @ f2.5 ISO 10000_3100778-copiar

ISO 10000 é um valor elevado e muitos fotógrafos receiam não ser possível utilizar uma imagem produzida a 10000 ISO. Perfeitamente utilizável, conforme se observa.

3. M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8, 1/1600 @ f2.5 ISO 20000_3090338-copiar

Grão visível, mas numa situação em que não haverá opção, uma imagem realizada a ISO 20000 é ainda utilizável (sem grandes ambições relativamente ao tamanho final se o meio a utilizar for impressão em papel). Há detalhe no cabelo da cantora, bem como noutras partes da imagem (em foco) e embora a gama dinâmica tenha diminuído consideravelmente, ainda é suficientemente extensa para garantir a reprodução da cena com tons agradáveis e muito realistas.

4. M.Zuiko PRO 300mm f4, 1/3200 @ f4 ISO 6400_3110680-copiar

Focal muito longa (600mm equivalente 35mm), movimentos aleatórios e muito rápidos do actor (Virgílio Castelo) obrigam a velocidade de obturação muito elevada para congelar movimento – a ISO 6400 imagem perfeitamente utilizável, com grão “controlado”, que não distrai, não estraga nem compromete.

5. M.Zuiko PRO 300mm f4, 1/160 @ f5 ISO 8000_3110560-copiar

A ISO 8000 os resultados continuam de elevado nível: pouca luz no set, distância focal muito longa, há movimento nas mãos do actor… Velocidade de obturação muito abaixo da lei da reciprocidade – excelente o trabalho do IBIS da Olympus, combinado com a estabilização de imagem da objectiva.

6. M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8, 1/250 @ f4 ISO 16000_3090335-copiar

A ISO 16000, a Mark II consegue manter gama dinâmica suficiente para reproduzir a cena com verosimilhança e tons muito agradáveis. Ruído visível, mas aceitável para este ISO. Imagem perfeitamente utilizável.

7. M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8, 1/50 @ f1.8 ISO 8000_3090178-copiar

Um dos problemas mais comuns de muitos sistemas é a falta de detalhe nas imagens registadas com ISO elevado. A redução de ruído produzida pelo processador da câmara acaba por tornar a imagem algo “empastelada”, levando ao desaparecimento de finos detalhes na imagem. A ISO 8000, 1/50 @ f1.8 (abertura máxima desta lente), nada se perdeu. Reparem nos finos pêlos da mão do fotógrafo, fielmente reproduzidos, já fora do centro da lente, numa zona do frame em que objectivas de custo muito superior teriam imensa dificuldade em reproduzir tanto detalhe. Esta imagem demonstra igualmente a vantagem do IBIS – absolutamente indispensável – bem como a precisão de foco do sistema híbrido da Mark II. Ruído?

8. M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8, 1/1600 @ f2.2 ISO 10000_3100795-copiar

Mais um exemplo notável a ISO 10000. O processador da Mark II consegue eliminar boa parte do ruído preservando detalhe na imagem. A gama dinâmica não permite ir buscar detalhe às mãos do músico, mas este é um trade-off aceitável quando precisamos de “esticar” o ISO. A f2.2 estamos ainda longe da resolução e recorte possíveis de atingir com esta objectiva da gama Premium da Olympus.

9. M.Zuiko PRO 300mm f4, 1/400 @ f4 ISO 2500_3110343-copiar

A ISO 2500 a fotografia produzida pela Mark II é limpa – com detalhe soberbo, ampla gama dinâmica, ainda que as condições de iluminação não sejam as ideais (para fotografia). Precisão de foco e IBIS sem mácula, objectiva a plena abertura.

10. M.Zuiko Premium 12mm f2.0, 1/160 @ f2.5 ISO 4000_3090561-copiar

Mesmo em planos abertos, com grande angular (esta lente 12mm f2.0 pesa 130 gramas), a ISO 4000 a imagem final tem excelente recorte (f2.5), pouco ruído, boa gama dinâmica.

11. M.Zuiko PRO 45mm f1.2, 1/150 @ f2.8 ISO 5000_3090468-copiar

ISO 5000, excelentes resultados. Completamente utilizável.

Todas as imagens ©Chappa/John Gallo e ©Município de Alfândega da Fé (peça de Teatro “O Último dia de Um Condenado, com Virgílio Castelo).

Todas as fotografias com Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, firmware 2.1

Ficheiros RAW (ORF) convertidos em ACR (nitidez, correção de exposição, correção de brancos e negros), Photoshop “a gosto” (níveis, brilho/contraste, equilíbrio de cores).

Link para download ficheiros TIFF:https://1drv.ms/f/s!AmnTXdi-o89xyB46R7QLhhZKXQcW

Link configuração Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, firmware 2.1: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AmnTXdi-o89xyCnWKYbehrzcRV7g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What happens at ISO 20000?

