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Old Jul 23, 2008, 4:40 PM   #1
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Hey folks,

Been a while since I've lurked around in here and made the occaisonal comment/posted questions. With a new camera hopefully waiting for me at home today, I've awoken from my slumber.

I decided to pick up a new E510 with the 14-42 kit lens for what I think is a very good price (CDN$500). After reading many reviews, I understand that the upgrade from the E500 isn't huge but I'm looking forward to having IS for when I do concert photos. As much as I love my E500, I won't be keeping as a second body, rather I'll be gifting it to my sister. I will be keeping the 8mm fish-eye though.

I also got my hands on an old Oly OM-20 film body with a Zuiko 50mm f1.8 lens for $40 shipped and hope to use the lens with the E510 and an OM adapter a co-worker is giving me. After posting last year about tips on taking concert, low light photography, I've still struggled a great deal capturing clear and/or aptly lit shots and hope that the E510's IS with the 50mm f1.8 will help me in that department. Am I way off in that thinking or will it at least be a decent expirment in combining the digital world with the ancient?
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 2:27 AM   #2
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Hey bud, I think the IS will help you for sure. I haven't used the E500, but from using the IS both on and off I can tell a noticable difference. What lens were you using with the E500?

I have only owned the 50mm 2.0 Zuiko for a week now, but I definately can tell the light difference of 2.0 compared with the 14-54mm 2.8. I don't shoot concerts though, so I can properly judge how it would be in that environment. Knowing the lenses you tended to use on the E510 may enable us to give you a better idea of your possible performace benefits.
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 7:02 AM   #3
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cristovao12 wrote:
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Hey folks,

I also got my hands on an old Oly OM-20 film body with a Zuiko 50mm f1.8 lens for $40 shipped and hope to use the lens with the E510 and an OM adapter a co-worker is giving me. After posting last year about tips on taking concert, low light photography, I've still struggled a great deal capturing clear and/or aptly lit shots and hope that the E510's IS with the 50mm f1.8 will help me in that department. Am I way off in that thinking or will it at least be a decent expirment in combining the digital world with the ancient?

First off, congratulations on getting the E-510. I hope you enjoy using it as much as I do mine.

I was hoping that someone with some experience in shooting concerts would have responded to you by now.I do have the E-510 as well as the 50mm F1.8 OM lens w/ adapter and have used that combination quite a bit. Here is whatI can share with you.

E-510 and IS: IS will help you to a point. If you have steady hands, it probably won''t make a great deal of difference-but it won't hurt. Just remember to set the focal length at 50mm when activating the IS mode.

50mmF1.8 OM lens: I'm glad to see you use the word experiment because that's what you'll be doing the first time out. Yes, it''s a faster lens than the kit lens you have. But since it's a prime and not a zoom, how close you get to the stage will determine some of your results. And yes, I think you should get some good results.

Camera settings:Simply putto getgood photographs your trying to shoot at thefastest shutter speed and at an aperture that will give you the best depth of field as well as freeze the action so you eliminate blur. Depending on the available light, (you didn't say if it was an outdoor concert or indoor,etc.) be prepared to use high ISO settings. starting off with 400 and working up to 1600.

The steps that I would take are: After activating IS and setting focal length to 50mm, set program mode to manual, Set the aperture ring on the lens to wide open or 1.8. This will let in the most light into the lensand will allow the best opportunitymanually focus the lens on a static object-set of drums, etc.Once focused, I would step down the lens to F2.8 or F4. I would set the shutter speed to 1/50, set ISO to 400and then depress the button half way to see what the LCD shows for the exposure value. You want to keep it around 0. If the EV is too high, increase the shutter speed to 1/100 and/or lower the ISO. IfEV is toolow, increase the ISO.

Take a few shots andexperiment withthe ISO with the shutter speed setting.Again, you want to use the fastest shutter speed toeliminate blur.

Another suggestion, There are a number of photo websites that you can run a search to see what settingsother photographers used to get good results when shooting concerts. I use PBase.com. I ran a quick query and here is the link. Take a look at the EXIF data to see the specific settings that were used to achieve that shot.

http://search.pbase.com/search?q=concerts&begin=20



One more point: If you don't have Neat Image, download a demo version. It's used to reduce noise and grain from images shot at high ISO settings. It works, it is free and you'll be pleased with the results.

Good luck, take lots of shots and most of all have fun.

Zig




























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Old Jul 24, 2008, 9:58 AM   #4
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Thanks for all the help Zig!

zig-123 wrote:
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...But since it's a prime and not a zoom, how close you get to the stage will determine some of your results...."

"...(you didn't say if it was an outdoor concert or indoor,etc.)..."
First point, I typically shoot local indie bands at small venues so I get pretty much right in front of the stage (or band) and sometimes even to the side of the stage. At larger venues with more established acts, I sometimes get press photo passes and the last few shows (see examples below) were in relatively dark situations at indoor halls or arenas (which answers the second point). I had been using my old E500 with either the kit 14-45mm lens, my 8mm fish eye or the 18-180mm zoom. Sometimes I get OK shots (as was the case at NOFX), others were extremely difficult to capture anything that I can honestly say I'm proud of (the Mars Volta).

