We took our Olympus E-510 DSLR to Bologna…

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As we announced, we packed the Olympus along on its first mission, reporting on the clever 500 and Panda Mild Hybrid.

Taking shots in the beautiful town centre of Bologna with its truly stunning historic buildings and its people was a boon for this smooth operating Olympus.

We just show you here the results of the photo sessions. The 10 megapixel sensor of the Olympus did an excellent job, and with the noise reduction engaged, the photo quality was outstanding also at higher ISO values.

To be on the safe side, we took also the compact Canon along, which we still used by the way for the driving and presentation shots at the Fiat press conference. We were also not sure the battery of the older Olympus would hold, as we bought the camera “as is” and we didn’t know whether this original battery would have enough stamina and staying power. Now we know, after a good week without recharging, it does!

The Olympus proved surprisingly well up to the job. All the photos shown here are without any colour or contrast correction, shot at 0 exposure compensation. We show you here the portrait photo of two students of the Bologna Law faculty, who were celebrating their graduation, hence the laurels in their heads… The picture was taken at 54 mm focal length (35 mm equivalent) stop F5,shutter 1/60 and ISO-400 sensitivity.   

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We also climbed the world famous Bologna Asinelli tower, which is not less than 97,2 meters high, and you need to climb not less than 498 steps… Here the Olympus 14-42 mm lens coped very well with high light contrasts in the staircase, with very little lens flare, and the in-built image stabilization did its job as here the shutter speed was as slow as 1/3 of a sec, with ISO-400 and 28 mm focal length (35 mm equiv.)

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Arrived at the top of the tower, we took a shot of the rooftops through the grilles, with the evening setting in rapidly. Lens opening F 5,3, again a slow shutter speed of 1/15 sec, ISO-400, 70 mm focal length, 35 mm equiv.

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We stayed at the Art Hotel Orologio, situated in a traffic-free area overlooking Piazza Maggiore square and Bologna’s historic center. The photo was taken early the next morning, F 4,3, 1/40 sec, ISO-400 and focal length 42 mm, 35 mm equivalent. Tonal values and contrast were well contained and balanced.

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Last but not least we took a photo of the tower of the Palazzo d’Accursio (or Palazzo Comunale) from our hotel room window, which we then in post processing converted to b&w. There is still some detail in the shadows, as you see. High contrast is well mastered. This palace once formulated to house major administrative offices of the city of Bologna. The building is located on the Piazza Maggiore, and is the city’s Town Hall.

Besides its functions as a town hall, it also houses the Civic Art Collection, with paintings from the Middle Ages to the 19th century; there you find also the Museo Morandi, with the works by Giorgio Morandi; and last but not least there is the Biblioteca Salaborsa, the town libraries.

The photo was taken with ISO set at 100, F8, 1/160 sec, focal length 62 mm, again 35 mm equivalent.

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Finally a street shot of some illuminated texts spanning over the streets, F 4,9, ISO-200 and taken at 1/50 sec, focal length 54 mm (35 mm equiv.) The building to the left was under restoration and therefore clad with a protective canvas.

The Olympus showed now already what it can do with the 14-42 mm lens, next time we take the telelens through its paces!

Stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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