A dusted off E-1 used to photograph a Hall and a Castle

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by grebeman, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    I dusted off my old Olympus E-1 and used it today to photograph some steam engines working the mainline between Bristol and Plymouth and back

    The cows running up the hill were the first sign of the approaching train, then the plumes of steam. This is the down run approaching the bottom of Dainton Bank between Newton Abbot and Totnes, a section of which is a 1 in 45 incline made more tricky by the curves.

    Hall class locomotive 4965 Rood Ashton Hall pilots Castle class 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe

    Shortly after leaving Plymouth on the return trip the engines face the 2.5 mile incline of Hemerdon Bank, a steady climb at 1 in 42. Steam engines pulling more than 9 carriages needed to be doubled up to tackle these south Devon banks, the leading engine being known as the pilot. Such doubling was only required between Plymouth and Newton Abbot, in both directions, a very challenging and undulating stretch of line

    Pilot locomotive Rood Ashton Hall reaching the top of Hemerdon Bank, both locomotives have their safety valves feathering (just lifting) indicating a full head of steam on this 14 carriage train

    Photographs 1 and 3 were processed using Photo Ninja (which I don't think has a colour profile for the E-1), 2 and 4 using Aftershot Pro. Photo Ninja does a better job of bringing out detail in areas such as the sky and the lack of a proper colour profile matters not when converted to black and white.

    I was using shutter priority which I don't normally use and set a high shutter speed to suit the subject, but with rather poor light the photographs suffer somewhat from limited depth of field.

  2. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    I processed these photographs late yesterday evening and I have to admit that I was not happy with the results. I have received a pm that suggests the writer thought these images fell short of my usual contributions, and I have to agree with those sentiments. Having not taken any photographs in the last month I was keen to take something and make a contribution to this site. I've been under some pressure in respect of trying to sell my house and have ended up with a buyer who is the nit picker supreme and I am just about reaching the end of my tether, the time is fast approaching when they'll be told to get on their pony and ride off into the sunset.

    However, I digress. In the cold light of day I've analysed what went wrong. I decided to try the E-1 with it's optical viewfinder offering a better proposition of following a fast moving subject rather than an evf with it's relatively (in relation to the subject) slow refreshing of the viewfinder. So far so good. I normally shoot in aperture priority but again thought I'd be clever and shot a moving subject in shutter priority. That was my undoing. There were periods of sunshine during the day, but also some overcast times, and in particular the last two shots where it was all but raining from a very dark cloud overhead. So despite freezing the subject, the exif data shows that the actual lens f stop was a paltry f/2.8, in otherwords wide open. That has had a severe and detrimental effect on image quality.

    Hopefully a salutary lesson learned, pay full attention and try and free your mind of outside distractions, which I obviously failed to do.

    Don't judge the ageing E-1 by these poor contributions.

  3. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    Barrie, what lens was attached for these shots.
  4. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    A Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX Macro


    PS. I've just looked at DOF for the sort of focal lengths in use and it should have been adequate for the task, so I guess it's down to the image quality of the lens
  5. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    I'm Happy to use the Olympus 14-54 wide open. I cant comment on the sigma. Seems you just had a bad day Barrie.
    Like mine today. 110 mile round trip to St Bees to walk the dogs on the beach. The best shot, imo. Was on the phone !
    Conditions were not good. Left the V1 in the car & used the E1
  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    From my own experience with a Sigma 18-50 f2.8 on a Canon, wide open is not where you want to be.I think that f/4 was my normal limit.
  7. Barrie, I do hope things work out re your house. Selling is such a pain, and the buyers *always* try to do you out of a fair price, IME. Thats what the nit-picking is all about. They then think they are doing you a favour by offering to take it off your hands for some paltry sum. Don't let them!! Good luck with it :)
  8. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Thanks Sue, I'm not forced to move, and I would like my quiet little life back, another push or two will be at least one too many :smile:

  9. Trust me, I know *exactly* how you feel, and should have paid attention to my own advice some 11 years ago, when I sold the little house I *should* be living in, to buy this one, which I have never felt "at home" in. I believe its important to be where you are comfortable... and Barrie, if thats the house thats on the market right now? Take it OFF at once!
  10. Sweet train shots!