Monday, July 15, 2019

AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2, Part I

AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2, Part I 01
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AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2, Part I 02
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AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2, Part I

'Analog Diary - Taking the AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2 for a walk in the park' 

I already had a copy of the Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4, a 1979 vintage from Sigma in my collection, had a couple of good outing with it, but went on and decided to add AF version of the lens, the AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2, to the jumble.

Canon EOS 700QD, AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2
The lens, an AF version of the same, very highly rated by reviewers on the Dyxum forum, was released in 1985. It came with a 77mm. diameter front element, bigger when compared to the 67mm of the prior, and weighs in at 480 grams.

My copy comes with an EOS EF-mount, and the camera I had to test it on was the Canon EOS 700QD (1990).

Aside from the weight of the camera and lens which totals an almost 1.4 kg (with a heavy duty wide shoulder strap attached), which might not take too long for you to feel the weight when it is hanging down your neck, both camera and lens seem to be functioning well. This is despite their age which are about 35 and 29 years old respectively.

As the case with all cameras that I tested, the first instance was always down to the park, an early morning visit this time, with the main emphasis of the test being the zoom range of the lens. Images were shot on Kodak ColorPlus 200, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3, and print sharpened on Windows Photo.

Canon EOS 700QD, AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2

Your observation is probably as good as mine to the rich color rendition of the landscape. I will have to work harder, however, on getting sharper images with different subject and lighting condition while going through the various pre-set shooting modes or with the shutter-priority option.


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Monday, July 8, 2019

First Roll, Pentax Espio AF Zoom

First Roll, Pentax Espio AF Zoom 01
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First Roll, Pentax Espio AF Zoom

'Analog Diary - Making a decision to convert your colored images to black and white may prove worthwhile in certain circumstances'


I was not at all pleased with the images that came out of the first roll of film on the newly acquired Pentax Espio AF Zoom. The images were kind of hazy, blurry and were completely unexpected from a camera that has the acknowledgment as being a very capable model.

Not wanting to admit defeat, I went for the option of converting the images to black and white and came away with these cool images, reminiscent of what I use to get with when I was starting out with photography when I was just a kid.

The Pentax Espio AF, introduced in 1992, comes with a programmed electronic shutter with a speed range from 1/5 to 1/400 second and B, +1.5EV backlight compensation, a built-in zoom flash with red-eye reduction mode, and a host of interesting functionalities.

The camera is fitted with a 35-70mm F4.3~8 zoom lens of 8 elements in 7 groups construction, capable of a minimum focus of 0.6 meters. Film loading and rewind is automatic at the end of the roll.


With the right mode selection, you can set the camera up for flash off or auto flash on photography, daylight synchro, backlight compensation, dual-frame or auto tele-wide self-timer modes, continuous or timed interval shooting, multiple exposures, and infinity landscape focusing.

Images here were originally shot on Kodak ColorPlus 200, lab processed, scanned, and post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3).


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Monday, July 1, 2019

Twin Towers, Sigma Zoom Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4

Twin Towers, Sigma Zoom Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 01
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Twin Towers, Sigma Zoom Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4

'Analog Diary - Images of the Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur with the Sigma Zoom Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4'

I was at the location of the Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur recently with another camera but found that the 28mm wide-angle zoom I had on the camera wasn't wide enough to capture both of the twin-tower elements in a single frame as I would like it to be.

Olympus OM-2SP, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4
The decision to visit the location again, with another camera, was the better choice. For the second visit, I took the ultra-wide angle Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 mounted on the Olympus OM-2SP, and I was able to capture the set of amateurish images I was looking for.

Launched in 1979, the one-touch Zoom Gamma 21-35mm lens was the world’s first wide-angle zoom, an area which Sigma continues to excel in today. The lens was solid metal and glass construction with 7 elements in 7 groups, comes complete with a built-in floral hood and a rotating front element with a diameter of 67mm.

While I have used the lens only occasionally, initially for image sample with the lens adapted to the digital Pen E-P5, and then only of late, I do have high regard for the lens - for its built quality, the zoom range it offers, images it renders, and its worth as a keeper.

Olympus OM-2SP, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4

While the lens came to me almost complementary with online purchase of an Olympus OM body, the lens is almost a rarity with listing on auction sites that are far and few in between. You may, instead, find more instances of the followup Sigma Zoom-Gamma II 21-35mm F3.5~4.2 being offered in the listings or something that will cost you an arm and a leg in the form of the Leica Vario-Elmar-R 21-35mm F3.5~4 Asph.

These images were shot on a roll on a recently expired Kodak ColorPlus 200, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3), and print sharpened on Google NIK Sharpener Pro3.


