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View Full Version : dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?


orsiphoto
9th March 2012, 06:00 PM
Hi Folks,

I'd like to have a decent camera body that sort of doesn't freak me out from ISO 800 and above with all the noise. I have an E-600 and I love it very much though I think it really sucks indoors because it cannot handle low light situations too well. The AF is really slow even with the lights on (most probably that's because of the dodgy kit lens).

I'm entertaining the idea of dropping the whole Olympus system and switch over to Nikon due to the advantages of ISO performance and the full frame sensor. But at the same time I have already invested a lot of money in lenses and if I switch, they have to go out of window too and I really don't want to throw away around 1000, that I've so far spent on lenses.

My other issue with Olympus is that their lenses are super expensive compared to CaNikon and there isn't much of a choice. This variable aperture thing is really annoying me (try shooting a toddler and be a ninja with your finger and mind to remember the 3rd stops all the time), so most of the time I have my kit lenses set to f5.6 but that doesn't give me the desired effect at all and basically Olympus only offers 2 fast primes. I have the 25mm f2.8 which is alright but it still doesn't give me a shallow enough DOF that you can easily achieve with its CaNikon counter part at fraction of the price. I've tested the 50mm f2 and I loved it to bits. That's more of the kind of thing I'd be after in my photography, so if I want only eyes in focus, I just go to my Lensbaby.

So what's your thought? I don't want to pay over 700 for a lens that's practically an f4 or over 900 which is an f3.5 at best and I still can't get a shallow DOF. I don't even want to go down the so called "Top Pro Lenses" lane as they're 2000 each!! At the moment they're way out of my league. Seems like Olympus is not really going to come out with anything else because they're very much focused on the micro 4/3s stuff these days.

I suppose my question is, how do you overcome the dodgy ISO performance (would the E-5 solve this?) and not being able to achieve shallow enough DOF (I do go close now that I've watched Zack Arias's workshop recently, but that's still not enough).

Thanks very much :)

StephenL
9th March 2012, 06:14 PM
Dare I suggest you wait to try the OM-D E-M5? All the tests I have seen suggest fast focus and good high ISO performance. Plus there are some cracking good fast primes in m4/3 fitting.

Don't forget that by going Nikon or Canon full-frame, you are moving to large bodies, which may or may not bother you, but the sheer weight can sometimes slow down your reactions!

Jim Ford
9th March 2012, 07:10 PM
As at least 90% of the image quality is determined by the lens - the body just being an accessory, I'm sticking with Olympus because of the incomparable quality of their lenses. FWIW I found this quote on the net (The Online Photographer):

"A good family friend - sadly departed from this vale of tears - was the patent attorney (and glass physicist) for Carl Zeiss. Before that, he worked for Leica in Solms, designing new glass types.

In both cases he said that the only Japanese company that Leica or Zeiss regarding as being serious competitors (in terms of coming close to being in the same class, quality-wise) was Olympus. Nikon and Canon, meh. Pentax, double meh. Olympus: hmmmm."

Jim

crimbo
9th March 2012, 08:14 PM
I have recently got Lightroom...havent got the hang of it fully but the noise reduction is very good... happily shooting at ISO 1600 raw... and if you can get a 12-60 SWD focussing is much improved in low light...

Who's_E
9th March 2012, 08:31 PM
If you don't want to spend over 700 on a lens then there is little point in spending 1400 on a camera with pretty much the same sensor as your E-600. Glass is the way forward if you stick with Olympus, which by the sound of it means the 50mm f2 which is ay-may-zing in terms of quality and would suit you well, although it is quite slow to focus.

I don't know much about other systems but you could probably replicate the kit you currently have easily within the cost of an E5 if you stay on small sensors with a prime lens and you are not that heavily invested in the E-System.

From your Flickr pictures you are doing a good job with the kit you have - I would love to get shots of my family like yours.

Nick

yorky
9th March 2012, 08:33 PM
I have recently got Lightroom...havent got the hang of it fully but the noise reduction is very good... happily shooting at ISO 1600 raw... and if you can get a 12-60 SWD focussing is much improved in low light...

I would take the above comments to heart and maybe get a E5, yes its heavier but its going to drop in price and with the 12-60 lens its very good

crimbo
9th March 2012, 08:42 PM
I would take the above comments to heart and maybe get a E5, yes its heavier but its going to drop in price and with the 12-60 lens its very good

I'm running the E620 so the body could come last in an upgrade...and if I was going to system change then it would be the OM-D

OlyPaul
9th March 2012, 10:30 PM
I do not think you will be any happier switching as you will have the same problems with dof if going to APC sensor, there's not much difference in dof believe me and there kit lenses are not as good.

