The Secret Life of Trees on Flickr.
The red Japanes Maple is blooming in the backyard.
Taken with the Panasonic GH2 with the 100-300mm zoom. I’ve found this an odd but potent combination for shots like this as the long focal lengths help create depth of field, even with this DOF-challenged sensor. Lens-based image stabilization helps nail the shot.
Frederick Law Olmsted was here. on Flickr.
Strolling through Branch Brook Park and admiring the blossoming cherry trees is a pleasant experience. The paths wind through one picturesque scene after another. It should be no surprise - Frederick Law Olmsted was here. Olmsted, perhaps the most well known landscape architect and park designer of the last 300 years, designed in the British style - highly crafted landscapes that give the appearance of a natural setting when in fact every hill, every valley, every tree and bush has been considered.
For other examples of Olmsted’s work, see Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City.
Panasonic GH2 with the Super Takumar 50mm F1.4. I think I was lazy this day because once I put this lens on I didn’t take it off. Like here, when we got to the top of this hill overlooking the cherry blossoms below, I could have taken out a wider lens, like the 35mm in my bag (the 21 was with my sister-in-law). Instead, I thought that I’d try to make do with what I had. It’s a good exercise, and the lessons that primes are supposed to impart - think about ways to tell a story and compose a scene using what you got. In a similar situation, someone with a standard kit zoom would undoubtedly go as wide as they could and capture as much of the vista as possible. That could work, and I would probably do something similar, but then I’d end up with the same shot as everyone else, wouldn’t I?
Bocce Ball in Branch Brook Park on Flickr.
We came for the cherry blossoms, which on this dreary day were still quite stunning. But on the way back to the car I noticed that the bocce courts, which before had been overrun by children, were now being used as they should, by elderly men of Italian descent (typically), playing this simple game of lawn bowling. The simple games, of course, are often the most intriguing, and a good way to pass the afternoon.
After weeks of shooting with the new Pentax K-01, I thought that I’d give the Panasonic GH2 a little workout. I’d handing the K-01 to my sister-in-law to play with. By the by, she’s an artist and a very visual and creative person; she made no comment about the camera, either how it looks or how it operated (I set it to P mode for her). Is it possible that the K-01, as controversial as it is among the pixelscenti is much more anonymous among the masses?
In any case, the GH2 spent the afternoon mated to the Super Takumar 50mm F1.4, very often wide open, and very often with an ND. Just playing around really.
Regarding Pentax manual focus lenses, I think that I prefer the GH2 over the K-01. Yes the K-01 has focus peaking, but I have found that you need to zoom anyway to ensure critical focus, so ultimately the GH2 zoom to focus is just as useful. Additionally, I find the GH2’s combination of metering, adjustable histogram, and exposure preview to be much more useful than the K-01’s metering. Ironic then, that the Panasonic is better than the Pentax at using old Pentax lenses.
This overcast day was also a reminder of how good the GH2 is. No, it doesn’t have the dynamic range of the K-01, and there’s some noise viewable at 100% at base ISO. But the EVF is full of useful information, the controls (while less solid feeling) are eminently usable, and the image quality is pretty damn good. Seriously, if you can’t take a good photo with the GH2, don’t blame the camera.
I’ll be sharing thoughts on the K-01 on my blog What Blog is This?