A WILD ADVENTURE IN THE LAKES WITH STEVE GOSLING
BY AIDAN MAYNE
Fast, sharp and weather sealed, the brand new M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO is the ideal lens for any OM-D user looking to get the most out of their camera system. Featuring a constant aperture of f/2.8 and the worlds first Dual VCM autofocus system, it proved the perfect tool for 10 lucky shooters who got the opportunity to get hands on with the lens on our recently workshop at the Lake District Wildlife park, led by expert photographer and Olympus ambassador, Steve Gosling.
Built to a professional standard, being splash, dust and freeze proof, the 40-150mm PRO is robust enough to be used in the most demanding of environments, ideal for the predictably wet Lake District in December. Following introductions in the warmth of the café, plenty of coffee, and a run through of cameras and kit for the day, we decide to brave the weather, venture into the park, and put the lenses to the test.
Our first subjects for the day were the birds of prey during the morning display, which gave our photographers the chance to get used to the kit they were to be using for the workshop. Even in dull, overcast conditions the OM-Ds were more than up to the challenge, shooting at up to 10 frames per second, with the faster aperture and focussing of the 40-150mm proving handy for shots of birds in flight. Fast aperture prime lenses such as the M.Zuiko 75mm 1.8, and 45mm 1.8 were also extremely useful when we were given the opportunity to get closer to the birds, and capture detail shots.
Despite the difficult weather conditions, we were all able to get some great shots throughout the morning, looking at a range of subjects from energetic otters and meerkats, to a rather sulky looking Mandrill, hiding from the rain.
Over lunch, we were able to discuss kit and technique, comparing images and thoughts on the cameras and lenses so far. Having passed the torture test of performing flawlessly despite the rain and cold, we were all eager to try the lenses in a drier environment (unfortunately photographers are not quite so weather sealed).
Pulling out all the stops, our hosts at the wildlife park were able to put on an indoor owl show especially for our group, where we were able to get up close and personal with some of the beautiful birds. Fast apertures and high ISO’s were key here, as was the OM-D’s 5-axis image stabilisation system for the static subjects. The owls, not at all camera shy, posed perfectly as we snapped away, our photographers experimenting with a range of lenses, one of which obviously appealed to a particular owl, who decided a users 40-150mm PRO would be the perfect perch for his photo shoot.
As the light levels dropped, and the day drew to a close, we took to the café to dry off one last time and take final questions and answers for the day. With cameras collected, goodie bags handed out (complete with Christmas crackers and £50 cashback vouchers), and goodbyes exchanged, we all headed home, looking forward to next years set of workshops.