Monday, November 13, 2017

Digital Moments: AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D

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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

Monday, November 6, 2017

Analog Diary: A Mixed Bag of Images

Analog Diary: A Mixed Bag of Images 01
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Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4

A Mixed Bag of Images

Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 35-70mm f/4
'A quick shoot session with the Minolta Alpha Sweet 35mm SLR and Minolta AF 35-70mm f/4 lens'

The presentation is a slight diversion from my usual thematic style of making images to one which is a mixed bag of images, with random and unplanned shots.

These images are a quick take session with the Minolta Alpha Sweet 35mm SLR and a Minolta AF 35-70mm f/4 kit that just came through the mail.

Analog Diary: A Mixed Bag of Images 04

Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 35-70mm f/4
I was so excited about the kit that I did not waste much time loading the camera with a fresh roll of Kodak ColorPlus 200, walking out of the front door into the bright and sharp sunshine, started shooting and went through the roll of film in no time at all.

A plastic-bodied lightweight, the Alpha Sweet (a.k.a Dynax 505si Super in Europe, Maxxum XTSI in the Americas) comes with PASM modes, a sophisticated 14-segment honeycomb-metering pattern, a three-point Crosscut AF sensor, and eye-start operation.

A rapid subject-program mode selection for Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, and Night Portrait subject programs sits along the top edge of the LCD data panel.

Analog Diary: A Mixed Bag of Images 05

The Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4, first introduced as a kit lens in 1985 with the launch of the Maxxum 700 A-mount camera system, which is rather short and compact, was a very popular item then. The lens is supposedly sharp all the way up, and it comes with a Macro mode for magnification of up to 0.25x.

Analog Diary: A Mixed Bag of Images 05

As one of the better lenses from the early Minolta period, the lens is also on the list of recommended lenses for current Sony Alpha camera users, both for ASP-C and full frame sensors.

You can also set the camera for Spot AF to lock both focus and exposure, Spot Metering, Exposure Compensation, Multiple Exposures, Exposure Bracketing, Flash Syncs, and set personal shooting style or preference of up to nine custom functions.

Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 35-70mm f/4

Using the camera was also a fresh change for me, a change from manual focus and cranked film forward cameras to an era of PASM modes and autofocus point-and-shoot simplicity, much like what you do today with your digitals. Loading the camera is fast and easy, the eye-start system is one for a rapid, and practically instantaneous, response after switching on.

Best of all, of course, is the chance to enjoy the 'Minolta Magic,' the combination of color and contrast rendered by Minolta lenses that you must experience to appreciate.


Resource Links:
Minolta Maxxum XTsi SLR
Alex Kunz Taipei

Monday, October 30, 2017

Digital Moments: Access P-MC 35-70mm f/2.5~3.5 Macro Zoom

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Olympus E-P5, Access P-MC 35mm-70mm 1:2.5~3.5 Zoom Macro

Access P-MC 35-70mm f/2.5~3.5 Zoom Macro

Access P-MC 35-70mm 1:2.5~3.5 Macro Zoom
'A quick take session with the Access P-MC 35-70mm f/2.5~3.5 Macro Zoom adapted to the E-P5'

The lens came in the mail a couple of days ago, attached to an Olympus OM body which was what I was really after. The lens looks interesting enough for me to do a quick search for it on the Internet.

As always, online reviews are a mixture of pros and cons, with some going for the good virtues of the lens while other go for the opposite. While one feigns surprise at the availability of the brand, it is probably safe to say that the lens is the same as the Soligor MC Zoom Auto f/2.5 which was made in Japan by Kobori.

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Access P-MC 35-70mm 1:2.5~3.5 Macro Zoom
Solid as a tank, being of all glass and metal construction, the lens weighs in at 460 gram, and comes with an array of four rings for manning (from back to front) Aperture, Macro, Zoom, and Focus functions. The filter thread is 58mm.

Physically, the lens is lighter and smaller than the Tamron SP 28-80mm f/3.5~4.2 CF Macro, almost the size of the Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm f/3.5~4, both of which I have posted earlier. The zoom range, however, is only equivalent to the S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm f/4 (another post here), but with the ability to shoot in macro mode and the ability to let in more light up front.

The widest aperture of 1:2.5 can be used on all focal lengths except when in full zoom at 70mm, where the aperture jumps to 1:3.5 at its widest.

Access P-MC 35-70mm 1:2.5~3.5 Macro Zoom 05

Using the Macro function is more manual as it requires you to first disengage a locking pin before you can turn the ring to get the macro mode going. Shooting aperture priority means that I do away with the need another set of fingers on the aperture ring.

Olympus E-P5, Access P-MC 35-70mm 1:2.5~3.5 Macro Zoom

I was actually quite pleased with how these test images turned out. Colors are vivid, contrast is good, and bokeh looks potentially good. Sharpness, however, is just not here, while precise focusing is made more difficult with an extremely short focus throw of less than a quarter turn from the closest focusing distance of 0.7m to infinity.


Resource Links:
Battle of the 35-70s: Olymps vs Olympus vs Minolta vs Access: Sony Alpha / Nex E-mount (APS-C) Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
Hin's Photo Corner

Monday, October 23, 2017

Analog Diary: A Touch of Impressionism

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Canon AE-1 Program, Canon FDn 50mm 1:1.8

A Touch Of Impressionism

Canon AE-1 Program, Canon FDn 50mm 1:1.8
'Creative night shots post-processed with images form Canon AE-1 Program + Canon FDn 50mm 1:1.8'

I still had a few shots left on the roll of film that I use for the 'A Sampling Of Images' with the Canon AE-1 Program and Canon FDN 50mm 1:1.8 lens and took the opportunity to finish the roll with a handful of night shots.

