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Old Jun 10, 2012, 12:16 AM   #1
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Default Travelling With A Three Lens Prime Setup

The trip to Paris was tons of fun, and a lot of the fun was in using the outfit I took, which included the E-P3, 12mm f2, 25mm f1.4 and 45mm f1.8. I also took the 7.5mm Rokinon Fisheye, but after day 1 and not using it, it stayed in the vault in the room and I just went with the three lens setup.

The key to the enjoyment was in the bag I used, which made lens changes a very fluid process, and with primes you can probably guess how many lens changes I made over 8 days. Can't say enough good things about the Think Tank Retrospective 5 bag. The size of the bag, combined with the slots, pockets and openings which were all used with extra batteries, rear lens caps, extra cards, etc., made going from one lens to the next was a breeze. Looking at the files in Photoshop/Bridge, 54% were captured with the 12mm f2, 31% with the 25mm f1.4 and 16% with the 45mm f1.8.

Notice above I said nothing about front lens caps. The body always went into the bag fitted with the 25mm f1.4 + hood with no front cap attached, and the 12 and 45 lenses were in their slots, face down with the hoods fitted and no front caps, which sped up going from one lens to the next. It also eliminated any chance of fumbling with a cap and dropping it somewhere I could never retrieve it.

The one place where an E-M5 would have been handy was the catacombs, where you are dealing with not low light, but mostly low murk. I did not go faster than ISO 800 and really could have/should have used ISO 1600. Shutter speeds were SO slow down there, and the cramped conditions called for the 12mm f2. Most of the people we went down with had either point & shoots or DSLR's fitted with f3.5-5.6 zooms, which were both total no-goes since flash is not allowed.

After this trip I'm even more impressed with my E-P3 and right now am thinking my next major purchase will probably be the 75mm f1.8 and not an E-M5. I did go ahead and ordered the Kenko extension tube set for micro four-thirds today from B&H since they now have it in-stock.

Not anywhere near done with the file processing, but here's a sampling of a few of the images..

The people looking up to Lady Liberty in the Pantheon...



The three chairs where the German officer who signed the surrender documents in Reims France sat in 1945, in the original American map room..



Reims Cathedral. This is the church people need to see when they come to France. Notre Dame is nice, but Reims Cathedral is HUGE, and is where virtually every French King was crowned for over 600 years..









There's a second church in Reims worth visiting, Saint Remi Basilica. Saint Remi officiated at the crowning of Clovis I in the year 496 and is emtombed in this church. Here is the detail of the back of his tomb..



This church also has one of the larger chandeliers I have seen, shown here with the E-P3 on the floor and pointed up, with the VF-2 raised up for ease of viewing..



A small sampling of the stained glass from Saint Chapelle in Paris. This church is a midieval stained glass jewel. Unfortunately, 7 of the huge panels were covered for restoration work, so there was no capturing the wide view, but just imagine a church where 3 of the four walls are covered, virtually from floor to ceiling, with panels like this..



A ceiling that once was in the bedroom of a French king at Fontainebleau chateau, but that room was later converted into a stair case by another king..



Your standard run-of-the-mill fire place made for a king, at Fontainebleau..



And a library built for a king, also at Fontainebleau..


Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 10, 2012 at 2:05 AM.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 12:39 AM   #2
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Default Part II...

Continuing at Fontainbleau, Napoleon made this a primary residence during his rein. One of the rooms is the only in-tact throne room left in France since pretty much all royal residences prior to the French Revolution were sacked. This room included all the original furniture. Too big for any one lens to cover, here's a section of the room, including the over-the-top ceiling, captured with the 12mm f2..



You can see who Hitler's inspiration was. Take out the "N" here and insert the swastika and you've got the genuine Nazi article..



Your ordinary, run of the mill opera house in Paris..



Complete with understated front stairway..



And simple, functional lobby area to mill around in-between performances..







Went to Notre Dame to go one place we had never been, but was open during the time we were there.....the Treasury, to glare at the bling on display..





A view from the back 40, at Fontainebleau..



The Catacombs..



The remains of over 6 million bodies are in the catacombs, all marked with similar signs showing the cemeteries and churches, many that no longer exist, where they existed before being moved here, along with the date moved..


Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 10, 2012 at 2:07 AM.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 1:00 AM   #3
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Default Part III

The Chateau Chantilly was gifted to the French government with the understanding the property would remain, intact as left by the last owner, and none of his extensive collection of artwork would ever leave the property, even on loan, so if there's a piece you want to see that's here, you have to go here to see it, and there's quite a bit to see..







A ceiling..



Another, larger ceiling over a stairway..



Looking back from the stairway to the main entrance area of the "house"..



A couple of the pieces from his collection..







Detail from your standard golden harp..



Not the kind of "back yard" where the typical lawn mower would work very well..



Complete with a canal that extends well beyond this little waterfall..

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Old Jun 10, 2012, 5:11 AM   #4
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Hi Greg,

Glad to see your back from what looks like a very boring trip

Seriously, beautiful images that make me want to go to Paris. As always, your posts are not only informative but inspiring.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 5:18 AM   #5
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STUNNING SERIES, I enjoyed it so much!

I need to visit France more, it's just across the border...
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 7:39 AM   #6
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very nice shots. the blue on the stain glass panels really pop. the first shot of the catacombs is very nice, the lighting is perfect. Did you get a shot of the entrance sign?

a little cliche but still

"Arrete!
C'est ici l'empire de la mort?

translated;

"Stop!
This is the empire of the dead"

So no lens caps? Did you have filters on them? or did you just go naked and trust the softness of the bag interior to protect them?
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 8:13 AM   #7
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..... am anxious to spend hours going through the images, same as in 2006.

These are exactly what I expected and it is easily seen that this trip was a continuance of your others to Paris.

The hardware package sounds to have been near perfect.

Glad your trip went, you and Katherine surely know Paris.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 8:35 AM   #8
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Beautiful camera work as usual and a very nice history lesson to boot. Thanks for sharing. Did you use a monopod for some of the shots?
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 10:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
very nice shots. the blue on the stain glass panels really pop. the first shot of the catacombs is very nice, the lighting is perfect. Did you get a shot of the entrance sign?

a little cliche but still

"Arrete!
C'est ici l'empire de la mort?

translated;

"Stop!
This is the empire of the dead"

So no lens caps? Did you have filters on them? or did you just go naked and trust the softness of the bag interior to protect them?
I did get that sign...



It was fasciniating to hear the guide say there are more miles of underground caves there than there are streets above in Paris. Every limestone used to build Notre Dame and all the rest of ancient Paris came from the caves where the catacombs are now located, and these underground burial grounds only make up a small portion of that area.

The black line you can see on the ceiling was placed there and all thoughout the burial chambers so that people would not lose their way, assuming their lighting source remained operational during their stay.

No filters on the lenses. The hoods kept the surfaces fine with plenty of room to spare. Each lens has it own pocket, so nothing was going to get in there are bump up against it. A couple of times we were out in the rain, the hoods kept the front elements clean and clear, and Katherne held my umbrella anytime I wanted to change lenses. The worst rain day was the last day of the trip at Chantilly Chateau, where it rained hard during our walk in the vast gardens.

The stained glass in Saint Chapelle is stunning. Here's an image of the west wall with the rose window, and you can see the virtually complete panel on the left. These windows continue all around the rest of the church. When all are viewable (as mentioned, seven of the windows this trip were closed off for restoration), you are completely surrounded by stained glass. It was good we were here 6 and 7 years ago to see the entire church before this work started, and it's not supposed to be completed until 2014. That's the gamble when you come here. Everything is so old and under constant renovation/repair to keep it all viable. You sometimes never know what's going to be closed off.



Here's a closeup of the rose window, captured with the 45 Zuiko..


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Old Jun 10, 2012, 10:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boBBrennan View Post
The hardware package sounds to have been near perfect.
It was a nice setup to carry. Easy and light. The obvious thing missing was a really long lens, but there was enough of a focal length difference to keep it interesting. I did do one set of three images to demonstrate the coverage of each lens. From the front staeps of the Grand Palais I shot the Petit (nothing really petite about it) Palais with each of the three.

The 12mm..



The 25..



and the 45mm..



Just to see the difference between 45mm and 75mm, I cropped the above last image captured with the 45mm Zuiko to see how much more magnification would have been gained having a lens like the 75mm f1.8. The extra compression added by the longer focal length is not the same, but you can see the added magnification, which requires a 40% crop of a 45mm file..


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