Monday, September 16, 2019

Endnote, Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2

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Endnote, Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2

'Analog Diary - Rounding up a couple of very rewarding sessions with the EF-mount Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2'


Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2
An endnote to a couple of very rewarding sessions with an EF version of the Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, mounted on the Canon EOS 700QD, with posts on a zoom range shots in the park, scenic landscape shots, a city street-walk before this backdrop session of architectural and urbanscape elements.

To round up the sessions, in the shortest few words, the Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2 (1985) is a very impressive and capable lens. It is reasonably sharp wide open and very sharp once you stopped down. Set to Landscape Mode (F8 or smaller) in Intelligent Program AE on the EOS 700QD, there is not much more you can fault the lens with.

This AF version is a carryover from the famous and revolutionary MF version first introduced in 1979. Still mainly of metal and glass, and rubber grips, the lens comes with a bigger 72mm front element, as compared to 62mm on the prior. With its size and weight, the Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2 is never the fastest kid on the block though.


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

Despite the bulk and weight of the camera and lens combined, which adds up to almost 1.4 kg in weight, the sculptured body of the EOS 700QD helps to keep the camera snug and comfortable in your hand. The fun and ease of carrying or lugging the camera around and using it to shoot at eye-level, at arm's length, or hipster style dispels the notion of weight as a burden.

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Street Scenes, Yashica Minitec AF

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Street Scenes, Yashica Minitec AF

'Analog Diary - A first roll outing with the Yashica Minitec AF, an easy and fun to use 35mm autofocus compact'

Yashica Minitec AF, Top view
The Yashica Minitec AF, a very affordable 35mm autofocus compact, was fun and easy to use. The camera is fitted with a Tessar-type 32mm F3.5 fixed-focus lens, has auto loading, auto film forward and rewind with mid-roll rewind and a built-n auto flash.

Produced by Kyocera in 1992, the Minitec AF is also shipped as the Yashica Micro Elite AF, and Kyocera P. mini AF.

One of the most endearing aspects about this auto everything 35mm compact is that it just needs a pair of AA batteries to operate, the most plentiful and easiest type of power unit that you can buy of any supermarket shelf. The camera, however, does not come with a battery strength indicator, so changing the battery after a couple of rolls of film or so, is about the best advice to heed.

Part of the fun of using the camera is a very decent sized viewfinder, easy and bright enough to see through for image composition. Operation wise, selection buttons for infinity focus, flash modes, and self-timer settings are arrayed on the top plane of the camera and these settings are displayed on a small LCD panel located centrally on the top plane.

Yashica Minitec AF, Off front

With most of the operational aspects of the Yashica Minitec AF are done automatically, you might want to remember to keep the infinity focus button pressed for landscape shots. This two-handed operation will turn off the auto-on flash which is quite sensitive to low light ambiances.


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Monday, September 2, 2019

Mobile Photography, I Am My Own

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Mobile Photography, I Am My Own

'A collection of past images, captured on the Nokia Asha 300, post-processed and converted to black-and-white' 

The Nokia Asha 300, a candy-bar feature phone, the year 2011 product, was quite the favorite when I dug it out of storage and used it as a supplementary on my photo walks in late 2018.

The phone was small and petite, fun to use, the slimmest and lightest that I have used so far. It weighs only 85 grams and as far as carrying it around, the phone slides in comfortably into even the smallest of space.

To each his own, of course. The JPEG images captured by the 5MP rear camera are always a constant surprise. They are sharp and clear, with good delineation and correct mid-tones. Even images in a low-light situation, taken with the camera's fixed focus lens, at its slowest shutter speed, which I think is no longer than 1/8 second, are equally appealing, exciting, and open to interpretation.

With all the images originally shot in color, the creative here was to see how well these images convert to black and white. I am not fussy at all about special film effects and how to get them done or things as such. I am still a novice in black and white photography and all that I want here was just a set of high contrast prints.

The conversion was done with the Monochrome & Sepia editor on my post-processing app, with a click on the Monochrome selection box, with a filter added and an up slide on the contrast slider. Done!


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Monday, August 26, 2019

On The Street, Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2

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On The Street, Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2

'Analog Diary - Taking the EF-mount Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2  for a spot of street photography'

Canon EOS 700QD, Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2
My guess on the best part of having an autofocus super-wide-angle fitted to your AE (auto-exposure) SLR film camera, in this case, a Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2 mounted on a Canon EOS 700 QD, is the fact that you can use it just like a plain and simple point-and-shoot camera, or in whatever form or style you fancy.

This includes holding up the camera to your eye for proper framing, hipster style, or by holding the camera away at arm's length while framing the image guesstimate style.

While you might end up having an interesting composition with the last method, it might not work at all either.

The Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, launched in 1985, was a carryover from the highly acknowledged MF version of the world's wide-angle zoom, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 (1979), back when no one was sure if such a lens is possible.

While the camera and lens combo might be a bit of bulk, with a combined weight reaching nearly 1.4kg, it was, nevertheless, fun to use. All you need to do is to set the lens to the focal length you want to shoot with, and off you go. Everything else is automatic, even the film rewind at the end of the roll.

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

Just as well, the Canon EOS 700QD is one of the cameras that comes with a Reversible Selector Dial. Do this by unscrewing the knurled screw of the selector dial, flip the dial over, and you will have access the camera's shutter priority mode.


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Monday, August 19, 2019

A Touch of the Arts, Pentax Espio AF Zoom

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A Touch of the Arts, Pentax Espio AF Zoom

'Analog Diary - Post-processed underexposed images salvaged from a Pentax Espio AF Zoom'


I was not aware that the Pentax Espio AF Zoom I was using has a fault with its film frame counter, which reverts itself back to 0 after the frame number reached 17. As I was using this camera intermittently, I wasn't sure when this happened was not sure either whether the reversion was for the film roll as well.

