Monday, December 11, 2017

Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai: Digital Moments

Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai: Digital Moments 01
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Olympus E-P5, Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai

Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai

Nikkor Pre-Ai 35mm f/2.8
'A quick take session with a Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai lens adapted to the Olympus E-P5'

The Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm f/2.8, an improved version of the Nikkor S Auto model available for many years from Nikon, was first introduced in 1959.

The version is more compact than its predecessor, extending only 44.5mm out when mounted on the camera body, and comes with NIC (Nikon Integrated Coating) on all air to glass surfaces which contributed to the improved performance, in addition to reduced flare and ghost, and improved color rendition.

Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai: Digital Moments 04

Nikkor Pre-Ai 35mm f/2.8
From its basic 6 elements in 6 groups construction, the lens evolved through both multiple optical and cosmetic variations and ends with a 5 element optical design. The Ai version was made from 1979 through 1981, while the Ai-S was made available from 1989 through to 2005.

The Pre-Ai version of the Nikkor 35mm f/2.8, which I used for this quick take session, is easily identified by the absence of the second set of tiny aperture numbers on the aperture ring.

These type of lenses were manufactured for use on Nikon cameras made before 1977, where the lens has to be 'indexed' to the camera's meter by rotating the lens to its largest aperture and back when the lens is mounted. This is done so that the meter is properly calibrated when mounted, forget to do this and your exposures could be way off.

Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai: Digital Moments 05

The lens is a nice fit on the Olympus Pen E-P5, giving my smallish hands just the right leverage and finger distance for both aperture and focusing control. Focusing was, of course, soft and smooth, as smooth as a Nikkor should be, while aperture clicks were just right, not that I used much of it. Most of my quick take images were taken at full aperture and almost at the lens shortest focusing distance.

Olympus E-P5, Nikkor Pre-Ai 35mm f/2.8

Sharp as it is, there is no real worry about edge fallout and other things related when the lens is fitted to the 2x crop sensor E-P5. Doing the images in black-and-white also removes the need for me to delve into coma, aberrations or color fringing as well.

My short stint with the lens among the potted plants and the laundry line rewarded me with these images. Shot on the square, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) for black-and-white conversion, with final print sharpening done on Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3.

Resource Links:
Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Non-AI Test
Manual Focus Nikkor 35mm f/2.8s wideangle lens

Monday, December 4, 2017

Olympus XA 1: Scenes At The Car Wash

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Olympus XA 1

Scenes At The Car Wash

Olympus XA 1
'Analog diary, down at the car wash with the point-and-shoot Olympus XA 1'

I dropped by this drive-through car wash often enough to know that and when the weather is right and the queue is light, I may have the opportunity of grabbing a few shots of the wash and vacuum routine scene at a local filling station.

I did a similar post earlier, where I used the mobile phone to capture the images, had the shots post-processed for a surreal artistic ambiance, and came up with quite an interesting presentation. Here's hoping that you have viewed the post as well.

Olympus XA 1: Scenes At The Car Wash 05

Olympus XA 1
This time around, I took along the Olympus XA 1, loaded with an ASA 400 Fujifilm Superia X-tra, took these shots (and a few more), sent the film to be developed and the images scanned at the lab, and back to my tabletop to do the post-processing on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3).

The Olympus XA 1, though not really favored by most as one of the fine flavors of the Olympus XA clamshell series, is still one of my favorite film cameras for its point-and-shoot simplicity. The camera is fitted with a fixed focus 4 element Zuiko D 35mm f/4 with an aperture range from f/4 to f/22, shutter speed is automated from 1/30 to 1/250 second. Framed images are in focus from 1.5m onward.

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The camera, however, does not come with the red membrane touch shutter the others in the clan have, but a standard press-down button in the norm of other Olympus camera from a slightly earlier period. Exposure control is a selenium cell unit fitted surrounding surrounds the lens as per the hugely popular and successful Olympus Trip 35. The camera, thus, does not need or require a battery to run or to manage its exposure system.

A red pop-up flag system blocks the shutter from being released if the image is underexposed, simplicity itself.

Olympus XA 1

I was looking for images to have a slightly artistic offbeat effect for this presentation. Post-processing on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) includes a slight Crop to adjust for scanning misalignment, Shading Compensation to adjust edge darkening, a slight drag of the Tone Curve to darken the image ever slightly, and Brightness & Contrast to add volume to the image.

Gamma, Hue & Saturation, Unsharp Mask, and Noise Reduction aids in the rendering of the curated image, which is again print sharpened using Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3 as the finishing step.

Resource Links:
Olympus XA1 Review - Blacksheep done good
Camera Test: Olympus XA1 - Awesome Cameras

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