Monday, October 29, 2018

Mobile Photography, The Classic

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Nokia Asha 300

Mobile Photography, The Classic

'Digging the archive for images worth presenting'

I wasn't too happy at all with the images from an early outing with the Nokia 3.1, that came with a camera, as they say, is just another run of the mill product with not much more to add to it. Though the camera's HDR function may help to boost the dynamic range and contrast, and gives you slightly better images, let alone be and I rather leave it aside for the moment.

Nokia Asha 300
The bump sets me back from posting a subsequent to the post with images already recorded but instead had me digging the archives for materials for the next scheduled post on Mobile Photography.

Luck was with me as I came across a selection of images which were previously recorded on the Nokia Asha 300, a candy-bar cellular phone model introduced way back in 2011, which I was using then.

Small and diminutive when compared to today's smartphones, the cell is really compact and it sits comfortably in your hands. This may prove, however, to be a bit of a trifle when used as a camera with your fingers fumbling all over the camera control interface. On image capture, the Nokia Asha 300 came with a 5MP fixed-focus rear camera, capturing images with maximum a resolution of 2592 x 1944.

While views and reviews of the camera capabilities are mixed and varied, I tend to look at it as being on the better side, with clear and sharp images befitting its small sensor size.

These initial group of images, which I referred to as 'classic', not for any reason at all, were from around the office where I was previously working. While the first image is a good example of the capability of the camera, the others are a bit muddled up as they have been edited and re-edited again away from their original pixel size.

I did, however, found more images in the archive, including a small batch of images which are quite beyond what I have expected. Surprisingly, these include a batch of pretty sharp and clear images, with a good color rendition, which I will polish up and post in the next post of the Mobile Photography series.


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Monday, October 22, 2018

The Ladies Are All Smiles, Olympus XA4 Macro

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Olympus XA4 Macro

The Ladies Are All Smiles, Olympus XA4 Macro

'Analog Diary - The ladies are all smiles as they are all set and ready for the rush at the Ramadan Bazaar, Olympus XA4 Macro'

I am still following up on the images of Squaring the 28mm which was posted way back over a year ago, and the more recent All Set and Ready. The scene was at the Ramadan Bazaar and the camera was, of course, the Olympus XA4 Macro. The images sort of grew me as I went through repeatedly, and it all seems fitting with the square 1:1 image aspect ratio that I am posting them in.

Olympus XA4 Macro
The Olympus XA4 Macro, as you know it, came fitted with a Zuiko 28mm F3.5 lens, which is about the best, and is a highly recommended focal length for street photography. Considered as a wide-angle lens, using a 28mm lens means that you have to get in close to the subject, or go for the scenery, which is not always the best solution.

Cropping the images back to the square, while removing the superfluous, helps to simplify the composition. You can also do away with the 'rule-of-thirds, and with extraneous elements removed, and adjusting the frame to capture only the strongest elements of the image, you might end up with an image worth presenting.

Elements that are prominent in the square format are shapes and lines. Shapes, unlike in the one-third rule, can be placed centrally in the composition, while triangulated lines make the composition stronger as they pull the viewer’s eye through the frame. With the 28mm lens, getting good bokeh shots are naturally out of the question, and you may also get stumped when going for a balanced composition.


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Monday, October 15, 2018

Digital Moments, Canon FD 28mm F2.8

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Olympus E-P5, Canon FD 28mm F2.8

Digital Moments, Canon FD 28mm F2.8

'Image samples with the manual focus Canon FD 28mm F2.8 legacy lens mounted on the Olympus E-P5'

One of the options of having the equivalent of a 'nifty-fifty' on a 2x crop sensor Micro 4/3 digital camera, is to mount the camera with a manual focus lens with a focal length of 28mm. This setup will give you a lens with the equivalent focal length of 56mm, which is slightly longer than what a true 50mm prime will give you. You might, on the other hand, try the option with an ultra-wide 24mm lens, which makes it the equivalent of a 48mm lens, but like you it, these ultra-wides could cost you much more to acquire.

Olympus E-P5, Canon FDn 28mm F2.8

One good example of a 28mm F2.8 manual focus lens, appreciated and acknowledged because of its exceptional quality performance, is the Canon (new) FD 28mm F2.8. the last and most popular among Canon's FD 28mm lenses.

The lens is very compact, with plenty of plastic parts, measures 40mm overall, a lightweight at 170 grams, and is the second lightest among the FD lenses. The lens takes 52mm filters, and unique in a that this 7 elements in 7 groups lens have two convex front elements incorporated into the design as elements to reduce spherical aberration.

If you are like me, as some of you might have noticed, I shoot both in analog and digital. Having a lens that can be used both on a digital (Olympus E-P5 with adapter) and analog (Canon 35mm SLRs) is always a cost-saving, with an added advantage that I also have a lens with 2 effective focal lengths. On the E-P5, the lens is almost a perfect 'nifty-fifty', and on Canon's A-series 35mm SLRs, it is the perfect wide-angle lens.


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Monday, October 8, 2018

Mobile Photography, Starting Afresh

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Nokia 3.1

Mobile Photography, Starting Afresh

'Testing what the Nokia 3.1 has to offer in image capture and in-camera editing functionalities'

Nokia 3.1 Camera Interface
I ended up downgrading from my old and beaten up Nokia Lumia 720 to the consumer-grade Nokia 3.1. As the reviewers put it, there's nothing great about this run of the mill model. Rather slow and sluggish, it falls short on what the competition has to offer, camera and all. The default 13MP resolution of the F2 AF camera setup is only for taking photos in 4:3 aspect ratio. Change the setup to 16:9 or 18:9 image aspect ratio and the effective megapixel count goes down to 8MP.

The camera itself is a straight and simple affair, an interface with the shutter release at the bottom of the viewing screen, a switch to video mode next to it and a shortcut to the gallery on the other side. On the top is a tiny mode selector gives you the option to choose Regular photo, Panorama, or (very basic) Manual mode, and toggles for Beauty, Self-Time, HDR, Flash, and Selfie switch mode.

In retrospect, the image capture ratio does not matter much really, as I am now doing a lot more images in the square 1:1 format. This means that I will be doing image cropping in-camera and with the editing functions that are available, I may be able to reduce the time spent on the desktop.

These early images are what I came up within the short run leading to this post. They are not at their best, with lots of room for improvement.


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Monday, October 1, 2018

All Set and Ready, Olympus XA4 Macro

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Olympus XA4 Macro

All Set and Ready, Olympus XA4 Macro

'Analog Diary - All set and ready for the crowd rush at the Ramadan Bazaar with 1:1 aspect ratio images squared off from the XA4'

A long time coming, this belated post should have been posted much earlier and not too long after the initial Analog Diary: Squaring the 28mm, Olympus XA4 post. Images were from the same bazaar environment, with this post focussing on the pairs or individuals who were in the midst of setting their stall up ready for the crowd that was due. While these images show that the crews are only of the male gender, they are not necessarily so.

Different from original Olympus XA, the only true rangefinder camera of the series, the Olympus XA4 Macro is fitted with a wide-angle 28mm F3.5 lens with close focus capability, thus the Macro designation, which is at 0.3 meters (12 inches).

Standard with the camera is a lanyard cord which can be used to measure this distance. Flash units are optional between the A11 of the A16 which uses 2xAA batteries instead of on one as found on the A11.

Keep the notion of the macro mode aside and you will find that the XA4 is a great street shooter as well. Though the lens, at F3.5, maybe rather slow, the 28mm focal length lens is perfect for street photography, as you can follow with the resource links listed:


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