Technique of the day, and posing the question, "what is the real colour"?

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Today I am using the Olympus E-1 with the manual Zuiko (Olympus) macro lens 50/3.5.
To some people the E-1 seems hopelessly out-dated, but is does have some advantages.
The sensor is one made by Kodak and is particularly good with flesh colours.
The camera body does not have IS (Image Stabilisation) but it actually does not need it.
The mirror mechanism is so small and light that compared with other cameras, no shutter-related
vibration can be felt by the hand.

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All images copyright to Brian Swale. This page is not copy-protected.

The first two photos taken with E-3 and DZ 14-54 lens, hand-held.
They don't seem as sharp as they should be. Too late to do a re-take.

      Here is the gear.
E-1 camera on a Bogen/Manfrotto 3-way tripod head. That camera seriously needs dusting !!
Genuine Olympus lens adapter.

    And here is the tripod shoved under a quince bush from where I obtained the angle I wanted.
It is a Gitzo Studex 321 from the 1980's . That's as close to the apex of the tripod it is possible to get with this set-up.

These are the actual flowers that I photographed a couple of days before when their buds were developing.

Opened more, the flowers are becoming rather large. That flower-bed needs weeding!

The remainder of the photos on this page were taken with the E-1, Zuiko 50/3.5 set-up.

I originally set out to make this page the basis for discussion about accurate portrayal of colour, since Tina's photos
of bright colours in the home-spun and dyed clothes of Guatemalan women had given rise to some controversy.
However, I now can't do that as I discovered that ages ago I had set the image recording in the E-1 as saturation= +1. Not good.
Here's the difference, using the Zuiko at f/8 and the camera hand-held. Note how large the blooms have become.

            Flower with camera saturation at plus 1. I            Flower with camera saturation normal.

I found that I could not easily desaturate the saturated images, using FastStone, to match the natural saturation.

So, what can I illustrate using the shots I took?
  • DOF with the manual Zuiko on the E-1,
  • how recorded colour intensity changes with aperture using a manual lens on a digital camera,
  • the effect of changing White Balance from 'sunny' to 'cloudy' or vice-versa.
In all cases, FastStone Viewer 'USM sharpen of 6' was applied.

Warning - there are now several images (7) of exactly the same subject, but at different camera/lens settings.
If you are easily bored with this stuff, you might rather skip the rest.

Images at camera "Sunlight" WB setting.

Sunlight WB setting, f/3.5

Sunlight WB setting, f/8

Sunlight WB setting, f/11 or f/16 (or maybe even f/22)

Now for some images of the same roses just a few minutes before, using 'cloudy' WB setting.
The illumination HAD changed a little.

Cloudy weather WB setting, f/3.5

Cloudy weather WB setting, f/8

Cloudy weather WB setting, f/11 or f/16

Cloudy weather WB setting, f/22

Finally, three shots of the left-hand bloom, at three different aperture settings.
(Have you noticed that I seem fascinated with the beauty of these flowers? ) I think they are beautiful.

Cloudy weather WB setting, f/3.5

Cloudy weather WB setting, f/8

Cloudy weather WB setting, f/11 or f/16

Since I posted the shots of the semi-opened buds, they have opened nearly fully. The left-hand flower is
fully 6 inches (15 cm) across.
I like the bud shots better, but these are also very nice blooms.

Because there was enough bright light to cause some reflections, I exposed them at an EB of -0.7 . This has
had the effect of saturating the colour. To compensate for that I used the Fast Stone gamma slider to the level
of +12.

I'm pretty pleased with the humble E-1 and old Zuiko 50/3.5 macro. Photos taken in light rain.

Sunny weather WB setting, f/16

Sunny weather WB setting, f3.5

Sunny weather WB setting, f16

Mostly the left-hand flower. Sunny weather WB settiing. f/3.5, contrast slider +5

Mostly the left-hand flower. Sunny weather WB settiing. f/16, contrast slider +5

That's it. The End!