Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fun On The Street with E-M5 Mark II Titanium

If you are still unaware, there is a newly released Limited Edition of Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II that comes in superbly sexy Titanium finish. Paying homage to the legendary OM-3 Titanium in 1994, this Titanium tinted variation of E-M5 Mark II looks much better and more alluring in real life, than in photographs! 

I took some quick snapshot of the camera (I am completely noob when it comes to product shooting) while I was in office and I actually brought it out for my weekend adventures. Shaun (visiting from Brisnane) and Bjorn joined me on the streets, and to add more drama, I loaned (again) Shaun's voluptuous Panasonic 42.5mm F1.2 Nocticon! What more can I ask? 


Strangely, the previous blog entry that I have posted few days ago have photographs taken on the street with no close up street portraits, which is quite an unusual thing for me. Not that I have deliberately intended to do something different, as I was shooting for that previous session, I wanted to distanced myself from my subjects to allow myself to think about the content I wanted to write (hence the 5 truths I have learned). 

However for this particular session, since I was joined by great company and we had so much fun, I have reverted to my usual self of going up really close to my street victims and attacked them at point blank. And boy I had such fun doing that! The Panasonic 42.5mm F1.2 Nocticron did a superb job in rendering amazing portraits: beautiful bokeh for effective subject isolation (F1.2 !!!), excellent sharpness (some claims this lens is as sharp as the Olympus 75mm F1.8) and the material used to construct the lens is made of a metal called unobtanium. To ALL camera manufacturers out there (and yes I mean ALL) please give us more super bright aperture prime lenses. 

A Young Boy 
42.5mm F1.2 Nocticron

Saturday, June 27, 2015

5 Truths I Have Learned About Photography

Photography is an ongoing learning journey, there is so much to explore, so much to experience. Some lessons come easy, some are difficult to learn. I think it is extremely crucial to acknowledge that there is no one ultimate form for photography, consequently being open and subjective. I also believe that we all want to improve and get better in what we do, simply because we will be able to enjoy what we are doing if we are good at it. After all, what is the point of picking up the camera and do this thing called photography, if you are not able to have fun while doing it?



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Of Breakfast, Friends, Surprise Birthday and Lazy Sunday

I am not sure when exactly did the "viralized" online article titles took over the headlines, many bloggers (at least in Malaysia) used to style their blog titles based on a combination of random subjects, usually starting with the word "Of" and then throwing in the string of items together.

The subjects may not have much direct relationship with one another but they are usually the highlights and a quick, yet effective description of what the blogger intends to say in his blog content.

Much like this one. I am posting photographs of my friends getting together ridiculously early on a Sunday morning for breakfast, with the agenda of surprising Carmen Hong with a super advanced birthday gift. It was a bright, great Sunday.

Flat White

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Simple Black and White Photographs

After spending almost a month on the super wide angle lenses, both Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO and 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO lenses, I just could not wait to get back to my more usual and frequently used focal lengths, something a lot longer than those two previous lenses: 45mm. In the midst of extremely busy time of my life I did manage to spend a few hours on a Saturday morning for my shutter therapy. I think, that itself was sufficient to keep my sanity in tact. 

I have decided to turn everything black and white this time. The pure joy of roaming the street randomly and aimlessly, with the intention to shoot whatever that caught my attention was something that I treasure and will continue to do again and again. No dramas, no complications, just me, my camera, on the street, finding that connection to whatever and whomever I have found along my way. 

All images were taken with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 and Panasonic GM1

Portrait of a Stranger

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Olympus M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO Lens Review

For those of you in Malaysia, you can Pre-Order the new Olympus M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO lens now from OLYMPUS Malaysia! Go here to find out more. 

Important Note:
1. I am an Olympus Malaysia employee. 
2. This is a user experience based review, based on my personal opinion which can be subjective.
3. All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG (High Quality) via Olympus Viewer 3.
4. General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5. Minimal post-processing applied to the images, with slight brightness/contrast balance tweak. All images were almost as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.

Olympus has launched the world's first F1.8 wide aperture fisheye lens, the Olympus M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO. The widest aperture fisheye lenses from other manufacturer is at F2.8, and it is no secret that the wider the lens is, the more difficult it is to construct with super bright aperture without compromising on image quality. The strength of Olympus has always been about their lenses, and in this blog entry I shall be reviewing the new M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 PRO. 

Being a PRO lens, the M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 is fully weather sealed: splashproof, dustproof and freezeproof. The lens also has very similarly robust and solid construction, much like the M,Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO and 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lenses. Holding the lens on hand has considerable amount of weight (not heavy), and you can tell that it is not a cheaply made lens. The front of the lens is bulbous like any other fisheye lenses, negating the ability to add on any filters (common characteristic of any fisheye lens). 

The highlights of this M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO lens are:
1) F1.8 wide open aperture, first on any fisheye lens
2) Superlative optics performance, with 2 HR lenses, 1 Super HR lens, 2 ED lenses, 3 Super ED lenses and 1 Aspherical lens construction
3) 2.5cm closest focusing distance (from the front of lens element) for super close up shooting

For full specifications of the lens please visit the official page here (click)


Monday, June 01, 2015

Some Sample Images from 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO

I had quite a blast shooting with the Olympus M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 Fisheye lens and I am excited to share the photographs and write my review of the lens here. However, as I was about to start to compose my blog entry yesterday evening it was already very late. 

Nevertheless, I feel strongly to share at least a few photographs taken with the lens before I publish my full review. What I can say now about the lens is that the F1.8 bright aperture is really something interesting to have on a fisheye lens, and it was a joy using something so wide and so different for a change in my shutter therapy sessions.