OM-D micro four thirds verses Pentax 6x7ii Film

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Keith, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Keith

    Keith Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 16, 2012
    I posted this at RFF recently and I thought it may be of interest here as well.

    I was out taking some photos in a hoop pine forest recently and was shooting with the 67ii (Takumar 105mm f2.4) on a tripod and using PanF+. When I got to the end of the roll of Ilford just out of curiosity before packing up I grabbed the OMD with the PanaLeica 25mm f1.4 out of the bag and took a quick hand held shot roughly from where the Pentax had been set up. I let the OMD do the metering in AE and focused manually and the ISO was 400 ... the aperture was at f1.4.

    The end results are interesting ... the little Oly didn't disgrace itself at all in the presence of MF IMO and it also did a better job of metering in AE than I managed with the 67ii using the spot meter. I managed to over expose the PanF+ slightly and consequently the highlights are a little burnt in the Penatx shots.

    I've posted both images so you can have a looksee and note what the major differences are ... and I'd be interested to hear some thoughts and opinions. I know what I think but I'm curious about whatever observations are made by other eyes.


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  2. Uwharrie

    Uwharrie Mu-43 Veteran

    May 10, 2012
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Lynne Ezzell
    I prefer the 1st image. Not sure which is which but am assuming the first is with the Oly (from your comment about the highlights being burned out a bit with the Pentax)
  3. ftwphoto

    ftwphoto Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 12, 2011
    I would guess the first image is the MF, it just has that look about it. If its not, then I'm buying the 25mm tomorrow! Both are great shots though.

    Also the highlights on the first image seem harsher, as mentioned with the burned out highlights of the MF. Just my guess.
  4. zerodi

    zerodi Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    The 2nd one I think is the EM5 , if you save the photos
  5. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I prefer the second image because it is contrasty yet still demonstrates a broad dynamic range. Even though the depth-of-field is greater, the extra edge contrast still manages to create sense of separation between the two foreground trees and the background. Add a bit more contrast to the first image and it might be closer between the two.
  6. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    EXIF data shows the second image is from the OM-D.

    As an image I prefer the second because I like seeing the more distant trees in focus. I love large camera B&W landscape photography such as that of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston and their images have lots of depth of field. That appeals to me here. I also prefer the greater sense of contrast that the lighter highlight areas in the second image provides. The lighter highlight areas in the second image also seem to hold detail better which I also find appealing. Both of those issues stem from the exposure problem mentioned, and it would be interesting to compare the OM-D shot with a shot from the Pentax which wasn't over exposed in the highlights.

    So, as far as the content of the images go, I prefer the OM-D shot. As far as exposure goes, I prefer the OM-D shot. That's as far as I'm prepared to go. I think viewed at larger sizes in good quality prints I would find myself leaning towards the Pentax for image quality. At small image size, and these are small images as presented, some things get lost including a lot of the advantages of the larger format. I think the Pentax is probably being penalised a fair bit more with its image reduced to this scale than the OM-D is.
  7. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    The second just by looking at it, would seem to be the OMD, but I think the shots are just different.

    The much narrower DOF in the first image produces a different image. Everything's OOF except the small plant in the lower left. Makes you wonder why it's there. And the trees are so OOF that they are really just background, not part of the picture's subject. It also, FWIW, has an "old timey" feel to it -- as shots taken with old VF cameras, etc. You almost expect to see some old pioneer or Tennessee volunteer sitting there looking at you, not smiling of course (because they didn't smile for pictures back then).

    The second one's focus of attention, at least to my eye, is the open glade in the middle. The trees are more in focus, and highlight the borders of that little open area. In this shot, the plant in the lower left seems almost superfluous. There's still quite a narrow DOF, and you might have thought it was at least a FF shot, if you weren't told that one was the OMD, the other MF.

    That's just my opinion and guesswork.
  8. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
    The first one has the edge for me, the detail on the near tree trunks and the grass, and that slightly dreamy look going away into the woods. Second one seems too dark and bit nothing really.
  9. playak47

    playak47 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2010
    The first pic has more impact to my novice eyes. It seems like the focus has a purpose. I really cant tell where the focus is on the second image. I think its the plant in the forground.
  10. Keith

    Keith Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 16, 2012
    Yes the first shot is the Pentax and I wasn't trying to introduce a guessing game here ... I forgot to label them! :biggrin:

    My reason for posting these is more to do with demonstrating what a capable camera the OMD really is. I prefer the look of the MF film image personally but I'm also very impressed with the Oly's output considering the small sensor size. It definitely holds it's own!
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  11. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    This does seem to highlight the slightly greater dynamic range in film, though; look at the foreground detail of the forest floor, the leaves on the plant. While I like the contrasty E-M5 output, the shallower DOF and greater detail in the film shot make it the more interesting of the two.
  12. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Real Name:
    Edit: Ninja'd ^^^

    I found it interesting that even though the Pentax image is a little over exposed compared to the Oly shot, that the highlight detail is better preserved - to my eye anyway, the small plant's leaves in the bottom left foreground seem to have more highlight detail in the Pentax shot, despite being more exposed than the Oly shot.