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What happens at ISO 20000? Well, pretty much a bit of grain. These photographs were taken with available light – believe me “available” is an overstatement. Two or three 40W lightbulbs, scattered along the stage, musicians moving all over the place. Even at f1.4 things were hard. So cranking up the ISO was basically the only way the get this right.

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For those of us that still remember film, being able to record an event under this sort of circumstances with such detail and with this little amount of noise is a nothing short of a revolution.

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If there is something the digital age has brought to us is the ability to still have your job done even under extremely difficult scenarios. Of course, speed, resolution and the lot also have improved.

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All these photographs were taken at 20000 ISO. I know, you want to me let you know what camera did I use, lens and all that. Rest assured, there are a few cameras (and some of them aren’t full frame) that can do this. But, can you?

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Are you brave enough to crank up the ISO and stop complaining? Try… you will be surprised.

Have a great 2018!

Digital manipulation – What is and what isn’t

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Digital manipulation – what is and what isn’t?

Beyond ethics, what can we really consider as acceptable nowadays?

Before we speak about manipulation let’s not forget pure and plain lies. Many photographers have been caught lying about location, context, subject manipulation on their photographs – beforehand this is about ethics, has nothing to do with digital post processing.

In spite of the natural grey area this issue implicates I believe that to make matters simpler and easier there is a perspective we must consider, as long as we are familiar with the analogue/film process.

Plenty of times I read or engage in conversations where it is affirmed that almost everything one can do with Photoshop or with any other imaging editing software is digital manipulation. Well, it is not. For those that have no idea of what is possible within the analogue realm it is hard to realise that plenty of what we can achieve with Photoshop nowadays was also achievable using film development and/or enlarging techniques during the film era.

Just a glimpse of what was possible with film development: using different chemical solutions, altering dilution ratios, changing temperature of the diluted chemicals, increasing or decreasing development time resulted in changes in the shadow and highlight areas of the negative. Furthermore, the fine silver halide particles “changed” when exposed to different chemical combinations/brands, the output changing accordingly. But, even prior to this step we could expose a film one or two EV’s below or above its nominal sensitivity (ISO) changing dynamic range and therefore the shadow/highlight relationship and rendering. We could compensate for this in the development stage or increase the desired effect changing recommended development times.

Once the negative was ready to be enlarged a whole new frontier opened up: more or less sharpness could be achieved changing the aperture in the enlarger’s lens, cropping, recomposing, correction of converging/diverging lines, enhancing shadow or highlight areas using masks or overexposing certain parts of the image. This was a very long process, trial and error, undo was not possible. I spent hours and hours of my life locked inside the darkroom experimenting, enhancing and fine tuning my images. I have to confess that we’ve gained a lot with the digital process, our life being much easier today. Undo is probably the best command the digital era invented.

Last but not the least, print development was the last frontier. And again, different papers combined with different chemicals, temperatures and timing provided exceptionally different results. Selenium toning was just one of the final touches available, changing a print’s colour and making the image more permanent by bonding selenium particles directly to the metallic silver in the emulsion. There were a few different toners usable to finish the prints, all of them providing dissimilar results. The output of fibre-based or resin coated papers was also substantially distinctive.

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Ansel Adams book trilogy “The Camera”, “The Negative”, “The Print” is mandatory if you want to get to know (and learn) about the extraordinary potential of the analogue process. Ansel Adams was a master, second to none when it comes to exposure, development and printing techniques. “Manipulation” of the original image using analogue processes was absolutely mind blogging.

In my opinion, all that we could do to enhance and improve the original image back in those days was acceptable and therefore, my opinion again, acceptable nowadays within the digital medium. I do not consider digital manipulation everything that one can do to improve, enhance and potentiate the final result, starting from a RAW file (JPEG SOOC already have a considerable amount of manipulation/enhancement). I prefer to tag this process as “digital enhancement”, not manipulation. Jerry Uelsmann’s entire photographic carreer was based upon image manipulation using analogue techniques and his work demonstrates what was possible using analogue techniques to heavily manipulate one, or a set of photographs by creating a new reality, a completely new interpretation of a scene, clearly manipulated.

So before adding “digital” to this conversation I believe we must discern enhancement from manipulation. Putting this openly, Adams’ work is the epitome of enhancement and Uelsmann’s work is the embodiment of manipulation.

Of course, being unaware of the history, complexity and potential of the analogue process doesn’t help. Roots are always important, if not critical, for a better understanding of the present.

If you’re not adding or subtracting objects, subjects or any other items to the image or altering those that were present when the shutter was released I do not think you’ll be manipulating. If you’re using image editing software to crop, reframe, for perspective correction, to enhance shadows or recover highlights, to sharpen, to saturate or desaturate you’ll be enhancing the RAW file (the “negative”) and this is not manipulation.

John Gallo