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Gimp Tutorial – Using Textures

A tutorial on using textures in Gimp.
What do we need :
Well, a Texture to start with, and preferably more than one.
There will be another tutorial soon about textures and how to make them.
What you should know is that the photo you are going to use as a texture, unless it has a completely even structure over the entire photo, is best to be a bit larger than your target photo.
That way you can move the texture so that it blends better with the target photo.
It may sound complicated, but it all becomes clear later on.
I zipped three textures and the original “Red Planet” target photo, of which two are textures that I used in the tutorial, you can download them if you want via this Google Drive link : Textures-Gimp-Tutorial, the download is 73mb.
The original target photo is reduced and copyrighted, but is just for practice anyway – the textures are as used in my own original.

You also need Gimp, you can use Gimp in Windows, MacOS and Linux.
Of course you can also do it in another photo editing program such as Photoshop, the controls are almost identical.

To start with : a video – then afterwards : everything in more detail and photos.
The video lasts just over 6 minutes – everything may not run as smoothly as it does on your computer.
That’s because I still do my photo editing and videos on a vintage Dell Studio 1749 from the year 2010 !
It is gradually becoming a museum piece, like its owner 🙂
However, it does give you an idea of how simple and how fast it can be on a more modern computer.

For the people who don’t know Jarvis yet,
Jarvis is an electronic voice created on my computer.
The idea was to have a voice similar to the voice of the eponymous and also artificially intelligent butler in the movie Iron Man.
Hence the joke about ironing 🙂
The whole purpose of an English language site was simply to reach a wider audience,
And Jarvis does a better job than I could do myself.

I hope the video was clear, my computer isn’t the fastest, and additionally loaded with a screen capture program doesn’t make it any better.
Anyway, below you can follow the steps again in text and photo, first the basic steps, then a few extra tips.

Click photos to view a bigger version.

In the video I start with opening Gimp. In a normal workflow you could choose a target photo straight out of your viewer, photo management software or file explorer, and send it straight to Gimp. For Windows and Linux systems right click and “send to” or “open with” and choose Gimp from te pop up list. I’am not sure it works the same way in MacOS. In Photoshop you could do this also from Adobe Bridge.

After opening the target photo,
also open a Texture photo.
There will be a separate tutorial about Texture photos and making them later.
For now you can use the Textures from the zip file that you can download above.
The new texture photo now appears as a tab next to the target photo.
Make sure the “Move Tool” is active on the left side (cross like icon). Left click on the texture photo in the tab, and hold the mouse button.
Move the texture photo on top of the target picture photo tab. Keep holding the mouse button.

The target photo will become active in the main screen.
Drag the texture photo down into the target photo on screen and then release the mouse button.
The texture photo will now cover the target photo.
On the right side in the layers module, in the mode box, click on the arrow next to “normal”.
Choose from the drop down list for “overlay”, the texture photo will now merge with the target photo.

In the same layer module on the right, click on “opacity” and adjust the value to your liking.
Everything can be adjusted even more afterwards, so adjust the setting so that the merge looks nice.
Still in the layer module, make sure the texture layer is selected, then adjust the position of the texture layer on the screen.
If you notice that the layer is too small for the target photo, right click on the texture layer, choose “layer” then “scale layer”.

In the example I am adjusting the layer from 7296px wide to 10,000px wide, very roughly one third larger.
After adjusting the size, move the layer in position

If you want to add the same layer again, click again at the top, on the photo layer tab, hold mouse button, slide to the left over the target photo until the target photo gets active on screen below, drag the texture layer onto the screen and release the mouse button.
Again in the layer module on the right, click in mode on the arrow next to “normal” and change to “overlay”.
Make sure the second layer is selected and slide it to the desired position. If necessary, adjust opacity to taste.

Adding a completely new layer is a repeat of the previous steps from the start – open texture layer – drag to target photo – drag to screen – layer mode to overlay – position and opacity adjustment.

When you are about satisfied with the added layers, it is only a matter of aligning the texture layers properly, refining the opacity and experimenting with the layer modes.
My advice is : if you use more than one layer, don’t mix to much layer modes, for example :
in our photo project above there are three texture layers active, leave two layers in “overlay” mode, adjust a third to another mode.
The modes I can recommend are : lighten, darken, dodge and burn,
overlay, hard light and grain merge.
It’s a bit searching for what you like the most, and everyone’s taste is different.

Gimp is fully equipped to complete your project, so you don’t need an external program to finish it.
At the top of Gimp, in the Colors, Tools & Filters tabs, you will find almost every tool you could wish for.

Above we have a nearly finished photo.
If you are not yet completely satisfied with the result, or you do not have time to finish it further, or if you want to make different edits later,
then click in Gimp at the top left on “File” – “Save As” and save it as a .xcf project file, everything will be kept as it is, and you can continue working on it later.
When finished : click on “File” – “Export As” and save as a .jpg or file of your choice.

You will notice that my Texture Layers are blurry due to movement and unsharp, that was done on purpose. Sharply photographed textures also come through very hard and sharp when blended into the target photo, quickly creating a busy image and/or actually losing focus in the main subject.

More about creating Layers in a later writing.

Have fun playing with Gimp !

Visit my gallery to see my final result, there are some other examples in there to, so be sure to check it out, if only for inspiration.

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.


New Recipe Update – Vision Obscura – Kodak Vision3 250D Film Recipe

A Recipe based on VISION3 250D Color Negative Film 5207/7207 – “For filmmakers who aspire to capture the world as only they see it” – info courtesy of

Before using this recipe, be sure to check out the photos taken on the real film product.
On the Obscura Recipes website you can find the recommendations on which camera to use these Recipes,
but as I’ve said before,
don’t let that stop you because you have an older Fujifilm camera.
Use the settings you can use, and then try fine tuning to get closer to your own Kodak VISION3 250D Recipe.
Use the original photos to compare and to resemble the colors from your camera.

Examples of what this looks like on “real film” here below :

Official Kodak Motion Picture Film :

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

New Lut Update – PictureFX Leica Barnack – based on Leica type II & III 35mm film camera

Nicca 3-F and Zorki 1C Export Edition

Leica, the camera brand that captures the imagination of many, but who can afford it – or rather, who wants to spend that much money on it. Well, frankly, paying almost €1000 or more for a Leica II or III with a lens and that age ? even if it’s a “Leica”, no thanks ! But that’s not to say you can’t try out a “fake Leica”. They give you the same look and feel, and almost, not to say identical results, at a quarter or less of the price of the real one. And there are many : Leotax, Tower, Fed, Zorki, Nicca, …, I went for the Zorki 1c export edition and a Nicca 3-F . Both are almost identical copies, of which the Nicca probably comes closest to the original in terms of quality and appearance. The Zorki I bought in the Ukraine, the Nicca in Japan via eBay. I have shot many photos with it. Some were developed in a lab, other in Tetenal Neofin and again other in Caffenol. I based my new Lut on those photos.

But maybe not everyone knows who Barnack is ? Well, in a nutshell : Oskar Barnack is the inventor and maker of the first Leica, called Leica type I or the Ur Leica. Type II was the first real Leica rangefinder, but the camera was otherwise the same as type I. Later versions were further improvements on the first model. Film had to be inserted from below, the film had to be cut in a special way. More about Leica and Barnack can be found here.

De Lut then, PictureFX Leica Barnack, intent was to give a look and feel as can be found on many old photographs from the past and on the negatives that I have made myself. De Lut takes the first step for this. You can apply the Lut to B&W or color – jpg or Raw. On black and white you have a little more control over the color grading and opacity. Furthermore, you can add grain or noise and possibly vignetting. Add everything to taste and insight. Photos made with a real or fake Barnack are not perfect, light metering was done with an external light meter or with the “sunny 16 rule“, so you don’t go for Pixel Perfect ! More tips and downloads to get the Leica Barnack look, as well as the Lut can be found below.

The Horse – E-M5MarkII LUMIX G VARIO 100-300/F4.0-5.6II
Rural Fence – E-M5 MKII LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8

PictureFX Leica Barnack

Download on FreshLUTs – Cube format

compatibility with different software packages,
of which :
Adobe Photoshop CS6 and up
After Effects – Premiere Pro – Speedgrade
DaVince Resolve
Affinity Photo
Luminar AI
RawTherapee (via converter below)
and many more …

RawTherapee Users !

No, we will not leave you in the cold, the .cube can be converted back to a HaldCLUT or .png on this site : Vertopal free online converter

The Lut that you can download on FresLuts is a 25x25x25 .cube 3DLut. On request I can make a 64x64x64 .cube 3DLut or 125×125 PNG or 512×512 PNG HaldCLUT available.
Just send a message here.

