Monday, September 18, 2017

Quick Take: Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4

Quick Take: Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4 @ 21mm
Quick Take: Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4 @ 24mm
Quick Take: Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4 @ 28mm
Quick Take: Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4 @ 35mm
Olympus E-P5, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4
Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4
Imagine being able to replicate the use of four wide and ultra wide-angle primes from 21, 24, 28 and 35mm with a single zoom unit that combines the four focal lengths into one, albeit longer in length and heavier in weight than the any of the four. Firstly, of course, is the substantial saving in cost, followed by the ease of only carrying only one lens rather than four, and the ease of changing focal lengths on the fly.

That was my frame of mind when I put in the order for a 'rare' listing of the OM-mount Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4 lens. Online reviews indicated that this is an exemplary lens, ground-breaking, trail-blazing, and it comes with a reputation to match.

Quick Take: Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4 @ 35mm

The options for me was the ability to use the lens both on my full frame film Olympus OM's and on the E-P5 with the OM Adapter MF-2 which will give the lens the equivalent focal lengths of 42, 48, 56, and 70mm. The views above are just of that, a quick early morning take looking down the dead-end road just outside of where I am staying.

The sequential images above was cropped to the 16:9 image aspect to adjust for the framing shifts from my handheld shooting, while the high-rise monstrosity is in the camera's native 4:3 aspect ratio. All shots were taken at f/5.6, as recommended by the reviews, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3), with final sharpening done on Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3.

The image below is of my aged table lamp shot with the lens setting at 35mm, f/8, close to the lens's closest focusing distance of 0.5m, while out in the garden, the Maidenhair Fern (final image) looks rather splendid when sharpened to accentuate its lacy spread.

Quick Take: Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4, Close-up

The lens, the world's first, is a super solid all-metal construction composed of 12 elements in 12 groups. Weighing about 450 grams and measuring 105mm in length, the lens came with a built-in floral pattern hood and takes in 67mm filter size. Though slightly front heavy when attached to the OM System Winder 2 powered OM-2SP, the feel is just right and balanced for my smallish hands. On the E-P5, however, with the added extension to its overall length by the MF-2 adapter, my concern is more towards the fragility of the combination, which gives way an extra care and concern while handling and doing shoots with the lens.

Quick Take: Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4, Cropped

Will you grab one if you have the chance? My recommendation is a big triple yes!!! I got mine for just slightly below USD 75.00 and it came attached to a fully configured and working Olympus OM-10. I believe that the lens was overlooked as the main sales pitch was about the camera. I have the camera listed on my sales page now, but as for the lens, I am in no hurry to part with it.


Resource Links:
Sigma 21-35mm F/3.5 - 4
Lens Review: Sigma 21-35mm f/3.5-4.2 (Zoom-Gamma II) | EOS Cameras and Manual Lenses | Flickr

Monday, September 11, 2017

Found Slides: Converted to Black-and-White

Found Slides: Converted to Black-and-White1
Found Slides: Converted to Black-and-White, image 02
Found Slides: Converted to Black-and-White, image 03
Found Slides: Converted to Black-and-White, image 04

Converted to Black-and-White
Another batch of found slides, 30+ years old, shot in color, but for this session, the images have been scanned and converted to black-and-white with Monochrome & Sepia tool, and tweaked for Auto Tone Correction, Contrast, Toen Curve, Brightness & Contrast, Hue & Saturation, Unsharp Mask and Noise Reduction, on the image editor Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3). Why? Well, for one, the originals are slightly faded and the colors are off and could be a lame sight to see these slides in its original disposition.

Found Slides: Converted to Black-and-White, image 05

Black-and-white images, with its broad tonal ranges and deep rich blacks, relaxes you and sets your mind into the subconscious, deciphering the image is then simply visual impact and resonance. Light, form, and texture are more compelling in an image rather than the hues of the subject matter, and color serves more as a distraction than the means to an end.

In the same series:


Resource Links:
15 Reasons The World Looks Better In Black And White
Color vs Black and white photography - What makes sense and when?

