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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Loire Valley, France - Day 4


innovaeditor/assets/Blog/Loire/30.8/P1010529f_r.jpg

Apart from being in the Loire Valley to see the great chateaus, I am also here to test some lenses which I mentioned in one of my last posts. I find it a good time to do this because I'm pretty relaxed when I'm on holiday. So today I decided to mount the Tamron 14-150 f3.5-5.8 on the E-M1 and see how things turn out. The last test I carried out with the Tamron was with the Panasonic GX7. I hope that the latest firmware update produce better results on my Olympus cameras. The Panasonic 7-14 f4 will be used on the GX7. Results should be good, being used on a Panasonic body. Should theoretically be better than when using an Olympus body. There's nothing like mixing and matching to bring out the best in equipment, or the worst.


I may miss the f4 aperture of the 12-100 but the only way to see if something works is to use it in the field.

I'm not a great fan of continuous blue skies, a little cloud does produce a more interesting image. Today however, we had grey, threatening clouds but no rain, until we got to Amboise and got out of the car, literally! So the whole day was a little showery but it didn't stop us from visiting the chateau here. It was the chateau of Charles VIII and where Leonardo da Vinci is buried. Amboise is where Leonardo lived for the last 3 years of his life and died at his home here in 1519.

 

Amboise

 


A side note: The reason why the Mona Lisa is now in the Louvre Museum is because Leonardo da Vinci brought is with him when he came to live in Amboise in 1516. The king liked it so much he bought it. And that is why it's hanging in the Louvre today.

It is said that Amboise is the prettiest chateau in the whole of the Loire Valley, and I can see why. But that of course is a matter of opinion. It is pretty on the inside and the gardens are well kept. Only a portion of the chateau remains standing today, the remainder has disappeared over the centuries. Plans of how the chateau would have looked like in the 16th century are on display and I can only say it must have been fit for a king because it was certainly large and beautifully laid out.

Leonardo is also buried here at Amboise, in a small chapel within the grounds of the chateau, an honour which the king himself sanctioned.

Let's get down to some equipment talk, with the Tamron mounted on the E-M1 and after the firmware update I expected great things from this lens. Fact is however focusing issues was experienced where the lens wouldn't lock focus at all. I switched the camera off and on again several times but without much success. Finally, I just took the lens off and cleaned the contacts. After that the lens seemed to work fine but it did dampen my confidence in the lens somewhat. I had hoped the latest firmware had improved things. Apparently not. Focusing speed is also slower than the 12-100 f4 and the 14-150 f4.0-5.6 II.

The lens will stay on the Panasonic GX7 where I've had the best and sharpest results from the lens. As a final point, this lens does lack contrast and you have to work the images harder to get the best results. That was not what I was hoping for. Guess what, the 12-100 f4 is back on the E-M1 where it's going to stay. The more I use the Olympus 12-100 f4, the more I appreciate it. Well, it is a Pro lens so results should be good.

The Panasonic 7-14 f4 proved flawless on the Panasonic GX7. I didn't expect anything else really. For anyone looking for a great little system then this is it. The GX7 can be had for next to nothing these days (being superceded). I personally find the GX7 a great little camera, especially with the tilting EVF. If you get a chance to pick one up cheap, do so, you won't regret it. To be honest I was desperately looking for a reason to purchase the Olympus 7-14 f2.8 but after using the Panasonic 7-14 f4 on a daily basis for the last 4 days the desire for that lens has waned and the Panasonic 7-14 f4 lens is a keeper for me. Yes, lens flare can be a problem but I've only experienced it a couple of times on this trip so far. My solution, just use your hand as a shade, no more flare issues.

NOTE:
If the Olympus 40-150 f2.8 has the same properties as the other Pro lenses then it's going to be very difficult to resist in the future. The 25 f1.2, the 12-40 f2.8 and the 12-100 f4 are excellent lenses and are a match for their DSLR counterparts.

