Friday 25 October 2013. Laman Street, Newcastle Revitalised.
I am very fortunate living in the beautiful coastal city of Newcastle, located north of Sydney. However, one thing is for sure things can happen slowly and the revitalisation of Laman Street in Newcastle’s Civic precinct is no exception.
Following a frustrating debate that ran over 2 years in Newcastle, the revitalisation of Laman Street is now complete. The removal of fig trees aligning Laman Street was the subject of angry and somewhat hostile protests before sense prevailed and the 14 fig trees deemed to be dangerous were cut down.
Last Month I was in Laman Street for the opening of the $2.2 million street revitalisation with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 that gives a single focal length of 34mm. (Olympus micro 4/3 system has equivalent focal length factor of 2 due to the smaller sensor size, thus 17mm x 2 = 34mm, close to the classic 35mm focal length).
The street now has a newly paved open pedestrian area with 12 newly planted figs. It is worthy of the Civic Precinct providing a great mall or open pedestrian area that could easily become a Civic gathering point for Newcastle. In my opinion it is a very fitting entrance to Newcastle Art Gallery and Library.
Let’s see some photos of my outing.
I love the OM-D for this type of shooting as its quick auto focus ability does not miss to many if any shots at all (I always utilise single-AF & rarely use continuous AF). At the opening there were professionals capturing the event for the local news with their bulky DSLR’s and lenses that would scream attention. However, OMD performance in IQ and focusing in such a small package does not warrant a large DSLR in my opinion. Then again I don’t get paid and they do so who is laughing?
The Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 lens has been very popular amongst street shooters and enthusiasts abroad as it is wide enough to fit in the environmental surrounding of the subject and still maintains decent distortion control. I find if you go wider than 28mm then perspective and barrel distortion can be introduced if not careful. This is a risk in any street or portraiture styles of photography.
In the past I have been known to take 100’s of shots at such events. However, with the OMD I have been concentrating on taking less images (only taking about 20 in this outing) preferring to think of the composition and effects prior to pressing the shutter. I am able to do this as the Contrast Detect Auto Focus with the fast lens leaves no hit and miss issues and my confidence allows a single shot rather than multiple shots of a similar subject.
If I were to use the Continuous Auto Focus on the OMD this would be an entirely different story as its performance in that area is less than average due to there being no phase detection. Therefore, the EM5 will not meet needs if your subjects require C-AF.
I am not a camera reviewer but I do like talking about cameras. If I could get a hold of a variety then I would be in heaven and happily share my thoughts. For now I am happy to share the story, my gear and shutter desires.