Five Lenses Tested At 14mm

Started May 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
Detail Man
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LGV 7-14mm and LGV 14-45mm - DPReview/SLRgear Tests - Part 4
In reply to Anders W, May 24, 2012

Anders W wrote:

Detail Man wrote:

There is a nicely detailed red-brick wall just around the corner. My only tripod being very short in stature, I will need to use my mono-pod with enough light that I can use a high enough Shutter Speed not to skew the test-shots with camera-motion. Hoping for some good sunlight on Friday ...

A tripod shouldn't actually be a necessity with this lens if the light is good so that you can maintain a strong safety margin with regard to shutter speed. This also makes it easier to shoot with the camera upside down (which is a nice test for symmetry).

That sounds like an interesting idea.

I notice that a lot of folks who shot with film tend to have developed habits of being rather sparing in the number of shots that they record (even with digital cams). Understandably, the idea of effectively and finally composing at the point of capture was much more important in that situation.

... I still try to compose just as carefully as I used to because it remains just as true with digital as with film that this makes the most of what the recording medium and the lens has to offer.

Am all for that on a technical basis. While over time I do think that I am getting a bit better at doing so, it is not easy to make all of the framing decisions at the time of capture. Part of that is the often complicated nature of the scenes that I shoot, typically having various foliage in the near as well of farther-field (where that background is intentionally not churned into a bokeh-smoothie).

The background, and it's structural, as well as luminance and color, contrasts are important - but it can be hard for me to notice everything in the frame, and to at the time of capture make final judgments about exactly what should be eliminated from the frame (and exactly where that should occur).

Sadly, and in part to my inability to focus on those tiny LCD-screens at anything closer than around 30cm (and not being an "up to one's face" EVF type at all, due to perspective preferences, and to retinal damage in my right eye), I've evolved a shooting style where I typically intentionally back-off a bit relative to my intended framing. Memory is cheap; delete the "chaff" ...

Although I have changed my photographic habits in a large number of ways as technology has changed, one of the few things that hasn't changed at all is my strong preference for using a VF rather than an LCD. And, again, that's because I see no reason to change. As far as I can see, the VF offers only advantages and no disadvantages (unless you are shooting with the camera in such a position that it is inconvenient or impossible to look through the VF). The VF gives you a) better magnification where it counts (on your retina), b) better contrast/visibility (especially in bright surroundings), and c) better camera support (for less camera shake).

So what do you mean by "perspective preferences" ...

Where it comes to the floral subject-matter that I like to shoot (of a wild variety in the wooded area surrounding a creek, as well as of the domesticated variety in nearby yards and gardens in my neighborhood along the way), my feeling is that the standing, "eye level" (or perhaps some amount of kneeling that my body can manage) perspective is often a rather "dry" one. (For me), it is the view of a person who wanders into Nature and records it largely from the typical human perspective. Fine for some shots - but not the case in most of my "compositions".

I (personally) often find myself preferring perspectives that assume the perspectives of the floral creatures being photographed themselves . Especially where close-up shots are concerned (but also in general), being able to place the camera at the height where these creatures exist and "see" the world from where they exist (often at human waist level or below), is where "the shot finds me" (as opposed to the other way around). I am fond of keeping my mono-pod (when used) at (or near) it's minimum height, and using the fully articulated LCD-screen of my GH2 (FZ30 and FZ50 previously) to accomplish that.

With my LX3 compact (having a fixed LCD display-screen), I just do the best that I am able - which can, and does at times, require not being able to see the LCD display-screen preview nearly as well as I would prefer to. Part of that is that my aging frame is a lot less limber than in younger days, and not amenable to assuming ackward positions for very long (if at all). Once again, another reason to err on the side of "wide" (as a precaution) when framing in such circumstances.

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