f/5.6

Introduction

This post is the latest installment of my “Shot Wide Open” project. For an overview of the project, and a list of previous installments, click here. The photos in this installment were taken with an Olympus PEN E-P5 over the course of five days, using a Promura 300 mm f/5.6 in M42 mount, with the requisite adapter to Micro Four Thirds.

The Photos

Clouds over City Rise, Dunedin, at dusk. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/400 s, f/5.6, ISO 400.
Clouds over City Rise, Dunedin, at dusk. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/400 s, f/5.6, ISO 400.
Japanese maple leaves in the late afternoon at the Dunedin Botanical Gardens. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/500 s, f/5.6, ISO 250.
Japanese maple leaves in the late afternoon at the Dunedin Botanical Gardens. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/500 s, f/5.6, ISO 250.
Rhododendron leaves in a shaft of late afternoon light at the Dunedin Botanical Gardens. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/160 s, f/5.6, ISO 1250.
Rhododendron leaves accentuated by a shaft of late afternoon light at the Dunedin Botanical Gardens. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/160 s, f/5.6, ISO 1250.
Cherry blossom (in winter!) at the Dunedin Botanical Gardens. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/400 s, f/5.6, ISO 100.
Cherry blossom (in winter!) at the Dunedin Botanical Gardens. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/400 s, f/5.6, ISO 100.
Gorse on the bank of the Anderson's Bay Inlet, Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/400 s, f/5.6, ISO 200.
Gorse on the bank of the Anderson’s Bay Inlet, Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/400 s, f/5.6, ISO 200.
A spotted shag basking in the sun on a pontoon in the Steamer Basin, Otago Harbour, Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/500 s, f/5.6, ISO 400.
A spotted shag basking in the sun on a pontoon in the Steamer Basin, Otago Harbour, Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/500 s, f/5.6, ISO 400.
A fallen tree limb in Jubilee Park, Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/100 s, f/5.6, ISO 6400.
A fallen tree limb in Jubilee Park, Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/100 s, f/5.6, ISO 6400. “tabular grain” added post capture with Capture One Pro 8.
Fallen oak leaves on a path in Jubilee Park, Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/100 s, f/5.6, ISO 1250.
Fallen oak leaves on a path in Jubilee Park, Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/100 s, f/5.6, ISO 1250.
A rooftop vent pipe in at golden hour in Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/100 s, f/5.6, ISO 400.
A rooftop vent pipe in at golden hour in Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/100 s, f/5.6, ISO 400.
A southern black-backed gull flying over s strong swell at Ocean Beach, St. Kilda, Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/2500 s, f/5.6, ISO 500.
A southern black-backed gull flying over s strong swell at Ocean Beach, St. Kilda, Dunedin. Olympus PEN E-P5 with Promura 300 mm f/5.6. 1/2500 s, f/5.6, ISO 500.

The End

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4 thoughts on “f/5.6”

  1. the Japanese maple I think is the best of this group, though I like all for their composition. they do lack a bit of clarity? which I think you had in many of the other shots in this series. the gull is lost in the background. I do like the subject matter and I do like what you are doing in this series.

    1. Thanks. I also felt that the Japanese maple was the best shot this week. Nice to know you’re enjoying the series – this is the penultimate photo update.

      One of the perils of using legacy lenses, as I’ve done for much of this series, is that the coatings aren’t always up to the task when they’re put in front of a digital sensor. In this case, I was using a single coated lens, which massively reduced contrast, and increased the amount of flare and number internal reflections I was fighting against, which led to the “glow” around the subjects, even when focused accurately. In my experience, it’s worse on the Micro Four Thirds sensors than it was on APS-C sensors, although apparently, with the increasing pixel density of APS-C sensors, they are beginning to be affected by the same problems. This is somewhat corroborated by the photos most of these legacy lenses produce when shot on film: sharp, with high contrast. When you consider that I spent the week shooting in inclement conditions, it’s inevitable that a loss of image quality would occur. However, I think the extent of that loss speaks volumes about how far lens technology has progressed over the past 60 years, and especially the past 30 years.

      1. yes lens tech has come far, very far. if i remember, i think pentax was doing multicoated lenses back in the 70’s as my ME i think had a multicoated lens

        1. Yes, Pentax were one of the earliest to adopt decent multi coating, and theirs has always been amongst the best. I used to run a Pentax Super Multi Coated Macro Takumar with my K10D, K-7 and Z-1. To this day, it’s one of the very best lenses I’ve ever owned or used, including a few offerings from Zeiss and Leica.

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