Michael Rammell

Low-Light London with the Olympus OM-D E-M1

Gear, MicroFourThirds, PhotographyMichael Rammell2 Comments

Pretty much everything you see in my portfolio was taken in London. It's no secret that I love the place. The variety and quality of the food, the friendly local faces, the multicultural nature of the people you'll see. It's a modern city set against an historic backdrop. I've mentioned before that other cities such as Paris and New York are often favoured in place of London when it comes to photographic qualities, but if you ask me I'll champion London any day of the week as one of the greatest photographers playgrounds going.

I live on the outskirts of London and go for a walkabout with the camera at least once or twice a week. Suffice to say I know the place pretty well. In the last 5 years I've seen it change as much as it has in the last 15. The gentrification is rapid, but unlike many cities much of the redevelopment is being done with respect for what was there before and with thought to history as well. London truly is unique. And even more so at night!

With it being so dark recently I have been more inclined to head home as soon as the light starts to fade, but I recently took receipt of my new Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the excitement of a new camera has made me go out and seek light among the shadows. So, today I want to share some photographs from London at night.

Almost all of the shots in this series see me pushing the E-M1 to the heights of what it can do in terms of high ISO. Fortunately for us Olympus shooters we've also got the outstanding in-built 5-axis stabilisation in our OM-D cameras, meaning we're able to shoot hand held at speeds lower than in cameras without this feature. You'll notice some of these are down at 1/15th of a second!

All of the images below were shot with either the Olympus OM-D E-M5 or the E-M1. It is worth noting though that anything the E-M5 is capable of, the E-M1 is simply better! I've only had the E-M1 for a week now, but I will be doing a review of it in due course. 

The lenses used were either the Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 or the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40mm f/2.8. Owing to the x2 crop factor that makes these lenses a 34mm, 50mm and 24-80mm respectively.

If you're the slideshow type then skip to the bottom for the slideshow. If you'd prefer to see the EXIF for each shot just scroll down and view each image.

Note: I'm a huge fan of black and white photographs and this is the reason you'll see many of the photographs in this series in mono. I find that the OM-D's render black and white's beautifully, and furthermore the Olympus RAW files can really be pushed in Lightroom to produce some stunning, contrasty monochrome photographs...but more on that in my upcoming E-M1 review :)

Enjoy!


Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 3200 | Aperture: f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/50 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 5000 | Aperture: f/3.5 | Shutter Speed: 1/1000 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 5000 | Aperture: f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/200 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 5000 | Aperture:f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/320 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 5000 | Aperture: f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/2000

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 5000 | Aperture: f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/200

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 3200 | Aperture: f/10 | Shutter Speed: 1/13 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/100

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/160 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/100

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/60 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 28mm
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/80

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 15mm
ISO: 1250 | Aperture:f/4.0 | Shutter Speed: 1/20

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 12mm
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/125

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 40mm
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/125

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 40mm
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/160

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 24mm
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/80

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 40mm
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/50

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 12mm
ISO: 3200 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/50

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 21mm
ISO: 4000 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/60

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 60mm
ISO: 4000 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/60

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 18mm
ISO: 4000 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/60

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 12mm
ISO: 4000 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/100

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 12-40 f/2.8 @ 27mm
ISO: 4000 | Aperture:f/2.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/100

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 @ 25mm (50mm)
ISO: 4000 | Aperture:f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/60

Olympus OM-D E-M1 & Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 @ 25mm (50mm)
ISO: 4000 | Aperture:f/2.2 | Shutter Speed: 1/15

Conclusion

My conclusion is relatively simple: I'm very impressed!

Some of the photographs do contain a fair amount of digital noise (grain, if you prefer) but unlike the files I used to get out of my old Canon DSLR the noise isn't unpleasant. It's actually quite atmospheric in many of the photographs. So much so that I've actually opted to not use any noise reduction and leave the noise as it is! Others I've added a touch of Noise Reduction in Lightroom, but my personal rule is to never take the slider higher than 20. I love sharp images and noise reduction is the enemy of sharpness. Having said that, as I also eluded to in my own review of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 last year - the 

Slideshow

If you're more the slideshow sort, just click on any of the images in the grid below to view in a lightbox and then use your arrow keys (or swipe) to navigate to through the images).

Enjoy!




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