About PrimePhoto

PrimePhoto is the photography platform of Oliver M. Zielinski’s public relations business and exists since 1996. This website had taken several stages up to this appearance – it was a blog, a shop and a showcase website – both in English and in German. Today it concentrates on Oliver’s photo activities and gives some insights into his work.

About Oliver M. Zielinski

Oliver M. Zielinski
Oliver M. Zielinski

Oliver was born and raised in the Berlin area in Germany. As a graduated journalist and trained banker (rare combination, right?) he started his own public relations business Z MEDIA in 1996. Since he had been a photo enthusiast from his highschool years on and photography assignments started to roll in the young agency’s business, he decided to develop PrimePhoto as a service for his clients. Most of these assignments were about staff headshots and event documentation as well as architecture and product photography. Very often he uses his mobile photo studio. From 2013 on Oliver specialized on photographing architecture, interior design and real estate which is reflected at PrimePhoto.de.

Other likings in the field of photography have now found their home at this very sister-website (PrimePhoto.com). Oliver M. Zielinski was always hunting for photographs of beautiful landscapes and cityscapes as well as of travel destinations and entertainment events which could easily be used as supplementary elements for his agency work. It is no secret that this corresponds quite a lot with his personal photography preferences.

When Oliver M. Zielinski fully switched from analog to digital photography, which was about 2004, he also started first social media activities. Since he is a Nikon shooter (in the third decade by now) he became an active member of Germany’s quality Nikon forum Nikonpoint (by this time still called “Coolpix-Forum”). Not only he follows and participates in discussions on photo news or gear handling and in photo critique – this lively communtiy also organizes photowalks and workshops which he enjoys a lot.  And it offers the opportunity to check out new gear without any investment because Nikonians are compatible with each other. In 2011 Oliver M. Zielinski also started with social media like Google+, Facebook and XING.

At the same time he got in contact with renowned American photographer Trey Ratcliff and was asked to write a German version of his award winning HDR tutorial. Later he became the translator of a famous standard book on speedlight photography – Lighting 101 by David “The Strobist” Hobby and of Larry Lohrman’s What Realtors Need to Know about Photography which exactly matches one part of his business.

How it all began

It all started with a POUVA START view finder camera loaded with 6×6 rollfilm which his father gave to him as a gift when he was 7 years old. But the happiness about this did not last very long because the plastic camera body and lens barrel became a victim of his playful friends.

Demolished Pouva Start
Demolished Pouva Start

Several years later as a bored teenager he browsed through a book on photography basics. Suddenly he’d got the bug. Exposure time, aparture, film speed, focal lengths, extenders, depth of field – it all got really exciting and he could not wait to check all the theory with a real camera. The Exa 1a of his father – a fully manual 35mm SLR with a 50 mm 2.8 lens – was used more and more rarely by that time and went creepingly into Oliver’s possession.

At some point the hardware needed to be upgraded and thus in the late 80s he bought his first own camera: a Praktica MTL 5B, which is a manual SLR with a built in light meter. Interchangeble lenses and other accessories found their way into the camera bag very soon. During his time as a student and as a working journalist this solid brick of a camera had proven perfectly.

In late 1991 Oliver felt that it was time to enjoy himself. He packed all his Praktica equipment in a big bag and traded it in for his first Nikon. The F-601 AF and later a black Nikon F80 D accompanied him over hundreds and hundreds of films and followed him truely and almost without any failure on photo adventures around the world and no flaws at all despite lots of tough business action. These cameras had to tolerate several mediocre zoom lenses but they went to old strengths only when the original AF Nikkor 50 mm 1:1,8 latched into the F-bayonet. Btw: This lens is still in use with his current Nikons and is responsible for tack sharp images with nice bokehs, although the AF speed seems a little outdated for today’s technology.

From that time on Oliver shoots travel, landscapes, cityscapes with passion – first on negative film, later mainly slide film, and now ofcourse digital. For professional assignments of very different kinds he has used his camera equipment since he founded his public raltions agency .

By the turn of the Millenium digital photography gained importance and thus offered in the professional sector the chance to process photographs directly and almost lossless on computers. Oliver decided to wait until his favorite SLR maker would present a reasonable DSLR in the store shelves. But something else came up: In late 2003 an inexpansive offer crossed the German internet: A Canon PowerShot S50 finally put Oliver on the digital track. This robust lady in her precious black alloy dress (in Europe up to that point only the boring silver version was available) had all the features needed and was able to create 5 MP images in RAW format. This was essential for better photographs and made it much easier to concentrate on the subject matter.