Quote:
I have only owned the 50mm 2.0 Zuiko for a week now, but I definately can tell the light difference of 2.0 compared with the 14-54mm 2.8. I don't shoot concerts though, so I can properly judge how it would be in that environment. Knowing the lenses you tended to use on the E510 may enable us to give you a better idea of your possible performace benefits.
PickWick, I've been contemplating getting that lens because of the f2.0. I've also contemplated the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8. Since I just bought the E510 (which did in fact arrive in the mail yesterday) I'm probably going to have to wait a while before buying a $500 lens, seeing as we just bought a house. Mortgage takes precedence.

I write for a local music and arts magazine as well as run my own music news/reviews/podcast site (called Off the Dial, http://www.offthedial.ca )so although I love photography for the joy of taking nature and mostly landscape photos, I'd really love to excell at taking concert photos. This link ( http://www.offthedial.ca/?cat=797 ) is of the four most recent concerts I've photographed (click "Read the Rest..." at the bottom of each article to see more photos).

Quick samples:

the Mars Volta



NOFX



Queens of the Stone Age



Damn Dirty Ape (local Calgary band)



As you can tell, I've used NO noise filters post processing. I recall attempting to work with NeatImage and not being successful but I'll be honest and didn't really put THAT much work into it. I'll have to try it again.
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 10:32 AM   #5
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Hi,

The three shots you posted are quite good. Since they were shot at ISO1600, they could use some NR, though.

i hope you don't mind, but in an effort to to show you what they might look like after pp w/NeatImage, I ran them thru quickly and here are my results. Yours might vary based on what you would like to see.







I will delete these images from my hard drive as soon as this post is completed..

Your ability to approach the stage gives you an advantage as the lighting while still low, is certainly far better than being in the audience. With the 50mm f1.8, I''d try using ISO 400 and then ratcheting up as called for. Remember, the best way to focus that lens is to set the aperture on the lens wide open.. Once you focused, you'll need to step down otherwise, the photo will be blown out.

BTW, I'm envious, you must have a ball listening to all the up and coming bands.

And when I get a chance, I'll take a look at your website.

Zig



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Old Jul 24, 2008, 11:53 AM   #6
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Wow Zig, that is much better! Thank you so much. No need to delete the photos as long as you promise not to sell them as your own......and spread the word about my site as much as you can. HA! (Also, I'm running a contest on the site so feel free to enter for your chance to win....OK, end shameless self promotion.)

Well, you've sold me...I have to get my arse in gear and work with NeatImage on all my noisy photos. I may have to hit you up if I continue having problems like I did the first time around.

Two more questions for you since you have the E510 as well. First, I've heard some rumours regarding the NR, that it's better OFF than ON. Am I confused or is this true? Second, with my concert photography intensions in mind, which IS would be better to use? IS1 or IS2?

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 12:23 PM   #7
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1; It's easy to use NeatImage, once you've read thru their tutorial. One thing I would recommend is that whatever changes you make preview them at least at 100%magnification. Anything less than that will have you tend to make an overly aggressive adjustment. the trick is to clean up the noise without making the image too Plasticky.

http://www.neatimage.com/howtos.html

I leave my NR set at off, preferring to make whatever clean up necessary in PP.

In case you haven't had a chance to read this, here is a link to an article detailing how to best set the individual settings in your camera.

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/e510-sett.html

What is especially nice about this article is that it explains the logic behind the suggested settings. A very good read.

I leave my IS in IS1 mode. IS2 mode is typically used when panning. For an explanation, look at pg36 of your manual.

Last: If you don't already, try setting the camera to save your images in RAW. You'll have more control of the manipulation of the images.

That's right get off your duff and start getting comfortable with you E-510. Have fun

Be sure to post some of your results, too.

regards,

Zig






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Old Jul 24, 2008, 2:45 PM   #8
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Okay, this is my last post and I'll stop bugging you but I had a chance to look at your site. It's really very nice. The images your posting are (to my eyes)really very good.

My suggestion is to keep on doing what your doing as I don't think you'll improve upon it by using the 50mm f1.8 OM lens. That will most likely be a diversion.Your upgrade path at some point should include a faster ZD lens i.e. 50mm f2.0 or 14-35mm(rather pricey).

I think your greatest opportunityfor the most improvement in your shots isin the area of post processing. A little tweak here and some noise reduction there and you'll be surprised at the results-all at relatively minor expense.

as an example I tweaked a few of the images found on your site:











The above changes were principally done with Photoshop Elements 6.0 and neatimage.

Hope this helps. and keep on doing what your doing 'cause it all looks good.

Zig




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Old Aug 11, 2008, 4:10 PM   #9
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Thanks again Zig, much appreciated with all your help thus far.

I'm praying to get my hands on a press photo pass for Radiohead when I go to Toronto later this week. Here's crossing my fingers.

Here's another thought I had with regards to low-light larger aperature lenses; what about the new f2.9 25mm pancake lens? I'm only considering this because of it's low price.
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Old Aug 11, 2008, 4:55 PM   #10
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Hi,

I have no personal experience with the 25mm "pancake' lens so I can't offer much in the way of user input.

Here is a link to a pretty detailed review of the lens done by slr gear:

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/1201/cat/14



Here is a rather detailed but none the less interesting review by DPreview

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_25_2p8_o20/

I guess at around$250US, the pancake cetainly is attractively priced. If I were the one making the buying decision, frankly, I'd pick up the 14-54mm f2.8 lens. It's sharper,is a zoom for more felxibility. Adorama has a used one available for $359.00US

Good luck

Zig








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