In the Studio with the Olympus EM-10 Mark I

Today’s post by Joe Farace

As Olympus prepares to launch the rumored Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark III, photographers come face-t0-face with a perpetual dilemma: To upgrade or not upgrade? The big question (and one I’ve asked here before) will the new camera improve your photography? Probably not, although it’s a pretty good chance that the low light performance of the Mark II and forthcoming Mark III will be noticeably better. But in the meantime, here’s another question I’ve asked myself: Does the OM-D EM-10 Mark I work and let me create images? I think the answer is obvious.

I’m still happily shooting my Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark I in the studio and recently had the opportunity while doing a boudoir photography shoot with a new model and make-up artist. During the shoot, I came to appreciate two accessories that made the shoot more pleasant:

The first is Olympus’ ECG-1 Grip for the Mark I. The Mark II uses the ECG-3, which is naturally not compatible with the Mark I. The ECG-1 is a right-handed, removable, non-battery grip that offers a more secure hold and is especially useful for shooters with average-sized or larger hands—the EM-10 feels tiny to me. The grip’s base runs along the bottom of the camera and attaches to its threaded tripod mount. A single press of the lever on the bottom of the grip makes it possible to remove it for easy replacement of batteries and memory cards. Tip: I’m a big fan of battery grips.

The second is the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens. With an equivalent focal length of 90mm, this short telephoto lens is ideal for portraits and for low-light shooting. Its extremely wide f/1.8 maximum aperture can produce beautifully shallow depth of field and is very effective in low-light situations. The lens’ construction uses two extra-high refractive lenses producing excellent contrast and sharpness in stills, with minimal chromatic aberration, ghosting and flare. Tip 2: Get a lens hood. An Olympus lens hood costs $45 but I found a generic lens hood on eBay for$10. It’s not as nicely made as Olympus’ so I’ll keep my eyes open for a used one but this cheapie  work in the short run. Mounting the 45mm f/1.8 lens on an EM-10 with it’s comfortable grip, I was ready to go into the studio producing the image you see above. Exposure was 1/125 sec at f/10 and ISO 400.Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.04.28 AM

My book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography and includes information on all of the cameras and lenses used as well as the complete exposure data for each photograph. It is available from Amazon, where used copies are available for less than $14.