Monday, July 31, 2017

Mobile Photography: Scenes At The Car Wash

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Nokia Lumia 720

Scenes At The Car Wash

Nokia Lumia 720
A little bit of fun here, images of a scene at the carwash, captured on my almost obsolete smartphone. The images were taken from the driver's seat of the car I was driving with the camera held steady atop of the steering wheel.

They are slightly wider and taller than the images displayed here, which have been cropped to eliminate image edge, and top and bottom distractions to a more panoramic view when compared to the original 16:9 image aspect ratios.

Scenes At The Car Wash I 05
Scenes At The Car Wash I 06

While good at wide angle vistas, landscapes and on occasions close range still life, portrait and group shots, I do find that the 26mm. focal length equivalent lens of my smartphone is always slightly wider than I would like it to be, making cropping a certainty in many of the shots.

Resource Links:
12 Mobile Photography Tips Every Photographer Should Know
35 Mobile Photography Tips That'll Help You Take Much Better Smartphone Shots - 500px ISO

Monday, July 24, 2017

Digital Moments: Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f/1.8

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Olympus Pen E-5, Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f/1.8

Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f/1.8

Olympus Pen E-5, Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f/1.8
'A quick take session with the Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f/1.8 lens adapted to the E-P5'

I did a digital moments session on the Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8 a couple of weeks ago, and now it is the turn of the 50mm f/1.8, both of which were fitted to my digital Pen E-P5 with an aftermarket Konica-M43 mount adapter.

As opposed to the AR 40mm f/1.8 which seems to have a cult following, nothing much is written or reviewed of the AR 50mm f/1.8, which was then a standard budget lens for Konica SLR cameras.

Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f/1.8 05

So much the better I guess, as these seldom mentioned items normally go for a lower and more affordable price when they are listed or posted on sales or auction sites. Coupled with the Konica-M43 mount adapter, or a lens mount that will fit your digital body, you will probably end up only spending less than USD 50.00 for the lens/adapter setup.

Both are manual focus primes which you might take a while to get used to. One thing you find about both of these lenses was the aperture ring locks the lens into the AE setting just past the f/22 stop, which can be a bit annoying to find the lock and unlock it again.

Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f/1.8 06

Images rendered by this 50mm are softer and are less contrasty when compared to the AR 40mm pancake, and when shot at less than wide open, bokeh tend to a have a more pronounced hexagonal shape by virtue of the Hexanon's six-bladed iris.

I shoot in RAW, post-process the images on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3), and have recently begun experimenting with Sharpener Pro from Google Nik Collection for final sharpening.

Resource Links:
A Guide to Mastering Manual Focus
Why Every Photographer Should Use a Manual Focus Lens

Monday, July 17, 2017

Nighthawk, A Night Out With The Olympus Pen FT

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Olympus Pen FT, F.Zuiko Auto-S f/1.8 38mm


Olympus Pen FT, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8
'Analog diary, night photography with available light with the Olympus Pen FT'

This is my take on Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, interpreted on an Olympus Pen FT with an F.Zuiko Auto-S f/1.8 38mm lens. The images here are nothing close to the painting though, it was never meant to be.

The whole point here is the fact that using film and film camera for night photography may have more advantages than doing so with the digitals. Any old mechanical film camera with a cable release for B(bulb) exposure and a stable surface or a tripod will do.

Nighthawk 05

The choice of film type (color negatives, slide film) is your to decide, and the ASA film speed will determine the graininess of the image. If your camera is electro-mechanical then you can use the metering system of the camera to set the exposure duration. Go fully manual for longer exposures, use the cable release, place your camera steady and count the seconds away.

Nighthawk 06

The next best thing is to use a fast, prime lens, such as a f/2 35mm for night shots. These here were taken with the F.Zuiko f/1.8 38mm Zuiko. It might be possible to use a f/4 lens in areas that are brighter, but the idea of having a good depth of field control and expanded opportunities shooting at f/2.8, f/2, or even at f/1.8 is the way to go.

Resource Links:
In the Dark: 10 Tips for Street Night Photography
Film vs. Digital Cameras for Night Photography

Monday, July 10, 2017

Digital Moments: Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8

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Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8 04
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Olympus Pen E-P5, Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8

Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8

Olympus E-P5, Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8
'A quick take session with the Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8 lens adapted to the E-P5'

A digital moment session with a vintage film camera lens that will not burn a hole in your pocket, the pancake Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8, a standard lens shipped with some Konica SLRs starting in 1979 and produced throughout the early 80s.

The lens is easily available on auction sites and coupled with the adapter that I need to use the lens on my Olympus Pen E-P5, I came away grinning from ear to ear as the images get displayed and post-processed on the Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3).

Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8 01

The lens seems to be rather popular with mirrorless digital camera enthusiasts. The Konica AR mount has the shortest flange focal distance of any 35mm SLR system, and together with the M4/3 adapter that I use, the combo turns out to be a very compact package. The lens itself is 6 elements in 5 groups design, fairly light at 140g (5oz), with a minimum focus distance is 0.45m (1.5ft). The diaphragm has 6, slightly curved, blades.

Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f/1.8 02

Another acknowledgment about the lens is that its build quality is rather good for such a low-cost lens. On the E-P5, the lens has an effective focal length of 80mm, which is well suited for portrait shooters.

Shot wide open on RAW, just outside the front door of our street terrace, these images were post-processed on OV3 with Auto Tone Correction, Pop Art Filter Effect, Brightness & Contrast, and a tad of Sharpness. Of late, I have also been using Sharpener Pro from Google Nik Collection (free to download now) for the final sharpening. Looking forward.

Resource Links:
THE BEST CHEAP CINEMATIC LENSES - Konica Hexanon 40mm f/1.8
Konica AR 40 f1.8 lens review on Sony A7s and Sony a6000

Monday, July 3, 2017

Analog Diary: Crop-Frame Panoramas

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Olympus LT Zoom 105, Olympus Zoom f/4.5-8.9 38-105mm

Olympus LT Zoom 105

Crop-Frame Panoramas

'Crop-frame panoramas with the Olympus LT Zoom 105'

A category of 35mm film cameras capable of taking panoramas is the crop-frame panoramic cameras, normally a full frame 35mm camera with a switch or lever that activates a pair of blind or crop film gate that will reduce the 24 x 36 mm frame size to about 14mm x 36mm.

The Olympus LT Zoom 105 QP is one of these cameras. The panorama switch lever is located at the back of the top plate, towards the left side of the body. When activated, the lever will not only set the film gate to the panoramic shooting position, but it will also activate another pair within the viewfinder window, making the viewfinder panoramic as well.

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Crop-Frame Panoramas 06

As all images are still captured on the 24mm x 36mm film frame, you are free to switch between the two shooting modes - full-frame and cropped-frame panorama - on any frame you wish to do so. Aside from the diminutive viewfinder, the autofocus and fully automatic retro-style LT Zoom 105 with the Zuiko 38-105mm, f/4.5-8.9 zoom lens is quite fun to use.

Resource Links:
Panoramic Film and Digital Camera Advice
Lomography - 7 Iconic Panorama Cameras

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