Monday, September 4, 2017

Chasing Colors: Konica C35 Automatic

Chasing Colors: Konica C35 Automatic 01
Chasing Colors: Konica C35 Automatic 02
Chasing Colors: Konica C35 Automatic 03
Chasing Colors: Konica C35 Automatic 04
Chasing Colors: Konica C35 Automatic 05
Chasing Colors: Konica C35 Automatic 06
Konica C35 Automatic, Hexanon f/2.8 38mm
Konica C35 Automatic
Chasing Colors
After doing an overview of the Konica C35 Automatic as an article, and accentuate it with a post, I was very impressed with the sharp and contrasty images captured by the camera, I just could not resist myself from taking the camera again for these round of images. The subject was a multi use track and field stadium which initially impresses me with is colorful pseudo Graeco-Roman arches that adorned the services side of the structure. Rather unkempt, the public portal of the stadium is equally colorful in orange and a shade of deep blue alternated with white under slabs, with patches of the paint work flaking off, showing a general lack of a proper maintenance schedule.

The Konica C35 Automatic, anyway, is a very lovable fully automatic 35mm rangefinder introduced in 1971. It was fitted with a 38mm f2.8 four-element Hexanon lens (46mm filter thread) and Copal B Mat shutter. In its fully programmed automatic mode, the camera will select a combination of both the aperture opening, from f/2.8 to f/14, and shutter speed, which ranges from 1/30 to 1/650 second for the exposure setting. ASA film speed is maxed at 400. The camera was designed to run on the 1.3v PX675 mercury battery, which I have replaced with the LR44 cell with no ill effect.

A lightweight, weighing in at only 370 grams, the C35 Automatic has one of the nicest and brightest viewfinders I have ever experienced, and it comes with a display that shows you the aperture/shutter speed combo that is being used. The camera is equally forgiving if you tend to miss out on using the rangefinder for focusing, in fact, what I have done is to put the rangefinder on the hyperfocal distance, point, and shoot away ...


Resource Links:
Understanding Color in Photography
Vibrant Color Photography Tips

Monday, August 28, 2017

Quick Take: M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro

Quick Take: M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro 01
Quick Take: M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro 02
Quick Take: M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro 03
Quick Take: M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro 04
Quick Take: M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro 05
Quick Take: M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro 06
Olympus E-P5, M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro
M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro
M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro
Another Quick Take session with lenses begged or borrowed, fitted, or adapted (if it is a legacy manual focus lens), to my Olympus E-P5. I only have a very short session with the lens and the only possibility then was to zero in on one of the potted plants in the makeshift garden. As with the other quick take sessions, there was nothing technical about these shots, except that they were all taken wide open. I suppose you can say that this is the beginning of understanding the characteristics of the lens. The images were shot in RAW, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) with a touch or two of Google Nik Sharpener Pro 3 for the finishing touch.

The Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 macro lens is fairly lightweight (weighs in at 185g), and has a fixed focal length the equivalent of a 120mm lens on a 35mm film camera. It is of dust-proof and splash-proof construction, and its design incorporates 13 elements in 10 groups and uses ED (Extra-low Dispersion), HR (High Refractive index) and E-HR (Extra-High Refractive index) glass. This is an effort by Olympus to completely eliminate chromatic aberrations that can be found in other lenses. The design of the lens is further accentuated with the use of seven circular diaphragm blades that will surely help to increase the “bokeh” effect formed in the defocused areas of the image.

The lens is also equipped with a high-speed Imager AF system. Imager AF is acquired by way of contrast detection and generally focuses on the subject nearest the lens. This lens is designed for everyday shooting with an emphasis on macro photography. A small dial on the lens allows it to be operated in either traditional or macro mode. All said and done, this 60mm macro is easy and fun to use. Looking forward to another session soon.


Resource Links:
Macro Photography Tutorial
Macro Photography for Beginners - Part 1

Monday, August 21, 2017

Analog Diary: At The Bazaar With The Olympus Trip 35

Analog Diary: At The Bazaar With The Olympus Trip 35 01
Analog Diary: At The Bazaar With The Olympus Trip 35 02
Analog Diary: At The Bazaar With The Olympus Trip 35 03
Analog Diary: At The Bazaar With The Olympus Trip 35 04
Analog Diary: At The Bazaar With The Olympus Trip 35 05
Analog Diary: At The Bazaar With The Olympus Trip 35 06
Olympus Trip 35
Olympus Trip 35
At The Bazaar With The Olympus Trip 35
The annual Ramadan Bazaar, as always, is a hive of activity where throngs of buyers size up the delights for their break fast and the sellers equally active hawking the aromas of local delicacies. Feast your eyes on the spread, pick your flavor of the day, back again tomorrow for another selection, forget not that this will last for only a month, and savor your thought on what the new year will bring.

