Monday, December 25, 2017

Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai

Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai 01
Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai 02
Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai 03
Olympus E-P5, Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai

Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai

Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai, View
'Overview of the Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai lens with image samples photographed using the digital Olympus E-P5'

Favored by both Nikon photo enthusiasts and used extensively by photojournalists as a standard prime, the Nikkor 35mm f/2's 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.

While retaining its 8 elements in 6 groups optical formula, the lens went through various cosmetic, mechanical, and updates through its long production run. The AI version was introduced in 1971, and the Ai-S version was in production from 1981 to 2005.

Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai 04

Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai, Top
The Nikon Nikkor Ai-S 35mm f/2 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 f/1.4.

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.

Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai 05

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 aw well.

Olympus E-P5, Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai
Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai, Olympus E-P5, Fotga Nikon M4/3 Manual Adapter
On the Olympus E-P5 the lens does fell slightly longish (the Pre-Ai 35mm f/2.8 is shorter and feels better balanced), but with an equivalent focal length of 70mm, the Nikkor Ai-S 35mm f/2 could very well be considered as a potential for a wide aperture portrait lens.


Resource Links:
The Top 8 Reasons Why I'm a Big Believer in 35mm Lens Photography
Travel Photography with a 35mm: How a Prime Lens Stole My Heart

Monday, December 18, 2017

Holga 120-Pan: Trying To Get It Right II

Holga 120-Pan: Trying To Get It Right II 01
Holga 120-Pan: Trying To Get It Right II 02
Holga 120-Pan: Trying To Get It Right II 03
Holga 120-Pan

Trying To Get It Right - Part II

Holga 120-Pan
'Here I go for another session with the Holga 120-Pan, on a roll of expired film, still trying to get it right'

Well, here I am, back again with the Holga 120-Pan, loaded with a roll of expired Fujifilm Pro 160-S, at the park right near to where I live, as I have been to on various previous photo shoot occasions.

This time it was another tryout, trying to get it right, with the Holga 120-Pan. As my previous outing with the camera did not go too well, I was hoping that this one would be better. Hah! The preparation was short was straightforward, preload the film before you go, bring along the old beat-up tripod along to stand the camera on, and remember that you have only six shots on a 120 roll.

Holga 120-Pan: Trying To Get It Right II 04

Holga 120-Pan
As it turns out, this session did not go too well either. First, it was a bit of overzealousness on my part with the film forward wind which makes me miss the Frame 1 indicator, meaning that the frame is wasted, as I had to start with Frame 2.

The first shot is again a disaster as I had the shutter set to B (Bulb) mode while toying with the camera earlier. Frame 2 and Frame 3 wasted. That leaves with only nine frames to work with, four and a half shots on the 120-Pan from which I managed to get the five images posted here, with the image from the tail end of the film roll (above) cropped to match the image aspect ratio of the others.

Holga 120-Pan: Trying To Get It Right II 05

Holga 120-Pan: Trying To Get It Right II
Images, of course, were grossly underexposed, as you can see from the small insert here.

Post-processing these images on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) includes the use of Tone Curve, Brightness & Contrast, Gamma, Color Balance, Hue & Saturation, Sharpness & Blur, Unsharp Mask, and Noise Reduction, with variation in Brightness & Contrast for individual images.
Holga 120-Pan

End of session. As far as my personal progress is concerned, it looks like I still have a long way to go, maybe a couple more rolls of film for me to get the better of the machine, and another couple to get the real juice going. Nevertheless, my own impression is that these are beautiful images, pretty sharp for a plastic lens, with colors that are dreamlike and soft, and addictive.



Resource Links:
What is a panoramic photography?
Discover the world of Panoramic cameras: The wider the better - Amateur Photographer

Monday, December 11, 2017

Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai

Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai 01
Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai 02
Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai 03
Olympus E-P5, Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai

Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai

Nikkor Pre-Ai 35mm f/2.8, View
'Overview of the Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai lens with image samples photographed using the digital Olympus E-P5'

The Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm f/2.8, an improved version of the Nikkor S Auto model available for many years from Nikon, 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, in addition to reduced flare and ghost, and improved color rendition.

Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai 04

Nikkor Pre-Ai 35mm f/2.8, Top
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 to 2005.

The Pre-Ai version of the Nikkor 35mm f/2.8, which I used for this quick take session, is easily identified by the absence of the second set of tiny aperture numbers on the aperture ring.

These type of lenses were manufactured for use on Nikon cameras made before 1977, where the lens has to be 'indexed' to the camera's meter by rotating the lens to its largest aperture and back when the lens is mounted. This is done so that the meter is properly calibrated when mounted, forget to do this and your exposures could be way off.

Digital Moments: Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Pre-Ai 05

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 shortest focusing distance.

Olympus E-P5, Nikkor Pre-Ai 35mm f/2.8

Sharp as it is, there is no real worry about edge fallout and other things related when the lens is fitted to the 2x crop sensor E-P5. Doing the images in black-and-white also removes the need for me to delve into coma, aberrations or color fringing as well.

My short stint with the lens among the potted plants and the laundry line rewarded me with these images. Shot on the square, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) for black-and-white conversion, with final print sharpening done on Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3.


Resource Links:
Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Non-AI Test
Manual Focus Nikkor 35mm f/2.8s wideangle lens

Monday, December 4, 2017

Olympus XA1: At The Car Wash

Olympus XA1: At The Car Wash 01
Olympus XA1: At The Car Wash 02
Olympus XA1: At The Car Wash 03
Olympus XA1: At The Car Wash 04
Olympus XA 1

At The Car Wash

Olympus XA1
'Analog diary, the car wash revisited, with the point-and-shoot Olympus XA1'

I dropped by this drive-through car wash often enough to know that and when the weather is right and the queue is light, I may have the opportunity of grabbing a few shots of the wash and vacuum routine scene at a local filling station.

I did a similar post earlier, where I used the mobile phone to capture the images, had the shots post-processed for a surreal artistic ambiance, and came up with quite an interesting presentation. Here's hoping that you have viewed the post as well.

Analog Diary: At The Car Wash 05

Olympus XA1
This time around, I took along the Olympus XA1, loaded with an ASA 400 Fujifilm Superia X-tra, took these shots (and a few more), sent the film to be developed and the images scanned at the lab, and back to my tabletop to do the post-processing on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3).

The Olympus XA1, though not really favored by most as one of the fine flavors of the Olympus XA clamshell series, is still one of my favorite film cameras for its point-and-shoot simplicity. The camera is fitted with a fixed focus 4 element Zuiko D 35mm f/4 with an aperture range from f/4 to f/22, shutter speed is automated from 1/30 to 1/250 second. Framed images are in focus from 1.5m onward.

Analog Diary: At The Car Wash 06

The camera, however, does not come with the red membrane touch shutter the others in the clan have, but a standard press-down button in the norm of other Olympus camera from a slightly earlier period. Exposure control is a selenium cell unit fitted surrounding surrounds the lens as per the hugely popular and successful Olympus Trip 35. The camera, thus, does not need or require a battery to run or to manage its exposure system.

A red pop-up flag system blocks the shutter from being released if the image is underexposed, simplicity itself.

Olympus XA1

I was looking for images to have a slightly artistic offbeat effect for this presentation. Post-processing on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) includes a slight Crop to adjust for scanning misalignment, Shading Compensation to adjust edge darkening, a slight drag of the Tone Curve to darken the image ever slightly, and Brightness & Contrast to add volume to the image.

Gamma, Hue & Saturation, Unsharp Mask, and Noise Reduction aids in the rendering of the curated image, which is again print sharpened using Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3 as the finishing step.


Resource Links:
Olympus XA1 Review - Blacksheep done good
Camera Test: Olympus XA1 - Awesome Cameras

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