A Nikon D700 full frame will cost you about 1800 then a decent standard lens anywhere between 450-1200.

If you wish to stay with Olympus and portraits are your interest then I suggest the 50mm macro f2 which allows very shallow dof on head and shoulder shots.

50mm macro @ f2

http://paulsilk.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v32/p637336613-4.jpg

I'd also learn more about the relation of F stops ,focal length and subject distance as this has a great bearing on how to throw backgrounds out of focus and is the cheaper option.

If you can pick up the old mark1 40-150 as it is a far better portrait lens than the mk2 and is half a stop faster.

mk1 40- 150mm at f4.5 at 150mm

http://paulsilk.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v19/p928202878-4.jpg

E-30 and 70-300mm f5.6 ISO640 at 300mm

http://paulsilk.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v32/p852623365-4.jpg

As you can see you can throw background out of focus with Olympus equipment.

By the way I also have Pentax and although the ISO seems better it comes at the cost of some smearing of the detail than is exceptable to me.:)

Ross the fiddler
9th March 2012, 11:03 PM
The 12-60 SWD lens was suggested & as good as it is, that comes at a price whereas the 14-54 II lens is almost down to half the price of the above lens & still very good quality. It operates from f2.8-3.5 & is optimised to work with contrast focus which would also work very well on a micro 4/3's body (with adapter) & for the best ISO performance todate, the OM-D E-M5, especially with the grip, would (or should) be a great combination for indoor photos. From that I am suggesting moving up from the kit lens (which is still good quality optics) to something better but not too expensive & the body can be updated later if & when you're ready.

If you're thinking of another system (brand), it usually comes with a kit lens that are not necessarily as good as Olympus's kit lenses & the better lenses available are not cheaper than Olympus except from 3rd party manufacturers (Sigma, Tamron etc.), but again, the better the quality, the higher the price.

rich s
9th March 2012, 11:16 PM
I was in much the same position as you ... but had an awful lot invested in Olympus lenses, including the f2 SHG ones. I had these to overcome the lack of shallow DOF in the system, and to get the absolute maximum IQ in my photos for exhibition needs. Fortunately I could afford them at the time. But times have changed, and last year the time had come to re-think (divorce in process).

I couldn't consider C or Nikon, and started looking seriously at the Pentax K5, and looked at many sample images on various sites. Its often said to be the true successor to the E1, and found it had all the attributes I wanted. Smaller body than E30, very high build quality & handling, WR, IBIS, exceptional SONY sensor giving noise free at 1600 ISO, best DR available etc etc. Body price much lower, and you have access to stunning small primes, as well as quality zooms.

Believe me when I say that

Its taken me maybe 6-8 months to do the system change, and I still have some lenses and 4/3 bodies to sell. I'll keep the EPL2 though.

I used Oly for many, many years, and have been one of its biggest fans / supporters. But the forced need to change - financial and health reasons, (I have serious breathing difficulties as well, which means that heavy 1.6kg f2 lenses are non starters, also heavy E5 body) has now given me access to the capabilities of the K5 which I otherwise would never have come across. I have even sold the Leica R lenses that I used on the E3 and E30, since the Pentax Limited primes are AF, are nothing short of stunning.

If anyone thinks I am trolling or something ... I'm not. Just giving my reasons for having to switch from Oly to Pentax, and sharing what I have found. I now have many more "weapons" in my armoury ... that's how I look at it. Huge DR, very high ISO usable, lovely lenses and so on. And the number of "keepers" have increased too.

Apart from the K5 body, and the 16-50 & 50-135 zooms, I have bought second hand, mainly through forums, and so the cost of the switch has actually been very modest.

I have the GH2 as well, but have decided that it too has to be is to be sold to raise funds. Not only that, but the the difference between it and the K5 in IQ and handling terms is so substantial. Having just the one kit simplifies so much, and its all very liberating I have to say!

Cheers
Rich S

PS to the OP, please PM me for any detailed info, as I don't feel this forum is the appropriate place to discuss the Pentax system I now have, and I have high regard for the Oly users, and wouldn't wish to cause any ripples!

