Past Monday was a holiday.
In the morning I visited our local market. Although it was chilly and overcast the street was crowded.
I had my Ricoh GR II with me but I wasn’t very inspired and, well, I don’t like overcrowded places. I took a few shots and I liked the one with the lady.
I shot this when she reached for her sunglasses to get a closer look at something behind me. She did not notice me really and seemed to look right through me. It looks like she is interacting with me but she is not.
I went home and shortly after noon I went back but decided to try something different so I grabbed my Olympus OM-D M-10 and the very sharp Zuiko 45mm f1,8 lens. The camera’s screen tilts so I did not need to use the viewfinder.
Sun was now shining and that is something to take in account when shooting with a very fast lens.
Once back on the street I immediately regretted my choice. The camera felt completely different and not at all easy to use with one hand. Even if the camera’s body is not bigger that the Ricoh, for me the lens and the viewfinder made it huge. I felt awkward and had the impression I was kind of a sitting duck, the more than obvious photographer with a red neon arrow pointing down at me.
It was all in my head because nobody noticed me really.
The 45mm (90mm in full-frame) makes it easy to shoot from a distance and gives a very nice DOF.
I had to focus for every shot there where the Ricoh can be set in Snap-mode so it is already pre-focused but you lose the already almost non-existent depth-of-field of a 28mm.
The Zuiko 45mm f1,8 is extremely sharp wide-open already but I set the aperture at f2,8 because the Olympus OM-D M-10 has a native ISO of 200 and a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000th. You need a ND-filter on a bright day. The Ricoh offers ISO 100 and f2,8 and has a built-in ND-filter you can set to off, on or automatic.
I made some interesting shots but back home I discovered that, except for the one I’m posting, none were really sharp.
Will I be taking the Olympus with me on the streets again? Maybe but it will be sitting in my camera bag and I’ll only use it to frame something interesting I can’t approach.
Using the Olympus for street photography on the market was a very bad choice. It is a crowded place to begin with and a 45mm (90mm FF) is overkill.
Yet I learned something very important and valuable. I really love to come close to people and I’m steadily improving my skills to come even closer.
On the other hand I should ask people if I can take their portrait more because from my past two and only experiences this leads to a short yet interesting interaction.