PEN-F vignette effect: opinions?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by c0ldc0ne, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. c0ldc0ne

    c0ldc0ne Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2012
    My unapologetic love for both black & white photography and vignetting has greatly contributed to making the Ricoh GR my goto camera for this particular style. Its tonality and understated, configurable vignette strength has given me some of the best B/W images I have shot with any camera.

    Wanting more flexibility in terms of using different lenses has drawn my attention to the PEN-F for the same purpose (partly anyway, I will also be shooting color). The fact that the PEN-F offers a pleasing B/W style as well as an option to add a vignette in camera is a great boon to how I want to use this type of camera.

    However, from the results I have seen online, it seems that the PEN-F vignette effect is not just way too strong for my liking (pinhole-ish instead of subtle), it also looks artificial (like an overlay instead of corner darkening) compared to what I get from the GR or would normally add during PP.

    I downloaded the PEN-F manual, but it does not tell me if the strength and/or style of the vignette can be customised. Perhaps someone can clarify this?

    Also, any sample images to illustrate (variations of) the effect would be great. Especially one demonstrating the lightest, most subtle setting.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  2. GarethB

    GarethB Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 21, 2016
    Yep, the vignette settings are just too strong. There are 5 levels (either way, so the option of -5 for dark corners or +5 for light corners), and even level 1 is too much.
    I love a subtle vignette in images, with -10 in Lightroom getting to be too dark for me, but -1 in camera is just too much.

    No Vignette

    -1 Vignette

    -5 Vignette

    Here is my quick attempt to roughly recreate out of camera -1 (right side of the screen) in Lightroom Mobile (left):

    And the settings I used, which even though they aren't quite an exact match I thought you could try apply to your current images and see how they might turn out if you had shot them using the in camera vignetting:

    I hope that helps.

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  3. gary0319

    gary0319 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 26, 2014
    Sarasota FL
    I agree, love the mono profile 2 of my Pen F, but never use the vignette.
  4. c0ldc0ne

    c0ldc0ne Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2012
    Wow, you're not kidding. I like my vignettes to slightly darken the corners, but from your samples it seems that at level 1, they're pretty much blacked out. That's way too rich for my blood. I use vignetting to draw attention to the center of the frame, not to the vignette itself.

    I took your -1 image to photoshop, levelled it so that the center was pure white and then applied it with blending mode Screen to one of my images. And sure enough, the corners turned jet black.

    That's such a shame, I had hoped that I could get a usable B/W + vignette out of this camera, but it looks like this particular effect caters too much to the Instagram crowd.

    I'm always baffled by how a company with such a rich photographic history manages to get these things so wrong. I'm sure that there are those who love over-the-top vignettes. But since they already made it configurable, why not offer a more subtle rendering as well?

    Anyway, thanks for the effort of posting these images, much appreciated!
  5. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    Those are lame vignettes! I always thought LR didn't do too good of a job with vignettes either - On1 Effects gives me the best vignette effect of anything I have tried. Like you say, rather than looking like an oval overlay has been put on the image, Effects simulates real light falloff.

    oh and um...