Mark
9th March 2012, 11:43 PM
Hi Orsi,

I've got an E-600 with kit lenses and like you got frustrated with the AF indoors in low light ! Adding a flash and using the focus beam (with a Metz 36 AF4 and upwards or Oly flash) helps but what you really need is faster glass.

For indoor use a Sigma 30mm f1.4 works well and with the focus adjust/calibration on the E-600 you can use it wide open. It's a nice balance with the E-600 as it's not too big. (Panaleica 25mm f1.4 is better still but more money)

For portraits the Oly 50mm f2 is great and like Paul i've had some good results with the 40-150 mm Mk1. Have got good results with the 50-200 SWD as well.

If you don't mind manual focus then you can use legacy olympus OM 50mm 1.4 or 1.8 with an adaptor. For thinner depth of field but with more working distance you can buy a Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f1.4 for 4/3rds but again is manual focus only. (A larger viewfinder in E1/3/30/5 would make this easier)

For brighter conditions indoors or using flash then the Oly 14-54mm Mk 1/2 or Sigma 18-50 f2.8 could be options for you too.

If you fancy micro 4/3 then the new OM-D with 45mm f1.8 looks very promising :) . (There are other fast primes too)

If you really want wafer thin depth of field then full frame with fast glass is the way to go but of course that is a lot more money !!


Cheers,
Mark

rich s
9th March 2012, 11:51 PM
I get wafer thin DOF using the K5 ... no need to go FF and its weight / bulk.
The Pentax kit is very affordable for AF fast lenses eg 50mm f1.4, or 1.7, or even the 35mm f2.4 budget lens, which is excellent.


Hi Orsi,

If you really want wafer thin depth of field then full frame with fast glass is the way to go but of course that is a lot more money !!


Cheers,
Mark

Graham_of_Rainham
9th March 2012, 11:59 PM
How shallow do you want your DoF ? This was done at f/5.6

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/1024x768_My_favourite_critter.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/42737)

Zuiko
10th March 2012, 12:10 AM
I was in much the same position as you ... but had an awful lot invested in Olympus lenses, including the f2 SHG ones. I had these to overcome the lack of shallow DOF in the system, and to get the absolute maximum IQ in my photos for exhibition needs. Fortunately I could afford them at the time. But times have changed, and last year the time had come to re-think (divorce in process).

I couldn't consider C or Nikon, and started looking seriously at the Pentax K5, and looked at many sample images on various sites. Its often said to be the true successor to the E1, and found it had all the attributes I wanted. Smaller body than E30, very high build quality & handling, WR, IBIS, exceptional SONY sensor giving noise free at 1600 ISO, best DR available etc etc. Body price much lower, and you have access to stunning small primes, as well as quality zooms.

Believe me when I say that

Its taken me maybe 6-8 months to do the system change, and I still have some lenses and 4/3 bodies to sell. I'll keep the EPL2 though.

I used Oly for many, many years, and have been one of its biggest fans / supporters. But the forced need to change - financial and health reasons, (I have serious breathing difficulties as well, which means that heavy 1.6kg f2 lenses are non starters, also heavy E5 body) has now given me access to the capabilities of the K5 which I otherwise would never have come across. I have even sold the Leica R lenses that I used on the E3 and E30, since the Pentax Limited primes are AF, are nothing short of stunning.

If anyone thinks I am trolling or something ... I'm not. Just giving my reasons for having to switch from Oly to Pentax, and sharing what I have found. I now have many more "weapons" in my armoury ... that's how I look at it. Huge DR, very high ISO usable, lovely lenses and so on. And the number of "keepers" have increased too.

Apart from the K5 body, and the 16-50 & 50-135 zooms, I have bought second hand, mainly through forums, and so the cost of the switch has actually been very modest.

I have the GH2 as well, but have decided that it too has to be is to be sold to raise funds. Not only that, but the the difference between it and the K5 in IQ and handling terms is so substantial. Having just the one kit simplifies so much, and its all very liberating I have to say!

Cheers
Rich S

PS to the OP, please PM me for any detailed info, as I don't feel this forum is the appropriate place to discuss the Pentax system I now have, and I have high regard for the Oly users, and wouldn't wish to cause any ripples!

