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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Norwich Cathedral & the Panasonic 25mm F1.4

The other weekend I was on taxi duty to take my daughter to a party over the border in the centre of Norwich, which left time to fill whilst I waited for her to finish. With rain forecast, this seemed like a great opportunity to use my new Pany 25mm lens in Norwich Cathedral. I love photographing the inside of churches, with the ornate decoration, natural light streaming though the windows, and that familiar musty smell. Being a place of worship I'm always concious of keeping noise to a minimum, and using the Pany GH2 as my camera would also have the benefit of a quieter shutter.

Norwich Cathedral has the largest monastic cloisters of any English cathedral, and walking within them you will notice coats of arms on the walls of the north walk. In 1578 Queen Elizabeth visited Norwich and the cloisters were the scene of a royal banquet. The coats of arms are of the hosts that entertained her. On my visit the cloisters had brightly coloured barriers protecting areas where they were installing floor lighting, so I decided to point the camera upwards and focus on the architecture of the ceiling. Even on a dull day there was sufficient light to use ISO 160 for the cloister and spire images.

The inside of the cathedral continued to impress, with an unusually long nave and a spectacular church organ. The stained glass windows tower up into the heights, and the decoration is incredibly ornate. These images were all taken at ISO 800 apart from the single stained glass window at ISO 160.

The spire on the Norman tower at 315 foot high is the second tallest in England, second only to that of Salisbury. I took this photograph from the cloisters using one of the arches to frame the spire. Half way up the spire on the right you can just make out the nesting platform for the Peregrine Falcons.

I had a great time taking photos in the Cathedral and the Pany GH2 with 25 f1.4 lens performed admirably. I didn't feel I was losing anything by not having the the 5D2 with me. I had a little more noise, but a slight addition of noise reduction in Lightroom 4 dealt with that. For one of the images in my previous post, I mentioned I missed the additional dynamic range of the 5D2 to capture the detail in the sky. I think the GH2 coped well inside the cathedral and I didn't miss the addition dynamic range in this instance.

It was a delight being able to use and carry such light weight photography kit, particularly as my family also wanted to do some shopping in Norwich. I'm now keen to get to a local castle and test the camera/lens combination in that environment, as the early indications are it will be a perfect fit.

My Churches & Cathedrals photos on Flickr


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