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Hunker Down

Bundle Up and Hunker Down - Pen F with Panasonic 15 f1.7

Bundle Up and Hunker Down - Pen F with Panasonic 15 f1.7

Its cold and rainy and the snow is about to fall.  Time to bundle up and hunker down. Hope to wake up with some actual snow on the ground. Fingers crossed.  

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Jensen Lake Sunrise

Jensen Lake sunrise - Olympus Pen F with Panasonic 15 f1.7

Jensen Lake sunrise - Olympus Pen F with Panasonic 15 f1.7

I mentioned in the last post that our late autumn/early winter sunrises have been spectacular lately. I can't seem to get enough of them either. I made it out yesterday morning for an early hike and stumbled into another great light and color show. The air quality and temperature make the colors just so pure and lovely. The super thin layer of ice on the lake also played into the picture above. 

I shot the image with the Olympus Pen F and Panasonic 15 f1.7, a combination I adore. This is a straight OOC jpeg shot with the vibrant setting. I must say though that I wished I had an even wider lens for the shot but the saying "Use what you brung!" pushed me to get the shot.  

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Morning Light

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Our late fall sunrises and sunsets have been just spectacular. Usually I am walking the dog, but yesterday I snuck out for a quick walk on my own. I am still getting a feel for the new Olympus 45 f1.2 pro lens.  Still need more time but its fairly obvious its a spectacular lens. 

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First Pictures with the new Olympus 45 f1.2 Pro lens!

While I wish the 17 f1.2 pro lens arrived first, you can't always get what you want. I sold my Panasonic 42.5 f1.2 and picked up the new Olympus 45 f1.2. It's a beauty! The images are so clean and transitions are so smooth. It needs real testing, but here are a two of the first pics from this lens.

Haakon is really motoring around the house!

Haakon is really motoring around the house!

The long view on the long way home

The long view on the long way home

I have another trip next week and I hope to shoot this lens a bunch. More thoughts and pictures to come. It's a beauty though. Not sure it really justified selling the Panasonic 42.5 but whats done is done. More to come.

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A week in New York with the Olympus Pen F - A quick user review

I spent the week in New York City with an an Olympus Pen F. I've rented on in the past as well as written about how I am smitten with the Pen F.  I finally found one for a fair price and bought a used one. I left for New York with only three lenses, the 15mm Panasonic f1.7,  Laowa 7.5 f2 MFT wide angle. and a rented Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 version ii.  I also packed a mini tripod and an extra battery. That's it. It all fit in a small Ona bag.  What were my thoughts and experiences with the Pen F and this kit?!

First some pictures. I will start with the black and whites.

The Pen F was an amazing companion in NYC. I always had it on me. Much of the time I was shooting the manual focusing Laowa 7.5 and just set aperture to f5.6 set at infinity and pretty much everything was in focus. I was really grooving on the ultra wide field of view.  I think everyone whom has reviewed the Pen f has commented on the design, the great sensor and the black and white modes.

I, too, will comment in saying that I think the Pen F is a beautifully built camera. I did use the black and white JPEGs but must admit, that in the end, I still prefer my own BW conversions. I was also impressed with what I was able to pull from the RAW files (in Lightroom).

The camera performed flawlessly with no shut downs, or issues. It handled light rain and some ocean spray from the ferry. Only once did I put the second battery in. It's quick to focus (it does slow down in low light). In the end, I shot about 1000 images in New York, some of which I share here.

All was not perfect though. My biggest problem is actually the On/Off switch. It's beautiful and functions well, but I left the camera on often and quite frankly with the touch screen and all the buttons and knobs, I often brought the camera to my eye with wonky settings. I also struggled to trust the EVF brightness. I noted this with the EM1 Mark ii when I went to Iceland earlier in the year. I often underexposed the shot. I have to correct this habit and use the histogram.

But all in all, I had a blast shooting this camera.

A couple of notes on the lenses. Nothing too deep here. If you have a question about any of these lenses, please leave a comment.

- The Panasonic 15mm f1.7 is a dreamy little lens. It's a gem. Great color, contrast and of what I brought, superior image quality. It was by far the best lens I had with me, but I wanted wider.

- Laowa 7.5 - Pretty capable and fun, but not in the same league as the Panasonic 15. Just not as sharp, not as good of color or contrasty

- Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 version ii - I really did not like this lens. It had a tough time focusing and I only used it for something like 3 shots.

Now, for the color shots.

Honestly, I came home wishing that that the next Olympus Pen model would be a scaled down version of what I went with. Simple design. Less buttons. A tilt screen instead of flip out. A higher quality EVF. I little more weight to the camera.