Add Film Grain Textures :

More on improving :

PictureFX (Fuji)film Simulation Workshop – Improving the Analog Film Look

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

New Fujifilm Recipe Update – Piotr Skrzypek – Pro400H and many other

More recipes from Piotr Skrzypek :

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

Vintage Porst Tele MC 135mm f1.8 M42 on Micro4/3 – Review

Before I continue with the review, I would like to say this: an 135mm prime lens was a widely used and interesting lens that could be used for various purposes, such as portrait, still life and even landscape. But then we are talking about 35mm film or Full Frame. Using an 135mm lens on an APS-C camera with crop factor 1.5 or on M4/3 with crop factor 2 is something completely different. In the former case it becomes an equivalent of a 200mm lens, in the latter it is 270mm. The angle of view of a prime lens of 200mm or 270mm is much more limited to use, for me personally I find it too strong for portraits and the like, and just too short for birding or animal photography.

Much more interesting and easy to find is a standard lens of the past, like a 50mm to 55mm – respectively on APS-C from 75 to 82.5mm, and M4/3 from 100 to 110mm. Also in this category, a light-sensitive lens of f1.8 & f1.4 is a lot cheaper.

But now the Porst 135mm f1.8 :

First go to my Gallery and view the photo results I made with the Porst 135mm, click here or click on the picture below :

First a series of pictures of a mushroom, taken with an aperture starting from f1.8 all the way up to f16, the aperture values are written with the pictures.
Then I took some comparative photos,
one at f1.8 and one at f4.0.
The reason for this is simple, and also why I bought this lens in the first place.
If you want to buy this lens, or one of the many other brand names under which it is made, you are doing it for the light sensitivity of this lens, isn’t it?
Because why else would you buy a lens that weighs 814gr and has a diameter of 85mm and 90mm long?
Seriously, this lens is big and heavy !
It looks well on my E-M1 in terms of view, but the weight completely throws the whole thing out of balance.
And this aside, this lens is very expensive ! Count on a minimum of €300 up to €500 to €600.

Lens specifications:
Build quality is solid and well finished.
Smooth working focus ring, this regardless of any other review on this, it just depends on the copy you have, as it always does with old lenses.
Good clicking aperture
Filter 82mm
Weight 814gr.

Ok, about the lens results then.
This lens is light sensitive, and I’ve used it in sunny conditions, and that didn’t work out well – makes sense.
But it did give me the opportunity to see how well you could focus it, and that doesn’t work very well, especially at f1.8.
I noticed that I kept turning the focus ring up and down, and still couldn’t find focus.

If you think you have focus, then I think the result is sad.
It seems as if the photos are a little over exposed, or there is some sort of haze over them, but from f2.8 that disappears.
The lens has a severe lack of contrast at f1.8, and photos definitely needs editing.
From f2.8 everything gets better, and from f4.0 she reacts like any other 135mm.
I also took some shots where there was less light, and then the results in terms of the blur and contrast are better, but they still look a bit out of focus – others say “dreamy”.

Well, and that’s where it stops,
if you’re looking for a lens with bokeh or a dreamy effect, it does, but don’t expect sharp photos.
From f2.8 – f4.0 she gives nicer results, but then why use a lens of 814gr ?
As a portrait lens on APS-C or M4/3 – way too powerful ! unless of course you like to do portrait photography with heavy 200mm equivalent lenses 🙂
You will find nice pictures on the internet, but I strongly doubt they were taken wide open at f1.8.
If you’re only doing it for her photosensitivity, don’t buy!
You can better buy any other vintage 135mm f2.8,
at a fraction of the price, size and weight.

Other sites about the Porst 135mm f1.8 :

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

A Script to solve a Workflow Problem

I have a problem in my photo workflow for quite some time, and finally I created a solution in the form of a script I wrote.
Maybe you have a similar problem, and you also work with Linux, then I may have a possible solution below.

However, even if you are a Windows user, scripts are still useful, and who doesn’t know the old DOS box.
You need basic computer knowledge, but you don’t need to be a programmer to use scripts.
And whether for Linux or Windows, Google is your best friend !
Just type your OS system, type in what you want to do, command line or terminal/console – you’ll be surprised how much you can still find about the old Dos or Shell Scripts.

The problem is as follows : I always shoot jpg + raw.
When I go through my photos on my computer the first time, my photo viewer is slow because it also has to open the raws, so I put all raws immediately after download in a folder that I create named “RAW”.
Then I view and clean up the jpgs almost immediately after – so all less good and bad jpgs are removed.
However, I still have all raws in my “RAW” folder,
both good and bad.
In the main folder I also create another subfolder named “EDIT”,
in this I put an edited jpg copy of my very best photos that I want to publish at some point, this copy can be an edit of a sooc jpg or raw, but in most cases only resized for web – the file name remains unchanged – only extra edits of the same jpg get renamed.

Now, what I want is : I want to keep all good to best jpgs,
and only from the very best (jpg or raw) of which I have edited and placed a jpg in the “EDIT” folder,
of that I want to keep the raw file,
all other raws will be removed.

Situation, description and solution :

First step – I copy all my photos from SD card to my computer with Rapid Photo Downloader – RPD creates a folder with file name “year month date”, and copies all files (jpg +raw) into this folder.

Step two – I create a subfolder from the start in that new folder “y m d” called “RAW” in which I place all raws – now my viewer has no problems anymore !
While viewing I delete all bad jpgs from the main folder.
I also create a second folder named “EDIT”,
in this folder I create a jpg copy of my very best jpgs or raws, that I want to publish at some point.

Step three – After fully processing a photo folder I would like to delete all raws – except ! all raws of which have been in an edit, or of which a jpg is in the “EDIT” folder, I want to keep !

For this I start a script which I named “RawCopier”.
It will first look in the “Edit” folder, remember all the file names of the jpgs that can be found there.
Then it will search for the same filename in the “RAW” folder with the Olympus .orf extension.
Then the script copies these files to the “EDIT” folder for when I later want to create another version and need the raw from these photos.

Result : In the “EDIT” folder I now have a raw file for every jpg it contains. It is safe to delete the “RAW” folder now.

Below is the text that makes up the script, you can adapt it to your own situation, other file extensions and/or other folders.

for f in /home/marc/Afbeeldingen/2022/20221015/Edit/.jpg; do filename=$(echo $f | sed -e ‘s/.\///’ -e ‘s/..*//’); cp -r /home/marc/Afbeeldingen/2022/20221015/Raw/${filename}.orf /home/marc/Afbeeldingen/2022/20221015/Edit/; done

As a script editor I use “Kate”, it’s simple to use and is standard in Kubuntu 22.04 LTS

Give the script a name and save the text file with the .sh extension,
in this case “”, in the “root” of the folder where you want it to run.
To make the script executable, open a terminal such as “Konsole” in the folder where you have the script.
Type : chmod +x followed by the exact full name of your script with extension:
chmod +x
Your Script is then executable.

If you want to run this script in a different or new folder – put a copy of the script in the “root” of that folder, open the script in Kate, and change the path names in the script to the current situation.

You can also use another folder to copy the Raws to instead of the Edit folder,
in the script just change the “copy to pad” in the last bit of the script (Orf) – this way it’s easier to check if you indeed have all the raws you need in the “orf” folder, so you can delete the “raw” folder.
The names I used are just an example, you can rename them in the script to whatever you want – just remember the correct order : first path is “lookup” folder, second is “copy from” folder, third is “copy to” folder.

for f in /home/marc/Afbeeldingen/2022/20221015/Edit/.jpg; do filename=$(echo $f | sed -e ‘s/.\///’ -e ‘s/..*//’); cp -r /home/marc/Afbeeldingen/2022/20221015/Raw/${filename}.orf /home/marc/Afbeeldingen/2022/20221015/Orf/; done

I found this very similar script at “” but this script didn’t work !
I edited it, changed a few things, and made it usable – You can easily adapt the script to a different situation.

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

New Lut Update – Kodak 2383 Print Film Emulation

A new Lut update : Kodak 2383 Print Film Emulation

I should start by saying that although it is free, you do need to provide your personal information.
That being said, and a tip at the same time:
The download comes immediately after the form, without checking the email and address provided.

Kodak 2383 Print Film Emulation is the most legendary and widely used film stock in Hollywood, and can be used with footage from any camera, such as BMPCC, ARRI, DJI, Sony, Canon, RED…

That being said, a LUT is like a color filter in front of your lens.
That is to say, no matter how scientifically a Lut is made and how some photographers/videographers can do crazy about this,
We, the “normal photographers & videographers” can simply ignore the rules and apply a Lut in our image or video editing program on any medium (jpg, raw, video …) and from any camera – That is, as long as we like the output 🙂
Adjust your opacity or grading to your taste, set your exposure, and just enjoy the output of this filter.