No worries, we're mature enough here to have a reasoned discussion that involves other brands, even though we share Canikon jokes from time to time. Each of us has different needs and preferences and Olympus won't suit everyone. If we are able to help someone find the right system and that happens to be non-Olympus then so be it. I think it is healty for the OP to look at all the options, including other brands as well as different Olympus bodies, glass and MFT.

orsiphoto
10th March 2012, 12:16 AM
Dare I suggest you wait to try the OM-D E-M5? All the tests I have seen suggest fast focus and good high ISO performance. Plus there are some cracking good fast primes in m4/3 fitting.

Don't forget that by going Nikon or Canon full-frame, you are moving to large bodies, which may or may not bother you, but the sheer weight can sometimes slow down your reactions!

I do realize they do get bulkier if I went for full frame sensors.

I've heard about the OM-D coming out soon. Have to wait and see the high ISO performance. That's my only complaint about my camera body, otherwise I have no probs with it. I'm just trying to weigh whether it's a new camera body that will work for me better in low light or the fast glass with shallow DOF.

orsiphoto
10th March 2012, 12:20 AM
I have recently got Lightroom...havent got the hang of it fully but the noise reduction is very good... happily shooting at ISO 1600 raw... and if you can get a 12-60 SWD focussing is much improved in low light...

I'm in Lr too and fair enough the noise reduction is good in raw but you loose out on sharpness I think.

The 12-60 is still f4 technically isn't it?

Mark
10th March 2012, 12:27 AM
I get wafer thin DOF using the K5 ... no need to go FF and its weight / bulk.
The Pentax kit is very affordable for AF fast lenses eg 50mm f1.4, or 1.7, or even the 35mm f2.4 budget lens, which is excellent.

Perhaps my wording was a bit woolly Rich. Of course it's possible to get wafer thin DOF with Olympus for example using the 35-100 f2, 150 f2, Samyang 85mm f1.4 or filling the frame with other lenses like the 50mm f2 as Olypaul shows above.

How about this ... if you want the thinnest possible DOF then Full Frame with fast glass is the way to go, such as Canon FF with 85mm f1.2 for portrait shooting, but this a lot more money (and bulkier too)

*chr
Mark

orsiphoto
10th March 2012, 12:33 AM
If you don't want to spend over 700 on a lens then there is little point in spending 1400 on a camera with pretty much the same sensor as your E-600.

That's my thing to figure out whether just stick with ISO 800 and rather get that 50mm f2 and the 14-35mm f2.

50mm f2 which is ay-may-zing in terms of quality and would suit you well, although it is quite slow to focus.

I agree. I've hired it for a few days and I totally fell in love with it. Shame about the slow focus in low light again :( Otherwise I think this is going to be my next lens once I have some money in the bank :P

From your Flickr pictures you are doing a good job with the kit you have - I would love to get shots of my family like yours.

Cheers, Nick, but I'm nowhere near where I want to be yet. My daughter is the only person I can practice on and boy she's a tough cookie :P I just hope I could sort of replicate that quality if I had to shoot for somebody else, which is my ultimate goal.

orsiphoto
10th March 2012, 01:18 AM
I do not think you will be any happier switching as you will have the same problems with dof if going to APC sensor, there's not much difference in dof believe me and there kit lenses are not as good.

A Nikon D700 full frame will cost you about 1800 then a decent standard lens anywhere between 450-1200.

True, the kit lenses are pretty much useless on CaNikon so I'd be after the fast primes, somewhere around f1.4-f1.8 at the lower end of the focal length and then f2-2.8 at the 85/105 range.

I've just seen today used d700 for around 1500 and primes around 200-300. Sure enough they have some super duper fast primes at crazy prices too.

If you wish to stay with Olympus and portraits are your interest then I suggest the 50mm macro f2 which allows very shallow dof on head and shoulder shots.

Most probably that will be the next gear purchase ;)

I'd also learn more about the relation of F stops ,focal length and subject distance as this has a great bearing on how to throw backgrounds out of focus and is the cheaper option.

I understand that the shorter the focal length the deeper the DOF and the longer the focal length, the shallower the DOF, and of course if you go real close, you can achieve a shallower DOF than shooting the subject from further afield. Zack Arias drove this home big time on his last Creative Live workshop ;) Nevertheless, I haven't done tests at various subject distances with various focal lengths and apertures yet. This is something I want to do in the next few weeks.

If you can pick up the old mark1 40-150 as it is a far better portrait lens than the mk2 and is half a stop faster.

Which one is this exactly? I'll have a look into it ;)

As you can see you can throw background out of focus with Olympus equipment.