The Panasonic TZ101 came along with us as normal, tucked away in a side pocket of my camera bag, always within reach. I'm trying to use it as often as I can, taking a shot of the same subject as with my other cameras. I can then compare them after being processed.

Here are some images from Chateau Amboise, camera and lens noted.



Taken with the Olympus E-M1 + Tamron 14-150 f3.5-5.8

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

This tunnel is really very wide and the reason for that

is that it allowed carriadges to be driven down, and back

up again of course. A novelty in it's day.

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

The new buildings at the top of the image shows how the

archtets have used new materials for the buildings but at

the same time integrated them with the old guilings in the

foreground. Good thinking in my opinion.

 

 

Amboise

The church where Leonardo da Vinci is entombed.

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

A lot of houses are built into the cliff face, like the image

above. We also saw a lot of sheds carved out of the

cliff face.

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

On our way back to the car I watched this guy fishing. As you can see he just hooked something for the second time. The first one he lost and fell back into the river. Didn't deter him however. From what I saw it quite a catch.

 


As usual after a three hour visit to one of these remarkable chateaus we went for a meal. Whenever possible we tend to get off the main street where prices are extortionate. What we found was a little Italian restaurant being run by a French couple. I had the best "Calzone" pizza ever here:

 


Amboise

If you ever get to Amboise, try to get to this restaurant. It's simply fantastic.

 

 

 

Taken with the Panasonic TZ101

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 What you often find here in France is the couryard/garden has been screened off from prying eyey and you have no idea what lies behind the walls. As you can see here what lies behind this wall is very nice indeed. Some nice architecture again. Lovely building.

 

 

 Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

The last two were actually taken at Chateau Close Luce.

 

 

 

Taken with the Olympus E-M5 II + Panasonic 7-14 f4

 

 

Amboise 

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

This is inside the church where Leonardo is emtombed. Can be found on the left as you enter the church.

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

Amboise

 

 

 


After lunch we headed over to Chateau du Close Luce where Leonardo da Vinci lived for the last 3 years of his life (1516-1519). What a wonderful place to live. At that time it was quite secluded and offered Leonardo space and time to invent to his hearts content.

Note:
During my visits to these location I have attempted to photograph scenes with different cameras so that I can compare image quality from these devices, especially from the Panasonic TZ101. This sensor might have an influence on my next purchase. The sensor really intrigues me as Sony have used it in many of their cameras (and I see they've just released the RX10 IV). Panasonic also use it in their FZ1000 and FZ2000/2500 cameras, with great success. I'm thinking if the TZ101 can produce half decent images then the Sony RX10 and Panasonic FZ series cameras can certainly do it. For one the lenses are much better on those cameras.

Here are some images from Chateau Close Luce and if I post a comparison shot from different cameras, I'll note that below the images.

 


Taken with the Olympus E-M1 + Tamron 14-150 f3.5-5.8

 

Close Luce

 

  

Close Luce

 

 

Close Luce

The first tank.

 

 

Close Luce

 

 

 

 

Taken with the Olympus E-M5 II + Panasonic 7-14 f4

 

Close Luce

 

 

Close Luce

 

 

Close Luce

 

 

Close Luce

 

 

Close Luce

 

 

Close Luce

 

 

Close Luce

 

 

Close Luce

A model of the first ever tank

 

 

Close Luce

A full sized reproduction of the first machine gun

 

 

Close Luce

Another variation of the machine gun

 

 

Close Luce

He even invented the paddle wheel

 

 

Close Luce

He invented the first swing bridge

 

 

Close Luce

He invented the first bike and the first car. This guy was a real genius.

 

 

Close Luce

 

 

Close Luce

A very nice chateau. I'm certain Leonardo da Vinci enjoyed his last three years in this lovely building with it's quiet gardens.

 

 

 


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I'm an enthusiastic photographer who likes to tinker with manual lenses on most camera formats.

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