Colorist Factory – Kodak 2383 Film Print Emulation

Download here

The Colorist Factory website

The OSP article about this Lut here

To download,
click on the link above,
give an e-mail address,
fill in further details,

All content courtesy of Colorist Factory, for which we thank them !

For more LUTS, visit my “The Largest Collection of HaldClut/Luts brought together” page.

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

New Fujifilm Recipe Update – Ivan Cheam – Ivan Yolo – True Chroma

Ivan Cheam has created a surprising new Fujifilm Recipe based on Velvia/Vivid.
He writes that it makes colors pop, and indeed it does !
He calls the new recipe True Chroma and describes it as the “poor man’s Leica recipe for Fuji X-Trans IV” – the recipe is written on his site, and also which other cameras it can be used on. However, with a little imagination it is perfectly possible to apply this recipe to older Fujifilm cameras as well – not exactly the same of course, but still worth trying.
Follow the link below to the new recipe, and check out the rest of his website for more great Fujifilm recipes !

Ivan Cheam – Ivan Yolo – True Chroma – Poor man’s Leica recipe for Fuji X-Trans IV

This Recipe – click here

IvanYolo : The Site – click here

The OSP article about this – here

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

Open Source Photography

What is Open Source Photography for me ?
Well, it mainly stands to be Free…

Free, in the freedom of choice,
Free, from having to pay,
Free, in the choice to sponsor,
Free, in the choice of Camera, unfortunately this is not completely free 🙂
Free, in the choice of Operating System
and Free in the choice of Photo Editing Software

Open Source Software does not explicitly mean “free”,
in most cases it is, but “open source” has more to do with the license, or the way it can be used.
Free Open Source Software – FOSS – is free in the sense of cost.

Usually this freedom will start with the choice of the operating system, specifically Linux.
However, much of this software is also available for Windows and MacOS.
In fact, at Microsoft, they had sensed the storm coming for some time, and have even provided their latest OS, Windows 11, with the ability to run Linux apps, more on that later*.

But what is available if I choose to be FREE ?
Well, below is an overview of the very best software that makes every other paying program unnecessary.
Can I really find every function or tool in this software ?
The further development of the software mentioned below is going fast, but no, you won’t be able to find every single tool, however, the question is whether we ‘really’ need those tools ? Also, it’s only a matter of time before they get developed and available in their Linux counterpart.
It is up to you to determine whether the cost for those exotic tools ‘right now’ is justified.

Click on the photo to go to the relevant website

RawTherapee – RAW processing – Linux, Windows, MacOS

Darktable – photography workflow application and raw developer – Linux, Windows, MacOS

digiKam – photography workflow application and raw developer – Linux, Windows, MacOS

Showfoto – digiKam without photo management system – Linux, Windows, MacOS

Gimp – much more than an ordinary image editor – Linux, Windows, MacOS

gThumb – viewer – Linux only

XnView MP – viewer on steroids – Linux, Windows, MacOS

Rapid Photo Downloader – enhanced SD card downloader – Linux, Windows 11 via Linux subsystem

Luminance HDR – HDR imaging – Linux, Windows, MacOS

Hugin – Panorama’s, Photo Stacking, Photo Fusion and more – Linux, Windows, MacOS

Kubuntu – Operating System – One of the many Linux versions, but I think also one of the best and easiest versions if you come from Windows, suitable for older and newer computers.

When people hear the name “Linux”, they think that this is a complicated and difficult to use operating system.
Nothing is less true.
The graphical shell that is now around Kubuntu looks like two drops of water to Windows or even MacOS, in fact, even the most basic programs that many people now use on Windows or MacOS are also the same here or very similar.
Internet -> Google Chrome or Firefox
Office -> LibreOffice or OpenOffice
Mail -> Thunderbird, Gmail or just any web based mail via Google Chrome
Videos -> VLC
Your PDFs, your photos, your music and documents in Word, Excel, whatever you can think of, it all opens and works the same way in Kubuntu.

Probably the biggest problem is that humans are creatures of habit.
How many times have I heard things like “yes, I’ve tried rawtherapee or darktable too, but it’s hard, it’s to difficult or I just can’t get used to it”
Amazing how those same people ever got used to Windows and Adobe PS ???

Be brave and be Free !

More on Free and Open Source Photography

* You don’t want to leave Windows, but like to use Linux alongside Windows :

Windows WSL – run Linux OS, tools and apps directly and alongside Windows – Windows

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

ET-78II Canon Lens Hood Replacement for Olympus LH-76

Sequel to “Olympus LH‑76 Lens hood Repair or Replacement

Today my new lens hood to replace the Olympus LH-76 was delivered by standard mail,
And I just wanted to let you know and show how it turned out for me.
Well, I ended up ordering my LH-76 replacement from “fast Ali” 🙂
It was the ET-78II lens hood for the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM and 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM,
and yes, it also fits perfectly on the Olympus 40-150 mm f2.8 Pro.
My LH ended up costing €8.93 including shipping.
I also bought a neoprene lens bag XL from Matin for €4.50 to qualify for fast delivery from an amount of €10!
So all in all I paid €13.43 including shipping,
ordered on the 18th – delivered today on the 25th – 7 days !

The lens hood fits perfectly, I did have to cut off a plastic burr on the bayonet, which was left behind and not intercepted by product check – not to surprising at these prices.

I tested the lens with the LH to see if there was no vignetting at the edges at 40mm -> no vignetting, perfectly fine !
I also mounted the lens hood backwards, to make it easier to transport with lens -> perfect fit and works !

The only thing I can say is that my item had no form of indication for mounting on the lens, but that can easily be remedied with a waterproof felt-tipped pen.

Mounting the LH is probably not as smooth as with an original Olympus lens hood,
but the price difference is significant.

If, like me, you were looking for an Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 Pro LH replacement, then all possibilities are now known,
the choice is further up to you.

Thank you for your visit,
I hope it can be useful for you.

Shop : 3C Digital Store (scan QR code below)
Part : ET-78II LENS HOOD SHADE FOR CANON EF 135mm f/2L USM 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM (ET-78 II)

Disclaimer: The link above is for informational purposes only.
OSP or Marc R. is in no way affiliated with this company, and does not receive any benefit, payment or anything for it.

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

The MCO Plus 14mm f3.5 on Micro Four Thirds Review

As promised in the latest and last edition of the OSP magazine, here’s the review of the MCO Plus 14mm f3.5 on Micro Four Thirds Camera. The test photos that belong to this review are on my gallery. (The lens is also available for: E, FX, M4/3, EOSM, NEX)

I really like using old lenses, especially Olympus Zuiko OM and also M42 and PK lenses. However, you always need to use an adapter, and no matter how well that works, you still have that extra length that comes with your lens. That is why I also like to own a manual lens kit with a dedicated mount. For me, it’s mainly about the smaller lenses, because from telephoto it doesn’t matter much whether there is an adapter in between or not. By smaller lenses I mean wide angle to standard lenses. I already have a Laowa 10mm f2.0, so I wanted a lens with a slightly narower angle, that’s how I found and ordered the MCO Plus 14mm f3.5. There is very little to be found on internet about this lens, so I think this review could be interesting for any other potential buyers.

This review is about whether this lens is easy to handle, and whether it takes pleasant pictures. Sharpness ? any lens is rather soft than sharp fully open, sometimes even the expensive ones. It usually improves when you stop down. In the end it’s all about how deep you want to go into your wallet, in case of the MCO Plus 14mm f3.5 it’s not that deep. The MCO Plus 14mm f3.5 costs about €170, Since I was so pleasantly surprised by the quality of the slightly cheaper TTArtisan 23mm, I was curious how this MCO 14mm would perform.

A 28mm lens on 35mm film or Full Frame used to be the most commonly used wide-angle lens, and this MCO Plus 14mm f3.5 corresponds to that on micro four thirds.

Specifications :

Focal length 14mm – Aperture range f3.5 – 16 – Filter M52 – Weight 240gr – Actual dimensions L 55 x D 60mm (the dimensions of the lens do not match those of the official MCO Plus website) – Lens angle horizontal 78° – Fixed metal hood, Full metal lens – Available for : E, FX, M4/3, EOSM, NEX – Link:

Unboxing :

The lens comes in a simple cardboard box, packed in a bubble foil bag. There is no manual or warranty card. The specifications of the lens are on the outside of the box. The rear cap of the lens comes off (to) easily and cannot be firmly secured to the m4/3 bayonet lens mount. The lens front cap has two buttons and a spring, and is easy to mount. The Lens has a fixed lens hood, so it cannot be removed. The lens hood is also made of metal, just like the entire lens. Also included in the box is a soft lens cloth.

