La Rosa dels Vents

50mm with polariser

A short set of colour digital images taken over the course of a week at Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, Barceloneta. This was an exercise in trying to shoot the same area using different lenses (focal lengths) and different formats (both micro 4/3 and full-frame). After shooting so much film of late it seemed sensible to revisit assumptions before going back to shoot digital for a while – in particular for shooting with polarising filters, which are difficult to use with a Leica M body because the rangefinder does not provide a through-the-lens view.

24mm equivalent


35mm with polariser


28mm with polariser



Conclusions? There are no bad cameras or lenses any more. Both the Olympus and Leica have relatively dated sensor designs, yet both yield excellent results, with the Olympus only slightly noisier than the full-frame rival. All the lenses gave excellent results, with the stand-out being the Olympus 12-40mm which is astonishingly sharp, even if rather slow.

Overall, the Olympus is quicker and easier to use when compared to the Leica M, especially when using live-view. On balance I got more images that I liked from the Leica setup, and I can not objectively identify why this is. It might simply be because the process of shooting with a manual focus rangefinder camera is more engaging, or it might simply be because it is still the case that a fast full-frame prime lens and corresponding sensor gives a more organic feel to the images than is possible from a smaller format camera without extensive post-processing.

In the end the only outcome was that I have chosen to add a small grip to the M10, improving the handling when using the EVF.

Categories: Photography

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    • Yes – see here, which compares some different options for using polarisers on a rangefinder camera. The main downside to the Universal Polariser is its size, particularly with the carrying case. If I am carrying an EVF (usually for use with wide-angle lenses) then it is easier and less bulky to carry a conventional polarising filter.

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