(C)over boy // Reworked by himself



(C)over boy // Reworked by himself, originally uploaded by bang*.

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Another from last week with Jaime, well I say another it’s the same shot from before but with a little something something. He’s somewhat of a creative man and put this together. I dig it and figured I’d share the love. Check out more of Jaimes stuff here jwandsmurrayillustration.tumblr.com/

Model : Jamie Wands-Murray (Maverick Models)
Photographer : Mark Ivkovic (moi!)
Post Production – Jaime

Leica CL 40mm f2
Kodak Tri X in D76 (standard)

(C)over Boy



(C)over Boy, originally uploaded by bang*.

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Model : Jamie Wands-Murray (Maverick Models)
Photographer : Mark Ivkovic (moi!)

Leica CL 40mm f2
Kodak Tri X in D76 (standard)

Using the film cameras more and more for these shoots. Partly as I’m starting to trust that they still work and partly as I’m still in love with that little difference that the film look has.
I’m still running with the Film26 project, 26 two week periods of the year where we work through the alphabet for subject matter. You may now understand the title of the photo & this post.
I have to say I’m blown away by this little rangefinder. Previous to the CL I’ve used a rare (simply because they’re kinda worthless and mostly broken) Lordomat & a Yashica MG-1 (cheap as chips fixed lens “compact” rangefinder from the 60’s (ish).
Before you all get “I thought you were immune to G.A.S.” this was all early(ish) last year during my long term GAS illness.
Now the Lordomat was my first rangefinder camera and for that I dig it, it is also a thing of beauty. All chrome and metal and heavy. The lens was actually pretty good if slightly dreamy wide open. I just hated the tiny (and I mean tiny) viewfinder. So I started looking for something to replace it with (whilst ignoring the Leicas) I really wanted something handy but also quick to use almost as a snapshot camera. So I headed into the muddy waters of 60’s Compact rangefinders. Compact is a laugh, you’ll see if you ever pick one up. The Olympus 35 SP was my real aim but not for the price they now go for. So I stuck with the Yashica Electro that isn’t a Yashica Electro and only cost me £15. It’s okay, shot plenty of stuff with it but the aperture priority only shooting mode really started to bug me as I had to rely on the meter firstly being right and secondly being accurate.
So to the Leica CL. This is pretty much exactly what I’ve wanted from a rangefinder since I discovered how much I like them. Sure i’ll admit it isn’t a Leica M but it takes M lenses and shoots the same film. It’s lighter, smaller and has a built in meter (which works). Plus if someone asks to see it I’m not going to have to ask them to pay a deposit before I hand it over.
Maybe soon I’ll run through my medium format camera of choice these days. I’ve been trying a few different systems (via a process of begging and borrowing) over the last 6 months or so and I’m now feeling sure that I’ve found my camera.
So more film coming from me in various sizes, type and such. Five rolls went to the lab yesterday and I’m planning on running a good few through the cameras during my shoots this weekend.

Oh happy Valentines and all that too.

Mark

(C)over Boy

(C)ase

The Olympus PEN E-P2 bag.



The Olympus PEN E-P2 bag., originally uploaded by bang*.

Day 282 / 365

Seeing as I promised a show and tell about how tiny the Oly kit is here it finally is.
Sure beats lugging the money earning kit around when I just want to head out and perhaps shoot if I see something that catched my eye.

E-P2
VF-2
20mm f1.7 Panasonic
35mm f1.9 C Mount
50mm f1.8 OM mount

YN560 Speedlite
RF-602 triggers
Cheap bendy tripod (for the flash)

Spare Battery
Extra SD Card
Wallet
Phone
Pen

All wrapped up in a bag made from recycled plastic bottles.

Olympus PEN – E-PL2 Long Term Real World Review – Initial Impressions



The PEN, originally uploaded by bang*.

bang | Photography – Marks Olympus PEN – E-PL2 Long term review – Part 1- Initial Thoughts.

Now that I’m sure i’m hanging on to the PEN, here’s the first of a running real world review of the Olympus E-PL2. I figured the blog could do with some asides from the 365 project which seem to be commanding its posts. Plus my feelings for the micro 4/3 system cameras has changed now I’ve had chance to use one for a week or three.

As I say, this is real world review, no test charts, measuring devices or other dull stuff like that. People do those kinds of reviews in other corners of the web so if that’s what you want google is your friend.

Initial impressions –
As the latest incarnation of the digital Olympus PEN this camera has had effectively three younger siblings, the E-P1, E-PL1 & E-P2. Having never used any of the other models I can’t tell you how this one relates to those. I can however compare it to my Leica DLux4, the Leica DigiLux 2 and fairly or unfairly to my Canons.

Things I liked straight away –
Straight out the camera jpegs – The things just pop.

The screen – It’s big and it’s pretty darn bright.

Image quality – Super good for such a little camera.

Depth of Field control – With a larger (than usual compact sized cameras) sensor this is a huge plus to me. Not as good as full frame dslr but the camera is somewhat smaller and much more portable.

Noise control – Higher iso capability means I’m willing to push beyond where I used to with the DLux4. It isn’t a 5D mk ii though.

Hot Shoe – Well all my other cameras had one too but it’s still a huge plus for me (actually it’s a must).

Its looks – Hey to me how my cameras look plays a big part in my choice or purchase. The kit lens may be an okay lens but it spoils the look of the camera to me. Hence my instant purchase of the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 (well that and the fact I choose to mainly shoot with prime lenses)

It’s customisation ability – Sure the menus could cause some people problems, me however I just jumped right in and got it working how I wanted. Again to me this is a must, I have to have complete control over my camera otherwise It just doesn’t feel (or look) right.

