Monday, December 25, 2017

Digital Moments, Nikkor 35mm F2 Ai

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Olympus E-P5, Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai

Digital Moments, Nikkor 35mm F2 Ai

'Image samples with the manual focus Nikkor 35mm F2 Ai legacy lens mounted on the 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.

Nikkor 35mm f/2 Ai, View
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.

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 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 f/2 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 aw well.

On the Olympus E-P5 the lens does fell slightly longish (the Pre-Ai 35mm F2.8 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.


For Sale: Nikon Nikkor F-Mount Manual Focus Lenses

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Trying To Get It Right #II, Holga 120-Pan

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Holga 120-Pan

Trying To Get It Right #II, Holga 120-Pan

'Analog Diary - Still trying to get it right with the Holga 120-Pan and a roll of expired Fujifilm Pro 160-S'

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.

Holga 120-Pan
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.

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 cropped to match the 2.4:1 image aspect ratio that I have the others cropped at.

Holga 120-Pan

Images, of course, were grossly underexposed. 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.

End of session.


For Sale: Medium Format Film Cameras

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Digital Moments, Nikkor 35mm F2.8 Pre-Ai

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

Digital Moments, Nikkor 35mm F2.8 Pre-Ai

'Image samples with the manual focus Nikkor 35mm F2.8 Pre-Ai legacy lens mounted on the Olympus E-P5'

The Pre-Ai Nikon Nikkor 35mm F2.8, an improved version of the Nikkor S Auto model available for many years from Nikon, was first introduced in 1959.

Nikkor Pre-Ai 35mm f/2.8, View
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.

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 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.


For Sale: Nikon Nikkor F-Mount Manual Focus Lenses

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Monday, December 4, 2017

The Car Wash Revisited, Olympus XA1

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Olympus XA 1

The Car Wash Revisited, Olympus XA1

'Analog Diary - Another visit to the car wash, this time with the point-and-shoot Olympus XA1'

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.

Olympus XA1The 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.

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.

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.

Olympus XA1Gamma, 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.


For Sale: Olympus 35mm Compact Cameras

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