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11 April 2018

We not only edit Photo Corners, we read it. And when we read about Olympus' 2x digital zoom in a recent Around The Horn, we dug up the manual for our E-PL1 to see about it.

Double Twist. Shot at f8 and 1/60 second at ISO 1600.

Alas, as we say an awful lot these days. No such luck. The thing came with a kit zoom anyway. Why bother with digital zoom?


But we do have a Kenko 2x teleconverter for Nikon lenses. So we thought, we not put that on our Lensbaby Tilt Transformer and attach the Lensbaby Twist 60 to the other end?

Here's the math. The teleconverter turns the 60mm focal length into 120mm. But a Micro Four Thirds sensor has a 2.0 crop factor, so your net focal length is 240mm. That eats the pants off the 14-42mm kit zoom with its 28-84mm equivalent.

Adobe Camera Raw. Lots of Clarity.

And with such a magnified image it's a bit easier to manually focus, too.

We barely escaped the bunker with this bazooka before it started to rain but we did get this one shot we really liked.

So we brought it into Adobe Camera Raw, applied the new Adobe Color profile (which is the default anyway) and made some serious adjustments to Clarity and exposure.

We also added a dark vignette to frame the bright blossom in Camera Raw. So in Photoshop itself all we did was resize and smart sharpen the image for use here.


There were two problems we were trying to solve in post processing.

The first problem was exposure.

To get to the sensor, light had to travel five inches down the barrel of our lens sandwich. And there wasn't much light pre-storm to begin with. ISO was maxed out at 1600 already and even though the E-PL1 has in-body stabilization making handheld slow shutter speeds feasible, we didn't want to be shooting at 240mm slower than 1/60 second.

So you can see we bumped Exposure up in Camera Raw significantly. At the same time we added both Luminance and Color Noise Reduction (that's in another panel in Camera Raw).

The second problem was sharpness.

The Twist 60 isn't exactly soft but it isn't a Sigma Art lens either. And the Kenko teleconverter noticeably reduces sharpness.

The combination of Clarity and Smart Sharpening delivers pretty sharp images for use here. But we went way beyond our usual Clarity setting to compensate for the Kenko and the Noise Reduction. A little Dehaze (now on the Basics panel) helped too.

There's no magic to these numbers. You just slide around until you get a feel for what's too much and what's not enough, settling somewhere in between.


If we were shooting JPEGs, this optical sandwich would be hard to swallow. But because we were processing Raw data, post processing could solve issues we could do nothing about in the field.

And it gave us something to do as the rain started to fall, too.

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