This is an image, a landmark image, that I need to share with you. Now I suspect you are asking yourself what on earth is he talking about. This is a typical, pretty, stock shot but there’s nothing landmark about it. Has he lost the plot and gone off at the deep end.
But stay with me here.
This reason I say this is my landmark image is that it’s made me decide to sell my Canon 5D MkII and all those lovely L series lenses. I will be leaving the ranks of SLR ownership, probably forever.
No, I haven’t had a bang to the head and I’m not taking any medication that carries a warning.
You see, I have been thinking for some time that I don’t use the 5D very much these days; perhaps once every month or two. I actually find myself carrying the GX1 most of the time when I am out, especially if I am walking in the hills. I now find the 5D just too heavy to haul around for 8-12 hours at a time and even suffer from quite a bad neck from how I used to carry it.
These are all reasons that made me question my ownership. The reason I held off selling however is the excellent quality of the images it produces. The images have low noise, very nice tones, good saturation, superb detail and sharpness. Each time I look at one of the 5D images I know why I don’t sell it.
Then came this image. It was shot on an Olympus OMD when I attended an experience day run by Steve Gosling. At the time I didn’t really process any of the images but recently my wife wanted something that could be framed for the wall of the newly decorated spare room. This image fit the bill perfectly (for all you male photographers out there means it was the right colour – no, that isn’t a sexist comment. I still don’t understand this line of reasoning but my wife’s friends do).
I opened the RAW file and processed it in my usual workflow. I was surprised at how nice the colours were and how well the detail had been captured. Then I noticed, this image had been shot at ISO800 – WOW!
Looking further I noticed that some of the lines in the image were bowed and the lens was displaying barrel distortion (corrected above). I thought this was very odd as I had been using my 45mm lens which I thought was superb and virtually distortion free. I checked the camera data in the file and realised the image had actually been shot with the 12-50 kit lens for the OMD and worse still it was wide open at f/4.0. This did however make me realise how good this camera was and that I no longer have a sound argument for keeping my Canon.
Here is an excerpt from the above file at 100% with no sharpening at all; not even capture sharpening.
Now, to give you the full story. When I printed this image, it was as an A2 print using a 360dpi image. What you are looking at above is a sample from that file. If you printed this at 250dpi (the recommended level for large format printers) you would have a 30″ print. That’s a 30″ print from an ISO800 image shot with a kit lens wide open.
I’m sold and the Canon goes on eBay at the weekend.