Monday, December 30, 2019

Digital Moments, The Adenium Obesum

Adenium Obesum, Zuiko OM 35mm F2 01
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Olympus E-P5, Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2

Digital Moments:

The Adenium Obesum

'Five frames, the Adenium Obesum, or Desert Rose, with the Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2'

A native to the Sahel regions, south of the Sahara, and tropical and subtropical eastern and southern Africa and Arabia, the thick and bulbous stemmed Adenium Obesum, or commonly known as Sabi Star, Kudu, Mock Azalea, Impala Lily and Desert Rose, is one of the other flowering plants that seem to survive and blooms periodically in my harsh and unkempt mini garden.

Olympus E-P5, Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2

Though miniature in my garden pot, the evergreen can grow to 1–3 meters in height, with leaves that are simply shaped and leathery in nature, about 5–15 cm long and 1–8 cm broad, that grows spirally toward the tips of the shoots. Five-petalled tubular form flowers, in small terminal clusters, tend to be red and pink, often with a whitish blush outward of the throat, are 2–5 cm. long with the outer portion diameter at 4–6 cm.

Images were shot with the Zuiko OM 35mm F2 wide-angle mounted on the Olympus Pen E-P5. With the equivalent of a 70mm focal length and the closest focus distance 30 cm, close up shots can be done at almost macro-scale with the subject literally touching a hooded front end of the lens.

Olympus E-P5, Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2

The lens, of course, is a classic in its own right. It is a fully manual focusing and aperture control lens, with an 8-elements in 7-groups construction, and a superb of metal and glass built. Measuring only 43mm in length, the Zuiko 35mm F2 is also one of the most compact version in its class. It is hardly longer than a standard lense yet it comes with a very bright F2 aperture for crystal clear vision from inside the finder.


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Monday, December 23, 2019

Sights and Scenes (Part I), Konica C35 EF

Sights and Scenes, Konica C35 EF 01
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Konica C35 EF

Analog Diary:

Sights and Scenes (Part I), Konica C35 EF

'Five frames, sights and scenes (Part I) on a walkabout in the city with the Konica C35 EF'

One of my favorite film cameras, to date, is the small and compact Konica C35 Automatic, a true rangefinder and a favorite with a tack sharp four-element Hexanon 38mm F2.8 lens. The camera was part of a four-camera series by Konica which includes the original C35, C35 V (C35 E&L), C35 Automatic (C35 Flashmatic), and Auto S3 (C35FD).

Konica C35 EF

The follow-up series, which started with the Konica C35 EF, nicknamed 'Pikkari' in Japan, introduced in 1975 was the first 35mm compact camera with a built-in flash. Over the original series, the C35 EF was an all-black plastic body and much like the earlier C35 V, comes with only a zone focusing feature.

Konica C35 EF

The camera itself is slightly bigger and wider than the original C35, and as I can see from the ads listed on auction sites, it will be a hard sell if you find one that is fully functional. Mine had a non-working flash. You still need a battery to run its AE electronics. I had a 1.5 volts SR44 installed, which should work just as well. At a pinch, you may want to set the film ISO speed to a lower setting to cater for the difference.


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Monday, December 16, 2019

Sights and Scenes, Scenes At The Stop #I

Sights and Scenes, Scenes At The Stop #I 01
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Sights and Scenes, Scenes At The Stop #I 03
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Nokia Asha 300

Mobile Photography:

Sights and Scenes, Scenes At The Stop #I

'Five frames with the Nokia Asha 300, out in the suburbs, the quiet start and end to my photo walk sessions'

Two stops actually, the first one is where I normally start from, the second is where I normally return to. I do this often enough if my photo walk session is planned for the city or other interconnected locations accessible by the LRT links.

Nokia Asha 300


The first is about 15 minutes walk from my place, which I do when the feeder bus service is delayed or when I missed its schedule. The return stop is further up the line, where the feeder bus service starts, making it a very convenient waiting point for the return leg of the outing.

