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About Bytesmiths

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  • Real Name
    Jan Steinman
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  • Location
    Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
  • Edit my pics?
  • Fav. Camera
    Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
  • Fav. Lens
    Olympus Zuiko 7-14mm ƒ2.8
  • Fav. Editor
    Affinity Pro

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  1. Bytesmiths

    9mm f/8 M.Zuiko bodycap lens

    This is a fun, cheap toy that is so small and light that it need not leave the camera bag. Quality is certainly adequate for screens, although I wouldn't attempt huge prints with it. I use it a lot for "context shots" before switching to something narrower. Sometimes, you just need to see where everything is in your narrower shot. I'll often start with a few from this lens at (for example) family gatherings, before switching to a more "serious" lens for ensembles and candid portraits. Likewise, it is great for documenting studio setups. If I need to duplicate a studio setup, I can easily tell where the lights and tripods were.
  2. Bytesmiths

    7-14mm f/2.8 PRO M.Zuiko

    This is an awesome lens, and is one of my favourites and most-used. It takes some getting used to, for those who have not shot ultra-wide before. There are a variety of negative comments, also primarily from people unfamiliar with ultra-wide: "can't use filters," "big and heavy," "too much flare," etc. Such comments never come from those who use ultra-wide a lot, because they are pretty much characteristic of the tool. Disclosure: I started out in UW with an OM-Zuiko 18mm ƒ3.5 on film. Then I got an 11-22 for 4/3rds. Then I got the 4/3rds version of the 7-14, which is maximum ƒ4. I got the µ4/3rds, ƒ2.8 version on a whim, thinking I would be adapting my 4/3rds version, but the new one is so much smaller and lighter that it can live in the camera bag, rather than my having to justify carrying it before going out. On a whim, I tried it for video, not expecting too much, but I find it WONDERFUL for moving-camera video, doing "fly through" vids of all sorts of things, like hikes, walking with animals, garden tours, child's eye videos, etc. Don't even think about looking at the screen or viewfinder; I put a tri-axis level in the hot shoe and fly it like a child's Lego™ airplane, going low and high and getting close to things. I also use it a lot for eight-shot, 360° x 180° full-sphere panoramas, for which it is almost ideal.
  3. Bytesmiths

    14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED EZ M.Zuiko

    A cute little lens that makes many µ4/3rds cameras pocketable. It is particularly well suited to video, albeit with some compromise with ultimate image quality. Good for family shots, street photography, candids. I'd say "leave it home" for landscapes, etc. but it's so damned small and light, it has a permanent spot in my bag, "just in case…"
  4. Bytesmiths

    14-150mm f/4-5.6 ED II M.Zuiko

    A little soft on the long end, and low-contrast throughout. But low contrast is easily fixed in post. But if you view this as a video lens, it is very good, giving the wide zoom range needed for video, at the expense of ultimate image quality.
  5. Bytesmiths

    The Printing Nikkors: Images and Range

    Another sweet set of limited-range macro lenses are the Olympus OM Zuiko macro series, but they seem to be much cheaper. These include 20mm ƒ2, 38mm ƒ2.8, 80mm ƒ4, and 135mm ƒ4.5. Like the Printing Nikkors above, they don't focus to infinity, and require an extension in order to be useful. Unlike the Nikkors, Olympus made a nifty Telescoping Extension Tube that has a speedy "twist, slide, twist" method of extension, much more nimble than the "crank, crank, crank" of either a macro helicoid or a bellows. Olympus also made the T-8, a unique sideways-firing ring flash for getting soft, even, 360° macro light. It which works well with the longer three lenses, and they made a Lieberkühn reflector for soft 360° illumination with the 20/2. I have converted the T-8 to work with the Olympus Digital FC-1 flash controller, for TTL camera control of flash.

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