Monday, January 29, 2018

A Single Point of View, Olympus XA1

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Olympus XA 1

A Single Point of View, Olympus XA1

'Analog Diary - Shooting street photography from a single point of view with the sharp and sweet point-and-shoot Olympus XA1'

One of the interesting aspects of street photography is that you do not have to be one constantly on the move, but rather the opposite, stay in one place (for the duration of the shoot) and let the world moves around you instead.

Olympus XA1
Stay in just one spot in one location, and you may start to notice things about aren't so obvious as when you are walking past the scene. The world slows down for you and does sometimes comes to a complete standstill. You don't actually have to travel to try this either.

It is just as easy to find a spot where you can sit with your camera, relax, and be comfortable with the surrounding. A sidewalk cafe or a restaurant might just be the right place. Observing from the comfort of a shaded seat makes you feel at ease. Let the scene unfolds in your vision.

There is no need to worry too much about the camera you are carrying either, and which one that comes to mind on your way out of the door should be fine. You can always do a street shoot with a point-and-shoot compact, or take the one camera one lens challenge, and do the scene as casual and as relaxed as you can. No reason for the huff and puff at all.

What about the camera? As far as I can say, the camera that you have now is just fine. My preferences are, however, for small compact cameras which I can carry around without drawing much attention to it. Do you shoot in digital or analog? I do both, depending on which camera I grabbed on the way out of the door.
Olympus XA1

The XA1, by the way, is my favorite among the XA'a and is the simplest of the XA clan. Most times available at fantastically low prices on the auction market, the camera has a fantastic fixed focus D.Zuiko 35mm f/4 lens, takes only ISO 100 or 400 film, needs no batteries to function, weighs light as a feather, and is compact enough to fit in your shirt pocket.


For Sale: Olympus 35mm Compact Cameras

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Digital Moments, Nikkor 85mm F2 Ai-S

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Olympus E-P5, Nikkor 85mm f/2 Ai-S

Digital Moments, Nikkor 85mm F2 Ai-S

'Image samples with the manual focus Nikkor 85mm F2 Ai-S legacy lens mounted on the Olympus E-P5'

A fast 85mm prime lens has always been the favorite as an ideal portrait lens. Categorized under the short telephoto lens nomenclature, the lens is not only well suited for the genre mentioned but can also be effective for others as well. Street photography can be one, where you can be slightly away and not disturb the scene you are capturing.

Nikkor 85mm F2 Ai-S, View
Concert photographers can also do well with a fast 85mm lens fitted to their camera, say, a Nikkor 85mm F2. Wedding photography might do well with this lens, so does event and to some extent, sports photography. How about photographers who work in the natural history field, or in close-up photography, and sports photography. I am sure this lens will do well for them as well.

When fitted to a 2x crop-sensor Olympus Pen E-P5, a Nikkor 85mm f/2, as done here, the lens has now an effective focal length of 170mm. This fitting advances the lens to that of a medium telephoto lens, and this calls for a different way of handling the lens altogether.

A longer focal length means a narrower depth of field, and it can be difficult to get your focusing spot on, where even a slight change in camera position can cause blurriness. You will need to put your camera on a tripod when to got for that super steady shot.

For the quick take shots here, I do not have the privilege of a lens adapter with an integrated tripod mount, which I think is a better option rather than putting the strain of the tripod load on the camera body. I was banking on the in-body image stabilization of the E-P5 to help me reduce camera shake to its minimum.

A genre where you can hand-hold this lens/camera combination, with the lens at its widest aperture, and with a shutter speed fast enough to avoid blurring, is in the motorsports arena, something which is always on my mind to try out. While you are there, add the 'panning' technique to your skills, and bring up your photography to another level.

Olympus E-P5, Nikkor 85mm F2 Ai-S

The Ai-spec of the Nikkor 85mm f/2 telephoto lens was introduced in 1977 and continues till the Ai-S version which was introduced during late 1981. There is little difference in specifications for both of these series. Both versions are solidly built, the quality feel is all over, and using the lens is always a delight.