Some things I’m not too keen on –
The kit lens – I know it’s a good lens and all image quality wise, and for most (actually probably all) the other users it will be a perfect companion. It just spoils the retro look of the time for me, the max aperture is kind of slow and the collapsable thing just bugs me too. When I’m out and about I like my camera ready for use but compact enough to sit by my side. Stick one of the pancake primes on and it’s perfect though.

The Strap – Again this is a personal thing. They could have gone for a more retro piece rather than the advertising. Needless to say mine never graced the camera.

ISO 200 as lowest ISO – Grrrrrrgh. Sure it’s only two stops from all my other cameras, but come on that’s two whole stops. If I’m using this thing with flash I’m going to be wanting lower iso some times to knock out some ambient light (again I’m of the minority users of this camera who will want this, most will be happy with the increased iso speed). Also combine this with the max shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second. I’m a fast prime lens shooter and as such like large apertures. On a number of occasions already I’ve been forced to stop down If I want to keep exposure correct, hence having to compromise my vision for the shot.

The Battery life – It pretty much sucks compared to everything but the Leica DigiLux2 (which was pretty old tech batterywise). I’m not sure if the battery warning comes on too early (although this can be tweaked in camera too) but I’m constantly aware of how quickly it seems to appear. Actually after further use I’ve found one battery struggles to power a full day shooting, this weekend I got about 290 shots to the battery and was left powerless at 10pm. I managed a few turn it back ons to grab a couple of extra shots but in todays world I do expect one battery to manage at least one full day. I’m not expecting the 1600+ shots I can get from one charged 1D or 5D battery but still 300 all out seems pretty weak.

As yet no “proper” RAW support – Adobe have candidate releases of LR3 and Camera RAW which support the Oly RAW files but as yet no stable support. Although with the quality of the jpegs this isn’t too much of a problem.

It’s noise – The Leicas I used were both very (read almost silent) quiet. My Canons make noise but aren’t really built for stealth anyway. I thought the PEN would be along the compact camera quiet lines. However it makes a “real” noise, sure it isn’t deafening but it is perceivable in quieter places. Just something to consider I guess. It’s sound is something akin to that of stepping on a big beetle, kind of squelchy.

So those are my initial thoughts after three weeks use. Some things I have figured out work arounds, others I’ve learned to live with. One thing is for certain though, I do love the thing and really love how it renders what I put before it. Compared to any other compact camera I’ve used this blows them away in this respect. I’ve compared it against the 5D mk ii / 35mm f2 and to tell you the truth they are pretty darn close under good “normal” lighting (actually quite frighteningly close). I’ll probably do a comparison post latter in the year so you can see what I mean. I’ve shot some studio portraits with the PEN and they came out beautifully (the jpegs were spot on).
People following my 365 project may have noticed I’ve shot most of my images over the last three weeks with the PEN (and the Panasonic 20mm, which is a very very good lens). It seems to just do what I want and expect it too pretty much all of the time. On that note if you wish to see more sample images from the PEN just browse through either here on the blog (I normally indicate which camera I’ve shot images with) or through my flickr stream (same with the camera details).
Only time will tell if it continues to impress as I push it further.

So far so good for the might small Olympus E-PL2.

I’ve heard internet rumblings about an E-P3 possible release this year. Judging by Olympus’ speedy model upgrades so far I’d expect this to be true. It’ll be interesting to see what they can do to improve this little camera. I am thinking someone needs to put out a fast wide angle prime for the micro 4/3 system though, the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 is good as it serves a good 28mm relative, but something like a 12mm f2 would just be peachy (24mm (relative) and fast, perfect landscape, interiors and for me travel lens when paired with the 20mm (40mm relative)).

More to follow in later updates through the year.

Out with the old . . . . .



Out with the old . . . . ., originally uploaded by bang*.

Day 58 / 365

It was kind of odd not having to find a bike to shoot today, although I did miss it. I still went out in to the city to see what was around, I even saw the owner of one of the bike from in the week riding alongside the river.
However it only seemed fitting that as this kit will be leaving my service tomorrow I should give them a fitting send off.

Goodbye old friends, here’s to the future.

My 1D mkii has been with me from new, so that’s 2004 until now. Seven years of hard service without so much as a grumble. Sure we’ve killed some batteries in that time, the sensors had a clean or ten but other than that it’s been hassle free. So why sell? well it’s a little long in the tooth for me now, I have a 1D mkIII along with my 5D mkii which both take the workload, so it’s off to a less frantic home.

My EF 50mm f1.8 II has also been in service for about the same amount of time, with pretty much the same record. Yep this is the lens I consistently tell people to buy when they ask what they should get. So why am I selling it? well ever since I took delivery of the Sigma 50mm f1.4 and learnt it’s ways the Canon nifty fifty hasn’t had a look in.

Finally it’s the EF 24-105mm f4 L, a beautiful, technically brilliant lens. L series glass, image stabiliser and not too heavy. Many people claim it to be the perfect walk around, travel lens. For me that f4 aperture just isn’t cutting it anymore, I’ve shot countless jobs and beautiful photographs with this lens. It’s answered nearly all that I could ask of it, when the aperture is wide open and the light is really bad that image stabiliser is a saviour. As I say though, wide open is f4 and I desire lenses with a certain look and character about them. This zoom is almost too good in that it’s a little too clinical in its image quality.

I’m all about the prime lenses this year (well in the standard range anyway) sure I’m hanging on to my crazy wide Sigma 12-24mm and my portrait / lifestyle must have Canon 70-200mm but they both have a purpose for certain jobs so I’d be stupid to get rid of them just yet.
It’s the refinement of my vision and creative process that has led me down this path, these are exciting times and I’m ready to face some new challenges.

In contrast to todays photograph, I’d probably expect something similar tomorrow but the other side of the story, ie. In with the new. That’s all depending on a certain parcel arriving though.