Tagged: Olympus Pen-F

Olympus, rather than Fujifilm X Cameras

I have been trying different styles and experimenting with all of my cameras for a while now.  My goal was to pick the best route to simplify my photography.  As a result, I decided to sell my Fujifilm X100F and just use my Olympus cameras.   I had already sold the X-Pro2 and X-T2 and my lenses.  I am using my Olympus E-M1 Mark II mostly with the 12-35mm and 35-100mm F2.8 Panasonic lenses for the majority of my photography of Homewood activities, and my Olympus PEN-F with prime lenses for most of my touring, street, and walk-about set-up for my personal work trying new things and making images for my blog.

I really like my X100F and I have been dragging my feet about selling it; but, the advantages of being able to use different focal length prime lenses on the PEN-F, and as a backup for my event photography, and for the simplicity of using one system, were the deciding factors.  This is at least the third time over the years that I have attempted to utilize the micro 4/3 system as my only system and I have finally gotten to be totally satisfied with it; but, that doesn’t mean that I won’t be looking for another camera that is even smaller for a pocket camera.

With PEN-F this Morning


Yesterday I made a lot of pictures at an event here at Homewood using my Olympus E-M1 Mark II and my Fujifilm X100F.  I found that I liked using the Olympus better than the Fuji in that I liked the colors better with the Olympus and I liked the contrast better with it.  The lighting was not good in the room I was photographing in and the differences between natural and artificial light along with the contrast changes created more work for me with the Fujifilm camera.  In addition, I needed longer focal lengths which I only had with the micro 4/3 system.

After seeing the advantages of using the micro 4/3 gear yesterday I thought that today I would switch back to using the micro 4/3 system and look closer at some of the kinds of images I like to make for my personal photography.  The above image was my first today.  I stepped outside and made a jpeg using the 25mm lens on the PEN-F.

Since I often have photographed the morning sky with my X100F through the window, I later used the PEN-F to make a similar image.  The first one below is what I made with the 25mm lens.  The second is a crop from the window image that has been up-sized.  See the contrail?  Pretty good for micro 4/3 system made through a double window.

Here are a few more images as I was exploring the qualities of the 25mm F1.8 lens.

Getting a Grip


I’m getting a better grip on how to use my Olympus PEN-F camera.  For one thing, I did buy the hand grip for it.  While it adds weight it also enables me to get a better grip on the camera and that is crucial sometimes when my arthritis is acting up.  I first thought that I would only use it when I had the heavier, longer zoom lenses mounted on the camera, but I find that it helps even with my lighter weight prime lenses.

I am also learning about what lenses I prefer to use for my photography.  This winter I plan to mostly use prime lenses, especially for my Homewood photography.  I find that I most like to use the Olympus 45mm and 75mm f/1.8 lenses.

But then there is the camera I used to make the following picture.  I used the iPhone6 … one of the very rare times that I have used it for photography.  I just haven’t warmed up to using it as a camera except in a few instances such as this to document things.  The pictures are good enough for a lot of things, but I don’t like to use it to make pictures.


Which Lens/Camera?


I prefer prime lenses since they are smaller, lighter, and make it easier to operate my camera with one hand.  I usually pick one and mount it on the camera before I go out.  Currently it is often the Olympus 17mm f/1.8.  I pick it since it is one of the smallest and is fast and has an effective 35mm focal length.  The only problem is that sometimes it is too wide.  I made the above picture when I drove by and saw the fisherman out in the lake.  He is hard to see in the above view, so I cropped and upsized to extract the following view from the above picture.

The day I made the above was a time when I wished I had the 14-150mm zoom lens mounted, but I was driving around and didn’t want that lens hanging from my neck strap as I drove.  As a possible remedy to using a heavier, larger zoom lens, I have ordered a hand grip for the Olympus PEN-F camera.  After it arrives, I will experiment with using the hand grip and a wrist strap and carrying the camera, with the lens mounted, in a small bag.


I often wish for a good, affordable, small, not too heavy, silent camera with image stabilization, a large sensor, lots of megapixels, and a small lightweight fast wide pancake prime lens on it.  If I had those I might only need one lens and one camera and then could crop-zoom to create the image desired.

Olympus PEN-F Electronic vs. Mechanical Shutter?


I have been using my Olympus PEN-F camera in the program mode with the electronic shutter and auto ISO in order to keep my photography silent when photographing around people in changing light conditions.  When photographing this way, I noticed that the camera’s bias is towards selecting slow shutter speeds before raising the ISO level.  Often the shutter speeds were too slow to stop subject motion until Olympus published the software update that enabled me to set a floor level for shutter speed.

While trying some other features of the camera, I noticed something.  The camera appears to have a different program curve for different shutter mechanisms; i.e. the camera selects different values for ISO and shutter speed for different shutter types.

The literature is clear about the effects of rolling shutter effects when using the electronic shutter.  In addition, the specs show that faster shutter rates can be obtained with the electronic vice mechanical shutter.  Based on that information I assumed that when using the electronic shutter that the chosen shutter rates would be faster than those used with the mechanical shutter, if the camera software used different program curves.  Not so.  The reverse is true, at least in some sections of the program curve.  When I used either the mechanical or the hybrid shutter the chosen ISOs were higher as were the shutter rates.  I expect that the reasons for the different program curves have to do with shutter shock, etc.  Olympus is probably biasing the different curves to minimize the issues that arise when using different shutters.

Has anyone found an explanation of the differences between the Olympus program curves that are dependent on shutter modes, or does anyone have some other explanations?

Geese with Olympus 17mm Lens


I like carrying the small, lightweight Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens on the Pen-F camera; but it creates limitations with compositions.  I am often pondering adapting my photography to fit the lens or using a zoom lens to photograph whatever, and the day I made these images I was checking (again) what I could do with the 17mm lens on the Pen-F camera.  I was walking Misty so I didn’t have much time to make the above image, but it worked using the camera in “P” mode.

Later I heard/saw another flock of geese in the distance and I quickly raised the camera and made the following image.  Using the EVF to compose the picture, I couldn’t see the geese that I knew were there.  Looking at the picture, you won’t see them either at first glance.  Knowing they should be there, I crop-zoomed the image on my computer.  The other picture below is a crop from the first one below.

Looking closely, I spotted the flock flying in the sunlight (at the top of the frame).  Looking harder I saw three more flying below the “V”, and then lower down below them the second “V”.  I hadn’t seen them when walking.  In order to really see them I upsized the crop to the version posted above.  These images give you an idea of the resolving power of the lens-camera combination.  I have no problem with the resolving power of this set-up with a micro 4/3 sensor.