    The images lean on the Pentax side to artistic and the Oly side to documentary in nature. The shallow depth highlights the 2 trees and small plants, giving a view our eyes wouldn't see on their own, while the 2nd shot provides a view that would be seen through our own eyes. Certainly merits to both shots, but my preference is for the 1st!
  13. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    In the second photo the distant objects are not quite out of focus enough IMO. If they were sharper I believe it would be more of the "Ansel Adams" look.

    My eyes are drawn to the bright patch in the foreground on the Oly image as a place of light and comfort while the Pentax one gives an overall dreamy feel with a tinge of nightmare from the darkness.

    That said I really like both images but would give the edge to the Pentax 67.
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  14. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Can't really reach any final judgements with web sized jpegs, I'm afraid.

    But I like the greater DOF on the Oly image better. I think it provides a greater sense of depth than does the MF with it's out of focus "forest."

    In the Oly shot, I can see the forest and the trees. With the MF shot, I can only see the trees.

    As far as contrast and highlight detail, I suspect a lot could be done in LR (or PS or Aperture) to change the look of either image.
  15. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Keith, thanks for sharing. What I find interesting is the rendering of the forest floor. It is quite different. Not sure what is responsible--either the sensor/film response or processing. But the cameras are really seeing the color very differently. Perhaps it is the WB compensating for the color temperature of light. Perhaps the film is blue biased and the digital red biased. Anyway, it is a very interesting comparison.
  16. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    A question for interest's sake, no hidden agenda.

    When you say you prefer the look of the MF film image, are you talking about the look of that image as posted, same pixel size as the OM-D shot, or at a larger size. If a larger size, at what size are you looking at them and are you looking at prints or on a screen?

    If you look at my response earlier you'll see that I said I'd probably find myself preferring the image quality of the Pentax shot if I was viewing prints at a larger size and that I thought the smaller size was penalising the Pentax a lot more than the OM-D. I'm just interested in how you're viewing them.

    As I said, I prefer the OM-D image as an image as presented here because of the greater depth of field and the highlights/difference in contrast but I'm not prepared to make a call on image quality based on images on screen at this size. The Pentax should do better at a larger size.
  17. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Cool shots, Keith.

    How big do you think you will be able to print the OM-D files?
  18. Keith

    Keith Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 16, 2012

    Hi David,

    I have to confess I am in love with my Pentax and the shot I took quickly with the OMD was more of an afterthought as I was about to pack up. I just prefer the depth of field with the Takumar 105mm f2.4 ... it's really short wide open and that was what I wanted. It was annoying to over expose the way I did though because this location was three hours drive from home. The original 67 scan was pretty ugly ... a stop and a half over exposed IMO and I'm still mystified how I did that. I was metering manually with the Pentax's excellent spot meter but maybe just plain forgot to change the shutter speed in the end. :redface:

    I print digitally via an R2400 from scans and to be honest I don't think I'd bother with what I have currently ... I'll probably go back and get it right where it counts. I was also using a developer I hadn't used for a long time and may have over cooked that as well.

    In the end the OMD with it's automation did far better than I did and it's only the unique qualities of MF film that even make that first image reasonable IMO.
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  19. Keith

    Keith Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 16, 2012


    Good point ... I'm yet to actually print anything from my OMD yet. At some stage I will have a go because I have an R2400 which prints up to A3+.

    I'm pretty low on ink at the moment but when I address that situation I may try and print that second image and see what it looks like off a computer monitor and on paper in the real world.
  20. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    And I prefer the greater depth of field of the OM-D shot. I think I've spent too long looking at landscape pictures from the F64 group.

    I'd be interested in hearing your comments about how the OM-D image looks if you print it.

    Where was the forest, by the way? We've got some hoop pine plantations about an hour and a half north of me around the Glasshouse mountains in south east Queensland. I might think about paying them a visit after seeing these images.