Thanks for the illustrations, really appreciate it. I have also managed to throw backgrounds out of focus at 150mm and 5.6 outdoors. Indoors, not a chance... especially since the houses in the UK are super tiny and there's no space at all :o

crimbo
10th March 2012, 01:35 AM
I'm in Lr too and fair enough the noise reduction is good in raw but you loose out on sharpness I think.

The 12-60 is still f4 technically isn't it?

Not seen any sharpness problems with LR yet but then I do fine tune in PS
The 12-60 is a 2.8-4.0

orsiphoto
10th March 2012, 01:41 AM
Rich, Mark thanks very much for the detailed info. I will definitely have a look into it in depth a little later ;)

Thanks very much for everyone's advice *chr, I really appreciate it and found very useful. It's good to know that I'm not the only one having issues with this. I suppose knowing your gear and what you can and what you cannot do with it is a step closer to become a better photographer ;)

Time to go to bed now... family will be up soon :p

orsiphoto
10th March 2012, 01:58 AM
The 12-60 is a 2.8-4.0

f2.8 only at 12mm :( so technically f4 ;) surely a lot better quality than the kit lens so time to take out a second mortgage... or rob a bank... or win the lottery to be able to get that 14-35 f2 :p

[or I can just practice practice practice, become an awesome photographer, and get people to pay serious money for my images and then I'll be able to afford to spend 2k for a lens - takes a lot longer and a lot harder to achieve though]

s4ean
10th March 2012, 06:48 AM
Looking through the list of lenses you have, have you not considered the Sigma 30mm 1.4, Sigma 25mm 1.8, Sigma 50mm 1.4, or PanLeica 25mm 1.4? Someone may have mentioned one of them earlier. Then there's the manual focus options with Rokinon, and other Legacy glass (of course it looks like you'd need autofocus for your purposes). And as far as that 14-35mm is concerned, I saw one not too long ago going for $2000 on one of the four-thirds forums, that's around 1300 in your currency I believe (correct me if I'm wrong). Still cheaper than putting out for a full frame body and then lenses, flashes, etc. to go with it. (Not to mention you won't get much resale wise with your current setup of kit lenses to help with the transition).

OlyPaul
10th March 2012, 07:19 AM
I get wafer thin DOF using the K5 ... no need to go FF and its weight / bulk.
The Pentax kit is very affordable for AF fast lenses eg 50mm f1.4, or 1.7, or even the 35mm f2.4 budget lens, which is excellent.

Rich I have a Pentax Kr and have to disagree the difference in DOF is minimal at the same aperture and focal length.

As to High ISO if shooting jpeg I agree the Pentax seems better.

But I shoot Raw and am very experienced in using various raw conversion software, and I can tell you that Pentax apply quite a bit of noise reduction to the raw files as well which causes smearing of detail (which I hate) and in comparisons at ISO1600 I can pull more detail out of a E-30 ORF file albiet with a little more noise when pixel peeping than I can with a ISO1600 PEF file because of the noise reduction already added at the raw stage,

But I do agree the K5 is what the E-1's succesors should have been.;)

Phill D
10th March 2012, 08:00 AM
Just read this thread and thought I would comment on it as I can't really help the OP with the questions. This is a fabulous well balanced and informative thread just think what would have happened if this post had been put on some of the other forums, total carnage I'm sure. It's the great attitude of the Oly shooters here that makes this forum what it is, a real attribute to the Olympus system. Well done everyone.

OlyPaul
10th March 2012, 08:50 AM
Thanks for the illustrations, really appreciate it. I have also managed to throw backgrounds out of focus at 150mm and 5.6 outdoors. Indoors, not a chance... especially since the houses in the UK are super tiny and there's no space at all :o

Orsi, if as it seem from looking at your flickr images that people and portrait's especially kids are your main interest, then indoors in confined spaces with any system is going to be a problem.

Years ago I used to make quite a bit of money on the side by doing portraits at peoples houses or flats using 35mm film (this is the same as full frame digital) and in some really confined spaces at that.

So I can say with some experience these problems are not equipment specific and you will never throw normal household backgrounds out of focus to where they are a just a complete blur without either a long lens in a head shot or or close up with a short focal length wide open which has it's own problems with distortion.

I used to use a small jessops 4x6 feet background that gives the impression of being out of focus and one light in really confined spaces (and some living rooms are tiny) or natural light if there was a decent sized window.

I stopped doing this years ago and now just use these skills for the Grandkids.

