Shooting wedding with cheap stuff: E-P2 with Toy Lens (Guest post by Elisabeth Busani)

We know well how much expensive stuff you usually have to buy to do serious Wedding photo work. But how would it look like if you would take these pictures with a Toy lens and a cheap MFT camera? Elisabeth Busani (Flickr) shared his experience shooting a wedding with that stuff:
$290 for the E-P2 at BigValue $100 for the 26mm f/1.4 Toy Lens on eBay

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“A special guest”

September, a wedding, an Olympus EP-2 and a f1.4, 26mm Toy Lens from SLR Magic. This is what brings me to this blog, telling you about pictures I’ve shot during a friend’s wedding.
The Toy Lens, as you certainly know, is a very peculiar lens. It’s called “Toy” for a reason, but after having used it extensively for over a year, it’s become much more than that, so I decided to use it as my primary lens for the wedding.
Please note that I was not the official photographer (actually there was no such thing as an official photographer) since my friends preferred to collect the pictures, made by friends and family.
The Toy Lens has a very strong character of its own, the focus is concentrated in the center and moving towards the borders the picture gets gradually blurred. On one hand this “vignette” effect is perfect for portraits and details, since it enables you to focus on one element by blurring the rest, but usually at a wedding you might want to use something more flexible. On the other hand though, you can always use so called technical limitations to your advantage.

The Toy Lens can yield some surprising results also for long and medium shots and if you’re lucky you’ll also be able to capture a spontaneous outburst of joy.

Another one of this lens’ technical defects, which I find very fascinating, is the way direct light get’s diffracted in certain situations. If you use it well it can create interesting effects that underline the sense of airiness and peace of the moment.

I found the lens to be very fitting for situations like these:

and these:

And finally, the lens has a pretty good aperture, so it works quite well in low-light situations (I didn’t use a flash for this shooting).

 

I am very satisfied with this lens: it saturates the colours and its low-fi character gives my photos a certain peculiar personality. I find it very fitting with my style of photography, which has its root in visual arts (I’m mainly an illustrator by trade).
When you shoot photos at a wedding you need to be quick, always ready to capture that one moment. Using a Toy Lens with a fixed focal length and manual focus makes things more complicated, but I can only recommend you to try that at least once, it’s an interesting challenge, and it’s also a lot of fun!

………Elisabeth Busani………
portfolio: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elisabethbusani/

Triple review: E-M1 (Luminous Landscape), GM1 and GX7.

Panasonic GM1 review by Digital Camera World.

Here is a triple MFT camera review roundup. And great to read that all reviewers liked all three cameras! Luminous Landscape (Click here) focus is on the great FT Lenses coupled with the new E-M1:

Olympus ended up creating a line of zoom lenses that remains unsurpassed from a single manufacturer. A few L series and Gold ring lenses from Canon and Nikon may be comparable, but likely none are better. Ironically, now that they have a world-class camera in the E-M1, and sensor size is no longer the issue that it was a decade ago, together with their Pro series lenses from a decade ago Olympus has a stealth combination that will appeal to any Pro and advanced amateur who knows that this combo exists.

The new GM1 got tested at Expertreviews (Click here):

The GM1 represents a major milestone with its genuinely pocketable dimensions. The fact that image quality, video quality and performance show no signs of compromise is even more impressive.

GX7 review at Imaging Resource (Click here):

The Panasonic GX7 handles virtually everything an advanced photographer would it expect it to, and handles it rather well. It’s a great value, too, offering most of the features and functionality of high-end, flagship Micro Four Thirds models, but without any pro-level overkill. There’s no question: The Panasonic GX7 is a clear Dave’s Pick.

 

New E-M1 reviews.

Olympus OM-D EM-1 workshop from Johannes Dongstra on Vimeo.

Biofos (Click here) posted a hands-on review from a 4/3 user perspective:

“The sensor has PDAF capabilities on-board which, for the most part, competes very well with the PDAF system employed in the E-5 and certainly out-performs the AF system in consumer grade E-System bodies. However, it does not ‘beat’ the E-5 AF system, but it is mighty close. In all other respects the E-M1 is a cracking camera. Its size and weight are just about perfect (for me). Its ergonomics are first class. Its specification is outstanding. And the resultant images are stunning – by far the best so far.”

Photographyblog (Click here) also tested the camera:

“The combination of great image quality, an abundance of features, excellent auto focus, insane customisability and a robust dust-, drip- and freeze-proof body with a well-thought-out user interface do go a long way in justifying the cost, but with Sony soon releasing its similarly sized, full-frame Alpha A7 for the same price in the UK and a few hundred dollars more in the US, the OM-D E-M1 still seems a bit overpriced to us.”

 Tashley (Click here) posted ahe E-M1 review:

“…I have tested this to my own satisfaction, for a 20″ print at low ISO and 24mm FOV I would prefer to use the Oly system than the D800 system (with 24-70mm) for wide shooting because it gives better results on average across the frame with clearly better edges. Honestly.”

P.S.: Jonas Linngard Straight out of the camera pics. User review at Microcosm.

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E-M1 Store Links:
Olympus E-M1 body at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto, Amazon DE (via DL), Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL), WexUK, Topshot FI, CameraWorldUK.
Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, AmazonDE (viaDL), Amazon ES (via DL).
Olympus E-M1 with 12-40mm Lens kit at Amazon DE (via DL), WexUK and CameraWorldUK, Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL).
Olympus E-M1 with 12-50mm Lens kit at Amazon DE (via DL), WexUK, CameraWorldUK, Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL).
Olympus EP-13 Eyecup for E-M1 at Adorama and BHphoto.
Olympus HLD-7 Battery Grip for E-M1 at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Olympus LC-62D Metal Front Lens Cap for 12-40mm at Adorama and BHphoto.
Olympus LH-66 Lens Hood for 12-40mm at Adorama and BHphoto.

Olympus first PRO Lens gets DxOmarked.

The first Olympus PRO lens, the 12-40mm zoom got tested at DxOmark (Click here). As you see it’s on par with the Panasonic. DxO writes:

The Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO is a good lens, very good in fact, easily challenging the optical performance of the rival, and slightly dearer Panasonic model as well as high-grade APS-C lenses. But, at a whisker under $1000, quality like this doesn’t come cheap.

Also Tashley1 (Click here) posted a lens review:

At every focal length F2.8 thru F5.6 will give sharp images edge on a 20″ print. No need to finesse this, just shoot.

E-M1 and 12-40mm lens store Links:
Olympus E-M1 body at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto, Amazon DE (via DL), Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL), WexUK, Topshot FI, CameraWorldUK.
Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, AmazonDE (viaDL), Amazon ES (via DL).
Olympus E-M1 with 12-40mm Lens kit at Amazon DE (via DL), WexUK and CameraWorldUK, Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL).
Olympus E-M1 with 12-50mm Lens kit at Amazon DE (via DL), WexUK, CameraWorldUK, Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL).
Olympus EP-13 Eyecup for E-M1 at Adorama and BHphoto.
Olympus HLD-7 Battery Grip for E-M1 at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Olympus LC-62D Metal Front Lens Cap for 12-40mm at Adorama and BHphoto.
Olympus LH-66 Lens Hood for 12-40mm at Adorama and BHphoto.