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Interview With Olympus' Fan Robin Whalley

Interview With Olympus' Fan Robin Whalley - Robin Whalley has switched all of his gear to shoot with Olympus products. We ask him why here.

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After attending an Olympus course with photographer Steve Gosling, landscape photographer Robin Whalley has decided to sell his old gear so he can make the switch to the Olympus brand. Now, selling all of your old gear isn't a decision a photographer makes in a hurry so we wanted to know what made Robin take the leap and how changing his photography gear will help him with his landscape photography. 

Wooden wall
Photo by Robin Whalley. 

As you are switching away from Canon, I'm guessing you enjoyed the day and the opportunity these types of courses give you to get hands-on with equipment is worth while?

"The course was an excellent opportunity to try out the OM-D. I actually booked it out of curiosity at the time rather than being ready to switch away from Canon. I already have 2 GX1 Micro Four Thirds cameras so wanted to compare the performance of the OM-D against these. I had actually read quite a bit of negative comment about the operation of the OM-D so didn't expect to love it as much as I did and never found it a problem.

The course was so well priced also; I think Olympus has hit on a great way to promote this camera to demanding enthusiasts and pros. It's not until you spend some time using a camera that you work out if it is really for you or not.

If anyone reading this is considering booking on one of the experience days then I would highly recommend it."

Did you find you had the chance to learn a lot from Steve?

"Steve's great and I have attended his courses before. I am a great believer in educating yourself from experts no matter how much you think you already know. Whilst Steve has a great knowledge of the OMD, I have to admit that I used the course as an opportunity to talk to him about photographic style and his approach to work."

How will switching cameras help you with your landscape work?

"The OM-D probably isn't what people think of as a landscape camera. The image quality is however exceptional and the Micro Four Thirds system has a distinct advantage over the Full Frame systems. The depth of field you can achieve with the Micro Four Thirds is super. I usually shoot at f/7.1 with a 14mm lens and providing I pick the point of focus well, I can achieve a full depth of field at this aperture. This is also one of the sharpest apertures for this lens and gives fast shutter speeds making hand holding very easy in most conditions. I recently produced some A2 prints of landscape images taken using Micro Four Thirds cameras and the detail, sharpness and feel of the image is quite astonishing. I would be quite happy printing these images much larger.

The other aspect of these cameras is that you become more mobile. Because they are so light you tend not to feel rooted to the spot and move around more. Without the camera attached to the tripod you become free to experiment more, hopefully producing more dynamic images. You also enjoy your photography a hell of a lot more."

Photo by Robin Whalley. 

Why are you such a big fan of the Micro Four Thirds system?

"The Micro Fourth Thirds format is the perfect small camera for my needs. It's small and light so I can carry it around without it becoming a burden. I took one together with 4 lenses on the Haute Route trek across the Alps last year and didn't notice the additional weight at all. The lighter equipment certainly allows you to manoeuvre better and capture images that would be very tricky with a traditional DSLR.

I also like how inconspicuous the camera is. Walking around a city in the UK or especially when travelling overseas, if you are carrying a traditional SLR you stand out as a bit of a target. People also seem to be more accepting of the smaller cameras and this has allowed me to take images where I might otherwise have been asked to move on."

What other Olympus kit do you own and what will be your next Olympus purchase?

"I don't have much actually. I have an old Olympus XE 35m film camera which is tiny and fits in your pocket. I don't know why but it's just nice to use so I keep it. I also have two lenses, a 45mm prime lens for the Micro Four Thirds which is incredibly sharp, great at resolving detail and virtually free from distortion. My other Olympus lens is an Olympus 9-18mm which is equivalent to 18-36mm on a full frame camera. This is a very compact lens (I can't believe how small it is) but it produces exceptional results. It's perfect for landscapes and unlike the Panasonic super wide will accept filters - pretty essential for landscape photography.

I have my eye on the Olympus 60mm Macro lens. I have read some very good reviews and a Macro Lens will complete my kit very nicely."

Visit Robin Whalley's website - www.lenscraft.co.uk - to see more of his work. 

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