The lens :

The aperture sits against the camera and goes from f3.5 to f16 and is clickless, with the necessary resistance, but during focusing I also accidentally changed the aperture several times. The aperture ring has a width of approximately 10mm. The aperture ring is difficult to set precisely because it goes from f3.5 to f16 in about 12mm. The lack of click stops does not make setting easier. The next 10mm contains the DOF scale and distance settings, in front of that is the actual focus ring, which is also about 10mm wide. The last 25mm is lens hood. The focus ring needs almost half a turn to go from 0.15cm to infinity. The ring has a good and pleasant resistance.

First impression :

The lens feels sturdy due to the all-metal construction, the fixed metal hood helps protect the lens from accidental impacts – but probably not everyone will like this. Personally, I find the fixed metal lens hood an advantage. Despite the lens hood, the lens remains compact enough and the design is like a classic lens from the 70s – 80s. The aperture ring could have been better, it is difficult to set precisely, and easily moves out of place during focusing. The DOF scale is less clear than on the TTArtisan 23mm but ok. The focus ring moves pleasantly, but where infinity precisely is located is a mystery, from the infinity sign the setting ring still passes by almost 5 mm. Because the distances are close together, and the aperture is difficult to set, it is also difficult to use the DOF scale to set hyperfocal distance. Applying an UV or protective filter is also not easy, because the lens hood is in the way, screwing on a filter is problematic, and with a “smart” filter almost impossible I think – so only standard filters can be used.

There is not much space to screw in a filter !
Size comparison MCO Plus 14mm f3.5 – TTArtisan 23mm f1.4

In practice :

With an Olympus camera you can focus manually in two ways, via focus peaking, and via magnify. The latter can be done at 3x, 5x, 7x, 10x and 14x – more magnification possibilities than on a Fuji camera actually, and that is very handy ! Focusing goes reasonably well, although you sometimes get the impression that you are not fully focused on camera. However, on computer all photos are (reasonably) sharp – at least from a distance – and certainly not on photos that have been taken completely open. This is not a lens for pixel peepers ! The lens performs best at f5.6 – f8 – only, that is not so easy to set, because the f values are very close to each other.

Because I paid a little more for this lens (€170) than for the great TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 (€120), I am a bit disappointed, although the photos taken with this lens are certainly acceptable.


A Samyang 14mm is a lot better, but it also costs more than double, weighs more than double, and the lens is a lot bigger too. On the other hand, there is a much better image quality. It’s all about choices, I myself was looking for a smaller, not too expensive, and in the style of a vintage 28mm lens, and the MCO Plus 14mm f3.5 fits that choice.

Pro : Solid build quality, built-in lens hood, small compact lens, cheap

Con : aperture clickless, aperture values too close together – making it difficult to set precisely, built-in lens hood difficult for mounting filters, smart filters impossible

Samples overview – to see these pictures in detail on my gallery – click here or on the picture below :

Thanks for reading !
I hope you liked my review and found it helpful.
Hope to see you here again !

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

Olympus LH‑76 Lens hood Repair or Replacement

Well, I was warned when I bought the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 Pro lens,
the person I bought it from told me how vulnerable it was,
But I’m always super careful,
so I thought, that won’t happen to me !

This lens hood is (was) great,
I really loved it !
The idea is that the lens hood can remain on the lens, and by turning a ring on the lens hood you can click it forwards or backwards, ingenious !

So on my last outing in the Brussels Forests, the lens hood suddenly fell apart.
Problem is, my near vision isn’t great without special glasses,
so some parts got lost on the forest floor without me finding them.

The original lens hood consists of
6 ball bearings
6 copper springs
a plastic holder in which the springs and ball bearings are located
a cover ring
and the hood itself.
If you don’t lose the cover ring (located at the back of the hood) and even with only half of the springs and ball bearings, it’s not that hard to restore the hood.
My lens hood even works with only one bearing and spring, but because I no longer have the rear cover ring, the movable inner ring just slides out of the hood.

DIY – even with a few parts left its easy to repair – really guys this isn’t rocket science !

I read on forums that the problem might be glue, but there is no trace of glue to find.
As far as I could find out, the rear cover ring just clicks onto the back of the lens hood.
Because it is plastic, the hood diameter larger than the lens, and the clearance between lens hood and lens, I think the rear ring comes loose due to movement and tension, and then everything just falls apart. So it is simple to put back together – if you have the parts !

Other solutions & Replacements :

  • Original Olympus lens hood LH-76 (costs a small €60)
  • the Olympus LH‑76D (100-400mm lens hood) fixed lens hood, and can be mounted upside down (costs about €36)
  • Canon ET-78II fixed lens hood, and can be reversed (costs €18 to €19)

The cheapest solution can be found via Google!
just look for a Canon ET-78II replacement from the JJC brand (can be found for €15) or other brands or unbranded ones, there are several available on the internet, even for less than €10!

The internet is full of it, including on – August 2022 – really guys, this is much simpler to solve than you think.
The idea of the Canon lens hood is well thought out, for which thanks to the discoverer.
Well, I hope it helps someone – the lens is a hot selling item at Olympus, and as someone wrote on DPReview, its a ticking bomb.

New LUT Update – Rob Shea Infrared Photography

A new update for the “The Largest Collection of HaldClut/Luts brought together“.

Interested in Infrared Photography?
A digital dedicated camera is too expensive,
and 35mm IR film is too much hassle ?
Well, then here you have a very nice series of .Cube files with which you can still get started, and make beautiful Infra Red creations.
.Cube files can be used in most (paid) image editing programs such as Adobe, but also in the great Open Source Darktable !
Not in RawTherapee or the “version communauté francophone” Artherapee ?
Yes it is – Oui c’est possible 🙂 !
Just run it through a converter like Vertopal and you can continue in your favorite image program 🙂

And there is much more : Tech. Info, Profiles, PS Actions, etc !

Vertopal Converter Cube to PNG :

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

New DT Styles Update – Mark G. Adams – 16 Awesome Styles !

A long overdue update to “The Largest Collection of Presets/Profiles brought together
It has been since November 2021 !
Now there is one, and what an awesome update it is!
From the maker of the famous Fujifilm recipes by Mark G. Adams, now also an awesome series of Darktable styles.
But, who can say more about this than himself – so click below to go to his latest article and read all about it, and to download these styles.
Enjoy !

A selection of Darktable Styles – by Mark G. Adams

click here or on the picture to read more and download the styles.

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 Asph. Power OIS Review

I did my first experiments with Olympus and bird photography, with an E-M5 Mark II and Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 II POWER O.I.S. At that time I was still a Fujifilm user, and compared this lens next to my Fuji X-H1 and Fujifilm XF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 R LM OIS WR. The Fuji was the better camera, but also a lot heavier and a lot bigger than the M4/3 combination, not to mention the difference in angle of view – Fuji 450mm and Olympus/Pana 600mm !

Then I bought an E-M1 Mark II second-hand. That camera had to be the deciding factor if I was considering to move from Fujifilm to Olympus.
For bird photography I wanted a lens that could outperform any Fujifilm combination without being bigger or heavier.
For the comparison I only had the XF 70-300 with 1.4 TC, but for the size and weight I also took the Fuji XF100-400mm specs.
Short time later, I came across a second-hand Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 Asph. Power OIS on eBay for a bargain price. The lens was completely intact and in near mint condition. If this wasn’t a lens that could be decisive what would ? so I bought it, I could still sell the whole combination if I would stick with Fujifilm.

A rough comparison:
X-H1 with XF 70-300mm and TC1.4 – closed lens length 150mm, weight 1380gr – 35mm max focal length 630mm
E-M1 MKII with Pana 100-400mm – closed lens length 170mm, weight 1550gr – 35mm max focal length 800mm
X-H1 with XF 100-400mm – closed lens length 210mm, weight 2050gr.- 35mm max focal length 600mm

The Fuji XF 70-300mm combination with TC does slightly better in weight, less in length (because the camera is much bigger) but gets outperformed by the Oly/Pana combination in terms of max. focal length.
The Fuji XF 100-400mm weighs 500gr more and is surpassed even more in terms of focal length.
Even the new Fuji XF 150-600, which can make up for the best focal length, is a lot bigger and that combination weighs 1000gr more, not to mention the price of this one.

So I think I can safely say that the E-M1 MKII together with the Panasonic Leica 100-400mm is a light and compact combination for nature and wildlife photography that can be found for an affordable price, and that was what I was looking for .
Long story short, Fujifilm went out the door and I bought myself a brand new Olympus E-M1 Mark III as a first camera, and the nearly equivalent Mark II became my backup.

