Monday, October 28, 2019

Street Wide, From the Hip, Zuiko OM 21mm F3.5

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Olympus OM-2 SP, Olympus Zuiko OM 21mm F3.5

Analog Diary:

Street Wide, From the Hip, Zuiko OM 21mm F3.5

'Five frames with the Olympus Zuiko OM 21mm F3.5, on a hipster style street shoot with the Olympus OM-2S'

Street photography, the most accessible photography genre, is something you can do pretty much anywhere, anytime, and with whatever camera equipment you have. Though etiquettes may apply, there are no rules either, you are free to shoot whatever you visualize as a collective of event, emotion, or the reality of the space you are in.

Olympus OM-2 SP, Olympus OM Zuiko 21mm F3.5

The main part of the visual is, of course, the context of the image, where the background becomes the backdrop to the event, of activity of the figures you are incorporating into the image. Removing either of the two from the context or the content of the image will just nullify the notion and render the genre ineffective.

One approach I challenged myself to recently is to shoot from the hip while doing the streetwalk, with the camera mounted with an ultra-wide-angle lens on hyperfocal zone setting. Framing of the images were purely guesstimates. The lens I had on was the Olympus Zuiko OM 21mm F3.5, mounted on an Olympus OM-2S.

As horizontal alignments of hipster style images taken with the camera away from your eyes are just guesstimates, there is the notion that you might have to lose a bit of the image with tilt adjustment crops during post-processing. I looked at that as an advantage.


Olympus OM-2 SP, Olympus OM Zuiko 21mm F3.5

Physically the all-metal and glass Zuiko 21mm F3.5 is a lightweight and extremely compact lens, acknowledged for its optical quality and ability to capture sharp images with excellent contrast even at full aperture. The lens is a 7-elements in 7-groups construction, it is only 31mm in length and weighs 180/185 grams. A bit of a classic, a rarity, and worth the keep, the lens comes with its own band of dedicated followers.


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Monday, October 21, 2019

A Look Back, Olympus Trip 35

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Analog Diary:

A Look Back, Olympus Trip 35

'Five frames with the Olympus Trip 35, a look back at images captured with the endearing and iconic 35mm compact'

The Olympus Trip 35, a 35mm compact camera manufactured by Olympus, was introduced in 1967 and stayed in production until 1984. Targeted towards people who wanted a compact, functional camera for holidays or family snapshots, the camera was the subject of an advertising campaign featuring a popular British photographer David Bailey.

Olympus Trip 35

The Olympus Trip 35 is fitted with a D.Zuiko 40mm F2.8 lens and it does not need a battery to operate. The camera is powered by a selenium light meter, comes with two shutter speeds, 1/40 and 1/200 second, and two exposure setting, 'A' for Program automatic, and a manual aperture opening selection for shots at the lower 1/40 second, the setting for flash photography.

In Program automatic mode, the camera will choose either a shutter speed of 1/40 or 1/200 second, matched to an aperture range from F2.8 to F16. The film ISO setting is from 25 to 400 for later models which come with a black shutter release button, and 25 to 200 for earlier models that have a chrome silver shutter release button.

Focusing is by a zone system with four distance icons set for portrait, shoulder shot, group, and landscape. The distance icon is visible through the viewfinder via a small sub-window located just below the image frame. Flash is used in manual mode with preset aperture opening.
Olympus Trip 35

The mainstay of the camera is undoubtfully its four-element in three-groups Tessar lens which is acknowledged as very impressive. The lens is capable of giving you sharp high-quality images with good mid-tone contrast and natural colors. Just as endearing is the use of the selenium photocell, which is even capable of getting a correct exposure under bright fluorescent light, without a flash.

Over its production run, more than 10 million units of the camera were produced and sold.


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Monday, October 14, 2019

Analog Diary, A Do-it-all 35mm SLR Camera Kit

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Analog Diary:

A Do-it-all 35mm SLR Camera Kit

'Five frames with the Pentax MV1 and SMC Pentax-M 40mm F2.8, on a quest for the perfect do-it-all film SLR kit'

A fun and easy to use 35mm SLR film camera kit that you want to look at, if you starting to look at film photography, is the combination of a Pentax MV1 SLR film camera, and the SMC Pentax-M 40mm F2.8 lens. The camera/lens combination is very compact and equally a lightweight, with the 18mm thick lens weighing only 110 grams, and a camera body that weighs 425 grams without batteries.


In use, the camera kit is not only well suited to hiking or street shooting, but is equally suitable as a do-it-all general use lens for snapshots, family outings, travel photos, urbanscapes, and architectural images.

The 5-elements in 4-group SMC Pentax-M 40mm F2.8, produced from 1976 to 1984, was the smallest SLR lens that Pentax ever made. A seven-layer SMC coating process that Pentax started using to coat the lens element since 1971 produces images are sharp and clear and mid-tones contrast that are always pleasing to look at.

The Pentax MV1, an update to the Pentax MV which was launched a year earlier, is an aperture-priority 35mm SLR film camera, was a product from the 1980s. It has a shutter speed range from 1 to 1/1000 second, which is set automatically by the camera, and an  ISO speed range from 32 to 1600.

Pentax MV1, SMC Pentax-M 40mm F2.8

The camera is as good as any to start you off into film photography. It is a well-constructed camera, a smooth operator with a well-damped mirror flap action that produces little if any, camera body shake. The compact and lightweight body is easily available on the auction market, most at very affordable prices, and has been known to be reliable and worth the keep.


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Monday, October 7, 2019

Cropped Close-Ups I, Zuiko OM 21mm F3.5

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Olympus E-P5, Olympus Zuiko OM 21mm F3.5

Digital Moments:

Cropped Close-Ups I, Zuiko OM 21mm F3.5

'Five frames with the Olympus Zuiko OM 24mm F2.8, cropped close-ups on the MFT digital, Part I'

Cropping is a technique that you may want to apply, especially for close-ups, if you are faced with circumstances that make you unable to fill up your frame with the subject you are shooting. This may include having to step back from your subject to gain depth of field and sharpness, or to remove distracting background elements.


Olympus E-P5, Olympus OM Zuiko 21mm F3.5

As in my case here, I was testing the ultra-wide-angle Olympus Zuiko OM 21mm F3.5 which I had mounted on the 2x crop-sensor E-P5, which effectively makes the lens a 42mm equivalent on full-frame cameras. Even at the lens's closest focusing distance of 0.2 meters, subjects seen by the almost 'perfect normal' equivalent focal length lens is only as the eyes see it, no magnification.


Olympus E-P5, Olympus OM Zuiko 21mm F3.5

Some of these elements are necessary as close-ups may tend to pick up and reflect the colors of their surroundings more than other images. Being a single subject matter, close-ups may tend to be monochromatic as well, and this is where it makes it pertinent to post-process for contrast adjustments.


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