If using natural light pick your background to suit the subject

Maddy in my sons tiny flat using window light E-620 and 70-300mm

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/200903_012_E-30.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/43839)

A recent shoot of my Granddaughter Chelsea all images taken with that 25 year old background and one light in a kitchen measuring 10 x 4 feet.

All taken with the E-30 and 50mm f2 macro

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Web_7_.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/43845)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Web_8_.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/43847)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Web_5_1.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/43841)

Even managed a group family portrait with that tiny background and space.This is now hanging as a 20x16" print on there wall.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Web_6_.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/43843)

I'm just trying to make the point that it is how you approach it that will make the difference not a change of equipment.:)

Swordfish
10th March 2012, 09:15 AM
I have been through the same questions myself - mainly on the issue of noise rather than DoF. Like others I have a deal of investment in Oly glass, which I still believe is very, very good and was unwilling to change brands for that reason. What swung the decision to stay with Oly for me was switching to Lightroom 3 for processing - I nearly always shoot Raw - and I find the noise control I can achieve when necessary is excellent.

On the strength of this I upgraded from an E620 to an E5 and I have been very happy with the results. I will now routinely use ISO of 1600, which I know is not the umpteen thousand ISO quoted by Nikon, but in the real world I find it works for me and I would not have done this previously.

I also use an EPL2 and love it.

From what I saw at Focus I would think the OMD plus the 45mm f1.8 will be fantastic.

Martin

Jim Ford
10th March 2012, 01:03 PM
f2.8 only at 12mm :( so technically f4 ;) surely a lot better quality than the kit lens so time to take out a second mortgage... or rob a bank... or win the lottery to be able to get that 14-35 f2 :p

No - it's "technically" f2.8!

f2.8 is f2.8 and is purely a measurement of the light gathering power of a lens system. It's a function of the lens focal length and effective size of the optics. It bears no relationship to the size of the sensor/film the image is projected on.

As far a light gathering power is concerned, at 12mm it's f2.8, but has a depth of field on a 35mm sensor with the same field of view lens at f4.0. So, if you put a 24mm lens at f4 on a 35mm camera, the DOF will be the same.

As far as noise is concerned, have a look at these images from the ancient E1, at ISO 3200:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1022&thread=40854223

Jim

Jim

orsiphoto
10th March 2012, 01:12 PM
Looking through the list of lenses you have, have you not considered the Sigma 30mm 1.4, Sigma 25mm 1.8, Sigma 50mm 1.4, or PanLeica 25mm 1.4? Someone may have mentioned one of them earlier. Then there's the manual focus options with Rokinon, and other Legacy glass (of course it looks like you'd need autofocus for your purposes). And as far as that 14-35mm is concerned, I saw one not too long ago going for $2000 on one of the four-thirds forums, that's around 1300 in your currency I believe (correct me if I'm wrong). Still cheaper than putting out for a full frame body and then lenses, flashes, etc. to go with it. (Not to mention you won't get much resale wise with your current setup of kit lenses to help with the transition).

I've been looking for that 30mm Sigma everywhere but I can't find it.

I've looked at the legacy lenses too. I've seen some converter on e-bay that will allow AF with them but I think it's the same thing with any other extension tubes, you're loosing light with it so there's really no point in getting that.

You're absolutely right about trying to sell my gear. Wouldn't really get me too far... maybe half a lens... I guess I just really need to research everything, then decide what would work the best ;)

orsiphoto
10th March 2012, 01:24 PM
Orsi, if as it seem from looking at your flickr images that people and portrait's especially kids are your main interest, then indoors in confined spaces with any system is going to be a problem.

Years ago I used to make quite a bit of money on the side by doing portraits at peoples houses or flats using 35mm film (this is the same as full frame digital) and in some really confined spaces at that.

So I can say with some experience these problems are not equipment specific and you will never throw normal household backgrounds out of focus to where they are a just a complete blur without either a long lens in a head shot or or close up with a short focal length wide open which has it's own problems with distortion.

I used to use a small jessops 4x6 feet background that gives the impression of being out of focus and one light in really confined spaces (and some living rooms are tiny) or natural light if there was a decent sized window.

I stopped doing this years ago and now just use these skills for the Grandkids.

If using natural light pick your background to suit the subject

Maddy in my sons tiny flat using window light E-620 and 70-300mm

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/200903_012_E-30.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/43839)

A recent shoot of my Granddaughter Chelsea all images taken with that 25 year old background and one light in a kitchen measuring 10 x 4 feet.