For Sale: Nikon Nikkor F-Mount Manual Focus Lenses

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Images on Expired Film, Olympus Pen EF

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 Olympus Pen EF

Images on Expired Film, Olympus Pen EF

'Analog Diary - Black and white images on expired film as captured on the Olympus Pen EF'

These photos are from an occasion where our small work-group ended up on a small training project located on a campus site which has been vacated sometimes prior to our arrival. Spaces and buildings were left idle in a state of disrepair, unkempt, and open to the elements.

Olympus Pen EFI had the Olympus Pen EF loaded with a roll of expired black-and-white film with me then, went around to do a once over of the facilities and document these images.

It took me a while further to have the film processed after the shoot. The images were then scanned and post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3).

Post-processing of the grossly underexposed expired film images includes Tone Curve adjustment, Brightness & Contrast setting, Sharpness & Blur, Unsharp Mask, and Noise Reduction. I also did some Crop and Tilt Adjustment where necessary.

Olympus Pen EF
These are simple and straightforward shoots, where a point-and-shoot camera like the Olympus Pen EF might be all that you need. Compact and handy, fun, the EF is a very easy camera to work with.

All you need to do is to load the film, set the appropriate film ASA speed, and off you go. Any potentially underexposed image will be blocked by the red pop-up flag system.

The Olympus Pen EF is one of my favorite point-and-shoot cameras (the other one being the Olympus XA 1). I have also done a few posts with the camera prior to this, as well as doing a short write-up on it, and I am sure it will stay as part of my camera collection for quite a while yet. Grab one if you have the chance to own it!


For Sale: 35mm Half Frame Cameras

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Digital Moments, Nikkor 50mm F1.4 Ai-S

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Olympus E-P5, Nikkor Ai-S 50mm 1:1.4

Digital Moments, Nikkor 50mm F1.4 Ai-S

'Image samples with the manual focus Nikkor 50mm F1.4 Ai-S legacy lens mounted on the Olympus E-P5'

It is of no doubt that the versatility of a 'normal' 50mm F1.4 lens is the flavor of many a photographer, both as a standard prime they will want to go with, or as a stand-by in every professional's bag of lenses.

Nikkor Ai-S 50mm 1:1.4, ViewThe 50mm F1.4 is the superhero for lowlight photography, a must for indoor sports, an essential for street photography, a norm for travel and adventure, an extreme closeups lens with a reverse adapter, and a superb portrait lens on crop-sensor digital cameras.

The legacy Nikkor 50mm F1.4 Ai-S by Nikon is no different, affordable by comparison (to current standards), and is one of the few manual focus lenses left in Nikon's lens line-up. Performance is said to be almost at the top of the line. Though reportedly to be pretty weak at f/1.4, the lens improves considerably when stopped down to f/2.

Peak performance is reached at f/5.6, where the lens has an excellent balance of performance across the image frame. Distortion is moderate, vignetting can be at f/1.4, and the sweet spot of the lens is between f/2.8 - f/8.

On a DX sized or a 1.5 crop-sensor DSLR the lens becomes a 75mm equivalent, which is more of a portrait lens than a nifty-fifty prime. On the 2x crop-sensor Olympus E-P5, the lens is an equivalent of a 100mm short telephoto lens. The lens is built of all metal and glass the lens is the ultimate of build quality.

Olympus E-P5, Nikkor Ai-S 50mm 1:1.4

Quite hefty in size when compared to Olympus's M4/3 lenses, the lens is about 70mm long when fitted with an adapter to the camera, it weighs in at 250 grams which do add to the weight of the setup. The lens, however, is a pleasure to use, the focus ring is buttery smooth and can be moved with one finger, aperture stops are sharp and sure.


For Sale: Nikon Nikkor F-Mount Manual Focus Lenses

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Monday, January 1, 2018

A Walk In The Park, Konica C35 Automatic

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Konica C35 Automatic, Fujifilm Superia 200

A Walk In The Park, Konica C35 Automatic

'Analog Diary - Serene colors, strong contrast, sharp and beautiful images on a walk in the park with the Konica C35 Automatic'


Konica C35 Automatic
Dear All! The New Year is the time of unfolding horizons and the realization of dreams, may you rediscover new strength and garner faith with you, and be able to rejoice in the simple pleasures that life has to offer and put a brave front for all the challenges that may come your way. Wishing you a lovely New Year.

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