Monday, December 25, 2017

Five Frames, Nikon Ai Nikkor 35mm F2, A Nikon Classic

Nikon Ai Nikkor 35mm F2, A Nikon Classic 01
Nikon Ai Nikkor 35mm F2, A Nikon Classic 02
Nikon Ai Nikkor 35mm F2, A Nikon Classic 03
Nikon Ai Nikkor 35mm F2, A Nikon Classic 04
Nikon Ai Nikkor 35mm F2, A Nikon Classic 05
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Olympus E-P5, Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2

#VintageLensTest - Five frames with an Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2, a fast wide angle Nikon classic.

Favored by both Nikon photo enthusiasts and used extensively by photojournalists as a standard prime, the Nikkor 35mm F2s have been in production since 1965. The lens is a solid all-metal and glass construction, with an excellent focus ring, and a long focus throw, excellent for a manually more accurate focus.

Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai, View

The Nikon Nikkor Ai-S 35mm F2 came with strong credentials as well. Ken Rockwell used it as his normal lens on his Nikon cameras until he replaces it with the 35mm F1.4. His main advocate, however, is that the lens should not be used for night photography with bright points and light sources, as the lens has a tendency to produce strong ghost effects.

Beyond that, other users give the lens their thumbs up as well. Image quality was the strong suit, sharp and contrasty even from f/2, sharpest at f/4, and good through f/11.

Olympus E-P5, Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai
Nikkor 35mm F2 Ai, Olympus E-P5, Fotga Nikon M4/3 Manual Adapter

Shot wide open in 1:1 image aspect ratio on the 2x crop sensor E-P5, these images are not up for evaluation of edge or sweet spot sharpness, coma, or comatic aberration which can be an advantage to some as much as it disadvantages others. A lot can be done while the image is post-processed as well.


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Monday, December 18, 2017

Five frames, Holga 120Pan, Trying To Get It Right II

Holga 120Pan, Trying To Get It Right II 01
Holga 120Pan, Trying To Get It Right II 02
Holga 120Pan, Trying To Get It Right II 03
Holga 120Pan, Trying To Get It Right II 04
Holga 120Pan, Trying To Get It Right II 05
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Holga 120-Pan

Film photography favorites, five frames with a Holga 120Pan, and a roll of expired Fujifilm Pro 160-S.

Well, here I am, back again with the Holga 120-Pan at the park right near to where I live, and as per my previous visit, I had the camera loaded with a roll of expired Fujifilm Pro 160-S. The Holga 120-Pan is a medium format 6x12 panoramic camera released around 2010. Its form factor is based on the Holga 120-WPC pinhole camera body, as can be seen, by the same field of view lines on top of the body.

Holga 120-Pan

The camera comes with an attached viewfinder, two hot shoes, and a level bubble, features that make the Holga almost a complete contraption all set and ready for tilt and yaw adjustments.

Holga 120-Pan


The 90mm optical lens has the same four focusing distance positions as seen on other Holgas as well - 1M,  2M, 6M, and 10M-Infinity. Same as other Holga cameras are the single (N) 1/100 second shutter with a B(ulb) setting. The film back has a fixed film counter window.

To get the correct frame count, the film must be advanced to the next odd-numbered exposure number, otherwise, the film will not be properly forwarded to cover the panoramic film frame and overlapping exposure will occur. An optional 35mm film kit is also available which can expose 24 x 108mm images.


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Monday, December 11, 2017

Five Frames, Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2.8, In Black-n-White

Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2.8, In Black-n-White 01
Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2.8, In Black-n-White 02
Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2.8, In Black-n-White 03
Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2.8, In Black-n-White 04
Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2.8, In Black-n-White 05
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Olympus E-P5, Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2.8

#VintageLensTest - Five frames with a Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2.8, post-processed in black-and-white.

The Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2.8, an improved version of the Nikkor S Auto model, 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, reduced flare and ghost, and improved color rendition.


Olympus E-P5, 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 2005.

Olympus E-P5, Five Frames with a Nikkor Pre-Ai 35mm f/2.8

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's shortest focusing distance.


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Monday, December 4, 2017

Five Frames, Olympus XA1, Soft, Sharp, and Saturated

Olympus XA1, Soft, Sharp, and Saturated 01
Olympus XA1, Soft, Sharp, and Saturated 02
Olympus XA1, Soft, Sharp, and Saturated 03
Olympus XA1, Soft, Sharp, and Saturated 04
Olympus XA1, Soft, Sharp, and Saturated 05
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Olympus XA 1

Film photography favorites, five frames with an Olympus XA1, a fun, and exciting point-and-shoot 35mm compact.

The Olympus XA1 has only 2 film ISO (ASA) speed settings - ISO 100 and ISO 400. While ISO 100 speed film has finer grain, ISO 400 film has light-sensitive materials which are larger in grain sizes and requires less light for proper exposure. Photos, however, may show up with visible grain.