All taken with the E-30 and 50mm f2 macro

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Web_7_.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/43845)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Web_8_.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/43847)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Web_5_1.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/43841)

Even managed a group family portrait with that tiny background and space.This is now hanging as a 20x16" print on there wall.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Web_6_.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/43843)

I'm just trying to make the point that it is how you approach it that will make the difference not a change of equipment.:)

Thanks, Paul, you're absolutely right. I really appreciate your comment here because this has given me some ideas of overcoming tight indoor spaces. You know how people are these days, just blame the gear for lack of experience :P I just get frustrated sometimes when I'm looking at other people's pictures and there's something I really like and I know, there's no way on Earth I can achieve this with my gear.

David M
10th March 2012, 02:05 PM
It's simple really, cameras are just tools. If you're a pro/making money from your photography buy the most suitable tools for the work you do.

Otherwise just buy whatever you want/will be happy with.

But remember, the latest and greatest camera won't automatically make anyone a better photographer.

photonutter
10th March 2012, 04:08 PM
Might surprise you what the E600 can do with a little inventiveness, this was with a DIY bendy lens 50mm f11
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/503/6888884437_9461f705b8_b.jpg
Would recommend the sigma30mm if you can get one, this under a florecent tube, f2.8 iso1600
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/503/6849101301_3b256ac5be_b.jpg
but the 25mm pancake can nearly match the performance it if you cant. Then the manual focus legacy glass as already metioned, this with the om50mm f1.8
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/503/6778395495_bde56ca05e_b.jpg

Ulfric M Douglas
10th March 2012, 05:47 PM
At the risk of sounding less than warm and cuddly ...
:confused:
How is this even remotely true? ;
... But at the same time I have already invested a lot of money in lenses ...

considering your lens list in your sig ;
14-42mm f3.5-5.6, 40-150mm f4-5.6, 25mm f2.8

Jim Ford
10th March 2012, 06:42 PM
At the risk of sounding less than warm and cuddly ...
:confused:
How is this even remotely true? ;

considering your lens list in your sig ;

Good point - I hadn't noticed that they're 'only' kit lenses!

Jim

Zuiko
10th March 2012, 11:50 PM
At the risk of sounding less than warm and cuddly ...
:confused:
How is this even remotely true? ;


considering your lens list in your sig ;

That's a fair point, Ulfric, but it might still be a substantial investment to the OP, to me at the moment the value of these lenses represents a fortune! However, if that is the case it does rather rule out investment in a larger format, particularly in fast lenses.

Ross the fiddler
11th March 2012, 01:01 AM
Good point - I hadn't noticed that they're 'only' kit lenses!

Jim

I did & that's why I was suggesting the ZD14-54 II lens (& not the 12-60) as something being reasonably affordable (especially if found used) & yet it is very good quality with larger apertures than a kit lens, plus it being optimised for CD-AF & weather sealed, would also be good to use on a future body like the OM-D E-M5 (with weather sealed MMF-3 adapter). That lens works very well for indoor portraits as well as nice sharp close ups etc. or many general uses.

tomphotofx
11th March 2012, 01:01 AM
Hi
Regarding noise removal try Dfine 2 by Nik software without a doubt the best noise removal software around it can be used as a plugin for Lightroom. For selective sharpening again try Sharpener Pro by Nik Software a wonderful tool that can brush in sharpness where needed. They can be downloaded for free as a try before you buy, worth it to compare if this software will improve your workflow. Hope this helps.

All the best

Tom

Mark
11th March 2012, 01:41 AM
Orsi, have two samples of E-600 with sigma 30mm f1.4 shooting wide open, to show the depth of field. Hand held indoors and out of camera jpegs unsharpened.

Shooting up close, iso 400, 1/400 sec using some windowlight -

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Sig30mm2.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/37486)

Shooting further away, some cropping, iso 100, 1/40 sec, some windowlight -

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Sig30mm1.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/37485)


Here's one on my E-3 stopping down to f1.6 (to reduce it's tendancy to back focus) in artificial light in a submarine. Have done a some cropping, a bit of sharpening and converted to B+W. Was shot as a jpeg, iso 800, 1/40 sec

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Sub_Vet2.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/42822)



You can only buy the Sigma 30mm f1.4 second hand now. Looking at the for sale ads CallaWolf might still have one for sale, if not they come up from time to time. Front or back focussing wide open is quite often commented on in the forums but with focus fine adjust on your E-600 you should be fine (also found on E-620/30/5).

