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Roger Hance

OLYMPUS MENTOR

Roger has been involved in photography for over 30 years. He joined Ipswich and District Photographic Society in 1984 and joined the Royal Photographic Society the following year. He progressed through Licentiateship, Associateship, and gained a certain amount of notoriety in 1990 when he was awarded three Fellowships in the same year. These were in the Portrait, Applied and Pictorial categories. Not wishing to rest on his laurels, he gained his fourth Fellowship in 1998 in the Natural History category.

For the last 20 years Roger has served on various RPS Assessment panels – initially the Licentiateship panel for 9 years, then the Nature Associateship / Fellowship panel for 10 years, and finally the Fellowship Board for 2 years.

He has received numerous awards in both national and international exhibitions. He holds the AFIAP distinction for awards in exhibitions in both this country and abroad. He also holds the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain`s DPAGB award, as well as the BPE5* award for over 300 acceptance in exhibitions throughout the UK.

In 1990 he won the `Amateur Photographer of the Year` award in AP magazine, which was judged by the late Lord Patrick Litchfield. It was after this that Roger was invited on the Royal Photographic assessment panels.

Although Roger’s main interest is now Natural History, he does not limit himself to one ‘genre’ of photography and is accomplished in many other areas of photography, – landscape, portraits, sport and photojournalism.

Although a lot of photographers are happy to post their images ‘online’, Roger still believes that the best way of seeing a photographer`s final work is a mounted A3 print. He has been giving print talks to camera clubs around the UK for over 25 years. He believes that the mood or feeling of an image can be greatly improved by careful selection of the type of paper used for each image. In 2013 he was invited to become an ‘envoy’ for Permajet and uses their papers exclusively.

For virtually all his photographic career Roger was a confirmed Canon user, and he never thought he would change. He was, however, getting increasingly fed up carrying around heavy DSLRs and lenses. He noticed that a number of the top natural history photographers were changing from Canon/Nikon to the Olympus system, so just over a year ago. he decided to also try Olympus. Natural History photographers are a very discerning group of people, and they would not change unless the quality of a system was second to none.

Initially, Roger was concerned that the smaller sensor size of a micro four-thirds camera would not yield the same print quality of a full-frame DSLR. Being an envoy for Permajet, it was essential that the prints made from the Olympus system were ‘up to it ‘. When he started printing images for a new camera talk, he was amazed by how good the quality of the finished prints was. Even printing up as big as A2 size, every detail in the feathers of a bird can still be seen. Having `passed `this test with flying colours`, he had no doubts about ditching the Canon equipment and changing totally to Olympus.

In his words ‘I am now taking far more images with the Olympus that I ever did with Canon. My favourite lens is the 300m F4 Pro lens, coupled with the MC 14 teleconverter, which gives me the equivalent focal length of 840m on my old system. The beauty of this lens is how razor-sharp it is, very light, has Image Stabilisation that has to be seen to be believed, and it`s easy to carry around and handhold all day long. To achieve this focal length before I needed to carry around a very heavy Canon 600m lens, 1.4 converter. Because it was far too heavy for handheld shots, I also had to take a heavy Gitzo tripod with a Wimberly type head. Carrying all this gear around all day was no fun, so the change to Olympus was for me, a very simple decision! I also find I am taking shots with the Olympus that I would never have attempted with the Canon.’