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Monday, June 24, 2019

Primed and Loaded, All Set To Go

Primed and Loaded, All Set To Go 01

Primed and Loaded, All Set To Go

'Added to my collection over the past two weeks - an AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2 lens, a Canon EOS 700QD, and an AF Nikkor 35-105mm F3.5~4.5 D'

My collection of vintage lenses and 35mm film SLRs grew over the last two weeks with the addition of an EF-mount AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2 zoom, a Canon EOS 700QD the lens will be mounted on, and an AF Nikkor 35-105mm F3.5~4.5 D, which I wanted to test mounted on the Nikon F601, an earlier acquisition.

Primed and Loaded, All Set To Go 02

The AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, the second in my collection after the initial Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5-4, the world's first-wide angle zoom lens, was introduced in 1985 to meet the demands of AF SLR cameras which started with the introduction of the Minolta Maxxum series.

Primed and Loaded, All Set To Go 03

Just as well, the Canon EOS 700QD, released in 1990 by Canon, was an upgrade of the EOS750/EOS850. Canons initial development of the EOS series stated with the introduction of the EOS 650 in 1987. The EOS 700QD is basically frame-and-shoot 35mm film SLR that comes with a range of programmed scene settings and an option of using the camera as a shutter-priority SLR.

Primed and Loaded, All Set To Go 04

The AF Nikkor 35-105mm F3.5~4.5 D, developed from an Ai-S version of the same, is a kit zoom lens packaged with Nikon F cameras. The lens is said to be a gem often overlooked by photographers and reviewers during the days of Nikon AF film SLRs. It is a push-pull zoom with a decent zoom range, very well made, a bit bulky by today's standards, but comes with image qualities are highly respected. The lens was accoladed by Ken Rockwell in his review here.

Primed and Loaded, All Set To Go 05

The Nikon F601 (N6006 in the US), an earlier acquisition, is a tough bakelite body from the era of the professional Nikon F4 and semi-professional F90x. Introduced in 1991, a couple of years after the F801, the Nikon mid-range came with an improved second-generation autofocus system, motor drive for automatic film advance, a built-in pop-up electronic flash, top shutter speed of 1/2000 of a second, and a new 'Matrix' evaluative multi-zone metering program.

The camera and lens is a seamless fit, it has one of the brightest viewfinders I have ever come across, and looks all set to be one of my preferred camera lens combinations.

And as they say it in the movies, the Canon EOS setup is 'primed and loaded' with battery and film and is all set to go while the Nikon AF setup will be in the queue a wee bit longer.


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Monday, June 17, 2019

The Catch, SMC Pentax-M 100mm F2.8

The Catch, SMC Pentax-M 100mm F2.8 01
The Catch, SMC Pentax-M 100mm F2.8 02
Analog Diary, The Catch (2019) 02
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The Catch, SMC Pentax-M 100mm F2.8

'Analog Diary - Down at the fishing tourney with the SMC Pentax-M 100mm F2.8 mounted on a Pentax MZ-7'

I might have not done true justice to the SMC Pentax-M 100mm F2.8 here. I had it mounted on the Pentax MZ-7, an excellent camera by itself but mismanaged on the manual setting for the lens. This ended up with the camera/lens combo not working at its best and I went through half of the film roll with that.

The SMC Pentax M 100mm F2.8, however, is a delight to use. It is compact, light, sharp, and is solidly built and enjoys an average user rating of 9.6 on PentaxForms.com. The lens has always stayed on the top of the enthusiast's choice.

The all-manual lens is of 5 elements in 5 groups construction and comes with 5 aperture blades. Images, as you can see from these shots, are not as contrasty and can be boosted or adjusted with image processing.

At 100mm focal length, the SMC Pentax-M 100mm F2.8 is a great lens for outdoor portraits, landscapes, and should be equally suited for traveling by virtue of its small and compact size. It has also been reported that, when used in the field, the lens has a potential for purple fringing issues in high contrast situations.


This is the first time I am using the lens, and as I mentioned earlier, mounted on the Pentax MZ-7. Images were shot on an almost expired Kodak Colorplus 200 and was post-processed on Olympus Vierer 3 (OV3).


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Monday, June 10, 2019

With A Little Help From Microsoft Photos

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With A Little Help From Microsoft Photos 02
With A Little Help From Microsoft Photos 03
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With A Little Help From Microsoft Photos 05
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With A Little Help From Microsoft Photos

'Digital Moments - Post-enhancing your images with Microsoft Photos is equally a competent way of getting a well balanced render of your images'

I do a fair amount of LRT (Light Rail Transport) hopping, on the weekends, where I would first take the train, either to the city or in the opposite direction, dropping off at interconnecting stops along the line, to do the loop before coming back to join the main route I was originally on.

