Monday, April 23, 2018

Take Five: Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7

Take Five: Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 01
Take Five: Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 02
Take Five: Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 03
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Take Five: Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 05

Down By The Lake

'Digital moments, a fishing tournament down by the lake, with a Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 mounted on the Olympus E-P5.' 

A quick detour to the local city lake where a fishing tournament was being held. Did not have the change to spend as much time as I needed and just managed these few shots of part of the substantial crowd well dispersed on the bank of the lake. Participants have already cast their line and are now waiting for the bites.

The MD 50 mm f/1.7, as tested, is the last in a long line of standard kit primes produced by Minolta for SR mount bodies. It is a pleasant lightweight, and on the unit I used focus is still smooth and handling on the E-P5 is just about right, if not excellent. The lens has a 49mm filter thread, easy to come by on the auction sites, and is relatively inexpensive.

Resource Links:
Ella Water Painting - Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 Manual Focused on the Panasonic GX7
Thoughts on A7 with the Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 legacy manual lens: Sony Alpha Full Frame E-mount Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Monday, April 16, 2018

Throwback 2009: The Long End

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Throwback 2009: The Long End 02
Throwback 2009: The Long End 03
Throwback 2009: The Long End 04
Throwback 2009: The Long End 05

The Long End

'Images with the long end of the Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 mounted on a full frame SLR film camera'

Continuing from where I left off with the Throwback 2009: Wide-Angle Vignettes, posted previously. These are the images from the long or telephoto end of the lens, which to me, is about as normal as what they are supposed to be. As I mentioned in the previous post, this was a fun session where I had the Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom mounted on a Maxxum 7000.

The whole idea of mounting a DSLR lens, more so one designed for the ASP-C sensor, was actually an experiment with which you can get interesting results. Lenses designed for ASP-C sensors have a smaller imaging circle, and at the wide end on the lens, the image circle is much smaller than the film frame size, thus the vignette effect, which will dissipate as you zoom in past the 24mm focal length mark on the Sony DT.

Resource Links:
The Minolta a7 (Maxxum 7, Dynax 7) is the Perfect Film SLR for Shooters Who Want it All
Minolta Alpha Sweet 35mm AF Film SLR

Monday, April 9, 2018

Pentax MX: On The Streets

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Pentax MX: On The Streets 02
Pentax MX: On The Streets 03

On The Streets

'Street scenes with the Pentax MX mounted with a SMC Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8'

Continuing from where I left off with the earlier post, Street Squares, taken with the Pentax MX, an all manual camera, mounted with the SMC Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8. The Pentax MX features a fully mechanical construction, including a horizontal travel cloth type mechanical shutter with a shutter speed range from 1 to 1/1000 second, plus B.

Pentax MX: On The Streets 04

The MX does not have any autofocus or autoexposure modes such as aperture-priority, shutter-speed priority, or any programming functionality. Film ISO speed rating is from 32 to 1600, and the light metering system is the only function that is dependent on batteries. Introduced in 1976, the camera was Pentax's flagship professional SLR until the introduction of the Pentax LX.

Pentax MX: On The Streets 05

The camera is solidly built, very compact, and is smaller and lighter than the preceding K Series models, which of course, includes the much beloved and highly acknowledged K1000. It was designed as the mechanical twin sister of the remarkably successful entry-level Pentax ME.

Though the unit I was using is slightly battered and looking a bit long in the tooth, the MX is actually a magnificent machine and I will not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to acquire one. The small and compact form factor is just right for me. All function are working flawlessly despite its years.

Resource Links:
Lomography - Pentax MX - A Small Wonder of the 70's
Pentax MX 35mm SLR Film Camera

Monday, April 2, 2018

Take Five: Low Key Edits

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Take Five: Low Key Edits 02
Take Five: Low Key Edits 03

Low Key Edits

'Creatives with the Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8, a manual focus legacy lens, mounted on the Olympus E-P5'

Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8
My trials at creating low key shots and edits, from images shot with a Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 mounted on the E-P5 in 1:1 image aspect ratio.

While I am happy enough with the results from the first three images, the final two are just post-processing heavy edit and they are there solely as space fillers.

One advantage I have is the Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 lens, which is generally considered to be one of Minolta’s best 28 mm, an excellent lens often measured against the MC W.Rokkor-SI 28 mm f/2.5 or the MD 28 mm f/2.

Take Five: Low Key Edits 04

The lens I use, even though it is a plain MD, is the 7/7 (7 elements in 7 groups) version which reportedly to be a step up from the later 5/5 version, recognized by the serial number which is 80xxxxx for the 7/7 series whilst the 5/5 version is 70xxxxx.
Olympus PEN E-P5, Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8
A little bit more detail is the plastic recess between the name ring and the front element of the lens which is designed with eight tiny steps instead of six.

Take Five: Low Key Edits 05

Resource Links:
Low Key Photography Tips
Low Key Photography Helpful Tips - iPhotography Course

Monday, March 26, 2018

Throwback 2015: Quiet On The Beach

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Throwback 2015: Quiet On The Beach 05

Quiet On The Beach

'Fleeting moments, in the heat of the day, when all was quiet and still'

While I currently use the E-P5 more often for capturing digital moments with legacy manual focus lenses which I buy off auction sites with the idea of putting them up for sale on my camera gear shopping page, there were also occasions when I had the E-P5 mounted with the M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5~5.6 EZ, for outings of sorts. The EZ is a slimline kit lens, it is only 23mm thick and weighs just about 91grams, a perfect fit for the camera.

Olympus E-P5,, M.Zuiko  Digital 14-42mm f/3.6~5.6 EZ

This session is way back in 2015 when I was on an outstation trip. Took the opportunity to stop for a breather by this beach. It was high noon, the sun was directly overhead, the sky cloudless, there was little or no wind if any, and the heat was getting rather uncomfortable. Images were shot in monochrome, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3), and print sharpening was done on Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3.

