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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Monday, July 22, 2019

Twin Towers, Nikon Zoom 310 AF

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Twin Towers, Nikon Zoom 310 AF

'Analog Diary - Rounding up the series on the Twin Towers with images from the Nikon Zoom 310 AF'

My third and final post on the Twin Towers which I visited on a couple of occasions recently. While the first two posts were images shot with an AF Nikkor 28-70mm F3.5~4.5 and a Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4, these here today were with a Nikon Zoom 310 AF compact.

Nikon Zoom 310 AF
The cute and petite Zoom, when launched in 1994, was the world's most compact zoom, it was even smaller than the Pentax Espio AF which I was shooting with a couple of weeks prior.

Together with the diminutive shape was an equally diminutive viewfinder which requires me to adjust my gait as to the way I brought the camera up to my eyes when framing an image.

The longish travel of the slightly mushy rubber-topped shutter release was not the best that I have tried either. Operational control buttons are located on both sides of the camera's top plate. While shutter and zoom operation can be done single-handedly, powering the camera up, and setting it for different flash mode setting is a two-handed operation.

With these criticisms aside, and within the limitations of its 35-70mm lens, the Zoom 310 AF is capable, as you can see from the images posted here, of capturing decent images across its zoom range. The camera comes with a programmed electronic shutter and is fitted with a 35mm/F3.5 to 70mm/F6.5 four elements in four groups lens.

Nikon Zoom 310 AF

As a carry around, the camera is also one of the more robust and solidly built AF compacts that I have had experience with over the past few sessions. The Zoom 310 AF might, in the end, be a good choice as a take-along for one who is always out and about and only has minimal carry space.

p.s.
Our condolences to the family of Cesar Pelli, the architect for the Petronas Twin Towers, who passed away peacefully on July 19, 2019, at the age of 92.


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Monday, July 15, 2019

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

The Zoom Range, Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2 01
@21mm
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@ 21mm
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@24mm
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@28mm
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@35mm

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

'Analog Diary - Testing out the zoom range of the EF-mount Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2' 

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 Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, to the jumble.

Canon EOS 700QD, Sigma Zoom AF 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, Sigma Zoom AF 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

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(Click images for higher resolution views)

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

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(Click images for higher resolution views)


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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