This is (alas!) not food. Food will definitely make its return to this here cooking blog. But in the meantime, I spent yesterday afternoon at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with a new (to me) camera lens — an Olympus 12mm f/2.0 — and I thought I’d share a few pictures.
I bought the lens for another project, and I haven’t really had time to use it very much for the past couple of weeks. So the museum — with its well-illuminated interiors and well-considered design — seemed like a perfect opportunity. And the Olympus 12mm didn’t disappoint.
I can’t speak to its objective sharpness. It seems more than good enough for me. And if you want it, you can find technical information about the lens here and here. But I can say that it has good contrast (essential for folks like me who like the black and white), little distortion (thanks to in-camera processing), and a nice wide perspective that gives you deep focus even when the aperture is almost wide open.
Usually, my favorite thing to do with wide angle lenses is get up close to things (or people) to make the most of the perspective-enhancing effect that near-infinite depth of field offers. But that wasn’t what happened here. The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s galleries, and the flow of people, struck me as particularly beautiful yesterday. And most of my favorite photos of the set ended up being little more than an exploration of them.
The photos are in black and white. And I have done some work on their tone curves. But they should maybe give you a sense of the Olympus 12mm in everyday use. And if you don’t care about that — as I suspect most of you don’t — they should also give you a sense of the stunning space that is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I’m lucky to live so close to such a cool museum. And if you have not visited, I hope these will convince you that you should.
As always, these photos are best viewed large. So click for bigger versions.