Resource Links:
Olympus M. Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ ED MSC Lens Review
Review: Olympus Pen E-P5 - The Phoblographer

Monday, March 19, 2018

Throwback 2009: Wide-Angle Vignettes

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Throwback 2009: Wide-Angle Vignettes 02
Throwback 2009: Wide-Angle Vignettes 03
Throwback 2009: Wide-Angle Vignettes 04
Throwback 2009: Wide-Angle Vignettes 05

Wide Angle Vignettes

'Vignette fun with the short end of the Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom mounted on a full frame SLR Film camera'

This was way back in 2009 when I experimented mounting an ASP-C designed lens, the Sony DT 18-70mm (3.9x) f/3.5-5.6 Zoom, on a full frame A-mount Minolta Maxxum AF body. The lens was from a Sony A-200 DSLR kit, and the film camera a Maxxum 7000. I still have the lens, but not the body, so the image shown here, with the Sony DT mounted on a later Minolta Maxxum 70 was just for illustration.
Minolta Maxxum 70, Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6

Retro-fitting DSLR lenses on AF SLR film camera bodies, if the mount matches, is a low-cost way to get into film photography, and you are in for a lot of fun here. Lenses, like the Sony DT as shown here, due to their design that comes with smaller diameter lens components, will give you the vignette or port-hole effect at its widest or short end. The vignette effect will dissipate as you zoom in towards the telephoto end of the lens.

Resource Links:
What is Vignetting?
When Should You Use Vignette? - Enlight Leak

Monday, March 12, 2018

Pentax MX: Street Squares

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Pentax MX: Street Squares 03

Pentax MX, SMC Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8

Street Squares

'My first outing with the Pentax MX mounted with a SMC Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8'

Had the Pentax MX mounted with an SMC Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8, spent about an hour scouting this downtown area, with a limit set to half a roll of a 36-shot film canister. I already had my mind set on using the other half roll of film on another camera.

Interestingly, I was very pleased with the images captures and it turns out that I will have enough images for up to three posts on this blog, with each post having a set of 5 frames. The images were originally captured on Kodak ColorPlus 200, and I had them converted to black and white on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3). For this session, the images were cropped to 1:1 image aspect ratio.

Pentax MX: Street Squares 04

Pentax MX, SMC Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8
The SMC Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8 is a marvel of a lens actually, a full frame lens that comes in an incredibly compact form factor with a depth of only 18mm.

At 110 grams body weight, the lens is much lighter than other primes of that era. It is well made, metal and glass throughout, with a well-damped focus throw, snappy aperture stops, with a very smooth focus ring.

Pentax MX: Street Squares 05

With a 40mm focal length, the lens is a wider than a standard 50mm prime, and a little bit narrower than the wide-angle 35mm, and to me, is just about right for general-purpose photography and is equally suited for street photography where spaces are sometimes slightly tight and where your surrounding is rather confined.

Pentax MX, SMC Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8

Reportedly, the lens is not as sharp wide open, with the tendency to show light fall-off and color-fringing towards the corners of the image. For my shoot, however, I was not bothered by the effects as I was on an aperture range between f/5.6 to f/11 on a beautiful bright and sunny day. Converting the images to black-and-white, and the crop to 1:1 image aspect ratio adds to the finesse of the images.

Resource Links:
SMC Pentax M 40mm F/2.8 Pancake Lens Review
Pentax MX: I hardly knew ye

Monday, March 5, 2018

Take Five: Scared Cat

Take Five: Scared Cat 01
Take Five: Scared Cat 02
Take Five: Scared Cat 03
Olympus E-P5, Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8

Scared Cat

Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8, View
'An evening out on the porch with the Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 adapted to the Olympus Pen E-P5'

I have to admit that it was rather a hilarious evening.

I was out and about on the front porch looking for the opportunity of grabbing a few test shots of the glorious sunset with the Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 attached to the E-P5 when I glanced back over my shoulder and caught the sight of one of our neighbor's cat perched on the edge of the mansard.

Looking rather stiff and scared, almost immobile, with ears pointed, the cat was actually fixated on the unfolding scene of the sunset which is happening on the rooftop of the houses across the street. Took the opportunity of grabbing these few shots as well, with images that may be at the expense of the excellence of the lens in terms of its sharpness, but not in contrast.

Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8: Scared Cat 04

Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8, Top
An MD 28mm f/2.8, the Rokkor version, is generally said to be one of the best from Minolta, close to the excellence of the MC W.Rokkor-SI 28mm f/2.5 and the MD Rokkor 28mm f/2.

Subsequent to that is the plain MD's, these are without the ROKKOR (ROKKOR-X for the US) word on the nameplate. These include the 7 elements in 7 group design which can be identified by the serial number which is 80xxxxx, and later again to a simpler 5 element in 5 group design with 70xxxxx serial numbers.

These two can also be differentiated by a different design detailing of the conical plate joining the name ring and the front of the lens. You can learn more about these lenses at Ad Dieleman's Minolta SR mount 28mm Lenses web page.

Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8: Scared Cat 05

Built of plastic and glass, with metal mount, and weighing in at about 190gram, the MD 28mm f/2.8 is a lightweight and compact beauty. It fits well with the ergonomics of the E-P5, does not make the camera any much heavier, and handling is effortless.

Olympus E-P5, Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8

The focal length equivalent of the MD 28mm on the E-P5 is 56mm, almost equivalent of a standard nifty-fifty on a full frame SLR.

Resource Links:
The 28mm Minolta MD f/2.8 Rediscovered.
MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8 on Sony Alpha 7 | David Tanzer

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