What is interesting about stops that are away in the suburb is that they are normally very quiet and seem almost lifeless once the morning rush is over or during the weekends. A good start to have the world unto yourself, with no-frill images captures with the Nokia Asha 300, cropped.


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Monday, December 9, 2019

Night Scenes, Zuiko OM 35mm F2

Night Scenes, Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2 01
Night Scenes, Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2 02
Night Scenes, Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2 03
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Olympus Pen E-P5, Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2

Digital Moments:

Night Scenes, Zuiko OM 35mm F2

'Five frames with the Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2, on a night shoot with the Olympus Pen E-P5'

I was not expecting anything much when I first took the Zuiko OM 35mm F2, one of the highlight lens of my Zuiko OM lens collection, for a trial shoot. It was a night shoot from the front yard of my humble abode, shooting scenes that you might find familiar within these blog posts.

Olympus Pen E-P5, Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2

On the 2x crop-sensor MFT digital camera, the lens is equivalent to a 70mm prime.

In its native form, a 35mm lens is the most popular among wide-angle lenses, most often regarded as an all-purpose and a very convenient lens for normal use. The advantage that makes the 35mm more sought after than a standard 50mm lies with its ability to include more of the total picture area (25% more) while rendering the images still with neat natural perspectives.

Olympus Pen E-P5, Olympus Zuiko OM 35mm F2

Along with its slower sibling, the 35mm F2.8, the Zuiko OM 35mm F2 was manufactured by Olympus up until 2002 when Olympus began switching the lens production for Four Thirds lenses for the new generation of DSLRs. While still commonly available on used markets, good copies of the lens may cost you a fair bundle.


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Monday, December 2, 2019

On Black-and-White Conversion (Pt. I), LOMO Smena 35

On Black-and-White Conversion, LOMO Smena 35 01
On Black-and-White Conversion, LOMO Smena 35 02
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LOMO Smena 35

Analog Diary:

On Black-and-White Conversion (Pt. I), LOMO Smena 35

'Five frames with the LOMO Smena 35, with black-and-white conversion on Microsoft Photos'

I took these images with the LOMO Smena 35 on a roll of expired Kodak ColorPlus 200, had the images scanned post-processed initially on the defunct Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3), and did the print conversion and enhancement on Microsoft Photos.

LOMO Smena 35

For those who are familiar with the all-plastic LOMO Smena 35, the Triplet T-43 40mm F4, as we know it, is quite a highly regarded '3 lens anastigmat' built-in coated glass kit lens fitted to the Smena series cameras. The same lens built is seen on Smena models 6, 7, 8, 8лю, Smena-Rapid, Smena-SL, Smena-Simvol, Smena-19, Smena E, Smena 20, and Smena 35. These cameras were first manufactured first by GOMZ in 1953, and later by MMZ and LOMO.

As for the post-editing bit itself, working on Microsoft Photos was not a well-traveled workflow for me, and this was actually the first time I am using the apps for the conversion. The ease of use, however, and the resulting images which are easily manipulated for Light, Color, and Clarity, and Vinegtte for a bit of peripheral darkening have it all going for me.

Microsoft Photos Edit & Create interface

Accessing the Widows Photos Edit & Create interface is equally easy, which is brought up with a double-click on any image located within a folder, and choosing Edit from the Create & Edit drop-down menu. Edit & Create options available are Crop & Rotate, Filter, and Lighting Adjustments. All options are very intuitive and easy to use.


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Monday, November 25, 2019

Almost a Normal Prime, Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8

Almost a Normal Prime, Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8 01
Almost a Normal Prime, Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8 02
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Olympus E-P5, Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8

Digital Moments:

Almost a Normal Prime, Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8

'Five frames with the Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8, almost the equivalent of a normal prime on the MFT digital'

When mounted on a 2x crop-sensor MFT (Micro Four-Thirds) digital camera, the Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8 wide-angle is the equivalent of a 56mm lens on a 35mm full-frame camera. Though a bit on the long side, this 'equivalent' does fall into the category of a 'normal prime' and might be considered as one, which is within the focal range of 40mm to 58mm.

