Oly 17 1.8 or Pana 25 1.4 festival night time examples?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by hrsy1234, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. hrsy1234

    hrsy1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 29, 2013
    East London
    Hi guys

    Has anyone got any example photos they've taken at festivals at night using either the Oly 17mm or the Pana 25mm? Using available light only, no flash, wide aperture, high ISO, etc. I am heading to Glastonbury Festival in a couple of weeks and am thinking of adding either of these lenses to my existing collection (see signature) to be able to take photos at night.

    Understandably AF ability in low light is important, from all the reading I've done it sounds like the Oly has it over the Pana in this scenario, especially when coupled with an OM-D? Whereas the Panasonic may be prone to a bit of hunting?
  2. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    not sure, but I think the 25mm should be fine for low light AF. It's the 20mm that has a reputation of hunting in low light.
  3. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    I shot this last year with a G3 (on a tripod) and 25mm @1.4 while videoing at the same time. The WB was way off so I switched it to BW in PP. It is much sharper in LR. The lens "breathed" in terms of focus while videoing, but it was wide open so DOF was shallow. It does not hunt badly in low light unless there isn't any contrast. I shot 300 photos of this and all were in focus unless the motion was too fast.
  4. Azimuth

    Azimuth Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    Thornbury, Victoria
    Going to a festival this week with the 17mm 1.8.

    I'll post some pics here if I mange to take any good ones!

    Autofocus performance of the two lenses is probably very similar, wouldnt worry about focus hunting with either one.
  5. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    I had opportunity to visit Disney's animal lodge at night, during which they took us on a truck and handed us night vision goggles to visit drowsy or sleeping animals. I was shocked at how the EM-5 and fast lenses did in near total darkness. There were some instances where the viewfinder didn't show an image to take, so it was literally a shot in the dark, and a photo emerged from it. Lenses included the Olympus 25 and 45.






    This was the funniest of the evening, before I attained a better sense of aiming in the dark.


  6. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2012
    I suppose it does also factor in the focal length. The PL25 can be a great all rounder with portraits and other stuff but you won't be able to capture as much (if it's a festival) as opposed to an O17. Also the O17 can zone focus easier so that may be an option if you don't want the camera to possibly focus. There is also less chance of shaking with a wider angle lens but on the E-M5 that may be a non-issue.
  7. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Not a festival scene but a street scene at night.

    E-M5 with the PL25mm, 1/25 sec @ F/1.4, 200 ISO


    I realise that you asked for high ISO and this is low ISO but it may give you some idea of what you can do by using spot meter mode and either metering highlights (try using the Spot Highlights mode with highlights) or white faces with normal Spot mode and -1 EV.

    If you use either of the full screen metering modes and there's a lot of dark areas in the scene the meter is going to over expose to compensate for the dark areas. That's fine if you want detail in them but if you don't want detail you're better off using a spot meter mode and metering faces or highlights and letting the shadows fall where they will. Depending on how much light there is you may still need to use a higher ISO setting, but you probably won't have to go to as high an ISO setting as you would if you're trying to hand hold shots and using one of the full screen metering modes.
  8. mfj197

    mfj197 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2012
    Guildford, UK
    Real Name:
    As hazwing has said, it is the P20 that has issues with hunting in low light on the E-M5. My one didn't lock nearly as well on the E-M5 as it did on my old Panasonic G3. I now have the PL25 and it has no such issues - focuses just fine in hardly any light at all.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
  9. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    David, that is a good refresher of a subject I'd forgotten about. Metering on something that helps yield a middle range exposure helps center the dynamic range of the camera and not skew it toward either the lights or the darks. In your case using spot metering works in the manner you've described and attaining a rich image conveying a natural scene. This, and in cases where it's not all that dark, is one where back-button focus helps. A scene can be focused and independent of that, the photographer can do something like expose for the palm of the hand, which some have discovered to meter near middle gray.
  10. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    Real Name:
    Hi there, I took these at Glastonbury two years ago with a Pentax K-x and kit zoom. Some low-light in the middle of the set, the tele/stage shots are the long end of a pentax 55-300.