But now for the lens, is it good and how does it perform on the E-M1 Mark II or Mark III ?

First the image stabilization settings,
we have a Panasonic lens on an Olympus body,
and while this works perfectly, there are still a few things to keep in mind that will determine whether you will use the Lens OIS or the built-in IBIS.
With a lens of this size I would recommend using the OIS of the lens, with smaller focal lengths you can switch to IBIS.
On your camera : Lens IS Priority = ON
On your camera: IBIS = ON
Now you can switch as desired on the lens:
Lens OIS switch ON = OIS
Lens OIS switch OFF = IBIS

For other possible settings you should have a look on this site – click here or on the picture

Another thing I also encountered while shooting is the manual/AF clutch on the lens,
If you don’t intend to focus manually, it’s better to turn it off in your camera’s menu, so you don’t run the risk of accidentally activating the clutch and suddenly having no AF.

The control buttons on the lens can also unintentionally change position during use, so you may be without OIS, or your close/far setting has suddenly changed, these are things to watch out for!

Is she sharp, well this is always a point for discussion,
what is sharp for one is not for another, and so with every lens you have photographers who love it and others don’t.
Not everyone has the same requirements, that’s point one.
The second point is: how far do you want to go – in weight, in size, in price?
Because, for example, the Nikon 600 mm f/4E FL ED VR is sharper. However, if you walk down the street with the Nikon, you risk getting shot because they think you’re a terrorist with a bazooka, thats how big it is !
It’s also expensive and costs almost €15,000 – a camera combo weighs 5kg – and together with a Nikon camera is about 500mm long – lens hood not included – but it is sharper!

Below some completely unedited test shots, left normal view, right some 100% or 200% crops, some normal pictures and some with info below – all wide open ( f6.3 ) and handshot – click on the pictures to enlarge !

Here some edits in Rawtherapee of two photos that were a little overexposed. I just want to indicate that Olympus Raw files (orf) can also be developed in Rawtherapee and on a Linux computer, and I think they look very well :

Unedited SOOC Jpg – Olympus E-M1 Mark III – Lens at 400mm and wide open at f6.3 – ISO 1250 – 1/500e – OIS lens stabilisation – Bird according to lens data at a distance of 10.97 m

Unedited zoom in, in gThumb – SOOC Jpeg

Basic edit from Raw in RawTherapee 5.8 – contrast, high lights recup., color etc.

Edited RawTherapee Jpg Output

Zoomed and side by side in gThumb

Unedited SOOC – Olympus E-M1 Mark III – Lens at 400mm and wide open at f6.3 – ISO 250 – 1/125e – OIS lens stabilisation – Water lilies according to lens data at a distance of 13.89 m

Unedited zoom in, in gThumb – SOOC Jpeg

Basic Edit in RawTherapee 5.8

Final RawTherapee Jpg Output

Zoomed and side by side in gThumb

Maybe not many pictures for a review, but more pictures taken with this lens can be found in my gallery, search for Panasonic 100-400mm.

My Conclusion :

My starting point has always been – can I make a camera/lens combination with Olympus that is somewhat comparable to an X-H1,
with a lens that has a longer range than the Fuji XF 100-400mm,
and which is a more compact and lighter setup.
The answer to that was not only yes, but the Olympus combination is better.
Both the E-M1 MKII and MKIII are tough and weather sealed cameras.
The image stabilization on the Olympus cameras is extremely good, much better than the Fuji.
And you have tools like Live Composition and Pro Capture.
The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 Asph. Power OIS has a longer range – in 35mm comparison Fuji 600mm, Olympus 800mm.
The weight is 500 grams lower, and the combination is also smaller.
The lens is sharp, or sufficiently sharp up to my standards.
The lens is fast enough in terms of AF.


  • Would I recommend this lens for bird photography, or wildlife in general?
  • Is the Olympus version of the 100-400mm better?
    I can’t answer that, reviews found here and there on the internet indicate that the results are comparable – However, the Olympus lens can be equipped with a teleconverter for even more range, and you will get even better stabilization results.
  • Is the Olympus 300mm f4.0 Pro a better choice?
    again, I can’t answer that because I don’t own it – However, ditto on the internet you will find plenty of reviews. The lens is said to be the sharpest in the Olympus range, that being said, how much sharper? the price is in any case substantially higher, you can buy two 100-400mm lenses for this one.
    There are also other things to keep in mind, as it is a prime lens, you can’t zoom in or out, and a 300mm (600mm) lens is only just enough range that you would like to have for bird photography, its not the smallest, its not the lightest … and its expensive !

Finally I would like to say this, if Olympus and with it the micro 4/3 system is so good,
why does everyone shoot with Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony … ?
Well, usually when someone is going to buy a camera, he or she buys what is known good to him or her.
Maybe mom or dad also had a Nikon or other…
Maybe it’s from looking up commercials, specs, or on the recommendation of an expert in the camera shop.
Influencing can be done in many ways.
In Dutch we have an expression “onbekend is onbemind”,
simply translated “unknown is unloved”
and I think this is also the case with Olympus and the micro 4/3 system.
There are also a lot of prejudices about this system.
But are they true?
In any case, I don’t think so.
One thing I know for sure, when I’m on the road and shooting birds and other things, at least I don’t complain about the weight of my camera and lenses anymore !

I hope you enjoyed my review and that it answered your questions.

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

Pitts Aerobatics and an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Pro

Not a real review, but just some pictures taken at an airshow last weekend.
This was a lens I really wasn’t sure about,
but that day she really surprised me.
While every photographer hid his camera in the pouring rain,
I just walked around with my E-M1 Mark II with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Pro in my hand, water dripping off in streams from my camera and lens.
Angle of view ? sometimes on the edge, but just enough.
Normally I would never take a 150mm to an air show, rather a 300 or 400mm.
And even though I had the Olympus TC1.4 in my jacket pocket, I never felt the need to use it for a single moment.

Click here or the picture to go to my gallery.

Extra OSP Magazine September

I’m on Retirement Pace

Many months ago I wrote that writing and publishing weekly articles was starting to get tough. And I was not the only one experiencing this problem, I’ve read this from other fellow bloggers regardless of what their blog was about. Ultimately, you also want to have a life, and not be tied to a deadline. To counter this problem, I started the OSP magazine. The idea was no longer to publish weekly but once a month, by this I thought I had more time to write one or more articles that were then published at the beginning of a new month. Unfortunately, my analysis showed that, not only does it take up even more time, the magazine itself is hardly read. I have therefore made the decision not to make any more magazines after this one, but to publish separate blog articles again.

It is said that people who are retired never have time, and I can only agree with that.
Hence the speed at which I will publish articles will be equivalent to “retirement pace”.
When it’s there, it’s there, not before, not later 🙂

But today I want to publish an article at the same time!
It was promised in the September OSP magazine that I would write something about the matching TTArtisan lens hood for the TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 lens, as well as the alternative Hoya uv filter that I also ordered in the TTArtisan shop under the name Tianya XS Pro 1.
Click here to go to the article.

Writing a new blog article is not always that easy, so usually when I have an idea I prepare a draft, sometimes it is only a title, but that is a start to build on.
For example, I currently have twelve drafts in my post folder, some of them are almost ready to publish, others consist only of a title or some text to sketch the idea.
An article that I have largely finished, but which is still in Dutch at the moment is The MCO Plus 14mm f3.5 on Micro Four Thirds – Unboxing and Review, so you can expect it soon.
Another change is that test photos, as taken with the above mentioned lens, will no longer be saved with the article itself, but in my photo gallery linked to the article concerned.

The MCO Plus 14mm f3.5 for M4/3

Also a nearly finished article is Rangefinder or Not, it’s about previous rangefinder cameras I’ve owned, then all sold, and now finally got to the point that, do I want a new rangefinder ? and if so, which one ?

Cameras I previously owned, a Leica copy, the Zorki 1C export edition, and the original Fujifilm X100

So don’t forget “Retirement Pace”.
When it’s there, it’s there, not before, not later.

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

TTArtisan Square Lens Hood & Tianya XS Pro 1 UV filter – Review

I know there are pros and cons to hoods and filters.
So, why do I use a lens hood and a filter on the TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 lens ?
Well, the main reason is protection.
I spend a lot of time in the woods, and on my bike, then I have my camera around my neck ready to take a picture – so without a lens cap.
Especially on the bike, the lens suffers a lot from small flies, dust and sand, and it can also unexpectedly hit the handlebars.
In the woods you have tree branches, and so on…
Hence: a filter and a lens hood – no lens cap.

