Monday, September 30, 2019

Five Frames, Olympus AF-1, Kwai Chai Hong

Olympus AF-1, Kwai Chai Hong 01
Olympus AF-1, Kwai Chai Hong 02
Olympus AF-1, Kwai Chai Hong 03
Olympus AF-1, Kwai Chai Hong 04
Olympus AF-1, Kwai Chai Hong 05
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Olympus AF-1

Film photography favorites, five frames with an Olympus AF-1 (Infinity), on the quest for an alternative to the Olympus Mju II.

The Olympus AF-1 (Infinity in the US), 1985, the first of Olympus AF series cameras, was also the world’s first weatherproof fully automatic autofocus 35mm compact camera, a product of extensive research and development by the Japanese giant.

Olympus AF-1

Due to its ability to be used in all weather conditions, the camera was nicknamed 'Nurepika' (wet flash) in Japan. Boxy, durable, and all with a slightly offbeat option of an auto-on flash, the camera requires a quite hard-to-get CR-P2 Lithium to power its operation.

The AF-1 is fitted with a Zuiko 35mm F2.8 4-elements in 4-group lens with a minimum focusing distance of 0.75 meters, auto-exposure with an exposure range of 1/30 second at F2.8 to 1/750 second at F13.5, auto-flash with no flash override control, film autoload and rewind, and self-timer.

The autofocus system is supported by a 'focus lock' button which is a bit jiffy to use - press and hold the lock button with the left thumb, aim at the target with the central box and press the shutter release button down, recompose the view, then release the lock button to release the shutter.

Olympus AF-1

For the outing, which I took the AF-1 for a street walk down Kwai Chai Hong, and the newly opened Pandan Republic, I had the flash unit blocked with a piece of duct tape (see image above) as a test of how well the camera captures images in low shutter speed situation.


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Monday, September 23, 2019

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, Colors II

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, Colors II 01
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, Colors II 02
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, Colors II 03
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, Colors II 04
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, Colors II 05
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Lumix DMC-FZ18, Leica DC Vario-Elmarit f/2.8-4.2

#DigitalMoments - Throwback 2009, five frames with a Lumix DMC-FZ18, looking back at images worth preserving, Part II.

Over and above the DMC-FZ8, which the DMC-FZ18 replaces, the 1/2.5-inch sensor enjoys a moderate increase in megapixels power from 7.3MO to 8.3MP. New features of the FZ18 include a dedicated AF/AE button, Face Detection, and a new Intelligent Auto mode that integrates Image Stabilization, Intelligent ISO, Face Detection, and Scene Detection into a 'Super' Auto Mode.

Lumix DMC-FZ18

Form-factor-wise, the FZ18 is a retention of the tried and tested design formula that Panasonic establishes with the FZ7. The FZ18 is externally very, very similar to the FZ8, albeit with minor facelifts that give the body a bit more curves. With its good ergonomics, SLR-like controls, and massive zoom range in a very compact package, the FZ18 was the one to look at.

The smallish dimensions are no deterrent to the camera's handling at all. When held, the camera feels stable, safe, and solid, and the operation of the main controls is very easy. The excellent handling, along with the image stabilization, and well-balanced design, makes the camera equally safe to be used with one hand.

Lumix DMC-FZ18

As with the Panasonic Lumix series, which started with the FZ1 in 2002, the strength of the FZ18, aside from the 8.1MP sensor and an impressive array of functions and features that makes it the choice for a very intelligent bridge compact, is undoubtfully the image-stabilized 18x Leica zoom lens with an f/2.8 maximum opening covering a range from 28 to 500mm.


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Monday, September 16, 2019

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

Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, Endnote 01
Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, Endnote 02
Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, Endnote 03
Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, Endnote 04
Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2, Endnote 05
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Canon EOS 700 QD, Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5-4.2

Film photography favorites, five frames with a Sigma Zoom AF 21-35mm F3.5~4.2, ending the shoot on the Canon EOS 700 QD.

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.

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

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

Five Frames, Yashica Minitec AF, A Streetshooter's Delight

Yashica Minitec AF, A Streetshooter's Delight 01
Yashica Minitec AF, A Streetshooter's Delight 02
Yashica Minitec AF, A Streetshooter's Delight 03
Yashica Minitec AF, A Streetshooter's Delight 04
Yashica Minitec AF, A Streetshooter's Delight 05
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Yashica Minitec AF

Film photography favorites, five frames with a Yashica Minitec AF, fun, and easy-to-use, the street shooters delight.

Yashica Minitec AF, Off front

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-in 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 accessible type of power unit that you can buy on 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 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 full plane.

Yashica Minitec AF, Top view

With most of the Yashica Minitec AF operational aspects being 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

Mobile Photography, I Am My Own 01
Mobile Photography, I Am My Own 02
Mobile Photography, I Am My Own 03
Mobile Photography, I Am My Own 04
Mobile Photography, I Am My Own 05
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Nokia Asha 300

#MobilePhotography - Five frames with a vintage Nokia Asha 300, a look back, images post-processed 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. Small and petite, fun to use, the slimmest and lightest, at only 85 grams.

Slimmest and lightest, at only 85 grams

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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