A quick test of Nik Color Efex 3

Recently, I’ve been searching for a way to give my pictures a Kodachrome 64 look, without much success. I tried different Lightroom presets, but they didn’t bring me the results I had hoped for. So I decided to give Nik Color Efex a try … and so far — apart from running awfully slow for no obvious reason — the results look promising. Here’s just a quick conversion of a picture I took during our winter holidays, just to demonstrate what Color Efex can do.

Leica M8 + Nokton 50/1.5 @ f/2, 1/750 sec, ISO 160

P.S.: I had also tried DxO Film Pack, with equally good results. Both softwares have the limit that they cannot work with DNG files, so you have to do some preliminary processing any way. If I can’t fix the speed issue with Color Efex, I may give DxO another shot …

PAD-Project: Week #4, Picture #1

As I have recently received a new lens, the Zeiss Planar T* 2/50 ZM, it’s pretty obvious that it’s going to be my PAD lens for this week.

Today’s PAD was shot on our way to do some grocery shopping. It had been raining continuously since yesterday, and luckily Emil insisted on putting on his rubber boots — otherwise this picture wouldn’t have been possible! :-)

PAD #22 | "Splash!" | Leica M8 + Planar 50/2 @ f/2, 1/1000 sec, ISO 160

PAD-Project: Week #2, Picture #6

Ah, today was not a day for photography. It was overcast, chilly and windy. No weather to go for a walk, or to the playground, or do anything outside for that matter. Also, overcast meant no light to work with. Just dreary grey. So I didn’t really take any interesting pictures today, just some meaningless (well, for most of you, anyways) family snaps.
This one was taken when Emil and I returned from shopping. He was being naggy, but when I made faces for him, his nagging mixed with laughing, and this is what it looked like:

PAD #13 | "Conflicting moods" | Leica M8 + Biogon 28/2.8 @ f/2.8, 1/45 sec, ISO 160

Oh, and: This little 28 Biogon is fantastic! I haven’t had this much fun with a lens since … I think since I bought the little 20/1.7 pancake for my E-P1. Seriously! And I’m happy to note that speed hasn’t been an issue so far :-)

Zeiss Biogon 28/2.8 ZM first impressions

Today, I received my new Carl Zeiss Biogon T* 28/2.8 ZM, which I decided to get after I realised how much I liked the ZM line’s rendering on the M8. So I sold my 28/1.9 Ultron, which I had only bought a couple months ago, but with which I never really got friends completely.

After pickung up the Biogon from the post office, I put in on my M8 immediately and started taking a couple of test frames. Initially, I was a bit disappointed as the colour rendering was not how I remembered it from my 35/2 Biogon, but then I realised that was because the UV/IR filter was lacking and it was harsh mid-day light … So when I got back home, I attached the 46mm filter I still had from the Ultron and — there it was, the famous Zeiss rendering with bold colours, strong contrast and the so-called “3D-pop”.

Granted, a 28mm f/2.8 lens has a considerably larger depth-of-field than a 35mm f/2 lens, thus exhibiting less background blurring and less subject separation. Still, the 28 Biogon shows the same rendering as the other lenses in the Zeiss ZM lineup — to a certain degree.

To illustrate what I am talking about, here are two frames I snapped this afternoon before heading off to work:

Leica M8 + Biogon 28/2.8 @ f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO 160

Leica M8 + Biogon 28/2.8 @ f/2.8, 1/45 sec, ISO 160

So far, I am very pleased with how this lens renders, and it’s exactly the same way (albeit with a shorter focal length and slower aperture) as my old 35/2 Biogon which, in retrospective, I loved very much. We’ll see how I get along with the one stop slower aperture compared to the 28/1.9 Ultron, but I think the gain in image quality more than makes good for the lack of speed.

A day out

Yesterday, we took advantage of the nice (well, nicer) weather (it’s slowly getting warmer) and went for a little trip. Here are some impressions of that day.

"Ice cream" | Leica M8 + Nokton 50/1.5 @ f/1.5, 1/90 sec, ISO 160

Continue reading A day out