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Monday, November 27, 2017

Five Frames, Olympus E-P5 + Nikkor Ai 28mm 1:2.8, First Impression

Olympus E-P5 + Nikkor Ai 28mm 1:2.8, First Impression 01
Olympus E-P5 + Nikkor Ai 28mm 1:2.8, First Impression 02
Olympus E-P5 + Nikkor Ai 28mm 1:2.8, First Impression 03
Olympus E-P5 + Nikkor Ai 28mm 1:2.8, First Impression 04
Olympus E-P5 + Nikkor Ai 28mm 1:2.8, First Impression 05
Vintage Lens Test, image making with a Nikkor Ai 28mm 1:2.8, Nikon's most popular wide-angle lens from '74 - '81.
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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). First up is the Nikkor Ai 28mm 1:2.8, a 7-element construction introduced in 1977, launched as a follow-up to the non-AI version 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 1:2.8 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 1:2.8, which is reputed to be Nikon's sharpest manual focus wide-angle lens ever.

Nikkor Ai 28mm f/2.8, View
Nikon Nikkor Ai 28mm 1:2.8

Aside from the post by Ken Rockwell, a few other instances of discussion or posting about the lens include:

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 on the aperture ring was as perfect as possible.



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Monday, November 20, 2017

Five Frames, Minolta Alpha Sweet + Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7, Early At The Fair

Minolta Alpha Sweet + Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7, Early At The Fair 01
Minolta Alpha Sweet + Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7, Early At The Fair 02
Minolta Alpha Sweet + Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7, Early At The Fair 03
Minolta Alpha Sweet + Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7, Early At The Fair 04
Minolta Alpha Sweet + Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7, Early At The Fair 05
Analog Diary, film photography favorites, image making with a Maxxum AF 50mm 1:1.7, on a Minolta Alpha Sweet.
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The A-mount Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7 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.

Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7

As for the event itself, my visit was early in the day the fair started, stalls and sellers were 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 were the better option for this presentation.

Minolta Alpha Sweet, Maxxum AF 50mm f/1.7
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.



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Monday, November 13, 2017

Five Frames, Olympus E-P5 + Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D, Take I

Olympus E-P5 + Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D, Take I 01
Olympus E-P5 + Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D, Take I 02
Olympus E-P5 + Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D, Take I 03
Olympus E-P5 + Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D, Take I 04
Olympus E-P5 + Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D, Take I 05
Vintage Lens Test, image making with a Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D, Purple Shamrock, and Voilet Wood-sorrel.
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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 1:1.8 D has the reputation of being super sharp and is a good prime lens to start your camera system with.

The lens itself has a long 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.

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

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

The only gripe I had was 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 Alpha Sweet + Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4, A Mixed Bag of Images

Minolta Alpha Sweet + Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4, A Mixed Bag of Images 01
Minolta Alpha Sweet + Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4, A Mixed Bag of Images 02
Five Frames With A Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4, A Mixed Bag of Images 03
Five Frames With A Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4, A Mixed Bag of Images 04
Five Frames With A Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4, A Mixed Bag of Images 05
Analog Diary, film photography favorites, image making with a Maxxum AF 35-70mm 1:4 and a Minolta Alpha Sweet 35mm SLR film camera.
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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.

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.

Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 35-70mm f/4
Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4

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
Minolta Alpha Sweet, Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4

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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