Update to "Olympus XA: Too unprofessional?" with photos!
I did the photoshoot with the XA and a Gitzo tripod, and as many of you asked to post photos, here they are! I used the backlight comp switch a lot, and changed the ISO around to 100 many times. I find the XA lens had a distinctive look, which I'm not sure if I like. Anyhow, here are the photos, tell me what you all think/what can be improved/how a SLR or manual exposure+lightmeter body would have been better. http://www.flickr.com/photos/3932469...7621340630964/
Looks like it was a success. There's some very nice shots there, worthy of an album cover or two. How did they react to the 'unprofessional' camera?
Peter Marshall: When you pat a dog on its head he will usually wag his tail. What will a goose do?
Paul Lynde: Make him bark.
I think they were totally fine with it actually, though maybe a bit surprised. I was more worried about exposure problems as most of the good areas to shoot in the building had backlight, and was not sure how the exposure system was going to handle that. It seemed to be good though.
There is a large amount of flare - a problem with the XA's optical design - it is a rather bizzare telephoto design. Also the lack of lens protection/projection just asks for fingerprints, dust and general smutz on the lens giving even more flare. In the shots shown some of the flare is quite objectionable and some does good duty by doing a 'pseudo shadow fill-in' task. With B&W film the flair would have looked a lot better as there wouldn't have been the problem of reduced color saturation.
Overexposed color negative film covers a multitude of exposure sins - it was definitely the best choice for the XA as metering is a bit of a hit-or-miss affair. I imagine the printer was 'digital' - Fuji or equivalent - as it seems to have done a good job of dynamic range compression.
You might want to consider inside bounce lighting or reflectors to equalize inside-to-outside lighting ratios and also to add some light to the shadow side of the side lit shots.
The framing seems a bit off, with a bias to cutting off the top of the subject.
Selective focus - well it's just not possible with this camera. A good SLR with an f1.4/f2.0 lens and a high top shutter speed would allow it.
The use of a tripod contributes a lot to the quality of the shots - OTOH, it limits the available view points. A table top tripod and a 'C' clamp with a ball head are useful things to have on hand, as is a step ladder - the sort found in kitchens with a bail on top is a good choice as you can clamp a ball head to the bail.
As an exercise, try re-shooting with an SLR and see what you think. Good equipment doesn't guarantee good pictures, but poor equipment can always make the results worse. A good craftsman never blames his tools: it is because he doesn't use poor tools.
The XA actually has really good metering - tested with slides, though backlighting is always tricky. Reflectors does sound like a good idea, I'll bring some next time! In addition, I'll try shooting with a SLR and 28mm and flash, or even just my Leica with 50mm and flash/spotmeter. I haven't used selective focus much in my photography, though it does sound like a nice new thing to try on the next shoot.
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i have seen some real digital crap,in uk music mags so your film shots are fine.
i have seen images of Henri Cartier-Bresson with his contax t, Araki Nobuyoshi and his minolta tc1 and terry richardson and his Yashica T4.
so small can be cool,if you are happy with this method have a second xa with some reversal in it or some grainy b&w.
you will then have your secure colour neg and you can get loosen up and get a bit more experimental.
or use your leica for neg colour and stick some astia or ilford hp5 in your xa.
it looks like your camera and you and the band worked well together.
to be honest, if you used a slr and metered & everything else
who knows, maybe they would have been a little bit better?
they certainly could have been much worse if you metered wrong,
and they wouldn't have been as spontaneous ...
is there a way to see what your camera metered at,
and use your little XA as your meter,
and shoot with your fixed lens leica or whatever you have ?
i hope the band is happy with the results!
yes, i do often use the XA as a light meter for the Leica camera. I also have a spotmeter, which had i been shooting with the leica, i would have brought. i didn't use the leica for two reasons, firstly, i felt that i didn't have enough room, and the 'look' of the photos would have been different, had i used a 50mm lens. secondly, the jupiter-8 lens that i have on it needs a CLA and focus adjustment. currently, i only use it outdoors at apertures over f5.6. i'll be giving them the photos in a day or two, and we'll see how it goes!
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Way to go, MarkoM. We all had faith in you. I know they will be very happy with the work.
Marko, considering your age, experience and your equipment, very well done.
Yep, the back light lever is a brilliant addition.
I like frame 12.