1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Post your advice for a prime noobie!

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by pisanoal, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. pisanoal

    pisanoal Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Oct 29, 2012
    Hey everyone,
    I posted a topic asking for prime selection advice a couple days ago and got some wonderful input. I ended up going with the 20 and 45, although a lot of people had very high praise for the new oly 17, I went with the 20 based on budget. So while I'm waiting for these guys to get here, what advice do you have for someone who has never shot with primes before? (FYI, the rest of my kit includes a full spectrum converted G3, the oly 9-18, and the 14-42 kit. I mostly shoot landscapes and rock climbing photos, but looking to start doing some portraits for fun and some low light street photography)

    Thanks!

    Sent from my HTC6435LVW using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    My experience from getting used to my PL25/1.4 after coming from a 24-270mm superzoom is to pick a prime, go out, and just experiment for a while in different environments. You'll be forced to try out ideas and move around to get different perspectives. You might get a lot of stuff that doesn't work so well but at least you'll know what tends to suit that prime and what doesn't. Once you've kind of got the feel of one prime, swap to another. Hopefully by the end you'll know which primes to use/take for different occasions.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    For landscapes, shoot at F16 while using a tripod.

    For portraits, F8 for younger subjects, wide open for older folks and back off on the sharpness.

    Wide open and high ISO for low-light street work and carry a high-output flashlight. Depending on where you intend to shoot "street," the flashlight can help you navigate back to your automobile or at least illuminate the miscreant element that may want to separate you, your camera hardware, and any other valuables.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. pisanoal

    pisanoal Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Oct 29, 2012
    Im curious about your recommendation to shoot f8 for younger subjects? Is this young kids that tend to move around a lot? Then i understand your point as I'm assuming you are referring to missing focus. If you are talking about younger as in teen-mid 20's, I'd be curious to hear your points as I've never heard that before.

    The h-o flashlight is some good "real world" advice that i wouldnt have thought about :thumbup:. Although if i am "close" to home and will be in that bad of an area, ill probably bring this guy along, and hopefully wont have to put his training to use.:smile: (Picture is Oly 12-50 at 50 on my G3)
     

    Attached Files:

  5. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    481
    Oct 18, 2012
    Dublin
    Ciaran Reilly
    I thought one was into diffraction issues at f/5.6 and certainly f/8, e.g. https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=30100 and http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/10/15/olympus-15-8-body-cap-lens/

    From Ming's article:
    I've noticed softness in images I've taken at very narrow apertures, f/10 etc, and even though I haven't ruled out my own ineptitude as the cause, I tend to limit myself to at the narrowest f/5.6 now. Just mention this as the OP has invested in some really nice glass and I hope that it performs as well as expected without any unnecessary limitations.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. pisanoal

    pisanoal Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Oct 29, 2012
    I just looked into the diffraction issue and found this article http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm. Its a bit technical, but includes a diffraction calculator. According to this source, the m4/3 sensors are diffraction limited somewhere between f11 and f16. Unless I misunderstood, diffraction can play a role in some softness before that though, although it may not be significant unless viewed at 100% or cropped.

    An interesting quote from the article "Camera systems typically have an optimal aperture in between the largest and smallest settings; with most lenses, optimal sharpness is often close to the diffraction limit, but with some lenses this may even occur prior to the diffraction limit. These calculations only show when diffraction becomes significant, not necessarily the location of optimum sharpness". I believe a lot of m4/3 lenses are regularly cited as having a sweet spot around f5.6.
     
  7. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    481
    Oct 18, 2012
    Dublin
    Ciaran Reilly
    Interesting article, and I have heard f/5.6 being mentioned as a sweet spot before too. I do not know what an airy disk is (yet!) so that article is a little over my head for the moment!!!

    I remember briefly looking into this after being quite disappointed with some landscape shots I took at a very narrow aperture. I didn't rule out camera-shake, though, so I'm no authority.

    Just had a look here - http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html - and for FL=20mm at f/5.6, hyperfocal distance is 15.5ft, and the DoF is 7.5ft to infinity. So I think I'll stick to f/5.6 with the 20mm at least, just in case! Maybe I'll be bored enough some day to do a test!

    Best of luck with your prime adventure, I'm sure you will love them! I ditched my kit zoom because I hated it after getting the 14mm, now use 20, 50 and 40-150 tele zoom for everything.

    Edit: Even though people give him a hard time, I usually trust Ken Rockwell on maths issues, like this article - http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/focus.htm -
    I think I may have to do some more reading!
     
  8. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    With street photography, rely on a high ISO, but if you can, don't underexpose. Use exposure comp to dial in a stop or so overexposure, if this still lets you have a sufficiently fast shutter speed. You don't generally want to use a large aperture in street shooting, because you usually want to capture subjects in their environment, not isolate them. not to fret, though. A good prime is still essential for street, because once you get into the mindset of your focal length, you will begin framing shots as you see them in your head.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    481
    Oct 18, 2012
    Dublin
    Ciaran Reilly
    Agree during the day, but as the light falls towards night I think this gets less important, as the amount of light coming back from the environment and the resulting definition of it is usually lower anyway, a little soft focus won't hurt especially if it lets you keep the shutter speed up! The wider the better at night I think!

    Absolutely yes to primes - previsualisation and small size and weight are major benefits!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    772
    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Frank
    You've chosen the same kit that I've been using for people pictures for the past 2 years. I'd suggest you begin by experimenting with both lenses at wide apertures. That's useful for low light work, but the real the beauty of these fast lenses (particularly the 45) is that you can use selective focus as a design element... blurring background to give a 3D impression to your portraits.

    The 45 is my choce for head & shoulder or headshots.

    45/1.8 @ f/2.2
    P8180134%20mr-XL.

    You can't blur the backgrounds as well with the 20/1.7, but it is my choice for low light work, since it's sharp and contrasty wide open. I also use it for environmental or group portraits.

    20/1.7 @ f/1.8
    CAM85834%20mr-XL.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  11. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    477
    Aug 16, 2012
    WHAT????? NO. Lens resolution will be way, WAY down at F16. The 25mm Pann?Leicas sweet spot is F4-F5.6....
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    477
    Aug 16, 2012
    Here is an example of how the Panny 25mm sharpness varies with aperture (higher is better)....

    3474_roz.

    From: http://www.lenstip.com/314.4-Lens_r...milux_25_mm_f_1.4_ASPH._Image_resolution.html

    Also be careful with depth of field calcs - it depends how big you view the image as to the depth of field you see - but that's another discussion :wink:
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  13. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
    ACK! Do NOT, ever, for any reason, shoot these lenses at f/16 when shooting landscapes. Diffraction will have long since set in and details that otherwise would have been in the shot would have been lost, tripod or not.
     
  14. pisanoal

    pisanoal Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Oct 29, 2012
    I do too... talk about technical (the kenrockwell article)... haha. Interesting though, and definitely worth taking the time to understand how it pertains to 4/3 and finding out optimum aperture for full dof shots.
     
  15. pisanoal

    pisanoal Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Oct 29, 2012
    I agree, the most i ever shoot landscapes at is f8 (and usually 5.6 if my forground isnt close) unless i have a super close foreground subject in which case i might bump up to f11. There is probably some diffraction going on, but it still beats being out of focus.

    As to everyone else so far, thanks for the tips. I especially appreciate the ones on street photography as this is something i havent really played around with much, especially not with primes. Im excited to try some new things, and cant wait for the new lenses!