    The OM-D is pretty similar in noise characteristics to the K-x and you'll have much faster glass with the 45 and 17 or 25. There're a few night shots in the middle, kit zoom (f3.5-5.6) and iso1600 did OK. You can see some worked well, some not so much and a lot of ditched shots from focus/movement blur you don't see here!

    One thing I will say is not to risk too much high-value gear there - it'll probably be fine but don't let stressing about the gear get in the way of enjoying the festival.

    I was also suprised how much I liked looong shots there, really compresses the crowds. Take the cheap kit zoom if you have it, lots happening around you at hugely varying distances and cheapness helps you worry less about getting it muddy/beer-y!

    See you there maybe :thumbup:
  11. hrsy1234

    hrsy1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 29, 2013
    East London
    Thanks for the responses all, and for the clarification on the focus hunting.

    Azimuth: Definitely share any photos you get, cheers.

    David: great tip on the spot metering. That is essentially what I used to do on my Canon but I think I stuck with the default (evaluative metering?) and stopping down -1 to -2EV. That's definitely what I plan to be doing!

    arch-stanton: good photos! Thank you for sharing. This may be the only time I get to go to Glastonbury. I'm torn between finding the balance of wanting to enjoy myself there, and also document the event and our experiences for myself, my wife and my friends to go back with some fantastic lifetime memories. Amongst my friends I'm definitely "the camera guy" and have been responsible for documenting what we've got up to over the last few years, but have recently shifted to m4/3 away after years with Canon, so I'm not as comfortable with the OM-D as I am with the Canon. The idea of lugging a DSLR and multiple lenses and flashes around for a week put me off bringing it.

    One thing I've already done is purchase 3 OM-D spare batteries to ensure I'm not always charging them! I'm thinking of allowing myself one extra lens before the event and am considering the Oly 17mm, the Pana 25mm or maybe the Samyang 7.5mm fish-eye to get some super-wide-angle coverage, which is what I'm used to shooting from my Canon setup. Pretty torn! Or, just flagging it and sticking with what I have and enjoying the festival!

    Thanks for the tip on not risking the high value gear, I'll have it on my person at all times, potentially with the OM-D around my neck for most of it (couldn't have done that with a Canon!)

    What kit are you taking? I bought body-only so don't have the kit zoom unfortunately! The weather sealing would be a nice bonus although the long range forecast is currently looking pretty good ...
  12. phidauex

    phidauex Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 17, 2013
    Boulder, CO
    Hi, first post here! I actually just bought a used OM-D and Pana/Leica 25/1.4 a few weeks ago, just before an art festival in Colorado I help run called Apogaea (connected to the Burning Man project). Here is a full set of photos I took there (I missed some of the more spectacular things since I was working, but I spent a night out with the camera and got a few interesting captures). Due to the nature of the event, I was shooting with no flash, and the AF assist light off. There were times I was shooting in near darkness, and the camera performed admirably in such difficult situations.

    Some shots were taken with art filters, mostly Dramatic Tone and Grainy Film. Just playing around with the camera. I found that Dramatic Tone was actually fairly helpful in very low light - the tone mapping results in some interesting images. I had just gotten the camera so hadn't transitioned to RAW shooting yet, so all images were taken as JPEG, and tweaked slightly in LR4 (mostly for crop, with some NR on the higher ISO shots).

    Flickr Set: Apogaea 2013 - Alchemy - a set on Flickr

    A few selections:

    Kingpin by phidauex, on Flickr
    Shot wide open, ISO5000, 1/60, converted to B&W in LR4

    Kira, at night by phidauex, on Flickr
    Wide open, ISO6400, 1/30s, converted to B&W in LR4

    The Temple of Transubstantiation, with hug by phidauex, on Flickr
    wide open, ISO1600, 1/80s, Gentle Sepia art filter

    Prima w/ Effigy by phidauex, on Flickr
    wide open, ISO1600, 1/60s

    In summary, I found it a good combination. I would have liked to have a longer option for capturing stuff at a distance, and a wide-angle for the dramatic sweeps of the larger parties and camps, but I very much enjoyed shooting with the OMD/25/1.4 combo.

  13. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    Panasonic 25mm

    Not really fesivals but here are some night shots with the PL25. I like the colors it picks up. I am sure the f1.8 of the Oly17 could do very well too.