Olympus XA1

When using the faster ISO 400 speed film, in a typical bright light situation, you can get away from motion blur and achieve great depth of field as the fast film speed lets you shoot with a faster shutter speed and smaller aperture.

One of the fun things you can do with the Olympus XA1, when you are stuck with the slower ISO 100 speed film, and where the light is insufficient for you to get a properly exposed shot, is to use the exposure lock trick.

Olympus XA1

What you need to do is first point the camera at the brighter light source, half-press the shutter release to activate the metering, then turn the camera to frame the composition and take the shot.

The shots, of course, will have a varying degree of underexposure, which can be enhanced with post-processing.


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Monday, November 27, 2017

Five Frames, Nikkor Ai 28mm F2.8, First Impression

Nikkor Ai 28mm F2.8, First Impression 01
Nikkor Ai 28mm F2.8, First Impression 02
Nikkor Ai 28mm F2.8, First Impression 03
Nikkor Ai 28mm F2.8, First Impression 04
Nikkor Ai 28mm F2.8, First Impression 05
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Olympus E-P5, Nikon Nikkor Ai 28mm 1:2.8

#VintageLensTest - Five frames with a Nikkor Ai 28mm F2.8, Nikon's most popular wide-angle lens from '74 - '81.

The next few posts of Digital Moments will feature images from a batch of Nikkor legacy lenses, shot in 1:1 image aspect ratio, in post-processed colors, or in black-and-white done on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3).

Nikkor Ai 28mm f/2.8, View

First up is the Nikkor Ai 28mm F2.8, a 7-element construction introduced in 1977, launched as a follow-up to the non-AI version which was available from 1987 to 1977. The 28mm f/2.8 was Nikon's most popular wide-angle lens from 1974-1981.

As Ken Rockwell wrote on his blog, the Ai 28mm F2.8 is a compact and lightweight unit, with image quality recognized as a top-class Nikkor performer. Sharp as it is, the lens's claim to fame was later overshadowed by its sibling, the Nikkor Ai-S 28mm F2.8, which is reputed to be Nikon's sharpest manual focus wide-angle lens ever.

Aside from the post by Ken Rockwell, a few other instances of discussion or posting pertaining to the lens includes:


Olympus E-P5, Nikkor Ai 28mm f/2.8

Using the lens was easy and fun, the balance was just right, and cradling the camera in the hand with the index finger on the focus ring and the middle finger of the aperture ring is as perfect as it can be.


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Monday, November 20, 2017

Five Frames, Minolta AF 50mm F1.7, Early At The Fair

Minolta AF 50mm F1.7, Early At The Fair 01
Minolta AF 50mm F1.7, Early At The Fair 02
Minolta AF 50mm F1.7, Early At The Fair 03
Minolta AF 50mm F1.7, Early At The Fair 04
Minolta AF 50mm F1.7, Early At The Fair 05
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Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7

Film photography favorites, five frames with a Maxxum AF 50mm F1.7, mounted on a Minolta Alpha Sweet.

The A-mount Minolta AF 50mm F1.7 is a very compact lens, the smallest that Minolta made during its production run, shipped as a 'kit' lens type. The filter size is 49mm. 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.

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 the post-processed black and whites are the better option for this presentation.

Minolta Alpha Sweet, Maxxum AF 50mm f/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.


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Monday, November 13, 2017

Five Frames, Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D, Take I

Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D, Take I 01
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D, Take I 02
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D, Take I 03
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D, Take I 04
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D, Take I 05
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Olympus E-P5, Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D

#VintageLensTest - Five frames with a Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D, detailing the Purple Shamrock.

A lightweight at 155 grams, built of plastic with a metal mount, and highly recommended for travel, portraits, or general photography, the 50mm AF Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D has the reputation of being super sharp and is a good prime lens to start your camera system with.

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

The lens itself has a long built history, starting with several manual versions 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.

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


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

The only gripe I had is the coarse 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 still felt that the lens is best left on an AF Nikon where focusing is a mechanical assist.


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Monday, November 6, 2017

Five Frames, Minolta AF 35-70mm F4, A Mixed Bag of Images

Minolta AF 35-70mm F4, A Mixed Bag of Images 01
Minolta AF 35-70mm F4, A Mixed Bag of Images 02
Minolta AF 35-70mm F4, A Mixed Bag of Images 03
Minolta AF 35-70mm F4, A Mixed Bag of Images 04
Minolta AF 35-70mm F4, A Mixed Bag of Images 05
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Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4

Film photography favorites, five frames with the Maxxum AF 35-70mm F4 and a Minolta Alpha Sweet 35mm SLR film camera.

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 popular choice then. The lens is acknowledged to be sharp all the way up, and it comes with a Macro mode for magnification of up to 0.25x.

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

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.

Trying the lens out on the Minolta Alpha Sweet was also fun and easy. 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.

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.

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.


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