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Thread: My new book

  1. #1
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    My new book

    Although this may seem a cynical marketing ploy, I just wanted to share my experiences and some photographs from a book that is being published this month - and for which I mainly used my Panasonic GX8 and associated lenses. I am not making any great claims for my photography but I will say that in terms of image quality the publisher is extremely happy with what I have provided, which is the important measure of success.


    The Sugar House (the former and first HQ of the Co-operative Wholesale Society)
    Panasonic GX8, Lumix Vario 2.8/12-35


    At the beginning of the year - by a lucky happenstance I was offered a deal to produce 3 books for a small UK publisher called Amberley. All three of them are based on my knowledge of the Whitechapel area of East London (where I have worked and photographed for the last 12 years).

    The first book is called "Whitechapel in 50 Buildings" and it aims to explain the history of Whitechapel by way of some of the wonderful and unique architecture it contains. I collaborated with a well know historian who wrote the text to most of the book (I chipped in on some buildings as I had accumulated more knowledge). The architecture in the book spans from the 15th to 21st centuries.


    Trinity Green Alms Houses, Mile End Road
    Panasonic GX8, Lumix Vario 2.8/12-35


    At the commencement of the book I had bought a GX8 largely so I could benefit from the Leica DG 100-400 announced but not yet available. However, in the post-Xmas sales I got a good deal so I pulled the trigger. The camera came with the Lumix 12-35/2.8 as a kit and I thought of it as my 'second system' camera. It wasn't until I picked it up for a day to use around the streets of Whitechapel that I came to a realisation. Ergonomically, it was so much better to use than my Sony A7R and A7S cameras. It fit in my hands nicely, the controls were well placed, the menu system made sense, I loved the weight! When I processed the photos at home I was also staggered at the IQ from the Lumix 12-35/2.8. The results were so much better than most of my Sony FE glass (with the exception of the Loxia 35/2). I was so enthused I immediately went on eBay and bought myself a second hand Lumix 20/1.7 and Lumix Leica DG 45/2.8 and decided to stop using my Sony cameras (completely).


    The Sugar House front door
    Panasonic GX8, Lumix 20/1.7 first version


    A few weeks later I reached a water shed. To complete the book I needed an UWA lens. I was very wary of investing in any more Sony FE glass whether it had the Zeiss brand or not. If I continued down the Sony path I would have to spend a lot on the Sony 16-35/4 knowing that most of the sample images I've seen are less than impressive (to me, at least). So, I took the plunge and committed myself to m43rds by purchasing the Olympus 7-14/2.8 Pro. I could not be happier with this piece of glass.


    The magnificent Hawksmoor Christ Church Spitalfields
    Panasonic GX8, Olympus 7-14/2.8 Pro


    Finally, I decided I had to go the whole hog and get the 35-100/2.8 to fill out the range. All I can say is that this is one of the best lenses I have ever owned - period (and that includes my experiences with exotic Leica M glass).


    Door Detail: Soup Kitchen For The Jewish Poor
    Panasonic GX8, Lumix Vario 2.8/35-100


    Members of this sub-forum already know this but don't let anyone tell you that m43rds are not professional cameras and lenses. Yes, they are not 'battle-field' ready (but I don't plan on covering any wars or Royal Weddings) but for the kind of urban landscape photography I do they offer a lightweight well-constructed body (in the GX8), with a superb range of optics (Panasonic and Olympus) and are more than capable of producing professional results.


    The Royal London Hospital (old building, with the new one behind)
    Panasonic GX8, Olympus 7-14/2.8 Pro
    -----
    My new book "Whitechapel in 50 BUildings", Flikr Stream, www.louisberk.com
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    Re: My new book

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    I had bought a GX8 largely so I could benefit from the Leica DG 100-400 announced but not yet available. However, in the post-Xmas sales I got a good deal so I pulled the trigger. The camera came with the Lumix 12-35/2.8 as a kit and ...
    Did you get the long lens?

    So, I took the plunge and committed myself to m43rds by purchasing the Olympus 7-14/2.8 Pro.
    And not the Pana f/4 smaller option?
    (FYI, I think I got a good deal --price ($525) & copy (looks good wide open)-- on the Pana lens via KEH.com (who had 3 copies, at the time).)

    I decided I had to go the whole hog and get the 35-100/2.8 to fill out the range. All I can say is that this is one of the best lenses I have ever owned - period (and that includes my experiences with exotic Leica M glass).
    And that's quite some praise!
    I like its size (small, but for hood, and constant!) and weight (little), and also am glad to have it. (It wasn't on my initial want-list, but now is much employed, on a GX7, w/12-40 2.8 on an E-M5.)

    These caught my eye, most:
    > The Sugar House
    > " " " Front Door (& semi-self-portrait? --maybe return w/35-100's take!
    > Door Detail

    Thanks,
    -d.

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    Re: My new book

    Congratulations on your excellent books.

    I love shooting MFT gear in good light. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, delivers great image quality, as your images demonstrate. I use some of the same lenses you do.

    However, when it gets darker and darker, without a tripod I prefer my Sony FF setup. Similarly for very thin DOF shots. Lately the TechArt Pro autofocus adapter has brought AF to many manual focus only lenses. WOW! What a difference that makes! I wish such an adapter would be made available for MFT cameras as well.