Olympus E-P5, Lumix G 14mm F2.5 Asph.
While most of the trips lately were done with film cameras that I was trying out, this is a rare occasion where I took the digital E-P5 out with me.

On this trip, I had the camera mounted with the Lumix G 14mm F2.5 Asph. and this is one of the shots I came back with, a quick five-frame on one of the lines I was on.

Back on the desktop, I am also warming up (rather slowly) to the new image-editing software from Olympus, Olympus Workspace, which replaced the older Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) a few months back. Between the two, I do add in edits with apps from a standalone version of Google NIK Collection and even Microsoft Photos in the process workflow.

When things get a bit bothersome while working on either of the two, I will go for a shortcut and have the image or images post-enhanced on Microsoft Photos, as with the images posted here.

Post-enhancing images on Microsoft Photos

The enhancements are done on the 'Filters' section of the apps, where you can go for automated enhancement by just clicking on the 'Enhance your photo' image, or go further and have the image rendered with the menu of filter effects.

You can go further with the image development by going for the 'Lighting Adjustment' menu where you have more options with 'light', 'Color', 'Clarity', and 'Vignette'. Getting images which are just right for web publishing is a no-brainer with the app.

The good part about using Microsoft Photos is that the app is installed with the version of Windows you are using, you can access the 'Edit & Create' interface by clicking on any image you have in your image folders, and using it is very easy and intuitive.


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Monday, June 3, 2019

Aged in Sepia, Olympus IZM 220 AF Panorama Zoom

Aged in Sepia, Olympus IZM 220 AF Panorama Zoom 01
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Aged in Sepia, Olympus IZM 220 AF Panorama Zoom

'Analog Diary - A sad thought on the demise of one of my AF 35mm film cameras'


A sad thought on the demise of one of my AF 35mm film cameras, the Olympus IZM  220 AF Panorama Zoom, which I was very keen to keep using after a promising start with the quick look review.

Olympus IZM 220 AF Panorama Zoom
As I wrote in the 'Post Edit: A Sad Ending on the camera review page:
Well, while I believe that the IZM 220 can be an equivalent to the Olympus Mju II, Olympus XA, or the Trip 35, if not just as good, my unit went for a sad ending by burning itself out when I was to reinstall the batteries again for another outing. The camera just went whiz, whiz, whiz, and clunk. The lens was jammed halfway out, and nothing else worked. The batteries were also heated up that it almost burns my fingers when I tried to take out. Was this what the recall was about?
I was really excited about having the camera, though its form may be that of a wedged brick. The camera comes with a fairly large viewfinder, and the brightest I have experienced so far (on compact 35mm cameras), and I was equally taken back with sharpness and clarity of the images it produces. But, well!

Images were post-processed and converted to sepia on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3), and print sharpened on Google NIK Sharpener Pro3.


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Monday, May 27, 2019

Twin Towers, AF Nikkor 28-70mm F3.5~4.5 D

Twin Towers, AF Nikkor 28-70mm F3.5~4.5 D 01
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Twin Towers, AF Nikkor 28-70mm F3.5~4.5 D

'Analog Diary - In the waterscape gardens of Suria KLCC with the AF Nikkor 28-70mm F3.5~4.5 D'

I was in the waterscape forecourt of the Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC, with the AF Nikkor 28-70mm F3.5~4.5 D but realizes that the lens was not wide enough for me to pull in both of the twins into a single frame. While planning for another session with another lens that might be able to capture what I wanted, I did spend some time at the location and manage to come up with the other images.

AF Nikkor 28-70mm F3.5~4.5 D
The AF Nikkor 28-70mm F3.5~4.5 D was a new addition to my collection, and it worked rather well mounted on the Nikon F801s. Images were sharp and clear, with good contrast, and looks to be a good performer if you are looking for a standard zoom that has a wider front end.

The lens was formally introduced paired as a kit lens to the Nikon F100 when the camera was first introduced. It is comparatively small and compact, a lightweight, and was accoladed as being the fastest and best super-compact midrange zoom ever made by Nikon.

The lens is quite a handler as well, with both focus and zoom control rings being reasonably smooth. This is aside from the front element that rotates during focusing, which makes the use of a polarizing filter rather awkward. Autofocusing is operated by a slotted drive screw operated by the camera.

The AF Nikkor 28-70mm F3.5~4.5 was also Nikon's first hybrid aspherical lens, has a 9-blade diaphragm, and is compact enough to be used with a camera's built-in flash even at 28mm. The lens feels solid with its good quality polycarbonate and metal mount construction.

Nikon F801s, AF Nikkor 28-70mm F3.5~4.5 D

Images were captured on an expired roll of Fujifilm Superia 200, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3), and print sharpened on Google NIK Sharpener Pro3.


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