Shooting handheld means whatever that can go wrong will go wrong - washed out colors, camera shake, out of focus setting, and all that you want to relate to failed images.

Rather than letting the shots go to waste, I took the images and went for a doodle with the Tone Curve tool on the image and post-processing editor, Olympus Viewer 3. The result was an interesting modernist art effect close enough to what I understand as being part Impressionism. Of course, I might be wrong. Nevertheless, I did a few more and ended up with this weeks post.

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Introduced as a successor to the Canon AE-1 (1976), the Canon AE-1 Program (1981) is one of the most popular cameras of all time.

The 35mm SLR saw the introduction of the Program AE mode, which enables both the shutter speed and aperture automatically by the camera with the metering is slightly biased towards the shutter speed setting.

Analog Diary: A Touch of Impressionism 05

The Canon FDn 50mm f/1.8 too has its own merits. It was the lightest, and the cheapest, of all Canon FD interchangeable lenses, and the only lens in the Canon FDn series that came with only the SC (Spectra Coating) coating as opposed to the others which came with SSC coating. Handling was superb and its solid reputation for stable picture quality and sharp, crisp pictures has always been acknowledged.


From Wikipedia: 'Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s.'


Resource Links:
Vincent's Life and Work - Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh and the Seasons

Monday, October 16, 2017

Digital Moments: S Zuiko MC Auto-Zoom 35-70mm f/4

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Olympus PEN E-P5, S Zuiko MC Auto-Zoom 35-70mm 1:4

S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm f/4

S Zuiko MC Auto-Zoom 35-70mm 1:4
'A quick take session with the S Zuiko MC Auto-Zoom 35-70mm f/4 adapted to the Olympus E-P5'

Of the three manual focus short to medium zoom lenses that I have recently featured in these digital moments sessions, previously the Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4 and the Tamron SP 28-80mm 1:3.5~4.2 CF Macro, I find that the S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm 1:4 that I am doing for this session is no slouch either.

Sharp as it comes, weighing in around the 380-gram mark, it is lighter than the Tamron SP, not as compact as the Sigma Zoom-Gamma, and does look rather bulky in its standard Olympus two-touch zoom design - clad in heavy ridged rubber for the zoom ring, and the standard diamond pattern focus ring.

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S Zuiko MC Auto-Zoom 35-70mm 1:4
The MC 1:4 version is actually one of four versions of 35-70mm zoom lenses that Olympus produced. The earliest version was a slightly bulkier but said to a sharper 35-70/3.6 model, this one does not carry the S designation. The second version, which was sold alongside the 35-70/3.6 is what this post is all about. It was the first model to carry the S designation, which is supposed to imply a 'Simplified' version, probably produced to compete directly with lower cost third party lenses which were also hitting the market then.

The third version is the 35-70/3.5~4.5, a very compact and desirable 35-70mm to carry around with for traveling and shooting on location. The final version is a 35-70/3.5-4.8 budget model which was sold as a package with the Cosina-built OM2000 SLR. Ultimately, however, if you are collecting and if you are going for overall optical performance, then the 35-70/3.6 is the one to go for ...

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Olympus PEN E-P5, S Zuiko MC Auto-Zoom 35-70mm 1:4
Images shown here are shot in the vicinity of the park near where I am staying, which is, more often than not, is becoming the location many of my quick take and analog diary images.

Shot in RAW on the 2x crop sensor Olympus E-P5, the images are at equivalent focal lengths equivalent equal of 70, 100, and 140mm. Post-processing was done on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) and final print sharpening on Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3.

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The first four of the six images, which have been cropped to 16:9 image aspect, are actually upside down reflections shot of the water surface. The last two are 4:3 full crops. All shots are taken at f/5.6.


Resource Links:
Quick Take: Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm 1:3.5~4 Quick Take: Tamron SP 28-80mm 1:3.5~4.2 CF Macro

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mobile Photography: Color Saturates

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Nokia Lumia 720, Google NIK Color Efex Pro 4

Color Saturates

Mobile Photography: Color Saturates
Color rendition as shot on the Lumia 720
'Trying out Google NIK Color Efex Pro 4 for extreme color saturation'

As mentioned in the article 'Understanding Color in Photography,' using colors appropriately in photography does add a dynamic element to your images. This may result in compositions that are pleasing to the eye while adding to the desired attraction to the image, and also giving the 'oomph' to your creative edge.

The opposite, of course, might result otherwise. Bold and advancing colors at the front end of the spectrum can also be used as the dominant form or as elements of isolation of the composition, while blues and greens, from the other end of the spectrum, blends rather well as receding background elements.

Mobile Photography: Color Saturates 05

The use of post-processing tools, such as Brightness & Contrast, Hue & Saturation, Color Filters, Luminosity, Vibrance and such, available on most Image Processing Softwares may also be of help to accentuate your image.

With plenty of guides and tutorials available on the internet, there is no shortage of tricks and techniques on how to develop your images. The choice to go professional, with subscription software, or amateur, with free downloads, is yours to pick and choose.

Mobile Photography: Color Saturates 06

The images here, shot on the Lumia 720 one early morning at our local rail hub exchange, were rather bland and looked washed-out, lacking the luster and the ambiance of the place. The option I adopted was to pass each image twice (2x) through Google NIK Color Efex Pro 4 with a very high setting for both Saturation and Perceptual Saturation. The results, as you can see, are rather astonishing in the ability of the app to enhance and saturate the colors as absorbed by the camera sensor.


Resource Links:
Community Spotlight: You Should Study Color Theory
10 Amazing Photography Genres that Photographers Would Love - WebDesignColumn

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