Monday, December 31, 2018

Mobile Photography, Noise, Speed and All

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Nokia Asha 300

Mobile Photography:

Noise, Speed and All

'Five frames with the Nokia Asha 300, taking in the noise, speed, and all of the night traffic'

My previous post, the Evening Groove, got me excited at the possibility of using the Nokia Asha 300 again as the camera for my Mobile Photography posts. Images from the point-and-shoot 5MP rear-facing camera of the candy-bar feature phone are very much more than what I was getting on my current mobile. A totally unexpected exposure for me, with challenges and opportunities to look forward to.

Nokia Asha 300

The Nokia Asha 300, a 2011 vintage feature phone, comes with a 240x360 pixel 2.4-inch non-adjustable resistive touchscreen, just big enough to be used as a framing screen rather than for viewing composition details.

Image resolution from the fixed focus F2.4 lens is 2592 x 1944 pixels, the phone has 140MB of internal storage which can store up to a maximum of 112 JPEG images, and the camera does not come with a flash.

Admittedly, the night shoot session turned out rather well for me. With the noise, limited ISO and shutter speed capabilities of the camera, I was quite happy to see how images turned out. And again, with the aid of a few edits in post-processing, I couldn't ask for more.


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Wishing one and all!

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Ride #II, Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

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Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

Analog Diary:

The Ride #II, Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

'Five frames with the Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, a ride down the LRT line, again'

Another roll of expired film, and another ride on the Light Rail Transport (LRT) from the downtown central station to my stop. This was the day I went down to do the street shoot of the Divali (Deepavali) Street Bazaar, which I posted about recently. The camera that I took along for the outing was the Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20.

Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

By itself, the BM-20 is a stylish black (or red) box with rounded corners and has a rectangular patch for a lens housing that extends out of the body slightly when it is powered on.

It is small and light enough to fit in the palm of your hand or in your pants pocket, with a wide-angle 34mm F3.5 lens that should take in the vistas and perspectives probably better than most mobile camera lenses.

Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

A small quirk for the BM-20 and a whole range of other make cameras that were produced during the time period is the auto flash that is persistent at even the slightest indication of underexposure. Against the very bright external ambiance as seen from the front carriage of these shots, however, the flash on the camera was rather well behaved.


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Monday, December 17, 2018

Digital Moments, Yashica ML 35mm F2.8

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Olympus E-P5, Yashica ML 35mm F2.8

Digital Moments:

Yashica ML 35mm F2.8

'Five frames with the Yashica ML 35mm F2.8 lens, an odd one out'

The Yashica ML 35mm F2.8, which can be a rare find among the selection of Yashica ML lenses, a series of multicoated pro-line lenses developed and produced by Yashica (Kyocera). This series was designed to fill the gap between Yashica's own consumer-grade DSB lens line and the state-of-the-art Contax/Yashica Zeiss T*, all of which were built at their manufacturing facility in Japan.

Olympus E-P5, Yashica ML 35mm F2.8

The series is also acknowledged as excellent performers, even at wide-open aperture when adapted to crop-sensor digital bodies. Looks like the ML 35mm F2.8 as well, as can be seen from these images posted here, is no exception.

To top off the accolades, this unit is sometimes referred to as the 'poor man's Zeiss', and in passing, is compared equally or even better than the Distagons.
Yashica ML 35mm F2.8, rear mount

From what is available on the Net, while there is not too much of it, the ML 35mm F2.8 was produced in two versions, an earlier version with 7-elements in 6-groups, identified by the diamond knobs on its rubber grip, and a later with 6-elements in 5-groups which comes with square knobs.

An anomaly I found is with the copy of the lens that I have. The lens has a fairly large pin protruding out of the backplate of the lens mount assembly.

This configuration will not let me mount the lens to either the Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 or a Contax RTS II, both of which I have in my collection. The lens, however, can be mounted to the M4/3 FX/CY adapter without any problem.


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Monday, December 10, 2018

Mobile Photography, Evening Groove

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Nokia Asha 300

Mobile Photography:

Evening Groove

'Five frames with the Nokia Asha 300, catching the golden hour'

Continuing where I left off with the On A Bright Sunny Day post, which was with images recorded way back with the Nokia Asha 300. The phone, out of the storage bin, powers up nice and steady with its camera working just as fine.

Nokia Asha 300

Using the camera on the phone is a delight, straight and simple. Being a pure point-and-shoot, all you have to do is to frame the image and press the shutter, there was nothing to set or adjust.

And for the acid test, it was just out on the front porch, on a most beautiful and lovely evening.

While the sun was already down, the ambiance of its red-golden glow still lights up the sky, and coupled with the effect of domestic lighting and the street lights which was already turned on, the moments were truly a photographer's delight.

The images, sharp and clear and with the cool contrast rendering, were quite beyond the expectation. I was not disappointed.


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Monday, December 3, 2018

Sea of Yellow and Red, Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

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Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

Analog Diary:

Sea of Yellow and Red, Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

'Five frames with the Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, in celebration of Devali'

I ended up having a roll of expired Kodakcolor 200 negative film in one of my camera shipments recently and wondered how the images will look like once the film has been exposed and developed. Just as well, I also have a Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, a fully automatic AF film camera, in my collection, and decided to match the two for a street walk.

Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

The Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20 is one of the models of the Konica Big Mini series, an iconic low-priced series of point-and-shoot fully automatic autofocus (AF) 35mm film cameras produced by Konica in the early 1990s.

The Big Mini models set itself apart from other makes of the same genre with a fantastic range of F3.5 Konica lenses that is renowned to be very sharp with excellent contrast rendering. The BM-20 has a 34mm F3.5 lens.

A 34mm lens (almost the 35mm that many street photographers talk about) is also the focal length for street photography. It is a nice compromise between a nifty-fifty which street photographers may find a bit tight, and the wideness of the 28mm which sometimes calls for a fair amount of cropping. Just as well, the lens is just about perfect for both a cramped narrow street shot or the landscaped vista.


Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

Going by specs I found for other models, the BM-20 may include an automatic shutter speed range of 1/80 to 1/250 second, and lens aperture opening of F3.5 to F16 (not verified). My unit, however, came with a dead LCD panel which was located on the left of the top plate. I can only assume that the panel is for the film counter and whatever else it is supposed to have.


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