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Photo-taking Details

First created 15 Sep 2002.

Photos taken from Mar 2002 to Sep 2002.


Equipment

Camera: Olympus mju-II

Lens: 35mm f/2.8

Film: Fuji Superia 400.

Scanner: Minolta Scan Elite II. The scanner crops off 0.1 to 0.5 mm on all sides. Otherwise the images are full-frame.

Technique

Since the Olympus mju-II is a point-and-shoot camera, there really isn't much thing to do except to press the shutter release. In fact, many times I didn't even focus or compose. It's a wide angle, come on. Make a guess how many of these photos are such? You will be surprised.

The mju-II is small and suitable for stealth photography. Since it uses a wide area AF sensor, the camera will not miss the nearest subject. This allows me to shoot blind confidently. In addition, it is relatively silent and has a low shutter lag -- the time between you press the button and the shutter actually click.

Also, I am able to handhold it at much lower shutter speed than a SLR. The shot is not exactly sharp, but it's still acceptable at 4R (4x6").

I find three drawbacks with this camera. One, there is no manual exposure control. In low light, with flash off, it might choose an extremely low shutter speed. This means I need to lock focus (and thus exposure). This restricts blind shooting. Two, it does not remember the flash is set to off. I forgot at times and drew much attention to myself. Three, it has a problem focusing through glass.

In terms of results, the mju-II is visibly near-SLR class. My previous P&S, the Yashica T5, is on-par. When I meant SLR-class, I don't mean the 28-80/3.5- 5.6 kind of standard; I mean the 50/1.4 kind of standard.

Overall, I like the mju-II very much. I find it much easier to use than the T5. I get much more consistent results with the mju-II with my style of shooting -- shooting blind.

This Series

To prepare for this series, I shortlisted all the "good" photos. I scanned in 225 photos. This is 32.9% of the total (19 rolls = 684 photos). This is way too many photos to present. I trim it further down to 103 photos (or 15.1%).

This does not mean the unposted photos are inferior. Some -- many? -- are just as good. Unfortunately, a cut must be done somewhere.

Due to space limitation, I split the series into 3 parts and placed them on different hosts. This has a nice effect of reducing total downtime, in case one server is down.

Scanning

The settings on raw scan are, The settings on normal scan are,

Photoshop

Thumbnail image is set at 185 x 123 pixels.

Saved as jpeg. Jpeg parameters are; baseline optimised; quality 7.

Normal image is set at 755 x 503 pixels.
Sharpen using unsharp filter; unsharp parameters are; amount 85%, radius 1.5 pixels, threshold 5.

Saved as jpeg. Jpeg parameters are; baseline optimised; quality 9.


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