If you have a light wall/background that catches good light through a window then with a reflector and/or a flash you can shoot like OlyPaul has suggested and buying second-hand a Oly 14-54 mk1 or Sigma 18-50 f2.8 would be cheaper and easier to find than the Sigma 30mm f1.4.

Do you have a budget in mind Orsi ? If you have more money to play with then you can add an Oly 50mm f2 and upgrade the above to 14-54 mk2, (maybe a 12-60 but it's a big lens for an E-600), Panaleica 25mm f1.4, E-5 body, OMD plus 45mm f1.8, 14-35, 35-100, etc - the list keeps going but so does the cost !

I guess you need to think about your budget, what type of shooting you like to do and what type of shooting you might want to do in the future .... Hiring some lenses and a different body from this site might help you make up your mind :)

Regards,
Mark

Zuiko
11th March 2012, 01:43 AM
Hi
Regarding noise removal try Dfine 2 by Nik software without a doubt the best noise removal software around it can be used as a plugin for Lightroom. For selective sharpening again try Sharpener Pro by Nik Software a wonderful tool that can brush in sharpness where needed. They can be downloaded for free as a try before you buy, worth it to compare if this software will improve your workflow. Hope this helps.

All the best

Tom

I can certainly endorse Dfine 2.0. It was used in the processing of this shot, where I used a control point to apply much less NR to the boy's face than the rest of the image.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/SURVIVAL_COURSE_079_e_NR_c_r_s1.jpg

Taken at ISO 3200 on an E-3.

s4ean
11th March 2012, 09:06 AM
I've been looking for that 30mm Sigma everywhere but I can't find it.

I've looked at the legacy lenses too. I've seen some converter on e-bay that will allow AF with them but I think it's the same thing with any other extension tubes, you're loosing light with it so there's really no point in getting that.

You're absolutely right about trying to sell my gear. Wouldn't really get me too far... maybe half a lens... I guess I just really need to research everything, then decide what would work the best ;)

You'll have to keep ebay, or one of the four-thirds forums in mind for finding the Sigma 30mm... there was one listed not too long ago on one of them for $275 USD... as far as the converters allowing AF, I've not seen one, only those with focus confirmation with a beep or light... however you're usually not loosing light with any of the adapters, my Rokkor 50mm 1.7 can be opened up to 1.7 no problem...

S/N: You don't loose light with extension tubes either do you? I was sure such was the case only with teleconverters.

Zuiko
11th March 2012, 10:36 AM
You'll have to keep ebay, or one of the four-thirds forums in mind for finding the Sigma 30mm... there was one listed not too long ago on one of them for $275 USD... as far as the converters allowing AF, I've not seen one, only those with focus confirmation with a beep or light... however you're usually not loosing light with any of the adapters, my Rokkor 50mm 1.7 can be opened up to 1.7 no problem...

S/N: You don't loose light with extension tubes either do you? I was sure such was the case only with teleconverters.

You do lose light with extension tubes, particularly if you are using extremely long combinations but it is not as sudden and severe as the light loss with a teleconverter.

You do not lose light with an adapter, because you are only restoring the distance between lens and sensor that the lens was designed for.

David M
11th March 2012, 12:35 PM
You'll have to keep ebay, or one of the four-thirds forums in mind for finding the Sigma 30mm... there was one listed not too long ago on one of them for $275 USD... as far as the converters allowing AF, I've not seen one, only those with focus confirmation with a beep or light... however you're usually not loosing light with any of the adapters, my Rokkor 50mm 1.7 can be opened up to 1.7 no problem...

S/N: You don't loose light with extension tubes either do you? I was sure such was the case only with teleconverters.

I saw a new one on a Canadian dealers web site at CDN$600 recently, I just checked and they don't show any in stock but list it as still available from their supplier.

But for that sort of price I'd watch for the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 coming on sale. It's CDN$514 currently but I just picked up the Samyang 8mm for CDN$201 when Amazon Canada had it on sale for a third off so now I'm watching for the 35mm going on sale.

And yes, you do loose light with extension tubes.

s4ean
11th March 2012, 05:37 PM
Learn something every day I suppose... but yes, as noted and confirmed here, you won't loose any light with an adapter for legacy lenses. May want to touch up on those manual focus skills! ;)