Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Dry as a Bone………

While I was in Letchworth SP last Friday (doing my best to screw up a few attempts to make a decent panorama), I was also playing with the Olympus EM5.  I continue to be very impressed by this thing.  With the 45 mm f/1.8 lens attached, the focus is nearly instantaneous.  Even in low light.  This is a very fast, very sharp lens.  The EM5 also does an excellent job with respect to image stabilization.  Relatively slow shutter speeds are not a problem.  And the damn thing is so light.  Well built, but light.

This image was taken down in the gorge.  The river is still flowing, of course, but there are areas of stream-bed that I’ve never seen before.  At least I’ve never seen them uncovered.  It makes it very easy, though, to see the effects of erosion on these layers of rock.  It ain’t exactly Utah or anything, but it is pretty interesting.  As with the canyons of the southwest, this is a view of geologic history.

Anyway, it’s a whole lot better than watching the Republican National Convention.  Those folks don’t even believe in “history”, geologic or otherwise.


6 Responses to “Dry as a Bone………”

  1. John - Visual Notebook

    I looked at the OM5 recently – felt good in hand, light, responsive. I admit, I lusted a bit in my heart. There was one thing though – the shutter sound. I love that it’s so quiet, but the first few times I released it, the sound seemed somehow…..incomplete, as if there was something missing from it. With my Nikon you get a sort of ka-chunk (that’s not accurate – it’s a pleasant, satisfying sound), and with the Oly it’s more of a ka (not the Dark Tower kind, if you read Stephen King).

    With the 4/3rds size sensor, how’s the bokeh? I’ve sort of hesitated looking at 4/3rds seriously because of that, but as I get older, lighter weight is becoming a higher priority. Just don’t want to sacrifice certain critical elements – like appealing bokeh!

    • Paul Maxim

      I agree with Ken’s comment (below) – what you’re “missing” is the sound of the mirror swinging up. Although even when I do the “mirror lockup” with the 5D MK II the sound of the shutter is much louder than that of the EM5. It’s a very quiet noise. Good, I guess, if you want to keep a low profile while shooting…….

      The shallow depth of field (bokeh) seems pretty good to me, although I’ll admit that I haven’t done much of that yet. I’ll try to create some examples using the wide open (f/1.8) aperture of the 45mm lens. And then I’ll post them. Actually, I’ve only used that aperture once, and that was by mistake. It was my first time using that lens and I didn’t realize it was at 1.8. I was in bright sun and couldn’t figure out why I was getting an overexposure warning. The shutter speed was listed as 1/4000 sec. and there was too much light! Dumb.

      My feeling, however, is that it won’t be as good as I get with the Canon. We’ll see.

  2. Earl

    The rock layers in this image are so well defined. I always feel a little insignificant when confronted with this type of timeless structure and visual forces of nature.

    Totally agree about the E-M5 and the 45 f/1.8 — wicked fast combination. The Panasonic/Leica 25 f/1.4 is another winner (although a little larger and heavier) — for those times you want to shoot a little wider.

    I have to disagree with your statement about the Republicans…they love history, they love to revise it, and they’ve never met a fact they couldn’t warp to suit their own purpose. I’m amazed at their audacity and how the press has allowed them to get away with it.

    • Paul Maxim

      Yes, when you zoom in on this image, the detail is astounding. And yes, I feel a bit unimportant when I realize how long these rocks have been sitting here. It’s even worse when you stare into the Grand Canyon and it hits you that you’re looking at a billion years of history.

      I would like a wider lens for this thing. For now, the 12 – 50 will have to do, though. It’s just not as sharp……..

      You can’t say that the R’s aren’t imaginative! They just sort of make things up as they go along. They literally rewrite history. Ryan’s speech the other night was mind-blowing. I kept saying to my wife that George Orwell must have written his speech. Sadly, most people don’t “see” it. They think that it’s all true……..

  3. oneowner

    We have made quite a few trips to the Park and I don’t remember ever seeing it this dry, although I suspect there have been years when, late in the Summer and following a period of drought, that this area have been dried out before. Still, it seem a bit unnatural to see it like this.
    I think John is missing the sound of the mirror flipping inside the body that causes the ka-chunk. I’m also interested in your impression of the EVF in the Oly. Was it difficult to adjust to? Is it easy to focus (manually)?

    • Paul Maxim

      What struck me, Ken, is that there are a few places where even the main channel looks nearly dry. There are some places where you could have walked across and only gotten your feet wet.

      I think the EVF is pretty good. It’s not as good as the optical viewfinder on my Canon, but it’s pretty clear. Although I don’t think I’d use it for manual focus. If I did want to focus manually (I haven’t yet), I’d use the “live view” on the LCD, Mainly because you can zoom in on that image. Might be a problem in direct sun, but I think it would be the best way. Of course, my eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be, either!


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