Monday, November 20, 2017

Analog Diary: Early At The Fair

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Early At The Fair 02
Early At The Fair 03
Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7

Early At The Fair

 Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7
'Early at the fair with black and whites on the Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7'

After doing a stint with the Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4 previously, I am moving next to the Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7, fitted to the Minolta Alpha Sweet 35mm SLR.

The A-mount Minolta AF 50mm F/1.7 is a very compact lens, the smallest that Minolta made during its production run, shipped as a 'kit' lens type. Filter size is 49mm.

The unit I was using was the restyled (RS) version of the 1990s. Fit and finish is good, the lens has plastic exterior, sports a stylized rubber grip around the barrel and focus ring, and is fitted with stainless steel mount. The lens also houses a nifty but shallow built-in hood which you need to pull out of the body mount to use. The hood does not provide much of a shade though.

Early At The Fair 04

 Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7
On the Alpha Sweet, the AF 50mm auto-focuses quickly and accurately, and being the RS version, the focus throw is shorter than the original non-RS version.

Manual focusing is equally easy, quick, and smooth with the 1/4 turn from close-in to infinity.

The feet and meter focus distance scales are engraved on an inner barrel which is visual through a window opening. DoF (Depth of Field) hash marks are engraved on the outer barrel.

Early At The Fair 05

As for the event itself, my visit was early in the day the fair started, stalls and sellers are set and ready while the crowd was just trickling in. I had a roll of Kodak ColorPlus 200 installed in the camera, grabbed these few shots, and a few more, but decided later that on the post-processed black and whites are the better option for this presentation.

Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7

The camera and lens combination was light and handy, functioned flawlessly, and I was happy to see that the lens stood up to its billing. Minolta A-mount lens, is of course, completely functional with Sony Alpha A-mount APS-C or Full Frame cameras.

Post-processing was initially done on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) and print finishing on Google NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 and Sharpener Pro 3.

Resource Links:
Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 - LEGACY Test Report
The Minolta 50mm AF f/1.7, a Love Story - The Phoblographer

Monday, November 13, 2017

Digital Moments: AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D

Digital Moments: AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D 01
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Olympus E-P5, AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D

AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D

AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D
'A quick take session with an AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D adapted to an Olympus E-P5'

I did not waste any time at all when I was given the chance to test out the AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D. Fitted the lens to my Olympus E-P5 with a third-party adapter, whizzed into the garden and came back a couple of minutes later with these images, and a few more.

The 50mm AF Nikkor came with the reputation of being super sharp and is highly recommended as one of the budget lenses or as a prime to start your camera system with. It is very affordable, with plenty of listing on auction sites, and one you can easily acquire at about half the cost of a new one.

Digital Moments: AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D 04

AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D
The lens is a lightweight, weighing in at 155 grams, built of plastic with metal mount, and is highly recommended for travel, portraits, or general photography.

On the Olympus E-P5, the lens has an equivalent focal length of 100mm, the balance feels just right, it does not add any more weight to the camera for you to worry about, and with a closet focusing distance of 0.45m, framing for these minimal's are just about right, but getting the image focussed (manually of course) is something you have to get used to.

The gripe I had, as the lens can only be focused manually on the E-P5, is the corse and gritty plastic feel of the focusing ring. It has none of the legendary smoothness of a manual focus Nikkors (of the past). Though well built, the lens is still a product of the cost-cutting economic plastic era, leaving you the feeling that the lens is best left on an AF Nikon where focusing is a mechanical assist.

Digital Moments: AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D 05

Though not as sharp as you would expect the images to be (my bad), the image quality of these Nikon crisps is something you can be delirious about.

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The lens itself has a long built history, starting with several manual version since first introduced in 1978. It is a full-frame FX lens, and it works with every Nikon ever made, digital and film, auto and manual focus. It will not, however,  autofocus on low-end digitals like the D40 and D40x, or the F3.

Olympus E-P5, AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D

The AF version first appeared in 1986, was slightly changed in 1990, and the AF-D version released in February 2002, complementing the launch of the F90x (N90s in the States), which provides for the innovative distance information for metering and ambient/TTL flash exposure calculation.

Well, if you have a camera that is compatible, this is one for the price and image quality.

Resource Links:
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D Review
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

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