One more little note,
Some people say that inferior glass from cheap filters will degrade the image quality of your expensive lens.
Well, yes and no:

  • it could affect the quality of your lens, but then that filter must be really, really horably bad – think of a previous writing of mine about scratches on a lens surface, and how they are invisible in a photo.
  • no, having a reasonably good filter will certainly benefit the lens, because even after frequent and careless use of your lens, the front glass will still be flawless and new. A plus if you ever want to sell the lens.

TTArtisan Square Lens hood – Aluminium Alloy – 43mm screw thread with adjustable ring -Dimensions : 65 x 52 x 24 – 17 gram – Delivery in a nice cardboard box

Not much to say really.
Beautiful “Classic” lens hood.
Gives the TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 lens a very nice classic look, but would do that with any lens with 43mm thread.
Extreme light and sturdy (box weighs more)
Does what it’s supposed to do, protect against unwanted light, protect against impact.
Bought from TTArtisan Photology Store

Original description:
The lens hood minimizes flare and ghosting and protects the lens from impact

Price : € 12 online CN or ebay – € 50 local EU

The Tianya XS-Pro MC UV 43mm – Delivery in a nice plastic box with foam insert – outside cardboard box

These filters were sold at the same online store where I got the TTArtisan lens hood, namely the TTArtisan Photology Store.
Had never heard of the brand Tianya, so I thought I’d look up a review, and so I ended up on the forum of
It is a review from 2014. I also recognise the mentioned coating problems with the Hoya HMC, so his review seems to be correct.
You can find the review of Tianya XS Pro 1 here :

After reading this, and knowing the price of the Tianya XS Pro 1 UV 43mm filter, namely € 7.10 – for example a Hoya HMC XS UV 43mm costs € 27.95 local store – I thought, you can’t go wrong at that price!
So I ordered the filter too.
Result: cleaning is indeed better than the Hoya – not so rough. The coating has a very slight contrast-enhancing effect on the subject, which I personally found to be pleasing. I have not find any distortions, light spots, flares, dull spots or any other problem. So I think I can safely say that this was a very good buy.
Ultimately, my intention is simply to protect the lens optic from dust, sand and bugs, and this filter certainly does !

When using the Tianya filter on the TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 lens – and probably any filter for that matter – the original aluminum TTArtisan lens cap no longer fits – or is very loose.
I must also say that the lens cap is in any case better removed and replaced by a clickable plastic lens cap.

Original description:
TIANYA Slim XS-Pro1 Digital MC-UV Filter 43mm
Super High Quality Optical Glass UV filter Multi Coated with 18 Layers
Protects your camera lens from dust, moisture, scratches and fingerprints
Reduces haziness or fogginess created by ultraviolet light
-Ultra thin Glass: 1mm ( Japanese optical glass, Light Transmittance:99.5% )
-Filter frames: 3mm
-Material: Optical glasses and Anodized Aluminum Metal

Price : € 7.10 online CN or ebay

I hope you enjoyed this short review, and thank you for visiting OSP !


Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

OSP Magazine September

The holidays are over and here we are back with a new issue of the Open Source Photography Magazine.
Hopefully you will find something that interests you in this new edition.

Last minute updates:

My last Fujifilm camera is gone, the X-T1 I had especially for manual photography has been replaced by an almost brand new Olympus E-M1. In the meantime, besides my manual Olympus OM Zuiko lens arsenal, I also wanted to buy a few manual lenses with MFT mount. I already had a super wide angle: the Laowa 10mm f2.0 (20mm Full Frame) – a basic wide angle : the MCO Plus 14mm f3.5 (28mm Full Frame) has been ordered and is on its way, review follows later – and as standard lens I went for the TTArtisans 23mm f1.4 (46mm Full Frame). A lot of research was done before buying this lens, and it came out as the best, but is it as good as other reviews claim ?

Also a new recipe update from Marcel Fraij. As I wrote before, I only publish the good and the best, and this one is definitely in that category. I’am curious if this is the last update for time to come, because new good original recipes are getting scarcer and scarcer.

Furthermore, a sequel to the Olympus camera firmware update from July, but now about hidden settings in the menu and how to reset your Olympus camera to factory settings.

Have fun reading !

Looking for the best manual “standard” lens for MFT ? I think the TTArtisans 23mm f1.4 can be that one !

The TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 Zebra on Micro Four Thirds Review

Click here to read more

A new Recipe Update, and what a treat !

New Recipe Update – Marcel Fraij – Seven Fujifilm Recipes

Click here to read more

How To Factory Reset your Olympus Camera ?

Olympus Secret Menu Pages

Click here to read more.

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

The TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 Zebra on Micro Four Thirds Review

This review is based on my own findings and experience, I chose, bought and paid for this lens myself.
Nothing on Open Source Photography is sponsored.

The angle of view : On the TTArtisan website they speak of the “Eye of Humanity”, that’s because on crop factor 1.5 systems like Fujifilm, this lens corresponds to a 35mm lens on Full Frame. But studies show that the human eye “sees” at an angle of 55° – the cone of visual attention – and 35mm nor 50mm has that angle, it’s more in the middle namely 43mm. So on a Fujifilm camera we would actually be better off using a 28mm lens. The TTArtisan 23mm on m4/3 corresponds to 46mm – which is fairly close and good enough for a “standard” lens.

There are two versions of the TTArtisan 23mm f1.4, a completely black version or a black & silver zebra like version. I chose the black & silver version because it is most reminiscent of those legendary old German Zebra lenses made by Meyer Optik Görlitz and Carl Zeis Jenna, such as the Orestegon, Flektogon, Lydith etc…

A vintage lens similar to the TTArtisan with its 23mm on m4/3, is a standard 50mm lens on full frame or 35mm film – we think of a Carl Zeis Jenna Tessar 50mm, or a Meyer Optik Görlitz 50mm Oreston. Unfortunately I don’t own either one, but I do have a picture of the 50mm Oreston below for comparison.

Left: TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 – Right: Meyer Optik Görlitz 50mm f1.8 Oreston

Unboxing :

The lens arrived in a sturdy beautiful cardboard box, with a soft foam padding on the inside. The lens in a transparent plastic bag and provided with a silica gel bag.

In the box is the warranty card and a booklet with some lens information, how to mount the lens and menu settings with screenprints of different camera brands. It is very concise and most of it is described in the Chinese language, and very limited in English.

The lens itself is heavier than expected – 222gr. – but in the order of a vintage lens, such as the Meyer Optik Görlitz Lydith 30mm f3.5 – 194gr. – also a zebra lens that I had lying around and is comparable in size – also just for comparison: a Fuji XF 23mm f2.0 WR weighs 180gr. and is slightly longer than the TTArtisan.

The aperture ring, which is on the front of the lens, clicks softly and has good resistance. The position on front is also great when using gloves in winter, and for me it feels good because this is also the case with my vintage Olympus OM lenses. I think it makes the aperture ring much easier to find than when it is against your camera. The aperture ring is thin and serrated, but this actually adds to the easy finding without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. It may look weird but it doesn’t feel weird at all.

The focus ring is a lot bigger and wider, and has a grooved zebra ring, all metal, just like the entire lens actually. The indications (meter, feet, aperture and DOF scale) are nicely painted in white, not engraved, but are very clearly applied. The focusing itself is very smooth and with the necessary resistance, just like butter. It enables the photographer to focus precisely and firmly. The focus ring rotates all the way from infinity to its closest adjustable distance of 0.20m in little more than 45°. The lens cap is also made of metal and has a felt ring on the inside, which should ensure that the lens cap remains in place. Personally, I think it’s better to replace it with a plastic click cap, because otherwise you will lose the original quickly along the way.

The DOF scale is clear and very usable, even from f4.0 a hyperfocal distance could be set from about 1m to infinity, useful for street photography!

Some more specs. : TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 – M4/3 – 60x39mm – 222gr. – filter 43mm

Besides the lens, I also ordered the original TTArtisan square aluminum lens hood 43mm and UV filter from Tianya XS-Pro1 – Some claim it’s as good as the Hoya XS-Pro1 –
I’m still waiting for those two.
I will come back to this at a later time.

TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 mounted on an Olympus E-M1 original, I bought this camera to replace my Fujifilm X-T1, and to use it for manual photography with vintage lenses. It is a somewhat rarer silver version in mint condition, with only a handful of shots ever taken, and found for a good price.

Test shots below – all shots are @ f1.4 – except the one at the airport @ f4.0

Below a video shot at f8.0 set to 1m, which makes the lens sharp from about 0.5m to infinity. Movie setting was Mov.FHD-F 30P, edited on Shotcut 22.01.30

Most lenses are worst wide open, but if you can’t use it then it doesn’t make much sense, at the same time you can see what the lens is worth, which is why almost all photos were taken at f1.4. The camera settings are standard, ie “natural” photo setting, Iso auto Low-3200, and M – Development on gThumb Linux, really just to resize the photos and make them suitable for the web. The video is unedited.

