Wednesday, June 08, 2011

FA 77 Limited on Olympus E-P1

Roisin candids #1
The adventure continues. After my recent posts using the FA 43 Limited on the Micro Four Thirds Olympus E-P1 camera body, I spent a couple days shooting its larger cousin, the FA 77 Limited. I must say that this combination is a little unwieldy, given the large size of the adapter as previously noted. But it's totally worth it in terms of image quality.

Roisin candids #4
These first two images are from a photo shoot with my daughter, who needed some head shots. I was using my Pentax system with off-camera flash, controlled by radio trigger. The image stabilisation gave me the freedom to shoot hand-held, while I used a tripod to position the flash for best effect. I am far from a flash expert and often work by trial and error. But I do like the Metz 58 since it has two beams. The main flash head can be pointed at a wall or ceiling for diffuse light while the second beam points forward for direct illumination.

But anyway, after the main session I switched the remote trigger to the E-P1, not really knowing if it would work (it did). I fired off a bunch of candid shots while Roisin was relaxing and got some of the best frames of the session! Essentially I had exactly the same advantages of my Pentax system: off-camera dual flash, in-body image stabilisation and a superlative lens.

Examining the results there was no appreciable difference between the photos taken with the K20D and the E-P1. (I am sure that in fact there is an incremental quantitative difference, but it is not noticeable without stringent testing.) This little camera continues to impress!


I took this shot at minimum focal distance, so the out-of-focus region is all in front of that point. With the FA77 on the MFT body it does seem like the minimum focus is quite a distance away, but this is a psychological effect due to the small camera. But also, having to hold it out from the body to compose on the LCD means that the lens is in fact closer to the subject than I would like.

coming in to land

Just another example, taken at a longer distance, to show colour. I do find the E-P1 rendering to be a little off using auto white balance, but I am happy enough making these fixes in post-production. The 77/1.8 is FOV/DOF equivalent to a 100/2.3 on the Pentax, which is a very useful lens, in my experience. Of course I stopped down a little in order to get sufficient subject matter in focus. Otherwise only one bird would have been sharp.

In conclusion I am amazed at this combination of photographic equipment.


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