Big thanks to Canon for this introduction but when Nikon hit the market in spring 2004 with an excellent entry level DSLR, all the waiting had paid off. Familiar haptics, the handling concept already known from the F80 and the already existing lens collection made it easy to decide: Before summer Oliver got hold of a Nikon D70.

Four years and 40.000 exposures later a Nikon D300Nikon D300s completed the equipment and became Oliver’s first choice. The D70, now is the rarely used backup model but still works perfect.

Also his trip through the optical scene has reached it’s temporary end. First Oliver wanted to replace the D70’s kit lens AF-S DX Zoom NIKKOR 18-70 mm 1:3,5-4,5G ED-IF as well as other existing zooms with fast prime lenses. Soon he came to the conclusion that the permanent lens change is rather obstructive for an active photographer. At several workshops he met photo professionals who made best experiences with the standard combo of the f/2.8 FX lenses 14-24, 24-70 und 70-200 mm. Transferred to his DX sensor he found the following combination: Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 10-24mm 1:3,5-4,5G EDNikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 10-24mm 1:3,5-4,5G ED (okay, not that fast but very sharp at every range) and Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm 1:2,8G EDNikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm 1:2,8G ED. The latter one is a leap ahead towards a possible change onto an FX system – but even at DX it is in best shape. The upper end has to wait, by now it is covered by his travel zoom lens Nikon AF-S 28-300mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED VRNikon AF-S 28-300mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED VR quite reasonably.

In late 2015 Oliver got an assignment to photograph Germany’s second largest hotel. For this purpose he borrowed a Nikon D750 and a Nikkor 14-24 lens. The results were overwhelming to him in terms of the new possibilities with dynamics and noise as well as sharpness and resolution. And also the client was extremely happy with the results. In early 2016 when new assingments rolled in (Oliver supposes due to the excellent hotel images taken before) he went to buy the D750 and decided to combine it with Tamron’s 15-30 lens, which turned out to produce even better images.

This is the current gear list

Cameras

Nikon D300Nikon D300s
workhorse camera

Nikon D70
backup for the worst case scenario

Nikon Coolpix 5400
herited from the past but still good for products and documentation

iPhone 4
not a real camera, just mentioned not to forget

Lenses

Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 10-24mm 1:3,5-4,5G EDNikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 10-24mm 1:3,5-4,5G ED
tack sharp all over the image and the focal lengths

Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm 1:2,8G EDNikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm 1:2,8G ED
maybe a sort of overkill for the D300 but produces incredible images

AF NIKKOR 50 mm 1:1,8D
ol’ friend for low light

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED VRNikon AF-S 28-300mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED VR
the all purpose weapon

Camera Accessories

Nikon SB-800Nikon SB-910
perfect speedlight, great CLS functionality

2 Nikon SB-28
great speedlights, mostly used off camera

Yongnuo RF-602 Radio TriggerYongnuo RF-602
works two ways: as remote trigger for off camera flashes or studio strobes and as camera remote control

Blackrapid RS-4 Classic Camera Strap Kameragurt Blackrapid R-Strap RS-4 Classic
gave it a chance and now loves it

Camera Bags

Nikon Crumpler “That”
cool small shoulder bag for city tours, camera body plus Lens plus small stuff, nice: modest Nikon branding

Kata DC-443Kata DC-443
medium sized shoulder bag for medium sized assignments, camera body plus 3 lenses plus speedlight plus small stuff

Kata 3N1-30Kata 3N1-30
backpack and slingbag in one, big version that contains all the camera equipment if needed

Camera Support

Manfrotto 055XPROBManfrotto 055XPROB with Manfrotto 486 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Rapid Connect System
sturdy alloy camera stand, now used in studio

Sirui N-2204Sirui N-2204 with Sirui K-20X ball headSirui K-20X
the clever man’s carbon alternative, light weight and small packing size, ideal for travel and photowalks, and one leg can be converted into a Monopod

Studio Equipment

Mobile Backdrop System for Seamless Background

2 x 260 WS Studio Strobes

2 x Softbox 24″ x 36″

div. Umbrellas

div. Lightstands

div. Reflectors

Digital Darkroom

EIZO 24″ CG241W-BK ScreenEIZO CG241W-BK

Wacom Intuos 5 M GrafiktablettWacom Intuos 5 M Grafiktablett

Spyder4EliteSpyder4Elite

Adobe Photoshop and LightroomAdobe Photoshop and Lightroom