But in the end, I was very pleased with the images and that I had a camera that was really un obtrusive. If I went back again, I'd definitely take the Pen F, but would likely take a different lens trio, something like the Panasonic 12 f1.4, and the new 17 & 45 Olympus Pro f1.2 lenses!

 

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New York City with the Olympus Pen F

I just spent the week with the Pen F in New York City. My kids marched and performed in the 2017 Macy's Day Thankgiving Parade. How cool is that, right?!  Here is a quick preview. All images shot with Pen F, converted from RAW in camera and sent to phone for editing. I am downloading now and will post a real set of images likely this weekend.  Until then, here is a preview.  

Image 1 - Sponge Bob. Shot with Laowa 7.5 f2 wide angle

Image 2 - Take my picture - The Met. Shot with Laowa 7.5 f2 wide angle

Image 3 - Shapes and shadows - Shot with Panasonic Leica 15mm f1.7

Image 4 - Lady Liberty - Shot with Panasonic Leica 15 f1.7

I had an amazing trip. So many good images. Can't wait to share more images and thoughts on the Olympus Pen F.

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Haakon's 1st Birthday

Been out and about exploring life with not much blogging. Lots going on. Just a super quick post with a pic or two from Haakon's 1st birthday.  All shot with the EM1II and 25 f1.2. What an amazing combo.    

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What a fun day with family and friends.  Hope you all had a great one too!  

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Happy Father's Day

Almost walking - OMD EM1II with Olympus 25 f1.2

Almost walking - OMD EM1II with Olympus 25 f1.2

We spent the weekend away with family.  My wife's brother is celebrating Father's Day for the first time.  What a special boy and amazing time we had.  Hope you all did too.   

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Morning light

Morning light - Sturgeon Lake, MN - Olympus OMD EM1II with 12-100 f4

Morning light - Sturgeon Lake, MN - Olympus OMD EM1II with 12-100 f4

Woke up to this. Beautiful light on a beautiful morning. Grabbed the EM1II and 12-100 and ran out to the dock. Haven't shot this combo in a while and I am once again blown away by the stabilization in this camera body & lens combo. 

Hope you had a great morning too.   

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Layers

Layers - Panasonic GH5 with Olympus 12-100

Layers - Panasonic GH5 with Olympus 12-100

Took a quick walk in the woods before heading north with family, bike and camera.  Beautiful morning in the woods.  Carried GH5 and 12-100. For the record , I am not liking these two together but it's what I had. But I made the best of it.  

in other news my 8-18 Panasonic zoom came in but I can't grab it prior to leaving today so I will pick it up next week. Excited as I have missed super wide capabilities for some time. 

Have a great weekend folks.   

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A bright spot on a not so bright day

I chased my kids around to soccer matches all weekend. I didn't carry a camera on Saturday but I wanted something on Sunday so grabbed the GH5 and Oly 12-100 to experiment on the sidelines. 

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Unfortunately I did not get a chance to shoot as before the games even started the skies opened up with lightning, severe wind & rain followed by hail. We took shelter in our car and hoped for the best.  

Thankfully my daughter's smile was a bright spot of the day.  

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Of note in my brief moments of operation I am not sure that either of the 12-100 or the GH5 image stabilization work at all when paired together. While taking shelter in the car I searched the internet for information.  The few articles and threads on DPReview were not from actual experience but speculation. In use the 12-100 doesn't seem to work  very well on the GH5. I will do some more experimentation and report back but if any of you readers have personal experiences or info please leave me a comment.  

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Blowout

Blowout - Panasonic GH5 with 42.5 f1.2

Blowout - Panasonic GH5 with 42.5 f1.2

Every time I get more serious about photography I lose my interest and find myself ill and dis satisfied. I don't like my images, I don't like my gear, and so on & on. It culminates in a blowout wit me wanting to sell it all and shoot a point and shoot film camera. 

Thankfully photography isn't where my income comes from and when I get to this point, I set the camera down and do some other things. I ride my bike. I drive my RC cars. I shoot a Fuji Instax.   

That is where I am now. I hope to find that joy and inspiration in shooting again soon.  I am confident it will return soon. 

Hope all of you are having more luck than me with your shooting.   

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Oriental Poppy Flowers

Full Bloom - Panasonic GH5 with Panasonic 42.5 f1.2

Full Bloom - Panasonic GH5 with Panasonic 42.5 f1.2

It is always a special time when these beautiful flowers bloom. Every year my wife and I are elated when the glorious orange petals show themselves. Given the blooms pretty much only last a couple of days I always try to snap a picture or two for the other 360 or so days of the year.  Here is my favorite shot of the morning.  