This session was shot with the Olympus Trip 35, a fully-automatic viewfinder camera made from 1968 to 1983, made popular with promotions that incorporate an advertising campaign featuring renowned British photographer David Bailey. The Trip 35 is a four-zone focus point and shoot model with a scintillating sharp D.Zuiko 40mm 1:2.8 lens, with a solar-powered selenium light meter that adjusts the aperture of the lens when the camera is set to its 'A' mode.

Shutter speed on the Trip 35 is 1/200th second when the camera is set to the 'A' mode, and 1/40th second when set for manual or flash mode. A red pop-up flag locks the shutter from being fired when the camera detects insufficient lighting for the 'A' mode to get a correct exposure for the framed view. Apart from the straightforward four-position zone focus system, and an ISO setting from 25–400 (for the later version with the black plastic shutter button), the snapshooter camera had no other photographic controls. On bright and sunny days where the aperture on the camera tends to be at 1:8 or smaller, just set the zone focus to 'Group' and you will probably get all your shots in focus.



Resource Links:
How to Shoot Black and White Street Photography
Best of Black and White Street Photography on 500px - 500px ISO

Monday, August 14, 2017

Found Slides: The Idyllic Life

Found Slides: The Idyllic Life 01
Found Slides: The Idyllic Life 02
Found Slides: The Idyllic Life 03
Found Slides: The Idyllic Life 04
Found Slides: The Idyllic Life 05
Found Slides: The Idyllic Life 06

The Idyllic Life
Found Slides: The Idyllic Life
Another batch of found slides, 30+ years old, scanned and post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3). Shots are the children of friends, neighbors, and part our own extended family. It was a good life back then, nay a worry in the world, youth was on your side, life was fun and easy, and care free.

Given the chance to have one of your own, what would yours be? Will you be away from the hustle and bustle of the city life? Away from the daily grind of commuting to and from work? Where will you be? What will you be doing? Do you have any other responsibilities from being just yourself?

Time to reminiscent? Click on the first image to start a slide show and enjoy the view through the lightbox interface!



Resource Links:
Colour postcards show idyllic life in 19th century Japan
Posts about idyllic life on Ace and Demi Travel Stories

Monday, August 7, 2017

Quick Take: Konica Hexanon AR 52mm f/1.8

Quick Take: Konica Hexanon AR 52mm f/1.8 01
Quick Take: Konica Hexanon AR 52mm f/1.8 02
Quick Take: Konica Hexanon AR 52mm f/1.8 03
Quick Take: Konica Hexanon AR 52mm f/1.8 04
Quick Take: Konica Hexanon AR 52mm f/1.8 05
Quick Take: Konica Hexanon AR 52mm f/1.8 06
Olympus Pen E-P5, Konica Hexanon 52mm f/1.8
Quick Take: Konica Hexanon AR 52mm f/1.8
Konica Hexanon AR 52mm 1:1.8
The final of my three Quick Take sessions with Konica Hexanon AR lenses: Hexanon AR 40mm 1:1.8 pancake, Hexanon AR 50mm 1:1.8, and this post with images from Hexanon AR 52mm 1:1.8. All images were shot wide open in RAW, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) including a few which were given extensive cropping, and final sharpening was done with Sharpener Pro of Google Nik Collection.

The idea of the series was not to be overly critical or technical with image capture or the performance of each lens, but as a thought that manual focus legacy lenses, with appropriate adapter for different camera makes, may still have a place within the proliferation of the new breed of manual focus lenses designed and produced for current digital cameras. Come to think about it, it could be more economical and advantageous really, with the cost of lens-to-body adapters being very low, that these manual focus lenses can be just as easily adapted to more than just one camera make.

The Konica Hexanons were the mainstay of the Auto-Reflex series SLRs first introduced in 1966. Of the three in this Quick Take series, the 52mm 1:1.8 was the earliest to be launched, and in my opinion, gives the mildest color rendition. Bokeh was good. The 40mm 1:1.8 pancake colors are sharp and contrasty, with equally good bokeh when compared the intermediate 50mm 1:1.8. Each has their own merits, all are very affordable, and one will surely get you excited.


Resource Links:
Quick Take: Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8
Quick Take: Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f/1.8

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