When I was still shooting with Fujifilm cameras, I had a silver 7Artisan 25mm f1.8, if I compare it with the TTArtisan 23mm lens, the latter is much better in all areas. It fits better in the hand and handles much better, the markings are clearer and it is more sensitive to light. The TTArtisan lens is a joy to photograph with, the handling feels just like a standard 50mm lens from the 70s – 80s, and the image results are just as good, every time I look at pictures from it I get the feeling that they were made on 35mm film. I am very happy that I bought this lens, it is definitely a keeper! Also on Fujifilm cameras this lens would be a great purchase.

Conclusion :

There are many reviews of this lens.
Almost all have a small remark or comment.
The aperture does not click enough – filmmakers prefer clickless, …,
it’s always something.
But if you look through it and beyond, it is actually a real gem.
The handling is great, and it makes great pictures – with a touch of vintage caracter – and I like that !

I find the TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 for MFT at least the best “standard” lens in its category, maybe even beyond !

Well, I have one more thing, and that is, why buy a manual lens?

  • Nostalgia certainly plays a role, shooting completely manually just like in the old days – some like it some don’t.
  • The manual handling slows you down, and that benefits seeing (composition) and thinking (exposure), resulting in better pictures.
  • Finally, if you want to become a photographer – shooting and really know what you’re doing – then a camera that can be fully adjusted manually, along with a manual lens like this one is a must

Some other reviewers on Youtube that also like this lens (and there are many) :

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

Olympus Secret Menu Pages

On July 1, I published an article on how to update your Olympus camera firmware via an SD card – as it should be.
But alas, Olympus has also other quirks,
like resetting your camera.

Fujifilm users – and I think any brand of camera for that matter – just go into the menu, click reset camera to factory settings, and voila! the miracle has happened!
You can also perform a reset on an Olympus camera, but it does not go back to factory settings at all – I experienced that recently when I did a reset after a “new” second-hand camera, all kinds of non-standard settings were left behind – even settings for lenses from the previous owner.

It would have been strange if this were completely impossible, so yes, Olympus has built in a loophole in the form of a secret menu.
Part of that secret menu is even fairly well-known I think, it’s the sequence you have to type to see your shutter count.
I have to give Olympus a little credit there, because there are cameras that don’t even have that possibility – and no, not even by uploading a jpg to a shutter count website.
The original X100 for example, impossible to get a shutter count from, and it’s not the only camera with that problem.

Is it safe to use the secret menu ?

Well, ever heard of a guy named Murphy ?
You may have met him already, and usually at a moment when you least expected it.
So no, there are no guarantees, you do this at your own risk !
But wait a minute, ever heard of someone’s Olympus camera being worthless after checking its shutter count?
No, many people use it without any problem.

You just have to take the necessary precautions,
such as make sure you have a fully charged battery, you don’t want the lights to go out while you’re punching in a button sequence. Realy, if possible connect your camera to a nuclear powerstation – just kidding 🙂 – because with a full battery, and performing the steps calmly and without stuttering, it should go perfectly.

But this article wasn’t just about finding the shutter count, no, we want to do a full factory reset.
Well, we’ll get to that right away.
First the code as it is published on Flickr and DPReview and also on “Olympus Pen & OM-D Display True Shot Count” – Caution : the last one is a “not secure” website.
Then a little more detail.

OM-D E-M5 hidden menus for hard reset and status & diagnostic codes by Mel Stephens on Flickr 14 May 2012 :

Hidden E-M5 menus.

I take no responsibility whatsoever for any damage or inconvenience or financial loss incurred as a result of you acting upon any information within this text. I cannot and will not guarantee that this information is free from errors.
Inspired by clues from

Some of these button presses may be extraneous – if you can shorten the sequences… good for you.

1. Power on with [menu] held down.
2. When LCD lights, release [menu].
3. [menu], [down] to spanner, [right], [down] to LCD brightness, [right] [info] [ok].

You’re now at the banner which states the model name. From here you can go a number of ways –

4. [up] [down] [left] [right] [shutter] [up] for page 1 of status and then [right] or [down] or [left] for further status pages.


5. [up] [down] [left] [right] [shutter] [ok] for test parameter settings. Caution: I suspect that these settings could render your camera inoperable or unreliable.

6. Hold [menu]+[ok] together for a few seconds to get the hardware reset screen. [ok] to proceed. You’ll know that the reset is successful if the time and date need setting when you next power the camera up.

I have some screen dumps but to be honest they don’t really help – the explanation for some of the status codes can be found via the link above.

And no, a hard reset did not fix the problem I have with my 12-50mm kit lens not being recognised by the camera body. =:-(

End text.

Now, the above red text was written for an E-M5,
but does it also work on other Olympus cameras ?

Well I tested it on my own TG-3, E-M10 MKII, E-M10 MKIII, E-M5 MKII & E-M1 MKII
Shutter count and Hard Reset worked perfectly, and the other pages ? stay out of them !

The First Three Steps :

1. Power on with [menu] held down.
2. When LCD lights, release [menu].
3. [menu], [down] to spanner, [right], [down] to LCD brightness, [right] [info] [ok].

Should give this result – test cameras used : E-M1 MKII – E-M10 MKIII – TG 3

To know the Shutter Count : (always start with the first three steps)

4. [up] [down] [left] [right] [shutter] [up] for page 1 of status and then [right] or [down] or [left] for further status pages.

The codes on page 2 (camera dependent)

  • R = shutter count
  • S = times flash used
  • C = times cleaning function used (if applicable)
  • U = ultra sonic filter used
  • V = times mirror locked up (if applicable)
  • B = shots taken with IBIS
  • L = unknown
  • D = damage code for Olympus technician (page 3) – should be 0

Result – page 1 and page 2 with the shutter count results on three different cameras (EM1,EM10,TG3)

To reset your camera to Factory Settings : (always start with the first three steps)

6. Hold [menu]+[ok] together for a few seconds to get the hardware reset screen. [ok] to proceed. You’ll know that the reset is successful if the time and date need setting when you next power the camera up.

Result :

After reboot – a succesful reset !

As you can see, the menu screens are not always exactly the same but the result always remains the same – this just works !

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.

New Recipe Update – Marcel Fraij – Seven Fujifilm Recipes

I’ve written this before, there are few who are able to create good recipes.
Many recipes that can be found on the internet are based on recipes from those few.
To make a well-balanced recipe you need a trained eye, knowledge and/or the necessary photographic experience.
And every now and then you find someone who has it.

Marcel Fraij is a fine art photographer and was trained for this at the Royal Academy in The Hague.
He is also an art and science teacher at primary schools in the Netherlands.

Seven recipes accompanied by a series of refined works of art, showing the essence of each recipe.

My personal favorite is number 4, Acros Dark.
Black and White photography is very underrated, that it still comes standard very flat and gray from most cameras doesn’t help either, even Fujifilm’s simulations aren’t much better in my opinion.
This recipe could make all the difference, check it out!

1. Pro Negative Plus, A better Pro Negative simulation: sharp, nicer tone and color.

2. New Scala, After the analog black & white slide film from Agfa.

3. C201, Very suitable for sunny outdoor shots, backlighting and coastal photographs.

4. Acros Dark, A moody dark simulation. Works well with backlit shots, contrast, shadows and abstract subjects.

5. Slide Film, My digital interpretation of my analog set-up: FujiFilm Velvia and Leica. On request at :

6. New Portra, Everybody loves a good Portra. This is my go on the famous Portra.

7. Urban Vibe, Inspired by the photography of Saul Leiter. On request at:

For the recipes and examples visit :

And don’t forget, always respect the wishes of the photographer and creator, explained at the beginning of the recipes page on

All rights belong to Marcel Fraij, – Published with permission of Marcel Fraij.

Thank you Marcel !

Visit my Gallery :

La Gallerie

The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR, Marc R.


Vandaag 17/08/2022 rond 19:00 u hebben we onze goede vriend Obi moeten laten gaan, hij was nog net geen 2 jaar.
De registratie chip was volgens de neuro chirurg vermoedelijk foutief geplaatst, en was uiteindelijk in zijn hersenen beland.
Vanmiddag werd hij geopereerd om die chip te verwijderen, de chirurg en wij hadden er goede hoop in, maar die operatie is mislukt.
Ik zal hem missen, mijn goede vriend Obi.

