The fisheye and the book signing

SSara and the Pen FT, Precision Camera - Austin, Texas

Sara and the Pen FT, Precision Camera – Austin, Texas

Last Thursday, I went to Precision Camera for a double dose of photographic fun. The Olympus guys were in town with new gear and there was a reception for two book signings. I shot these whimsical images with the just introduced Olympus 8mm f1.8 fisheye lens.

I’ve never shot fisheye. These are my first ever attempts. The distortion you see is the signature of a fisheye lens. I don’t know if there are serious uses for these kind of lenses, but they are fun to play with. I’ve often shoot with wide-angles so my inclination was to get in close.

Mandy keeps the reception going, Precision Camera - Austin, Texas
Fisheye Fruit, Precision Camera - Austin, Texas
Gallery Space, Precision Camera - Austin, Texas

Precision Camera has really done an excellent job running these events. Much of that, I’m sure, is due to Mandy’s efforts. She does a lot more than open bottles of wine. She organizes these receptions as well as the extensive in-store training classes.

Precision is no longer just a camera store, they’ve become a resource of the entire Central Texas photographic community. I get to meet friends, of course, and I experience a reinvigoration of creativity, surrounded by works from great photographers. It’s like a mini art museum without the stodginess.

Eli Reed Signs his Book, Precision Camera - Austin, Texas
Eli and His Book, Precision Camera - Austin, Texas
Eli and David, Precision Camera - Austin, Texas

The works of two street photographers were on display and they both have new books. Magnum Photographer, Eli Reed, showcased his latest, A Long Walk Home. Sharing the stage, David Lykes Keenan with his Fair Witness which started life on Kickstarter.

I’ll get to play some more with the fisheye and the new 7-14mm super wide-angle — two lenses introduced just this week. Charles from Olympus is letting me use them for a couple of weeks. I’m not sure if I’m a fisheye person, though it’s fun to play with. I’m more interested in putting the 7-14mm through its paces.

Incidentally, the Olympus Pen FT Sara was shooting at the top of the post? It’s not some new super secret camera. It’s nearly 50 years old and shoots half frame 35mm — you get 72 shots per roll. It’s my latest camera which I’ll talk about in a future post. I’ve been writing a lot about the latest OM-D E-M5 Mark II, but I’m still shooting film.

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11 thoughts on “The fisheye and the book signing

  1. There’s some passion for photography there, I see. I love how Olympus is recognising its past in its current design. I was seduced away from big Canon boxes by the EM5, and I’m passionate about these sweet cameras – and lenses! – now.

    Good to see fun being had – isn’t that what it’s all about?

  2. Oddly enough, I received a cheap 35mm fisheye camera the other day in the mail. It’s not usually my style, but I can see it being useful as something fun to throw in the bag now and then. Some people actually correct the distortion in post.

    1. I heard that there’s software to “fix” the fisheye effect. The lens can be fun, I need to figure out good subjects for it.

  3. I remember the Olympus Pen FT. I had one “back in the day.” It was a very cool camera and took surprisingly good pictures. A little difficult to handle those tiny negatives in the darkroom, but you do everything digitally anyhow. I’ve been an Olympus fan for a LONG time. i didn’t think any of these cameras were still around and in working order. Good for you!

  4. I met Eli Reed on a Magnum course in Sydney. I see Sony have pried the Leica M out of his hands that was permanently attached the week I spent with him!

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