Olympus body cap fun

Craigslist can sometimes be a source of fun spending. I ran across an Olympus 15mm f/8 body cap for a good price, and found a Panasonic Lumix GF2, also at a good price, to mount it on. 

I decided to set the camera to a square crop as a challenge. It's been a little difficult. I started out shooting obviously square things, but that didn't really work out. I've tried different things such as centering the subject, offsetting to the bottom or to the side. I'm not that happy with the results, but this is an ongoing challenge to stretch. 

 The body cap is an odd lens. There's some distortion, the corners aren't that good, and shooting at f/8 is best left for bright sunlight or web viewing. I've also cranked up the saturation to give the images that playful, toy camera look. 

Using the GF2 reminded me of why I gave up on the Olympus EP-1 a few years ago: I still can't compose using the rear LCD screen. But the combination of the two can be fun. Small and very pocketable, more so than the V1. Not having to worry about focus can make for some fast, discreet shooting.

The challenge continues. In the end I'll probably give up on the GF2 as I don't need a fourth system (hmm, F-mount, CX, m43, and what's the fourth?). But the two cost so little that it's fun just to have another option.

Manual focus for sports

Make that for one sport. I snagged a trio of Nikon E lenses a few months ago (the collection is growing), and finally had time to give one of them a try. With the 100mm f/2.8E in hand (along with the 35mm f/1.8G ED), I did my usual tour of the city.

The lens is tiny, as are most MF lenses compared to their AF counterparts. It's a bit unbalanced on the D3, and would make a better fit on a DSLR without a vertical grip. Using the aperture ring on the lens to set the aperture brings back fond memories of the old days with my EM and Fujica film bodies. The focus action is smooth, although not up to the level of a Nikkor lens. The E lenses were Nikon's attempt at challenging the proliferation of third party lenses, and so don't have the same build quality and optical performance of their regular lens line.
Nikon 105mm f/2 DC and 100mm f/2.8E with HB-31 hood
Nikon 105mm f/2 DC and 100mm f/2.8E with HB-31 hood
As I wandered through the city, I decided to zigzag around Chinatown to look for some corners that I hadn't photographed before. I ran across several volleyball games going on at the Willie "Woo Woo" Wong Playground, and thought I'd try to take a few shots.

The only time I tried MF for sports was a painful 30 minutes trying to capture surfing with the V1 and Sigma 500mm. Painful because that combination results in very, very tight framing, and is unwieldy when you're trying to MF.

I did a lot better this time. Yes, I missed focus quite a lot, shooting at f/5.6 through the fence. Timing of course is an issue, but I never said I was a pro. Some of the shots have the player's hand right on the ball, making it look more like a basketball game than volleyball. It took me some time to remember that I was shooting action and switch to manual exposure to keep the shutter speed up.

But I did snag some keepers, leaving me pretty happy. 

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