love your face: Danny + Olympus PEN In-Studio

November 14 2011, 0 Comments

this week on Love Your Face, close friend and beard growing extraordinaire Danny. find more at

i’ve also been playing around with my Olympus PEN E-P2 and decided to see how well it’ll hold up in-studio. more after the jump. warning, it gets pretty camera geeky.

since this project is shot 100% on film, i usually use my Nikon D3 to take a few test shots to make sure that the exposure is correct and that the back light is illuminating properly. this time with Danny, i decided to see how my Olympus E-P2 holds up in the studio. i picked up a m4/3 to Nikon adapter earlier this year and hadn’t really used it. for portraiture, i mounted a Nikon 85mm f/1.4 and put a Pocketwizard on top to trigger my strobes. i quickly discovered the first difficulty using a Pen with an adapter and studio lights; the display shows the dialed in exposure -1/200, f/4.5, ISO 100- which results in a pretty dark screen. focusing proved to be a bit tricky as well, both because the screen was dark and because the Pocketwizard was in the place where the viewfinder would normally be. i soon figured out that i would have to open the aperture in order to focus and then stop-down just before shooting.

Olympus Pen E-P2 with a Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lens

the images coming off of the Pen and the 85mm are relatively sharp. i was quite surprised at the quality of image. the major difference between shooting the small m4/3 sensor and the larger 6×7 film format is depth of field. at f/4.5 the m4/3 sensor kept almost everything in focus, even with an 85mm lens (which converts to 170mm on a m4/3 sensor). on the 6×7 format, f/4.5 barely keeps Danny’s eyes in focus. 6×7 definitely provides more of the “3D” effect. though i can see in certain circumstances how a larger depth of field would come in handy especially when you don’t have to use as much light. the color is also completely different, though that’s more the character of the film versus a digital file.

Mamiya RZ67 vs Olympus Pen E-P2

i’m not too sure how much i’ll realistically use the Pen in studio. though, it’s good to know that with some adjustments in workflow the camera could adapt well to a studio environment. for now i think i’ll stick to street shooting and other fun stuff.

Left: Olympus Pen E-P2 | Right: Mamiya RZ67

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