Pentax Espio AF Zoom
If the reversion was for the film roll as well, then I would still have a full roll of 36 exposures to shoot with, otherwise it will just be the leftover 18 frames or so, and this would mean that that the first 17 or so images will be double exposed while the rest will be single shots.

That was the situation I was in. To salvage the situation, I took the decision to sequence off the frames with underexposed shots around the space I was in, hoping that if the frames were double exposures, I would probably end up with at least a couple on interesting images.

Half-expectedly, the Espio AF went into auto rewind after the last frame on the film roll was shot, with the film frame counter was showing that I was only halfway through the roll. It was clear then that it was only the film frame counter that was resetting itself, while the rest of the camera is fully functional.

Pentax Espio AF Zoom

The images from that part of the roll were mostly underexposed. I did manage, however, to salvage a string of shots which turned out well enough when enhanced through the post-processor to give me these art-touched images, a job well done.


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Monday, August 12, 2019

Reverse Ring Macro Photography, Starting Out

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Reverse Ring Macro Photography, Starting Out

'Testing out  a reverse ring macro setup with a Super-Takumar 55mm F1.8 lens mounted on the Olympus E-P5'


An inexpensive way to getting close up macro images without the need to use macro lenses is to do the reverse lens macro photography technique.

Reverse Ring Macros, Camera Setup
The technique calls for the lens, a manual focus prime lens with an aperture ring control is recommended, to be mounted on your camera in reverse, i.e. with the front end facing inward towards the body on your camera.

These lenses are normally mounted via an adapter which has your camera's lens mount on one side, and a screw thread equal to the diameter of the lens on the opposite side.

With the setup, however, there are no mechanical or electrical linkages between the lens and camera. The lens is an independent unit functioning on its own. This means that while you have access to the shutter speed of the camera, aperture control is managed by the stopped-down method.

For my learning setup, I am using a Super-Takumar 55mm F1.8 lens, mounted to an Olympus OM/49mm reverse adapter, which is mounted to Olympus OM Adapter MF-2 before it is fitted the Olympus E-P5 body. It may sound a bit long-winded, but the constraint of what you have in terms of the bit and pieces required for the setup, it does make sense and it works.

Olympus E-P5, Olympus OM Adapter MF-2, Olympus OM/49mm Reverse Ring, Super Takumar 55mm F1.8

That's it for starting out images as posted, which were shot handheld. A fair amount of post-processing and print sharpening edits were needed to get them to where they are, with the main concern being the light loss with smaller aperture opening for the slight gain in depth of field.

Shooting in a well-lighted environment, using a tripod to stabilize the camera, and setting shutter speeds that will eliminate camera shake are other concerns you should be aware of. More on that later.


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Monday, August 5, 2019

Landscapes, Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2

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Landscapes, Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2

 'Analog Diary - Looking at the landscape with the EF-mount Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2'


Continuing from where I left off with Part I of my first outing with the EF-mount Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, a lens highly acknowledged for its image quality and sharpness.

Canon EOS 700QD, AF Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4.2
These images were from the same hazy early morning visit to the park, looking more at the overall landscape rather than the zoom range views.

To some extent, I do have to agree that the lens is capable of capturing and rendering the images as mentioned and commented on in the forum, while I do believe that I may have a bit more to learn about handling such a versatile lens.

The Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, launched by Sigma in 1985, was a carryover from the highly acknowledged and revolutionary MF version which was first introduced in 1979. Back then, no one was quite sure if such a lens was possible until Sigma proved otherwise.

The AF version, which came with a 77mm front end, is much bigger than the original 67mm, is still with its built-in floral hood and has only a single ring for the zoom control, with the aperture opening linked to the cameras AE mechanism. The lens is all metal and glass, made to last, and comes in at a hefty 480 grams in weight.

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

Mounted on the Canon EOS 700QD, the camera is a bit of a tight fit into the compartment my green khaki triangular camera bag. With the divider moved to accept its larger size, the opposite side is a much smaller space, just big enough for me to slit in a 35mm compact, part of my routine of always having a couple cameras in the bag.


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Monday, July 29, 2019

Truly Vintage, Pentax Espio AF Zoom

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Truly Vintage, Pentax Espio AF Zoom

'Analog Diary - Continuing from where I left off with images with first roll images on the Pentax Espio AF'


Continuing from where I left off with the first part of the series, took the camera on a trip downtown and shot these images from the platform of one of the LRT (Light Rail Transport) stops. The original color images, as per the first post, were still hazy and blurry and were not at all kind to the camera it was captured on.

Pentax Espio AF Zoom
The Pentax Espio AF Zoom is an interesting camera of sorts really. It features an 8 element 35/70 zoom lens, exposure is all programmed, but with a lot of manual control.

The Flash mode selection, for example, can be set for Auto, Daylight Sync, Slow-Shutter Speed (Flash OFF), Slow-Speed Sync, Backlight Compensation, Bulb, and Bulb Sync.

Selection buttons are also available for Self-Timer, Dual-Frame Self-Timer, and Auto Tele-Wide Self-Timer modes,  Red-eye Reduction, and Infinity focus, 2-frame Double Exposure shots, and something you would not have expected on a compact, an intervalometer which lets you shoot at intervals of 3 or 60 minutes.

Pentax Espio AF Zoom

The drawbacks of the camera, it seems, though reflecting the very compact design of the camera, is a viewfinder that is diminutively small, and though solidly built, an all plastic body.

Images were originally shot on Kodak ColorPlus 200, post-processed and converted to black-and-white on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) and print sharpened on Google NIK Sharpener Pro3.


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