Olympus E-P5,Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm F2.8

While normal lens captures images that look natural and accurate, lenses with longer focal lengths (telephoto lens) will compress the image forward. As can be seen from these images, the effect brings the background nearer towards the front, even if only very slightly, and images may tend to look a bit flat as well.

With a maximum aperture of f/5.6 on the crop-sensor setup, the lens is definitely not a good candidate for good bokeh shots, if you are interested in that area or technique. Instead, the lens is the better option for landscapes, the urban scene or set to hyperfocal distance shooting for street photography and the like.

Olympus E-P5,Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm F2.8

Physically, the Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8, which is acknowledged for its high contrast, faithful reproduction of colors and high resolving power, is an extremely compact retrofocus 6-elements in 6-groups construction, measuring only 32mm and weighs 170 grams. The lens is one of the lightest Zuiko wide-angle lenses when introduced.

Interestingly enough, the Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8 is the only Zuiko 28mm wide-angle that can stop down to a minimum aperture of f/22 for (when you are back in the film world) added depth of field control.


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Monday, November 18, 2019

Mobile Photography, Serene Serenades

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Mobile Photography, Serene Serenades 03
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Mobile Photography, Serene Serenades 05
Nokia Asha 300

Mobile Photography:

Serene Serenades

'Five frames with the Nokia Asha 300, serene serenades on an early morning walk in the park'

I have to admit that using the camera on the Nokia Asha 300, a vintage candy-bar feature phone, is both equally as difficult and exasperating to use as well as it is as rewarding. When using the camera, exasperation comes in the form of a 2.4-inch resistive-touchscreen that is a complete washout in any form of bright external light, and images that take ages to record.


Out in the bright light, there is nothing that you can do or see with the screen that is almost blank. The only way to grab a few shots is to do it with the camera held at arm's length and shoot away. A bit of a hipster style, but with the camera held at eye level or slightly higher, guesstimate framing can yield you a few good images.

The Nokia Asha 300, introduced in late 2011, the first phones to have Angry Birds pre-installed, is one of the slimmest feature phones around, measures 112.8 x 49.5 x 12.7 mm, weights 85 grams including battery. The phone has 140MB of internal storage which can store up to a maximum of 112 JPEG images. The camera does not come with a flash.


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Monday, November 11, 2019

The Perfect Normal, Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

The Perfect Normal, Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 01
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Minolta X-700, Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

Analog Diary:

The Perfect Normal, Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

'Five frames with the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2, the 'perfect' normal lens on the Minolta X-700'

One of the accepted definitions of the 'perfect' normal lens for a 35mm full-frame camera, a lens that reproduces a field of view that appears natural to a human observer, is based on the diagonal of the film frame, which measures 43.3mm.

Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

A lens unique to the interpretation of this definition is the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45m, F2.0, a very compact lens with a focal length that is very close to the measured distance. Introduced in 1978, and only available as an MDII version, this lens is a rare case as Minolta will normally be replicated and made the lenses available over their camera version releases.

Not quite a true pancake, the lens is a blend of a plastic body and a 6-elements in 5-group glass. It measures 30.5 mm in length and weighs 125 grams, comes with 5 aperture blades, a minimum aperture of F16, and a minimum focusing distance of 0.6 meters.

With a large open aperture of F2, the lens is also a potentially good bokeh lens, and with its compact size, it makes the lens a worthwhile consideration for the street shooter, fashion or lifestyle photographer, simply as a lowlight lens or one to get good background separation with.

Minolta X-700, Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

At most time unnoticed, and grossly underrated except by gig lens connoisseurs, the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 is more than the sum of its parts. Images are exceptionally sharp, with good mid-tone contrast and accurate color reproduction. It is a lightweight both on the wallet and in the camera bag, and to whichever Minolta body it is found attached to, it is the go-to lens.


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