Today 17/08/2022 around 19:00 we had to let our good friend Obi go, he was just under 2 years old.
According to the neurosurgeon, the registration chip was probably placed incorrectly, and eventually ended up in his brain.
This afternoon he had surgery to remove that chip, the surgeon and we were hopeful, but that operation failed.
I will miss him, my good friend Obi.

Highlights of the Week

Click on the picture to see more !

The moon on a clear evening – and photography tips – E-M5 MKII Lumix 100-300mm
Cranes at an old transfer station – Olympus E-M5 MKII
Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea – Blauwe Reiger – Olympus E-M5 MKII with Panasonic 100-300mm
Series of glider pictures – Olympus E-M5 MKII and E-M1 MKII
Piper PA-18-160 Super Cub, D-ESTS – E-M5MarkII with LUMIX G VARIO 12-60/F3.5-5.6 and LUMIX G VARIO 100-300/F4.0-5.6II

The Tall Ships Races – Edition 2022 – Part two

Click here, or on the picture to view and read the second part of my article about the Tall Ship Race on “La Gallerie”.

On this page, more about my new Olympus cameras :

In my limited circle of fellow photographers, there is one question that regularly comes up, and which is the most discussed,
and that is, why two cameras?
In my case even, why the E-M1 MKII and E-M1 MKIII ?

First about the two cameras :

Well, for me that’s very clear, every time I go out photographing it’s confirmed, and the Tall Ship Race event was no exception.
First the disadvantage : weight !
I work differently than many photographers, I rarely if ever use a backpack or sling, my standard bag is a shoulder bag or messenger, and I do have a few in different sizes.
I have found that speed is key in many cases.
And changing lenses or cameras is simply faster with a shoulder bag.
That being said, the weight of an extra camera in a shoulder bag does start to add up after a few hours, even if it’s only about 570 grams, the weight pulls on your neck, and it’s not pleasant.
But now the advantage : speed !
You don’t need two cameras for macro, or landscape etc.., then you have enough time to change a lens.
However, If on an event, or under any circumstance in which you want to quickly switch between wide-angle, telephoto and anything in between – I mean weddings, street photography, sporting events, the Tall Ship Race, … then a second camera can become handy.
Yes, there are lenses that will do this all in one, but you also know it’s always a compromise between image quality and range.

Then, why the E-M1 MKII and E-M1 MKIII :

When the time came for me to consider switching from Fujifilm to Olympus,
I knew I needed a camera in the same class as a Fuji X-T2, X-H1, X-T3.
As also recommended to me by Tone from Tasview, who has the E-M1 MKII and the new OM-1, the best choice seemed to be a pre-owned E-M1 MKII.
This camera should be decisive in making the switch or not, without breaking the bank – and it did.
Then came the next choice : a second camera as explained above, and that could only be the MKIII or the new OM-1.
Knowing that the OM-1 would be the better camera, but also knowing I could have the MKII and MKIII together for (a lot) less than the price of one OM-1, ultimately made the decision.
In time, the price of the OM-1 will eventually drop, and then it might be the time to replace the MKII with the OM-1.

There’s a lot of discussion going on about upgrading your E-M1 Mark II to Mark III and whether it’s worth it. Well, it is. The MK III is better and faster, and there are some other minor improvements. The MK III can also be found fairly cheap second-hand, and now the OM-1 is out even cheap new these days. It didn’t really matter to me, I needed a second camera, one that was better than the MK II but didn’t broke the bank. Also interesting, the Olympus E-M1 MKII shutter life expectancy is 200.000 – the E-M1 MKIII is 400.000.

That’s it for today !

Holly Blue with an Olympus lens on Steroids

Well, my Fujifilm sale is going fast, my two X-H1s are already gone, and so are a lot of the lenses.
And now that I have my new Olympus E-M1 Mark III, I needed some new top lenses.
One of those lenses is the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Pro along with the M.Zuiko Digital MC 1.4 teleconverter.
The above photos were taken with that combination, and it struck me that the sharpness of this lens, together with the teleconverter, is still very acceptable.

At first I wasn’t quite sure about the focal length of this lens, I would have preferred the smallest focal length to start a little earlier, something in the style of 18 or 25-150mm, but then the lens would probably have been even bigger and/or heavier . The teleconverter (the steroids 🙂 ) on the other hand gives the possibility to have a slightly longer range, so that’s also a plus, and I think it’s tack sharp!
Anyway, for now I’m very happy with it.

Click on the picture to see more, or here to go to my gallery.

Along Came a Little Spider

E-M1MarkIII – Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 Pro

My new E-M1 MKIII with a new lens, the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 Pro.
Nice lens and very sharp, and what I also like is that you can get close, even if it is not a macro lens.

Click on the picture to see more, or here to go to my gallery.

When I started this blog, I quickly noticed that adding many or large photos quickly diminished my available blog space. I then made the decision to split blog and photo gallery.
That certainly helped with the available media space,
but not with finding an audience.
Finding an audience on a new site is always difficult, and while we have a decent number of visitors here on OSP, that’s not the case on the gallery.
So, as an experiment I’m also going to post pictures on OSP for a while, which are linked to my gallery. No increase in photo megabytes but hopefully an increase in visitors.
I hope you will enjoy my photos.

What’s in my Camera Bag Today ?

I started this writing, not quite knowing where I wanted to go with my photography in the future,
because ten cameras with an equally large collection of lenses from two brands is not very handy to use.
So, what to do with my Fujifilm gear and/or Olympus gear?
I turned this writing into a chronological one over a period of several weeks as the decisions and actions developed.

May – June 2022

Loyal followers of Open Source Photograpy have probably been wondering for months why, after switching from Pentax to Fujifilm, I now also have a whole series of Olympus cameras in my equipment.
Well that’s a good question !

Anyone who has recently visited the “Gear” page will have noticed that things change regularly.
Currently my Olympus gear set is bigger than my Fujifilm gear. This is also due to the fact that the offer of micro 4/3 lenses is larger than Fujifilm lenses, but not only that, the prices are lower and the lenses are smaller and lighter.
I also just bought a second-hand E-M1 MKII with a Panasonic Leica 100-400mm specifically for bird photography. These two together cost me barely the price of a Fujifilm XF 100-400mm, and that kit is a lot bigger and heavier. A logical choice.

So what’s happening ?

End of June 2022

Ok, why did I choose Fujifilm in the first place after Pentax?
Well, the camera that won me over was the X-T1,
especially the dedicated shutter and iso dials attracted me the most,
back to an old school type of camera that was light and compact – just like the old days.
After trying different Fujifilm cameras (X-E, X-T two digit and X-T one digit types) I also discovered the great image stabilization of an Olympus EM10 MKI – I certainly wanted that in a Fujifilm camera.
However, the X-T3 came, and no image stabilization…
Then the X-T4, which did have image stabilization, but then again a lot bigger, heavier and also much more expensive.
With the X-H1, I thought I had found the perfect compromise, and we’ll see where Fujifilm takes us.

Just recently, I said goodbye to my old Fuji X100, a camera I never thought I’d get rid of, but I have to many cameras that i don’t use.

Start of July 2022

Then the X-H2s came out – is this where Fujifilm wants to take us ?
Don’t get me wrong, at first glance this looks like a great camera, and there have been a lot of improvements over the X-H1 – but is it realy better ?
And where did those dedicated dials go ?

I’m starting to notice more and more that when I go out, I take the E-M5 MKII’s with me if I don’t want to carry too much gear,
and that I take the new E-M1 MKII for the better work,
especially because it fits well in hand and is still a very small and light kit to carry, even with super telephoto.

I’ve put one of the two X-H1’s up for sale, along with the XF 70-300mm with TC1.4 – two the same Fuji camera’s have become unnecessary, and the great XF 70-300mm is increasingly being replaced by the Pana-Leica 100- 400mm which has a much greater reach.


Although it’s hard to take the obvious step, I eventually realized that the Olympus system was more suited to the type of photography I do most of the time.
The ergonomics, the low weight and compactness of the Olympus cameras ultimately outweigh the choice for the vintage style and dedicated dials of the Fujifilm system – which they themselves ultimately did not stay true to.

Under the Olympus moto “Break Free” I went to the Olympus eu website, where there is currently a promotion on the Olympus E-M1 Mark III.

In the end I took the plunge and opted for a new adventure with the E-M1 Mark III + 12-40mm F2.8 PRO kit.

My complete Fujifilm system is now for sale,
I haven’t put my X-T1 up for sale yet.
This is probably the “best camera” by Fujifilm ever made,
and still has one more advantage for me, which is the sensor and the dedicated dials, these dials make it probably the best camera for use with vintage lenses – something that is a bit more difficult for Olympus cameras due to the crop factor.

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