20 thoughts on “Small Town Rain

    1. Thanks for the nudge Lynn– a year ago I was trying to post more informative things on here but I’ve sort of let it slide lately. My apologies.

      Most of my recent work has been in the micro 4/3 format, which I suppose makes me something of a contrarian. This is what I like about it:

      I’m able to use fast prime lenses. The lenses are small and inconspicuous, and I’m generally able to avoid using a tripod. I don’t own a zoom now, and never used one with my Hasselblads or Contaxes back in the film years.

      The 45mm M. Zuiko f1.8 that I used for this image has superb depth of field, but it’s also capable of producing a creamy bokeh when used wide open. In that sense, it’s unique. There is no comparable lens in the DSLR range in terms of speed, portability and expansive depth of field. (The 180mm telephoto I use on my Hasselblad is way more massive than this lens, and so the picture would’ve been next to impossible with my Blad.)

      At 16mp, my G3 is capable of producing low-noise RAW files that I can print up to 2′ or 3′ with no issues. I may spring for an NEX 7 soon, but I’ll continue to shoot handheld images with my M4/3 Panasonics.

      With all that being said, I should point out that I’m sorta forced to optimize all my settings since I am working with a smaller sensor. This means shooting only in RAW, and rarely using ISO’s above 200. To stay below 200 ISO, you’re pretty much forced to avoid zoom lenses.

      1. Thank you – a lot of information here – you’re generous and I appreciate it. It’s interesting to me that someone who’s a professional and prints is shooting serious photographs with a non-DSLR.
        I’m not a techie type, as you may know, but I understand there’s talk about DSLR’s soon becoming obsolete, or at least not being everyone’s primary go-to camera type. I know there’s a boom in smaller digital cameras and a lot of competition, thus better & better quality & capabilities.
        I’ll probably be getting another camera in the next few months, so I’m thinking a lot about which way to go. I can’t spend too much. I actually bought a Nex (3) before getting a DSLR, because I wanted a smaller camera. I like it a lot but came to hate not having a viewfinder – too many bright days where I had no idea what I was shooting because I only had that LCD screen to look at. I know the new Nex’s have a viewfinder – so do I go back to the Nex? Or wait to see what comes on the market next in smaller cameras?
        I’m not asking you to answer that, just sharing my thoughts, John! One question – can you explain the last part about the zoom lenses & ISO – I should get it, but I don’t. It’s about noise, right?
        Many thanks!

        1. DSLR’s have been overhyped, thanks in no small part to the companies who started the “megapixel wars”. On the other hand, the m43 cameras have been underhyped (especially for those who prefer prime lenses). The proof is in the prints: M4/3 prints can look quite stunning.

          I could be heading toward a Sony NEX 7 which should be coming down in price soon…a bit of a sensor upgrade for me (but the camera is still nice and small). I can also use my old Contax film lenses with it. I’ll still keep my Panasonics for lots of handheld shots.

          You might want to look into the Sony, although it can cost the same as DSLR equipment once you buy all the lenses. Keep in mind the NEX 7 has a larger sensor than the 5 or the 3.

          Zooms and ISO: yes it’s about noise. A zoom is a slower lens by nature, therefore it forces you to either shoot wide open or select a higher ISO. The f1.8 lens used for this picture is 3 or 4 stops faster than a comparable zoom for the same camera.

          Good luck!

        2. You’re welcome, Lynn.
          One other piece of info that might be helpful to you in the event you’re considering a m4/3 camera: a RAW file from my 16 mpx Panasonic G3 delivers a 15.3 x 11.4 image @ 300 dpi. That would be approx the same size from any of the other current Olympus or Panasonic bodies.

    1. It was raining really hard, with slushy ice pellets that were splattering on the windshield. Leadville is situated at 10,000 feet– not that unusual for this sort of rain in August.

  1. This reminds me of the teary near to end scene in “The Bridges of Madison County” – that same sense of smallness in the rain..

    1. Interesting that brought that up. I was just talking about that book/film today with a friend…

      It’s fascinating what a rainy windshield can do to one’s mood.

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