    My 2 cents.
    With best regards, K-H.

  4. #4
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: My new book

    Quote Originally Posted by drofnad View Post
    Did you get the long lens?


    And not the Pana f/4 smaller option?
    (FYI, I think I got a good deal --price ($525) & copy (looks good wide open)-- on the Pana lens via KEH.com (who had 3 copies, at the time).)


    And that's quite some praise!
    I like its size (small, but for hood, and constant!) and weight (little), and also am glad to have it. (It wasn't on my initial want-list, but now is much employed, on a GX7, w/12-40 2.8 on an E-M5.)

    These caught my eye, most:
    > The Sugar House
    > " " " Front Door (& semi-self-portrait? --maybe return w/35-100's take!
    > Door Detail

    Thanks,
    -d.
    -d Thanks for the comments. I did have the Pana 7-14/4 in the past and was going to buy it again but I was seduced in the shop with the far better ergonomics and addition stops of the Oly 7-14. In terms of price, they was not a lot in it. But I agree the Pana 7-14/4 is an exceptional lens and well worth having.

    BTW, I really, really like the 20/1.7 - always have and have always assumed it is Leica Summicron by another name. It really is that good. So if I can I try to use it for detail shots. And you found me out. I sneaked that one in because of the self-shot in the door.

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Congratulations on your excellent books.

    I love shooting MFT gear in good light. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, delivers great image quality, as your images demonstrate. I use some of the same lenses you do.

    However, when it gets darker and darker, without a tripod I prefer my Sony FF setup. Similarly for very thin DOF shots. Lately the TechArt Pro autofocus adapter has brought AF to many manual focus only lenses. WOW! What a difference that makes! I wish such an adapter would be made available for MFT cameras as well.

    My 2 cents.
    Many thanks for the comment.

    Yes, low light is a drawback. I am lucky that I also own the amazing Leica Q which performs very well even up to iso6400 so that would be my first port of call in low-light situations. But as the light falls you really do have to use a tripod and keep the iso to no more than iso800 with m43rds in my experience.

    I do wish Panasonic or Olympus would take a leaf out of Sony's book and create a GHxS with a 12mpx sensor in order to try to conquer the low light issues.

    LouisB
    -----
    My new book "Whitechapel in 50 BUildings", Flikr Stream, www.louisberk.com
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    Re: My new book

    Louis,......

    A wonderful set of pics!.....everything looks so nice, clean and bright in your pics but my chilhood memory is one of blackened hideousness...... The old London Hosp. building is VERY interesting to me with the window behind which I was born (projecting bay) and the section of street where I believe my great Grandfather was killed by a gotha bomb in 1917......

    Were you not interested in going the 'Fuji route' when changing from Sony?.......do you make prints from m43 files and to what size please? I'm not sure if I would get fed up with m43 although i'm tempted to replace my NEX 3 with a GM5. The trouble is I grew up with Rollieflex cameras and old habits die hard......

  6. #6
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: My new book

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugleone View Post
    Louis,......

    A wonderful set of pics!.....everything looks so nice, clean and bright in your pics but my chilhood memory is one of blackened hideousness...... The old London Hosp. building is VERY interesting to me with the window behind which I was born (projecting bay) and the section of street where I believe my great Grandfather was killed by a gotha bomb in 1917......

    Were you not interested in going the 'Fuji route' when changing from Sony?.......do you make prints from m43 files and to what size please? I'm not sure if I would get fed up with m43 although i'm tempted to replace my NEX 3 with a GM5. The trouble is I grew up with Rollieflex cameras and old habits die hard......
    Bugleone - you are a real East Ender, kudos!

    My father was but alas by the time I was born he'd moved to the 'noveau-riche' suburbs. I suspect there was no way he was going to bring his children up in Whitechapel.

    Tower Hamlets in recent years has actually done a good job of cleaning the place up. The next wave of development is likely to turn it into a competitor to Canary Wharf and Docklands.

    The RLH has got to be one of my very favourite buildings. Here is a shot from when it was still in use. Taken with my long since departed Leica M8 - you can see a bay window to the left - I was told these bays were the original operating theatres - which were sited high above the streets and sometimes built out so that good natural light could penetrate.



    I too am a bit of a refugee from MF film, I just can't deal with it anymore. I had m43rds system when I had my Leica kit and was always impressed with it. Yes, the IQ cannot match the pixel-level sharpness of some cameras (I am only familiar with Sony and not Fuji) but then my Sony cams could never match the pixel-level sharpness of my Sigma DP Merrill cameras at base iso (in fact I don't think there is a 35mm digital camera can).

    I've come to a conclusion that sharpness really doesn't matter (except of course introduced by the photographer in terms of shake - which does matter). What matter's is content and how it looks. I can achieve what I want with m43rds but that isn't to say at some point in the future I might look to another system.

    I may be teaching my granny to suck eggs but use the camera you are comfortable with. You'll use it more and by definition you'll take better photographs.

    Thanks again for your kind comments.

    Louis
    -----
    My new book "Whitechapel in 50 BUildings", Flikr Stream, www.louisberk.com
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