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Field Testing the Panasonic GH5

I am out testing the GH5 and I must say I am impressed! Really impressed in fact. All cameras have some issues though. Thankfully I am not having any critical issues with the GH5, only a few minor annoyances or niggles. More later after more testing. 

Here are a few shots from my first real outing with the Panasonic GH5. More to come.  

So far, so good.  More to come. 

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1st Quick Outing with the GH5

Convergence - Panasonic GH5 with Panasonic 12 f1.4

Convergence - Panasonic GH5 with Panasonic 12 f1.4

I had a quick, family outing yesterday with the GH5. Only shot about 100 frames. I am very impressed with this camera. I need some time to master the controls and learn about best settings for continuous autofocus, but I am certainly impressed. In fact, other than jpeg color output and hi res mode, I think I prefer it over the EM1 Mark II.

I know all these things are personal preference and your results may vary, but I am impressed so far with the following.

- EVF - Wow is it awesome. I do wish the refresh rate was a bit higher, but it is huge and bright and clear. I can't wait to try manual focusing with vintage glass.

- Controls - They are in a good place and feel great to me. The only thing I strongly dislike are control wheels on the back and the GH5 still has one. But, I do love the layout and the controls do work for me.

- Grip - It feels solid in hand and I like the larger size, especially with the 42.5 f1.2. I will try it with the 100-400 later this week too.

So far, I am impressed. More to come.

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Testing the Beast - GH5 vs EM1II

The Beast - GH5 with Nocticron -  taken with iPhone 5s

The Beast - GH5 with Nocticron -  taken with iPhone 5s

I plan on shooting a big event this week. Wanted some video and also wanted to compare to EM1II.  

What a beast. It's by far the best build or solid feeling m43 camera I have ever held in my hand. Impressed. Single point AF is the best ever too.  Incredible EVF and a beautiful sounding shutter.  It's also a beast, as in BIG and solid and not very pretty to look at from a design perspective. But it seems to work oh so well. Should be a fun week of shooting.   

Sleeping Beauty - GH5 with 42.5 f1.2

Sleeping Beauty - GH5 with 42.5 f1.2

More to come......But while I was getting it set up and getting the controls and function buttons to my liking, thanks to its silent shutter it did pass the sleeping pooch  test! 

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Mid ride Zip Line

Mid Bike Ride Zip Line - OMD EM1II with Panasonic 12mm f1.4

Mid Bike Ride Zip Line - OMD EM1II with Panasonic 12mm f1.4

99.99% of the time when I hear a cell phone ring while on a bike ride I get annoyed. But this time, was the .01% where I was elated. Why? Well, we got invited to a piece of private property to enjoy some home grown trails and the zip line.

I have lived a long and full life filled with bike rides around the globe, but until last week, I had never had a mid ride zip line before. Let me tell you first hand that it was just awesome and if you get the chance to do exactly this, don't miss out!  Do it!  

As always, thankful I had my small and capable camera with me. Love. Love. Love this combination of EM1II and Panasonic 12 f1.4.

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Taking Shelter

Shelter - EM1II with Panasonic 12 f1.4

Shelter - EM1II with Panasonic 12 f1.4

I went out for a ride in the cold freezing rain today. I needed it. It felt good and I came home quite cold & wet but inspired. 

I keep thinking about a second camera and my debate over the 12-100 f4 vs the 12-40 & 40-150 f2.8. But in the end I keep coming home pleased with my results so I keep doing nothing.   

Hope you all got out too and are inspired.  

 

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Lilacs - A true taste of spring

Lilacs - OMD Em1ii with Panasonic 42.5 f1.2

Lilacs - OMD Em1ii with Panasonic 42.5 f1.2

Nothing says spring in MN like lilacs. In full bloom, the air is filled with the unmistakable floral bouquet.   Combining the color and beauty and aroma, you can almost taste spring.

But the beauty doesn't last long in this state and our cold rain yesterday and today will quickly bring these beautiful petals to the ground. Thankfully I snap a few images each year to capture that spring in memories.

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Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day tulips - EM1II and Panasonic 42.5 f1.2

Mother's Day tulips - EM1II and Panasonic 42.5 f1.2

Happy Mother's Day to all those moms out there!  Thank you all for the kindness, love, beauty, wisdom and joy you bring to this world.  Hope you all have an incredible day. 

My my son bought Tulips for his mom and they caught my eye this AM.  I love having fresh flowers in the house.    

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